Frozone: I WANTED TO GO BOWLING!
When the characters are in the middle of doing some particularly dangerous or adventurous activity and something's just happened that's warranted an Oh, Crap! response, the Only Sane Man, Straight Man, Commander Contrarian, The Drag-Along or The Lancer points out how he never wanted to be there in the first place. Frequently said in the form of "I wanted to [do something safer]," often followed by, "... but no, you had to go and [do something else]!"
- During the Club of Heroes reunion in Batman comics, when it becomes evident that the world's greatest detectives are trapped on an island with a murder to solve, the Musketeer is quick to note that he wanted to play five-a-side rugby.
- In the first issue of Demon Knights, all Xanadu wants is a nice quiet drink. She and her husband are even prepared to share a table with Vandal Savage if it keeps things peaceful. But then a whole horde of dragons show up...
- Wonder Woman (1942): While most of the Holliday College professors seem perfectly fine with how often their expeditions and such turn into fist fights with Nazis, aliens or superpowered mummies Prof. Ainchent wants no part in it. Unfortunately for him he's also a decent pilot and crack shot so Dean Strikt sends him after his hapless colleagues when they go missing, usually when he's got much more relaxing plans in mind.
- The former trope namer is Pixar's The Incredibles. Mr. Incredible and Frozone lie to their wives that they're going bowling, when in reality they're doing secret hero work. They end up in a tight spot and start arguing, prompting Frozone to shout "I wanted to go bowling!"
- The Rescuers: As Orville takes off with Bernard and Bianca in tow, Bernard comments, "Sure wish we'd taken the train!" He repeats in the sequel as they're riding Wilbur, "Miss Bianca, from now on, can't we just take the train?" note
- In Clerks, Dante's day is spent in the purgatory of serving a succession of customers while bemoaning the fact that he is "not even supposed to be here today."
- In Juno, Bleaker says he wanted to watch The Blair Witch Project on TV, but Juno wanted to make out instead, and One Thing Led to Another.
- In the film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Butch (Paul Newman) says to Sundance (Robert Redford), "Kid, the next time I say, 'Let's go someplace like Bolivia,' let's go someplace like Bolivia." Bolivia doesn't work out too well, either
- John McClane in Die Hard is huddled in an air vent, thinking about how he's going to try to beat a whole gang of bad guys and why he's even in the building: "Come out to the coast, we'll get together, have a few laughs..." Later, he snarks that he would rather be in Philadelphia than in his current situation, seeing as he wasn't hoping that his visit to LA would be ruined by armed gunmen.
- Independence Day: Steven Hiller isn't happy to be dragging an unconscious alien through the desert after a combat mission, yelling: "I could've been at a barbeque!"
- Early on in It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, a migrant couple is forced off the road by the reckless driving of the treasure hunters. When they finally come to rest at the bottom of a gorge, the husband has this to say:
"I said it before and I'll say it again: I didn't want to move to California."
- A recurring line in The Hobbit was that Bilbo would have preferred to have stayed at Bag End.
- This is played differently on occasion in Calvin and Hobbes by Calvin's dad. "See, if we had gotten a dog like I wanted..."
- Stand Still, Stay Silent: Reynir's intention in hiding in that food crate was to get to see another safe bastion of humanity besides the one he had grown up in, not to end up a Little Stowaway to an expedition in a Plague Zombie ridden Forbidden Zone while not being The Immune. The expedition's crew includes Tuuri, another non-immune whose backstory is extremely similar to Reynir's, with one of the differences being that she actually wanted to see the Forbidden Zone in question for herself. A grim reminder of why only The Immune are usually allowed in that Forbidden Zone eventually happens, and Tuuri tries to cheer Reynir up about it by basically telling him "Hey, at least you got to see the place.". Reynir has to remind her that the Forbidden Zone wasn't part of his plan when he left his home.
- In an episode of VeggieTales, the sled the characters are riding crashes:
Larry: Bob! Bob, are you okay?
Bob: I wanted to play Mousetrap — you roll your dice, you move your mice. Nobody gets hurt.
Chuckie: * sigh* All I wanted was a nice quiet trip to the museum — no running away from grown-ups, no getting lost, no making trouble... just a nice, quiet trip. But, no, you guys always have to think of something scary.
Tommy: Chuckie, are you through?
Chuckie: Um, yeah, that's about it.
Tommy: Then LET'S GO!
Lou: We should have gone bowling!
- Grandpa Lou, when the parents take the babies to the movies to see The Dummy Bears in: The Land without Smiles, responds with this almost verbatim.
- Arnold's Infamous Catchphrase on The Magic School Bus is "I KNEW I should've stayed home today!"
- In one episode, he was prepared.
- In an episode of South Park, Craig does something along these lines when he gets trapped in a part of Peru where things grow really really big.
- In one episode of Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, even though they were given the opportunity to go on vacation, the team still went on a dangerous mission. X-R, the only one who wanted to take up the furlough, continuously stated throughout the episode, "I wanted to go to Mahambis Six!"
- Sokka laments in the first episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender, "I'm just a guy... with a boomerang... I didn't ask for all this flying... and magic..."
- From Cartoon Network's Scooby-Doo Project parody.
Shaggy: I should be at home watching scary movies, not living in one! And eating some pizza.