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Don't You Dare Pity Me!

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"Every last one of them... They have the gall to take pity on me... and they don't even know... how much they're hurtin' me by doin' it."
Nnoitra Gilga, Bleach

An injured or suffering character is approached by another, eager to help, but the injured party is offended. This reaction of humiliation and resentment may be spoken, acted upon, or merely felt, but it is some variation on "I don't want your pity," or "Don't You Dare Pity Me". This may be used as actual Stock Phrases, but the reaction does not have to be verbalized.

The more serious the problem, the more likely this is to cause conflict. Temporary situations can invoke it for a time, as when Manly Tears or worse Sand In My Eyes causes another to try to comfort the weeping character.

This is most likely to come from a character who does not deal well with sympathy, even in the best of times. The Broken Bird, Troubled, but Cute, The Tsundere, the Jerk with a Heart of Gold, and the Ice Queen are particularly likely to react this way. Indeed, it may develop that their touchy character stems from this and can be resolved if it is. The Woman Wearing the Queenly Mask doubly so, since anything for which she can be pitied is a weakness and danger. The Stoic Woobie is often this trope embodied. Getting them to fess up about it, much less confront it, can be a difficult prospect.


There is a range of possible interactions:
At one extreme, an injured character tries to avoid insensitive or demonstrative "sympathy" that rubs salt in the wound. They might accuse others of having Come to Gawk. They might fear that any response to their problem will break them down when they cannot afford to break down. The pity may be effusive for a trivial problem, or something that the character does not consider as such. In other examples, the character cannot tell their remorse is sincere; the Handicapped Badass is managing just fine, thank you.

At the other extreme, the sufferer rejects sorely needed and selflessly offered help and suffers all the more for it. They might inflict suffering on others in the process.

Genuine pity is often portrayed as an affront to the dignity of the pitied, as the pity-er is at least implicitly signaling their advantage over and superiority to the pitied, though there is also the popular Aesop that too much Pride is foolish and shallow. The injured character may hide from others to preempt pity. For any such character, mentioning his problem may hit a Berserk Button. The character can wallow in self-pity, but that is different.


The effect is more dramatic if the characters knew each other before the injury or if the problem is invisible. The pitying character may change after The Reveal. If the other person is in any way responsible for the injury, things can get very ugly indeed.

A hero sympathising with a villain's backstory may also incite this response, but be careful, this trope can be done badly. A character frequently angrily rejecting any form of comfort may come across as an Ungrateful Bastard or Unintentionally Unsympathetic when that may not even be the case. Alternatively, this can be presented as a genuine character flaw.

