You want me to describe another trope
? I'd rather drink Brain Bleach
A character expresses his displeasure for an idea by claiming a preferred alternative — except that alternative is clearly something the average person would find unthinkably undesirable, usually subjecting oneself to pain. This is mainly a Comedy Trope
, deriving humor from the exaggerated, ridiculous description of unusual torture.
Commonly used to respond to the advances of an Abhorrent Admirer
or Casanova Wannabe
. Also commonly used by Caustic Critics
to describe the painful badness
of what they're reviewing.
Compare I Have to Wash My Hair
and I Need to Go Iron My Dog
as more mundane excuses. Contrast Fate Worse Than Death
as a more serious comparison. Anything But That!
is another negative (over)reaction, though usually to threats. I'm Thinking It Over!
is the related comedy trope where two lopsided alternatives are presented, and the character takes far too long to choose between them.
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- A Hellblazer comic subverts this: a couple are arguing, with the man saying that he'd rather shove red-hot needles in his eyes than talk to her family any more. A while later, due to demonic influence, he does just that, and tells her in a completely normal voice that he was wrong: this is much worse.
- In issue #2 of the (New 52) Blue Beetle series, at Brenda's quinceañera, La Dama suggests that Brenda should find a boyfriend.
Brenda: But I'm not interested in any boys I know.
La Dama: Oh come on. He looks handsome enough.
Brenda: Joey Gonzalez?! I'd rather crap broken glass!
La Dama: Well that was ladylike...
- In an issue of Teen Titans, Changeling traps Terra by wrapping around her as a snake during a training session. He offers to let her go for a kiss, but she says she'd rather kiss a wookie. Gar says that it's out of his range.
Film — Animated
- From Shrek the Third, we have a pair of college girls having a conversation, with one of them saying, "And then I said, 'I'd rather get the black plague or get stuck in an iron maiden than go out with you!'"
- In Brave, during an explosive argument with her mother, Merida shouts "I'd rather die than be like you!"
Film — Live-Action
- In A Christmas Carol Scrooge suggests that the indigent go to prisons or workhouses instead of him giving to charity. The person he's talking to says "Many can't go there; and many would rather die."
- Dave Barry once wrote in a column that he "would rather undergo vasectomy via Weed Whacker than attend an opera."
- Variant: In The Dresden Files: Summer Knight Harry informs his literal Exposition Fairy Bob the Skull about how his latest client is Queen Mab of the Winter Court. Bob says something to the effect of "Here's where I ask you why you don't try a safer profession, like administering suppositories to rabid gorillas."
- Roger Ebert's review of Seven Days in Utopia began, "I would rather eat a golf ball than see this movie again."
- Stuart Campbell used this in some of his more negative Amiga Power reviews:
- The review of International Rugby Challenge featured a "scientific" comparison of the game with other "most-bad things." The Bosnian war, the Somalian famine, the Rodney King beating, and the depletion of the ozone layer were all judged to be not as bad as International Rugby Challenge, though "Having Electrodes Attached To Your Genitals And Being Flogged Senseless With A Knotted Rope" would probably be just as bad.
- The short review of the Porting Disaster of ThunderJaws included the statement "I'd rather have my liver pierced with a rusty fork and undergo a particularly unpleasant series of rabies inoculations than have to play this quite disgracefully boring and incompetent production-line conversion job again."
- Jon has gotten this repeatedly in Garfield. It was a kind of Running Gag for a while.
- Similarly, Michelle does this to Curtis sometimes when he asks her out.
- My Fair Lady: In "I'm An Ordinary Man," Higgins says that he'd "be equally as willing for a dentist to be drilling than to ever let a woman in my life," and, in the second verse, that he'd "prefer a repetition of the Spanish Inquisition."
- The Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures throws up a randomized message each time the Nerd dies, usually following the template: "I'D RATHER (colorful verb phrase) FROM A (animal's body part) THAN CONTINUE THIS (colorful adjective) GAME!!"
- A regular occurrence with The Angry Video Game Nerd, often in a profane matter. For example:
- In the first Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde episode, he advises to destroy the game instead of playing it, saying, "You'd rather super-glue your asshole shut than play that game. You'd rather drown in gasoline."
- The episode on Back to the Future for the NES included two such lines that became part of the lyrics of the Theme Tune: "I'd rather have a fucking buffalo take a diarrhea dump in my ear than subject them to this horrendous garbage... I'd rather eat out the rotten asshole of a roadkill skunk than play this game, ever again."
- Cranky Steve's Haunted Whorehouse (now hosted on Something Awful) includes a colorfully described "Pain Level" for each awful map reviewed.