"This isn't a criticism, Harry! But you do... sort of... I mean — don't you think you've got a bit of a — saving people thing?"
— Hermione, Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix
"I won't leave you! I'm sick of watching people die, and I can't just sit back and take it anymore! I won't let anyone else get killed! Not when I can protect them!"
— Alphonse Elric to Lt. Riza Hawkeye, Fullmetal Alchemist
"If there's a person right there who I can save and I'm told she can only be saved by me, of course I'll choose to save her!"
—Kagome Higurashi, InuYasha
"Every time someone cries out in prayer and I can't answer, I feel guilty about not being God."
"I don't destroy victims, I save them!"
—Ben Tennyson, Ben 10: Alien Swarm
Nhadala: We've got a prickly situation. Fiends are attacking the Cactuar Nation!
Yuna: We'll take care of it! Benzo, let's go!
Paine: I was wrong. She doesn't get dragged into trouble.
Rikku: She jumps in headfirst.
Rikku: Isaaruís changed, too, huh?
Maroda: Him? Heíll never change. (sighs) He goes around playing superhero and leaves us with all the headaches.
Rikku: Hey, I know someone like that.
Paine: Oh, someone who goes around playing superhero, is it?
Yuna: You mean Brother!
Paine: Well, uh, Rikku, why donít we get going?
Rikku: Yup, sounds good.
Yuna: Come on. Tell me who!
"This is the problem with being a good guy, though. It gets under your skin!"
— Eliot, Leverage
"This is what happens, Hisagi-fukutaichou- the noble had finally revealed, words heavy with resignation- when a man with overwhelming power, a strong sense of responsibility, a compassionate heart, and a penchant for saving as many lives as possible is placed in a war. He never comes back, because he cannot. For every moment he is away from the battlefield, a man could be killed in his absence. A death that he could have prevented. And Ichigo could never accept that."
John McClane: You know what you get for being a hero? Nothin'. You get shot at. You get a little pat on the back, blah, blah, blah, attaboy. You get divorced. Your wife can't remember your last name. Your kids don't want to talk to you. You get to eat a lot of meals by yourself. Trust me, kid, nobody wants to be that guy.
Matt Farrell: Then why you doing this?
John McClane: Because there's no body else to do it right now, that's why. Believe me, if there were somebody else to do it, I'd let them do it, but there's not. So we're doing it.
Matt Farrell: Ah. That's what makes you that guy.
On his (Sanzang) he heard a shout of 'help!' and said to his disciple with chock, "Disciple, what's that cheer in the middle of these mountains?" "You just keep going, Master," Said Monkey, coming up to him. "Stop worrying about chairs, whether they're carried by people or mules, or whether they're open topped or litters. Even if there were a chair here there'd be no one to carry it for you." "I'm not talking about chairs for carrying but about cheers." Said Sanzang. "I know." Said Monkey, "but its no concern of yours. You just keep going."
— Monkey King trying to defy this trope on his Journey to the West
"...And she has a 'hero complex': an inherent desire to help others, being unable to help herself, and compulsion to make the world right... She's trying to 'unlock' the true meaning of her life. And she doesn't know who has the key."
—Dr. Wilson on Alice from Alice: Madness Returns
"Besides, when someone needs help, I help! That's basically my entire character!"
"Listen to me: There will always be someone in need. There will always a villain to capture, always a monster to slay. Will you continue to pursue them forever? My worst nightmare, Adam, is seeing you fight battles for the needy until the end of time, never once knowing peace, with no one knowing or caring about your struggles..."
— Adam's wife, Fahl, Mass Effect Human Revolution
Carl: W-what? Why did you...!?
Litchi: (after just covering Carl from a barrage of sword rain, fatally) "Why"...? I don't know... I wonder why...? But... I was worried about you, so I followed you here.
Carl: Why did you protect me...? How can you do that!? I don't understand...
Litchi: Do I need... a reason.. to help someone in need...?
— BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger, Promise
Tali: And what are you doing here, Shepard? We're in the middle of Geth space!
Zoe: Youíre out of your league!
Nancy: Yes, I am always out of my league, but Iím trying to help!
And thereís something about the way Nancy says it that just feels like this moment of triumph for her. Itís not just that her loved ones have been holding her back throughout the game or that Zoe hasnít believed in her. Itís that this attitude has defined her entire career as a detective, and everyone is just always telling her that she canít do this, that sheís just a meddling, immature girl who wonít be able to handle herself when she finds herself in a dangerous situation. But thatís not even the point. She has always known sheís unwanted there, but she has to do what she does if it means making the world better, bringing evil people to justice, repairing families, restoring someoneís well-earned wealth to them. And so when sheís defending herself here, I think she fully understands the impulse that made Kate leaveó because Nancy couldnít imagine not helping people, not doing what she loves, even if it means putting herself in danger over and over again. Kate was in over her head, too, but she was trying to help, and thereís nothing more noble in the entire world.
"I enjoy a good hero - they're so predictable. One little nudge and off they run towards the screaming."
"Just go, stop noticing. Just go, stop noticing. Just go, stop noticing... STOP IT! Am I noticing? No! I am not! What I am not doing is scanning around for electrical fluctuations. Oh shut up you! I'm just dropping in on a friend, the last thing I need right now is a Cortina full of teleport energy! I am going! Do you hear me, going! Not staying, going! I am through saving them! I am going away now!"
— Eleventh Doctor, Doctor Who
"Haven't you figured it out yet? You have to be insane to be a Toa at all. It's the first requirement for the job."