A stock phrase that is almost always worded as: I'm an X not a Y. With X being their profession, and Y being whoever would be better able to do the job that they are having difficulty with.
The most famous example, and thus the Trope Namer, is Star Trek's Dr. McCoy — but the earliest example we have so far is from 1869, making it not only Older Than Star Trek but Older Than Radio. (It was in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.) Note that DeForest Kelley, contrary to popular belief, never prefaced his statement with "Damn it, Jim" or some variant thereof; he never swore on the show, given that it aired in The '60s. He did swear up a storm in most of the movies, however, so parodists naturally combined his potty mouth with his catchphrase, to great effect. (He never actually used his Catchphrase in a movie until the reboot — wherein he did swear, but he wasn't talking to Kirk, so the complete memetic phrase ultimately wasn't uttered until Star Trek Beyond).note
- In the hentai anime Sextra Credit, the protagonist, Jotaro Saruwatari, is heavily commanded by the principal, Kyoko Migiwa, to use brute force against erring students; lest he be fired. His response?
Jotaro: I'm a teacher, not some interrogator at Abu Ghraib prison!
- In Daily Life with Monster Girl, main character Kimihito goes shopping for his enormous household and receives a large quantity of unsold goods like oddly-shaped vegetables, irregular eggs, and bread heels. Centorea reacts to Mero's suggestion that she carry everything with "I am a knight, not a packhorse."*
- The English dub for One Piece has Tony Tony Chopper pull this on Luffy when the World Government classifies him as a "pet" when giving his first bounty—a paltry 50 berries.
Chopper: I fought like a true man back there! I'm a pirate just like all the rest of you! And what do they mean by "pet"?! I'm a doctor, darn it! [dissolves into incoherent babbling]
- This appears early on in Cerebus the Aardvark. A character declares himself to be a doctor, not a General, time-keeper or martyr, all in quick succession.
- King Shark from Secret Six:
King Shark: Enough talk! I'm a shark, not a... talking guy.
- Teen Titans Go!: Dr. Light wants Cyborg's battery but doesn't know which part of the latter is it. He says he's a supervillain, not a mechanic.
- Flashpoint: Flashpoint!Deadman tells Flashpoint!Dick Grayson they're "circus performers, not soldiers". Dick argues they became soldiers the day the war started and "just didn't know it until now".
- In the third issue of America vs. the Justice Society, when Wildcat gives his testimony at the Congressional hearing about the Justice Society of America's exploits around the time of World War II and he gets a detail of a certain person wrong, he responds, "I'm a crime-buster, not a politician."
- Jon tells Garfield to do something about a mouse hole. Garfield says "Hey, I'm a cat, not a carpenter!"
- When Jon asks Liz to do gout with him, she says "I'm single, not desperate". Later, when Liz tells Garfield to talk to Jon, Garfield says "I'm a cat, not a psychiatrist".
- The Star Trek wiki Memory Alpha has a page compiling every time the franchise used the phrase here.
- In The Detective and the Diplomat, Ponder Stibbons (not one of nature's runners) is having trouble keeping up with Sherlock Holmes (one of nature's runners). His reply when chided for this:
Ponder Stibbons: Dammit, Holmes, I'm a wizard, not a runner!
- Doctors in the Heroes of the Storm fanfiction Heroes of the Desk have well-defined roles (between different types of medical doctor and different types of not-that-kind as well). So when Dr. Kara Grimes, psychologist (and presumably PsyD) is asked about some Technobabble, she isn't of any use.
Dr. Grimes: I'm a psychologist, not a researcher. You'd need [a doctor of science] to access the embiggering equipment.
- Ranma ½: The Abridged Chronicles: This version of Doctor Tōfū can heal your wounds, unless they're costume-related.
Dr. Tōfū: Ranma, I'm a doctor, not a tailor.
- In Stargate Equestria: Incursion, Dr. Frasier gets to say it after tending to a wounded Twilight Sparkle.
Dr. Frasier: General, I want it on the record that I'm a doctor, not a vet.
Col. O'Neill: So, how long have you been waiting to use that line?
- In Turnabout Storm, Phoenix is asked to tell a funny joke. The results are... rather unsatisfactory.
Phoenix: (inner monologue) This is a lot harder than I thought... I'm a lawyer, not a comedian!
- The Tiny Toon Adventures fan series Tiny Toon Adventures: Class of 2009 has this as Furrball's Mad Libs Catchphrase.
Furrball: Darn it, [character name], I'm a Tiny Toon [or the occupation the character he's playing has], not a/an [insert occupation here]!
- In the first episode, he tells Calamity Coyote that he's a Tiny Toon, not an animator.
- Empath: The Luckiest Smurf
Tailor: I'm only a clothes maker, not a fortune teller, Woody.
- Tailor in the story adaptation "A Wedding To Remember", discussing Woody's impending marriage to Laconia and whether they'll have a happy future together.
HoloSmurf: I'm just a mere assistant, not a warrior.
- The HoloSmurf says this in the middle of a fight with the Schliphargons in "Smurfing In Heaven".
- In the Star Trek kidfic Insontis II, the Trope Namer drops another one after calming young!Spock following Kirk's accident.
McCoy: Glad that bucket of awkward is over... I'm a doctor, not a crisis counselor.
- In the Transformers fanfic Trials of the Flesh, a group of human characters come across some Ancient Cybertronian writing. When asked to translate, Ratchet has this to say:
Ratchet: Fraggit, Conrad, I'm a doctor, not a linguist.
- There's a future fic of the Dungeons & Dragons cartoon where the main characters (now years older) get dragged back into the Realm along with Hank and Shelia's daughter, Presto's adoptive daughter, Eric's son and Diana's nephew. During a battle, Hank asks Presto for some advice and Presto snaps "Damn it, Hank! I'm a pediatrician; not a military commander (paraphrased)!"
