"Sometimes even the Buddha had to kick a little ass."If you live in an action-adventure universe, violence is one of those things that you just can't escape. (After all, you cannot spell pacifist without a fist.) This can be a real problem if you want your lead character to be a new-agey tree-hugging intellectual, because, after Hunter S. Thompson died in 2005, how many gun-toting hippies do you know? So you end up with the Technical Pacifist. The Technical Pacifist is willing to beat people up as much as he wants. He may even get a few fatalities through the fridge. However, once it comes down to a choice between killing the villain and not, the Technical Pacifist will not kill the villain. Unlike the principle of Thou Shalt Not Kill, the Technical Pacifist is certainly capable of making the killing strike if there was no other way, but they don't ever treat it lightly. In a certain variation they may be perfectly fine with the Self-Disposing Villain who is Too Dumb to Live being defeated because of his own Villain Ball or being Hoist by His Own Petard; so long as they don't personally pull the trigger or push them off the building, everything is fine. A Murder by Inaction may also be fine. It's all fine as long as they don't do the killing themselves. Sometimes, a Technical Pacifist may have an aversion to certain weapons due to their lethality (most often guns), preferring to fight with their fists and other blunt weapons that are less likely to kill someone. Other times, they employ swords or even bullets in ways designed to subdue their opponents in a non-lethal manner. Not only that but most other rules regarding Thou Shalt Not Kill are usually thrown out the window in the case of dealing with aliens, robots, zombies and/or monsters. Just as Beware the Nice Ones is for the Actual Pacifist, Good Is Not Soft is not an unusual trait for this character. There is a villainous variant of the Technical Pacifist, often seen with the Corrupt Corporate Executive and the Worthy Opponent. In the former case, this is a villain who has no qualms about killing people, but doesn't like to get their hands dirty (or at least to be seen getting their hands dirty). So they have someone else do it instead. This invariably leads to the hero being locked in an Easily Escapable Deathtrap so that the villain won't get bloodstains on their suit. This tends to drop away when they're backed into a corner. In the latter case, the Worthy Opponent just refuses to use a gun because it's "not fair". The Willing Suspension of Disbelief can be stretched in certain cases. Blunt weapons can still kill people, after all. See also Family-Friendly Firearms and Improbable Weapon User. See also Martial Pacifist, for the martial arts expert who follows The Path of Peace. Contrast Actual Pacifist for somebody who genuinely doesn't hurt people, instead of hurting them less, and Reckless Pacifist for someone who refuses to kill, ever, but comes frighteningly close to doing so. Also contrast What Measure Is a Mook?, for the surprisingly common situation where the hero has qualms about killing the main villain at the end of the story after spending most of the plot casually blowing away the villain's minions. Compare Reluctant Warrior, who despite not wanting to fight, does fight and kills, much to their own regret. Compare and contrast Badass Pacifist, who is capable of completely defeating their opponents using only nonviolent tactics.
— Flynn, Battlefield Bad Company 2
open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
- Ah! My Goddess: Belldandy is only ever reluctant to do violence, even wanting to talk down an Eldritch Abomination. Generally, the only time she'll actually use those immense powers she has for fighting is if someone threatens her sisters or Keiichi. Even then her combat is, at worst, of the "surprising what you can live through" variety. The rules under which gods and demons live make this pretty much mandatory for them both. "Sealing" and various harassment are okay, but killing just takes out someone on your own side too.
- The members of AKB0048 are this. They're very competent fighters and pilots, but will only defend themselves from DET soldiers enough to stun and injure, and avoid killing at all costs.
- Graham of Baccano! is violent, but he doesn't like killing people because it makes him feel guilty.
- Enju Aihara in Black Bullet. What sets her apart from her partner, Rentaro Satomi is that while Rentaro is willing to use lethal force if necessary, Enju absolutely refuses to kill another human being despite having the ability to fight the Gastrea. This is lampshaded by Kayo Senju herself where she stated Enju isn't the kind of person who is willing to kill someone.
- It's also implied the reason Enju only fights with her feet is because she wants to fight the Gastrea without having to kill people.
- Also, Enju's Dark and Troubled Past while living in the outer districts shown that she had to commit any sort of crime such as stealing just to survive. The only crime she never committed is murder.
- Kaname Tousen of Bleach believes in the path of least bloodshed, but is concerned more with unnecessary bloodshed than no bloodshed at all, being he is more than willing to shed a little blood when necessary, such as attacking fellow captain Zaraki Kenpachi or chopping off Grimmjow's arm. He's all about justice, but it's recently been revealed that "justice" and "good" may not be the same thing in his book, as he only joined the Gotei 13 to get revenge on them for the death of his friend.
- Chad. He doesn't want to fight, and won't fight for himself, but if you threaten his friends, particularly Ichigo, he will kick your ass.
- Kon. He refuses to kill, due to his past, but has no qualms about attacking a Hollow, with no weapon, if he wants to protect someone.
- A weird subversion of this is seen in Corrector Yui, where the corrector program Peace has the power of materializing any kind of weapons, but doesn't use them, ever, because he says he's a pacifist and won't fight or use weapons. Instead, he gives it to other correctors to use against their enemies.
- Goku in Dragon Ball becomes an example of this after Character Development. While he loves fighting and training to become stronger, he doesn't kill his opponent if he can help it, giving even his worst enemies a Last-Second Chance. Throughout Dragon Ball Z, he is directly responsible for the deaths of only two villains: Yakon, who blew up after gorging himself on too much of Goku's energy, and Buu, the series' final Big Bad. And he even wished for Buu to reincarnate as a good being. And he does, though it's more of a cameo barring the anime-only Dragon Ball GT.
- Fairy Tail: The Fairy Tail guild as a whole. No matter how much horrible the villains' goals or their methods of reaching them, the worst that'll usually happen is a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown with their plans in ruin around them and being arrested, and even the ones that die are usually victims of other villains. That said, this only seems to apply to human characters; the genocidal Tartaros guild ended up with more than half of its core members slain and most by Fairy Tail's hands.
- Edward Elric in Fullmetal Alchemist, as well as his brother Alphonse, and maybe Izumi Curtis too - all are quite willing to beat the crap out of people but aren't killers. Ed also fits the "doesn't like guns" variety of Technical Pacifist. Colonel Mustang and his followers take this stance during the coup d'tat they stage in the endgame. They disarm and injure every enemy soldier they come across, but they refuse to kill any. It's partly this trope and partly a way of flipping off the members of High Command.
- However they are not above working with the more vicious Northern battalion dubbed the "Briggs' Bears".
- Gantz: Katou. He's the personification of this trope taken to its logical conclusion.
- Rushuna of Grenadier. She lives in an Alternate Universe of the Japanese Civil War that has rifles and super-weapons, but is dedicated to winning battles by making the enemy lose his will to fight and not attacking the enemy. This doesn't work, so she ends up using her six-shooter to shoot scores of villains, just making sure no one dies with her Improbable Aiming Skills. However in the manga no qualm with killing is mentioned, and its more through random happenstance that her shots are non-lethal than any intent (such as running out of bullets just as she presses her gun to an opponent's head and pulls the trigger).
- Gundam has a number of these characters across multiple series. More recent works have particularly showcased this philosophy, but it was not unknown in older series.
- Early on in Mobile Suit Crossbone Gundam, the Crossbone Vanguard intentionally spares the lives of Jupiter Empire pilots because (like the Mobile Suit Gundam Wing example) they don't know the full scope of their leader's plans. If not for this, The Hero Tobia would have been killed in the first chapternote . Later on, however, we learn that the Empire executes pilots who escape for wasting resources, rendering the Vanguard's mercy rather pointless.
- In G Gundam, all world governments have adopted this as policy by agreeing to the Gundam Fight as a means of deciding national superiority rather than outright warfare. Unfortunately, the Gundam Fight system is still riddled with corruption and other problems.
- The Mobile Suit Gundam Wing Team becomes Technical Pacifists in The Movie, primarily because the enemy soldiers have been lied to by their leader and think they're fighting for a noble cause when, in fact, it's all about said leader's mad desire for revenge. As soon as the deception is revealed, every single pilot surrenders willingly. In the series itself, only Quatre is like this from the start as he's from a family of Actual Pacifists rather than Child Soldiers. While he will kill when necessary, he's the only one of the five who will call for surrender first.
- It has to be added that at the end of the film, when on Earth and fighting at AT LEAST 50-1 odds, the Gundam pilots, along with Zechs and Noin, fight and wipe out nearly all of the enemy forces before their own suits began to take damage and run out of ammo...without a SINGLE enemy pilot dying. This is lampshaded by the Gundam pilots, who joke that if they were aiming to kill, they'd have won so much sooner.
- Loran Cehack of Turn A Gundam will not hesitate to kill, but only after he's exhausted all other means to resolve whatever conflict he's part of without bloodshed. He also makes a point of using his Gundam for many non-combat purposes, like laundry and livestock transport.
- Kira Yamato of Gundam SEED is a unique example. About halfway through the series he decides that he'll no longer kill people as he believes his enemies are generally good people who deserve to live but he'll continue to fight in order to put an end to the confict. He aims to disable his opponents (usually by dismembering their mobile suits) rather than kill them. And given the combination of his skills and the multiple extremely accurate weapons of the Freedom Gundam, he's very good at that, sometimes disarming many dozens of mooks in a matter of seconds. However, in a few cases, he does kill people, generally when the stakes are very high and many, many lives are on the line. He has also occasionally killed someone by accident, such as Stella in the Destroy Gundam.
- That technical pacifism eventually bites Kira in the ass when Shinn is out for his blood and knows very well that Kira never targets the cockpit, only the weapons and optical sensors. Despite the Freedom being the Bigger Stick, Shinn still manages to take it down for good. Though later in that fight Kira does wise up and aims a lethal blow at the Impulse's cockpit, Shinn only survived because of his mobile suit's gimmick. He learned from this experience because the next time he ran into Shinn (both now in their Midseason Upgrades, the Strike Freedom and Destiny, respectively), he stopped holding back so much and went straight for kill shots; though he made no attempt to pursue when Shinn was forced to retreat due to low energy/ammo.
- Rau Le Creuset's death is a much clearer example. Kira was severely angry at his philosophies on life and humanity, plus the fact that he had just killed Kira's ex-lover Flay. He's also piloting the first Humongous Mecha in the series to prove at least a match for Kira's Freedom Gundam, and has the skills to put it to good use, meaning that it would have been virtually impossible for Kira to stop him without killing him.
- Kira's girlfriend, Lacus, is another Technical Pacifist. While she doesn't do any fighting herself, she shares Kira's ideals, and willingly uses him as a sword to deal with those who try to prolong the war.
- Speaking of Gundam SEED, Lowe Guele of Gundam SEED Astray is like this. The charter for the Junk Guild says that members can only attack if they are attacked and when Lowe fights back in the Red Frame, it's usually to disable. Of course, this is a guy who repaired a mecha-sized katana, built a 150 meter version of the same weapon and designed an all-purpose sword of a mercenary. It gets even funnier when you play him in an SRW or a G-Generation game.
- To quote the man himself in his promotional anime short: "Don't worry, I'm a Junk Tech. I don't kill."
- Banagher Links of Gundam Unicorn has a very low kill count throughout the campaign despite the possibility of his mobile suit going berserk and taking control for him. He has a Heroic B.S.O.D. the first time he kills someone.
- Kio Asuno of Mobile Suit Gundam AGE becomes this from Episode 40 onwards after spending time in Vagan, where he learned about the hellish conditions the citizens go through in their life. While he will sortie, he only uses his weapons to disable less-skilled opponents and for self-defense.
- Rally Vincent in Gunsmith Cats (or at least the manga) is reluctant to kill, despite being an expert in fire gun's use and maintenance, and having a day job as the owner of a Gun's shop and a night job as a bounty hunter. She is pretty proficient at shooting down the other's gun's hammer/trigger, or, if pissed off enough, their trigger fingers. Though she'll kill bad guys if a good guy is in dire danger, she would regret it. Her sidekick, Minnie May, holds a similar morale, though her specialty are bombs.
