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"Is that a dead body? Dammit, I'm a doctor, not a... normal doctor!"

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 


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  • During the interactive preview of MSN 2.0, one of the actors ended up quoting "Live long and prosper" from the Star Trek franchise. Michael (the preview's presenter) ended up replying, "Damn it, Jim! I'm a preview host, not a miracle worker!"
  • This ad for Trivial Pursuit has a woman asking a medical question. Cue DeForrest Kelly entering and responding in the same cantankerous manner he brought to McCoy, "How should I know? I'm an actor, not a doctor!"


    Anime & Manga 
  • In Monster Musume, 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]
  • 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!

    Comic Books 
  • 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."
  • In the sixth issue of Captain Victory and the Galactic Rangers, Major Klavus demands Director Chusang to do something about Captain Victory overdosing on life energy while piloting the Drainer.
    Chusang: Sorry! I'm an engineer! — Not a god!!
  • 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.
  • 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 second issue of Satan's Six, Doctor Mordius remarks "I'm a scientist, not a mystic."
  • 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 it is. He says he's a supervillain, not a mechanic.

    Comic Strips 

    Fan Works 
  • A (very NSFW) pair of Ranma ½ fan-arts ("Breaking Bag" on RanmaBOOKS) features Nabiki having tried to summon a "Fukyugami" with Ye Olde Necronomicon during a lingerie shoot with female Ranma, only to fall victim of the horny spirit herself, ending up begging Ranma to dismiss it.
    Ranma-chan: I'm a martial artist, not a warlock. Gimme time! Look at it that way: You're still getting your porno, only the star has changed!
  • 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).
  • Danny Phantom: Stranded: In "Empowered", Tucker says he can't block Misty's powers because he's "a techno-geek, not a miracle worker".
  • 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!
  • In the Discworld of A.A. Pessimal, this is a persistent complaint by the Assassins' Guild resident medic, Matron Igorina.
  • The Doe and Her Fawn:
    Snape: You could die before the term starts. Then Madam Pomfrey won't be able to help you. She's a healer, not a necromancer.
  • 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: Fine, but I still believe that we should be more natural. This act will look painfully forced. I'm a duelist, not an actor.
  • 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)
  • The Eighth Time is the Charm:
    Thanatos: Mara dear, nothing happened between Aglaea and me.
    Mara: Shut up!... You, you lying cheating dog! I saw you two taking a dip in the Stygian River, you and I are done... And one other thing, stop sending me cherubs, I'm a death agent, not a florist...
  • Empath: The Luckiest Smurf
    • 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.
      Tailor: I'm only a clothes maker, not a fortune teller, Woody.
    • The HoloSmurf says this in the middle of a fight with the Schliphargons in "Smurfing In Heaven".
      HoloSmurf: I'm just a mere assistant, not a warrior.
  • 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."
  • 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!"
  • A Good Compromise: Dr. Irim Valder is Not That Kind of Doctor.
    Irim: I'm a general practitioner, not a pharmacologist.
  • In Harry and his Hippogriff, the title hippogriff is severely injured.
    Harry: How long... can she hold out for a couple of hours?
    Neville: I should be able to finish cleaning the wound and cauterise it to some degree, but... I don't know, mate. I'm a Herbologist, not a Magizoologist.
  • Harry Potter and the Pink-Haired Auror:
    Harry: What the hell, how is it that I can see just fine?
    Tonks: How should I know, I'm an auror, not a healer.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Kingdom Hearts Ψ: The Seeker of Darkness: From Kairi and Lea's Excellent Adventure:
    Doppler: Glad to have you with us. I don’t know what I’d have done about this on my own. I’m an astrologer, not a doctor. Well, I have a doctorate, but...
  • 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.
  • In Lessons for Life, Harry rehearses proposing to Ginny.
    Sirius: Take out the bloody, "I love you more than life itself" line; it's overused.
    Harry: I'm an Auror, not an author!
    Sirius: Obviously.
  • In The N'awlins Connection a Daily Prophet article claims that when the sphinx in the Third Task complained about the medical treatment it received after the event, Madame Pomfrey stated "I'm a healer, not a creature handler!"
  • A New Kind of Normal:
    Harry: Are there more Potters in the family than me? Could someone else be my regent?
    Griphook: I'm a banker, Mr. Potter. Not a genealogist. And as to your second question, I very much doubt it. I believe wizards often arrange for such matters to be magically binding.
  • 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.
  • Ninja Wizard Book 2:
    Sirius: Right, Harry. He's what's important. So... what do I do?
    Adeline: You've got me. I'm a lawyer, not a child psychologist.
  • 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? I’m a soldier, not a diplomat! (cue How We Got Here)
  • Princess of the Blacks: Pomfrey doesn't know how to treat Danny's second-degree dragonfire burns because she's "a school nurse, not a Healer".
  • 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.
  • 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. Zimmermann, 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.
  • 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."
  • 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?
  • The Tiny Toon Adventures fan series Tiny Toon Adventures Class Of 2009 has this as Furrball's Mad Libs Catchphrase. "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.
  • 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.