Compare Think Nothing of It, for when a character wants to avoid praise for admirable behavior, Leave Me Alone!, a common phrase also said by characters of this type, and Past Experience Nightmare, where the character tries to hide his pain but it still comes out in his unguarded moments. Also compare Declaration of Personal Independence.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • While Haruyuki Arita of Accel World may not possess much in the way of self-confidence, even he has his small among of pride. His hatred of being pitied is so great it even got represented in the big nightmare the Brain Burst program used to generate his avatar Silver Crow. He also tried to distance himself from his friends after starting middle school for this reason, and also encouraged Chiyu to accept Taku's offer to go out.
    • Which is ironic when you consider that seeking pity was what his best friend turned temporary enemy Takumu accused him of always doing when they had their gigantic battle.
  • In A Cruel God Reigns Jeremy uses a version of this version several times against Ian. While he does use the straight-up Don't You Dare Pity Me!, he also uses the "I don't need love" and "I don't deserve love" versions.
  • Through the entire run of Air Master, Sakiyama Kaori had been caught in a Can't Catch Up dynamic with the titular street-fighter, Maki. No matter how strong she got — quickly going from being a joke to taking down championship-level wrestlers with a single attack — she still couldn't reach Maki's level, and every fight they had ended with Kaori unconscious or even near death. In the final episode, as Maki is on her way to face her final challenge against 'The Strongest Man,' Kaori challenges her one last time. She is at the peak of her power, even embracing a rage-powered near-Super Mode, and yet Maki and the viewers know that she doesn't have a prayer. But when Maki says "I'm sorry, but... it'll take only one minute," Kaori literally explodes in fury, not at Maki's confidence in her own skills, which is well-founded, but in the pity inherent in the first part of the statement. Taken aback, Maki apologizes and recants. "One minute." (It takes barely ten seconds, but Kaori is smiling as she goes down.)
  • In Kadowaki and Hinohara's backstory in Arata: The Legend, Hinohara took it easy and tied with Kadowaki in a track meet after hearing of his problems. Kadowaki did not take the gesture kindly and ruthlessly bullied him in response.
  • Said word for word in Banana Fish by Lee Yut Lung to Blanca, who at that time was hired by Yut Lung as an assassin, after the latter tries to offer the former some sympathy.
  • Beastars:
    • Louis has a wicked inferiority complex that forces him to react this way when disadvantaged.
    • Similarly, part of Haru's promiscuity stems from it being one of the few ways she's found to have others treat her as an adult, instead of regarding her like a helpless child in need of protecting.
  • In Berserk, this is part of what drove Griffith past the Despair Event Horizon and triggered the events of the Eclipse. Being treated with pity in his torture ravaged state following his rescue by the two people who meant the most to him did probably the most to poison him against them and instill a hatred within him that would manifest in the most horrible way possible.
  • Betrayal Knows My Name: Uzuki does not like it when Yuki pities him.
  • Bleach:
    • Many of Nnoitra's decisions are based on his desire not to be pitied, as he is deeply hurt by then-Espada Neliel Tu Odelschwanck following him around to keep him alive because he is weaker than she is, and at one point after losing to Nel angrily thrusts his weapon at his fraccion Tesla when he asks if he is all right, warning him not to pity him. After being defeated by Kenpachi, he gets up even when Kenpachi believes the fight is finished, angered by being dismissed, and charges him again. He gets killed for it, but Nnoitra welcomes it, believing death in battle is preferable to living with that shame.
    • Grimmjow gets royally pissed off when Ichigo challenges him with confidence. He interprets it as Ichigo looking down on him and saying Grimmjow is so weak he doesn't have to worry.
    • At the end of Uryu's fight with Haschwalth, which ends with the latter being drained of his powers via Auschwalen, Haschwalth tells Uryu not to pity him, since he actually feels honored that Yhwach stole his power and not Uyru's.
  • Jun Misugi in Captain Tsubasa is an uber version of this. To the point that he'd rather put his life at risk (he's an Ill Boy with a weak heart) than abandon his team in their hour of need.
  • In Charlotte, Nao Tomori dislikes being pitied by Yuu Otosaka. Whenever Otosaka expresses pity for Tomori's circumstances, particularly how her older brother was used as a lab rat and left traumatized by the experience, she snarks at him and says she doesn't want pity from someone who used his powers to cheat on tests.
  • At one point in Code Geass, Lelouch gets rather sick of this treatment, especially when he has such a sense of self-loathing.
    Lelouch: Stop it! Stop giving me your pity! Spare me your charity! This is something I have to achieve on my own! And so for that, I shall stain your hands with blood, Euphemia Li Britannia!
  • Cyborg 009 has Phil, the Hot-Blooded Anti-Villain of the Psychic Assassins arc, push his soft-spoken and kindhearted teammate Lina away whenever she worries because of his ailing health
    Phil: Shut up, Lina! You're not my mother!
  • Dear Brother:
    • Mariko Shinobu tells this first to Nanako, mistakenly thinking that she only came to her birthday dinner only due to pitying her.; she later does it to Kaoru when she attempts to make her eat some days after the incident where she threatens to pull a Murder-Suicide with Nanako, few after telling her not to pity her.. In the anime, Mariko also tries to hide her distress at her parents' divorce to Nanako and Tomoko.
    • Similarly, this can be seen as one of the reasons why Kaoru broke off with Takehiko after having to go through a mastectomy. She knew he would try to help her and suffer a lot as a result (not to mention she knows he has other... complicated issues coming from his family problems), so she basically removed herself from his life.
  • Digimon Tamers: In the midst of a Heroic B So D from her partner Leomon getting murdered, Jeri yells at the other kids to leave her alone when they're trying to take her to a safer place while Megidramon battles Beelzemon. It doesn't help that it mirrored the exact circumstances when she found out her mother died.
  • Dragon Ball Z:
    • Vegeta hates it when Goku and the others show him pity. He thinks it's a sign of weakness.
    • Frieza takes it a step further and uses Goku's pity in a last-ditch attempt to kill him.
  • Elfen Lied:
    • When Kouta found Yuka on a beach as she is reflecting on her Unrequited Love. Her exact line to him as he offers to take her home was along the lines of "Stop wasting your sympathy!" His response? A slap to the face for not considering how worried he was about her.
    • This was also Lucy's response to Kouta mentioning how sad she looked during her childhood.
  • In Evergreen, Hotaka has this reaction when Niki meets him for the first time since he was supposed to be alone with the teacher, and his embarrassment at his scar and weakness takes over.
  • In Fairy Tail, after the eponymous guild disbands, Wendy joins Lamia Scale. When Natsu stops by just after the Time Skip, hoping to get the guild back together, Wendy refuses to join him, since her close friend Chellia's cousin Sherry is leaving the guild to get married. When Chellia hears about this, she gently tells Wendy that this is nothing more than pity, and ultimately convinces Wendy to rejoin Natsu.
  • The reason for Kazuma and Fumino's marriage in Faster Than a Kiss. In the extremely brief backstory, she originally refuses his offer to take her and her little brother into his home, not wanting to receive "vague sympathy". Only when he agrees to marry her instead does she accept. Then Hilarity Ensues.
  • In Fruits Basket, Kyo himself invokes the trope when Tohru sees his true form for the first time, lashing out at her in fear of rejection.
    • The trope is lampshaded by Kagura twice: when she asks Tohru not to go out with Kyo purely because she pities him, and when she refuses her mom's sympathy after Kyo rejects her affections, referring to herself as a "very selfish girl".
    • Akito invokes this when Tohru offers her friendship towards the end of the manga. She slaps Tohru and screams "Do NOT talk to me like you understand! Do you pity me? You can't deceive me! We can't reconcile... I'm... I'm dirty!" Tohru cries at this and says she's not perfect as well, that she also is in pain, and Akito panics and has a Villainous Breakdown.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • Envy will NOT let anyone pity them. So much so that Envy commits suicide because of it, specifically because Ed, the one they hate the most, is showing it to them.
    • Averted when Miles, in a Secret Test of Character, reveals his Ishvalan ancestry to Ed and accuses him of the crimes the Amestrians committed to the Ishvalans. Ed, who was a child during the war and is only half-Amestrian, counters that Ishvalans burnt his hometown and killed Winry's parents, which surprises Miles, who said he usually got pity as an answer to that question.
  • Naoki Shinjyo from Future GPX Cyber Formula invokes this on Hayato when his car got stuck in the mud during the first half of the African GP. Hayato tries to help Shinjyo to get out of the mud, but he said:
    Shinjyo: Weren't you satisfied enough just to laugh at me? I'd rather drop out than have to take your pity!
  • Don't treat Ayase from Guilty Crown differently just because she happens to be wheelchair-bound. She will surely kick your ass if you do.
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, Flay takes it really bad when she feels Kira is spending time with her rather than his parents because he pities her as an orphan. Previously, she was the one acting as Kira's only moral support. This is also something of a Heel Realization for her; she's been manipulating him all this time, using him for her own ends...and he's being kind and pitying her.
  • In Gundam Build Divers, this puts Tsukasa Shiba into a Villainous Breakdown. While he's in the middle of his Cryptic Conversation Motive Rant, Sarah stops him by asking "Then, why? Why are you crying?". This really pisses him off.
  • Claes from Gunslinger Girl does not tolerate sympathy from anyone concerning her situation within the Agency (handler is dead, cannot go into missions anymore, is confined as a tech tester). In an inverse, she doesn't give sympathy to the girls or even tolerate their angsting, as seen when Angelica becomes self-deprecating after her blunders in the mission in the mountains.
  • Toris aka Lithuania from Hetalia: Axis Powers does not have a good life since he works for Russia and is in a very weird and tragicomic Love Triangle with his boss and said boss's little sister, but hates telling others (even his old friend Feliks aka Poland) about his problems. In fact, Poland learns about Lithuania's woes only by accident, when he gets ready to sneak behind Lithuania when he's in the bathtub and happens to see the massive scars on his back.
  • The iDOLM@STER - Chihaya shuns anyone who dares to come close to her during her Heroic BSoD.
  • Inuyasha: When Sesshoumaru's only arm is badly injured by Magatsuhi, Inuyasha becomes visibly guilt-stricken over the extent of his wounds, blames himself for what's just happened, and promptly tells him that a fight is no place for an injured person. All it does is piss off Sesshoumaru and make him even more stubborn than usual about continuing to fight.
  • May Wong from Kaleido Star invokes this trope on Sora Naegino twice. First, after her Break the Haughty episode, when she thinks Sora will mock her for being abandoned by Leon and tells her to go away when in reality Sora wanted to tell her that she flunked Leon's last test.. Second, when Katie asks a punished Sora (meaning, she's not allowed to perform for almost dropping out of the Stage) to challenge her during rehearsals, but Sora refuses and May even slaps her in the middle of her upcoming Heroic BSoD.
  • Shadow Link holds this attitude toward Princess Zelda at one point, in the manga adaptation of The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures.
  • In March Comes in Like a Lion, Kyoko has a lot of pride in herself that would cause her to react this way. She verbalizes this to Rei when she attempts to leave the Kouda house; by that point, she is sick of being treated delicately and people feeling sorry for her.
  • My Hero Academia: This seems to be the whole reason Katsuki Bakugo hates the main character, Izuku Midoriya. Being looked down upon by someone he viewed as a no-good weakling triggered a massive Inferiority Superiority Complex within him. It also the reason he can't accept the results of the U.A. Sports Festival, as he only won because Todoroki didn't use his full power. While Todoroki was going through his own issues at the time that made him unable to use them, the knowledge that he ultimately won because his opponent didn't use everything at his disposal leaves Bakugo feeling like he only won the fight out of pity, which sends him into even more of a rage than if he had lost fair and square.
  • My-HiME:
    • Mai struggles with this quite a bit. While she is quick to help others in need (stemming from a tragic incident from her youth that led to her mother's death and her brother's illness), she is even quicker to push away help when she needs it to avoid being seen as weak.
    • Natsuki in the manga. When she is fighting her mother Saeko, she gets a Breaking Speech saying that since Yuuichi has kissed and effectively chosen Mai, he is only helping her out of pity. Yuuichi then admits that he kissed Mai but asks if Natsuki has any objections to him helping her, causing her to punch him and accuse him of pitying him before kissing him and, her feelings settled, summoning her Child to fight.
  • One of Nicol's hangups in My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! is that people tend to pity him for being burdened by having to constantly care for and protect his sister. In an interesting twist, this attitude infuriates him not because of his pride, but because as he sees it, having such a wonderfully kind and gentle sister is no burden at all, but a blessing. Katarina first catches his interest by being the first person to match this sentiment, complimenting him for having such a blessed family.
  • Sakura from Naruto refuses to have Ino hold back during their fight in the Chuunin exams. She resorts to deliberately hitting Ino's two Berserk Buttons (her crush on Sasuke mocked/challenged and being called "Ino-pig") in public to force her into attacking at full strength; Naruto is shocked when she does that, and Kakashi's explanation goes by this trope.
    Kakashi: Sakura isn't the kind of person who mocks someone out of pure cruelty. But she also dislikes the idea of Ino taking pity on her.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi:
    • Done during Negi's fight with Rakan. Jack patronizingly tells Negi that while he's impressed with his progress, he should just give up because he really has no chance to win. Negi doesn't take it well. Of course, knowing Jack, he probably said it just to get Negi to fight harder.
    • Fate's minion Homura pulls this on Rakan as well, when he briefly reads her mind and finds out she's a war orphan taken in by Fate.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: Asuka cannot stand being pitied because in her mind it means that people have realized what's beneath the surface and thinks that she is weak and pathetic.
  • In New Game!, Tsubame "Naru" Narumi is an aspiring programmer whose parents oppose her going into the gaming industry, and have made a deal with her- she must pay for her own education, and if she can't get hired by Eagle Jump, she must return home and inherit the inn. Naru insists that her best friend, Momiji "Momo" Mochizuki, not tell anyone, out of what Momo describes as stubbornness and a desire to show up her mother.
  • Omamori Himari: Being a warrior who respects honor, Himari occasionally takes offense to Yuuto's kindness when something bad happens to her.
  • One Piece:
    • Chopper goes over to treat Usopp after he loses his duel against Luffy, saying crewmember or not, he needs medical help, but Sanji tells him that Usopp knew what would happen, and it would be even more painful to be pitied after his loss. Chopper opts for just leaving medical supplies for Usopp to tend to his own wounds. Chopper's done this a few times as well, but it's played for humor.
    • Played for Laughs when Perona discovers that her Negative Hollows (which normally cause people to fall into depression) don't work on Usopp because he's so pessimistic. She and her subordinates then try to cheer him up with encouraging signs, which cause Usopp to yell at them.
    • Zoro, after taking all of Luffy's pain, when Sanji asked him what's going on, he simply answered: "Nothing happened".
    • In a stranger take on the trope, after Brook is beaten within an inch of his un-life by his own shadow in the form of Ryuuma, it is Ryuuma (who both is and is not a part of him) who scolds the rescuers for "interacting with the defeated." Brook himself, however, eagerly accepts help in taking his shadow back.
    • Admiral Fujitora, who's blind, really doesn't like being pitied because of it, even if it's someone taking it easy on him in a fight for that same reason. When Luffy started calling where his attacks would land to "give him a chance", Fujitora got quite miffed about it and started actually swinging to kill rather than arrest.
  • Mai (Konami's daughter) from Popotan does not take kindly to Mai the main character trying to help her when her sketchbook gets stolen.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica: Sayaka does not like it when people pity her for not getting the boy. And even worse, when they pity her for not being able to hack what being a Magical Girl actually means. She even rebukes Madoka's approach (though to her credit, she realises it's not good)! Homura is not pleased with this development.
  • In Ranma ½, after a fight with a stronger and faster Ranma, Ryoga has been twisted into a human knot. Akane is trying to untie him and explains how Ranma is stronger and faster due to his training/fighting with Cologne (Shampoo's great-grandmother). Ryoga doesn't "want to see pity in those eyes," so he runs away... on his hands.
    • This could also be seen as the reason why Ranma and Akane basically fail as a Battle Couple. Both practice Supernatural Martial Arts, but while Akane is good, Ranma is better. Couple this with his own desire to avoid seeing Akane get hurt, as well as Akane's mixture of self-esteem troubles and tsundere nature and Ranma's having No Social Skills, and the result is Akane getting ticked off by his insistence that he needs to "look after her".
    • In the moxibustion arc, Akane tries to cheer Ranma up. When he responds negatively to her encouragement by walking away, she says:
      Akane: You fool! Snap out of it!
      Ranma: Stop it... I don't want your pity...
  • Pumpkin Doryu of Rave Master says this when the heroes begin to feel sorry for him upon learning his Start of Darkness.
  • Romeo X Juliet: As he lay dying, Leontes Montague tells Juliet that he'll not have her pity.
  • Done unusually in Rurouni Kenshin, where a dying Udo Jin-E rebuffs Kenshin's pity—being so violent and insane, he much preferred the silent, murderous Kenshin about to kill him moments before.
  • Sailor Moon: Used big time by Queen Nehelenia. After finding out about her past, the Senshi and especially Usagi start to pity her and look at her with sympathy, causing her to fly off the handle. "Those eyes again... DON'T LOOK AT ME WITH SUCH EYES!" She then attacks them. They keep it up as she breaks down and gives up.
  • In Saki Shinohayu -dawn of age-, Kanna's reaction to her friends trying to comfort her after her loss to Hayari Mizuhara in mahjong, the first time anyone has defeated her at a game, is to tell them that she doesn't need their pity, declare mahjong an "illogical pile of shit" and run off spouting profanity.
  • Sara from Samurai Champloo is very definite about not wanting to be felt sorry for even though she's blind. It turns out she does just fine.
  • Sgt. Frog: In the manga when one of Tamama's attempts to discredit Mois not only ends in failure but results in Mois trying to console him without knowing what she is consoling him about.
  • In both Shaman King and Shaman King: Flowers the Tao Family and the Asakura Branch Family have this. It tones down when they have their Heel–Face Turn.
  • The title character of Shuukan Shounen Hachi isn't happy at all that people praise him for "doing his best". It's the worst kind of humiliation to him, since people who say that never seem to consider that he can succeed.
  • A constant theme for Tatsumasa Oda from Slam Dunk, who has severe problems with his own pride and a sudden injury in his foot and pushes his girlfriend Youko away when she tries to help him. It's up to Hanamichi Sakuragi to see what's going on.
  • Tsubaki's brother Masamune in Soul Eater gives this word for word during their fight; Tsubaki continues to pity him even as he's stabbing her in half a dozen places.
  • In Sword Art Online, it's implied that Asuna's cousins, who are also competing with her academically due to a family-wide rivalry between their parents and hers, expressed sympathy for her being trapped in the eponymous video game for two years because she's no longer a threat to them. As such, while a part of Asuna's glad to see them again, she also recognizes their pity for what it is and doesn't like it.
  • Touch: On top of everything that's gone wrong in life, Coach Kashiwaba's going blind. But he's not going to let anyone else know it.
  • Older Than They Look Saku "Loli" Momoi in Wasteful Days of High School Girls dislikes hand-me-downs and pitying favors that remind her of her height, so she's actually happy to have been put in the back row of class during her second year in spite of her difficulty seeing the chalkboard.
  • Welcome to the N.H.K.: Elena in the Manga when Yamazaki tries to give him money so he can get a sex change operation.
  • In Yuri Is My Job, this happens between Sumika and Nene. The latter had broken off her schwestership with Sumika to be schwesters with her lover Goeido, only for Goeido to callously break up with Nene before long. Sumika was quite bitter about what had happened, with the incident convincing her that any romance in the salon would likely end badly, but Nene disagrees.
    "This thing you do, Sumika… you're very caring, but it's annoying. I think I at least know how to fall in love with people on my own. I don't need someone micromanaging every little thing I do. Crying because you've been left behind is just another part of love."