- Jacob "X" Arrow in A New World, A New Way sidestory Swarm refuses to have a pokèmon battle with a trainer because he's a construction worker, not a trainer.
- Legacy of ch'Rihan: D'Vex gets mildly annoyed at Morgan when she can't tell him more specifically what the problem with her tractor is.
Morgan: Hey, I'm a farmer, not a mechanic.
- "From Bajor to the Black, Part II": A Vulcan petty officer informs Eleya that she is a transporter operator, not a soldier, after Eleya throws her a gun. Eleya informs the Vulcan that "I rather doubt the Borg are going to care one way or the other!"
- Peace Forged in Fire has D'trel complaining about having to take over some critical negotiations from the actual trained diplomats.
D'trel: How the Ariennye did I get into this, anyway? Im a soldier, not a diplomat! (cue How We Got Here)
- In The Duelist an adopted and renamed Harry Potter complains about the overly scripted nature of the greeting of the other schools before the Triwizard Tournament held at Beauxbatons.
Henri Flamel: Fine, but I still believe that we should be more natural. This act will look painfully forced. I'm a duelist, not an actor.
- A Good Compromise: Dr. Irim Valder is Not That Kind of Doctor.
Irim: I'm a general practitioner, not a pharmacologist.
- In Captain Proton and the Planet of Lesbians, the President of Earth keeps insisting that he's a politician not a doctor after the villainous Dr Chaotica discredited the profession (in The Adventures of Captain Proton the same character is played by the Doctor, who has this trope as a Catchphrase).
- In Harry Potter and the Rune Stone Path Bathsheda Babbling comments to a resurrected Lily Potter that Harry believes Halloween to be bad luck.
Lily: How the bloody hell am I supposed to break over a decade of bad luck in a few months? I'm a mother, not a miracle worker.
- Escape From the Moon: In the sequel The Mare from the Moon, Spliced's dream in chapter 15 has her saying "I'm a scientist, not a doctor."
- Ninja Wizard Book 2:
Sirius: Right, Harry. Hes whats important. So...what do I do?
Adeline: Youve got me. Im a lawyer, not a child psychologist.
- Servants of Remnant: In the story The Pledge, when Ozpin asks Nightingale to clarify what the Restraints of the Round Table are and other information about the past, she says, "I am a nurse, not a warrior, not some strategist, or philosopher or even someone who can be trusted with delicate information."
- Rocketship Voyager
- The Auto-Doc delivers lines like "I'm an Autodoc, not an astrogator!" or "I'm a doctor, not a porter!" Later when the Autodoc insists it has become Chief Medical Officer after the deaths of the human medical staff, Captain Janeway retorts, "You're an Autodoc, not an officer!"
- When the Chief Science Officer, Dr. Zimmerman, complains about being ordered to help out in a field hospital, Janeway quips, "Let me guess: you're a doctor, not a doctor?"
- During the Final Battle, B'Elanna Torres realises she's an engineer not an Action Girl despite coming from a Proud Warrior Race of Venusian Amazons. She then uses her engineering skills to get a damaged airlock hatch open and save their lives.
- In Reboot when Dumbledore asks Remus to teach Defence Against the Dark Arts during Harry's third year he declines, stating that he's a bookseller not a Defence professor.
- From Monsters vs. Aliens but reversed:
Dr. Cockroach: I'm not a quack; I'm a mad scientist!
- Dr. Delbert Doppler from Treasure Planet says this as a Shout-Out to Star Trek: The Original Series.
- The Rugrats Movie: Ranger Frank is worried about dragons.
Ranger Frank: There's dragons out there! I'm a park ranger! not a knight at a Round Table! GO FIND SOMEONE WITH A LANCE!
- In 1953 film Donovans Brain, Dr. Frank Schratt says, "I'm a doctor, not an electrician."
- In The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Dorian Grey exclaims at one point "I'm an immortal, not a gazelle!"
- In 1933 Philo Vance detective movie The Kennel Murder Case, the doctor is called to the scene of the crime, questioned by bystanders, and replies "I'm a doctor, not a magician". A few minutes later, he pronounces a man to have committed suicide and is reminded he's supposed to look at the body, to which he replies "I'm a doctor, not a detective".
- This even appears in The Movie of Lost in Space, when Dr. Smith says "I am a doctor, not a space explorer." It's probably a deliberate reference to Star Trek — the two parent series were Dueling Shows, back in The '60s.
- In Who Framed Roger Rabbit, R. K. Maroon protests:
R. K. Maroon: You got it all wrong, Valiant! I'm a cartoon maker, not a murderer!
Valiant: Everybody's gotta have a hobby.
- From The Hangover: "I'm a doctor, not a tour guide!"
- Naturally, as an Affectionate Parody of Star Trek, Galaxy Quest includes an example of this, in one of the film's most famous lines: "We're actors, not astronauts!"
- The Man Who Would Be King. Billy Fish, on being offered a horse to escape the lost battle: "Gurkha is foot soldier, not cavalry." Then he runs to confront the entire army and dies a warrior death.
- A Hard Day's Night: Ringo is a drummer, not a wet-nurse.
- In North By Northwest, Thornhill says, "I'm an advertising man, not a red herring."
- Congo. Dr. Ross is trying to buy a place on Dr. Elliot's expedition and tells him to name his price. He retorts, "I'm not a pound of sugar, I'm a primatologist!"
- Ace Ventura. When Melissa Robinson asks the title hero to get out of Snowflake's tank, Ace responds with, "For God's sake, Jim! I'm a doctor, not a pool man!"
- In the 1955 film The Cobweb, the head of a sanitarium is asked how he could let a depressive patient have the run of the place instead of keeping him in his room. He replies "Because I'm a doctor, not a jailer."
- Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid: "Sorry, I'm a butler, not a catcher."
- Star Trek (2009): We get it a couple times, but toward the beginning of the first film, Bones' first line:
McCoy: I don't need a doctor, dammit, I am a doctor!
- It was such a trope of McCoy's that it had to be in the 2009 revival. "Damn it, man, I'm a doctor, not a physicist!" (Well, his understanding of the physics Spock suggested seemed okay....)
- Subverted in Star Trek Into Darkness. Bones gives the expected line, but Spock replies that a doctor is exactly what he needs for his (unstated) plan.
McCoy: Dammit man, I'm a doctor, not a torpedo technician!
- And in Star Trek Beyond, Bones tries to give the line while being transported aboard an enemy ship with Spock, but is interrupted. What Bones isn't this time is a Riddle for the Ages.note
McCoy: Dammit, Jim, I'm a doctor, not a f...
- In Star Trek: First Contact, Dr. Crusher activates the EMH to divert the attention of some Borg drones who are breaking through the Sickbay door.
EMH: I'm a doctor, not a doorstop.
- In Jurassic World, Claire tries to ask Owen to track the missing boys through the wilderness, but he says, "I was with the Navy, not the Navajo!"
- Megaforce. When Megaforce piles into the last remaining Hercules transport, they have to leave their commander behind. As they're taking off, they see him riding up on a motorbike and so urge the pilot to set them down again. He retorts that he's a pilot, not a magician. Fortunately, their commander is riding a Cool Bike that flies!
- In The Crossing, General Hugh Mercer (Washington's closest friend and confidante) says that he's more of a physician than a general to preface his report of the wretched condition that the remnants of their army is in.
- Towards the beginning of Attack of the Clones, the Jedi Council is meeting with Supreme Chancellor of the Republic Palpatine to discuss the increasing aggression of the Confederacy of Independent Systems. Mace Windu makes it clear that the Jedi cannot be expected to stem the threat alone, as the Jedi are "keepers of the peace, not soldiers".
- Mission: Impossible Fallout. Julia is not an electrician so she tells Luther this trope as she doesn't know what wire strippers are. Of course she's not a Bomb Disposal officer either (which is what they need the wire strippers for) but she did volunteer to help.
- My Pet Monster: "I am a man of science, not a tour guide!"
- A newlywed couple moves into their new house. One day the husband comes home from work and his wife says, "Honey, you know, in the upstairs bathroom one of the pipes is leaking, could you fix it?" The husband says, "What do I look like, Mr. Plumber?" A few days go by, and he comes home from work and his wife says, "Honey, the car won't start. I think it needs a new battery. Could you change it for me?" He says: "What do I look like, Mr. Goodwrench?" Another few days go by, and it's raining pretty hard. The wife finds a leak in the roof. She says, "Honey, there's a leak on the roof! Can you please fix it?" He says, "What do I look like, Bob Vila?" The next day the husband comes home, and the roof is fixed. So is the plumbing. So is the car. He asks his wife what happened. "Oh, I had a handyman come in and fix them," she says. "Great! How much is that going to cost me?" he snarls. Wife says: "Nothing. He said he'd do it for free if I either baked him a cake or slept with him." "Uh, well, what kind of cake did you make?" asks the husband. "What do I look like," she says, "Betty Crocker?"
- Prince Roger: Dobrescu's repeated claims he's a shuttle pilot, not a medic. Later it is inverted when Dobrescu has to start working on the Mardukans and complains that he's a medic, not a xeno-surgeon. He also gets a chance to complain that "I'm a pilot, not an estate agent".
- In Death Star, Doctor Uli Divini is ordered to make routine checkups and says "I'm a surgeon, not an internal meds doctor!" He has to do it anyway.
- 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1869): After Captain Nemo Kicks the Cachalots with the Nautilus, he asks Ned Land his opinion:
"Well, sir," replied the Canadian, whose enthusiasm had somewhat calmed; "it is a terrible spectacle, certainly. But I am not a butcher. I am a hunter, and I call this a butchery."
- The Dresden Files:
- Quoth Butters, in Cold Days: "Dammit, Dresden, I'm a medical examiner, not an intelligence analyst."
- In a separate incident, Murphy and Dresden are considering calling him in to perform some off-the-books emergency surgery (they can't go to a hospital because that would lead to the victim's gunshot wound being reported). Murphy quips that Butters is likely to show up, take one look at the victim, and say something along the lines of "dammit, Murph, I'm a forensic examiner, not a pasta chef".
- Robert A. Heinlein's The Rolling Stones:
Roger Stone: Are you sure [that their son will not get space-sick again]?
Edith Stone: How can I be sure? I'm a doctor, not a fortune-teller.
- The title scientist in The Priest, the Scientist, and the Meteor parodies this by stating: "I'm a scientist, not a rocket scientist!"
- Journey to Chaos: When a client (a restaurant manager) tells Eric to use his Functional Magic to be a Stage Magician, Eric replies, "I'm a warrior, not a stage actor." His mentor says that, as a mercenary, he is whatever his client wants him to be. Eric's reply to this is, "Yes, daylra."
- In the Alan Dean Foster novelisation of Alien, Captain Dallas accuses his science officer Ash of deliberately allowing the Chest Burster to grow inside Kane's body. When Ash asks how he was supposed to know this was happening, Dallas snaps that he doesn't know as he's a pilot, not a medical doctor. Ash replies to the effect of "No you're not, so you don't know what you're talking about."
- In The Martian, Mark tries to burn leftover hydrazine to make water, but things keep going wrong with his setup.
Mark: Damn it, Jim, I'm a botanist, not a chemist!
- The Repairman by Harry Harrison. The protagonist is assigned by Da Chief to repair a hyperspace beacon that's so old it might have been the first one built, so he protests that he's a repairman not an archaeologist.
