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Actual Pacifist

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"With God as my witness, I swear on my name and my life, that I shall do no harm, that I shall place the saving of life and easing of suffering above self, above family, that my duty is not to my people, or to my nation, but to all of humanity."
— Version of the Hippocratic Oath

"Don't worry; I won't hurt you."

That's an Actual Pacifist in a nutshell.

They're philosophically opposed to using physical violence to any degree, for any reason. To be on this trope, that includes self-defense, and if played right, can be a very moral and ethical person. On television, they are in contrast to the far-more-common Technical Pacifist, who is fine with punching, stabbing, shooting, or maiming people as long as they survive the experience.

If they absolutely have to fight, most likely in the course of protecting another, expect Angst or even Wangst to result. Such a situation is usually a Matter of Life and Death. If this happens too often, they will become a Reluctant Warrior.

Certain religious figures and practitioners of White Magic are personally bound to be Actual Pacifists, by reason of their dedication: they may support, bless, and succor those who fight, but they will not take up arms themselves. The Medic is also prone to be an Actual Pacifist, despite his common association with armies (although this is for a different reason — a Combat Medic COULD fight, but if they do, they're not under the protection of the Geneva Convention).

Trying to raise a child as an Actual Pacifist because their father was violent or loved being In Harm's Way usually fails, although the child may at least be less violent than their father and willing to try peaceful means.

Some Actual Pacifists are able to circumvent their restriction via mind games, such as Shaming the Mob. Every rule has a loophole, after all.

See also Perfect Pacifist People, for societies where everyone is an Actual Pacifist; and Sheathe Your Sword, where the only way to succeed is to avoid provoking a fight. Reckless Pacifist is someone whose methods of not killing manage to endanger people's lives. Contrast Martial Pacifist, who prefers to work things out peacefully but will handily take you down if there is no other option.

Taken to its logical extreme, this becomes Suicidal Pacifism; elevated to awesome — Badass Pacifist.

When they appear in more cynical works, Actual Pacifists may be used to bring up the Hard Truth Aesop that "sometimes, you need violence''.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Kitano from Angel Densetsu. Most people, however, do not know he's one. Being a bit scary, however, actually helps him avoid fights.
  • Gennosuke from Basilisk is an interesting example of this. He never starts a fight in the whole show and even orders his own people not to kill the Iga ninjas. On the other hand, he eventually decides he has no choice but let the Kouga annihilate the Iga. The few times he does fight (quite brutally in fact) his power means that he never has to engage in any actual violence.
  • Bleach:
    • Chad used to be a real thug when he was younger until his grandfather lectured him about never using his fists to hurt others. Chad took his grandfather's lecture to heart and vowed never to lift his fists to fight for himself. When Ichigo saved him from being beaten by other thugs, Ichigo said he would make a vow to always protect Chad if Chad made a vow to always protect him. Chad holds to that vow to this day, raising his fists only to protect others, but never to protect himself. The anime bizarrely changed this backstory to him ignoring his grandfather's advice until his victims beat his grandfather almost to death. At that point, he vows never to fight again. When the anime inevitably switches back from this adaptation to the canon, it results in an Adaptation-Induced Plot Hole because Chad's behaviour (born from the manga version of events) doesn't honour the anime's version of the vow.
    • Orihime is gentle-natured to the core, she can't muster up a full commitment to even wound anybody, no matter what. This causes Tsubaki (the holder of her offensive ability) to keep getting Worfed every time he's used. Multiple characters comment on how unsuited to battle she is because of her gentle nature.
  • In A Certain Magical Index, Princess Villian refuses to learn how to fight and how to use magic because magic can potentially be used as a weapon. Because of this, she is very often a Damsel in Distress.
  • Despite his significant skill in martial arts (which he uses purely to break up fights with minimum force), Simon Brezhnev of Durarara!! sticks very firmly to pacifist ideals probably to atone for his past both in the KGB and The Mafiya. He doesn't even like talking about fighting.
  • Maya Ibuki in The End of Evangelion. She refuses to defend herself against the JSSDF troops invading NERV HQ on the basis that she cannot bring herself to kill other humans.
  • Kintaro from Golden Boy. He's been beaten up several times without fighting back, except for one instance where he unleashed his Kenpo training. He berated himself angrily for it immediately afterwards.
  • Yuko "YuuYuu" Omori/Cure Honey of HappinessCharge Pretty Cure! is the first Cure to be this way. Her first two appearances explicitly show her just singing, never raising her fists to strike an opponent.
  • Yashiro Isana from K. In a series known for its gorgeously animated fight scenes, you wouldn't expect to see a character who not only doesn't fight (even though he can as a King, since Word of God says that any fight between a King and non-King will be a Curb-Stomp Battle in the King's favor), but also tends to solve the cast's problems with plans that involve getting himself blown to bits. Good thing he's immortal.
  • Heavy Object: The anime-only character Klondike is the leader of an antiwar movement opposed to the status quo of neverending brushfire wars (mainly fought as "clean wars" between Objects). He himself follows a Jain-like philosophy of absolute nonviolence and gently chides the protagonists Qwenthur and Havia for not having saved the operators of the seven or so Objects they and Princess have destroyed.
  • The title character from Kimba the White Lion started out as this before becoming a Martial Pacifist.
  • Nekki Basara from Macross 7. He doesn't angst but instead gets quite angry when he is compelled to use force.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam 00's Marina Ismail is a pacifist to the core. At one point when she and her friends are escaping from the secret police, she refuses to take a gun even to protect the children she's looking after.
    • Relena Darlian / Peacecraft from Mobile Suit Gundam Wing (technically the source character for the aforementioned Marina), born to one family of pacifists and raised by another, struggles continuously with her wish to bring about total pacifism during a time of war. In the Endless Waltz movie/OVA she realizes that peace is something you have to earn yourself and abandons the "passive" part of pacifism, urging the Muggles to stand up for themselves rather than just Holding Out For A Heero.
      • Relena isn't suicidally pacifist; in one episode, she comes under attack from the Romefeller Foundation and is saved by the defense force her right-hand woman Noin had been organizing in secret. While she's initially upset at Noin, she reluctantly agrees to let the defense force stand, since the said organization obviously isn't going to respect their pacifist stance.
      • The original Heero Yuy (not to be confused with the pilot named after him) actually created the "Total Pacifism" philosophy; people like Relena's father King Marticius Peacecraft, and Quatre's father Zayeed Winner adopted it themselves. Tellingly, all three were assassinated and their deaths led to more death as others sought to avenge them.
  • Tenma from Monster. Both played straight and deconstructed, as his belief that one human has no right to harm another is constantly challenged by the antagonist, starting with the fact that his main goal is to kill the antagonist.
  • In Omamori Himari, Yuuto has absolutely no will to fight. He will only ever reluctantly fight if his loved ones are in danger, and he'll still regret it.
  • In One Piece, the royal Riku family in the Dressrosa arc had not brought on a war upon its country for eight hundred years. Even a threat of invasion did not get them to take up arms. They had to be forcibly removed from the throne in order to get them to. Ricky/King Riku strikes with the flat of his blade when forced to fight and his granddaughter Rebecca has a reputation for being undefeated despite never hitting an opponent directly.
    • Played for Laughs with Bobby Funk: He was gifted with enormous levels of strength and toughness, but he is a total pacifist not by personal preference, but because the mere thought of fighting greatly scares him. When he has to step into the battlefield by himself, all he'll do is huddle in a corner shivering as his enemies' swords and axes snap against his back. He is frequently used as a Big Dumb Body for his strength by his brother Kelly, however, as Kelly has the ability to possess people and is skilled at close-quarters combat.
  • Re:BIRTH –The Lunatic Taker– 's Renji is completely unwilling to fight... Too bad no one else in this sick game agrees with him.
  • Ikuma Momochi, from the Tokyo Ghoul light novels. A Ghoul Raised By Muggles, he is a pacifist that has spent his life satisfying his Horror Hunger through scavenging from corpses. Even this causes him considerable remorse, and he wishes for the chance to talk down the suicides that make up his primary food source....even knowing that doing so would cause him to starve. When forced into confrontation with Tsukiyama, he would rather flee or use himself as a living shield to protect others. Fortunately for him, others are always there to rescue him from danger.
  • Vash the Stampede of Trigun, thoroughly amazing gunslinger though he may be, is one of the kindest and most selfless people you could ever meet, who despises violence and refuses to kill anyone. He skirts the line of Technical Pacifist, but frankly, his sharpshooting skills are so good that he can use lethal weapons without risking serious injury let alone death (and when random chance does result in him injuring somebody, he stops mid-fight to patch them up). He will also occasionally use his reputation as a walking disaster area to attempt to frighten his enemies into giving up, and will always, always, always avoid killing. That is, until Legato Bluesummers actually manages to put Vash in a position where literally his only choices are to kill Legato or stand by as the man kills two of Vash's friends. Vash kills him, and goes into a rather severe Heroic BSoD over this, as one might expect.
  • In Vinland Saga, Thorfinn attempts to become a pacifist to atone for his past, and forswears the use of violence. This oath lasts until he's put in the position between sticking to his oath or saving the life of another through violence, at which point he moderates to become a Martial Pacifist who lives by Thou Shalt Not Kill. He still makes it clear he'd prefer to be this trope if people weren't being threatened around him.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: Yugi Mutou. And he's a Badass Pacifist, too.
    • His Split Personality, on the other hand, has little problem with killing people (one early manga story has him blowing up a school bully with nitroglycerin and in another, he sets a gang of toughs on fire), though this becomes less prominent as the series goes on.