- Issei in High School D×D will never hesitate to fight, especially if it's for Rias, but he would really rather talk his enemies down or intimidate them into submission with a beatdown and/or warning shot. It's made very clear this is a conscious philosophy and not something that comes naturally, as he nearly causes a Casualty in the Ring when his buttons are sufficiently pushed (and he was committed to doing so, which his victim being saved by outside forces) and doesn't hesitate to finally kill a major villain once and for all when the opportunity presents itself.
- Josuke is the only JoJo in Jojos Bizarre Adventure who has never killed a single person. But that doesn't mean he's not above beating the crap out of people. And don't even think about hurting his mother, or he'll make you wish he would kill you. Oh, and never insult his hair ever.
- Tsuna from Katekyō Hitman Reborn! clearly hates fighting (he always has a saddened frown when in Hyper Dying Will mode), and he never kills human opponents. However, he is fine with destroying robots as long as no one is piloting them, and he will not hesitate to kill those he deems as "monsters." Case in point, after he obliterates Byakuran (a human) with an X-Burner, he and his friends seem to have no second thoughts about killing someone.
- Ryozanpaku from Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple teach the Katsujin-ken (life giving fist). Freya wields the Simple Staff because it allows her to defeat her enemies without killing them or causing any serious injuries. She refused to continue fighting Kisara after her staff broke and turned into a sharp and dangerous weapon.
- Tenka from Laughing Under the Clouds will cheerfully beat the living crap out of you while laughing maniacally and proclaiming himself to be the law, but he will not kill you even if you're a mass murdering psychopath. In fact, that was the route of the dispute he left the Yamainu over.
- Yang Wen-Li from Legend of Galactic Heroes would love to live in a universe in peace and claims to be totally inept when it comes to guns and actual fighting. He is also directly responsible for the death of tens of millions of imperial soldiers and is quite aware of the contradiction.
- Itachi Uchiha witnessed the horrors of the Third Great Shinobi War when he was about four to five years old, and it traumatized him to the point that he hated war with a passion, and loved peace, no matter fragile it was. Since then he has been a technical pacifist, preferring to use his unbelievable genjutsu powers to incapacitate his opponents rather than take lethal action. Ironically it was his desire to avert another war that caused Itachi to wipe out his entire rebellious clan under Danzo's orders.
- Naruto himself is one of these; from the first chapter for more than 600 chapters to the present, he has never, ever, ever actually killed someone. It's not that he won't kill if he has to, although he doesn't like it, events have just conspired to ensure that he has never actually caused someone to die by his own hands. Even Kakuzu, the first victim of his devastating Rasenshuriken technique, somehow managed to survive what should have been a killing blow just so he could be finished off by Kakashi instead.
- One Piece
- Monkey D. Luffy. Whenever someone decides to mess with anything that he cares about, they're on the wrong side of a Curb-Stomp Battle half of the time, and end up losing anyway for 45% of what's left. They never die, however, because Luffy feels that leaving them alive, forcing them to watch their dreams crumble around them, is a Fate Worse Than Death...which it is. However, it arguably falls under Reckless Pacifist, since it shouldn't be possible for anyone to live through what Luffy does to his enemies.
- Played straighter with Smoker. He's one of the more ruthless Marine captains, but unlike some of the Knight Templar or General Ripper characters that rank above him, or equal to him after the Time Skip, he never beats pirates into bloody messes, or kills them; he always does just enough to incapacitate them to be arrested.
- Tetsunosuke from Peacemaker Kurogane, due to huge trauma from his past, refuses to kill people. Even though he's in the Shinsengumi. This is kind of lampshaded, as he is unable to tell Suzu that Yoshida wasn't killed by him, because he realizes that he just simply used Okita to do the deed for him.
- Haru Glory, The Hero of Rave Master believes it's morally wrong to kill other people. Apparently, beating the ever living daylights out of them is perfectly fine, so long as they deserve it (which, of course, they always do). The first main villain, and the final one-the originals son, both had to opt for suicide to be defeated. Never mind that the first killed Haru's mom in cold blood and the second was trying to destroy the world even though he already massacred about half of it. Haru wouldn't kill them. He avoided this with Lucia twice and even tried to convince both of them to live.
- Himura Kenshin from Rurouni Kenshin is a Meiji era former assassin that has forsworn the taking of human life and wears/uses a sakabatou (katana forged with a blunted outer edge) more because of this vow than laws against private uses of swords. Of course he will maim and cripple when sufficiently provoked. Lots of times he does stuff with the blunt sword, like hitting people in the throat or smashing them head-first into the ceiling so that they hang there, that could easily kill them, but it never does. Because he's just that awesome a judge of force, apparently.
- The protagonist of Sadamitsu The Destroyer hates hurting his opponents more than he has to (he often brings medical supplies to regular brawls so he can patch up his opponents after they're defeated) and hates the sheer lethality of his borrowed powers against alien criminals. He's very happy when his ally creates a bokken for him to use the power with, as it allows him to defeat and seal the aliens without killing them.
- Andromeda Shun of Saint Seiya, who tends to stop after every other attack to politely ask his opponent to stop so he won't be forced to hurt them, and is more willing to let the bad guys whale on him than release the power he's holding back.
- Averted if your name's Pisces Aphrodite and you killed his father er... master. Though he might let you live if you you repent and don't keep pressing your luck.
- Balsa from Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit is not above wrestling people into submission, knocking the wind out of them, simply pummeling them senseless with the blunt end of her spear, or smashing someone's face in with a rock. However, she has sworn an oath never to take a human life and never deals fatal wounds or fights to kill — in one case she's forced to do so, she goes into a Heroic B.S.O.D. after the battle (though she later learns her opponent survived).
- Sgt. Frog: Dororo.
- Prince Philionel from Slayers doesn't believe in violence. He thus developed Martial Pacifist style with attacks like Pacifist Crush, Kindness to All Creatures Kick and Goodwill Towards Men Smash. Though he uses them on Always Chaotic Evil creatures and avoids fighting humans if possible. His daughter Amelia, however, is more justice-obsessed and less restrained.
- Exa of Superior sees the war between humans and demons as one big Cycle of Revenge, and refuses to kill so as not to provoke further killing. This doesn't exactly endear him to his fellow humans, most of whom (falsely) see it as a Guilt-Free Extermination War. However, Exa only embraces this trope when he has no other choice. At all other times, he qualifies as an Actual Pacifist who attempts to resolve disputes through diplomacy, runs from fights so long as it won't leave anyone in harms way, and only employs nonlethal magic such as defensive barriers.
- Kai from Switch (2002) is very kind and gentle. That is, until his friends are put in danger.
- The most fundamental appeal to Kamijou Touma. Sure, he's probably the unluckiest man in the world thanks to his Anti-Magic right hand and can still kick your ass in a David vs. Goliath. However, he will never sacrifice anyone or bring himself to actually kill someone whether if it is his friends, his Unwanted Harem, or even villains who were trying to kill him and his said friends. Heck, even the series Anti-Hero, Accelerator, who is known to kill to protect those he cares about, admires Touma for how he is able to protect those around him without sacrificing a single soul. This is even mentioned by Heaven Canceller himself. Touma takes this so far that he spares Fiamma of the Right, the man who started World War III and whom most of the world really really wants dead, after defeating him. He then advises his foe to go out into the world and connect with its people, hoping that will cause him to recognize the error of his previous way of thinking.
- 25th Baam from Tower of God. Fight when he needs to and holds back as much as he can. As long as you don't get between him and Rachel.
- Trigun anime's lead Vash the Stampede lives this trope as his essential gimmick. Outlaw with a very big gun and Improbable Aiming Skills, does a lot of ass-kicking when required, but goes to great and painful lengths to avoid letting anyone be killed. Likely to whack someone with his gun, throw the bullets out the back of the gun, shoot their pants off, get bubblegum into their gun, or let the terrain clobber them if engaging, also very likely to run away. Will deliver non-fatal shots if necessary. Gets sneered at and called either a moron or a hypocrite a lot. Starry-eyed idealist, but scary if pushed far enough. The Big Bad's evil scheming more or less culminates in sending his fanatically loyal psychic Dragon to force Vash to shoot him dead to save his remaining best friends. Object: 'Eternal Suffering to Vash the Stampede.' In the end, shoots Big Bad through all major limbs and carries him into the desert over his shoulder.
- The situation in the manga version is slightly different. But he saves the world through psychic powers of love instead of violence in the end, and apparently convinces the Big Bad to give up genocide. Could be partly that he's been left with no allies, almost no power, and a fraction of his former lifespan.
- Trigun provides a possible deconstruction. When Vash is seen without his Badass Longcoat on, his entire body is either scar tissue or held together by metal brackets, and is just generally horrible looking. These were wounds he acquired because of the difficulty inherent in winning a gunfight without killing. It is quite likely that he wouldn't have a scratch on him if he was fine with killing, as his Improbable Aiming Skills would allow a more ruthless gunman to kill anyone with one shot from the hip. And there's the fact that he could easily regenerate them all using his Plant powers...but he doesn't want to tap into that power without a really good reason. Such as Knives personally trying to kill him with an Angel Arm.
- Another argument about Trigun deconstructing the technical pacifist; Vash's philosophy means he must always Save the Villain, even when the villain in question is a monster who has gone so far past the Moral Event Horizon that most would happily argue that he warrants nothing more than being put down like a rabid animal. The series also invites one to consider whether or not Vash is ultimately responsible for all the deaths that Knives commits, simply because Vash refuses to stop him if it means shooting him, and implies that Vash's arguments for being a pacifist are, ultimately, just as childish and naive as the ones Knives uses to justify his Kill All Humans rampage.
- In the anime, the biggest scene that can be said to argue for Trigun deconstructing Vash's pacifist stance is the story of what happened after the July 5th incident. Yes, Vash somehow managed to redirect his Angel Arm so that nobody was killed, but the city itself was destroyed... leaving the entire populace stranded in the middle of the desert with no food, water or shelter. Hundreds of thousands of people died a slow, agonising death, or were murdered over meager supplies, all because Vash regard Accidental Collateral Damage as meaningless compared to human lives.
- Able Nightroad of Trinity Blood is a priest who explains to everyone he meets that both vampires and humans are God's creatures and that despite any atrocities one may have committed no one deserves to be killed. But he also has to eat...
- Thors from Vinland Saga becomes one of these after his desertion from the Jomsviking.
- In one Robin comic book, while the Boy Wonder is training with a super secret paramilitary unit, one of the members asks why he and Batman don't use guns. Robin replies that, unlike the cops and the military, Batman and Robin can't appear in a court of law to justify it if they end up killing someone, and they don't have any official authority, so they don't use lethal force.
- Which is all a mask for the real reason; Bruce's parents were killed by a gunman, leading his philosophy against lethal force. Obviously they can't tell the world that, but still. However, this rule does not seem to extend to anything that's not human. In an issue of Superman/Batman, you see him standing side-by-side with the Amazons wielding a frickin' BATTLEAXE, which he proceeds to bury in the bodies of numerous clones of Doomsday. His justification? They were never alive to begin with.
- Cassandra Cain (Batgirl III). By being able to read body language as a first language means that killing a man makes her feel the horror of the other person's death, thus she doesn't kill.
- Superman of the DCU. Considering how greatly he out levels most of his opponents, yet adheres to a strict no kill code, most of his battles involve him lightly batting around opponents until they surrender. Even then, he goes out of his way to talk to his opponents before violence breaks out. He also ensures that no severe harm is endured by all but the very most evil of his foes.
- In fact, most of the action in a Superman comic involve Superman simply getting in the way of the attempted kill strikes of villains who want to cause death and destruction for their own purposes. Only villains who really are as strong as Superman (or have a plan to attack him that doesn't involve physical force) typically exchange blows in a standard duke 'em out fashion. In fact, when one alien travelled to earth to battle Superman in order to prove his badassery, Supes allowed him to soundly kick his ass so that the alien would leave Earth alone after he finished gloating.