    Films — Animated 
  • From Monsters vs. Aliens but reversed:
    Dr. Cockroach: I'm not a quack; I'm a mad scientist!
  • The Rugrats Movie: Ranger Frank is worried about dragons.
    Ranger Frank: There's dragons out there! I'm a park ranger, not a knight of the Round Table! GO FIND SOMEBODY WITH A LANCE!
  • The Swan Princess: The royal orchestra object to being forced to pose as animals so Prince Derek can practice hunting this way.
    Band Leader: I'm an ARTIST, not a boar!
    Rodgers: [muttering] Could have fooled me.
  • Dr. Delbert Doppler from Treasure Planet says this as a Shout-Out to Star Trek: The Original Series.
    Doppler: Dangit, Jim, I'm an astronomer, not a doctor! I mean, I am a doctor, but Not That Kind of Doctor, I have a doctorate, it's not the same thing, you can't help people with a doctorate. You just sit there and you're useless!

    Films — Live-Action 
  • 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!"
  • Batman Forever: The Bat-Signal gets commandeered by Chase as part of an odd, superheroic version of OK Cupid, leading to the popular line "The Batsignal is not a beeper!"
  • The Cloverfield Paradox has a low-key version. The crew are devastated having seemingly destroyed the Earth during their test. Kiel tries to get them focussed on urgent priorities like repairing the space station.
    Kiel: Mundy, take Schmidt and deal with the O2.
    Schmidt: I'm a physicist!
    Kiel: And now you work for Mundy.
  • 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."
  • 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!"
  • Cosmic Sin: After a soldier is killed by a Boom, Headshot!, Dr. Lea Goss is asked to treat him. Goss retorts that she's a doctor, not God, and picks up the soldier's gun to use instead.
  • 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.
  • Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid: "Sorry, I'm a butler, not a catcher."
  • In 1953 film Donovans Brain, Dr. Frank Schratt says, "I'm a doctor, not an electrician."
  • Freaked: Before mutating Julie and Ernie into a two head freak, He ask Skuggs if he can have a big Rodney. But Skuggs said this:
    Skuggs: I'm a mad scientist pal, not a miracle worker.
  • 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!"
  • From The Hangover: "I'm a doctor, not a tour guide!"
  • A Hard Day's Night: Ringo is a drummer, not a wet-nurse.
  • 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!"
  • 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".
  • In The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Dorian Grey exclaims at one point "I'm an immortal, not a gazelle!"
  • 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.
  • Mad Max. When asked what's the prognosis on Max's wife after she's run down by Toecutter's gang, the doctor replies, "I'm a doctor, not a fortune teller."
  • The Man in the Iron Mask: Porthos, who's been threating to kill himself for a while, heads out to the barn to hang himself. Aramis assures Athos that he won't be able to because Aramis sawed through the beam to weaken it. When Porthos puts weight on the beam it snaps...and brings the entire barn down on top of him.
    Aramis: [viewing the collapsed barn] Well, I'm a genius, not an engineer!
  • 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.
  • In Marie Curie: The Courage of Knowledge, her friend and fellow physicist-chemist Langevin is confronted by his wife about a lucrative industrial job he turned down. He tells her he doesn't want to work in industry, adding "I'm a scientist, not a flunky!"
  • 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!
  • 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!"
  • In North By Northwest, Thornhill says, "I'm an advertising man, not a red herring."
  • One of the Sex Trek porn parodies has Dr. McJoy retorting, "I'm a doctor, not the writer of this crap!"
  • Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit: Father Thomas once tells Deloris that he have a message for her despite working for the catholic Church, not for Fedex.
  • Star Trek:
    • 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: This isn't part of my program. I'm a doctor, not a doorstop.
    • Star Trek (2009 revival):
      • We get it a couple times, but toward the beginning, Bones' first line:
        McCoy: I don't need a doctor, dammit, I am a doctor!
      • "Dammit, 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...
  • Star Wars:
    • 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".
    • The Empire Strikes Back: After R2-D2 attempts to slice what he thinks is a computer terminal and gets a nasty shock...
C-3PO: Well, don't look at me, I'm just an interpreter. How am I supposed to tell the difference between a power socket and a computer terminal?
  • Steel Rain: North Korean agent Eom breaks into an obstetric clinic and forces the doctor there to operate on Kim Jong Un, who's been wounded in an attempted coup. She does her best, but there's a bullet in his cranium that she doesn't dare touch. "I'm an obstetrician, not a neurosurgeon. Unless there's a baby inside this belly, I can't do it."
  • Top Gun: Maverick has a variation when Penny pokes fun at Maverick for not knowing how to sail despite being a Navy officer. He replies that he doesn't sail boats, he lands on them.
  • 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.
  • Inverted in X the Unknown when our Science Hero gets "The Reason You Suck" Speech from a distraught father, killed by the rampaging radioactive Muck Monster.
    Jack Harding: I know about you, Dr. Royston. You're a scientist, not a doctor. You don't look after the sick. You meddle with things that kill, like what killed my boy in there!

