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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.

Example Subpages:

Other Examples:

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    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.
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • 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. Until 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.
  • Monet St. Croix has a case of this toward Sabretooth during Uncanny X-Men (2016). 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.
  • 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 with it.
  • 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.
  • Ms Marve 1977: In their second fight, Death-Bird reveals her berserker nature made her kill one of her sisters, something she actually feels pretty bad about (although whether it's the murdering her sister or the fact she was exiled for it is... unclear). When Ms. Marvel tries expressing sympathy for it, Death-Bird goes absolutely berserk on her, since while she does regret the deed, she's fully aware of what she is and what she does. And what she does is kill.
  • 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.)
  • 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 Sandman: Orpheus says this to the Griffin gate guard of his father's kingdom after his wife dies.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • In Young Justice, when Slo-Bo begins to go blind.
    Slo-Bo: First person who pities me, I kill. Not frag. Kill.

    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.
  • Hinted at in canon, but The Peace Not Promised makes it clear that while Severus Snape does not have high self-esteem, he does have his pride. To the point where in the first timeline, he dealt with his poverty by accepting sponsorship from the Malfoys rather than the freely offered help of the Evans family. In the second timeline, he almost turns down Dumbledore's help on several occasions, such as kick-starting his alchemy training, until Dumbledore points out how it's an investment.
  • Guzma in Pokémon Reset Bloodlines has this issue when people look at him with worry.
  • In Pokemon Strangled Red, Steven bluntly rejects anyone's words or gifts offered in consolation for the death of his Charizard, Miki.
  • 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.
  • The Rigel Black Chronicles: When Caelum Lestrange's Guild allowance won't quite cover the ingredients he needs for his research, Harry steps in to vouch for him and persuade the apothecary to extend him credit — making Caelum impotently furious at her. He doesn't have much alternative to accepting her help, though; his other option is asking his parents (who would give him the money, but with far more condescending attitudes than mere compassion). In the end, he can't bring himself either to refuse or to be grateful and just storms out with his purchases.
  • 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 villagers following the death of his clan (hence preferring Naruto's brash attitude compared to others' 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.

  • 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.

  • In Grease, when the other kids find out Rizzo is pregnant and offer to help her out, she reacts like this.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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!
  • 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.

    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.)
  • The King of Fighters: Kusanagi has this phrase as his KO quote.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • This, along with "...leave me alone...", are the last words of the Big Bad (Parliamentarian Batiste) in The Spirit Engine 2.
  • Star Wars:
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

    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.
  • 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, Toko Fukawa's serial killer alternate personality, Genocider Syo, warns (or threatens, take your pick) Makoto not to pity her, as having dissociative identity disorder has its advantages, namely the fact that she can remember things that Toko can't, and vice versa.
  • In Doki Doki Literature Club Plus!, when Yuri and Sayori are just getting to know each other, Sayori tries really hard to make Yuri happy as with everyone else — by reading a rather difficult book with her — and this makes Yuri think Sayori's not treating her like a normal person but going out of her way to help the socially unskilled weirdo. It escalates when Yuri's reaction (together with Sayori's own feelings of inadequacy) makes Sayori try even harder the next day, which of course feels even worse to Yuri, leading to a brief enraged "I don't want your pity!" reaction, although Yuri immediately feels awful about it and knows she's not communicating what she's actually thinking and feeling.
  • During the summer, the protagonist of Double Homework tries to hide what he’s actually been doing while he’s been out of school. Johanna helped by feeding all his friends a story that he was training somewhere. However, Dennis figures out the truth and ends up leaking it over the internet.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.

    Web Animation 
  • DEATH BATTLE!: In DEATH BATTLE! S07E04 - 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.
  • Dreamscape: Being belittled or underestimated is one of the few things that gets under Keela's skin.
  • 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.


    Web Original 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

    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 1 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.
  • The titular protagonist of Pelswick hates it when other people express pity for him for being in a wheelchair, both because he's completely self-sufficient and not nearly as much of a burden as people make him feel like, and because their pity usually tends to make situations worse for him, such as school officials forbidding him from going on a camping trip for "safety reasons". This was very much a case of Write What You Know; creator John Callahan was rendered quadriplegic in a car accident and quickly developed a distaste towards what he saw as abled society's patronizing attitude towards disabled people, with the same theming appearing in his more adult-oriented series, Quads!, which features an entire disabled main cast.
    • Somewhat ironically, one episode of Pelswick has his bully Boyd temporarily confined to a wheelchair after an accident. Pelswick feels sorry for him and attempts to talk with him about it, only Boyd to give this response.
  • In one episode of Rocket Power, Reggie meets a handicapped snowboarder and lets her win a race by wiping out on purpose. Afterwards, they call Reggie out for this 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 Secret Saturdays: In Season 2, when Zak discovers the truth about Francis and his father and what their agency expects of Francis, Zak is clearly sympathetic, and when he starts to say something, Francis goes from visibly somber to hissing momentarily that he doesn't want pity, an obvious defense mechanism.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: In the episode "The Lawless", Obi-Wan tries to talk down Darth Maul by showing him compassion and acknowledging that Maul didn't choose to be evil, but was forced into it due a lifetime of being abused and used as a pawn by others. Tragically, this has the opposite effect, as it only makes Maul even angrier and causes him to murder Duchess Satine just to make a point.
  • 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.

    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."
  • The disputed tale of Alexander the Great and Diogenes the Cynic has elements of this. In the story, Alexander approached Diogenes with his entourage and offered to grant him any wish he desired because he respected him as a philosopher. Despite standing in front of a man who had countered 6 countries and was halfway through his conquest of Persia, Diogenes simply and rudely asked Alexander to step aside because he was standing in front of the sun. While Alexander's entourage found the interaction hilarious, Alexander stated “If I were not Alexander, I would want to be Diogenes.” causing Diogenes to allegedly reply "If I were not Diogenes, I too would wish to be Diogenes." The tale of Diogenes and Alexander is commonly perceived as a lesson on who is happier; the man who has everything but has so many social conventions to abide by and so many expectations to live up to, or the man who has nothing but is free from societal expectations and conventions. While enlightening, the more likely explanation is that Diogenes was fully aware that Alexander the Great was just using him as a charity case and chose to mock him instead of feeding his ego. Alexander the Great was an egotistical man who named 70 cities after himself and wanted to use Diogenes to further show off his wealth and power.


Video Example(s):


Mewtwo Returns

Pikatwo swats away his concerned original.

How well does it match the trope?

4.92 (13 votes)

Example of:

Main / DontYouDarePityMe

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