    Comic Books 
  • In Marvel's Age of Apocalypse alternate history, Quicksilver learned that his father had been kidnapped by his worst enemy, his half-brother had vanished, and a virtual stranger had also been captured. He had to decide to rescue the stranger. When his girlfriend Storm tried to sympathize, he refused to talk with her because if he thought of what he was doing, he would not be able to do it.
  • Another example courtesy of The DCU: In issue 13 of the '80s Batman and the Outsiders, Katana (who actually Is Just Better, by the way) is tracking a poisoned and delusional Batman. She stops to save a civilian's life and thus, loses Bats. So she expresses her regret to substitute commander Black Lightning, prompting the following conversation:
    Black Lightning: Don't go committin' Hara-Kiri or anything over it, Katana! You've been through a lot lately!
    Katana: Don't pity me because of the death of my husband, Lightning! I won't have that!
    Black Lightning: Sorry! But any of us would have done the same thing!
  • Monet St. Croix has a case of this toward Sabretooth during Uncanny X-Men (2015). Creed is very protective of her, constantly coming to her aid and/or asking if she's all right. Monet isn't happily receptive. the exchange after Creed has just saved her from a possessed Morlock.
    Sabretooth: You all right?
    Monet: I'm fine. Of course, I'm fine. Don't forget who you're dealing with, Creed. What makes you think I needed you to come swooping in like a knight in tarnished armor?
    Sabretooth: Pheromones. I've known you long enough, frail. I know when you're afraid. There's no shame in it. Everyone—
    Callisto: I hate to interrupt whatever's going on between you two, but if you could get your heads in the game. They're escaping and taking more Morlocks with them.
  • After DC Comics's Damage is seriously scarred in battle, he is resentful, bitter, belligerent, and unwilling to join any other heroes. The Justice Society of America manages to slowly integrate him into their team. Then his character takes a sudden turn for the sunnier when his scars are healed.
    • Sunnier nothing, his step-brother Atom-Smasher derides Damage for essentially being "Vanity Smurf with superpowers". Damage's face was healed by Gog, so Damage spread Gog's message, all the while showing off his "perfect face". This leads to a Kick the Dog moment when Damage destroys Atom-Smasher's (originally Damage' and A.S.'s father's) house full of priceless memories because he didn't want to be "linked to a dwarf". When Gog dies, Damage's face gets re-scarred and is this all over again.
  • In Doctor Strange and Doctor Doom: Triumph and Torment, Doom takes advantage of a contest to put Strange in his debt and get his assistance in rescuing his mother's soul from Hell. While they are successful, Cynthia von Doom witnesses her son being a Manipulative Bastard, dresses him down, and escapes to Heaven without any chance of reconciliation. Strange, moved by pity, reaches out to Doom, but Doom coldly rebuffs him.
  • In one MAD "Lighter Side of" feature, a man politely rejects help carrying groceries to his car, saying he has to learn how to do some things on his own. It then turns out that he parked in a handicapped spot illegally, which he regrets because of the attention, and said this because he is not handicapped.
  • In Sonic Universe, could be Scourge the Hedgehog in issue 29. The pitiers sing "Always Look On the Bright Side of Life" and state that they're only doing this because they feel bad that they're happy he's getting hurt, not them.
  • Star Wars Expanded Universe: Obsession: Asajj Ventress tells this to Obi-Wan as she battles him, and notes that he no longer has pity in his eyes as she dies. (Or does she?)
    • In Star Wars: Legacy, the Jedi healer Hosk Trey'lis' last words are forgiving his murderer, and saying that he pities him for crossing over to the dark side to survive, and for the man he must once have been.
    Darth Krayt: I do not pity.
  • Supergirl: In the Many Happy Returns storyline, Rebel attacks Supergirl but she is feeling depressed and doesn't want to defend herself. When Rebel complains about it, Kara apologizes and says she can try to fight back if it'd make him feel better. Rebel grumbles he doesn't want her pity.
    Supergirl: I'm... I'm sorry, Rebel. I could... try to fight back. If it'd make you feel better.
    Rebel: Oh, please. I don't want your pity.
  • Teen Titans: The one thing Beast Boy can't stand is when people pity him.
  • DC's The Ray foolishly caused his father to go into respiratory arrest and saved him with mouth-to-mouth. The father immediately berated him for his stupidity, but the Ray ignored him in his relief that he was alive, which was so great that he started to cry. His father realized it, stopped the scolding, and tried to put his arm about him. Ray angrily shrugged it off. (A second attempt was more successful.)
  • The Sandman: Orpheus says this to the Griffin gate guard of his father's kingdom after his wife dies.
  • In the short-lived Warrior comic, when the title character returns from the hospital, his butler gives him his wheelchair in order to help him relax. Warrior flips out at this and tosses the wheelchair into the stratosphere.
  • In Young Justice, when Slo-Bo begins to go blind.
    Slo-Bo: First person who pities me, I kill. Not frag. Kill.
  • In Red Robin most of the reason Ives hides his cancer diagnosis from his friends and classmates for so long is that he doesn't want any pity or special treatment for it from them and would prefer to just be treated like another teenager.
  • The Avengers and the X-Men fight against an alien invasion of Skrulls and Badoons in Central Park, and a woman and her children were caught in the crossfire. The father then arrived at the scene, and Cyclops said that he was sorry. The man took his gun and killed him, as well as many other heroes who were there. And that was just the beginning. The name of the story? The Punisher Kills the Marvel Universe.
  • This is one of the biggest berserk buttons for the titular heroine of Albedo: Erma Felna EDF, as pitying her can enrage Erma to no end, a trait also shared with the author of the comic as well.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy: In the team's earliest days, Major Victory tended to be like this a lot, on account of being stuck in his spacesuit (otherwise he'd age to death in seconds). Not a good combination with four other guys also suffering from the severe trauma of seeing your species nearly wiped out, and it nearly leads to a brawl between Vance and Charlie-27 when he gets fed up of it.

    Fan Works 
  • In Advice and Trust, Rei pities Ritsuko because she's Gendo's easily-controlled tool. Ritsuko is aware of it and hates being pitied by Rei.
  • In Ala These Daemons a runaway Harry growled that he wasn't "charity" when three Diagon Alley shopkeepers offered to let him stay with them - until they threw in a job offer.
  • Anachronism: In a flashback to when he lost yet another battle against his rival, a crying Hop yells to Gloria that he doesn't want her pity.
  • Blood Moon: Katara hates it when Sokka tries to comfort her when she and the other waterbenders finally return to the South Pole after years of imprisonment. Most likely because she's resentful of the fact that her big brother could grow up free and at home, surrounded by loved ones.
  • Defied in A Boy, a Girl and a Dog: The Leithian Script, as befitting a story based on J. R. R. Tolkien's works. Edrahil didn't like being pitied by his colleague -after Edrahil let slip he considers himself a failure who ruined his relationship with his life's love-... but he accepted the Captain's mercy anyway, and that was the beginning of their friendship.
    Steward: I don't want your pity.
    Captain: I know. I'm sorry.
    Steward: Then since you will not rescind it, I must thank you for it.
  • In the Cuphead fan comic from DeviantArt, Cagney Is a Carnation by fuyuflowga, after the battle in which Cagney Carnation is defeated and his Soul Contract stolen, when Elder Kettle and the flower children arrive to patch him up, they ask him to come with them, but the damaged flower has reached the Despair Event Horizon by telling them that he is an irredeemable villain who has murdered Mugman; that his Soul Contract will be handed over to the Devil who will kill him; and that he doesn't deserve any sympathy at all, let alone deserve to live. Fortunately, it takes some coaxing from Elder Kettle (including the fact that Mugman is Back from the Dead and all better now) to snap the flower out of despair and bring him into recovery.
  • Codex Equus: Justified with Prince Healing Song. Being blind since infancy, Healing Song hates it when people patronize him and treat his disability as tantamount to being completely helpless, which he finds degrading. However, he does acknowledge that he needs help at times, and feels grateful when help is genuinely offered. This served as the basis of an argument between him and Steel String later in life; after Healing Song was diagnosed with terminal cancer, Steel String coddled him by making sure he was always well-protected and well-provided. Healing Song eventually got fed up with this and confronted his bassist, and prodded him until Steel String broke down, confessing his guilt over his own inability to protect him from War Rock and his fear of losing his "little brother". This led to them reconciling, especially after Healing Song confessed his own fear of death.
  • In the My Hero Academia fanfiction The Devil of U.A., Izuku when it's revealed that he is blind scolds and chastises everyone at the entrance exams for thinking that just because of it doesn't mean he's helpless and their insulting him and also themselves for acting like that.
  • In Diaries of a Madman, this is one of the few things the protagonist, Navarone, cannot stand. He even leaves Equestria ahead of schedule just to avoid this from happening.
  • Evangelion 303:
  • In Equestria: A History Revealed, the Lemony Narrator often does this at times, before returning to her supremely arrogant appearance.
  • In Jack O'Lantern, Sarada hates being pitied after she was tortured and blinded on a mission. She also tries to downplay the torture by insisting it was "short" - only a few hours long - compared to other shinobi's experiences.
  • In the Coco fanfiction, Like a Gentle Refrain, Imelda hates being on the receiving end of any type of pity, such as the Condescending Compassion directed towards her in life due to her parents disowning her for choosing to marry Héctor and then him leaving.
  • Long Road to Friendship has Sunset Shimmer, as part of her defrosting from being an Alpha Bitch, refuse any help from the Humane Five, despite living in an abandoned factory with barely enough food and money to scrape by. Part of it is wanting to maintain a strong image of a jerk, and part of her feels like she deserves it. It's only around the twenty-fifth chapter of the fic that she starts letting the Humane Five help at all, and even then, it comes with a warning from Sunset that she is not to be treated like a "freeloader."
  • In Neither a Bird nor a Plane, it's Deku!, Bakugou sees Izuku's unwillingness to apply to U.A. as a sign that Izuku is looking down on him after their fateful childhood brawl, effectively demanding that he apply so they can settle the score. The truth of the matter is that Izuku is refusing to apply because he fears the possibility of repeating what happened that day.
    Bakugou: You think you're so special, don't you, Deku? You think that you can have a Quirk like yours, show me up one time, and then just get away with not having the balls to settle things?!
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: Genocide: During an argument, Asuka tells Shinji that she doesn't want his pity.
    Asuka: Let's get one thing straight, Third Child. The last thing I want — the absolutely last thing I want — is pity from the likes of you. Nothing she said, and nothing you said got me here. I'm here for myself.
  • In Nice Kaachan Au, after an amnesiac Katsuki learned of how brutal he was during his match against Ochako during the Sports Festival, he tries to apologize before she stops him. However, this is not out of pride but rather that Ochako respected Katsuki didn't hold back, and that it motivated her to become a stronger hero.
  • In Of Quirks and Magic, this is Izuku's response after his hands are crippled and Dr. Strange claims to be Quirkless while performing all sorts of awesome feats in front of him. All the while, he's secretly begging Strange to show him more.
    Izuku: [bitter whispering] You don't have to lie, you know, You don't have to make stuff up just to try and make me feel better.
    Strange: [frowning] Young man, I assure you-
    Izuku: [crying and glaring daggers] How could you even say all of that with a straight face! You already know I'm Quirkless! My hands are shaking and ruined! I can't even eat on my own! And now you're telling're telling me that you're Quirkless despite having so many abilities!? I don't want to hear any of that! I don't want to be told that a Quirkless loser like me can have that kind of power! I don't need you feeling sorry for me! [struggles to point accusingly at him] I. Don't. Need. Your. Pity!
  • The One I Love Is...: In chapter 9 Asuka is cracking under pressure and going through a severe breakdown which her Mind Rape worsened. When Shinji tries to help her she tells several times she does not want to be pitied and she actually hates being pitied.
    "Don't give me that look! The last thing I want is your pity, Third Children!"
  • The Parselmouth of Gryffindor's Filch (who works so hard day and night to prove to himself he's better than wizards, Squib or not) doesn't react well when Hermione tries to get him to stop overworking himself and get some help from the House-Elves.
  • Guzma in Pokémon Reset Bloodlines has this issue when people look at him with worry.
  • Toki in The Pride assumes Kurama/Naruto is patronizing her and allowed her to win their spar when she finally gets a clean hit on him. He responds by suddenly appearing in front of her and punching her in the stomach hard enough to make her collapse. While Toki's regaining her breath, he explains that he had to hold back for their spars to have any meaning and all her victory meant was that he can now hold back less.
  • Prodigal Son: Invoked by Astrid word-for-word when Hiccup discovers the marriage contract she has with Snotlout.
  • A variation in chapter 32 of Roommates: Memoirs of the Hairless Ape, when Mike is having serious fears about his mental health. Looking around at his equally troubled friends and neighbors, he finds that, rather than pitying him, their expressions are of understanding, and that's what hurts him the most: "They simply know. Perhaps they knew all along."
  • In Sakura's Glasses, Sasuke despises pity from the villager following the death of his clan (Hence preferring Naruto's brash attitude compared to other's sympathy). When he suspects that Sakura has become quiet and more helpful towards him because of the loss of his clan, he becomes infuriated, hating her almost as much as his brother.
  • In Skyhold Academy, Bethany feels this way with regards to her potentially fatal illness. She's crushed when she thinks that her Love Interest is just humoring her feelings for him because he feels sorry for her. (He's not, but Poor Communication Kills.)
  • Superwomen of Eva 2: Lone Heir of Krypton: In chapter 19 Asuka has just been Mind Raped, her career as pilot (which has defined her whole life since her mother's death and was all she had lived for) is pretty much over and her career as Supergirl might be gone too because she believes she is unworthy. When Rei and Shinji try to help her, she replies she does not want their pity.
  • In Sorrowful and Immaculate Hearts, Bruce Wayne is a low-key example, gently but firmly deflecting anyone who asks if he's okay. He never shouts at anyone, because getting worked up about it would be a sign that he wasn't okay, and he is okay. Of course, he's okay. He's a rich white single male, what reason could he possibly have for not being okay? Everything is fine.
  • Tales of the Undiscovered Swords's Nikkō Ichimonji is actually a covert Blood Knight who wants to be treated like a genuine weapon capable of doing battle despite his shrine offering origin and gentle personality, so much so that when Tsurumaru and co. who have been pulling tricks against him express remorse over grievously injuring him, he goes Shinken Hissatsu.
    Nikkō: Do not pity meoriginal .
  • In Tomorrow's Doom, Amaya can make quite a fuss about people treating her like a porcelain doll because of her epilepsy.
  • The Very Secret Diary: After she works out his backstory, Tom reviles the idea of Ginny feeling sorry for him, and mocks her compassion. Ginny retorts that no, actually, she doesn't feel sorry for him at all — after all, even his rough upbringing couldn't have possibly made him do what he's done.
    Ginny: I have been thinking. Harry is an orphan, and he is not horrible. And Prissy has everything she wants, and she is still nasty. So I do not know how much it counts. I cannot work out what is wrong with you.
    [Stunned Silence for several lines.]
    Tom: Get. Out.
  • In Why Am I Crying?, Scootaloo yells this to Miss Cheerilee when she talks about when Scootaloo's mother walked out on her and her father.
    Cheerilee: Many ponies knew about your mother leaving. I'm guessing they never spoke about it out of—
    Scootaloo: Pity, right?! Well, I don't need your pity, or anypony's!