    Comic Books 
  • Juggernaut in Age of Apocalypse is a monk named Cain. When Damask and Dead Man Wade launch an attack on Avalon he refuses to fight. Eventually the internal struggle of whether or not to help people by inflicting physical damage to others causes him to have an aneurysm.
  • De Argonautjes: Hercules, son of the original Hercules. He may be the strongest member of the team (stronger than his dad even), but he is absolutely against fighting or violence in general, sensitive, not above crying, and an Extreme Doormat. Until you push his Berserk Button….
  • Doctor Leslie Thompkins in Batman is a notorious example of this. She runs a clinic for the poor and desperate in Gotham and refuses to have anything to do with violence. She is a reluctant ally of Batman, but openly chides and scorns him for his willingness to actually hurt people like the Joker or various mooks in order to stop them from committing crimes.
  • Raised and educated by peace-loving hippies, Brother Power the Geek tries to avoid physical combat at all costs, despite his awesome physical powers.
  • Amusingly used in the French comic Captain Biceps: the hero Pacific Man is incapable of doing any harm to another person/animal/object (including the bad guys, yogurt, and his own tooth cavities), but when he goes into his wimpy Secret Identity, he is held up by the Terminator, starts giving him the nonviolent speech, then realizes what he's saying and suddenly punches out the goddamn Terminator in a single blow before running away. Then he says "Whew! I barely escaped being recognized there!"
  • Commando story "No-Gun Hero": When the main character, Johnny Peace, receives his call-up papers in 1940, he becomes an orderly in the Royal Army Medical Corps. The only time he actually shoots and kills someone is when his dog, given into his care by a dying German officer, is shot and wounded while attacking the German officer responsible for his former master's death.
  • Wonder Man from The Avengers eventually becomes this over time. He is one of the most powerful members, yet he will face down the Hulk without taking a swing.
  • G.I. Joe:
    • Doc Greer is also an actual pacifist, who gets killed trying to protect his injured colleagues in the field.
    • The medic, Lifeline, who although he does have some training in non-combative martial arts like Judo for strict purposes of self-defense, is determined to never intentionally harm another person. Lifeline even gets mad at other people for using him to help them be violent, like when Roadblock told him to talk to a Cobra agent. While he was talking, Roadblock snuck behind the agent and knocked him out.
      Lifeline: Hey! You used me for violence!
    • In an issue of G.I. Joe: Special Missions, Lifeline is among a group of Joes ambushed by river pirates during a skirmish with the Oktober Guard, and is forced into a duel to the death with Horrorshow; winner gets to leave with the black box from a Cobra Firebat that the Joes had captured. Lifeline uses aikido to redirect Horrorshow's attacks and he wins the fight but refuses to kill Horrorshow, instead asking for the lives of both teams and letting the pirates keep the black box. The pirate leader decides to throw away the box and let them all go, having been impressed that Lifeline had the courage of his convictions.
  • Reese from Knights of the Dinner Table. In real life, she is an ER nurse and so refuses to take part in any act of violence, even in-game. She plays a cleric of a pacifist god.
  • Orient Men, at the beginning of his appearances, was the kind of superhero who attempted to combat crooks by waxing poetic to them about the error of their ways. Later on, when the superhero status became The Artifact, many of his adventures involved helping people solve their conflicts peacefully.
  • Revival opens with Randy the morgue technician horrified to discover he's cremating someone still alive. He quits his job and is last seen leading a group seeking nonviolent resolution to a shooting war between the US military and the local militia.

    Fan Works 
  • Most (but not all) of the District 9 Tributes from mintjellyish’s The 75 [1]'' are pacifists due to still believing in God and the ten commandments, particularly thou shalt not kill. The Capitol tolerated it (at least initially) because their religious pacifism discourages them from rebelling but express frustration in how they make such unentertaining tributes and often try to torture them in the arena. They do get at least two victors, one of who is convinced he could do more good as a victor than a corpse, while their second victor Wins by Doing Absolutely Nothing to the fury of the audience, meditating off in a corner for three days, beneath everyone’s notice, until the careers get frustrated looking for her and turn on each other.
  • In Dragon Ball Z Abridged, Gohan has evolved into this. However, this is heavily deconstructed by episode 60. By that point, Gohan refuses to even touch Mr. Perfect Cell and tries to scare him off with his hidden power. Instead, this just pushes the monster into trying to awaken it. Out of desperation, he ends up revealing himself as a Holier Than Thou Dirty Coward when he tells Mr. Perfect Cell he didn't want to fight him and that this was Goku's fight from the beginning. Mr. Perfect Cell promptly calls him out on said cowardice with Android 16 following suit.
  • In Equestria: Across the Multiverse, the World of Empathy ponies are collectively this. They're all The Empath and thus can't bring themselves to harm others, though they do understand why others sometimes need to use violence. Kimono develops their own Powered Armor type, the Bard Armor, to be a completely nonviolent Support Party Member to the other sets, enabling her and any other Empathy Worlder who uses it to be a Badass Pacifist.
  • In Flinch, Zelda hates fighting. Unfortunately, she is in the Super Smash Bros. world war. Despite all her training, Zelda is considered the weakest fighter. She tries to fight, except when very young people are involved, but always ends up beaten up. She has an Enemy Within in Sheik that can do the fighting for her, but Zelda hates letting Sheik have control.
  • Hetalia: Axis Powers fanfic Gankona, Unnachgiebig, Unità: At first glance, Italy seems to be a coward. After all, he would rather run from a fight than engage in one. However, it's because he would rather be hurt than hurt others. He can fight, what with being a swordsman who can rival Japan in battle and has Super-Speed.
  • In The Immortal Game Twilight Sparkle becomes one after being freed from the Sliver of Darkness (or to be more accurate, her dominant personality, Sparkle, does), to the point that she can't even fight Puppets, even though they're not even sentient or really alive. This lasts until her personalities fuse back together, and she starts kicking ass.
  • In The Keys Stand Alone: The Soft World, the four's stance as the sole pacifists on the now war-torn, adventure-riddled C'hou makes everyone else think they're nuts, or worse. Luckily for them, being the most powerful people around means they can maintain their philosophy despite everything.
  • Firefly in A Kingdom Divided has shades of this.
  • Warriors Rewrite:
    • Being the spiritual leaders and medics of the Clan, healers and their apprentices are forbidden from hunting, fighting, or otherwise killing unless it's absolutely necessary.
    • Caretakers are also not allowed to hunt or fight.
  • The four in With Strings Attached, probably making this the only heroic fantasy with Actual Pacifists as protagonists. They never initiate fights—in fact, they avoid conflict when possible—and while three of them do deal some minor damage to people in revenge for having been badly abused (the polar opposite of Disproportionate Retribution), none of them would dream of seriously hurting any living thing. (When Paul comes close to doing so, he suffers a Heroic BSoD.)
    • Though they do make exceptions to protect one another. And John has more of a temper than the others and does open a can of nonlethal whoop-ass on a few people, always while protecting one or more of the others.

