Quotes / Heel Realization

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    Anime & Manga 

I thought my Dark Rings were a stroke of genius. I never realized I was causing pain. I made them work for me tirelessly without ever giving them a break, and I was cruel to them beyond imagination. I'm a monster! I can't believe what I've done!
Ken Ichijoji/The Digimon Emperor, Digimon Adventure 02

I've always been this way, haven't I? I never notice things until it's too late.
Precia Testarossa, Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha The Movie 1st

Hakim: Space has become a place that has become monopolized by handful of powerful countries. We should fix that, shouldn't we? We should start over from scratch, shouldn't we?! And... return all the countries to the way they should be. (slowly begins raising gun at Nono)
Nono: Countries? Oh, I've heard all about those!
Hakim: (stops raising gun)
Nono: I've heard Earth is divided into them, is that right? Oh, I guess I should explain, I'm a Lunarian. I was born and raised here! So, I've never seen any of those country things myself. I'm kinda curious, mister, where's your country? (points at Earth) Can you see it from here?
Hakim: ...You're right. You can't see any of it from out here in space. But, I still do. You can't see them... but I still do. (slowly walks away)

    Comic Books 

You don't understand... I really didn't want to leave you any clues. I really planned never to go back to Arkham Asylum. But I left you a clue anyway. So I... I have to go back there. Because I might need help. I... I might actually be crazy.
The Riddler, Batman: Gotham Adventures

I lied to myself! I was no heroic German soldier, fighting and dying honorably on the eastern front! My sword has shown me the truth... I was a rapist! A monster! A Vampire! I deserved to die! I deserved to be sent here... To never see Rebecca again! I am truly in Hell! So I may as well enjoy it!
Heinrich Augsberg, Requiem Vampire Knight

If the world thinks you're a monster, what does it matter? The world is wrong. But when you start to think of yourself as a monster...

Delia Surridge: You've come to kill me, haven't you?
V: Yes.
Delia Surridge: Thank God.

    Fan Fiction 

"I've been terrible to both of you, haven't I?" Adagio said, fear welling up in her, but wishing for all the world she’d said these words sooner, "I'm... I'm sorry. I'm sorry for ever dragging you two down into the dark with me. You both deserved better than me as a sister."

"So, you're one of them."
She thought about what she could say. She could outright deny it. No, I'm not part of the White Fang. But she was.
She was. And didn't this girl, covered in blood, deserve a little truth?
"Yes." She said finally.
"But you saved me."
Pause. "Yes."
The other girl looked at her uneasily. "Why?"
Blake stared at her. "I... I don't know. What they did..." A scream bled into the crawl space, making them both cringe. Dust, it was still going on? "What they're doing is wrong."

She couldn't quite say where it all went wrong - or, rather, when she started noticing just how wrong everything already was. Perhaps White's petty, spiteful little move and biting talk about getting too attached to her playthings had provided a turning point. Or perhaps it had been one of a million other things.

She remembered the first time she couldn't help but cringe at the sight of a once flourishing planet turned into a lifeless husk by the fate she'd very deliberately imposed on it herself; the first time she'd reacted with awe and curiosity instead of disgust and discomfort at seeing two tiny Gems become something even bigger than both of them together; the first time it truly hit her that pearls, agates, and ambers and so, so many more all had wishes and desires and thought, the same as any other Gem - and the first time she saw how much it could come to cost them if they let anyone notice.

Things she'd never before taken the time to contemplate in any depth suddenly made a distressing amount of horrible sense.

Pink Diamond, bringer of life.

It rang just a bit more hollow each time.

Speaking with Tokiha forced me to see how things could have been. She had an outlet to pour her energy into, to make up for her mistake, occupy herself and try to fill the hole in her heart. So what if it was for selfish reasons? She couldn't possibly be as selfish as I am. It was an actual goal to work toward, rather than merely causing pain in order to ease hers.
I then have to wonder; has my life simply been a self-destructive tantrum against the injustices I've suffered? And what should I do now that I've realized this?

You're right. I can't justify myself the way I wanted to. There was really no way to do that at all. But you've already caught me, and the vote's been cast.
Sonia Nevermind, System Restore

Belatedly, [Sakura] began to wonder if she'd hurt him with her constant rejections.
It wasn't all her fault though. It's not like she was obligated to go out with him just because he asked. And she didn't want to spoil her chances with Sasuke-kun...
Unbidden, memories of some of her more... forceful... rejections came to mind, burning away a lot of her self-justifications.
"I’m not a very nice person," she whispered to herself. Her voice seemed unnaturally loud in the empty hallway.
Team 8

    Film - Animated 

Lex Luthor: I could have made everyone see! If it wasn't for you, I could have saved the world!
Superman: If it had mattered to you, Luthor, you could have saved the world years ago.
Luthor: ... (quietly) You're right.