    Films — Animation 
  • Kung Fu Panda: "I don't want your apology. I want my scroll!" Interrupting a Sympathy for the Devil moment, for that matter.
  • In The Prince of Egypt, after Ramses' son dies along with the other firstborns in the last plague, Moses tries to comfort the grieving Ramses. Ramses swats his hand away demanding that Moses leave.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • AVP: Alien vs. Predator has Charles Bishop Weyland, a wealthy elderly industrialist, who funds the mission to a newly-discovered pyramid under tons of ice. He later reveals to the protagonist that he's dying of lung cancer and wants to leave his mark on the world. Later, as the survivors are running from a Predator, Weyland tries to have a You Shall Not Pass! moment. The Predator scans him, sees his deformed lungs, and just walks right past the old man. The pissed-off Weyland attacks the Predator with a makeshift flamethrower. Now, the Predator won't ignore him and goes all stabby on the guy.
  • In Chocolat (2000), Armande (Judi Dench) turns out to be hiding the fact that she's diabetic from Vianne, the chocolate shop owner. After Armande's daughter reveals this, chews Vianne out for giving her sweets, and leaves in a huff, Vianne asks the old woman why she did not let her know. But Armande won't let anyone boss her around about how she lives her life, and as she leaves, says "Don't you dare pity me!" She dies the night after a sweets-filled birthday party Vianne caters for her, but this is seen by the film as preferable to living out her life in a nursing home.
  • In The Crossing Guard, Jack Nicholson's character falls into a spiral of despair and anger after his daughter gets killed by a drunk driver while crossing the street. He delivers this to his wife when she expresses her pity for him.
  • Defied by Ravi in Deewaar. Instead of turning down a job he was just offered and saying that the other man who applied for it needs it more, he asks how much he would be paid and says it's not enough before walking out. He needn't have bothered; the other man sees through it immediately (though the employer doesn't, so he was spared some embarrassment anyway) and is grateful.
  • Fatal Attraction Alex snaps this at Dan when he tries to give her the brush-off.
  • Michael Myers from the Halloween series is perfectly willing to kill people for no real reason. However, Michael really goes out of his way to kill people who dare to pity him as brutally as possible.
  • In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry uses Snape's Legilimency charm against him, revealing that in his childhood, James Potter, Sirius Black, and Peter Pettigrew caught him off guard and put him through a Humiliation Conga while Remus Lupin looked on and did nothing. As soon as Harry leaves Snape's mind, the scowl on his face says it all.
  • In the Heat of the Night:
    Gillespie: Don't you ever get just... a little lonely?
    Tibbs: No lonelier than you, man.
    Gillespie: Oh, now, don't get smart, black boy. I don't need it. No pity, thank you. No, thank you!
  • In the Name of the Father: Giuseppe rebuffs Joe's condolences over him and Gerry doing time for his crimes. It's not so much because he hates pity necessarily, but that it comes from an IRA member who has murdered numerous people. He says to save his pity for the people he's killed.
  • Listen To Me: Donna doesn't like to be pitied because of her having a disability, treated differently or called "handicapped" etc. On the other hand, she doesn't like people ignoring the limits it places on her (like being unable to dance) though she's intent on overcoming these eventually.
  • Lockout. After Snow's friend Mace dies, Emilie tries to console him and he roughly rebuffs her.
  • In The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Gandalf offers forgiveness to Saruman, after Isengard is destroyed. His response?
    Saruman: Save your pity and your mercy, I have no use for it! [launches attack]
  • Subverted in Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior: Max is clearly suffering from a traumatic loss, and could probably do with a little pity and understanding. Papagallo deliberately tries to re-open his old wounds.
    Papagallo Tell me your story, Max. C'mon, tell me your story. What burned you out, huh? Kill one man too many? See too many people die? Lose some family? Oh, so that's it. You lost your family. That makes you something special, does it?"
  • In Midnight Cowboy, where Dustin Hoffman's character refuses all attempts to help him over the course of the movie. Moral? He dies on the bus to Florida.
  • Annie tells Kate not to pity her in The Miracle Worker, despite the fact that Annie had grown up in an almhouse, because it made her strong.
  • Explicitly spelled out in the final battle between Liu Kang and Shang Tsung in Mortal Kombat: The Movie:
    Liu Kang: All those souls and you still don't have one of your own... I pity you, sorcerer!
    Shang Tsung: *spits out some blood* Save your pity for the weak!
  • In Disney's less-popular 1992 musical Newsies, Crutchy states, "I don't want nobody carryin' me. Never, ya hear?" when Jack and David go to break him out of the Refuge.
  • In Pride & Prejudice (2005), Charlotte Lucas announces she is marrying Mr. Collins (after Lizzie turned him down) and reacts this way when Elizabeth pities her:
    Charlotte Lucas: My dear Lizzy. I've come to tell you the news. Mr. Collins and I are... engaged.
    Elizabeth Bennet: To be married?
    Charlotte Lucas: Yes of course. What other kind of engaged is there?
    [Lizzy gives her a look of shock and pity]
    Charlotte Lucas: Oh, for Heaven's sake! Don't look at me like that Lizzy! There is no earthly reason why I shouldn't be as happy with him as any other... I'm twenty-seven years old, I've no money and no prospects. I'm already a burden to my parents and I'm frightened. So don't you judge me, Lizzy. Don't you dare judge me!
  • From The Producers:
    You have exactly ten seconds to replace that look of disgusting pity with one of enormous respect.
  • The blind woman and the serial killer in Red Dragon:
    Woman: If there's anything worse than pity, it's fake pity. Especially from a walking hard-on like Ralph Mandy.
    Killer: I have no pity.
  • Parodied in Scary Movie 2 with Dwight, a man who uses a wheelchair and gets offended every time someone offers to help him with anything. He does this even when it would be ridiculously hard to do by himself, like crawling up two flights of stairs. When the Brainless Beauty offers to "help him out downstairs" to get his keys, he responds by auto-fellating himself.
  • In Waterloo Bridge, Myra freaks out when Roy tries to offer her money for her back rent.
  • In When Harry Met Sally..., Sally's reaction to Harry's explanation for why he had sex with her is...less than favorable.
    Harry: But you looked up at me with these big sad eyes; "Don't leave, Harry," "Hold me a little longer, Harry..." I mean, what was I supposed to do?!
    Sally: What are you saying, you took pity on me?! Fuck you! *SLAP*
  • In Young Man With a Horn, Amy (Lauren Bacall) slaps Rick (Kirk Douglas) and says this as they're breaking up.