- Peter Parker is usually depicted as this in Spider-Man. Sure, he's willing to beat the ass out of the villains, but he absolutely refuses to kill anyone, even against said villains. Then again, it's also more or less of his fear of himself if he drops his Thou Shall Not Kill moral code. In fact, when a resurrected Kraven the Hunter offer Spider-Man the opportunity to kill him, he was about to pull a killing blow on Kraven, but later refuses to do so after given a vision of a Bad Future where he becomes mass murdering Anti-Hero vigilante, thus reinforcing his moral code.
- King Mob in Grant Morrison's The Invisibles begins the series killing indiscriminately, then turns into a kung-fu master/Technical Pacifist after realizing that the death toll is negatively affecting his karma.
- Green Arrow started as this, and indeed made it into a form of art, with stunning arrows, sleep/cough gas arrows, electronic disturbance arrows, and his trademark boxing glove arrows. When he accidentally killed a man in the '70s, he more-or-less had a breakdown. After his long-time lover got kidnapped and brutally tortured, though, he killed her captor and kept going from there.
- ROM: Space Knight: ROM, SPACEKNIGHT, who banishes rather than kills the Dire Wraiths early on... because he thinks they suffer more that way. ROM is stone cold. A much later issue of The Avengers find themselves stranded in the dimension where ROM keeps sending all those Dire Wraiths. They force the Avengers to kill them rather than continue to exist there.
- Traditionally, and very unrealistically for a military commander with hundreds of millennia of experience, Optimus Prime has been a Technical Pacifist or close to it. (More accurately, it is unrealistic that a technical pacifist would survive military command that long, though he might certainly want to be a technical pacifist after so much death and combat.) This is likely because the original series were aimed at children. More recent comics produced by IDW make Prime willing not only to kill enemy soldiers, but when absolutely necessary accept collateral damage, though it eats at him.
- Brainstorm from The Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye is a skilled weapon designer, but his skill at building weapons let him make it through the Great War without actually ever using any of them, as he was too valuable to risk on the front lines. When first given the opportunity to actually shoot someone ( Megatron's helpless protoform, which he'd traveled back in time to kill in an attempt to avoid having the war ever break out), he ends up spending ten minutes standing there, unable to actually pull the trigger.
- Tintin is somewhere between this and Actual Pacifist, but he generally only uses forces on self-defense. Tintin in the Congo doesn't count.
- Both incarnations of Dove, of Hawk & Dove. Don Hall was somewhat more pacifistic than Dawn Granger, but both believed in using as little force as possible, contrasting with Hank/Holly. This is not entirely surprising for characters who are empowered by a Lord of Order to serve as the living embodiment of Peace. If anything, it's almost more shocking that the Doves are allowed to fight at all.
- Throughout Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Donatello has been shown to be the most peaceful of the Turtles, but he still needed to be a kickass fighter. So this personality trait was cemented with him fighting with the rather less lethal Bo, instead of something sharp. He's also stated a hatred of guns several times, although it's not clear whether he considers them an "immoral" weapon or whether he's just not comfortable using them.
- In the Ultimate Universe, Professor Xavier is a technical pacifist due to his desire to have mutants rise above humanity's baser instincts. For example, rather than simply defeat
Well-Intentioned ExtremistMagneto, he creates an impressive explosion to make it seem as though he perished and then takes it upon himself to rehabilitate him. It doesn't work.
- DC Comics Western character Bat Lash. He sees himself as a pacifist, and hardly ever uses his gun (although he's very good with it). And yet, he keeps finding himself in situations where he has to beat people up, or even kill them.
- Nikola Tesla would never lay a hand on anybody. Heavens no! Why would he do that when he has a perfectly functional Atomic Robot to do it for him?
Robo: But, Mr. Tesla, you're a pacifist.Tesla: Yes, Robo. But you are not.
- The Incredible Hulk is this Depending on the Writer. Notably shown in World War Hulk: X-Men, where while trying to capture Professor X, he brutally disabled virtually every active X-man and woman one after another, taking full advantage of their healing factors and Nigh-Invulnerability. While he didn't kill any of them, he didn't have a problem crippling them.
- Captain America varies from continuity to continuity, but he's usually unwilling to kill people outside of a combat situation unless it's absolutely necessary to save lives. (In the Silver Age, he never killed at all. In more recent versions, he's killed in war, but he no longer sees lethal force as appropriate, since he's now fighting criminals rather than soldiers.)
- Klara Prast of the Runaways fills this role in the current lineup, preferring to use her plant-control powers for either defending her teammates or restraining enemies. But if you upset her to the point where she can't think clearly, all bets are off...
- Piper in Zita the Spacegirl at one point has a big row with his ex-girlfriend Madrigal about his unwillingness to fight. Turns out the only time he's really in the mood for a fight is when she's threatened. Makes for a crowning moment of both awesome and heartwarming, and of course the resumption of their relationship.
- X-23 has slowly evolved into this. Born and raised to be a merciless killing machine, as she's put her life back together she's become increasingly reluctant to kill. The page image comes from All-New Wolverine, in which she's caught up in a conflict between Alchemax Genetics and four clones they made of her called the Sisters. Laura makes every effort to resolve the situation without killing anyone, and her refusal to kill Taskmaster when he came for the girls led to Zelda Taking A Third Option by Knee-capping. Of course, Laura herself has no problem cutting off hands and fingers, beating the crap out of Alchemax's mooks, and leaving their Bald Black Leader Guy lying in the wreckage of his Humvee (which she helped wreck).
- She finally reaches her limit in issue 18 when confronted by Kimura, her psychotic ex-handler, and the woman who's made her life a living hell since she was seven years old by torturing her, and threatening her family, friends, and other loved ones.
- Gabby herself lampshades to a Brood Queen that Laura's "code" is more like a set of loose guidelines than an actual rule. So Laura will kill if she doesn't have a choice. It also depends on the adversary: Hand Ninjas and Brood are pretty much fair game.
- Wonder Woman. Like Captain America mentioned above, Diana will use lethal force but only as a last resort.
- In the Jackie Chan Adventures fic Queen of All Oni'', Jackie, like his canon counterpart, counts as this. Also, when Jade is fighting Brother Light, he repeatedly throws her through the walls and down the hill (and at one point, through the roof), and when Jade complains during this he says he is a pacifist:
"I am a pacifist," White objected."Wha? Tell that to my bruises!" Jade shouted, pulling up her shirt to show her blue belly."Okay, they don't show up well since I'm blue, but trust me they're forming," Jade explained."I harm nothing, it is the objects you collide with that harm you," White enlightened her before flinging her away again.
- In the Fate/stay night Path of the King, Shirou is this as The Archer.
- Saito in Stupid Devil Dog doesn't take killing lightly. He has no qualms about using guns – hell, he lugs three of them around all the time –, but he does his best to avoid using lethal force.
- Adam Jensen in Mass Effect Human Revolution wants to be this and stick to non-lethal, but don't push him. Go far enough and he will take the kid gloves off. Go even further than that and he won't even feel bad about ending you.
- After rejecting his Winter Soldier programming, Bucky Barnes in Infinite Coffee And Protection Detail embraces a "good-guy nonlethal" approach to dealing with villains, but his newfound ethics do not forbid Knee Capping an entire HYDRA base if necessary.
Film - Animated
Film - Live Action
- Theo in Children of Men bashes a couple of heads in self-defense (with a car door and car battery, respectively), but not once during the course of the film does he ever pick up a gun.
- Sneakers arguably had one of the best uses of this, as the villain (played beautifully by Ben Kingsley) looks at the hero with the line, "I cannot kill my friend." Just as the characters (and the audience) sigh in relief, he turns to his shotgun-carrying minion, and in the exact same tone of voice repeats his last three words.
- Averted in Rush Hour 2. One of the fight scenes focuses on everyone in the room trying to get their hand on a gun. A behind-the-scenes DVD featurette shows that the script originally called for Chan's character to have the gun fall in his hand, and then throw it away in disgust. Chan rightly pointed out that, given the fight going on in the room, throwing it away was "stupid."
This is a trait shared by Bruce Lee. Despite never actually using a gun, in most of his latter movies he specifically asks about if he can use one, only for the possibility to be handwaved away. (Enter the Dragon, Uncut Game of Death, for example.) Also, from his 1971 English-language interview: "Why doesn't someone just pull out a .45 and — 'BANG!' — settle it?" In his own writing, he was rather explicit about how guns versus fists would actually fare.
- Charlie's Angels featured this trope in contrast to the original series, due to producer/star Drew Barrymore's aversion to glamorizing gun use (as opposed to kung-fu violence). The change is commented on in the second film by villainous former angel Madison who says "In my day we used guns," before shooting the heroines, hitting their surprisingly small bulletproof vests.
- Field of Dreams played this one for laughs: Costner's character is threatening James Earl Jones with a fake gun, prompting Jones to pull out a crowbar and start walking toward Costner with a maniacal but serious look. Costner falls down, muttering about 'rules', then finally gets his act together just in time and shouts "You're a PACIFIST!"...to which he gets a very disappointed look and puts down the crowbar.
- In the Bud Spencer Flatfoot series of films, the titular character, Commissario Manuele "Flatfoot" (Piedone) Rizzo forgoes carrying a gun in the mafia-infested Naples of the 70's in favour of his fists (which earned him the "Flatfoot" moniker), much to the exasperation of his superiors at the Neapolitan Polizia. This trait is so famous that the uniformed policemen in town joke he actually needs a license for his fighting skills, and it is a very startling moment in the first film when he actually picks up his service weapon from his office.
- Partial example: In Tall Tale, Pecos Bill will not kill a man on a Sunday. He shoots off their trigger finger instead.
- Subverted in Blade: Trinity. At one point, Blade and his sidekicks get into a fight with a group of security guards armed with nightsticks. The heroes kick and punch the security guards into submission, then Blade whips out a pistol and kills the last one just to show that he can.
- The Terminator in Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Ordered not to kill by a young John Connor, he shoots people in the kneecaps instead ("He'll live"). The one from Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines also fits (complete with again a shootout where lots of cars are blown but no one dies), even though we never see anyone ordering him not to kill.
- In First Blood (but not in the original novel), Rambo largely refrained from using lethal force-even Gault only died when he fell from the helicopter.
- Walker does not directly slay any of his enemies in Point Blank.
- InThe Saint (1997), the Saint neither uses a firearm nor does he take a life, something the prose version of the character had no qualms about. The main gangsters even live to see trial at the end of the film.
- In The Glimmer Man, Steven Seagal's character (a police officer) declares he can't fight when he and his partner are held up by some, but then proceeds to fight them (using a razor to slice a couple of throats, then his good old fashions limb breaking attacks and a final kick of one bad guy onto some spiky things). His partner says "I thought you said you can't fight?" to which he answers "It's not that I can't fight; I'm not supposed to. I'm a Buddhist." Prior in the movie, he neutralises a hostage situation because he knew SWAT would most likely kill the hostage taker (a high school student). The character's history also shows a violent person who converts to Buddhism in Vietnam (the war anyway, he wasn't actually in Vietnam at the time) which explains his skill in fighting.
- In Star Wars, the Jedi are made out to be "keepers of the peace" who try to defend life and only kill when necessary. Even when the order is almost defunct, they try to solve problems peacefully rather than rush into battle. Of course, when that fails, they will battle.
- Played with in a rather creepy way in Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland (2010). It's against the White Queen's vows to harm other beings, but she's surprisingly well-prepared for Alice to do so in her stead (even having armor made for Alice to wear) and leads an army out against the Red Queen. Word of God says the reason she swore this vow is out of fear of turning into a monster like the Red Queen if she starts harming others and can't stop. She was so well prepared because Alice was predestined to kill the Red Queen's Dragon.
- The priests from Beneath the Planet of the Apes pride themselves on never killing anybody. On the other hand, they have no qualms about using mind-controlling powers to make their prisoners kill each other.
- Unlike other action movies dealing with terrorists, Arnold Schwarzenegger never uses a firearm at all to kill anyone in Collateral Damage. Even in the scene when escaping from a police roadblock in Colombia and disarming an officer's AR-15, he just throws it away the instant he gets shot at.
- Dr. Heller from Mystery Men is a weapons designer...who builds nothing but non-lethal weapons. Just because they're non-lethal, though, doesn't mean they can't kick huge amounts of ass.