  • 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?"

  • 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."
  • 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."
  • Dead Mans Land by Robert Ryan. Dr. Watson is going aloft in a balloon for the first time and doesn't like it, thinking that he's a doctor not takes him a moment to think of the correct world for a new profession. He comes up with "balloonatics", which is far too close to "lunatics" for his liking.
  • 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.
  • 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".
  • 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 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 title scientist in The Priest, the Scientist, and the Meteor parodies this by stating: "I'm a scientist, not a rocket scientist!"
  • 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".
  • 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.
  • 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 Ship Who...: In The City Who Fought, Dr. Chaundra is tasked with creating a virus that will, hopefully, make incoming invaders reluctant to bother his people for fear of catching it. Uncomfortable with the idea of causing and spreading an illness and aware of the difficulty of making it nasty-looking but not seriously hurt his people, he complains to himself that he's a doctor, not a gene-sculptor!
  • Star Trek:
    • In the Enterprise relauch novel "Rise of the Federation: Live by the Code" Doctor Phlox finds the virus that recently killed Klingon Chancellor M'rek has some very familar genetic markers that lead him to conclude the virus was an artifical construct. Managing to get a few minutes of privacy he contacts Doctor Antaak on the Qu'Vat colony to confront him as he believed Antaak created the virus. Antaak told him that he had no access to the advanced medical equipment needed to make viruses anymore, and in any case even though he hated M'Rek if he wanted to seek revenge he would have done so by confronting him in person and challenging M'Rek to honorable combat. Antaak claims he likely would've died since, "I am a doctor, not a soldier." When Phlox allows him to look at the gene sequence of the virus he realizes his son Krit - who Antaak had trained as a geneticist - was responsible for the Chancellor's death. The two take this information to the High Council, who arrests Krit and after he admits his crimes promptly has him executed.
    • In the novel "Star Trek: Forged in Fire" the Kligon Doctor Nej tells the pirate Qagh (aka The Albino) that he was a physician and researcher, not a subspace radio technician when questioned as to why he didn't find the subcutaneous transponders in Kor, Koloth, Kang, and Curzon Dax while Qagh was holding them prisoner.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 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.
  • A variation in Arrow when Felicity Smoak discovers Oliver Queen bleeding from a gunshot wound in the backseat of her car. As he's an illegal vigilante, Oliver tells her to take him to the abandoned factory he uses as his secret lair and Felicity initially protests that he needs a doctor, not a steelworker.
  • In Battlestar Galactica, 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!
  • 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 the Community episode "Documentary Filmmaking: Redux", 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:
      The Doctor: 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:
      The Doctor: 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]
  • Friends:
    • 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.
  • At the end of the Jessie episode "The Princess and the Pea Brain", Zuri asks Ravi to try and make the kingdom's jester funnier. Ravi responds with "I am a sorcerer, not a miracle worker!"
  • Lost:
    • 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!"
  • Luke Cage: In "Take It Personal", when Diamondback is telling Mariah the basics of his plan to sell the Judas bullets to the NYPD, Mariah counters, "I'm a politician, not a gun dealer." Diamondback simply replies, "Well, what's the difference?"
  • In M*A*S*H, Winchester has 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."
  • The Millionaire: In the 1955 episode "The Iris Millar Story", Iris Millar decides to use part of her new wealth to set up her boyfriend, Dr. Wells — played by a young DeForest Kelley — with a fancy office and help him cultivate the rich and famous. He's not on board with the plan, protesting, "I'm a doctor, not a politician!"
  • Monk has a few good ones.