  • Nightfall (Series): Tristan is always in pain because of something that happened in his past, and he hates being pitied. He hides his condition from almost everyone, which is partly justified as he has many enemies at court.
  • Ayn Rand was quite fond of giving her heroes this characteristic—all preferring to get out of the pitiful situation, instead. SEE: The Fountainhead, Think Twice, and of course Atlas Shrugged.
  • There's a variant in one of the later Campion novels by Margery Allingham. Campion conceals the fact he has amnesia and that one of his few memories is of how much he loves Amanda because he can't bear the thought of her choosing him out of pity.
  • In A Darker Shade of Magic Lila goes off on Kell for not appreciating his life as an adopted son of Royalty while she spent her life in the streets. Then tells him not to pity her when he goes to apologize.
  • Dorothy L. Sayers' Harriet Vane found it difficult to accept Lord Peter Wimsey because he had fallen in love with her after she had been arrested for murder and was in serious danger of execution. The class difference didn't help.
  • In Sorcery & Cecelia, at the beginning of her Season, Kate has no partners at her first dance except for one who seemed rather distracted during the dance and immediately afterward claimed his dance with her sister, making the sister's magnanimity a little too blatant for Kate.
  • On Gor it is extremely taboo to offer anyone pity - it is supposed to demean both the one who offers it and the one who is offered it. So strongly is this felt that in Rogue of Gor, Jason Marshall successfully reforms an alcoholic merely by pitying him for falling prey to the disease. Even the lure of the bottle is not as strong as the drive to never be pitied again.
  • In Robert Asprin's Hit or Myth, Aahz makes or breaks heavy promises to his family in order to rejoin his apprentice Skeeve and finds out that Skeeve is evidently coping just fine without him. Skeeve quickly realizes how crushing this is, but other characters happily burble about how well Skeeve is doing before coming to belated awareness. Panic-stricken, they look to Skeeve to convince Aahz that he really is still needed, and they aren't saying so out of pity.
  • In the final Codex Alera novel, when Tavi finds out Kitai is pregnant, she starts to cry, uses watercrafting to remove the tears, and Tavi holds her close and says:
    Don't hide those tears from me.
  • In John Barnes's One for the Morning Glory, Amatus's behavior is so erratic after Gorlias's death that people worry that he doesn't sit about spurning sympathy despite his otherwise melancholy behavior.
  • Ender's Shadow: Achilles doesn't want your pity, and in fact will kill you if he detects even a hint of it in any of your interactions. Of course, he may just kill you anyway. He's like that.
  • In Animorphs, Marco presents the facade of aloofness because he hates feeling pitied, which ultimately fails when his teammates find out that his mother is Visser One, leader of the Yeerk Invasion. Likewise, teammate Tobias eventually becomes accustomed to being a hawk, but still tries to avoid the feelings of pity from his friends. That said, he is Emohawk, so he spends most of the time wangsting. Jake, similarly, can't stand pity, because he feels that as the leader, he should appear flawless and confident in every decision he makes and therefore tries never to let the others see him second-guessing himself.
  • Star Wars Expanded Universe: Heir to the Empire: After Mara Jade reveals her origins to Luke, she lets him know that she doesn't need his sympathy. She gets it anyway!
    • Funnily enough, she grows to admire this quality, although the only people she'd ever admit that to are her husband and son (Luke and Ben, obviously).
  • In Lois McMaster Bujold's Mirror Dance, Mark Vorkosigan says to Elena, "Don't you dare pity me. I won."
  • Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind is an example. She cannot stand being pitied; Rhett claims that she cannot stand pity and sympathy because she sees them as a sign of weakness. At the end of the book, when Rhett tells her that this is the only feeling he has left for her, that is the moment that she knows for certain that their marriage is over.
  • Belle in Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol breaks up with Scrooge when she realizes that his personality has changed and his love of wealth now overshadows any feelings he has for her. When Scrooge points out that he has never asked to break off their engagement, she rejects it as pity or a sense of obligation.
    • Scrooge himself also has a moment like this in the 1984 TV adaptation starring George C. Scott. In the scene following the one above, an older Belle, now Happily Married with many children, expresses pity for Scrooge when she learns that he's alone in the world. Scrooge, forgetting that Belle can neither see nor hear him, exclaims "Spare me your pity! I have no need of it!"
  • In Dan Abnett's Gaunt's Ghosts novel The Armour of Contempt, Dalin Criid feels and knows he dares not express a deep pity for Merrt after the Ghost ends up in RIP with him.
  • In the Sherlock Holmes story "The Crooked Man" a soldier had been betrayed to the enemy by his rival in love and suffered horrific tortures. He had avoided his old love for fear of inspiring her pity for many years.
  • Éowyn, in J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, says this to Faramir with the line, "I desire no man's pity." (Faramir responds with a rare defense of pity: "Do not scorn pity that is the gift of a gentle heart.")
  • In William King's Warhammer 40,000 novel Space Wolf, when Strybjorn is injured, he snarls at Ragnar, "I don't need your help," but gets only to his knees before he starts to topple. Ragnar helps him up and to walk.
    • In Wolfblade, Ragnar at one point thinks of helping Haegr to his feet and gets a warning glance that keeps him silent.
  • Jayfeather of Warrior Cats is not the happiest cat around, mostly due to how much he's pitied because of his blindness. Don't be too nice to him, or he'll think you're pitying him. And don't mention his blindness, but then again, don't seem like you're trying to avoid it, either.
  • In The Wheel of Time, every time one of the heroes meets any Traveling People (who are pacifists), the main response toward him is a pity for his readiness to do violence (even in self-defence). One of the sharpest examples was with Perrin, who actually feels guilty doing violence but understands the necessity and gets one of those looks from one such a woman in the middle of a battle! He pretty much starts shouting the name of the trope at her. In a rare occurrence, she actually breaks that principle to protect him and gets killed.
  • In Brian Jacques's Redwall, Impoverished Patrician Squire Julian of Gingivere disdains his ramshackle estate and repels Matthias's sympathy because he knows nothing of loneliness or trying to preserve standards.
  • In Jim Butcher's The Dresden Files novel Small Favor, Harry is angry with Michael's pity partly because he can tell that Michael thinks he's deluded, and he knows he's not.
  • In Steven Lyons's Warhammer 40,000 novel Ice Guard, Anakora joined the Imperial Guard to avoid the pity. She is convinced that her subsequent survival — two and a half years, where normal life expectancy is measured in hours — resulted from others pitying her.
  • Dawn of War: In C. S. Goto's novel Dawn of War: Ascension, a captive Eldar is infuriated when he realizes a human woman pities him.
  • In Iorich, Loiosh knows better than to extend psychic sympathy when his boss is getting beaten up, as Vlad just wants to ride out the pain until it's over.
  • During Wedge's Gamble, one of the Alderaanians who was off-planet when it was destroyed explains that many Alderaanians feel this trope, hating the thought of pity, but at the same time feel the need to remind people of their loss.
  • In John C. Wright's The Golden Transcedence, after some false memories were revoked from Atkins — against his will — Atkins tells Phaethon to spare him the pity.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Harry also suffers from this, usually justified but sometimes to Too Dumb to Live levels. He hates being famous partly because it's annoying, partly because his parents' double murder is part of his fame, and therefore a good bit of the attention he gets is pity, which he hates. He goes further, however, in frequently not telling Ron and Hermione (especially Hermione) his problems, even if it would do a lot of good because he doesn't want them to pity him. For example, he wouldn't tell them that his detentions with Umbridge involved writing lines with his own blood, provoking an outraged response when Ron found out.
    • When Severus Snape is being bullied by the Marauders, Lily tries to help him only for Severus to declare: "I don't need help from a filthy little Mudblood like her!" Given that "Mudblood" is the most offensive term towards Muggle-born wizards like her, Lily ends her friendship with Severus resulting in his Unlucky Childhood Friend status.
  • The narrator of Jakob the Liar (not in the Robin Williams movie)
  • Raistlin Majere of the Dragonlance books absolutely hates to be pitied.
  • In Uncle Tom's Cabin, the runaway slave George Harris speaks to his kindhearted former boss about his horrible situation and his escape. The boss tries to lend him some money that George desperately needs, but the Hot-Blooded George rejects it. They find a compromise, though: George does take the cash, but promises to repay it once he's free.
  • In The Full Matilda by David Haynes, Matilda refuses the pity of whoever "you" is when she tells the story of how at the age of 16 slept with the senator her family worked for so she could secure her father a house of his own.
  • In Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier, Red literally says this to Sorcha.
  • In John Hemry's The Lost Fleet, Rion to Geary.
  • Jenna Heap in Septimus Heap doesn't exactly approve of being pitied by Hildegarde after her mother Sarah was trapped in the Darke Domaine. In fact, she runs away just to get rid of her.
  • Vlad Tepes in Count and Countess. God help you if you try to point out his awful childhood or show him sympathy over having lost his entire family to a pointless war.
  • In Gene Stratton-Porter's Freckles, Freckles, returning from town where Angel and her father treated him as an equal, breaks down and cries on his return trip. He's not sure what it means but he's afraid it's pity.
  • In the The Savannah Reid Mysteries novel Buried in Buttercream, when Savannah's having a rough time because she and her friends are having some psychological issues from her being shot a couple of months ago, and now her wedding had to be canceled a second time (first because an arsonist burned the building she was supposed to be married in, second time because someone was murdered at the place), she tells her Granny to not say any pitying, kind words because that will make her just fall apart.
  • In Redeeming Love, Angel reacts with derision (and, as she gradually begins to grow more open towards him, anger) towards Michael’s attempts to show sympathy for her unhappy and lonely life as a prostitute.
  • In Circle of Magic, Briar and Daja make themselves rich with plant and smith magic, and Sandry's an heiress who lives with her uncle the Duke of Emelan. Tris is the odd one out since she can't profit from her magic without sacrificing her ethics. When Daja asks her to move into her new forge/house in The Will of the Empress, Tris immediately insists that she'll work as Daja's maid rather than accepting "charity."
  • And how in The Underland Chronicles. All the rats seem to be like this.
  • In the Star Trek novel Spock's World, the Big Bad tells McCoy that said character doesn't want his pity for being imprisoned. He retorts that he's got no time for pity and that the Big Bad needs to pull herself together.
  • In the Sinister Six Trilogy, a character who is named Pity so named because a old man decided that she should be miserable her entire life and all she'll ever have is pity decides at the end that she won't take pity from anyone anymore.
  • To Kill a Mockingbird has a variation. The black Tom Robinson was almost certain to be convicted of the white Mayella Ewell's rape regardless of what he said, but he makes one serious mistake at his trial; the prosecutor asks him why he was constantly helping her around her house while turning down money (presumably trying to get Tom to say that he was attracted to her,) but Tom does something even worse by saying that he helped because he "felt right sorry for her". "You felt sorry for her? You felt sorry for her?" replies the prosecutor, causing both Tom and Atticus to immediately realize that the concept of a black man pitying a white woman will offend the jury so much that whatever extremely slim chance they might have had of acquittal has been lost, and Atticus's closing statement specifically draws attention to how having the "temerity" to pity a white woman is not reason enough to convict him.
  • In Comrade Death, Sarek arranges to Murder the Hypotenuse when his rival Janos is arrested as a spy. Sarek is an Arms Dealer speaking with the nation's paranoid leader and refuses to acknowledge that he knows Janos is an innocent artist. He returns home spinning the tale to Cosima of how he couldn't save her husband and offering to marry her to support her children when she refuses Sarek throws the truth in her face. He expected hatred after confessing to let her husband die, but instead, he receives pity — Cosima is such a Wide-Eyed Idealist that she can't see Sarek for who he really is, believing that he's trying to punish himself for being unable to save Janos.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire: Joffrey reacts this way when Sansa tries to comfort him after he has been mauled by her sister's direwolf. Cersei later states that this incident is the reason why Joffrey delights in making Sansa's life miserable: she saw him when he was weak.
  • Guardians of the Flame: James Michael doesn't like that people pity him for having to use a wheelchair because of his muscular dystrophy, and especially when people also act repelled from him (as Doria does).
  • In Touch (2017), Caspar befriends James right after the latter went through Rape as Backstory. This seems like a coincidence until James learns that Caspar is The Empath and could thus sense his newfound trauma, even if he didn't know the exact cause. He's annoyed by the implication that Caspar only befriended him out of pity, though he gets over it pretty quickly upon learning how bad Caspar's own life is.
  • "'Kjwalll'kje'k'koothaïlll'kje'k", one of Roger Zelazny's My Name Is Legion stories, includes Martha Millay, a famous and award-winning photographer who happens to be horribly crippled... and also a telepath. She lives a hermit-like existence on a remote island and explains that she might well have stayed in the city if it weren't for her ability and knowledge of people's feelings about her.
  • The Berenstain Bears deconstructs this trope when Harry McGill, a cub who needs to use a wheelchair to get around, moves to Bear Country and joins the same class Brother and his friends are in. Harry refuses to be pitied for being paraplegic, which is understandable, especially with Queenie's Disabled Means Helpless attitude towards him. The problem is that he interprets any sort of kindness or decent treatment towards him as nothing more than "special treatment" because of his disability. As a result, he's incredibly abrasive and rude to everyone, even to those who are genuinely trying to befriend him or help him adjust to a new environment regardless of his disability. It takes Brother calling him out on his attitude after Harry was initially ungrateful for Brother defending him from Too-Tall's bullying for him to have a Jerkass Realization and mellow out.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Bones: Hodgins does this majorly after he’s paralyzed in season 11. His friends want to help and support him, but he just lashed out at them because he doesn’t think they can understand what he’s going through and feels they’re treating him differently because of his condition. He finally comes to his senses after asking Angela for a divorce which she won’t hear of.
  • Shawn from Boy Meets World gets very touchy about anyone trying to help him or express sympathy for his horrible home life or poverty.