- 3rd Rock from the Sun has Officer Don say in one episode "I'm a cop, not a goat" when meeting Sally on a Hill at night.
- In the The Big Bang Theory episode "The Desperation Emanation":
Sheldon: Leonard, I'm a physicist, not a hippie.
- The Carol Burnett Show parody:
Kirk: Bones, I think there's something... wrong with me.
Bones: Damn it, Jim, I'm a doctor, not a— well, I guess I am a doctor. C'mon, let's have a look.
- In "Documentary Filmmaking: Redux" of Community, the study group are asked to play characters on a new college commercial. Pierce is outraged when he learns the commercial shoot won't be catered and he won't have a trailer.
Pierce: I'm an actor, not a circus freak!
- Joked about in the second of Criminal Minds.
Morgan: Can you do it?
Garcia: Remember on Star Trek, when Dr. McCoy always said, "I'm a doctor, not a miracle worker"?
Morgan: So you're saying you can't?
Garcia: No, I'm saying that I'm not a doctor.
- Doctor Who:
- "Day of the Daleks": The Doctor himself tells the Brigadier that he is "a scientist, not a politician."
- "The Invasion of Time": The Doctor responds to the suggestion that the TARDIS interior needs redecorating with the words:
"Listen! I'm a Time Lord, not a painter and decorator!"
- "In the Forest of the Night": The Doctor does it again after one of Clara and Danny's students finds her way to the TARDIS:
"I'm a Time Lord, not a child minder!"
- An episode of Frasier sees the Sibling Rivalry between Frasier and Niles explode into violence over an attempt to collaborate on a book, which in turn leads to this exchange after Niles gets Frasier in a headlock:
Frasier: Niles, Niles, stop! Look at us! We're psychiatrists, not pugilists!
[Ashamed, Niles releases him]
Frasier: ... Can't believe you fell for that!
[Frasier grabs Niles and puts him in a headlock]
- Played with when Rachel tells how her former fiancé, an orthodontist, once went to a Halloween party disguised as a dentist.
- Joey has this line while pretending to be a doctor and unable to figure out a person's age from their date of birth.
Joey: Dammit, I'm a doctor, not a mathematician.
- A character exclaims "I'm an internist, not an obstetrician" (which means, "I specialize in innards, not female reproductive organs.")
- Bernard is a dentist, not Rambo.
Tom: Shephard says he's a spinal surgeon, not an anesthesiologist..
- In the Season 3 blooper reel, Elizabeth Mitchell responds to Matthew Fox's wondering how a flooded hatch can still function by saying, "Dammit, Jack, I'm a doctor, not a marine engineer!"
- On M*A*S*H, Winchester had a few during his time at the 4077th.
- "I'm a doctor, not a woman!"
- "I'm a surgeon, not a social worker."
- "I'm a man of medicine, not a medicine man."
- Monk has a few good ones.
- This one from "Mr. Monk and the Critic":
Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: Where the hell is Randy?
Natalie Teeger: Oh, I sent him out to get a newspaper.
Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: (looks at her incredulously) You? You, you sent Randy out? Well, who are you, the new police commissioner?
Natalie Teeger: The morning edition comes out at midnight! They're gonna review Julie's play!
Captain Leland Stottlemeyer: For the love of God, he's a police lieutenant, not a bellhop! Though maybe he is.
- In "Mr. Monk and the TV Star", when Monk and Sharona arrive at a crime scene at a major star's house, Sharona is focused on her teeth, and Monk tells her, "Sharona, this is a murder scene, not a high school dance."
- This one from "Mr. Monk and the Critic":
- Inverted once on NCIS when a deep-sea diver dies in a hyperbaric chamber and Ducky has to guide the diver's comrades in performing the autopsy (as the chamber can't be opened until it depressurizes, which will take nearly four days). One of them protests, "We're not doctors, we're divers!"
- On Once Upon a Time, Dr. Whale declines to give an opinion on what the creature a man just turned into is:
Dr. Whale: Don't look at me. I'm a doctor, not a vet.
- In Oz, Schillinger is looking at another ten years on his sentence after he's caught trying to have Beecher killed. He demands his lawyer make the charge disappear, and his lawyer responds, "I'm a lawyer, not The Amazing Kreskin."
- In the Poirot episode Hercule Poirot's Christmas, when Simeon Lee sees that Poirot is not strong or young enough to protect him:
Poirot: Hercule Poirot is a detective, not a bodyguard, monsieur.
- The Roundhouse episode "TV On Trial" referenced this by having Star Trek-esque scenes playing during a channel surfing montage. On the third appearance...
Kirk (Alfred): Bones, this man has a broken arm!
McCoy (John): Dangit, Jim, I'm a doctor, not... I'm a doctor.
- The Smallville episode "Rush" has Clark say, "I'm an alien, not a cartoon!" when Chloe asks him if he can fly.
- In the documentary Space Race, Wernher von Braun is being pressured to step up the production of the V2 rocket.
- Stargate SG-1 provided a variation of this trope in "Deadman Switch" where Aris Boch demands that Daniel Jackson treat his wound after capturing them:
Daniel Jackson: I'm an archaeologist.
Aris Boch: But you're also a doctor.
Daniel Jackson: ... of Archaeology.
- Stargate Atlantis had Carson Beckett do this in a couple of episodes:
- In "The Eye" he said: "I'm a bloody medical doctor, not a magician."
- In "The Brotherhood" the line is: "For the last time — I'm a doctor not a bloody fighter pilot."
- Star Trek: The Original Series
- Trope Namer is Dr. McCoy from Star Trek: The Original Series. McCoy twice had this inverted on him when he tried using it (in both cases McCoy was trying to get out of an assignment):
McCoy: I'm a doctor, not a bricklayer!