    Films — Animation 
  • Wreck-It Ralph: Enforced with Felix. Even if he did hit someone, it would only heal them.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The White Queen from Alice in Wonderland (2010). The fact that her arms are always uptight doesn't let her injure things, too.
  • In Angel and the Badman (1947) Quirt Evans (John Wayne) falls in love with Quaker Prudence Worth (Gail Russel) and foreswears his violent ways and quest to avenge the murder of his adoptive father. He almost backslides, but in the final confrontation with the man responsible, Laredo Stevens, Prudence convinces Quirt to lay down his gun. Stevens then attempts to shoot Evans, who would have been killed if not for the timely intervention of the sheriff (Harry Carey, Sr.). The pacifist theme of this Western is a bit unexpected given John Wayne's popular image, but he not only played the lead but also produced it.
  • Avatar: The Way of Water: Tulkun culture forbids all violence, including self-defense, and therefore do not do anything to fight the human whalers looking to extract brain matter from them, instead avoiding them by outrunning their boats. The reason why Payakan is an outcast from the other tulkuns is that he tried to fight back against the humans after a whaling crew killed his mother, and the tulkuns and the Na'vi who allied with him got killed in the process.
  • The Dark Crystal: The urRu/Mystics are kind, gentle creatures, but they do nothing to stop the Skeksis from destroying the land, enslaving the Podlings and committing genocide against the Gelflings. Justified in that the urRu could not act against their evil counterparts without destroying themselves in the process. Word of God says even if they wanted to commit suicide to stop the Skeksis, the urRu have no will to act because all the strength and drive of the urSkeks is embodied in the Skeksis themselves. Even the narrator states that the urRu live in a hazy, half-dream state.
  • Brother Gilbert of Dragonheart displayed this trait early on, but when war with Einon became inevitable he unwillingly agreed to use his previously undiscovered (but historically justified) archery skills. Even then, he kept all but one of his shots non-fatal and was reciting biblical lines as he did so. (Shoots an enemy in the ass-cheek) "Turn the other cheek now, brother." Worth noting is that even when he was set up as an archer he couldn't bring himself to actually fire his bow until he realized that NOT shooting it would cause immediate pain and death to good people.
  • Annabel Drake (Alice Greczyn) in Exit Speed. She is a "New Age" archer who refuses to shoot at the baddies until she realises her friend will otherwise die.
  • Terrence Mann in Field of Dreams. When he's reminded so by Ray, he stops short of "beat[ing Ray] with a crowbar until you go away" and drops the crowbar.
  • Friendly Persuasion (1956), based on the book by Jessamyn West, shows how the absolute pacifist creed of a Quaker family in south Indiana in the 1860s is put to the test when their home community comes under attack by a Confederate raid.
  • Mahatma Gandhi in Gandhi, obviously.
    Gandhi: In this cause, I too am prepared to die. But my friends, there's no cause for which I'm prepared to kill.
  • Reverend Harper in The Gatling Gun believes that the Gatling gun is too terrible a weapon for anyone to possess, and wants to destroy it so that neither the cavalry nor the Indians can use it. He dies trying to negotiate with Two Knives, whom he regards as a friend.
  • Hedd Wyn: Although Ellis thinks little of British nationalism and the Patriotic Fervor that is leading his friends to sign up to fight in World War I, he makes it clear that it's not the war itself that he objects to. He refuses to join up because he refuses to kill.
  • In High Noon (1952), Marshall Will Kane (Gary Cooper) has just retired and married pacifist Quaker Amy (Grace Kelly) — which is sort of a problem 'cause a gang of indignant baddies has just come back to town and they want revenge. This makes for extra drama when Amy, after protesting his heroics and leaving him because of his choice to stay and fight, comes back just in time and kills a man to save her man. She does so by shooting the man in the back from inside a building.
  • The title aliens in the 60s film The Monitors They are driven from Earth when they realize that the only way to pacify humanity would be to use violence themselves.
  • John Paul in Pope John Paul II. He is horrified by the violence he witnessed throughout his life, in Poland under first Nazi and then Soviet rule, and then as international figure of Pope. He saw the new millennium as an opportunity for humanity to strive for peace between nations. There’s a scene in the first part of the movie where his friend Marek sneaks up on and kills two Nazis, and Fr. Wojtyla is clearly incredibly angered by this act.