    • 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":
      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.
  • Inverted once in 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!"
  • In 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.
  • Our Miss Brooks: Used in the episode "Suzi Prentiss". Miss Brooks tells Mr. Conklin, "I'm a teacher, not a psychiatrist."
  • 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 Professionals: In "Discovered in a Graveyard", Cowley tells a doctor he's relying on him to keep Doyle alive after he's shot by an assassin.
    Doctor: A doctor, I am. God, I'm not.
  • The Roundhouse episode "TV On Trial" references 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.
  • This exchange from Sanford and Son:
    Aunt Esther: I need help!
    Fred: Help? I'm just a junkman, not a plastic surgeon.
  • The Smallville episode "Rush" has Clark say, "I'm an alien, not a cartoon!" when Chloe asks him if he can fly.
  • Space: 1999 has Dr. Russell pull this one out of her hat early in season 2.
    Dr. Russell: I'm a doctor, John, not a miracle worker!
  • In the documentary Space Race, Wernher von Braun is being pressured to step up the production of the V2 rocket.
    Von Braun: I am an engineer, not a factory manager. And I am not... responsible for that production plant.
  • Stargate SG-1 provides a variation of this trope in "Deadman Switch" when bounty hunter 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 has Carson Beckett do this in a couple of episodes. Note that Beckett is an actual medical doctor and was written as a pretty obvious reference to Bones McCoy (to the point where Rodney McKay says that Dr. McCoy is "the TV character [Dr. Beckett] plays in real life").
    • In "The Eye", he says: "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 Trope Namer is Dr. McCoy from Star Trek: The Original Series. McCoy twice has this inverted on him when he tries using it (in both cases, McCoy is trying to get out of an assignment):
      • In "The Devil in the Dark":
        McCoy: I'm a doctor, not a bricklayer!
        Kirk: You're a healer, there's a patient. That's an order.note 
      • In "Mirror, Mirror":
        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 that 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.
      • In the porn parody Charly XXX, a Bridge Bunny asks for Boner's opinion on her sex scene which was witnessed by the entire ship. He retorts, "I'm a doctor, not a porn critic!"
    • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
      • In "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 uses it occasionally, one of the most notable (but far from the first or only) being the protest "I'm a doctor, not a botanist" when Dax brings him a sick plant because Keiko O'Brien (the station's resident botanist) is at a conference at the time. He does, of course, use it in the show's anniversary episode "Trials and Tribble-ations" (a crossover 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 this line in "It's Only a Paper Moon", 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), who is, in fact, an actual placeholder. (That is, he was supposed to be a supplement to organic doctors in emergencies, but ends up permanently filling in for the chief medical officer when said officer is 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", having no idea that it was Dr. McCoy's catchphrase.
      • In "The Cloud", we have this exchange.
        Neelix: I did not come on board this ship to be a veterinarian, Captain!
        Captain Janeway: And I thought you were a man of unlimited talents.
      • In "Future's End", the EMH says "I'm a doctor, not a database!", only for the episode's villain to point out that he's actually a bit of both.
      • 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.
      • If you shoot him in the game Star Trek: 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 gets 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 snarky 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 Thin Blue Line: In "Kids Today", when Fowler organises a camping trip for young offenders, he asks Grim if he can be persuaded to come. Grim replies:
    Grim: I'm a policeman, not a bleeding Girl Guide.
  • In Torchwood: Miracle Day, after Captain Jack has been poisoned with arsenic, they get on the phone to a doctor who suggests that 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.
  • The X-Files: In the 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 the RiffTrax of Star Trek (2009), they come down on the usage of this for not being deep and raspy enough, asking to hear "those throat nodes and smoker's hack."