I believed we were doing what was right; I was wrong. Now this is our punishment. We thought we knew our way in life, but in death... we are lost.
Judge Hopkins, ParaNorman

    Film - Live-Action 

No. I haven't been acting correctly. I can't hardly recognize myself sometimes when I'm greased. I go on journeys out of my body and look at my red hands and my mean face and I wonder about that man who's gone so wrong.

Prendergast: Let's meet a couple of police officers. They're all good guys.
D-FENS: I'm the bad guy?
Prendergast: ...Yeah.
D-FENS: How did that happen?

I know now why God didn't heal Bobby. He didn't heal him because... (breaks down in pained sobbing) ...there was nothing wrong with him!
Mary Griffith, Prayers for Bobby

See, now I'm thinkin': maybe it means you're the evil man. And I'm the righteous man. And Mr. 9mm here, he's the shepherd protecting my righteous ass in the valley of darkness. Or it could mean you're the righteous man and I'm the shepherd and it's the world that's evil and selfish. And I'd like that. But that shit ain't the truth. The truth is you're the weak. And I'm the tyranny of evil men. But I'm tryin', Ringo. I'm tryin' real hard to be the shepherd.
Jules Winnfield, Pulp Fiction


He wouldn't be able to walk on a street on any civilized planet in the galaxy; people wouldn't be able to abide his presence.
Nor would he blame them.
He couldn't stop thinking about it. He didn't believe he would ever be able to stop thinking about it. The dead would haunt him, forever.
How could a man live with that?
Tenn Graneet, Lead Gunner on the Death Star

That boy had wanted to be Ser Arthur Dayne, but someplace along the way he had become the Smiling Knight instead.

A month ago, he could easily have spoken with pride on how British dragons were cared for. Like all of them, Temeraire had been fed and housed on raw meat and in bare clearings, with constant training and little entertainment. Laurence thought he might as well brag of raising children in a pigsty to the Queen, as speak of such conditions to this elegant dragon in her flower-decked palace.
Captain William Laurence, Aerial Corps, Empire of Ivory

    Live-Action TV 

For a demon, I never did think that much about the "nature of evil." Just threw myself in; thought it was a party. I liked the rush. I liked the crunch. (quietly) Never did look back at the victims.
Spike, Angel, "Damaged"

Which side are we on? We're on the side of the demons, Chief. We're evil men in the gardens of paradise, sent by the forces of death to spread devastation and destruction wherever we go. I'm surprised you didn't know that.
Colonel Tigh, Battlestar Galactica

I accept who I am. I'm the bad guy.
Jesse Pinkman, Breaking Bad

I'm the villain in my own story.
My actions have gone way too far.
I told myself that I was Jasmine
But I realize now I'm Jafar.
We're told love conquers all.
But that only applies to the hero.
Is the enemy what I'm meant to be?
Is being the villain my destiny?

Fisk: I was thinking about a story from The Bible...
SWAT 1: I tell you to open your mouth?!
SWAT 2: Let him talk. Don't mean nothin'.
Fisk: I'm not a religious man, but I've read bits and pieces over the years. Curiosity more than faith. But this one story... There was a man, he... he was travelling from Jerusalem to Jericho... when he was set upon by men of ill intent. They stripped the traveller of his clothes, they beat him, and they left him bleeding in the dirt. And a priest happened by... saw the traveller... but he moved to the other side of the road and continued on. And then a Levite, a religious functionary, he... came to the place, saw the dying traveller... but he too moved to the other side of the road, and passed him by. But then came a man from Samaria, a Samaritan, a good man. He saw the traveller bleeding in the road, and he stopped to aid him without thinking of the circumstance or the difficulty it might bring him. The Samaritan tended to the traveller's wounds, applying oil and wine, and he carried him to an inn, gave him all the money he had, for the owner to take care of the traveller, as the Samaritan, he... continued on his journey. He did this simply because the traveller was his neighbour. He loved his city, and all the people in it. (sighs) I always thought that I was the Samaritan in that story. It's funny, isn't it? How even the best of men can be... deceived by their true nature.
SWAT 1: The hell does that mean?
Fisk: It means that I'm not the Samaritan. That I'm not the priest. Or the Levite. That I am the ill intent... who set upon the traveller on a road that he should not have been on.

Davros: You betrayed the Daleks?
Dalek Caan: I saw the Daleks. What we have done throughout time and space. I saw the truth of us, creator, and I decreed: No more!
Doctor Who, "Journey's End"

I've taken lives. And I got worse, I got clever. Manipulated people into taking their own. Sometimes I think a Time Lord lives too long.
The Tenth Doctor, Doctor Who, "The End of Time"

Dave: You've really done it this time, Bill. You've bankrupted the station, nearly stripped us bare, and on top of that you broke poor Matthew's heart. I hope you're proud of yourself.
Bill: How do you think I feel? Everyone hates me now. I mean, not like before when they only sorta hated me. This is the real stuff.
NewsRadio, "Twins"

They've got skulls on them. Have you noticed that our caps actually have little pictures of skulls on them? Hans... are we the baddies?