  • The Achilleid: Despite raising one of the most violent men to ever live, Chiron himself doesn't own any weapons and hasn't hurt any person or animal since he gave up hunting animals in his youth.
  • Anne of Green Gables: Anne Shirley's middle son Walter is absolutely opposed to fighting and hates the idea of violence. All well and good, until the beginning of World War One.
  • Animorphs:
    • The Pemalites were examples of this trope until they met the Howlers, Crayak's shock troopers. Their android creations, the Chee, have pacifism hardwired into them — given how powerful they are, this grates on the main characters from time to time. The one time Erek (the main Chee character) was able to override his pacifism, he effortlessly wiped out a Yeerk force that would have slaughtered the team, but couldn't cope with the idea of doing that all the time and willingly returned to normal. Not even Marco could really blame him.
    • The Hork-Bajir originally had no concept of violence. When the Yeerks — parasitic slugs that infest the brain and thereafter control the body — started conquering them, it didn't occur to most of them to fight back. Dak Hamee, the Hork-Bajir equivalent of Einstein, wasted several minutes in his first-ever fight trying to figure out how it had been possible for the other Hork-Bajir to cut him.
    • In an earlier novel, Ax claims that the Hork-Bajir are biologically compelled to go to war every 63 years, but there's no evidence of this in the later series, so it's either an attempt at propaganda or just Early-Installment Weirdness.
  • The monk Herwaldus from The Arts of Dark and Light. While The Church as such is not unconditionally pacifist (it includes Templar-like warrior priests among its holy orders, for example), the order of monks he belongs to is just that. And so, he won't use violence against fellow creatures of the Lord, even to defend himself.
  • Courtship Rite has Oelita the Gentle Heretic. She is totally opposed to cannibalism and culling and preaches of non-violence and peace. Though she did make a point of attending her father's funeral feast and still carries dried strips of his flesh. She believes that eating small amounts gives her superhuman strength.
  • Discworld:
    • Near the end of Small Gods, Brutha very nearly punches a man who almost started a war, and then decides not to. (This evidence of Brutha's innate goodness actually upsets the man more than being punched would have, but that's not why he does it.)
    • Moist von Lipwig is a con man who is nonetheless much more comfortable with being threatened by violence than the other way 'round. He never physically attacks anyone and becomes extremely nervous when put into the position to freely do so. He is so against violence that he's profoundly disturbed when his parole officer, the logical golem Mr. Pump, calculates his white-collar crimes have indirectly killed 2.338 people. This makes it all the more shocking in Raising Steam where he comes upon the site of a massacre and utterly slaughters the perpetrators in a blind rage.
  • Doctor Mahfouz in The Drowned Cities tells Mahlia not to use violence under any circumstances, and refuses to use it himself.
  • In Expiration Date, Sullivan is forced to become this when the hands of Harry Houdini's ghost become permanently bonded to his own hands. The ghostly hands refuse to wield weapons or even play violent video games.
  • Swami Premanathanand, a recurring character in the Felse Investigates series, will not offer violence to any person, even to the extent of attempting to forcibly disarm a person who is about to commit a murder. (This doesn't mean he won't attempt to prevent the murder, just that he'll be more lateral about how he does it.)
  • Jessamyn West's novel Friendly Persuasion is about Quakers in Southern Indiana during the American Civil War.
  • Gaunt's Ghosts: Dorden, The Medic, has only fired a gun once despite serving in the Imperial Guard for years. That time, he shot a man about to kill Gaunt.
  • Cleve the Spotted Owl from Guardians of Ga'Hoole is this compared to his mate Otulissa, who is a Badass Bookworm Martial Pacifist. He's the way he is because he had watched his brother Claymore die in battle.
  • A Harvest of War: Ayan's only contribution in combat is to put out the fires on a man who gets an incendiary bomb to the head and lead him to safety.
  • Wanderer in The Host (2008) won't even harm the guy who repeatedly tries to kill her, even going so far as to try to save him instead of letting him die of his own stupidity.
  • In Search of Dorothy: Trisha has no offensive magic, and her only skills are invisibility and communicating with butterflies.
  • Known Space: The goal of ARM was to turn all of humanity into such, using Government Drug Enforcement and Population Control to breed out much of the violent tendencies, as it was the only way for the species to survive. Some violent folks are kept inside ARM to react to situations as they come up, but can't leave the building until medicated. Then humanity meets the Kzinti, and the trait of pacifism becomes a luxury...
  • In the main setting of Labyrinths of Echo, the World of Rod, people with "the calling" of a healer are driven to help others. At least some also feel when people suffer. Not only do they study medicine, if at all possible: they can't sleep if someone in need of help can't get to them, so traditionally healers' homes had no locks. For them, harming someone is unthinkable and if it accidentally happens, breakdown ensues. However, they can — and if necessary will — fight opponents not triggering these reactions, such as walking dead or materialized hallucinations. And they tend to be talented mages with constant practice, so there's a good chance the healer wins.
  • Someone Else's War: Matteo. Granted, as a forced child soldier, he has killed before, but once he realizes how much he hates violence, he dedicates the rest of the novel to freeing his fellow child captives without any violence.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire: The inhabitants of Naath are a very peaceful people who will rather make music than harm, let alone kill, people. They are strict vegetarians, eating only fruits. This unfortunately makes them easy prey to slavers from the nearby Basilisk Isles, since the Naathi are so nonviolent they won't even defend themselves from being captured. However, many Naathi did move further inland to avoid slavers since slavery became more frequent in the Summer Sea after the Doom of Valyria.
  • In the Star Trek Novel Verse:
    • The Halkans insist there is no violence of any kind in their hearts. As a result of this, anyone capable of violence cannot be truly Halkan. In Star Trek: The Lost Era, Halkan character Lojur is even exiled from the planet for using violence in defense of his village. It was under attack by murderous raiders, but even then the majority of his people found fighting inconceivable.
    • The Caeliar from Star Trek: Destiny. They would rather die in the millions than harm another being or even allow harm to come to another if they can prevent it. When the human characters they're holding captive rebel, they're convinced to cooperate when a human shoots his own colleague.
  • In the Star Trek Expanded Universe but not part of the Novel Verse, The Final Reflection has the diplomat Emanuel Tagore. This causes some confusion when he's sent on a diplomatic mission to the Klingons; the Klingon security guards who search his luggage for concealed weapons, finding none, assume that this just means he must have hidden his weapons really well.
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • In the New Jedi Order, Jacen Solo at one point becomes one of these. While all the other Jedi and the New Republic and the Imperial Remnant are fighting the Yuuzhan Vong. ...It was rather annoying. When he comes out of pacifism, he goes quickly into Messiah Mode, and later becomes evil.
    • In The Black Fleet Crisis, there's one sect of Force-Sensitives called the Fallanassi who are so incredibly anti-violence that they won't defend themselves or anyone else, consider anyone who does fight at all to be dangerous and deluded at the least, and act like wariness is a moral outrage on par with assault. The books dealt with a Fallanassi member telling Luke Skywalker that his mother was another member of the sect and repeatedly chewing him out and telling him that he's as bad as Vader to use violence (first upon him killing some Imperial agents to protect her). Luke stands around, taking it, because he half-believed her and wanted to hear about his mother. However considering this was after his turn to the Dark Side and during the period Luke was still very much "Must use Force for everything, no matter how trivial or invasive!" (like wiping memories from innocents...)? Well, let's face it. She was on to something, as Mara pointed out to him years later. Of course, they apparently have no problem with lying to Luke about his mother. Because of their beliefs, they see the Yevetha (who committed genocides) and New Republic (trying to stop them) as evil on the same level, as both use violence.
    • As shown in various works, most Ithorians tend towards this, holding to a Law of Life that even applies to plants - if a plant is killed for food, two seeds of its species must be planted. Momaw Nadon, when he accidentally gets an evil Imperial officer killed, creates two clones of him and raises them as his sons. In Galaxy of Fear it's found that an Ithorian created Spore. It took a hundred years and some Jedi Knights intervening to contain it, but they put it into a Tailor-Made Prison instead of killing it.
  • Lift's spren Wyndle in The Stormlight Archive. He really doesn't like the idea of turning into a Shardblade and being used to stab people. He's okay with turning into a Shardblade and being admired as a work of art. Or with turning into a pole to block somebody else's Shardblade.
  • In Super Minion, Adder and Nicole. Adder is actually a martial arts instructor, but for all her love of sparring, she never gets into serious fights. Nicole is a powerful mutant who lives in the Absurdly-Spacious Sewer under Fortress City, who fights monsters regularly but is careful never to hurt humans or even hardless varieties of monster.
  • Sword of Truth: The Bandakar initially, who fall under the rule of the Imperial Order due to this. Most of them later abandon pacifism and fight with Richard's guidance. It's rather heavy-handed in proclaiming pacifism is stupid and wrong.
  • Mycroft Canner from Terra Ignota is such a completely non-violent person by the time of the series that he wears special brush-sandals so that he doesn't accidentally kill insects. At the end of the first book, Martin implies that J.E.D.D. Mason made it so that he can't kill any more even if he wanted to.
  • Trapped on Draconica: Subverted by Yusef. While his every line is about the horror of fighting and how horrible it is to lead people to their deaths, etc, his solution to the war with Evil Overlord Gothon is to betray his people, kill off a great number of them and scare the rest into surrendering.
  • In Vampire Academy, the Moroi are trained in a pacifistic philosophy, learning to not use their magic in either offensive or defensive ways. Which is why they depend on dhampir guardians to protect them from the Strigoi threat. Individuals like Tasha and Christian Ozera rebel against this way of thinking, learning how to fight, and training others to do so as well.
  • Wax and Wayne: Pathians tend to be extremely non-violent. It's not actually a part of their religion, but falls into the general heading of "do more good than harm." The main character, Waxillium Ladrian, is a Pathian gunman, but he's very much the exception. In Shadows of Self, this is how the constables immediately realize that a Pathian priest was an impostor sent to stir up trouble.
    Marasi: A Pathian? Murdering? Sir, their priests are some of the least aggressive people on the planet. I've seen toddlers more dangerous.
  • The Tinkers in The Wheel of Time series are something of a deconstruction. the series shows exactly how well being an actual pacifist as well as a member of a persecuted culture works... namely, not at all. The Tinkers do a lot of running when they're lucky, and a lot of dying when they aren't, but apparently it's worth it to them. Broken Tinkers tend to be... rabid.
  • RainWing dragons from Wings of Fire are the only dragons to not eat meat or harm other animals. Even one RainWing named Kinkajou puts herself into harm's way to prevent a sloth from being poisoned.
  • The Witch of Knightcharm: An incoming student at an evil Wizarding School, Janet Yawkly, turns out to be a devout Anabaptist who abhors all violence and won't lift a hand to protect herself. Figuring out why she's at that school in the first place becomes an important question for the protagonist.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Clarke from The 100 starts out as one of these; she even objects when people start assaulting the man she believes killed her friend. However, her values quickly erode while she's on the Ground, and she's soon committing all sorts of violent acts in the name of protecting her people.
  • All in the Family: The episode "Mike the Pacifist" sees Mike, who refuses to fight for any reason, hit another man who was harassing Gloria, knocking her tormenter out cold. Mike goes through Angst as he can't believe what he did.
  • Angel: Lorne is such a peace-loving and non-violent character that his shooting Lindsey McDonald dead on Angel's orders during the TV series' Grand Finale is implied to have caused his cancer in IDW's "Music of the Spheres" comic storyline.
  • Arthur of the Britons has Rolf the Preacher who tries to spread the message of peace to the Celts. When he explains the doctrine of 'turn the other cheek' to Mark of Cornwall, Mark slaps him hard across the face. Rolf's reaction is to literally turn the other cheek and present it to Mark to be slapped as well.
  • In the television adaptation of Bitten by Kelley Armstrong, Elena Michaels has abandoned the violent ways of the Pack. She changes after her surrogate brother Pete dies.
  • For the first two seasons of Chuck, Chuck Bartowski was an Actual Pacifist, and pretty useless in a fight regardless. After downloading Intersect 2.0 at the end of Season 2 he graduates into becoming more of a Reluctant Warrior, but still insists on attempting to defuse problems nonviolently first and prefers carrying tranquilizer guns in the field. The only time he actually fires a real gun at anyone, much less with intent to kill, is shooting Shaw when he tries to murder Sarah, though it didn't stick.
    • Devon balks at even handling a firearm, though like Chuck he can and will fight if he has no other choice.
  • Dad's Army: Private Godfrey is unable to even kill a mouse he caught stealing from his pantry, and was a conscientious objector in the previous war (he served as a medic hauling wounded out of no man's land under fire, and was awarded a medal for extreme bravery in doing so). He is made the platoon's medic so he can still serve with them without being asked to kill anyone.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Argolins from "The Leisure Hive" and the Dulcians from "The Dominators" wore this hat. The Thals from the first Dalek story, "The Daleks", as well, though they later dropped this stance rather than having the Daleks exterminate them all. All three races had previously survived a nuclear war, making them all three, in effect, a species-level example of The Atoner.
    • Also, the Ood, who (prior to being neutered and enslaved by the Second Great and Bountiful Human Empire) are born with secondary brains that they hold in their hands. Therefore, they have no choice but to be peaceful and docile and hope other species return the favor, despite looking like Lovecraftian squid-monsters.
    • In the Made-for-TV Movie, the Eighth Doctor is definitely like this. However, he's a Kleptomaniac Hero and steals whatever the hell he thinks he needs (and stealing Gorgeous Period Dress from someone's locker probably counts as just stealing whatever he wants). As he needs to get someplace in a hurry, he steals a motorcycle from a cop. It's possibly the most endearing armed robbery ever.
    Eighth Doctor: (takes the cop's gun and presses it against his own chest) Now, would you stand aside before I shoot myself?"
  • In Firefly, Simon Tam tries to be this, and most of the time is successful, but occasionally is pressed into Technical Pacifist ("Did he just go crazy and fall asleep?" "I told him to sit down...") and rarely into Reluctant Warrior, although usually to save another member of the crew. He typically never fights to protect himself. Given how bad at fighting he is, this is a good thing.
    Simon: I've never shot anyone before.
    Shepherd Book: I was there son. I'm fair sure you haven't shot anyone yet.
  • Frontier Circus: In "The Good Fight", the circus comes to the aid of a pacifistic sect who are being harassed by a local Cattle Baron who wants their land. The leader refuses to fight back even when armed riders burn down his barn.
  • Henry Danger: In "Opposite Universe", Alternate Piper is a sugary sweet girly girl who does not believe in violence.
  • In Madam Secretary, the dean of the Quaker school the McCords send their son to quickly expels him after he punches out another student for insulting his mother.
  • M*A*S*H has Hawkeye, who flat-out refuses to fire at the enemy even when they are shooting at him.
  • Frank Black of Millennium (1996) seems to have at least some elements of True Pacifism. Black shows a clear distaste for firearms, and never carries or uses them, with a few noticeable exceptions. He even takes this distaste to the extreme of potentially endangering himself, as in the Season 3 episode "TEOTWAWKI", when he leaves his weapon at home before going to investigate a dangerous end-of-the-world cult. It is remarked once by his wife that he could no longer harm a prisoner under his care than he could harm his own daughter. In only two cases is he pushed to outright violence and rage: At the end of Season 1, when he kills the man who kidnapped his wife (an act so shocking to his wife that it leads to their separation), and in the series finale, when he discovers that the Millennium group sent a man into his house to videotape his daughter sleeping, sending him to violently break into Watts' house with the intent of killing him.
  • Motherland: Fort Salem: The Tarim don't believe in using violence, no matter what. Adil eventually breaks this code, killing a couple Camarilla members to rescue captured witch girls, then Khalida does too to protect him from them.
  • The protagonist of the Oshin series is this, after her friendship with the ex-soldier Shusaku and its tragic end. Not only she's increasingly disturbed as Imperial Japan becomes more militarized when her son Yuu is drafted into the military itself, she breaks down in tears.
  • The Outpost: Talon's mother told her never to fight or kill, so she began as one. It quickly wore off when her family was killed, and she became a fearsome warrior.
  • Several examples in Star Trek: The Original Series:
    • The Organians in the episode "Errand of Mercy".
    • The Halkans in "Mirror, Mirror" are so pacifist that they won't trade with the Federation because they might use the dilithium to harm someone.
    • Surak from "The Savage Curtain" absolutely refuses to use force to solve a problem, even at great risk to himself.
  • Twin Peaks has FBI forensic analyst Albert Rosenfield. His cynicism and inability to suffer fools gladly mainly stem from the fact that he finds violence in all its forms to be a moral outrage; he cites Gandhi and King as the examples he lives by.
    Albert: The only foundation for such a method is love. I love you, Sheriff Truman.
  • The Wheel of Time (2021): The Tuatha'an are strict pacifists, with a code they call the Way of the Leaf which forbids violence, along with using any instruments which can cause it. Once they were being pushed into a physical conflict (with the White Cloaks) they stoically grabbed arms, forming a Human Shield, waiting to be beaten up.
  • World on Fire: Douglas Bennett is a Shell-Shocked Veteran from the First World War and is a committed pacifist; he is involved in publishing leaflets and newspapers advocating pacifism. Once the war breaks out, this gets him labeled as a Nazi sympathizer and traitor, but he keeps at it.