- Batman in The Dark Knight Saga most definitely counts.
- In Batman Begins he refuses to execute a murderer, opting instead to blow up the whole building he is in, let the leader get crushed under a pile of debris, and then rush out, leaving a great many ninjas, as well as the guy he originally refused to kill, in the building, presumably to die in the fire. note Later on, he traps Ducard on a train, after demolishing the supports to its track, and shorting out the controls so it can't stop. Then, just as the train is heading over the edge, he jumps out, telling Ducard, "I won't kill you, but I don't have to save you," leaving him to fall to his death. Yeah, definitely never does any killing.
- A similar scenario is set up in The Dark Knight as it seems Batman is willing to let gravity kill the Joker, but then saves him with his grappling hook. This is immediately followed by tackling Harvey Dent off a ledge in order to save a child, and killing him.
- In The Dark Knight Rises, he actively uses lethal force in order to try and stop a nuclear bomb destroying Gotham, in what's easily the most desperate stakes in the entire series. He retires as Batman right after.
- Valentine from Kingsman: The Secret Service absolutely hates the sight of blood, so he leaves the killing to Gazelle and his mooks. He also has no problem with wiping out most of humanity by sending a Hate Plague to make them kill each other, but the only time he personally kills someone, he's very Squicked out afterwards.
- The hero in The Big Heat doesn't kill anybody in the movie.
- The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. The Vow actually covers technical pacifism, and prevents unnecessary violence.
Do not hurt when holding is enoughDo not wound when hurting is enoughDo not maim when wounding is enoughAnd kill not when maiming is enoughThe greatest warrior is he who does not need to kill
- The Assassins' Guild in the Discworld novels, while not pacifistic in even a technical sense, have suppressed the invention of guns, and aren't happy about improvements in crossbow technology, on the grounds that making it too easy to kill people devalues their profession. Sam Vimes, Commander of the City Watch, loathes "spring-gonnes" (concealable pistol crossbows) to the point where anyone caught with one within city limits will end up swinging gently in the breeze.
- Incidentally, a Patrician-employed assassin comments that the Assassins agree, and that no matter what Vimes does to people he catches with spring-gonnes, they will still be glad the Assassins didn't find them first.
- The Animorphs' allies, The Chee, are programmed to be 100% pacifistic, but Erek King is pretty technical about it. He managed to override the violence prohibition, but was so sickened by the massive amount carnage he caused (more deaths in one hour than the Animorphs themselves caused in months) that he immediately changed it back and had the item that made it possible thrown away. However, this doesn't stop him from attempting to manipulate the Animorphs into killing the aliens that destroyed his creators. Then there's the final battle, but it's unclear whether or not he was offended because Jake killed and threatened to kill indiscriminately, or because Jake blackmailed him. But it's probably both.
- Also, the Animorphs themselves. They're fine with killing Hork-Bajir, Taxxons, and the occasional Gedd, and God himself only knows how many Yeerks. But never ever a human. Which incidentally leads to Visser One (the original) figuring out that they're human. Because she couldn't remember the last time a human had been listed as a casualty. Cue the Animorphs present going "Oh, Crap!." It took the Yeerks a ridiculously long time to figure that one out. But considering who was leading them... there were several instances in previous books where minor Yeerks figure that out through various clues (including the above), discuss the possibility— and decide to let someone else tell Visser Three about it. Visser One is pretty much the first Yeerk to catch on who wasn't afraid of getting gutted on the spot for pointing it out.
- Doc Savage had a code against killing that he really did stick to for the most part even using special mercy bullets. Unfortunately for his enemies this only seemed to extend to directly killing people. Causing plane crashes apparently didn't violate his code nor did arranging for suitably ironic deaths like sabotaging the protective cages a group of slavers used to protect themselves from their giant venomous vampire bats. The most extreme though is probably that he subjected criminals to personality-altering brain surgery in order to avoid having to execute or imprison them, which he saw as inhumane and wasteful.
- The Culture epitomize this trope: they are a bunch of space hippies with the ability to make suns go nova. A character even points out that, since they actively and vocally prefer peace, they've had to learn to be extremely effective at war, when another civilization thinks they'll be a pushover. It's helped by the fact that Special Circumstances exists to intervene as nastily and precisely as needed to avoid larger conflict.
- Twilight: The Cullens spend their eternal lives trying to coexist peacefully with people, giving up their human-chomping ways. They apparently have absolutely no problem letting other vampires eat humans in the area or even supplying them with transportation to do so. They also have no problem tearing another vampire to pieces and burning it if it tries to kill Bella.
- Parodied in Rustlers' Rhapsody where the hero only shoots his enemies in the hand. At least one bad guy finds this more disturbing than if he shot to kill.
- Durnik starts out this way in The Belgariad — letting an attacker be sucked down by killer quicksand rather than axe the guy's head in, for instance. He generally uses a club in combat rather than a sword or axe. "I really don't like chopping into people. If you hit a man with a club, there's a fair chance he won't die, and there isn't all that blood."
- Subverted by the Aiel in The Wheel of Time. A Proud Warrior Race that bizarrely doesn't use swords, you later find out that their ancestors were Actual Pacifists and the pledge not to use a sword was part of a general pledge against violence, using the sword as a metaphor for all weapons, that got twisted over the years into a prohibition on a particular weapon but not on being a warrior in general.
- In the Mistborn trilogy, kandra follow The Contract, which among other things, strictly prohibits killing humans. After OreSeur (actually, a different kandra impersonating OreSeur to serve as The Mole Hidden in Plain Sight on the good guys) attacks an assassin sent to kill his master, Vin is shocked that he broke his code. He responds that while most kandra "think that helping someone kill is the same as killing", it isn't technically in The Contract, and that he did nothing wrong.
- In one Isaac Asimov short story, there is a robot whose programming includes a glitch that results in its not being fully Three-Laws Compliant: its version of the First Law of Robotics (usually "A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.") is incomplete, stating only, "A robot may not injure a human being" and leaving out the bit about inaction. This seemingly minor omission has some truly frightening implications in the literal mind of a robot. For example, the robot could drop an anvil on a human's head: the robot is not squashing the human's brains out, the anvil is, and the robot is merely allowing it to do so by not catching it again.
- The Race from SA Swann's Terran Confederacy universe. They consider it to be the height of immorality to actually raise a hand (or pseudopod) against another sapient. Hiring mercenaries, sparking wars, destabilizing countries, building AI guided weapons, these are all fine, but they would never actually use violence against you themselves.
- Shrike becomes one of these towards the end of the Mortal Engines Quadrilogy, after Character Development causes him to feel tremendous guilt over all the lives he's ended in the past. He won't kill you, but he will disarm you of your weapons and subdue you non-lethally if required, and if his adopted daughter Hester decides you need to die, he won't do anything to stop her. He also feels no shame over the prospect of killing Stalker Fang, pointing out that her plans will result in genocide if he allows her to carry them out, and she's more machine than human anyway.
- Harry Potter almost exclusively uses entirely non-lethal spells in combat, like Expelliarmus and Stupify, even when others are fighting to kill. Not once has he come close to using Avada Kedavra. The one time he successfully used a potentially-lethal spell (Sectumsempra), he immediately regretted it.
- He didn't have violent motives even when using Sectumsempra. He had absolutely no idea what the spell did - he found it in a potions book along with the words "for enemies." And the only time he used it, his opponent was about to use an incredibly illegal spell on him.
- Peeta Mellark from The Hunger Games. Before conflict arises, he will try to go the path that involves the least amount of bloodshed.
- In the Dreamblood Duology, Gatherers kill to preserve the peace prescribed by Hananja's Law, and they do it in such a way that their 'victims' fall asleep peacefully.
Live Action TV
- On White Collar, Mozzie is a generally non-violent type, probably due to the influence of his old mentor Mr. Jeffries, who taught Mozzie to fight his battles with words, and Neal, who just doesn't like violence at all. Mozzie can babble and bluff his way out of almost anything. Hurt or kill someone he cares about, and he will put a six million dollar bounty on your head without a second thought.
- The Walking Dead:
- Hershel is a man of peace, and at first refuses to kill the walkers, believing them to just be very ill. When that reality is shattered, he is shown to be a very skilled shooter, even though he doesn't care much for guns.
- Morgan reappears in season 5, having gone from the insane survivalist in season 3 who had no qualms with killing other humans to the policy of Thou Shalt Not Kill, even against Always Chaotic Evil humans. He doesn't, however, let his new motto of "all life is precious" stop him from using his staff to beat the hell out of people, and still doesn't object to killing zombies.
- In Stargate SG-1, the Goa'ulds' zat'nik'tel are primarily for stunning (and torture). And they kill on the second shot. Stunners are all over the place in Stargate, and most SciFi. Plot-handy without necessarily being a statement.
- It's also more convenient for capturing victims alive because you're a species that relies on living inside hosts to survive. The Zat's other two settings ("kill" and "disintegrate the body") are more for direct combat and assassination.
- The writing staff realized pretty quickly that disintegration would require an ungodly amount of energy, so that function was quietly dropped after a few episodes. Also mocked in "Wormhole X-Treme!" when one of the characters on the set of the Show Within a Show calls "three shots disintegrate" the "stupidest thing I've ever heard".
- The Nox are ordinarily Perfect Pacifist People, but in "Pretense" Teal'c, expecting the Goa'uld representatives on Tollana to sabotage the planet's surface-to-orbit defense grid, talks the Nox representative Lya into using her powers of invisibility to hide one of the cannons in question. When the inevitable happens and the hidden cannon saves the day, Carter questions her actions:
Carter: I thought the Nox were pacifists.
Lya: I only hid the weapon. I did not fire it.
Carter: Ah. Pretty fine line you didn't cross.
Lya: Yes it is.
- Averted in Stargate Atlantis: Sheppard (hero) fights Michael (villain) on the roof-tops. Michael falls, and before Sheppard can rescue Michael, along comes Teyla. Michael had threatened Teyla's baby. Teyla stamps on one hand, then the other. Michael falls, but because he is a wraith, a creature with fast healing abilities who can survive multiple gunshots to the head and chest, he may have survived the fall. Awesome!
- In Stargate SG-1, the Goa'ulds' zat'nik'tel are primarily for stunning (and torture). And they kill on the second shot. Stunners are all over the place in Stargate, and most SciFi. Plot-handy without necessarily being a statement.
- Doctor Who:
- The Doctor's level of pacifism varies by the series and incarnation, but he has become increasingly a Technical Pacifist. Although he often kills the Monster of the Week and at times even wipes whole races out, he insists on always giving them a chance to stop their destructive ways, even if it means possibly sacrificing himself in the attempt. The Doctor also has a vicious streak in him that occasionally comes out when he's angry, which can be scary enough that some enemies who have pushed him that far have wished they were dead instead of what he did to them. He's ashamed of this part of himself and relies on his companions to keep him in check. The Doctor also Doesn't Like Guns, though on rare occasions he's seen carrying them for various reasons, and in some versions is a crack shot.
- Lampshaded in "The Doctor's Daughter", where his distaste for his clone "daughter" Jenny being a soldier is rebuked by the fact that he was a soldier, in the Time War, and has killed numerous beings and even whole races, both personally and by manipulation.
- Lampshaded the same way in "The Caretaker", where The Doctor refuses to believe that Clara and Danny could be together because Danny was a soldier. Perhaps even worse as Danny has now moved on and is a teacher, while the Doctor still kills people regularly. Danny points out the Doctor isn't a soldier at all, he's something far worse: an officer. He mostly keeps his hands clean because he gets others to do the dirty work.
- Done to nearly suicidal levels with the Sontarans when he designs a self-destructing weapon with an activation button and teleports both it and himself to their ship to give the ultimatum instead of just putting it on a timer. He realizes his mistake too late when it's made very clear that for a race that cares about honor in battle above all else, being known as the crew that gave their lives to kill one of the most (in)famous people in the universe is one of the highest honors you could possibly imagine.