Kirk: You're a healer, there's a patient. That's an order.note
McCoy: I'm a doctor, not an engineer.
Scott: Now, you're an engineer.
- The novelization of "Mirror, Mirror" from The Star Trek Reader averts this with McCoy simply saying, "I'm not an engineer," and Scott quipping "You soon will be." (Though Scott is proud of McCoy's help later.)
- He also once had to specify what kind of doctor he was: "I'm a surgeon, not a psychiatrist."
- Numerous parodies were also based on the original series:
- Subverted in the Saturday Night Live episode that William Shatner hosted. In one sketch with the Enterprise now a restaurant, one of the customers starts choking on his food. Shatner, as Kirk, tells "McCoy" (Phil Hartman) to help him. "McCoy" responds, "Dammit, Jim! I'm a doctor, not a— Oh! Oh, sure!"
- It was played straight in the "Last Voyage of the Starship Enterprise" skit: Dan Aykroyd as "McCoy" deadpans the line "I'm a doctor, not a tailor, dammit!" and gets a huge laugh.
- Inverted for laughs on Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In by DeForest Kelley himself: "I'm not a doctor, I'm a convicted murderer!"
- There's another parody example in Bobby Pickett and Peter Ferrara's Star Drek. Mr. Schlock advises Captain Jerk to wait for further plot complications before taking action; when Jerk asks McCoy his opinion McCoy replies "I'm a doctor, not a scriptwriter!"
- An episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air had Will, Carlton and William Shatner get high off of a leaking laughing gas tank at the dentist's and start acting like Star Trek characters; after Shatner addresses Will as "Bones", he responds "Dammit Jim, I'm a black boy from Philly, not a doctor!"
- In a Trivial Pursuit commercial featuring DeForrest Kelly, the actor was asked a medical question, only to respond, "How should I know? I'm an actor, not a doctor!"
- The In Living Color! skit where Jim Carrey riffs how the cast of Star Trek: The Original Series are getting too old for the movies. Captain Kirk calls for McCoy to come to the bridge, only to find Bones really lives up to his name this time.
Skeleton in a wheelchair: Dammit Jim, I'm a corpse, not a doctor!
- The Star Trek wiki Memory Alpha even has a page dedicated to this phrase.
- Trope Namer is Dr. McCoy from Star Trek: The Original Series. McCoy twice had this inverted on him when he tried using it (in both cases McCoy was trying to get out of an assignment):
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
- In the episode "Broken Link", Garak tries to convince Worf to stand by and let him commit genocide against the Dominion. Worf responds with "I'm a warrior, not a murderer!"
- In "Empok Nor", a Garak crazed by Psycho Serum taunts Chief O'Brien that he's no longer a soldier, only for O'Brien to reply, "You're right—I'm an engineer" and set off an improvised bomb he's rigged up.
- Bashir used it occasionally on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, one of the most notable (but far from the first or only) series 3 protest, "I'm a doctor, not a botanist" when Dax brought him a sick plant because Keiko O'Brien (the station's resident botanist) was at a conference at the time. He did, of course, use it in the show's anniversary episode "Trials and Tribble-ations" (a "cross-over" episode with Star Trek: The Original Series courtesy of in-universe time-travel and real-life special effects wizardry).
Dr. Bashir: I'm a doctor, not a historian.
- O'Brien also gets the line once, when Nog is speculating about the unusual nature of holo-character Vic Fontaine: "I'm an engineer, not a philosopher."
- Star Trek: Voyager:
- Proudly continued by the Emergency Medical Hologram (EMH) from Star Trek: Voyager who was, in fact, an actual placeholder. (That is, he was supposed to be a supplement to organic doctors in emergencies, but ended up permanently filling in for the chief medical officer when said officer was killed in the first fifteen minutes of the pilot.) Ironically when auditioning for the part, Robert Picardo ad-libbed the line, "I'm a doctor, not a nightlight" without knowing the tropes prior use by Dr McCoy.
- The EMH Mark II featured in "Message in a Bottle" indicates that the later EMH models continue the tradition:
EMH Mark II: I'm a doctor, not a commando.
- The EMH from Star Trek: First Contact almost gives the trope title with "I'm a doctor, not a doorstop." anecdote
- If you shoot him in the game Elite Force, he says "I'm a doctor, not a bullseye."
- Lampshaded by B'Elanna ("I'm a Doctor—" "Not an engineer, right,") and flipped around by Tom. "I'm a pilot, Harry, not a Doctor!"
- The justification variant is frequently abused by Tuvok, who seems to feel compelled to begin any and every sentence or explanation with "I am a Vulcan."
- Star Trek: Enterprise:
- Dr. Phlox got into the act when he has to singlehandedly cold-start the warp reactor: "I'm a physician, not an engineer!"
- Inverted in "Impulse". T'Pol is scanning a Vulcan suffering from trellium poisoning, which is also affecting T'Pol.
Archer: Any idea what's wrong with him?
T'Pol: [tersely] I'm not a doctor.
Archer: But you are my science officer. I need to know I can depend on you.
- Star Trek: Discovery: Jet Reeno's snark comments about Discovery's Spore Drive.
Reeno: I didn't realize a greenhouse could be critical, or propulsive, but... what do I know? I'm just a gearhead, not a farmer.
- Moseby of The Suite Life on Deck wants to put Zack on permanent detention for detonating a stink bomb in the chemistry lab. Tutweiler's response:
Tutweiler: I'm an educator, not a warden.
- Dr. Elizabeth Shannon of Terra Nova, when talking to her Cowboy Cop husband: "I'm a doctor, Jim, not a chemist." Considering that some of the people working on that show had also had a hand in Star Trek, that may have been intentional for any Trekkies watching.
- The same line was used in Torchwood: Miracle Day after Captain Jack has been poisoned with arsenic. They get on the phone to a doctor who suggests ethylene diamine tetracyclic acid should fix him.