You start to tell a story, you think you’re the hero. And then when you get done talking...

Detective Jake Peralta: I can't believe we're fugitives on the lam, falsely accused of a crime.
Captain Raymond Holt: There's nothing false about it. We committed several felonies and escaped from jail.
Peralta: Yeah, but we were just doing what we had to do. We're the good guys. (gasps) This is what they all think!


I was fighting for a reason
Holy blessed homicide

I wanna go home
Take off this uniform and leave the show
But I'm waiting in this cell because I have to know
Have I been guilty all this time?
Pink Floyd, "Stop!", The Wall

I'm a bastard if it's true
If the thing she did to me
Is what I did to you
I'm a bastard if it's true
And I guess it's true
Prozzäk, "Sucks to be You"

Hear me as I speak to you:
Of all the evil men can do
There is none worse that I know
Than what we did in cold Glencoe
Rise, "Cold Glencoe"

    Tabletop Games 

I can hardly sleep anymore. I feel the tugging of some inner force, something inside that beckons me further into this nightmare. I'm scared. I hate to admit it, but I'm terrified. Rob's "replacement" shakes me so deeply inside that I had to skip class. I'm almost afraid to call in sick, for fear of the "cure" Dr. Reid might send. I should go. I know it, but I can't; more to the point, I won't. I've gone this far and won't back off now. Rob was an idiot, screwing a fellow Progenitor and mouthing off in class to a superior. I won't make his mistakes.
God help me. I've just read what I've written and it doesn't sound like me at all. So cold, so callous. What have I become?
Andrew Greene, Mage: The Ascension - Convention Book: Progenitors


Now I'm the villain in your history
I was too young and blind to see...
I should've known
I should've known
Aaron Burr, Hamilton, "The World Was Wide Enough"

What have I done? Sweet Jesus, what have I done?
Become a thief in the night, become a dog on the run.
Jean Valjean, Les Misérables

We all deserve to die!
Even you, Mrs. Lovett, even I!
Because the lives of the wicked should be made brief!
For the rest of us death will be a relief!

    Video Games 

For years, I've been rushing around, taking whatever I fancied, not giving a tinker's curse for those I hurt. Yet here I am... with riches and reputation, feeling no wiser than when I left home. Yet when I turn around, and look at the course I've run... here's not a man or woman that I love left standing beside me.

Baelheit: Why, Daimon? Why won't you lend me your strength?
Daimon: Because we were wrong.
Baten Kaitos Origins

One of the children came and sat in my lap. I push her off, I shout, "Get away from me!" I can see the ADAM oozing out of the corner of her mouth, thick and green. Her filthy hair hanging in her face, dirty clothes, and that dead glow in her eye... I feel... hatred, like I never felt before, in my chest. Bitter, burning, fury. I can barely breathe. And suddenly, I know: it is not this child I hate.

Once The Darkness gets ahold of you, you start to lose control. You start to wonder what the fuck you're doin'. Time slips away from you. And then, all of a sudden, it's like you're sittin' in a theater, watchin' a movie of your own life. And you're up there on the big screen. Big as life, you're a fuckin' movie star. And you're killin' all the bad guys, tearing them limb from limb. And you feel good. You look good. Fuck, you are good. And then you realize something. Everyone else in the theater: they're screamin', 'cuz they're watchin' a horror movie. And you're not the hero...
You're the monster...
Jackie Estacado, The Darkness 2

I want to take from them what they took from me, from my family. In this life. I want them to suffer. I want all of them to die in fear and pain. I want to have my revenge. Against him. Against Caesar. I want to call it my own, to make my anger God's anger. To justify the things I've done. Sometimes I tell myself these wild fires will never stop burning. But I'm the one who starts them. Not God. Not them. I can always see it in my mind, the warmth and the heat. It will always be a part of me... but not today.
Joshua Graham if he is convinced to spare Salt-Upon-Wounds, Fallout: New Vegas

I guess this is it. Not much air left now. Minutes, maybe. And this is what I have to show for it. I guess the joke's (gasp) on me. Prolly shouldn't (gasp) have killed... all those people, Prolly shoulda stayed at home... (gasp) and taken care of my ma. She... always used to say people who... murder and steal... die bad in the end. Said they... (gasp)
Allen Marks' last words, recorded on holotape, Fallout: New Vegas

It is such a quiet thing, to fall. But far more terrible is to admit it.