- Gabrielle from Xena: Warrior Princess had no problems with beating people up, but throughout 1/2 of the series had a taboo about personally killing people, despite travelling with Xena, who was a walking Cuisinart. Then Gabrielle is converted by Eli, priest of the One True God, so she throws away her non-lethal staff because it is too violent and starts killing people with sais which are not violent at all because One True God says so.
- Max, of Dark Angel, hated guns because Colonel Lydecker shot her sister Eva to death with one. She never used any "cheats" (devices that aren't technically guns), but she did beat the crap out of the bad guys and sometimes killed them through fisticuffs.
- One of Mr. Chapel's codes in Vengeance Unlimited was that he did not kill his marks. However, he did use stuff that went boom (and called in favors from people who knew how to use stuff that went boom) to scare the bejeezus out of his marks.
- Shepherd Book won't kill people, due to it being against the teachings of The Bible, but those teachings are a "mite fuzzier on the subject of kneecaps." He's also shown beating the crap out of people a few times. He's also implied to have a violent past which he gave up and this is confirmed in an Expanded Universe graphic novel when the other characters remark about how, for a Shepherd, he's very good with a gun.
- Also, the con-artist Saffron.
Saffron: I didn't kill him.
Mal: No, I doubt there's many you kill. Just put them in a position to die easy.
- Starfleet officers from Star Trek are like this. When they go on away missions, they almost always have their phasers set on "stun."
- Odo from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. As a police officer he does not like to kill (he has a personal rule of never using a phaser), but he is more than willing to fight hand to hand. His shapeshifting abilities and experience in combat allow him to be more dangerous unarmed than a rabid, bat'leth-swinging, disruptor-toting Klingon. He also has a certain amount of pride about this; upon being told Klingons attacking the station would likely come after him in hopes of making themselves worthy of song, he muses that if any one Klingon warrior did kill him in combat, it would be an act worthy of an entire Klingon opera.
- Sheriff Andy Taylor of The Andy Griffith Show almost never used a gun, preferring to outwit criminals. Deputy Sheriff Barney Fife was more willing to use his sidearm, but carried it unloaded so that he wouldn't accidentally shoot himself when attempting to draw it.
- In an episode of the show, it's revealed that Andy doesn't use a gun because the last time he did, the criminal ended up without the use of one knee. Andy gets a letter from the criminal saying he's coming by for a visit. Though most of the town urges Andy to take up his gun again, Andy can't bring himself to do so. The end of the episode reveals that Andy did the criminal a huge favor, the loss of his knee made the crook start his life over. The criminal became a model citizen and wanted to give Andy a gift, a hunting rifle. Guns are both good and bad.
- The "no gun" policy on Andy's part was most likely meant to convey the almost total lack of violent crime more than anything else, in keeping with the Idyllic Small Town setting.
- Andy did carry a gun when one was necessary, such as when a dangerous criminal was on the loose. By him not carrying a gun, the show seemed to convey a message that he could solve most of the problems he encountered through reason and communications rather than by pointing a gun at someone.
- Andy also uses a rifle, pistol, or shotgun when he sees fit. At one point, he recklessly points a shotgun at a shyster handyman in a ploy to scare the handyman away.
- All of the above said, it's shown that when Andy does get a gun, he's a crack shot with it, managing to shoot out a tire on a speeding vehicle with Barney's pistol. He doesn't have a problem shooting crows, though.
- The Lone Ranger used guns, but only to disarm his opponents in the least painful way possible. Presumably, he was one of the inspirations for Vash the Stampede.
- The Equalizer has no problem with firearms, but prefers to use psychological warfare to inspire villains to recant or confess. His reluctance to kill is more because he's trying to atone for his past as trained government spy/killer.
- Burn Notice plays with this trope. Michael is not so much against killing as he is not wanting to draw attention to himself by killing. It seems like he doesn't like the idea of outright murder, but he has killed people when pushed. Besides all of that, he is more then okay with the bad guys dying so long as the innocent are protected.
- In the last episode of season 2, He and Victor, his new assassin-turned-ally, are trapped on Victor's houseboat. Carla has just shot Victor, and he is dying. He asks Mike to kill him and save himself, which Mike refuses to do (either on principle, or because Victor is the one person who understands what he's gone through). In the end, they both take the gun and put it to Victor's chest. Although it is unclear who pulled the trigger, Michael is visibly shaken by Victor's death.
- Although when he found out that Strickler arranged to have Fiona killed, Michael didn't even hesitate to shoot him dead on the spot.
- Strickler was holding a gun on Michael at the time. The 2nd half of Season 3 shows Michael being unwilling to kill even criminals who are trying (due to a misunderstanding) to kill him.
- "She's a hero, you see. She's not like us." - Giles sums up Buffy the Vampire Slayer nicely. She has killed several humans throughout the show in direct combat, in self-defense, and when she had no other choice.
- MacGyver, obviously. Vocally and obviously hates guns, but isn't averse to hitting people (with fists, or with a variety of heavy things), and for a "pacifist", he's awfully fond of creating explosives...granted, given the show's style, there also wasn't a lot of obviously fatal collateral damage to all the homemade bombs he set off.
- He also doesn't hesitate to put people in what would, in reality, be very dangerous situations: shocking them with high voltage, suspending them high up in the air by flimsy cords, driving towards them at high speeds, slamming them headfirst into heavy objects, blinding drivers of fast-moving vehicles, hiding unconscious bodies inside heavy machinery, and so on. Probably the most egregious example of this is when he set up a trap that shot a bunch of automatic weapons at cars full of people...but aimed them at the tires.
- In Chuck, the protagonist refuses to even carry a gun, though he is not adverse to the use of nunchucks. Chuck generally prefers tranq guns, if he has to carry a weapon at all, or his Intersected Kung-Fu skills, though when presented with no alternative at the end of Chuck vs. the Other Guy, he did shoot to kill with tight grouping in order to prevent his opponent from killing a drugged-up and paralyzed Sarah. He has since not killed anyone on-screen. Note that this doesn't stop him from doing things like tranqing enemies and leaving them to die in explosions...
- Hawkeye Pierce in M*A*S*H is supposedly a pacifist (owning to his Hippocratic oath as a doctor) but he is known to punch people who disagree with his moral and ethical views of the world. Hawkeye even removed the (perfectly fine) appendix of a gung-ho colonel to keep him from causing more casualties by continuing to attempt to take an objective even after being ordered to stand down. He felt horrible about it afterward, though — it was a genuine (and acknowledged) ethical grey area for him. Another episode has Hawkeye and Potter driving a jeep after getting drunk, when they come under enemy fire. They get out of the jeep and take cover, and Potter hands Hawkeye his sidearm and tells him to use it. Hawkeye protests that he will carry books, carry a tune, carry on, carry over, and even harikari (or possibly Harry Carey— so hard to tell with puns!) if desperate enough, but he will not carry a gun. Potter tells him to think of it not as a weapon, but as an angry noise-maker, and convinces Hawkeye to fire it in the air to at least give them some covering fire.
- In Ultraman Cosmos, Ultraman Cosmos is a pacifist and normally makes a token effort to subdue and calm down the monster he's fighting to the point his Luna Form has no real Finishing Moves that can kill. If faced with a monster he cannot subdue peacefully, or is truly evil, he has to switch to his more combat able Corona Mode, which can still calm monsters down if needed. His Eclipse Mode reflects this as well, with a finishing beam that only kills evil beings, passing through everything else. His support team, EYES, also tend to take this perspective on monsters, trying to subdue them, while the military tries to kill them, which often ends up re-enraging said monster EYES took care of. This actually comes back to help as on several occasions, the monsters and aliens they've spared or helped do come back to help out humanity, leading to a rather epic Gondor Calls for Aid moment in the third movie after Cosmos is killed by Ultraman Justice.
- Michael from Prison Break fluctuated between this and Thou Shalt Not Kill.
- Kung Fu! Caine did plenty of beating-up, but never any permanent damage. Except that one time.
- Leverage: Elliot Spencer fits the sub-trope of "doesn't use guns" technical pacifist. But in the season 3 finale, after being backed into a corner and being told to survive, he reluctantly uses his opponent's dropped handguns, and kills 15+ assailants. He says he doesn't use them because of his "past". It is also likely that he dislikes guns because he believes it makes things too easy.
- Mission: Impossible: The Impossible Missions Force, when taking an assignment to "permanently deal" with some threat, rarely are the actual killers: they typically set up a situation where they con the target into betraying their own side (and get caught), or con the other side into believing the target has/is/will betray them. As an added bonus, when dealing with criminals instead of foreign intelligence agencies, they'll often ensure that the local cops show up just in time to catch the killers red-handed. By contrast, the characters in the films do kill, though they try to avoid it whenever possible. Whenever it's not possible, they are remarkably effective at it.
- Rev. Bem in Andromeda being a Wayist priest and a Magog, tries to avoid killing people despite being an obligate carnivore who needs to kill his prey. In fights he usually just paralyzes people with his venom and generally refuses to eat anything but fish, even if it means starvation. However, the first thing we see him do is work on salvaging an incredibly powerful warship, to sell it to a dictator with imperial ambitions.
- Threatened by Jesus of all people in the Red Dwarf episode "Lemons".
Jesus: Just because I'm a man of peace doesn't mean I won't punch your teeth out!
- Becoming this was major part of Character Development for Oliver Queen in Arrow. While centainly not'' this in season 1, he became this in season 2, avoiding killshots whenever possible. He still took out a few bad guys when situation forced him to but it was clearly a last resort. For better or worse he fell out of this trope in season 5.
- Yoshiaki Fujiwara is a great wrestler. He gave pro wrestling the Fujiwara arm bar and was a notorious ankle lock fisherman. But as good as he is at wrestling he doesn't like striking too much and hates being struck even more. He'd even let go of submissions if it meant a strike free wrestling match, unfortunately he has close ties to Minoru Suzuki, who likes slapping him around, leading to Fujiwara having to tap him at Genichiro Tenryu's retirement show.
- Silver Potato's girlfriend in Kaiju Big Battel, Anna Dramina, never starts fights and only fights if first attacked.
- Being a hippie, Daizee Haze abhorred violence but loved physical competition. So she took up wrestling, figuring she wouldn't have to hit anyone while sating her competitive side. Of course, if you're familiar with professional wrestling in her country you can guess how successful she was at maintaining this approach to matches, but it's okay. If opponent insists on striking they'll quickly learn a heart punch nicely transitions into most of her finishing moves.
- The Blossom Twins were peace loving siblings who happened to enjoy amateur wrestling. They quickly found out pro wrestling was much more violent, especially tag team wrestling.
- Jesus generally preached pacifism and tolerance ("Turn the other cheek," "Love thy neighbour," etc) and is typically portrayed as one. Of course, pacifists usually don't scatter crowds of merchants with whips on account of their greedy ways. Or, to quote from Matthew 10:16, "Be as innocent as doves and as cunning as snakes."
- In Dungeons & Dragons, the standard rule for generic clerics has long been "no edged weapons", in a Fantasy Gun Control version of this trope. The idea was originally to reconcile the presumably "peaceful" nature of priests with the vagaries of an adventuring life, though it's worth pointing out that nobody has ever requested a "humane" bludgeoning over execution by guillotine or axe.
- This conception was actually inspired by a real world example and simply popularized by said roleplaying game.
- Although to be fair, Odo of Bayeux's use of the mace wasn't quite a "technical pacifist" position, but more of a cynical attempt to get in on the glory of the English Conquest yet still be considered a "holy servant of god." Basically, Odo was a Rules Lawyer.
- In 3rd edition, since increased customization allowed for followers of different gods (including gods of war) to specialize in different areas, this was dropped and it was made so that the average cleric only has proficiency in simple weapons—the kind anyone could pick up with basic training: clubs, staves, maces, and so on, but including edged weapons like daggers and spears, and ranged weapons like crossbows (as opposed to just slings as in previous editions). This reflects a relative lack of combat training (compared to fighters, barbarians, and so on). They can, however, use advancement opportunities to learn more advanced use of weapons, and priests of the aforementioned gods of war can even start play with significant skill in their god's favored weapon if they pick the right powers.