  • Walt in Breaking Bad is so full of pride that when his once-friend who made a lot of money off his accomplishments that he didn't (because he severed their professional relationship at exactly the WORST TIME) says she feels so sorry for the kind of man he's become his response is a beautifully delivered Precision F-Strike.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • A variation in "Dead Things". Buffy tearfully reveals her mutually abusive sexual relationship with Spike to Tara. She begs Tara to not forgive her; not out of anger, but because she's so disgusted with herself that she doesn't think she deserves pity.
    • Played straight in "Doomed" with former badass Spike, who was rendered unable to hurt humans due to the chip in his head and was on the verge of suicide. When Willow and Xander bring him along to stop him from staking himself, Spike manages to cheer himself up by taunting and insulting them, stating that they are "even more useless than he is" and he doesn't want their pity.
  • This is Saha's reaction in an episode of Bunheads when Boo defends her to Melanie and Ginny for being the Mean Girl.
  • Subverted in an episode of Castle, when Castle has been feeling insecure about the fact that his daughter Alexis is no longer the little girl she used to be and is gradually moving away from reliance on him and into adulthood, as evidenced by her getting a boyfriend. At the end of the episode, Alexis 'happens' to casually suggest that they go out for a meal and hang out, the way they used to when she was little. Castle pegs immediately that she's been informed of his earlier insecurity and that he's essentially being offered a 'pity date', but he's willing to take it at that point.
  • Is Played for Laughs on Chappelle's Show, when a handicapped man falls down and refuses help. He gets a round of applause after he gets back up and orders his meal.
  • Det. Erin Lindsay on Chicago P.D. is incredibly secretive about her past (understandably so, as she grew up the child of a junkie mother and a father serving life in prison). The few who do know anything about her, Lindsay quickly turns her wrath against.
    • Likewise, Det. Hailey Upton is very guarded about her childhood, not wanting to disclose that witnessed her father being abusive towards her mother and it's implied that she was on the receiving end of this herself. She was also nearly raped by her mark during an undercover assignment and refuses to disclose this when the unit investigates the same guy years later; Halstead only finds out after calling in a favor to the officer who helped cover it up.
    • Not wanting to be seen as weak or The Chick, Kim Burgess tends to soldier through a lot of the bad things that she undergoes, including being shot. However, she invokes this trope full-on in "Burden of Truth" when she finally lets out her grief at losing her and Ruzek's unborn child.
    Burgess: I wasn’t supposed to be on the scene, I wasn’t supposed to be at the motel, I wasn’t supposed to lose the baby. Don’t you get that? I don’t want pity, and I don’t want support. I want you to be angry with me, as angry with me as I am.”
  • Stephen Colbert to the cheering Studio Audience, after yet another flubbed line:
    No, no, I don't want your pity!
  • Community:
    • After the study group learns that Jeff is living in his car, they attempt to offer him a place to stay. "The next person who offers me charity or pity gets mentioned by name in my suicide note," Jeff responds.
    • Pierce Hawthorne takes this trope to an extreme; he hates the idea of anyone pitying him for his age and his mostly lonely, miserable life, but he is nevertheless so desperate for attention that rather than accept their pity and sympathy he'll act out in more destructive and hurtful ways. This usually ends up with everyone being so sick of his abrasiveness and cruelty that pity's the last thing they end up feeling towards him for him... which inevitably ends up with him ultimately being even lonelier and more miserable.
      • At one point, he almost says this one verbatim; "How dare you pity me?!"
  • Mac Taylor on CSI: NY started this when his colleagues started picking up on his trauma-induced aphasia. Christine finally broke through to him though.
  • Downton Abbey: Thomas Barrow says this to his acquaintance when she expresses concern that he is using a "cure" for homosexuality, essentially poisoning himself.
  • Elementary: Hannah Gregson is furious when her father, Captain Gregson, punches her partner in front of their precinct. His actions made the fact that Hannah's partner, who she'd also been dating, had hit her public knowledge when she wanted to keep the issue private. She believes that people seeing her as a victim will affect her promotion prospects, although she's later promoted to sergeant suggesting it wasn't as big an issue as she feared.
  • Aeryn from Farscape doesn't object to pity. At the start, she objects to every single emotion. In one episode, instead of talking things out with Crichton and letting him comfort her, she pounds a punching bag until it's stained with her own blood. Ow.
  • Subverted in the first episode of Foyle's War: DCS Foyle approaches Sgt. Milner, who is recuperating after having his leg shot off in the Battle of Norway (and is consequently a little shell-shocked and shaken) and asks for his help in investigating the case. Milner bitterly replies that he doesn't want Foyle's pity. Foyle immediately and bluntly responds that he doesn't have time for pity; he's trying to solve a murder of an unpopular German woman with, thanks to World War II, a severely reduced staff in an atmosphere of fear and chaos, and is approaching Milner because he's a trained police officer and Foyle needs all the help he can get. So if Milner wants to lie around uselessly feeling sorry for himself, that's Milner's own problem. Milner eventually agrees to help.
  • Game of Thrones: Rickard Karstark to Catelyn, after she frees Jaime who had just killed Karstark's son.
    Karstark: I don't want your grief. I want my vengeance. And you stole it from me!
  • In Gossip Girl, Dan runs out on his family and Vanessa after Georgina takes Milo away and just won't deal.
  • Invoked on Have I Got News for You by guest host David Mitchell:
    [the Missing Words headline is "(Lack of item price) surprises many customers about bar codes"]
    David: [reading autocue] To be honest, it doesn't bother me that prices aren't included in bar codes, because over the years, I've come to know the prices of every single Ready Meal for One.
    Audience: Awww. [David looks mortified]
    Paul: Shall we start a collection?
    Andy Hamilton: Yeah!
    David: (waving his hands) The pity's worse!
  • House:
    • The title character accuses Cameron of pitying rather than loving, and it's implied that it was the reason for her attraction to her husband (who was dying of cancer) and to House himself.
    • Effectively subverted on the recent episode "Emancipation." The patient, an emancipated minor and orphan, vehemently rejects any pity from the other characters. She maintains this stance when she later states that she lied about her parents' deaths and ran away from home because her father raped her. Ultimately, House realizes that the reason she's so adamantly against being pitied is that she doesn't think she's worthy of it. The real reason she ran away from home was that she (accidentally) killed her brother.
  • House of Anubis- Joy went through a phase of this during the beginning of season 3 when she was trying to get over Fabian and re-invent herself and found Mara and Willow's sympathy to be annoying.
  • The Inspector Lynley Mysteries: DS Barbara Havers eats, lives, and breathes this trope. When we first meet her, everything she does is designed to make people give up on her before they can pity her. She gets better.
  • Kamen Rider Ex-Aid:
    • Taiga Hanaya will bite back if someone tries to offer comfort after everything he went through. He actually wants attention and comfort, but his pride and damaged soul won't let him accept it without feeling horrible. Nico Saiba unknowingly gives him that when she decides to stick to him. Since she is a nasty, trolling Women Child, he doesn't feel too bad letting her get her way to a certain degree. Things get more complicated when they start to genuinely care about each other.
    • Hiiro Kagami won't bite back despite the similarities with Taiga but tries everything he can to deny he really needs a hug. It's interesting to watch them try pity each other.
  • On the L.A. Law episode "The Mouse That Soared," Victor Sifuentes represents a number of businesses trying to get an injunction against a bar that features dwarf-tossing as an attraction. Of course, the bar in question hires a former adversary of Victor's, dwarf attorney Hamilton Schuyler (played by David Rappaport of Time Bandits fame) to defend against the injunction. Early in the case, Schuyler tells the jury, "You need not feel sorry for me, ladies and gentlemen; and you need not feel sorry for any dwarf who chooses to be tossed." But it's in Schuyler's closing argument that he really shines:
    Their whole case comes down to the premise that dwarf-tossing is cruel and depraved. This despite the fact that no tossed dwarf has ever come forward with a complaint. Rather, it is the tall, enlightened people who find it so offensive. And therein, ladies and gentlemen, lies my complaint. That prejudice can be found in the premise that little people need protection. That little people are not competent to make the choices. We don’t know what to do, so you’ll prescribe for us what we should do. I am an attorney. I became an attorney because I wanted to and because it is my right. It is also my right to become a human projectile if I wanted to. And if you limit that right in my “best interests,” you limit my freedom to make the choice. You erode my autonomy. You demean my individuality. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is a far greater detriment to self-esteem than being thrown around in some bar. Now, whatever you do, when you go back into that jury room, don’t you dare feel sorry for us! Take it from me—we’ll take your ridicule over your pity anytime.
  • Lost:
    • After Kate learns of Sawyer's backstory and self-loathing, he warns her never to feel sorry for him.
    • Locke almost epitomizes this trope. Especially in his first centric episode.
      Don't tell me what I can't do.
    • Said by Jack in the season 3 Finale, "Okay, I'll tell you what... you do this... you get my father down here. Get him down here right now and if I'm drunker than he is you can fire me. Don't you look at me like that. Don't you pity me."note 
  • M*A*S*H: Margaret is incredibly torn up over the death of a small dog that had been wandering around camp, and when Hawkeye tries to comfort her, she has this reaction. It doesn't last, though, and the floodgates eventually open.
  • Variation: In Madoff Bernie Madoff narrates that one of his motivations behind his eventual $50 billion swindle was his hatred of the looks of pity his family got when his father's store went out of business. In the end, he addresses the camera and says that he had a smirk on his face leaving court because he succeededno one will ever pity him again.
  • The Mentalist:
    Patrick: "Don't look at each other like that."
    Lisbon: "Like what? You can't see!"
    Patrick: "I can feel. I can feel your pity."
  • Motherland: Fort Salem: In "Up is Down", Abigail is very obviously suffering from PTSD, but she gets angry when Tally and Raelle try to talk to her about it.
  • In Mr. Belvedere, Wesley runs for student body president, and a kid in a wheelchair runs against him. No matter how nasty his campaign is, Wesley refuses to say anything bad about him. He eventually gets mad at Wesley for being too nice to him and tells him to treat him the way he would treat any opponent.
  • Joy's mother says this all the time in My Name Is Earl because she's in a wheelchair. She's not really disabled. She's just pretending.
  • MythQuest: Cleo, who is wheelchair-bound from a climbing accident when she was younger, has this attitude. She will run over her brother's toes if he holds a door open for her, and one time she won a ski trip in a raffle. She accepted it, but afterwards, she complained about how she could feel the pity of everyone watching.
  • On Newhart when maid Stephanie is afraid her wonderful temporary replacement will become permanent, and she tries to impress Dick by making his office “sparkle as never before.” Unfortunately, the replacement maid has made the place spotless and there is nothing for her to clean. Dick balls up a piece of paper so she can empty the trash, only to be told that she doesn’t want his charity.
  • The Outer Limits (1995): In "Valerie 23", a guy in a wheelchair who works at a robotics company is approached by his boss because they want him to test the new robotic companion they've built. He's incredibly pissed off at the suggestion and that his colleagues would think of him as "a loser who couldn't get a real girl". It takes a lot of time for him to be open to the suggestion, and even more time before he eventually relents to her advances.
  • After Gus in Road to Avonlea is blinded, he lets Felicity think he is dead rather than to have her pity him.
  • Averted in Seinfeld by none other than George, who actually enjoys getting pitied, often even using it to get things he wants out of people.
    George: (Discussing how he'd like to be in a mental hospital) You get to wear slippers all day... Friends come. They pity you. Pity's very underrated.
  • Sisters: The four titular sisters have been tracked down by a heretofore unknown fifth sister, the result of their father's affair with her mother. However, she makes it clear that she doesn't want any kind of relationship with them and merely contacted them out of the need for a bone marrow donor (she has aplastic anemia). When the sisters try to connect with her anyway, saying, "I know you've had a rough life" (she was abandoned by her mother and bounced from one foster home to another), she angrily snaps, "I don't want your pity." Fed up with her abrasive attitude, one of the sisters snaps right back, "I wasn't offering it."
  • In Smallville, Chloe sometimes has this attitude towards Clark when he just indulged in some Superdickery.
    Chloe: (to Clark) Why do you even care?
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
    • A variant: when Garak discovers Odo is suffering the effects of a devastating illness, he opens his mouth to say something, but Odo speaks first, telling him, "If I don't want pity from the woman I love, Garak, I certainly don't want it from you." Garak then smiles, turns, and leaves.
    • In an earlier episode, when Odo was suffering from a potentially fatal condition (wrought, as it turns out, by the Founders as a punishment for his siding against them), Garak was more effective at taking Odo's mind off of his troubles than the Deep Space Nine crew, by entertaining Odo with half-truths and tall tales of Garak's time with the Obsidian Order. Garak even invoked this trope, stating that sympathy was not what Odo wanted.
      "Where you offer kindness, I offer mystery. Where you offer sympathy, I offer intrigue. Just give me a seat next to Odo's bed and I promise you I'll conjure up enough innuendos, half-truths, and bald-faced lies about my so-called career in the Obsidian Order to keep the constable distracted for days."
  • In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Skin of Evil," Armus rejects Troi and Picard's offers of pity and compassion.
  • In the Star Trek: TOS episode "Is There In Truth No Beauty?", Dr. Miranda Jones considers pity to be the worst of all the human emotions, partially because of her blindness and partially because of her attachment to Medusan ambassador Kollos, whose people are said to be so hideous, they drive any humanoid who sees them to madness.
  • Used repeatedly in Stella, most often by Michael Showalter. That he also frequently does it in a West Virginia coal miner a la "Coal Miner's Daughter" accent is deliberate.
  • Super Sentai:
  • Scully of The X-Files reacts like this. The more upset she is, the more emphatically she insists that she's fine. Lucky for her, Mulder usually knows she's bluffing and will even call her on it—like in season 2's "Irresistible."
  • When he returns to work after being shot, Without a Trace's Martin Fitzgerald snaps at anyone he feels is coddling him.

