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I Am Not Him

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Q: You hit me! Picard never hit me!
Sisko: I'm not Picard!

Sometimes, there's a character that does things differently than others would expect of another character, such as when the Tyrant Takes the Helm or there's a Bait-and-Switch Tyrant. He will be called out on it, being told that the other character would not behave this way. To that, he will simply answer with the Stock Phrase "I am not him". He is not that other guy, and everyone will have to learn to accept that.

I Am Not My Father is a family-centered Sub-Trope.

Compare I Am What I Am.

Not to be confused with I Am Not Shazam, I Am Not Spock, I Am Not Leonard Nimoy, I Am Not Weasel or Accidental Misnaming. This is not the inversion of Actually, I Am Him, either.


Examples:

Anime & Manga

  • Simon's "No More Holding Back" Speech in episode 11 of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann is about him coming to terms with the fact that he can't be exactly like Kamina.
  • Naota from FLCL has a similar speech in the fifth episode, where he demands that Mamimi stop calling him by his older brother's nickname "Ta-kun".

Film

  • In Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Ash refuses Koba's command to kill unarmed humans when Caesar isn't around, claiming that it isn't what Caesar would want. It doesn't end well for Ash.
  • In the third installment of The Mighty Ducks, former North Stars player Ted Orion takes over from Gordon Bombay as coach of the Ducks (now the freshman Warriors of Eden Hall Academy). He immediately begins shaking up the status quo, including removing Charlie Conway from his position as captain, and makes it clear that they're his team now, not Bombay's.

Literature

  • In American Gods, Mr. Wednesday is the American incarnation of Odin ("Wednesday" comes from "Wotan's Day," "Wotan" being another version of "Odin")and is a real Jerkass not to mention the Big Bad of the novel. Shadow, the protagonist, later meets the Scandinavian Odin who is a rather more likable Boisterous Bruiser, who explains that Wednesday was him, but he was not Wednesday.
  • In Dragon Bones, Ward has to prove that he's not like his father very often, as his father was a fan of Klingon Promotion. Then there is the added problem that he, in body and magical power, resembles a nasty ancestor, and Oreg, who is Really 700 Years Old and was tortured by that ancestor, mistakes Ward for him at one point. Ward has to repeat "I am not him" a couple of times.
  • Star Wars Legends: In The Thrawn Trilogy Grand Admiral Mitt'raw'nurodo (aka Thrawn) demonstrates how much different he is than Darth Vader (or most other Imperial leaders for that matter). While he does not hesitate to have incompetent crew who have failed at something killed, it's usually only those who refuse to take responsibility for the failure and try to blame someone else for the failure. He welcomes ideas that are not his own and even rewards failure if a subordinate demonstrates creative thinking in dealing with the situation at hand. Thrawn also recognized that the Empire no longer had as much in the way of resources and could not afford to spend the lives of his people recklessly. Unaware that Thrawn wanted the nascent smuggler coalition being formed by Talon Karrde left strictly alone, space ship thief Niles Ferrier bribed Imperial Lieutenant Kosk to stage an attack on a group of smugglers meeting on Trogan, it results in the deaths of Kosk and his men, as well a serious loss of equipment. Summoned to Thrawn's flagship, a visibly angry Thrawn informs Ferrier that he was not Darth Vader and didn't throw lives and equipment away recklessly. Thrawn then makes sure that if Ferrier fouls up again he will meet an unpleasant fate at the hands of Thrawn's Noghri bodyguard.
    Thrawn: I am not the Lord Darth Vader, Ferrier. I do not spend my men recklessly. Nor do I take their deaths lightly.