- This has been around since Second Edition AD&D at the least. While clerics were limited in their weapon choice to non-edged weaponry (in as much as one can call a morningstar a bludgeoning weapon), the various gods in the multiverse all had what were called "specialty priests," who had their own restrictions for armor, weapons, and magical items. A specialty priest of Lathander, for example, was restricted to a cleric's weapons and no armor heavier than plate, while priests of Eilistraee could use any weapon they liked.
- The MMORPG Ragnarok Online has heard of this restriction too.
- The Vow of Peace feat from the Book of Exalted Deeds essentially states "feel free to massacre undead, they don't count" and "nonlethal damage (read: beating people up) is acceptable". Also, if an enemy surrenders, agrees not to fight you again, and breaks his word, you are not required to interfere if your allies kill him.
- 4th Edition's Shielding Cleric counts as well. You're not actually harming the enemies yourself—the Technical part comes in when you're leaving them stunned and with vulnerability 20 next to Shanky McRogue...
- Taking it one step further is the feat "Pacifist Healer" which significantly increases the power of the Cleric's 'go to' healing class feature, but in return, permanently disallows them from damaging bloodied opponents, or wind up stunned themselves. Aforementioned non-damaging attacks are fair game.
- This conception was actually inspired by a real world example and simply popularized by said roleplaying game.
- GURPS has the Reluctant Killer disadvantage, which keeps a character from lethally attacking a recognizable person. The character can still use deadly force on: people wearing masks, people he can't see, occupied vehicles, anything that looks like a monster, and blips on a radar screen. Along with a number of other Pacifism variants, ranging from Cannot Kill to Total Nonviolence. Even beyond that, the highest level of pacifism requires you to stop other people from doing anything that might hurt another person for any reason.
- Jadeclaw (and presumably other Sanguine Productions games) has the Pacifist flaw at three levels: "Cannot take a life," where the player cannot do anything that they 'think' will kill someone. If they "mortally wound" an opponent, they may not leave them untreated. "May only fight in self defense," which includes the previous caveats, as well as an inability to attack anyone until you, personally, are attacked. And last, "Total non-violence," where the most you can do is block, dodge, or parry.
- Whenever pacifism is an option, Min-Maxing does this. As one poster puts it — "Pacifism. A commonly taken character trait. Confers +200 to revolvers."
- Even the ludicrously deadly Paranoia has provisions for the occasional bring-them-in-alive scenario, such as tanglers (which fire sticky constricting cords, merely immobilizing the target unless they hit the neck) and stun guns.
- Magic: The Gathering: The Sun Empire in the Ixalan block holds that the greatest warriors don't kill. Feeding people to dinosaurs, on the other hand, is outright encouraged. And since some of them can magically command dinosaurs, this is little more than killing with a living weapon.
- LEGO claims to never produce war toys. This is only true in a certain point of view, because they still have lot of toys featuring conflict like Indiana Jones and Star Wars and produce a wide array of guns. LEGO probably stretched this statement to a critical point by releasing the "Green Army Men" set. It is part of the Toy Story line and includes four "plastic soldiers" with additional weapons and a jeep. The guns certainly aren't fitting (wild west rifles) and the figures are all-around green, but you only need to swap hands and head with yellow or flesh ones and you have a Vietnam-war era colored soldier, who you can pit against period accurate Soviet soldiers obtained from the above Indiana Jones set. There is also some kind of undergroundmarket around military LEGO. Sites like Brickarms and Brickforge sell custom-made LEGO-compatible elements, resembling authentic guns and rifles like AK-47s and bazookas to arm your figures. They are in no way affiliated with LEGO other than that their products are compatible with each other, but it's entirely possible to substitute the custom-made elements with similar official parts and build Cold War dioramas. The "Exo Force" sets were entirely about a war between anime-styled humans and robots.
- Generally speaking, some games can allow you to conduct a "pacifist run" by technically not killing enemies, provided that non-lethal methods are available. In games that allow you to use your fists as well as guns or knives, in theory you could go through the entire game without killing anyone, assuming that there aren't sequences where you are forced to kill.
- Dizzy from Guilty Gear is a pacifist who hates violence of any form. The only problem is that the spirits living in her wings are very protective of her and have no such moral concepts. Her attacks have names like "This Was Used to Pick Fruit From Trees" and similar nonviolent uses. Most of her quotes in battle are desperate pleas for said spirits to either stop or at least hold back. It's even worse when she takes a nasty shock (such as a 10,000-foot fall), as one of the spirits possesses her...
- Similarly, Zappa from Guilty Gear XX is a softy who has no desire to fight anybody. It's just his luck that he's possessed by a host of excessively belligerent spirits with a penchant for insulting the wrong people.
- In the Kingdom Hearts games, in contrast to his being the captain of the knights, Goofy hates weapons according to the manual. Instead, he uses his shield to beat people up, with surprising effectiveness for a character who's supposed to be clumsy… Though he did wield a musketeer sword in his youth without any problems, as KH3D confirms. Something must've happened between then and KHBBS that caused Goofy to switch to shields...
- Regal, a playable character in Tales of Symphonia, once killed with his bare hands and as a result refuses to ever use his hands as weapons ever again. He wears shackles for the entire game as a symbol of his crime; nevertheless, he studies extensively in a fighting style made up exclusively of kicks instead. Several characters call him on this logical inconsistency, but he remains firm to his vow. It should be noted that Regal rarely if ever fights with the intent to kill.
- Well, his objection is really specifically because of who he killed (his lover, Presea's sister...under completely justifiable circumstances, no less). It might be for the best, though: there's strong indication that if he ever did fight with his hands, he'd be an absolute monster (strength/skill-wise).
- Yes, we did see him use his hands once, and when he did he kinda blew through some kind of angelic metal that was so strong it couldn't be broken by the girls with superpowers like it was nothing. So he is, perhaps, justified.
- One of the skits hints that he has no problem killing his enemies (beyond Vharley, anyway,) as long as he prays for their souls afterwards.
- Well, his objection is really specifically because of who he killed (his lover, Presea's sister...under completely justifiable circumstances, no less). It might be for the best, though: there's strong indication that if he ever did fight with his hands, he'd be an absolute monster (strength/skill-wise).
- NetHack has an optional conduct "pacifist", generally considered one of the most difficult to win with. A NetHack pacifist must avoid killing a single monster... directly. However, this does not preclude them from leading their army of powerful pets to a monster and letting violence ensue. In fact, it doesn't preclude their whaling on monsters all they like, provided they don't personally land the killing blow; although this is extremely risky to try without a thorough knowledge of how much damage various attacks do, and a way of tracking monster HP.
- Though he is considered the greatest warrior on earth alive, Solid Snake is deeply committed to preventing violence when ever possible. And for a series that is all about war and soldiers, the Metal Gear games have probably one of the most pacifistic stories you'll ever come upon in a game. The less deaths one directly causes in the series, especially in later games, the more points one is rewarded and the more you'll qualify for special rewards. You can even tranq bosses in later games, with a different cutscene after, though the end results are the same. In fact, the boss encounter with The Sorrow in Metal Gear Solid 3 is 1:1 proportional with how many mooks you slew. (More disturbingly, if you left any to the crows or vultures, their ghosts will actually show the damage.)
- It should be definitely noted though that this is a trend that only begins from Metal Gear Solid 2 onwards. In Metal Gear Solid Psycho Mantis notes that Snake is an EXTREMELY violent person and he's one to always find himself in a new battle since normal life doesn't suit him very well. It seems like hanging around people like Otacon has helped him lighten up significantly over time.
- Thief has a similar ranking system, with human kills being completely forbidden on the highest difficulty setting, not so much for morality reasons (Anti-Hero Garrett is a walking Deadpan Snarker Misanthrope) but rather because "leaving a mess behind" is "unprofessional". To assist in this regard, Garrett gets a variety of non-lethal takedown options, including sleeping gas arrows, flash bombs, and a good ol' blackjack to the back to the head.
- Likewise, the Hitman games have a scoring system that encourages players to complete missions by only killing the target, without leaving any collateral damage. Each game presents certain non-lethal takedown options, such as chloroform or tranquilizer syringes, to assist in this regard when dealing with patrolling guards or unlucky civilians. Again, this is done for reasons of "professionalism" rather than morality, and in Blood Money 47 is perfectly willing to kill civilians without batting an eyelid if he's specifically ordered to do so.
- Sam Fisher in Splinter Cell has an assault rifle with a special Abnormal Ammo launcher that fires a wide assortment of less-than-lethal ordinance, including airfoil rounds, taser darts, and mini-cameras that release sleeping gas on command. The scoring system in the later games encourages players to take the non-lethal approach, although Sam as an actual character seems to prefer lethal force in his in-game dialogue, often having to be told to "hold back" by Mission Control.
- In the FPS/RPG Deus Ex, there are several nonlethal weapons and in the early stages of the game the player is encouraged by various characters to knock foes unconscious whenever possible, rather than kill them. It is actually possible to complete the entire game without killing a single person, and many players endeavour to accomplish such a so-called 'no kills' game. Also in the early stages of the game, how much lethal force the player uses against opponents earns them brownie points with their more gung-ho allies, and disapproval from the rest, or vice versa.
- Deus Ex: Human Revolution has an achievement called 'Pacifist' for not killing anyone. You are, however, quite free to punch people out, bang their heads together, break their arms, throttle them, tranquillise them, zap them and gas them. (And murder four boss characters. As well as set a facility to self destruct killing dozens of people in one of the endings)
- Freeware game Iji has the storyline change somewhat depending on how many enemies you kill. However, only direct kills count. So, while you can avoid everything for the pacifistic route, you can also make heavy use of technical pacifism and use indirect means to kill your foes without upping the counter; such as intentionally being hit by an enemy explosive so the explosion kills everything in proximity to you (or the enemy who shot it). More methods are crossfires, knocking an enemy into harm's way, speeder bikes or broken turrets on their heads from two stories up (which only counts as a kill if it hits them within the first second or so of you getting off — after that, you're fine) cracking their weapons so they'll explode, then hurting them to almost dead, and letting them fire their defective weapon, attempting to murder assassins the old-fashioned way (since they always teleport off when close to death and thus don't count as kills). Interestingly, despite being the hero, Iji actually gets the villainous version of this trope. You can arrange the slaughter of hundreds of people while still finishing with a kill count of zero, and no one calls her on it. It's made even easier in version 1.6 as reflected enemy shots do not count as kills (lampshaded by the aliens, who consider it "semantic"), meaning you can go on a killing spree of deadly tennis matches without getting a mark on your kill count. The explanation is that this is self-defense, but abusing the rule for Nano is always tempting…
- Mirror's Edge on the Xbox 360 has two achievements that play this trope straight: 'Pacifist' (complete a single mission without firing a shot) and 'Test of Faith' (complete the game without firing a shot that hits a guard). Now, the thing to note is firing a shot — for the purposes of these achievements, it is perfectly acceptable to smash the enemies in the face with your knee or their own guns, kick them in the face to send them careening off of buildings, and otherwise brutalize them...as long as you don't shoot them. (of course, the ONE shot you actually HAVE to shoot in ONE sequence in Chapter 8 probably does kill someone, but it doesn't count if the bullet does NOT hit anyone directly. ( it hits an engine if you aimed correctly.) Same thing for using the handgun in chapter 4 - if it doesn't hurt anyone, you can still get the achievement)
- While not a problem for most of the game, because it's always a lot more safer to run away than to get close enough to enemies to allow them to get a good shot at you, this can be incredibly difficult when you have to face mercenaries in full riot gear with machine guns who block the tiny door that is the only exit from the room you are in. And with your bare hands! Fortunately, this game is Le Parkour pure, but you still have to get quite creative get close enough for a kick in the head without being shredded by bullets from 10 meters away.
- Fallout 3 has a interesting way of doing this. Do you have a follower NPC and want someone dead, but you don't want to be evil? Punch them in the face to start combat with them, then watch as Charon shotguns them in the face, causing him to lose the Karma! Do not attempt this in a crowded plaza.
