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No Matter How Much I Beg

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Meh, just go on the floor. No one can see you anyway.

"...and plead, and cry, don't give that paper back to me, EVER."

A character believes that they will imminently lose their self-control, and therefore takes precautions by asking another character to deny them something at all costs. That something could be an important or dangerous item, or perhaps they may even be asking for themselves to be restrained, taking away their own freedom.

Often, they will add the caveat that no matter what they do or say to try and obtain that thing, and no matter how convincing they sound, they must not be allowed to have it — that is, they are pre-emptively overriding their own authority.

The reason why a character might ask someone to do this to them varies, but two common ones are:

  • Alice needs to give up something important for her own wellbeing, but she doesn't have the force of will to get rid of it herself, so she asks Bob to do it. For example: "No matter how much I beg, don't let me get on TV Tropes until I've finished my homework so I'm not distracted."
  • Alice fears that she is about to become Not Herself, and she foresees some danger as a result of that - perhaps she has some dangerous power that could hurt people if used maliciously, for example. She may ask to be restrained or to have something taken away to prevent her from using it against her friends.

This is usually very stressful for the person being asked to fulfill the request, as they are often a trusted friend, and are now being asked specifically not to trust someone they care about. Commonly, Alice may "test" Bob by acting nice and seeing how quickly he gives in (at which point she will likely berate him for doing exactly what she told him not to do).

This kind of situation can, and often does, turn bad if something happens that Alice didn't foresee, and she now needs exactly what she's told Bob not to give her - cue Bob following her orders to the letter and refusing to give her what she needs, with Alice now left to realize she has put herself in an unfortunate situation of her own making.

This scenario can be played both for comedy and for drama. In comedy, it often overlaps with A Lesson Learned Too Well, where Alice has Bob 'trained' to obey her order to the point where even she can't override it.

More dramatically, the situation may end up with Alice now having to fight Bob. In some cases, Bob will justify his refusal by asking "How do I know this is not a test?", in which case any answer Alice might give him will of course be treated as proof of his suspicion.

This trope is also known as a "Ulysses pact" or "Ulysses contract" after its usage in Homer's The Odyssey, where Ulysses asks his men to tie him to the ship's mast so that he will be able to hear the beautiful song of the Sirens without being lured into the water. This trope is therefore Older Than Feudalism.

Compare Kind Restraints, Nailed to the Wagon.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Light Yagami says this to L while requesting imprisonment in Death Note. L is more than willing to oblige.
  • In the second season of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, Saiou, a villain who suffers from Split Personality from the influence of the Light of Ruin, gains control of a Doomsday Device that is activated by two keys. Before he can activate it, his true, benign personality struggles with his evil side, and in a rare moment when his good side dominates completely, gives one key to Judai and the other to Edo Phoenix, telling both never to give them back to him no matter what. Naturally, his malignant personality regains control shortly, and the rest of the season is focused on him trying to steal them back or convert the two to his side.

    Comic Books 
  • In Earth X Captain America gave the Black Panther the reality-controlling Cosmic Cube after taking it away from the Red Skull. When a mind-controlling teen starts taking over the world, he returns to ask for it back, but the Panther refuses, just as Cap asked. Later, in Universe X, the Panther also refuses Captain Mar-Vell, but hands the Cube over when Mar-Vell reveals that he's been subconsciously using it himself. Oops.
  • In Batman: Venom, the Batman realises he has become addicted to the eponymous drug and asks Alfred to lock him in the Batcave for a month. In a slight subversion, Alfred asks to let him out early, but Batman refuses. When he finally emerges, he's wearing the Beard of Sorrow, but is, nevertheless, magnificent.
  • A variation happens in Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur. Lunella has an important test to take at school, so she locks Devil Dinosaur in her secret lair and commands her robot companions to keep him restrained no matter how he acts. Then her body-swapping power activates at the start of the test and swaps her mind with DD's. She tries to get the robots' attention, but they ignore her as she requested.