  • The Lamanites in The Book of Mormon loved nothing more than murdering Nephites. So when several Lamanites cities were converted to Christianity, as part of their repentance they buried their weapons, preferring to let themselves be killed than risk losing their forgiveness by killing an enemy even in self-defense. They were so firm in this conviction that the Nephites had to give them land to live on in the Nephite territory so they could protect them from the non-converted Lamanites, who kept killing them without resistance because of their faith.
  • Hestia from Classical Mythology abstained from violence absolutely. She even swore a Vow of Celibacy so no men would quarrel over her. As a result, very few myths revolved around Hestia, because peaceful people are uninteresting, yet she was also the most honored deity in the entire pantheon. (It's hard to hate someone who never did bad to you.)

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Blood On The Clock Tower there's an interesting subversion: the Pacifist, a good role, has the power to make good people survive (sometimes...) an execution... Encouraging them to have executions everyday for more information.
  • In the second edition of Chronicles of Darkness book Hurt Locker which introduces supernatural minor templates there are the Plain which represent a sort of supernatural Amish group that act as a non-violent activist group generally organized around blogs with supernatural abilities (not that they necessarily know that) to deal damage done to them and to force others to not harm anyone they're protecting and more. Actual Pacifism is the goal, but not a requirement to maintain the merits.
    • Princess: The Hopeful: A Mender's Third Oath binds them to do no harm to anyone other than Darkspawn. Even when they need to defend themselves or their patients, their magic should allow them to do it without harming anyone.
    • In the second edition of Genius: The Transgression, the two-dot version of the Merit "One Rule" requires you to be one of these. By taking it you get +1 to all Transgression rolls.
  • GURPS has two levels of this: Self Defense Only and Total Nonviolence. With Total Nonviolence, you can only even defend yourself against things that aren't sentient.
  • In Dungeons & Dragons:
    • The goddess Eldath from the Forgotten Realms setting forbids her clerics from violence. This was most visible in the AD&D days when her specialty priests ("Peacemen" and "Peacewomen") could not use armor of any kind, nor fighting except in self-defense or to defend others having a limited set of allowed weapons, and were able to parry enemy attacks, and one priest kit ("Stillwater") for standard Eldathyn clerics went even further forbidding them from using any kind of weapon or armor.
    • The same setting has also Lliira, goddess of joy and happiness, who is -at least in the AD&D days- described as being driven away by the unsheathing of a weapon not in ceremonial fashion. She also had a priest kit ("Joybringer"), that rejected the use of any kind of weapons and armor.
    • The "Vow of Non-Violence" And "Vow of Peace" are intended to lead towards this, as exemplified by the Apostle of Peace Prestige Class: they forsake violence and material possessions in exchange for healing abilities and defensive powers. However, those lofty holy vows don't prohibit nonlethal damage, so beating people into unconsciousness is fair game. However, since the vows come with an affect that inflicts penalties on anyone, including your teammates, who try using violence against a living opponent, actually taking the feats can easily turn a character into The Scrappy as far as their teammates are concerned.
  • Legend of the Five Rings has the Asahina family of the Crane Clan. Their founder, Isawa Asahina, was a Phoenix shugenja who, in a psychotic break, laid waste to Crane lands until a single female samurai stood in his way and let him burn out his anger on her (by literally burning her alive). When he calmed down, he was so horrified and disgusted in himself that he abandoned his status and swore fealty to the Crane, eventually being allowed to found his own family. Asahina are known for their peaceful natures, their skills at crafting magical items, and their tendency to obliterate Shadowlands creatures on sight.
  • Magic: The Gathering:
    • Karn, the Silver Golem, adopted his pacifism when he tried to help his crewmates and accidentally killed an innocent bystander. He essentially poses as a statue when an altercation occurs. This is later used against him by Volrath who tortures Karn by placing him in a constantly shifting room with many disposable mooks. The room causes Karn to constantly fall on the mooks crushing and killing them. Later he recanted his vow of pacifism during a war when he realized that his inaction led to innocent people dying.
    • There are spells that can force creatures to become this, the most obvious being Pacifism. Although the right creature, such as the Prodigal Pyromancer can still hurt people, they just don't do so through combat. A more complete method would be Faith's Fetters, as it stops creatures from attacking, blocking, or using abilities that do anything except add mana to your mana pool. Even then, there's always a way.
  • In Nomine: Mercurian angels are required to be this. They are meant to be guides, helpers, and friends of humanity, and cannot harm any mortal — including Soldiers of Hell — without generating dissonance. Mercurians in sticky situations are expected to rely on diplomacy and talk their way out.
  • Tormenta has two goddesses (one of life and other of peace) that impose just that restriction, the life goddess however does allow you to "heal" the dead. Paladins of the life goddess are allowed to hurt, just not kill.
  • Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game: In the Shadows & Light manual, it's stated that Elune, the goddess of the night elves, is a pacifist. In fact, according to her stats, she has no attack bonus, only a grapple bonus. She has abilities like a song that will make everyone that hears it drop its weapons and cease to fight. This is odd considering Elune' priestesses in Warcraft III are elite archers, with her high priestess leading the entire Night Elf military.
  • Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay has the priests (usually priestesses, actually)) of Shallya, whose precepts bar them from wearing armour and using any weapons apart from quarterstaffs. They are also banned from killing, even in self-defense, and will lose their place in the priesthood if they violated this rule. The only exceptions to this rule are Daemons, The Undead, and followers of Nurgle, and even then the two former only in self-defence. In the 2nd edition, Shallyans even had a unique spell designed purely to kill Nurgle-followers and daemons.