  • The lyrics of Rick Astley's Cry For help are about a man getting frustrated because his girlfriend is the poster girl for this pose.
  • Kiss of Fire:
    I can't resist you, what good is there in trying?
    What good is in denying you're all that I desire?
    Since I first met you, my heart was yours completely,
    If that's a slave then it's a slave I want to be
    Don't pity me!
  • Metallica's underrated song Low Man's Lyric.
  • "Pity" by Drowning Pool.
  • Inverted in Amon Amarth's The Hero. A dying mercenary rejects the sympathy of those tending for him because he feels that he does not deserve it.
    I don't deserve their sympathy
    I know who I am
    My soul is death and misery
    I am an evil man
  • City and Colour's "The Grand Optimist" exhibits a mild form of this:
    And now the wound has begun to turn
    Another lesson that has gone unlearned
    But this is not a cry for pity, nor for sympathy
  • I'd rather be hated than pitied in Naked by Spice Girls.
  • 1960's British duo Peter & Gordon had a song of unrequited love called "Don't Pity Me".
  • "Misery Loves My Company" by Three Days Grace rebuffs Condescending Compassion:
    I don't need your condescending
    words about me looking lonely
    I don't need your arms to hold me
    cause misery is waiting on me!

  • In Interstitial Actual Play. When Scott tries to defend Edith against Doctor K sniping at her for wanting to leave to other worlds, Edith snaps at Scott, claiming she can handle things herself.

  • Rudyard Kipling's "The Comforters"
    So, when thine own dark hour shall fall,
    Unchallenged canst thou say:
    "I never worried you at all,
    For God's sake go away!"

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Ric Flair went into WWE's Wrestlemania XXIV about 10 years past his prime, rapidly decaying in the ring and laboring under a decree from Vince McMahon that meant that the next match he lost would be his last. Knowing this, he challenged "Mr. Wrestlemania" Shawn Michaels to a match at the show. And when Michaels showed pity for his opponent in a promo a couple of weeks before the show and hinted that he might not bring his A-game, Flair called him out on it, demanding that Shawn give him everything he has, because, win or lose, he wanted to come out of the show with his honor and integrity intact.
    • This carried over into the match; Flair was obviously unable to put up an actual fight, but he refused to simply lay down and be beaten. Shawn had (apparently legitimate) as Flair stood there, wobbling, fists barely up and yelling at him to "pull the trigger". Shawn's response? "I'm sorry. I love you." Superkick.
    • The whole situation was then given an Ironic Echo treatment two years later, when Shawn was trying to end The Undertaker's undefeated-at-Wrestlemania streak because, as he said, "If I can't do this, I don't have a career anymore." At one point, Shawn was pulling himself up to his knees, using Taker as the ladder, and you could hear him yell "Stay! Down!" Shawn played this trope to the hilt by mocking Taker with his own signature throat-slit taunt and then slapping him in the face. The match ended very quickly after that.
  • Triple H seemed to have this attitude a few times after crushing defeats.
    • When Brock almost re-breaks his arm at Summerslam, the refs & EMTs come to help him get up, but he shoves them away & leaves the arena on his own.
    • After a brutal beatdown by Umaga, he has to be helped from the ring but shoves everyone away after getting his feet to the grown. Unlike Summerslam, he's legitimately injured and has no choice but to accept the help when he collapses after a few steps.
    • His beatdown from Nash yields the same response. Hunter is being helped to the back, but rasps for them to get off & pushes everyone away. The EMT & doctor tell Hunter to let them help, but he insists he's ok. Like in the previous example, he collapses after a few steps & is told again to let them help him.


  • Zia from Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues rejects pity for a variety of reasons: she doesn't feel that it's genuine, talking about her feelings makes her uncomfortable, and she thinks that she can handle her own problems by herself.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Winged elves in Dungeons & Dragons are a rarely-seen subrace of elves with large, beautiful eagle's wings. They take great pride in their wings, and a winged elf who loses his or her wings in a battle or accident is pitied by the other members of the community. However, elves do not accept pity from anyone, so such an elf usually leaves his community and becomes a loner.

  • Hamlet:
    Ghost: My hour is almost come,
    When I to sulphurous and tormenting flames
    Must render up myself.
    Hamlet: Alas, poor ghost!
    Ghost: Pity me not, but lend thy serious hearing
    To what I shall unfold.
  • In the Act One Finale of La Cage aux folles, Albin the drag queen sings "I Am What I Am", defending his way of life. It includes the lines:
    I am what I am
    I don't want praise, I don't want pity
    I bang my own drum
    Some think it's noise. I think it's pretty.
  • Aldonza's "I Am" Song in Man of La Mancha
    Don't you see what your gentle insanities do to me?
    Rob me of anger and give me despair
    Blows and abuse I can take and give back again!
    Tenderness I can not bear.
  • In Wicked, Nessarose asks Boq if he took her to the dance only because he feels sorry for her: "It's because I'm in this chair, and you felt sorry for me...." It's not the actual reason — Glinda asked him to do this, and she specifically cited the chair as the reason she'd find it attractive, so, close enough.
  • In Grease, when the other kids find out Rizzo is pregnant and offer to help her out, she reacts like this.
  • In the final song of The Phantom of the Opera the Phantom sings his tragic backstory to Christine, but after that short moment of vulnerability, he gets angry again.
    Pity comes too late!
  • I and You: Caroline hates how gently people treat her due to her probably-terminal illness, saying that it's fake kindness rather than people actually getting to know her and really care about her. At several points in the play, she orders Anthony to leave when she thinks he's being nice to her out of pity.

    Video Games 
  • In Baldur's Gate II, Jaheira's immediate response to finding Khalid's mutilated corpse is to instantly rebuff all and any attempts at consoling her, stating clearly that "the only voice I want to hear... Is no more."
  • In Disgaea: Hour of Darkness, Flonne takes pity on Mid-Boss as he has no one to make his lunch for him, but he asks her to stop as "That sends a sharp pain to moi heart!"
  • In Dissidia Final Fantasy, The Warrior of Light's response to Garland's speech about being "trapped" by destiny is to pity Garland, explaining that being stuck in the cycle has driven the man to despair. Unfortunately, (as one might expect) Garland doesn't take this very well, and he yells a bit during his fight with the Warrior.
  • During Fenris's companion quest in Act 2 of Dragon Age II, he gets news from one of his former tormentors about having a sister living in Tevinter, and is torn between hope and suspicion of a trap being laid by Danarius. Any attempt at sympathy from Hawke gets angrily rebuffed, and he storms off. (He apologizes for it later, though.)
  • Star Wars:
    Kreia: "You will not show me mercy! I will see you break before you do!"
  • Samara from Mass Effect 2, after telling Shepard that Morinth, the fugitive serial killer she's been hunting for several hundred years, is her daughter. "I do not want your pity, Shepard. I do not accept it."
    • Jacob isn't quite as blunt, but he's not interested in Shepard trying to play amateur shrink (even after the events of his loyalty mission). His romance path is one of the few that lets Shepard do the venting instead, and you can convince him to break off the relationship if you keep prodding him.
    • It's also possible to play Shepard this way.
  • Mega Man Zero: Though less extremely offended than most other examples, Fairy Leviathan in the first game specifically warns Zero before the fight not to hold anything back on her for being a woman. After Zero wins, he disregards her orders and does not terminate her, which she finds doubly rude the first time around. But Leviathan seems to mellow, making no more stink about it from then forward — simply glad she met someone that could defeat her.
  • In Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of The Betrayer Gann approves of the player saying "good riddance" to his parents (who abandoned him unwillingly and disapproves of pity for his situation.
  • Persona:
    • Persona 3: Ken Amada doesn't want any sympathy for being an orphan, he's too busy plotting revenge and plans on committing suicide afterwards because all he gets is sympathy now. Played for the destructive as he realizes that while he feared being alone, he exactly did just that, even though there are True Companions around to help him.
    • Naoki in Persona 4 has both this complex and one about not mourning his own sister's death. In particular, he doesn't like getting special treatment, since it indicates that he doesn't need to be around, and he notices that a lot of the people who came by his family's liquor store didn't do so before his sister died.
    • The Traitor in Persona 5 showed elements of this during their confrontation between them and the Phantom Thieves, who to some degree sympathize with the former and even offer to let them rejoin the Phantom Thieves as both of them share the same goals.
  • When Ratchet in Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction questions Big Bad Emperor Tachyon as to how he could get himself to kill Lombaxes when they were the ones who saved his egg and raised him, Tachyon simply yells: "Those filthy creatures had the gall to pity me!".
  • In Shounen Kininden Tsumuji After Tsumuji's rival Hayate loses another duel against him, he asks why he can't win, Tsumuji then reaches his hand out to him, only for Hayate to push it aside and gives him an angry look.
  • In Silent Hill 2, the mentally unstable and cynical Angela tells James not to pity her when he reaches out to her, claiming that she's "not worth it".
  • Jet from Sonic Riders accuses Sonic of doing this when he returns the Key to Babylon Garden after defeating him in a race and getting it back from Dr. Eggman. Jet may be a Sore Loser and a cocky winner, but being shown pity when he actually loses just seems to enrage him more than anything, and despite the Key supposedly leading to a trove of ancient technology worth millions (and the very reason Jet signed on to Eggman's scheme in the first place), he's fully prepared to force Sonic to take it back before Wave shows up and yells at him to stop being stubborn so they can get to the treasure.
  • In Super Mario RPG the Samurai Boss Boomer grumbles that he doesn't want Mario's pity after he and the other good guys trounce him, and instead offs himself by cutting the chandelier he was standing on during the boss fight. Granted, it's hard to tell exactly if Mario was offering pity when his only form of communication is jumping up and down.
  • In Sword of Mana, after you defeat Devius, Julius' voice is heard and he offers to heal him. Devius' pride is so offended by this that he declares he'd rather die than accept Julius' pity, and then does.
  • The King of Fighters: Kusanagi has this phrase as his KO quote.
  • This, along with "...leave me alone...", are the last words of the Big Bad (Parliamentarian Batiste) in The Spirit Engine 2.
  • In World of Warcraft, the gnomes, especially their leader, Gelbin Mekkatorque, feel this way about the dwarves housing them in Ironforge while Gnomeregan is irradiated, as seen in Gelbin's short story "Cut Short." In the end, though, they channel that feeling into the drive to reclaim Gnomeregan, and Gelbin later says that the gnomes are who they are because of their allies.
  • Super Robot Wars:
    • Barbiel the Needle gets really angry when Setsuko is freed from captivity by Asakim in Third Super Robot Wars Z: Tengoku-hen. Setsuko tells Barbiel that she felt his sorrow and says that he is a sad person. In fact, sympathy towards the bearer of the Resentful Scorpion sphere causes its powers to weaken.
    • Super Robot Wars V: If Lacus fights Embryo (only achieved on the IF Route as she and a lot of women get kidnapped on the normal route), then Embryo yells this at Lacus when the latter feels pity for him.
  • During a flashback in "The Champions' Ballad" DLC for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Revali is shown to be out of breath after another failed attempt to perfect Revali's Gale while verbally expressing his desperation to get it right. Upon seeing that Princess Zelda has been watching and listening to the whole thing, he quickly and pompously chastises her for eavesdropping.
  • Kaguya from Mary Skelter: Nightmares is reclusive and somewhat bitter, and eventually reveals that she is this way because she knows how she and her fellow Blood Maidens are born. After the emotional reveal, the team becomes more receptive to her slacker tendencies, which she is not happy about. Jack's attempt to smooth things over makes her more upset, and she only comes around when she is later told that her newfound willingness to work for herself is worrying everyone.
  • Downplayed by Verse, your Scarlet Chorus party member in Tyranny. When she tells you the story of how her comrades died because she hesitated in battle and didn't cover them properly, you can either tell her to not make the same mistake again or that it wasn't her fault. She approves of the former because she appreciates being held to a high standard she knows she can meet and is outright insulted by the latter. As she sees it, she made a mistake; her way of honoring the fallen and moving on is acknowledging that and striving to do better.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Corpse Party D2: Fatal Operation, this applies to Naomi, as well as the Big Bad Machi's main motivation for "living again". Why? Seiko's mother pitied her, even when Machi was killing her.
  • A flashback in Fate/stay night reveals that Shinji's Start of Darkness was at least partially due to this. He was originally content with being a descendant of a magus family, even though he lacked magic circuits, until Sakura apologized for taking his place as heir and showed pity for displacing him. Any other action would have been fine, but pity enraged him.
  • In Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc, during Hifumi Yamada's Free Time Events, he mentions how he believes that some girls are only "nice to the fat nerdy kid to feel good about themselves," and he mentions how he angrily drove them away. Naegi doesn't think this is a very nice thing to do, making it something of a deconstruction of this trope by showing how people who reject acts of kindness come across to others.
    • Similarly, when Toko Fukawa's serial killer alternate personality is discussing with Makoto, Syo warns (or threatens, take your pick) him not to pity her complicated mentality, as it has its advantages, namely the fact that she can remember things her default persona can not, and vice versa.
  • Kakouton in Juuzaengi reacts in this way every time the heroine shows concern towards him.
  • Surprisingly, Hanako Ikezawa of Katawa Shoujo. She is well aware that her being The Woobie is why Hisao is initially interested in getting closer to her. She doesn't like the idea of him and Lilly seeing her as a child that needs protecting. For the most part she doesn't say anything about it until her bad ending, where she explodes in rage when Hisao tries to coddle her and throws him out of her room while screaming at him for being her white knight.
    • Similarly, Emi Ibarazaki has a similar distaste for "white knights", but is much more outspoken about it. The key to getting her good ending is to have Hisao realise and then successfully explain that he's not with her out of pity, but out of genuine love.
      Emi: So you want to fix me, Hisao? Wanna swoop in on your white charger and save the day? Stop the nightmares, the phantom limb pains? Restore what's lost? Well, you can't. Nobody can. Nobody will.
    • Hisao himself feels this way in Lilly's route, becoming annoyed when she tries to mother him.
    • Lilly also feels this way on a lesser scale. She laughs when people quickly apologize over using expressions that include "see" in them and later says, in all seriousness, that she doesn't like being pitied. She's also aware that she has been overprotective of Hanako in the past and tries to remedy this — not listening to her advice will get you the Neutral or the Bad Ending.
    Lilly: If you'd pitied us, I would have been quite offended.
  • Edgeworth to Phoenix in case 3-5 of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, after he faints because of an earthquake and the defendant escapes from him; echoing the same reaction he had in the 4th case of the first game, where his aversion to earthquakes is explained. Fortunately, his adopted sister Franziska is around to whip some sense into him. Literally.
    • Phoenix himself says it to Edgeworth in 2-4 when the latter offers to have the police look for Maya, who's been kidnapped.
  • In Heart of the Woods, Tara acts this way during the ending in which Morgan sacrifices herself to defeat Evelyn. Despite clearly being in pain, she feels uncomfortable with Madison's pity, and tries to act as though everything is fine, which only serves to widen the rift between her and Madison.