    Pro Wrestling 
  • 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).

    Puppet Shows 
  • 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!"

  • 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.
  • 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".

    Video Games 
  • In Adventure Chef Izy gets annoyed at having to build several bridges on Lemon Isle.
    Izy: I'm a chef, not a carpenter! Where's Ted when you need him?!
  • BoxxyQuest: The Gathering Storm: Spez to Jimmy Wales, during the Summit:
    Spez: Damn it, Jim! I'm a CEO, not a hacker!
  • 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!
  • Company of Heroes:
    "Hey, assholes! We're Panzergrenadiers, not Panzers!"
  • 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."
  • 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 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 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.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Final Fantasy VI:
      • When Celes is asked to impersonate a famous opera singer: "H-hold on here! I'm a former general, not some opera floozy!"
      • Another Celes line during the party's trip to the cliffs above Narshe: "Thanks for your concern, but I'm a soldier, not some love-starved twit."
    • This line is said using "miracle-worker" in Final Fantasy IX.
  • In Gex: Enter the Gecko: "Dammit, Jim, I'm a doctor, not a pincushion!"
  • In Homescapes William wonders what the proper species name for their dinosaur model would be.
    Austin: Dad, I'm a butler, not a paleontologist. Let's go with plesiosaur. Everyone's already used to it anyway.
  • 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.
  • Knights of the Old Republic:
    HK-47: Expletive: Damn it, Master, I am an assassination droid, not a dictionary!
  • 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 Lily's Garden Lily makes a crack about Luke calling his dog "Dog".
    Luke: I'm a sculptor, not a writer.
  • 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.
  • In MultiVersus, Velma occasionally remarks about the inappropriateness of her specialty, when respawning during a match.
    Velma: I'm a detective, not a gladiator!
  • 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.
  • "I'm an engineer, not a medic", said by Jäger in Rainbow Six Siege when reviving a downed team member.
  • 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!
  • 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!"
  • 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.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic:
    • One of Sith Inquisitor companion Talos Drellik's chatter lines in combat:
      Talos Drellik: I'm an archaeologist, not a fighter!
    • In Chapter XVI of Knights of the Fallen Empire, if you choose Lovable Rogue Gault Rennow to keep the peace between Bomb Throwing Anarchist Kaliyo Djannis and Sergeant Rock Aric Jorgan:
      Outlander: Gault, you're creative. Keep these two from killing each other.
      Gault: I'm a con artist, not a babysitter.
  • Tex Bonaventure and the Temple of the Water of Life displays messages for various achievements. The one for finding yourself in a giant stomach:
    Congratulationment!® number 9 - "Jason would be proud. (It's Jason, right? Jason sounds right. Well, you're an adventurer, not a professor of history. Or literature. Or historical literature. (It's not Jason))"

    Visual Novels 


  • The Star Trek wiki Memory Alpha has a page compiling every time the franchise used the phrase here.

    Web Videos 
  • 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!"
  • 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."
  • 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.
  • Pokémon The 'Bridged Series has Doctor Janitor.
    Doctor Janitor: DAMMIT, I'M A JANITOR, NOT A DOCTOR!