    Video Games 
  • 100% Orange Juice! has DLC characters Kyoko and Sweet Breaker, it's even reflected in gameplay:
    • Kyoko has 5 HP and +3 Defense but is unable to use the Evade command, and her Hyper Card, called "Crystal Barrier", allows her to skip any battle, drop panel, or trap card, at the cost of 1 HP. So, your best chance is to focus efforts on star norma and keep her away from battle.
    • Sweet Breaker has 6 HP (The average is 5) and neutral stats, which obviously allows her to survive for a little longer if things get rough; Her Hyper Card, called "Melting Memories", flips over all enemy cards, forcing them to play blind and actually preventing them from getting too excited to go into a fight; even the achievement for playing ten times with her is called "Champion Of Peace". Although in her campaign, that doesn't stop her from fighting anyone she thinks is spreading conflict.
  • Patinias, the Arcana of Love from Arcana Heart, was this in life, criticizing violence and spreading compassion in the middle ages when Europe was covered in war. She got burned as a witch for it. Now she spreads love in the form of pink Energy Balls and pink beams of destruction.
  • William Thorndop in Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura is a hermit who took a vow of non-violence after abandoning his old life as a bandit; he's so committed to his ideals that he cut off his own trigger fingers to make sure he could never hold a gun again. Unfortunately he's also the only character in the game who can provide Master-level Firearms training, which will cause him a severe moral quandary if your character is looking to learn more about guns from him since he sees aiding another in committing violence as a violation of his vows.
  • Ricky Johnson of Backyard Sports. He is only violent when committed to the rules of the games (such as tackling in football).
  • William McCall, the youngest of the McCall brothers in Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood is a pacifistic and religious individual who is generally against his brothers' violent ways, constantly trying to get them to repent. He ends up Taking the Bullet for Thomas as he and Ray have a shootout and his death leads Ray to become the Badass Preacher Reverend Ray of the first game as well as Thomas and Marisa naming their child after him.
  • Crypt Of The Necrodancer: The playable character Dove cannot harm enemies at all, as her character gimmick is a Pacifist Run. Her only weapon is a flower that merely confuses enemies for eight beats, and her bombs are modified to simply teleport them a short distance away. Weapons and related items will not spawn normally when playing as her; attempting to acquire one anyway will result in "Death by Cowardice".
  • The eponymous Non-Ironic Clown in Dropsy seems to be almost entirely unaware of the very possibility of violence. To the point where when, in the finale, the S-Corp CEO is pointing a gun at Dropsy after mutating his animal friends and killing his dog in cold blood, Dropsy still just wants to hug him and befriend him.
  • The Betas of Endless Sky are extremely averse to any form of violence against another person, due to their heightened empathy, to the point where a Beta has to ask someone else to kill a person they've restrained.
  • It is possible to play an actual pacifist in the first two games of Fallout by maxing out all of your social traits. You can even talk the final boss to death.
    • And you can also be a technical pacifist. It's their fault for building their base on top of a nuke, right?
  • Fire Emblem
    • The heron clan of Laguz in Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance are an entire race of pacifists, to the point that their youngest prince fractured his hand punching someone. Herons who use their innate magic for evil become horribly corrupted. Potentially averted in the case of herons who lose their powers as a result of having a child with a human. Both they and the resulting heron-beorc hybrids are fully capable of picking up a spellbook and account for some of the setting's most powerful mages.
    • Emmeryn, the Exalt of the Halidom of Ylisse from Fire Emblem: Awakening, is such a pacifist that she doesn't even have a proper army. The closest thing to an army she has are the Shepherds, led by her younger brother Chrom, which are a group dedicated to protecting Ylisse from bandits and Plegian barbarians, not invading other lands.
  • In the Halo series, the Huragok - better known to humanity as the Engineers - are a Covenant member species who view the killing of even pests as wrong. Ironically enough, one of them, called "Lighter Than Some", was the first Covenant member to kill a human; said human was trying to kill its best friend Dadab after the Covenant had assaulted his ship in search of Forerunner artifacts. It was of course horrified of what it had done. In fact, Huragok are only part of the Covenant by convenience; they were designed by their original Forerunner creators to enjoy inspecting, repairing, and improving technology (especially Forerunner ones), but are indifferent to nearly everything else and in fact will happily help just about anyone they see who needs their technology repaired, including humans on numerous occasions. One even improves the Master Chief's MJOLNIR armor's shield system.
  • In I Was a Teenage Exocolonist, Cal hates violence, even in self-defense, because he believes that hurting or killing others isn't the right way to resolve conflict. This makes him struggle with defending the colony in the years to come, and he dies in an attack in his fifties in the epilogue.
  • Iji's eponymous heroine starts out somewhere between this and Reluctant Warrior, to the point of apologizing to the enemies she kills. Depending on the player, she may develop into a Technical Pacifist (even on higher difficulty levels, it's possible, though difficult, to complete the game with ZERO kills — although the boss fights are unavoidable, most end with another character dealing the final blow, and the other is against a machine), Blood Knight, or anything in between.
  • The main character of Ikemen Sengoku hates war and absolutely refuses to kill anyone, which causes Culture Clash when she gets sent back in time to the Sengoku period where wars are commonplace and people are used to killing to survive. Several of the warlords she lives with initially consider her pacifist convictions to be foolish or naive, but ultimately accept them as a core part of who she is, just as she comes to accept that killing others doesn't make them bad people. She also becomes a medic to save others on the battlefield.
  • Ciel in Mega Man Zero is also an Actual Pacifist, forming a Resistance to house the Reploids scrapped by Neo Arcadia but being intensely unwilling to fight anyone and slaving herself away day in and day out to find an alternative energy source that eliminates the energy shortage, which is what created the conflict in the first place. She's not blind to the need to defend themselves, however, and many times authorizes missions to launch guerrilla strikes or flat-out offensives (if only for self-defense). It's ZigZagged on how well this would have played out in the long run as Copy X was fully willing to keep launching strikes against them which would have wiped them out if not for Zero, but Ciel does in fact finish making the new energy source and there's implication that were it not for the arrival of Dr. Weil and the revived Copy X when she did so, Neo Arcadia would have ended the war peacefully given the disposition of acting ruler Harpuia.
  • The Chozo of Metroid were once warlike and had very powerful and advanced weapons but eventually embraced peace. Metroid Dread reveals that there were some Chozo who did not adopt the peaceful mentality, namely the Mawkin Tribe, who are still full-on warriors.
  • Minion Masters: Except for the Wizard Puff, members of the Puff-Faction don't fight at all.
  • M.U.G.E.N is a fighting game engine where the goal for every character is to beat up and KO the opponent. SCP-999, true to its canon is a friendly blob monster that wouldn't hurt anybody. In M.U.G.E.N., SCP-999 is a Mechanically Unusual Fighter whose "attacks" involve hugging or even throwing candy around, all of which do no damage or even heal the opponent but increase a happiness meter above the opponent's head. If this fills up, the opponent is forced into a Happy Dance for the rest of the round, which is considered a "KO".
  • In Planescape: Torment, you can meet a warrior-monk of the Erith-Agge; an order that has foresworn the use of violence until the day of the last battle when they will help decide the fate of the universe. Thus, despite being an extremely accomplished warrior, you need to help him recover a necklace he lost in a mugging — he has no problems with you mopping the floor with them.
  • Professor Layton fits the description since, although the games show him to be an excellent fencer and in overall remarkably good shape for an academic, he firmly espouses the mindset that "a gentleman does not seek violence." He's only willing to get into a fight if he doesn't have much of a choice, either to defend his own well-being or that of someone else, and on those occasions when he does fight he does so as non-lethally as possible. In the swordfight from the second game, he only crosses blades to defend himself, and stops as soon as his opponent shows signs of failing strength. In the third game, his response to being shot at is to rig together a machine gun made out of a slot machine, and use it to shoot his antagonists with coins!
  • In RimWorld, certain character backgrounds prevent a character from fighting at all, even in self-defense.
  • Silent Hill: Shattered Memories has as its hero Harry Mason, whose most violent action a player can do in the game is a shove or elbow to a monster's head that is grabbing him.
  • Cream The Rabbit does not physically engage in combat in Sonic Battle; all of her moves are done via her partner/pet Cheese. This pacifism comes to a particular head in her story mode: Neither Cream nor Cheese will fight their captors, leaving all of the combat duties to Emerl, at least for the first few rounds, before she realises she's just endangering her friends and reluctantly steps up to defend her friends.
    • Tikal from Sonic Adventure is played even more straight. No matter how terrible the situation is, she absolutely refuses to resort to violence. She tried to stop her father from pursuing Chaos, but it didn't end well.
  • Star Wars: Galaxies Pre-NGE featured Crafting, Medical, and Entertainer professions that actually made for a variety of non-combat roles you could mix and match. Post-NGE enforced this on Traders and Entertainers at first, then later gave them combat levels.
  • The Liir from Sword of the Stars are nearly an entire race of actual pacifists. They consider being willing to harm another creature a form of dangerous — if sadly sometimes necessary — insanity. The few Liir willing to take the step to hurt and kill to protect other Liir, meanwhile, take things to the opposite end. They've already broken the greatest taboo by harming another, so at that point any question of 'scale' and 'methodology' becomes a purely symbolic distinction.
  • Despite being a fighting game, Them's Fightin' Herds has an actual pacifist in one of the playable characters: Pom the Lamb. In battle she is mostly trembling and paralyzed with fear; her companion dogs do most of the fighting while she tries to stop them. If she hits the opponent herself, it will be an accident caused by her freaking out over a sudden bark. The only time she will purposely hit the opponent is in her Level 3 Super Move: the opponent hits her companion puppy and sends him flying, causing Pom to suddenly flare up in anger and go Shin Goku Satsu on the culprit.
  • Hanabusa, the main character of Tsukumogami, seems to be this, even though she never says it out loud. She has no problem using her spectacular sword skills to defeat the titular evil spirits but refuses to even raise a hand against a living human being. Anytime she's forced into conflict with humans, she simply runs away and hides. Even in an extreme case, like when her best friend is dying from an infectious disease, and the nobles have hoarded all the medicine, she refuses to fight the noble's guards when breaking into his mansion in order to recover a dose of the medicine.
    • Even Tsukumogami who take on a human form (referred to as 'demons' by the game, since it requires a high degree of spiritual power to do so) seems to trigger her aversion to violence, and she'll often go out of her way to avoid destroying them.
  • You become this in Undertale if you choose to. Instead of fighting enemies, you can talk them out of it. This is how you complete the True Pacifist run, though in order to get to that ending you have to at least fall into Technical Pacifist territory by fighting (but not killing) Asgore and Flowey in the pacifist neutral route. Only when that has been done can you achieve the true pacifist run, in which you never so much as touch the 'fight' button. Or, you could go out of your way to not do this, by doing a Genocide route.
  • Susie, one of your scouts in Valkyria Chronicles, wants to be this, but had the misfortune of being drafted during the early days of the war. She hates harming people, even soldiers of The Empire, so much that she quickly starts losing the rest of her turn after firing. Her relief if you cycle her away from your active squad is palpable.
  • Virtue's Last Reward has Luna. She was designed to be Three Laws-Compliant, after all.
  • For the Bard of Wandersong, this is one of his most defining traits (besides his specialization in music, of course). So dedicated he is to this philosophy that he struggles to hold and lift, let alone use, weapons of any kindnote , as well as momentarily defying gravity if he so much as risks accidentally stepping on bugs. There are, however, two moments when the Bard gets startlingly close to breaking their vow, though neither actually ends with him going too far. The first being at the end of Act 3 when Audrey Redheart introduces herself by killing an Overseer, and angers the bard enough to make him charge at her (he gets a near-fatal lightning bolt delivered to his chest for his troubles). The second is halfway through Act 6 when the aforementioned bugs open a way out of a cave-in that the Bard and Audrey were trapped in. He considers the possibility of leaving her behind in the cave to die because he believes that it'll be his fault if he lets her out and she kills the last Overseers, which'll end the universe. He relents when he gets her to promise not to kill anymore... though she breaks it wide open the first chance she gets.
  • In The Way (RPG Maker), the Paradans are a faction in The Way that advocates against any sort of violence, from killing animals to pave the way for other wanderers to public executions.