Gwen: What's that when it's at home? I mean what is it made of?
Dr. Juarez: I don't know, I'm a doctor. Not a chemist!
- The West Wing: President Bartlet's rival Governor Ritchie is reported to repeatedly state being neither a scientist, a doctor, a mind-reader, nor Chinese in respective situations.
- In The X-Files Season 4 episode "Demons", when Mulder is held as a suspect in the murder of two people and Scully says she'll get him out.
Mulder: You're a doctor, not a lawyer, Scully.
- In Battlestar Galactica (Reimagined), when Adama gets shot, Doctor Cottle arrives on the scene, and we get this exchange:
Colonel Tigh: Is he going to make it?
Doc Cottle: How should I know? I'm not a psychic! Now get the hell out of here!
- This exchange from Sanford and Son:
Aunt Esther: I need help!
Fred: Help? I'm just a junkman, not a plastic surgeon.
- Jim Nye the science guy warned Will White he was not a doctor when Will wanted to know why he heard voices in his head, though he tried to help anyway(hoping to get paid like a doctor).
- Dinosaurs: In "Changing Nature", when WESAYSO's attempts to stunt the growth of the cider poppies leads to the destruction of all plant life on Earth.
Earl: Hey, let's not get panicky! Our task force technical advisor will know exactly how to bring back the plants.(cut to Earl in B. P. Richfield's office)Richfield: How the heck should I know?! I'm a captain of industry, not a gardener!
- Team America: World Police has the protagonist insist "I'm an actor, not a spy!"
- In Chess, Anatoly's chess second (and KGB spook) Molokov suggests seducing Trumper's chess second Florence Vassey in order to throw off his game. Anatoly's response:
Anatoly: I'm a chess player, Mr. Molokov. You go and play these other... "games".
- Cactus Flower:
Julian: Now take what happens here in the office every day. I'm a man. You're very nice to me, you look after me devotedly. But how do you make up for that? By completely defeminizing yourself.
Stephanie: Doctor, I don't care what you think of me or the way I look. I'm a nurse, not a geisha girl.
- Final Fantasy VI:
- When Celes is asked to impersonate a famous opera singer: "I'm a general, not some opera floozy!"
- Another Celes line: "I'm a soldier, not some love-starved twit!"
- This line is said using "miracle-worker" in Final Fantasy IX.
- Knights of the Old Republic:
HK-47: Expletive: Damn it, Master, I am an assassination droid, not a dictionary!
- Star Wars: The Old Republic:
Talos Drellik: I'm an archaeologist, not a fighter!
- In Dragon Age: Origins, when you ask Varick why he isn't going to be fighting in The Proving, he responds with "I'm a miner, not a warrior!".
- In Gex: Enter the Gecko: "Dammit, Jim, I'm a doctor, not a pincushion!"
- Mass Effect:
- When you encounter the Rachni in the first game, if Liara is present, Shepard will ask her what they are. She will just say that she's an archaeologist, not a biologist, and is as clueless as Shepard.
- If you select Mordin as the specialist to open the doors during the Suicide Mission in the second game, he'll protest that he's not that kind of scientist (in other words, not a computer expert).
- Shepard gets in on it too. In the first game, Renegade Shepard responds to Nihlus' questions about Eden Prime with "I'm a marine, not some tourist on vacation." In the third game, Shepard tells Anderson "I'm a soldier, not a politician" to which Anderson responds "I don't need you to be either."
- The third game, sees an inverted version used by Gabby Daniels on Ken Donnelly - "You're the power systems engineer, not me." Gabby is a propulsion system engineer.
- Starcraft II: Click on the Terran Medic enough and she'll go "Dammit, I'm a medic, not a doctor!...Oh." Technically speaking this is correct: Combat Medics don't need doctorates to be a medic but have nurse/orderly training instead.
- In Duke Nukem Forever, a dying Alien Queen blasts Duke so hard, he begins to lose consciousness. An EDF soldier comes to his help, but he turns out to be an engineer, not a doctor, and desperately calls for The Medic, as Duke blacks out. Of course, this being Duke, he gets better real soon.
- Fallout: New Vegas:
- An NCR ranger hiding out in a bunker owned by the Brotherhood of Steel states in his journal that he is a scout, not an electrician, and that he can't quite get his radio to work.
- Even more directly, with the Wild Wasteland trait activated, NCR Ambassador Crocker will shout the line "I'm an ambassador, not a doctor!" in response to a question about Jet and the human heart.
- In The Sims Medieval if you make the Physician do the King for a Day quest, they'll say "I'm a doctor, not a monarch!"
- Company of Heroes:
- In Dark Parables 8: The Little Mermaid and the Purple Tide clicking on a certain pharmacy hot spot prompts the quip "I'm a detective, not a pharmacist! I need a recipe."
- "I'm an engineer, not a medic", said by Jäger in Rainbow Six Siege when reviving a downed team member.
- Late into Kingdom Come: Deliverance, Sir Divish tasks Master Tobias Feyfar with building a trebuchet so they can more effectively lay siege to Talmberg after Istvan Toth takes it. Master Feyfar acknowledges that he is an engineer, the best in the fief in fact, but he's a mining engineer and thus isn't of much help in military matters. Luckily, there is an actual military engineer staying in the Sasau monastery, so Henry is tasked with getting his help.
- BoxxyQuest: The Gathering Storm: Spez to Jimmy Wales, during the Summit:
Spez: Damn it, Jim! I'm a CEO, not a hacker!
- Disney Magic Kingdoms: As Will Turner says in the quest "Display of Skills" when Elizabeth says that they need to show the guests a good time to clear the curse, he's "a blacksmith, not an entertainer".
- In Lily's Garden Lily makes a crack about Luke calling his dog "Dog".