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY:
    • Jaune Arc, which is a major plot point for him. As the only son in a family of daughters, he wants to be like his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather and become a Huntsman. However, he's uncoordinated, clumsy, weak, gets motion sickness, has absolutely no idea how his Aura works, and, worst of all, he lied on his entrance papers to get into Beacon. When Pyrrha tries to help him, he snaps at her for doing so. However, after being blackmailed by Cardin after he overheard everything, he finally grows a bit of a backbone, swallows his pride, and asks Pyrrha for help.
    • In volume 6, Blake promises to protect Yang from Adam. Yang is offended; she doesn't explicitly say why, but since she's a badass Action Girl with abandonment issues, it seems like she doesn't like the implication that Blake is just there out of guilt. Later, Blake amends her declaration by saying they're protecting each other, and Yang is clearly moved.
  • Dreamscape: Being belittled or underestimated is one of the few things that gets under Keela's skin.
  • Death Battle: In Death Battle S 07 E 04 Genos Vs War Machine, after destroying his entire body in an attempt at Taking You with Me, Genos' disembodied head rejects Rhodey's apology, coldly saying, "Don't talk to me..." Rhodey obliges by subjecting the cyborg to a Finishing Stomp.


    Web Original 
  • In Tales of MU, Sooni's slave-cum-friend Kai endures extreme abuse from Sooni, including frequent beatings (once nearly to the point of death) and being forced to dress up in ridiculous cosplay. Whenever any of the main characters try to show any sympathy for her, she reacts with rage. It's later revealed in a bonus story that Kai comes from an extremely impoverished background and always dreamed of getting an education, and although Sooni as good as kidnapped her (with an implied reward to her family) Kai is willing to accept anything as long as it means she can continue going to university.
  • In The Antithesis, Qaira Eltruan is a cold and callous militant leader on the outside but suffers from self-hatred and guilt on the inside. Leid Koseling attempts to help him through his internal struggles along with the malay addiction (a type of drug similar to heroin) he suffers at the beginning of Decus, but he is at first very reluctant to accept her help. In fact, he feels threatened and insulted by Leid's attempts to aid him and often becomes angry over the fact.
  • The Nostalgia Chick has a big breakdown in Spooning With Spoony after being raped by the titular character. The next episode later, she's dragging Nella everywhere to dance and shooting laser beams at her with delight. Two years later, she flinches and tries to hide her face when she's near Spoony and it's obvious she's nowhere near over the rape.
  • A Cracked article called 5 Insane Things I Learned as a Foreign Aid Worker mentions that the citizens of the developing world dislike being pitted and will react negatively towards dramatics (such as crying when you just met). It later goes on to justify this reaction to pity by talking about the whole "heroic savior" mentality actually causes even more problems.
  • Sherwood Forest: Will tries to comfort Shaima when they first meet, and she tells him "I don't want your pity." It's worth noting that not only is she in a really bad mental place, having just been kidnapped and dragged across the globe, but the guy who did this was also Will's foster father. No matter what he said, she wasn't going to respond well.
  • Twig has Sylvester, who doesn't know how to deal with genuine human compassion directed his way as he reads it as pity, which makes him dislike the person in question because he hates the idea that they understand his situation as a Child Soldier Human Weapon for an Academy of Evil.
  • Analyst Bronies React: Keframe had a Twilight plushie complain about how she was so bored and had nothing to do. When Thespio tried to comfort the plushie, she shouted that she didn't need his pity.

    Western Animation 
  • American Dad!:
    • Stan is telling Steve about his first love:
      Stan: Well, over time you find that the pain fades awa-AUGH!! AMY!! WHY??!!! WHY DIDN'T YOU LOVE ME??!!!
      Steve: Aw, it's okay, dad-
      Stan: DON'T PATRONIZE ME!! WHY?? *continues bawling*
    • In another episode, Klaus does this when Hayley accidentally dissuades Stan from putting Klaus in a human body, which then leads to his bowl capsizing, causing Hayley to try and help Klaus again:
      Klaus: You know what? Don't. You've done enough. [to self] Don't let her see you're suffocating. Don't give her the satisfaction.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Toph hates it when people think she's disadvantaged because of her blindness due to her overprotective upbringing. She gets a bit better at distinguishing between pity and friendly help after talking with Iroh in "The Chase" though.
  • CatDog: In "The Unnatural", everybody makes fun of Cat cause he's really bad at baseball. After a while, Cat starts to cry, and when Dog tries to comfort him, he orders Dog to "just turn away".
  • Inverted in DuckTales (2017)'s season one finale, when Magica rants about pitying Scrooge when she realizes that his Heroic BSoD is real, yelling "How dare you make me pity you?!"
  • Joe Swanson from Family Guy. For example, when he falls down in one episode as a result of Peter stealing the wheelchair ramp in front of the Swansons' house, he turns down an offer for help, saying that he "needs to retain his independence". Somewhat justified in that he still is quite capable of getting around despite being handicapped.
    • One of the stories in Three Kings had Joe's character go on to invent a wheelchair-based rugby game called "Don't-Feel-Sorry-For-Us-Ball".
  • In the Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes episode "Doomed", Dr. Doom displays this in his usual Large Ham fashion:
    Reed: In a way, I pity him.
    Dr. Doom: No one pities Doom! I will have your head for this, Richards!
  • In an episode of The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy has Pud'n talk about his not-really-a-pirate relative. While the teacher was perplexed, Pud'n hugs the boot he brought and says that he didn't want sympathy.
  • On Ultimate Spider-Man, Peter chases off Flash from bullying his newest victim, then tries to introduce himself. Any gratitude he might have received is ruined by that since the two already knew each other and Peter just couldn't remember him.
    Peter: Oh! Oh, Alex! Right! Duh! My bad.
    Alex: Forget it. Forget me. Unless somebody wants my homework or to save me, I'm invisible to all you popular kids.
  • In one episode of Rocket Power, Reggie meets a handicapped snowboarder and lets her win a race by wiping out on purpose. Afterwards, the handicapped snowboarder gets really angry at Reggie and declares that she just wants to be treated like everybody else.
  • Rugrats: All the men of the Pickles family apply to this.
    • Grandpa Lou hates hearing that he is not competent to watch the babies. A prominent example is the first movie when Didi points out that he slept through Pearl Harbor.
    • Drew is not fond of Stu calling him out on his parenting and career lifestyle.
    • Stu is probably the biggest example. He absolutely hates when people call his inventions anything bad or being called a bad parent. Early in Rugrats Go Wild!, even though he feels guilty about stranding the family and friends with his crappy boat, he just uses his intentions of "family time" as an excuse for not getting an ocean liner.
  • The titular protagonist of Pelswick hates it when other people express pity for him for being in a wheelchair, mainly because he's completely self-sufficient and not nearly as much of a burden as people make him feel like. Their pity usually actually makes things worse for him, such as preventing him from going on a camping trip for little reason or getting his crush suspended. Somewhat ironically, when Boyd is temporarily confined to a wheelchair, Pelswick feels sorry for him, and this is Boyd's reaction too.

    Real Life 
  • The rallying cry of the autism rights movement. It was started by Jim Sinclair with xyr essay "Don't Mourn for Us."
    • Many people with disabilities, in general, take this viewpoint nowadays. See for example the Piss on Pity movement.
  • Randy Newman's acceptance speech on receiving his Academy Award for Best Song after countless nominations began with the line, "I don't need your pity."
  • Group Captain Sir Douglas Robert Steuart Bader, CBE, DSO & Bar, DFC & Bar, FRAeS, DL, legless fighter pilot and hero of World War II was equal parts this, Handicapped Badass and The Determinator. Once, when lecturing at a boarding school a schoolboy asked the great hero if he could carry his bags. Bader's response? BUGGER OFF!!!
  • Freddie Mercury kept his HIV/AIDS diagnosis secret throughout the late '80s until shortly before he passed away in 1991 partly because he was afraid people would buy Queen albums only out of sympathy. (The other reason was that he was an intensely private man and felt that it was none of the public's business.) This still hasn't stopped people from criticizing him for hiding it until the end.
  • For blind Puerto Rican singer and guitar player Jose Feliciano, having someone try to help him walk around seems to be quite the Berserk Button due to this trope.
  • According to her daughters Liza Minnelli and Lorna Luft, Judy Garland was often irritated at the idea that she was a sad, tragic, melancholic figure with no happiness in her life. Despite the hardships she went through, she tried to keep a sunny disposition and always tried her best to rise up from them. Reputedly once when she was about to be interviewed, she littered her hotel room with pills and alcohol all over the floor and tables. When Liza asked why, she replied, "I'm just giving the reporters what they want to see."
  • Sex worker rights organizations resent the view that they are all victims who need to be rescued, feeling this actually makes things worse for them in a lot of cases.
  • Many individuals who were born out of wedlock and/or raised by single parents dislike the very common assumption that their lives must, therefore, have been worse for it, with an unwanted pity following this.
  • Richard Turner, regarded as being one of the greatest card mechanics ever to have lived, refuses to let other people pity him or go easy on him due to his blindness. When his karate instructor offered to award him an honorary black belt, he refused and insisted he be tested just like any student, resulting in his going ten rounds of full-force brawling with a fresh opponent each round (and getting his arm broken in the process).
  • In 1968, Swedish soprano Birgit Nilsson underwent an operation (officially for "gallstones"), and four months later, she was back on stage, singing Brunnhilde at the Vienna State Opera. Only many years later, in 1995, did she reveal the real reason for her operation: she had been stricken with cancer. She had never talked about it before because she, in her own words, "couldn't bear being pitied."


Video Example(s):


Mewtwo Returns

Pikatwo swats away his concerned original.

How well does it match the trope?

4.88 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / DontYouDarePityMe

Media sources:

Main / DontYouDarePityMe