We're shitty people, Joel. It's been that way for a long time.
Tess, The Last of Us

Mordin: Understandable, but not acceptable. Will not sacrifice Krogan for political gain.
Renegade Shepard: Every time we've talked about this before, you've defended the genophage! Hell, I had to talk you into saving Maelon's data! How can you change your mind now!?
Mordin: I MADE A MISTAKE! note 

Goodbye, Shepard. Thank you.
Saren Arteriusnote , Mass Effect

I'm already a demon. Heaven's not my kinda place, anyway.
Punished Snake aka Big Boss, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Tyrann: You know, Sunshine, that Black Scrawl has almost completely taken you over.
Kainé: Yeah. I know.
Tyrann: But goddamn, we had fun, huh? Killing and killing and more killing... what a rush!
Kainé: Yeah? Ngh...
Tyrann: Wait - no! No, no, no! It wasn't fun at all! I turned you into a killing machine! I spread evil and chaos around the world! But it all feels so empty now! Why?! I don't understand!
Kainé: Sorry, Sunshine. Maybe I'm just nicer than you thought.

Stories are told again and again, and from their shape we build our understanding of the world. Two children are led into the woods; they are lost for a time, but then are captured by an old witch. A child goes missing in Atlantic Island Park; he wanders, lost, for a time, before finding his way into the mouth of an old witch. In the oldest version of the story, the mother and the witch were the same person.
I never wanted to be the witch... but I am... aren't I?
Lorraine, The Park

I-I didn't mean to hurt anybody...
Captain Martin Walker, Spec Ops: The Line

    Visual Novels 

That was the worst to me, that [Lily] could be so nice and still take so many people for granted. Why even join the Student Council, then? It seemed so shortsighted and selfish, don't you think? But it's actually me who's this way.
Shizune, Katawa Shoujo

I know the path I've walked. You don't need to tell me. And the path I've walked... hasn't been a just one. I can't forgive myself for what I've done... and no one else should forgive me either.

    Web Comics 

I was certainly a lousy father... Since my visions of the future I've changed a lot... I saw the error of my ways and how barbaric the Saiyan people were... But don't expect any excuses. You can give up if you want.

    Web Original 

While Starfucker Omega was constructed in the Drengin constellation, I sent fleets of constructors to start work on two others: Starfucker Prime went up in Ecstasy space, ready to rip through the Terran empire, and Starfucker Pro was built deep in Drath territory - relations between us were plummeting, and I needed a contingency plan.

And yet it wasn't until my nearly-operational Death Star (I mean Terror Star) was destroyed by a single plucky X-Wing (I mean Terran Fighter with X-shaped wings) that I stopped to think: "Wow, am I the bad guy here?"

God, look at me. This was supposed to be my quest for peace, and I've become addicted to destroying suns.

It's my answer to everything. How did I try to mend relations with the Terrans? I destroyed a sun. How did I vanquish the Dread Lords? I destroyed their sun. How did I tackle the volatile Drengin? Destroyed all their suns. Drath relations dodgy? Gear up to destroy some suns.

It was spreading to real life, too. Deputy Editor Tim called just now to ask how this diary was coming along, and all I could say was "It's taking a while. Couldn't we just destroy the sun?"
Tom Francis, Galactic Civilizations Diary, Day 27

Taylor's message to her dad, Worm, Tangle 6.9

    Western Animation 

Dipper: Rumble! I have something to tell you! Robbie... Robbie didn't kill my father.
Rumble: (gasps) Then who did?
Dipper: What? No-one. I... I lied to you.
Rumble: Hwuh? Well then, you're actually a... bad guy!
Dipper: I guess I kinda am.

During the meeting, I was the perfect prince. The son my father wanted. But I wasn't me.

Avatar Korra. I am truly sorry for all that I've done to you. I thought I was better than my father, but his ghost still shaped me. I became a soldier of revenge, just like he wanted me to be.
Tarrlok, The Legend of Korra

You think you can boss Discord around?! You think I'm just going to turn all this back because you say so?! Because if I don't, I'll lose the one friend I ever had?! ...Oh. Well played, Fluttershy. Well played.

Dr. Venture: What the hell am I signing, a zeppelin?
Dr. Henry Killinger: A most sacred pact - membership in the most elite brotherhood, mit exclusive arching rights.
Dr. Venture: Didn't have to go through all this hooey to get my first archenemy, but what the hey. Did you pick me a good one?
Dr. Henry Killinger: No, you did.
Dr. Venture: What... my brother?
Dr. Henry Killinger: Bingo! Isn't it perfect? It's a classic Cain-und-Abel story.
Dr. Venture: But... but he can't arch me, he's not even a super- Oh my God.
The Venture Bros., "The Doctor is Sin"

    Real Life 

You may have just saved my wife's life, for as I listened to you describing Simpson's abuse, I recognized myself.
— An abusive husband, writing to one of the prosecutors in the O. J. Simpson case. Quoted by Gavin de Becker in The Gift of Fear