Luke: I'm a sculptor, not a writer.
- In Charm King's Halloween tale Philbert tries his hand at carving a pumpkin for the festival contest.
Philbert: Oh, who am I kidding? This isn't going to win any contest. I'm an inventor, not an artist!
- A note found in the bonus chapter of Reflections of Life 7: Slipping Hope:
Fighting creatures with mirrors? Pathetic! I'm a warrior, not a busker!
- Laruaville 9:
Spiritus I: And what is that smoke off to the left?
Female ghost: That's the horde of barbarians waiting to burn down your new residence. We can't do anything about them, we're builders not warriors.
- In a note found in Mystery Case Files 20: The Black Crown one of several crew members who were forced to build a ship-raising mechanism complains that they're pirates not carpenters.
- Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Trials and Tribulations
Phoenix: Damn it, Maya! I'm a lawyer, not a botanist!Phoenix: (Internal monologue) I'm a lawyer, not a delivery boy, Gumshoe...
- Claude Trilleo from Sunrider will sometimes shout "Dang it, Captain! I'm a doctor, not a fighter!" when ordered to attack an enemy, as a Shout-Out to the Trope Namer. And considering the terrible accuracy of her Ryder's only weapon, she's absolutely right.
- Played with in Freeman's Mind in which Gordon Freeman comes across a corpse for the first time and exclaims, "I'm a doctor, not a... normal doctor!"
- Playing the Doctor in the Housepets! version of And Then There Were None, Marvin says, "I'm a Doctor, not an Electrician!" Earlier when one of the first guests died, he did a "He's dead, Jim."
- The Order of the Stick:
- After Vaarsuvius, temporarily paralyzed by a a ghast, has been used by Haley by dangling them over a treasure to detect magic (on the number of grunts)...
Vaarsuvius: Damn it, I am a wizard, not a divining rod!
- Durkon latter helps Elan peering through the window of their cell.
- After Vaarsuvius, temporarily paralyzed by a a ghast, has been used by Haley by dangling them over a treasure to detect magic (on the number of grunts)...
- Last Res0rt: Likewise, Scout Arael cheerfully reminds you that she's a medic, not a messiah.
- In Schlock Mercenary, Tailor has to perform brain surgery on Tagon, which leads him to say, "I'm a clothier, not a doctor."
- In Wapsi Square, Monica is an Anthropologist, not a Psychiatrist. She even throws in a "Dammit Jin" for good measure.
- Digger says that she's a wombat, not a lungfish.
- In the comments there's a Running Gag of "Dammit, Jim! Im a x, not a x".
- The Statue of Ganesh says that he's half a god, not half a geologist.
- Trader Manuel says that he's a merchant, not a murderer.
- Herne says that he's a wilderness guide, not a Sherpa.
- The Property of Hate: Madras is a merchant, not a doctor.
- In Wayward Sons, Hara says that she's a doctor, not a miracle worker.
- El Goonish Shive: Diane is a sneaker not a fighter (i.e. more stealthy than capable of fighting).
- GastroPhobia: Phobia angrily states "I'm a warrior, not a scholar!" when called on the fact that she's illiterate.
- Subverted in Sev Space:
Quirk: Buns, why are you on the bridge instead of in sickbay?
Buns: Dammit, Gym, I'm a doctor, not a... on my way, sir.
- On Nerf NOW!!, after betting (and losing) their clothes, Blu Engie has to sew a new outfit for Red Engie.
Blu Engie: Look, I'm an engineer, not a tailor.
Red Engie: You're sleeping on the couch.
- Yet Another Fantasy Gamer Comic: Sahar insists that she's a priestess, not a sorceress. Granted, the priestesses of Ch'Thier to whom she belongs can invoke impressive thunderbolts and are anything but harmless.
- In the Lazy Game Reviews' video about the computer game Life & Death, the host comments about the sign over the Staff Room in the hospital being spelled STAF, saying of the player that "you're a doctor, not an English professor."
- Mr. Peabody, an Insufferable Genius Funny Animal in a Rocky and Bullwinkle short, used to constantly remind his pet human, Sherman that he was "A genius, not a miracle worker," (substitute sharpshooter, etc. to taste).
- In The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 episode "Oh Brother", King Koopa's pipes burst, leading to the following conversation:
Koopa: Well, don't just stand there, Kooky. Fix it!
Kooky: I'm a mad genius, not a plumber.
- A particularly brilliant example in Animaniacs when the Warner Siblings are backed into a corner in Hades:
- The predecessor series Tiny Toon Adventures beat them to it. In the episode "Duck Trek", Furrball-Bones tells Plucky-Kirk "Darn it, Jim, I'm a doctor, not a barber!" It Makes Sense in Context.
- Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicles, the animated series, has a conversation while defusing a bomb that goes something like this:
A: OK, what color of wire do I cut?
B: Why do ask me, I'm a doctor, not an electrician!
A: What's your favorite color?
A: (cuts red)
B: Why did you cut the red one? I said blue.
A: You're a doctor, not an electrician.
- Beavis and Butt-Head, similar to Saturday Night Live's example:
Captain Kirk: Bones, I've got an injured crewman here and you've got to do something! You've got to do something!
Dr. McCoy: Captain, there is a limit to what one man can do. Dammit, Jim, I'm a doctor, not a doc—... Oh, yeah, I'll get right on it.
Butt-head: Hey Beavis.
Butt-head: Those guys better look out for the Klingons near Uranus!
- The U.S. Acres episode "Swine Trek" from Garfield and Friends parodied this as well. When Orson Pig, playing The Kirk in a dream, asks Wade Duck, playing The McCoy, about a distress call that didn't sound right, Wade went, "How Should I Know?!? I'm a duck, not the Wichita Lineman!!"