    Web Animation 
  • Mario from Melee's End decides that he's tired of spending all his time fighting (this despite being a character in a fighting game) and refuses to use violence, even when Ganondorf is in the middle of kicking his and his team's ass.
  • Doc from Red vs. Blue abhors violence in every way, even having joined the army as a conscientious objector. For this reason, he is a medic... and his extreme pacifism has earned him the undying hatred of both teams. For maximum hilarity, the Omnicidal Hyper-Aggressive AI O'Malley hijacks his body and attempts to use him in his ultimate goal of taking over the universe, and "crushing every living soul into dust!" This pacifism is so extreme that when the Blues and Reds are in the middle of another fight, Church resorts to shooting Caboose in the foot to get him to cross to the other side, as even pretending to help the Blues against the Reds seemed too "aggressive" to Doc.
  • Story From North America: Pacifism is the overall moral of the first video. The son tries to get his father to kill a spider because he's afraid of it. The father teaches the son that the spider is just part of nature, that just because the spider is unfamiliar to the son doesn't mean it's evil or trying to hurt him. When the son realizes the error of his ways, he agrees that the spider should be released safely. The father takes the spider outside and lets it go.

  • Bob and George: Some fights get quite ridiculous when a robot is this.
  • Sizemore from Erfworld is one by philosophy, but since he is compelled to follow his side's orders, he does quite a lot more killing than he wants to.
  • Grace from El Goonish Shive — until the Big Bad finally manages to Break the Cutie and reveal her as a Crouching Moron Hidden Bad Ass. Since then, the rest of the cast have tried to teach her some martial arts so she can defend herself from any future villains by doing something other than ripping their organs out, but with no great luck — she has been shown to be unwilling to even hit a punching-bag with a caricature face drawn on it.
  • Neilli of Juathuur. And them, Meidar decided she was to be a torturer.
  • Blossom of Harmonious Aethers, in Keychain of Creation. She is willing to knock foes out with tranquilizing gas, however.
  • Lightbringer's parents refuse to use violence of any sort which they teach their son. The comic uses this as a character flaw for Lightbringer to overcome due to desperate times.
  • Celia from The Order of the Stick, as discussed here.
    Belkar: Besides, it's easier to just kill them all.
    Celia: Easier for you, maybe, but some of us aren't professional murderers!
    Belkar: Professional? HA! I wish I was getting paid for this.
    Haley: Wait, are you saying you don't kill?
    Celia: Yeah, uh, MOST people don't kill, Haley! That's why there are laws against murder. It's really only adventurers who think, "How can I solve this problem? Oh, right, bloodshed!"
    Belkar: That's not true. We run away a lot too.
  • Peganone Silkweed from Our Little Adventure. She gained all of her character levels in non-combat situations and is a public servant rather than an adventurer.
  • In Pacificators, Larima Torbern tries very hard to be this, even though sometimes she is forced to take more of a Technical Pacifist position. It drives her sister, Taffe, up the wall.
  • Precocious: Max, overtly. Yvette, possibly as well, though she is so timid it's hard to know what's in her head. Ursula almost certainly will be.
  • Derek The Cleric from Rusty and Co. has taken an oath of non-violence. If absolutely necessary, he will use magic to immobilize potential threats, but that is as far as he goes.

    Web Original 
  • The main character in the short interactive fiction "The Life of a Pacifist" is one of these. Unfortunately, they're a video game developer, and they're currently working on a third-person shooter and find the scenes within it horrifying. In the end, they either quit, continue working despite themselves, or decide that nothing is wrong with it at all.
  • SCP Foundation has the Manna Charitable Foundation, whose goals entail using anomalous objects to help people around the world. They have expressed strong pacifist beliefs, and are shown to never intentionally harm anyone, not even members of the SCP Foundation, the latter of whom is trying to contain the objects they use. Of course, objects they've used such as SCP-1176 ended up killing people, but that's because the MCF is so fervent in its charity projects that they typically don't take the time to research these objects extensively before giving the public access to them.
  • Folder, of the Whateley Universe. He accidentally destroyed the arm of his best friend when his powers first manifested, and he was so traumatized that he still refuses to fight. Even to defend himself from bullies. Even to defend himself from a superpowered bully who keeps putting him in the hospital. Even when he is transformed into a girl and nearly raped by a delusional mage... and when finally pushed too far, we see why he refused to use his powers in self-defense.

    Web Videos 
  • Nana from Cream Heroes is the only cat who has yet to throw a punch. She prefers to rub against other cats and show them affection. If they punch her, she simply walks away. Her tendency to not fight back has led to other cats fighting on her behalf, namely Dodo and Lala.
  • The YouTuber Goldvision has a series of videos in which he tries to play Grand Theft Auto V as a pacifist.

    Western Animation 
  • In The Boondocks episode "Return of the King", in an Alternate History universe, Martin Luther King wasn't killed by an assassin but put into a coma for 32 years, waking up significantly aged in a hospital bed on October 27, 2000. After the 9/11 attacks, King appears on TV, stating that his Christian faith teaches him to "turn the other cheek", even with respect to enemies such as Al-Qaeda. His commentary receives severe scorn from the White House Press Secretary, CNN, and Time magazine, and causes his popularity to plummet.
  • The Monks of Teshuva in Futurama episode "Godfellas". When challenged they first appear to be Martial Pacifists, but quickly back down when their bluff is called.
    Leela: "Your order may be famous for its marital arts, but I've never met a holy man I couldn't clobber."
    Monk #1: "Actually, we only practice martial arts as a form of meditation. We are a strictly non-violent sect."
    Leela: "Oh. Then get in the laundry room or I'll kick your butts!"
  • Lifeline from G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero refused to employ violence. On one occasion, he wouldn't even touch a rifle, even though it was being held out for him to grab and pull him out of a trap. This is based on his counterpart from the comics - see above. He's a member of the Joes solely to be a frontline medic and will not do anything combat-related if he can help it.
    • His father, a priest, is an even stricter pacifist. Thanks to Lifeline's joining G.I.Joe, he considers his son to be a violent thug no better than a Cobra agent.
  • Dove, the character in Justice League Unlimited (and associated comic books) - the only superhero to take an entirely non-violent standpoint and get through his entire starring episode without throwing a punch. It keeps up in later appearances, and even when he does fight, it's with things like judo throws and holds rather than punches or kicks.
  • King of the Hill: Played for laughs in "Won't You Pimai Neighbor?". A group of Buddhist monks believe Bobby is the reincarnated Lama Sanglug and are testing him, but Hank doesn't like the idea of it and tries to tell them to stop.
    Junior Monk: There is a Buddhist saying: "As the wheel follows the ox that draws the cart, the wind cannot overturn a mountain."
    Hank: You're talking like a song from The Lion King. Stop it. It makes no sense.
    Junior Monk: Or does it make perfect sense?
    Hank: What the-? See, that's the type of... I'm gonna kick your ass.
    Junior Monk: If my ass is going to be kicked, then it will be kicked.
    (Hank groans in annoyance and walks away)
  • Played for Laughs, like all things, in the Moral Orel episode Turn The Other Cheek. Orel hears the titular phrase on a record and tries to apply it, resulting in him repeatedly getting the bejesus kicked out of him by Walt. His father teaches Orel to "make Walt turn the other cheek", in other words construing pacifism into "kick the crap out of him so he can be the pacifist". Naturally, Orel takes this way too far and corrupts this into "make people be pacifists by beating them up if they so much as make a fist".
  • The Tribe from the Samurai Jack episode "Jack Learns to Jump Good" is this, until Jack teaches them martial arts; then they become Martial Pacifists.
  • The Duchess Satine of Madalore in Star Wars: The Clone Wars is a complete pacifist. In the episode "Voyage of Temptation", she even hesitates to shoot someone threatening to blow up her ship. This leads to plenty of Snark-to-Snark Combat with Martial Pacifist Obi-Wan Kenobi.
    • This is later deconstructed in Season 5, as not only does she have disposition of being a pacifist in a galaxy at war and leading a people who are historically a proud warrior race, the Death Watch (who've been trying to overthrow her regime and bring Mandalore back to its warrior race roots) teams up with Darth Maul, stages an invasion of the planet by an army of criminals to reinforce how pacifism has made Mandalore vulnerable to those willing to prey on those who refuse to fight back and then Death Watch comes along to "quell" the criminals. In the end, the people of Mandalore see the Death Watch as heroes, Satine is removed from power, Mandalore goes into another civil war not long after Maul takes the throne and she is coldly murdered by Maul for the sake of emotionally tormenting Obi-Wan.
  • In The Transformers, Beachcomber took it to the level of allowing Decepticons to take a powerful MacGuffin in a pretty area of forest rather than mention it to the Autobots and allow a fight to take place. In a later episode, First Aid allowed Swindle to get away with a component necessary for Metroplex to transform rather than shoot back.
    • In the episode "The Rebirth", Cerebros, has grown weary of fighting (after a few millennia of war who could blame him?). He eventually promises to fight just one last time, becoming a part of one of the most powerful Transformers ever created, on the condition that afterwards he is switched off... permanently. Optimus Prime and Spike later convince him to retire to Nebulos instead, to help the Nebulans rebuild their society and serve as their guardian, giving him something new to live for.
  • Zeta from The Zeta Project would only use force to save human life, and only when it was the only option available. He refused to use guns to any degree and even though it's implied he was strong enough to kill people, he never did much more than knock them out, if that. A common fan theory is that this approach is why the network didn't like him and the show became the black sheep of the DCAU.