- Some of the games in the series require this perspective for a Pacifist Run to be possible. The final boss of Fallout 2 must be killed — but it is possible to reprogram the turrets in the room to attack him instead, convince an escaping Enclave combat unit to help out (the final boss is blocking the way to the exit) and have your companions help out, at which point you yourself fighting might not be necessary. Fallout: New Vegas require either neutralizing Mr. House or destroying the Brotherhood bunker — but the neutralization can be done in a way that doesn't actually kill House there and then, and the bunker's self-destruct has a long enough countdown that it is possible the inhabitants all got out before it went up.
- Just like his creator/"father", all that the eponymous Hero of Mega Man X wants is to see a peaceful world where humans and Reploids co-exist with each other. However, he's ready to destroy any Mavericks that threaten that way of life, until Mega Man X7, where he gets a 10-Minute Retirement due to him bemoaning about fighting.
- Perfect Dark
- The Peace Sims from Combat Simulator mode are a fine example of this. Being opposed to violence, they run around picking up the guns and ammo in the levels, and disarming anyone they come across who isn't a teammate. (They have no problems socking you one to take the gun out of your hands, though - but it counts even more towards this since it doesn't do any damage.) This also serves to make them into roving weapons lockers - slay one and he'll usually drop a full complement of all the guns being used during the round.
- The Fist Sims are another example of this, since they too shy away from the use of guns - but have no qualms beating the living tar out of you with their fists.
- The author of Scarab Of Ra "feels kindly toward his creatures, and has not provided any way for you to kill them"—even the ones who can fatally bite and maul you. However, you can permanently immobilize them in nets and leave them to starve.
- Xenogears has a couple of them. Fei is forced to fight because his life and the lives of those he cares for would otherwise be in jeopardy. Citan renounced his warrior ways, but his pragmatism and duty wins out in the end. And Miang, one of the three core villains of the game fights the party only once out of necessity because she's the last line of defence for her boss/partner, Krelian.
- The Elder Scrolls
- In Daggerfall, Ebonarm is the god of war worshiped in the Iliac Bay region. He is a Black Knight, with his ebony sword fused to his right arm and he is never seen without his ebony armor. However, he refuses to fight in any war started for petty reasons. When he appears on the battlefield, it is usually to prevent bloodshed and reconcile the opposing sides.
- Morrowind's Imperial Cult faction is typically non-violent, so their only combative skills are the hand-to-hand and blunt weapon skills. This draws from the real life Catholic clergy during the Middle Ages, who could fight in battles but were not allowed to use bladed weapons as they were forbidden to draw blood.
- As seen in Skyrim, the Greybeards, masters of the Thu'um, practice a strict policy of non-intervention in worldly affairs, and of studying the Voice only as a way to honor the gods. This policy was established by their founder, Jurgen Windcaller, who himself was a Badass Pacifist. He served as a Tongue (master of the Thu'um) in the ancient Nord armies, but was present for their crushing defeat at Red Mountain. He fell into Heroic B.S.O.D. despair and meditated until he concluded that the defeat was punishment from the gods for misusing the Thu'um. He would inspire the "Way of the Voice", preaching pacifism and the use of the Thu'um only to honor the gods. That said, in-game, the Greybeards have no issue defending themselves using the Thu'um if the need arises.
- Pokémon Diamond and Pearl's Big Bad, Cyrus, is out to eliminate war and create a peaceful universe...by destroying the current one and forming a new one without emotion.
- The Elves in the MMORPG The Lord of the Rings Online are the embodiment of this trope throughout the entire epic storyline. The Rangers also get a few of those in, but for better reasons.
- Lampshaded in this commentary which ends with: "Come on, Hidden Guard. Let's just have a little "accident" with Mazog and get on with it, eh?"
- The Police Helicopter Pilot in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas could be considered one of these:
Gunner: Why do I always have to do the fucking killing?Pilot: Because I am a pacifist. SHOOT 'EM!
- The protagonist of Exit Fate, Daniel Vinyard, is a pacifist who wants only to bring world peace. He is also a military officer (of several different sides throughout the game) because he isn't so naive as to think others will stop fighting unless they're forced to. Nonetheless he always tries to choose methods that save the most lives, even at great personal risk, and feels guilt when people are hurt (usually when an ally betrays him).
- Alpha Protocol has the possibility of nonlethal takedowns instead of killing opponents by using unarmed combat and tranquilizer darts for your pistol. The game tracks your number of nonlethal takedowns by 'hospital bills racked up', since even though they're non-lethal said methods will still hurt like hell. By contrast, lethal kills are tracked by 'number of orphans created'. There are several perks that can be acquired for such 'pacifism', most of whom help you get even better at doing more. Specializing in non-lethal takedowns is actually quite effective, to the point that you can complete a mission requiring great amounts of stealth by sprinting into every room and beating every guard into unconsciousness with your bare hands.
- Marona from Phantom Brave. She doesn't like fighting and violence, but is willing to help and protect others despite others treating her badly and will summon her phantoms into battle to kick your ass or if you call her flat-chested. Her Darker and Edgier conuterpart, Carona, also fits into this well. As she states that she's "not all that big into violence."
- Hijiri Byakuren is an advocate of peaceful coexistence between humans and youkai. This being Gensokyo, however, there's only one way that "peaceful coexistence" can be achieved.
- Batman: Arkham Series
- Enemies in the sequels will comment about previous encounters with Batman, all which ended with them getting their asses kicked. The only person they believed Batman ever killed is the Joker.
- Given the number of people that get beaten by Batman in Batman: Arkham Asylum, at least a few would have died from their injuries, and that's not counting those who 'accidentally' fell into bottomless pits or are left unconscious on electrified floors.
- In Batman: Arkham City, Batman beats up thugs and mercenaries, and leaves them lying around on rooftops and streets, in a city undergoing constant power struggles between various groups of sociopathic thugs. Even if they do wake up in time, they have a good chance of having broken limbs that make it difficult to defend themselves. And their employers threatened to kill them if they fail, anyway. Oh, and it's winter.
- Also in Arkham City, Batman is more brutal than usual with Solomon Grundy, even destroying some of Grundy's internal organs to defeat him. This doesn't technically violate his no-killing rule since Grundy is undead.
- Batman: Arkham Knight pushes this even further. Besides all the existing brutal takedowns, Batman can now drop room lights on people, smash their faces into live electrical outlets, and fire supposedly "non-lethal" rounds at them from his tank-grade Batmobile.
- It's also possible to run over mooks with the Batmobile, or fire the Batmobile's machine-gun at wrecked cars until they blow up with unconscious mooks right next to them. Most of the time, they automatically jump out of the way, but sometimes they'll get hit and are electrocuted (you can also activate this remotely if mooks are standing around the Batmobile) and, after knocking them out, you can drive the car directly over them—Batman even used the threat of crushing a mook's head with one of the tires in a scripted interrogation scene, so it's not like there's an automatic protection for mooks against being run over. It's also possible, with the correct upgrades, to fly at a mook sniper standing on a high, narrow ledge, slam them into the ground (the One-Hit KO move you can do while gliding) and send them flying up, only to fall the rest of the way to the ground dozens of feet below. If that guy's not dead, then he's never using his arms and legs again.
- Zone of the Enders with the main protagonist, while there will be moments where people die the main characters strive to avoid as much death as possible. For Leo it is because he is inexperienced and scared of killing, at least until ZOE 2. For Dingo, most of his enemies are unmanned robots with the only manned units being the boss frames and for Cage, La Résistance avoids casualties in order to avoid an already oppressive government have more propaganda to use against them.
- Ezio in the Assassin's Creed II games spares several targets when he feels he doesn't have to kill them. As did Altair. Upon finding out that it wasn't Robert De Sable at the funeral, but a decoy, he refused to kill her anyway because she simply wasn't his target. And a good thing too, because he wound up having kids with her.
- Lunk, an ogre introduced in World of Warcraft Cataclysm, who shows up in the Searing Gorge to chastise the player for their kill-and-loot approach to questing. He appears alongside other quests in the area, offering non-lethal (and/or ridiculous) KOs to accomplish the same goals.
- Murphy from Silent Hill: Downpour is encouraged to not kill his enemies, but to leave them incapacitated and run away. There's even an achievement for it. Do well enough at it and, as it turns out, he wasn't even capable of killing the man who killed his son.
- Jun Kazama in Tekken. One of her dislikes is violence, but she is so good at it the skills she taught her son were enough for him to Take Over the World.
- Corvo from Dishonored can go through the entire game without taking a single life. Including the lives of the men he is supposed to kill as an assassin. He just finds other crueler ways around it.
- In the sequel, assuming you chose to play as her, his daughter picks up a similar skill-set, including the same knack for coming up with flagrantly sadistic but technically nonlethal ways of taking people out of the equation.
- In Ittle Dew, you can use the Portal Wand to defeat certain enemies without directly harming them, either by using their own projectiles against them or dropping them onto spikes for a One-Hit Kill.
- Dead or Alive: Kasumi will always try to avoid fighting and attempt a peaceful solution first, especially when she's up against allies. However, when she sees there's no choice but to fight, she tosses any doubts and goes all out.
- Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves: The Guru doesn't fight directly, but there's nothing stopping him from doing things like mind-jacking a mook and ramming him into machinery. Murray himself started off as this due to guilt over failing to protect Bentley from Clock-La in the previous game. He snaps out of it and returns to being "The Murray" when Octavio kicks Bentley out of his wheelchair and coldly mocks him.
- Monster Hunter allows you to invoke this trope by capturing a large monster without actually killing it, by using a trap followed by tranquilizer weapons. In quests where the goal is to hunt large monsters, a capture counts as taking down a monster; you only have to kill the target(s) if the quest objective explicitly says slay rather than hunt. Some other quests explicitly require you to capture a large monster, and cause a Non Standard Game Over if you kill the target monster. Capturing is in fact easier than killing the target, as a capture only requires that a large majority of the monster's health be depleted, rather than all of it. However, you don't get to carve materials from a monster you capture rather than kill.
- Evan from Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number is a reporter trying to write a book about the events of the first game. He doesn't like killing, and actually gets more points for knocking out characters without killing them. That doesn't stop him from beating the crap out of Russian mobsters or knocking them out with, say, a baseball bat. However, if he does end up accidentally killing his enemies, he goes into an enraged state in which all his attacks are lethal and can use blades and guns.
- Vertical Drop Heroes HD (very different from the flash version): You can do a mostly-pacifist run (but good luck getting the final boss to kill himself), and there's an achievement for completing 3 areas without directly killing anyone in a single run, and can acquire experience orbs until you kill an enemy. However, pacifist mode doesn't count indirect kills, and so you can use wit and finesse to lay down a canyon landscape of death and destruction without directly killing anything; use magic to position enemies toward spikes, have the other heroes kill for you, etc.. There's even an achievement for it (It Wasn't Me!).
- In Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, the bounty hunter Mira would use tranquilizer darts, hand-to-hand combat, and other nonlethal methods to claim bounties, though the she admitted that she has killed before, when her life was on the line. The Exile can ask her why she kills when she is in the Exile's party; she can't figure out why, which terrifies her.
- This will be an option for the player in Yandere Simulator. Between going full Yandere and outright murdering your rivals, or going Actual Pacifist and setting them up with someone else to get their eyes off your Senpai, there's a middle ground where you don't kill anyone, but are perfectly willing to blackmail, bully, and otherwise ruin their lives to get them out of the picture.
- The Roving Clans of Endless Legend have as one of their primary faction traits an inability to declare war on other factions, considering war a poor substitute for trade. However, this attitude does absolutely nothing to stop them from hiring neutral mercenaries to carry out a False Flag Operation (which another faction trait of theirs allows them to unlock earlier in the game than other players), hiring spies to assassinate enemy heroes and sabotage their cities, or gearing up and marching forth when another faction declares war on them.
- Nailbat in Anti Bunny has no qualms with crippling people, and is even implied to use torture once, but always insists on leaving them still breathing.
- Dr. Staph of Awful Hospital is the type who'll have the idea to turn her bottle of alcoholic antiseptic into a Molotov cocktail. But she'll then hand the bottle over to her friend, Maggie, to ignite and throw.
- The Adventures of Dr. McNinja: Mongo becomes this.