- On an episode of Justice League, Lois Lane tells Superman, "Look, I'm a reporter, not a public relations person."
- In the final scene of The Simpsons episode "D'oh-in' in the Wind," Homer ends up in the hospital from a flower lodged in his head, which Dr. Hibbert asserts he cannot remove, because "I'm a doctor, not a gardener."
Homer: Can't you just prune some of the leaves so I can watch TV?
Hibbert: (dead serious) What did I just say?
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003) gave Donatello a line that was clearly a Shout-Out to the Trope Namer during the Big Brawl arc: "What can I do? I'm an engineer, not a doctor..."
- In the Danny Phantom episode "Masters of All Time", Danny asks Clockwork if he could save Vlad and Danny's friends from the Ghost Pox. Clockwork's response: "I'm the ghost of time, not the ghost of miracle cures."
- X-Men: Evolution has Storm give us this one: "I'm a weather witch, not a snowplow!" Even funnier when you remember Wolverine's first name is actually Jim.
- The Kim Possible episode "Rappin' Drakken" has a twist on the "morally repugnant" version: Dr. Drakken tries to sell a mind-control shampoo with a name ("Dr. D's Brainwashing Shampoo and Cranium Rinse") and slogan ("Lather, Rinse, Obey") that tells people what it does, because "Truth-in-labeling-laws. I'm a supervillain, not a corporate shyster".
- An episode of Codename: Kids Next Door has Tommy transported to a world where dirty boys and a stinky captain are trying to avoid a giant rubber duck (Moby Duck) from giving them squeaky-clean bathes. When Tommy finally convinces them to fight back, their plan involves throwing harpoons at it. When ordered to do so, one of the kids argues, "Darn it, Jim, I'm a doctor, not a ducker!"
- An episode of The Garfield Show has a running gag of everyone getting stuck up a tree because of a dog. First, it was Garfield and Nermal, then Odie, then Jon, and finally a fireman. Jon questions how come a fireman doesn't know how to climb trees. His response: "I'm a fireman, not a monkey."
- In the Hercules: The Animated Series episode "Hercules and the Green Eyed Monster", when Hercules was asked to put some sense into Icarus, he said he was "a demigod, not a miracle worker".
- In Robot Chicken's Star Wars special, the Dr. Ball sketch opens this way.
Darth Vader: Make her tell us the location of the Rebel Base.
Dr. Ball, M.D.: Good god, man, I'm a doctor not a savage! This is a flu shot! Good day, sir!
- DuckTales (1987): In "The Uncrashable Hindentanic", Glomgold challenges Scrooge to a bet where the loser will give the winner one million dollars and Scrooge refuses because he's "a businessman, not a gambler". He changes his mind when Glomgold suggests that the loser will invest one million dollars on the winner's company.
- Budgie the Little Helicopter: In one episode, Dell is complaining about the snow. Smokey says that it's more like icing sugar than snow, to which Dell replies "I don't want to be covered in icing sugar either. I'm a baggage truck, not a Christmas cake."
- The Transformers has an example that is not a parody and not played for laughs: when Skyfire is told by his old friend Starscream to kill a bunch of Autobots they've taken captive, the horrified Skyfire states that "I'm a scientist, not an executioner!"
- Sofia the First: The bird-shaped door knocker at Tilly's manor cannot let Sofia in because it's a door knocker, not a door opener.
- Time Squad: In "Orphan Substitute", the first substitute says he can't help the squad because he's "a math genius, not a history whiz".
- Subverted in a recurring Monkey Dust sketch where comedian David Baddiel would regularly volunteer to perform some sort of specialised task (such as surgery or piloting a space shuttle.) Upon being told "You're a famous comedian, not a ..." he would indignantly reply that his job makes him just as qualified as a trained professional.
- Inverted in Cathedral. When Bishop Gervais insists that the stones from his family's quarry are of a sufficient quality to be used in the project, Master Guillaume is quick to voice his incredulity.
Master Guillaume: Is His Grace now a stonemason as well as a bishop?
- On Kaeloo, the trope is used in an episode where Kaeloo and Mr. Cat are doctors, with Mr. Cat taking Dr. Jerk to a whole new level. When both of them try to "cure" Quack Quack (who isn't even sick), Kaeloo suggests homeopathic cures. Mr. Cat, eager to hurt Quack Quack, asks if she means acupuncture, and she clarifies that she meant to use herbs and flowers, eliciting this response from Mr. Cat:
Mr. Cat: I'm a doctor, not a florist.
- The Hair Bear Bunch is airborne on an out-of-control inflatable horse (episode "Love Bug Bungle"):
Square: Do something, Hair!
Hair: What do you want me to do? I'm a bear, not a cowboy.
- Jane and the Dragon when Rake gets stuck in a log- "I'm a gardener not a rabbit!"
- Amphibia: "Fort on the Road" presents a variation. Anne justifies not knowing what a computer disk is by pointing out she's "from another dimension, not the 90's!".
- The Finnish composer Jean Sibelius reportedly said "I'm a composer, not a psychic!" when his wife wanted to know when he would be back from one of his drinking sprees.
- The newly appointed (as of 2014) chief prosecutor of Crimea, Natalia Poklonskaya, seems nonplussed about her internet fandom gushing over her Moe characteristics. In one interview, she stated that she's "a lawyer, not a Pokémon or something".
- Responding to criticism of his ridiculously wild first pitch at a New York Mets game, rapper 50 Cent said "I'm a hustler, not a damn ball player."
- In his audition for the EMH on Star Trek: Voyager, Robert Picardo adlibbed "I'm a doctor, not a nightlight." Amusingly, he wasn't familiar with it being a running gag at the time. Little wonder he ended up using the most variants on the phrase by any doctor in the franchise not named McCoy.
Damn it, I'm a doctor, not a Troper!