    Real Life 
  • Many governments, even some of the most warlike in history, allow some people to avoid serving as a member of or contributing to violent military actions. Such people have proven themselves to be conscientious objectors, rather than merely opposed to the war in question. Many Conscientious Objectors will then volunteer for dangerous duties in wartime, such as combat medics. One group of Mormon conscientious objectors in World War II were used as some of the first Smokejumpers. As in "parachuting into forest fires".
  • St. Moses the Black initially was a violent bandit who was not averse to killing. After discovering Christianity, he dedicated himself to asceticism and prayer, never laying a hand on another past that point.
  • Mahatma Gandhi has this reputation, but the reality is much more complicated. While he stopped the first Indo-Pakistan war by going on a hunger strike and successfully helped to end British imperialism in India non-violently, his non-violence was more of a tactic than an ethos. In the case of Britain, it was more that he was never capable of acquiring the weapons necessary for the revolution through force that he initially wanted, so a peaceful one was the next best thing for him. Philosophically, he leaned towards the Martial Pacifist and considered violence preferable to passive acceptance.note  His ahimsa demanded that its followers actively work to counteract violence, and espoused the use of force in the immediate defense of others.
  • Martin Luther King Jr., who took inspiration from Gandhi, also preached a message of non-violence. Much like Gandhi, his views on nonviolence evolved over time. Initially, taking inspiration from the theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, he eschewed non-violence as a tool for social change, believing it only applied to interpersonal relations. Early on in his career, this was reflected by him having no problem with having armed bodyguards and a sizeable stockpile of guns on hand.note  This would change when he was mentored by Bayard Rustin, who had been heavily influenced both by Quaker pacifism and his studies of Gandhi's teachings. After taking a trip to India and seeing Gandhi's political successes firsthand, King was finally convinced of the efficacy of nonviolence, and the rest is history. Ironically, Rustin would later abandon pacifism completely in the 1960s, whereas King became more and more committed up to the day he was killed.
  • Under the Wiccan Rede, "harm none" is the law placed on all Wiccans. This means both physical and psychological harm, and is sometimes interpreted to include self-harm.
  • Buddhism has the reputation of being a pacifist religion because a major theme amongst Buddhist teachings is not harming others in any way — be it physical (stealing, violence, selling booze or meat) or mental (gossip, insults, etc). However, this basic tenet varies greatly by sect and region, some tending more towards a Martial Pacifist approach, and some embracing a more pragmatic approach towards violence.
  • Christianity was originally innovative because, regardless of the reason violence is committed, it was thought of as an inherently bad thing for which one must atone. This was a radical concept a couple of millennia ago. Some sects of Christianity, typically ascetic ones such as the Quakers (Religious Society of Friends), are absolute pacifists, as an ideology. Prior to the Edict of Milannote  and the subsequent adoption of Christianity by Constantine I, Christians per definition were this, despite beingnote  a highly persecuted splinter movement of Judaism. However, when the religion was adopted by the very militant Roman Empire, its members gradually lost the nonviolent ethos over time. Whether or not this was an improvement due to the popularization of the religion is a subject of much debate.
  • Taoism is all about living in harmony with everything and respecting the right of others to live the way they choose. For the more violent branch, it even has the tactic for a pacifist to win a war.
  • An impressive military actual pacifist was WWII veteran Desmond T. Doss, who refused to bear arms or drill on Saturday due to his Seventh-Day Adventist beliefs. Doss was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for single-handedly rescuing 75 of his fellow soldiers from an escarpment under fire from the Japanese on Okinawa. From his medal citation, "As our troops gained the summit, a heavy concentration of artillery, mortar, and machine-gun fire crashed into them, inflicting approximately 75 casualties and driving the others back. Pfc. Doss refused to seek cover and remained in the fire-swept area with the many stricken, carrying them 1 by 1 to the edge of the escarpment and there lowering them on a rope-supported litter down the face of a cliff to friendly hands." Truly a kick-behind pacifist.
  • Jains. Jainism includes the precept of "Ahiṃsā"; the absence of the desire to harm any life. How strictly this precept is adhered to varies, but all Jains observe it to some degree. The more fastidious Jains would only leave their house with a face mask (to make sure they do not breathe in any bugs) and a small broom (to gently sweep insects out of the way so they do not tread on them). All are vegetarians, and some go so far as to eat only fruit, to not harm plants either. In Germany, they are among the few exceptions to the post-WWII No Swastikas laws due to their pacifism and because the symbol was theirs long before the Nazis took power.
  • The now-extinct religion of Manichaeism took this to an extreme. While lay members were permitted to live their lives normally, members of the clergy were forbidden to harm any living being. Strict vegetarians, they were expressly forbidden to prepare their own food, as cooking and chopping vegetables was believed to harm the spirit particles residing within the food.
  • As the page quote implies, doctors are ideologically against harming others, but in modern medicine, this is sometimes easier said than done. For example, chemotherapy (used to treat many cancers) is basically the use of poisons, chosen to kill cancer cells faster than they kill the rest of the patient. This is why cancer patients lose their hair (among other problems). So, doctors are sworn to do no harm, but in an effort to treat their patients' cancer, they must harm them with the chemo drugs. Applies with surgery and other practices as well obviously (the original Hippocratic Oath forbade surgery, probably because of this-in those days it was far more dangerous, before anesthetics and sanitation, with physicians being separate from surgeons). The idea of doctor-assisted suicide for terminal patients is one of the most controversial instances of this. Is helping someone die without pain under the definition of "do no harm?" Or is it still harm, and immoral? By the original oath, it's forbidden, in addition to abortion (also a controversial instance of course).
  • The Moriori people of the Chatham Islands off the coast of New Zealand were complete pacifists, although unlike some of the groups listed here they were not vegetarians. All disputes were resolved by nonlethal ritual combat (aka thrashing each other with small wood switches to first blood—at no point are the two fighters allowed to physically touch each other) or conciliation. After their accidental discovery by European whalers, they were invaded by Maori iwi (tribes) from the Taranaki region, who were proud warrior race guys who interpreted the Moriori's pacifism as cowardice and so therefore slaughtered them. Even in the midst of the slaughter, the Moriori held fast to their philosophy of pacifism, declaring at the Council of Te Awapatiki, "the law of Nunuku-whenua [the mythical founder of the Moriori and the originator of their pacifist laws] was not a strategy for survival, to be varied as conditions changed; it was a moral imperative." To add insult to injury, the New Zealand land court, which determined which iwi controlled which pieces of land, ruled that the invading Maori were now the rightful owners of the Chathams through right of conquest. Thanks to bans on marrying other Moriori and systematic oppression by the Maori invaders, all full-blooded Moriori died out, although there are still Moriori with either Maori or European ancestry.
  • Malala Yousafzai has said that she would never use violence in self-defense against the Taliban because, in her view, it would make her no different than the Taliban.
  • This very nearly killed the career of Lew Ayres. In 1931, Ayres starred in All Quiet on the Western Front, an adaptation of Erich Maria Remarque's famed anti-war novel. The experience profoundly moved him, and he became a devout pacifist during the making of the movie. When World War II broke out, Ayres reportedly sought enlistment but only in a position where he would not have to carry or fire a weapon. In 1941, that accommodation flat-out didn't exist in the United States Army, and so the draft board could only give him a draft exemption as a conscientious objector. However, many people assumed he was a draft-dodger for this, and as a result he was removed from the insanely popular Dr. Kildare film franchise (which was retooled to feature costar Lionel Barrymore as Dr. Gillespie) and for a few years couldn't find work in Hollywood until the military belatedly began offering the exact position that Ayres had wanted all along. He volunteered on the spot and became a combat medic and later a Chaplain's assistant in the Pacific.

Alternative Title(s): Actual Pacifism