    Western Animation 
  • 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.
  • The Amazing World of Gumball: In "The Bet", the school nurse (upon being asked to fix Bobert), angrily tells Miss Simian and Gumball (on separate occasions) that she's a nurse and not a mechanic.
  • 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 '90s!"
  • A particularly brilliant example in Animaniacs when the Warner Siblings are backed into a corner in Hades:
    Yakko: [William Shatner voice] Wakko... anything in your... Gag Bag that will help us..?
    Wakko: Nothing, Yakko.
    Yakko: Dot... comments... analysis...?
    Dot: Nothing, Yakko.
    Yakko: Bones..?
    Bones: Darn it, Yakko, I'm a doctor, not a magician!
  • 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.
    Beavis: What?
    Butt-Head: Beavis.
    Beavis: What?
    Butt-Head: Those guys better look out for the Klingons near Uranus!
  • 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."
  • Inverted in Cathedral (Documentary). 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?
  • 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 duck hunter!"
  • Craig of the Creek: In Season 3 "Breaking the Ice", when Craig and Wildernessa and her dog, Cheesesticks, are stranded on an island because Cheesesticks accidentally broke the ice of the frozen lake with his weight, Craig believes that Wildernessa will be able to help them survive due to her knowledge of nature. But Wildernessa tells him "I know about animals, not survival tactics".
  • 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."
  • DuckTales: 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.
  • 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!!"
  • 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."
  • 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.
  • 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 one episode of Hey Arnold! when Big Bob reads a book Helga borrowed from the library when she believes she was infected with monkey nucleosis: "I'm a beeper salesman, not a scientist!"
  • Jane and the Dragon when Rake gets stuck in a log: "I'm a gardener, not a rabbit!"
  • On an episode of Justice League, Lois Lane tells Superman, "Look, I'm a reporter, not a public relations person."
  • 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.
  • Kim Possible:
    • "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".
    • On another occasion, Drakken says he wants to prove he's more brillainter than everyone else.
      Shego: Brillianter?
      Drakken: More smarter then — whatever! I'm a scientific genius, not an englist.
      Shego: Linguist!
  • In the Looney Tunes short "Lighthouse Mouse", in the second-to-last scene Sylvester is fixing the lighthouse's cable and angrily mutters that he's a cat, not an electrician.
  • Love, Death & Robots. In "Sucker of Souls", the protagonists find themselves confronted by Dracula himself. Flynn demands Dr. Wehunt tell them what to do, to which the doctor responds that he's an archeologist, not a strategist. Flynn retorts that he's a mercenary not Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but he's not whining about it either.
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • Mr. Peabody, an Insufferable Genius Funny Animal in a Rocky and Bullwinkle short, used to constantly remind his pet human, Sherman that he is "A genius, not a miracle worker," (substitute sharpshooter, etc. to taste).
  • 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?
    B: Blue.
    A: [cuts red]
    B: Why did you cut the red one? I said blue.
    A: You're a doctor, not an electrician.
  • 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?
  • 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.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 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..."
  • 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".
  • Tiny Toon Adventures: 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.
  • The Transformers:
    • 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!"
    • A late Season 3 episode features interim Autobot commander Rodimus Prime ordering Wreck-Gar to deposit the remains of previous leader Optimus Prime on an examining table, who exclaims "I'm a doctor (which he isn't), not a forklift!". For bonus points, Wreck-Gar follows this up with another Shout-Out to the Trope Namer in the form of "He's Dead, Jim".
  • Wakfu: In "The Night of the Thirsters", when instructed to spray the Thirsters with a milk-pump to fight them, Sadlygrove protests that he's a warrior, not a gardener.
  • 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.

    Real Life 
  • 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."
  • When SS Leader Heinrich Himmler was taken into British custody at the end of the war, they were naturally concerned that he might kill himself before he could be properly interrogated and put on trial. After he was identified in a POW camp and taken to Luneberg for questioning, he was stripped and his clothes were searched, with one cyanide capsule discovered and removed, and another empty container found, but the capsule itself missing. He was taken to see a British Army doctor for a cavity search. When ordered to find the poison, the doctor responded, "I'm a doctor, not a detective." Through circumstances that are still not clear, Himmler had managed to retain the other capsule, and killed himself before he could be checked.

Damn it, I'm a doctor, not a Troper!


A Doctor, Not a Florist

Mr. Cat says using plants to treat illnesses is for florists, not doctors.

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Main / ImADoctorNotAPlaceholder

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