- Celia from The Order of the Stick is probably a fantasy version of this. She won't compromise her anti-killing principles to save a friend's life, but she has no issues cheering on her teammate in battle, or blasting a guy with lightning for screwing with her.
- Lightbringer starts off as an Actual Pacifist due to his parents' belief, but becomes this trope when he realizes that true pacifism won't help anyone in the crime filled Pharos City.
- Thomil of Juathuur. His dead girlfriend, Neilli, was an Actual Pacifist.
- Bob and George: X. Or so we are told.
- Larima Torbern of Pacificators tries very hard to be an Actual Pacifist, but sometimes the situation forces her to become this. Either way, it annoys her sister Taffe.
Taffe: You don’t need to fight. All you need to do is just end the fight.Larima: Oui, I can do that.
- Decoy Octopus from The Last Days Of Fox Hound has never actually killed a single person, and doesn't even know how to use a gun. It's discussed when he's forced to "face the souls of every man he's killed" by The Sorrow and, upon finding themselves in an empty limbo, points out that being a master of disguise means subtlety and avoiding confrontation are his thing. However, he has acknowledged that just by associating with the likes of Psycho Mantis and Revolver Ocelot, he is technically complacent in mass murder.
- The titular protagonist of Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog shows a strong aversion to violence and lethal force throughout the movie, with his laser weaponry being more non-lethal. Even when he finally has to carry through with his order to commit murder, he hesitates heavily. This ends badly. Averted with so-called superhero Captain Hammer, who has no problem using more than excessive force when the situation completely fails to warrant it.
- Lucky Star, a street-level crime fighter in the Global Guardians PBEM Universe, who is often called "the luckiest man alive", refuses to start fights, always tries to use reason and understanding to defuse conflict and absolutely, positively refuses to use a weapon, nonetheless is quite capable of kicking ass and taking names when reason and understanding don't work. And heaven help you if you threaten a child in his presence.
- Kazina, from the MSF High Forum, was a perfect example of 'Tropes Are Not Good'. He decided to be a pacifist, got a tranq gun, called it a day.
- In The Story of Anima, this is how Kit, Hayden and Ada operate.
- Ruby Quest: Interestingly, its heavily implied that Ace of all people is something like this. Prior to being corrupted by the CJOPAZE he was just an orderly and was not to harm any of the patients or staff. Even after he was corrupted, he still strictly follows those rules; while he has intimidating looks and will restrain anybody he's ordered to, he never seriously harms or kills the people he "attacks". Even as the protagonists are escaping the Metal Glen, he still refuses to hurt them and only tries to detain or slow them.
- The titular Gargoyles were very opposed to guns, and killing in general beyond that. Broadway in particular had an experience in which he accidentally shot and nearly killed Elisa, one of the main characters and a close friend, but for the others their hatred of guns was specifically linked to their dislike of killing. In the Episode Awakening, Goliath actually mentions that a killing that occurs in the heat of battle is all right, it's deliberate (i.e. premeditated) attacking with intent to kill that they hate.
- Justice League Unlimited
- In the episode "Hawk and Dove", one of the title characters is a superhero named Dove who is an ardent pacifist as befitting his name. He is ready to mix it up as necessary, but largely with soft martial arts like aikido that allow him to take down the toughest foes without much injury and with a focus on subduing and disarming. In addition, when facing an unstoppable machine that feeds on aggression for its strength, he is the only one who keeps a cool enough head to realize that a passive stance against it could shut it down.
- Also, Deadman, the aforementioned specter that possessed Batman was trained to abhor killing as well. The killing mentioned above happened entirely by accident. He used the gun to blast the gun Devil Ray was aiming at somebody, and DR just happened to stumble backwards in surprise...right into a mess of exposed wiring and electrocuted himself. Nonetheless, Deadman still got called out by the Powers That Be for causing it.
- Jackie Chan, from Jackie Chan Adventures does not fight for the sake of fighting, and he clearly points this out, despite the fact that he is obviously a badass at doing it. He states that he will resort to fighting only when there is no other alternative. Of course since one of the points of the show is to show off Jackie's badassery of the martial arts, this typically means every episode. But still, he usually fights only when threatened and only enough to prevent the villains from actually doing anything bad.
- Given a bit of a lampshade hanging in the usually Family-Unfriendly Violent Transformers Beast Wars, when the two sides have a truce. The terms of the truce ban weapons, but a fight begins anyway using cartoony but equally violent slapstick (Example: sabotaging an enemy's flight systems, causing them to plummet to the ground Wile E. Coyote-style). Optimus and Dinobot even comment on how peaceful it is, while watching an enemy get crushed by the rear end of a rhino.
- Played for Laughs in an Animaniacs short. At the beginning of the short, Flaxseed, the Jerk Ass candy-shop owner who hates kids, is confronted by a kindly-looking nun in his store, pleasantly asking that he donate some of his candy to her Orphanage. He kicks her out onto the street. Near the end, about a half-dozen nuns come in, demanding he unhand the Warner Siblings that were running amok in his store, and get this close to beating him senseless with rulers when he calls them on it.
Flaxseed: Wait, wait! You're nuns! You're not supposed to resort to physical violence!Nun: He's right girls, let us pray.All of them drop to their knees, praying. A bus full of Notre Dame football players show up and immediately surround Flaxseed with angry scowls.Nun: Our prayers have been answered!The players dogpile Flaxseed
- In The Zeta Project, the titular robot goes from being an assassin to having a strict no-kill policy. Unfortunately, everyone is after him and his human friend, so he is forced to use his badass fighting skills to crash cars, destroy buildings, and lots more in the 'CLEARLY DANGEROUS' category, though he makes sure that nobody actually dies.
- Stripperella. Parodied in "Curse of the Were-Beaver". Superhero Stripperella has no problem with beating the crap out of people, but loves furry animals. This causes problems when she's charged with stopping a man who keeps mutating into a giant rampaging beaver.
- Subverted in The Venture Bros.: Brock hates guns and refuses to use them whenever possible. This has nothing to do with a refusal to kill though, as he has quite the bodycount behind him. Rather, it's because he'd prefer to use his badass bowie knife, or his bare hands.
- Might also have something to do with the bylaws of the Guild in the show as well. As long as he avoids firearms, they are restricted in what measures they can use against him and his charges. By sticking to his knife, he prevents escalation of the conflict while keeping it in a realm that greatly favors his skillset.
- Seems to be confirmed in season 4. Henchman 21 complains that Brock's replacement, Sgt. Hatred, does not share Brock's dislike of using firearms, and thus casualties have increased to the point where 21 feels he and his team need better equipment.
- Might also have something to do with the bylaws of the Guild in the show as well. As long as he avoids firearms, they are restricted in what measures they can use against him and his charges. By sticking to his knife, he prevents escalation of the conflict while keeping it in a realm that greatly favors his skillset.
- In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Aang is a technical pacifist, which brings up problems when the only apparent way of stopping Fire Lord Ozai is killing him. The previous Avatars were decidedly not technical pacifists, for example; Kyoshi, who could have a decent claim to being one (her victim died by freak accident when she split her island from the main continent), is steadfast in her belief that she might as well have done it herself, and even his immediate Air Nomad predecessor Yangchen was quick to advise him that his needs as a monk take second place to the needs of the world at large. Aang grapples with this decision but sticks to his guns and takes a third option and depowers Ozai leaving him alive but harmless.
- The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes!: Ant-Man will go out of his way to try every possible option before resorting to blows. He maintains that he is scientist first and a superhero second, but if he presses that button on his belt, you better hope he's not aiming that gigantic fist at you. This becomes a serious issue for him towards the end of the first season because he'd much rather be an Actual Pacifist. Come season two he's left the Avengers because of it.
- In ReBoot, the protagonist, Bob, mostly plays this straight in regards to viruses. He'll certainly fight a virus if necessary, but is completely against deleting them and instead advocates containment and rehabilitation. This eventually leads to some conflict with Matrix and Turbo. Bob's policy pays off big time with Hexadecimal, who eventually has a Heel–Face Turn and saves the net. On the other hand, not deleting Megabyte certainly didn't pay off...
- In Winx Club Helia plays this straight. Though Saladin, the headmaster of the Redfountain School, is his uncle, he transferred out for a time to go to art school, writes poetry, loves nature, and is a pacifist, even after he joins the Specialists. His Weapon of Choice is Spider-Man-like gloves that shoot ropes to incapacitate but not injure his opponents.
- A real-life example is the famous "Wild West" peacekeeper, Bat Masterson. He didn't use a gun very often, having been lamed by one in a moment of recklessness, but had no problem beating people with the walking stick that gave him his nickname. Nor, for that matter, did he have problems associating with Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday, who would kill people with guns.
- Wyatt Earp, for that matter, didn't shoot quite as many people as is often thought, preferring to Pistol Whip criminals. At one point in the old west, getting hit in the head was known as "an Earp."
- Before the gunfight atnote the OK Corral, Wyatt Earp had only killed one man. The same is probably true of Doc Holliday, though not for lack of trying.
- Wyatt Earp, for that matter, didn't shoot quite as many people as is often thought, preferring to Pistol Whip criminals. At one point in the old west, getting hit in the head was known as "an Earp."
- A surprising number of police officers can go their entire careers or at the very least large portions of the same without having to draw their service weapon let alone discharge it in the line of duty. Is even known to happen in "dangerous" cities. There might be some aversion to killing in the line of duty, as there's a bunch of red tape to ensure in the eyes of the public and such that the cop had to do what s/he had to do.
- And while the majority of police officers won't kill you, there's nothing stopping them from applying pain or violence to counter a violent offender. That said, any good police officer will exercise restraint, as going too far, even non-lethally, will get you into trouble just as deep as if you killed someone, depending on the circumstances.
- Saint Joan of Arc is a pretty good example of this. Though she courageously led armies into battle, riding right into the thick of the fighting, and was even wounded by the enemy, she swore to her chaplain that she had never actually killed anybody by her own hand. After the battle of Orléans, she stopped her soldiers from executing some of the defeated English defenders, and she wept at the sight of so much bloodshed. Moreover, she always tried to warn the English soldiers in any area she planned to attack, in order to provide them with an opportunity to peacefully retreat back to England.
Joan of Arc (as reported by her chaplain): I loved my banner forty times greater than my sword. And when I went against the enemy, I carried my banner myself, lest I kill any. I have never killed a man.
- John Dillinger robbed banks for the money and the thrill of it, his heists involving as much planning as a real job might, but would never, ever kill (though other members of his gang often did hurt or kill people). In fact, he despised cold blooded killers Bonnie and Clyde, saying they gave honest crooks like him a bad name.
- He was suspected of killing an East Chicago police officer during a bank robbery in January 1934, though this is debatable.
- One of the most common attitudes engendered among students at most martial arts schools is that the fighting techniques they are learning are never to be used in anger or aggression, but only for personal defense.
- Anarchists have taken various positions on violence in different social, economic and temporal contexts, as one should expect from an ideology in which dogmatism is looked down upon and division is sometimes seen as a sign of progress. However, they are often this in battle; the anarchists of the Spanish Civil War are an illustrative if almost cliche example, preferring to advance without engaging their fascist rivals in battle, and if they had to, shooting them in the knees and dropping pamphlets as they left. In street confrontations against Black Shirts, anarchists in Phoenix, Arizona have been spotted carrying guns (perfectly legal in AZ) to communicate that the neo-Nazis' targets are not intimidated. Anarchists also infamously have a worldwide Black Bloc with a strict code by which they organize to break windows of target corporations and government buildings, but are not allowed to harm any living being or put unwilling protesters in harm's way in the process. Not all anarchists have been gun-shy; the movement was briefly associated with assassinations of political and business leaders, especially in Spain where revenge killings spiraled out of control for a time.
- This trope is arguably an example of a tenable, pragmatic pacifism that most people would ascribe to. War may indeed be Hell, making peace a far more preferable option if possible, whether ethically, economically or otherwise. Emphasis on if possible.
- Norway held this position in NATO during most of the Cold War. After 1990, the nation has passed from this, over Reluctant Warrior to a downplayed Blood Knight whose military has embraced their traditional connotations.