Live Action TV

  • Arrowverse
    • The Flash (2014). The Earth-2 Harrison Wells spends most of his first full episode crankily insisting to Team Flash that he is a different man from the one they all know as Harrison Wells. (And it's true—he's much more blunt and quite the jerkass compared to the original ...and the one who was impersonating the original.) He often tells this in Season 2.
    • Arrow. Earth-2's Laurel Lance keeps insisting to Quentin Lance that she's not at all like his late daughter, embracing the villainous Black Siren persona. She does, however, start to mellow out by the end of season 6 and even starts treating Quentin as if he was her father (Quentin's Earth-2 double died when she was little). This also happens when Sara first sees this Laurel, who explains that she's nothing like Sara's sister. She notably goes from scoffing at the idea that she'd never be so kind and soft to feeling like she's letting Sara down as she spent more time with Quentin and her opinion on her changes from someone who wasn't strong enough to survive to someone who's life was far better and happier than Siren's was.
    • Batwoman (2019). When Ryan Wilder first finds the Batsuit and puts it on, she says that unlike Kate Kane she's willing to kill Alice, citing this trope. However when she eventually agrees to take up the mantle of Batwoman, Ryan accepts that she has to follow her Thou Shalt Not Kill rule as well.
  • M*A*S*H
    • When Trapper is sent back to the states in "Welcome to Korean, a young surgeon named B.J. Hunnicut is assigned to take his place in the 4077th. Frank and Margaret are enthused about the prospect of a new surgeon that they can mold into their idea of an ideal officer, but their hopes are quickly dashed when they meet the new surgeon in person.
      Captain B.J. Hunnicut: What say ya, Ferret Face?
    • Likewise, in "Change of Command" Hawkeye and B.J. are disappointed to hear that the new C.O. of the 4077th is a regular army Colonel Sherman Potter who will be unable to adapt to the 4077th. Potter quickly dispells their fears by proving he is a Reasonable Authority Figure. Later on, in "Period of Adjustment" Potter tells Klinger - who is having trouble adjusting to the demands of being the company clerk in Radar's place - that his first few days as C.O. of the 4077 were a bit uneasy as people were in mourning over the loss of Henry Blake. Potter then tells Klinger that he never tried to be another Henry Blake and that he was just different, and people gave him a chance to settle into his job. Potter then takes Klinger under his wing like Blake had done with Radar, which helps Klinger adjust to his new role.
    • When Frank Burns suffers the mental breakdown that sends him back to the states in "Fade Out, Fade In" Major Charles Emerson Winchester III is brought in to replace him. While he could be aloof and condescending, Winchester soon shows that he is a much more compassionate man and skilled surgeon than Burns ever was.
  • Star Trek
    • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
      • The page quote is from the first season episode "Q-Less", the only episode to feature Q from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Q and Sisko are in a 20s-style boxing ring, and Q is trying to get Sisko to fight. After a while, Sisko finally punches Q down, much to his surprise. This was to help differentiate Sisko from the previous Star Trek captains, particularly Picard.
      • In the second season episode "Playing God" it's revealed that Dax had been assigned to evaluate a number of initiates over the years to determine if they were suitable for joining. Curzon Dax in particular had developed an infamous reputation for being very hard on initiates, a reputation that followed Dax as it was joined with Jadzia. When Jadzia Dax was assigned to evaluate an initiate she did not reject him outright, but instead recommended he take some time to carefully consider what he wanted to do and that she might recommend him for joining once he had done that. After the initiate left the station Jadzia remarked to herself that she was not Curzon.
    • Season 2 of Star Trek: Discovery starts with Captain Pike taking command of the titular starship after the Enterprise is disabled. In his first address to the bridge officers, he tells them that he knows about how their previous captain Gabriel Lorca (or, rather, Lorca's Mirror Universe doppelganger) used and betrayed them, and then makes it clear that he is not Lorca. This helps him start to earn the crew's trust, and he spends the rest of the season proving that he is not a Manipulative Bastard like Mirror Lorca but instead A Father to His Men.
  • Monk: In one of Natalie's first episodes, Monk complains that Sharona always paid for the wipes. Natalie tells Monk, "I am not Sharona." It came across as a weak cover for the fact that Natalie was a Suspiciously Similar Substitute for Sharona, and that the episode was originally written for Sharona.
  • Rossi from Criminal Minds gets a line similar to this in one of his early episodes after he replaces Gideon.
  • On Law & Order, Jack McCoy catches the corrupt Governor Donald Shalvoy in a prostitution scandal that has also led to murder. He makes a deal with the Governor not to indict him if Shalvoy testifies against his wife. Executive ADA Michael Cutter adds another twist after McCoy leaves the room: Shalvoy immediately steps down from office. When Shalvoy protests that this wasn't part of his deal with McCoy, Cutter says, "I'm not Jack McCoy."
  • M*A*S*H: When Col. Potter took over, one of the first things he does is start rearranging the office. When Radar points out that Col. Blake liked a certain filing cabinet against one wall, Potter states "Blake's gone. I'm in command now" and has Radar move the filing cabinet to a different wall.
  • Wiseguy. The Garment Trade story arc begins with a businessman asking for a loan from Rick Pinzolo, the son of a Mafia boss he knew. Pinzolo sets a much higher interest rate, and when the businessman protests that wasn't the arrangement he had with his father, Pinzolo states that With All Due Respect to his father, "as a businessman he was an idiot".

Newspaper Comics

  • Rosalyn the babysitter in Calvin and Hobbes pulls this at one point, after Calvin complains again and again that Mom does it differently.
    Rosalyn: I'M NOT YOUR MOM, ALL RIGHT?!

Web Comics

Western Animation


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