    Fan Works 

  • Comedic example: In Young Frankenstein, Frederick locks himself in a room with his newly re-captured Monster in order to counsel it and gain its trust. He gives his assistants explicit instructions not to interfere or let him out of the room, no matter how much he begs them to. It takes the doctor all of three seconds to change his mind once the Monster wakes up and starts approaching him.
    "Let me out, let me out of here. Get me the hell out of here... What's the matter with you people?! I was joking! Don't you know a joke when you hear one?! HA-HA-HA-HA! (pounds on the door) Jesus Christ, get me out of here! Open this goddamn door or I'll kick your rotten heads in!! MOMMY!"
  • By Revenge of the Pink Panther, Clouseau's instructions to manservant Cato to continually surprise him with martial arts attacks, no matter what else he may be told, have become quite frustrating for Clouseau because Cato is now doing it all the time.
  • Possibly the oddest version happens in Fight Club, where the protagonist's other personality sets this up. Tyler tells his moles at the police department that if he (the protagonist) shows up later to try and stop Project Mayhem, they should cut his balls off, just like they do to anyone who tries to stop the project. He also mentions in advance that he will be trying to talk them out of it and that he will try to command them to stop, and instructs them to ignore it.
  • In X2: X-Men United, General Stryker tells his men to kill anyone approaching the room where a brainwashed Professor X is using his mental powers to find and kill all the mutants.
    "Kill anyone who approaches... even if it's me."
    • Mystique is in play, so he has good reason for that order— Not that it matters, as Mystique doesn't even come near the room before Magneto triggers the guards' grenades. It's the thought that counts...
  • Happens in Tropic Thunder, after drug addict Portnoy is informed they are close to a heroin factory and asks to get tied to a tree. His cries to get untied are ignored by the group.
  • Kung Pow! Enter the Fist has a variant, in that it's not that the begging was ignored, it was never even done. Chosen One, attempting to emulate Betty's ability to No-Sell attacks, tells a group of peasants to hit him repeatedly with sticks (including repeated Groin Attacks) until he gives the signal, or throws them dramatically off of his body. Chosen One is so badly hurt by the first blows that he's unable to give the signal to stop, so despite his obvious distress the peasants just keep going. They beat him into unconsciousness, and then spend over a minute pummeling his limp body.
    "D-... do you think that was the signal?"
  • In The Sandlot 2, "The Retriever" attempts to retrieve the NASA scale rocket from the guard dog's yard. He tells the kids no matter how much he is begging to escape, do not let him out. He fails miserably.
  • Candy doesn't include the scene where Dan and Candy told Casper to not give them drugs no matter how much they begged, but they reference it in the rambling answering machine message they leave him where they're begging him for the drugs.
  • A very dramatic version appears in the book and film Fail Safe (and also in its spoof Dr. Strangelove): The bombers assigned to perform deep nuclear strikes on Russia have standing orders to ignore any orders that do not have an attached acknowledging code (because those trying to communicate may be Russian spies imitating higher-ups). A variety of reasons (plain ignorance in Fail Safe, the original General Ripper being the only who knows the codes and putting his base on anti-Commie Red Alert in Strangelove) prevent said higher-ups from knowing the proper codes and thus can only try to help the Russians organise their defences and hope that none of the planes can go through (and in Fail Safe, they even try to have the remaining bomber's captain's wife talk to him, begging him to stop. The captain's Heroic BSoD-induced response is to continue the flight, reasoning that the wife had been somehow compromised).

  • The Silver Chair: Inverted. The Prince has to be tied to a chair because he's about to have an episode of madness, and he orders Puddleglum and the kids not to free him no matter what he says. Once tied up, he begs to be released in the name of Aslan. The protagonists have to let him loose, because they’ve previously been instructed to honor any request “in my (Aslan’s) name”. Correctly, it turns out, because he was Not Himself before; at the same hour every day when he is tied to the chair, he is in his right mind, and letting him go broke the spell.
  • Older Than Feudalism: In Homer's The Odyssey, Odysseus asks his men to tie him to the mast so he can hear the Sirens but can't escape to go to them. He begs to be released while he can hear the music, but his men have their ears stopped with wax to keep from hearing the Sirens, so they ignore him.
    • Almost the exact same thing happens in the second Percy Jackson and the Olympians, but Annabeth still has her knife, so she cuts the ropes, and Percy has to go after her. He realizes she can't hear them underwater, so he makes a giant bubble to keep them under and let her breathe.
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: Dumbledore entreats Harry to make him drink all the potion in the Horcrux cave, no matter how much he begs to stop. Turns into Nightmare Fuel when Dumbledore begs Harry to kill him so as to not endure the mental anguish the potion causes.
  • A more serious take on this occurs in the sixth book of Animorphs. Jake has been taken over by an alien invader that has complete control over his body and full access to his memories, and the rest of the group decide to tie him up until it starves to death. The fact that Jake doesn't do the whole "No matter what I say" routine cements in their minds that he truly has been taken over: the real Jake would want to make sure, beyond a doubt, that the Yeerk was killed.
  • In the Star Trek: New Frontier book Stone and Anvil, Captains Picard and Calhoun have their AIs (Data and Morgan Lefler, respectively) refuse to let them issue orders when approached by a ship crewed by a race they suspect can telepathically convince any creature that they want to go along with them.
  • In The Phantom of the Opera, Christine eventually realizes that Erik is a dangerous, manipulative stalker who has an unhealthy amount of control over her. Even though she knows she shouldn't love him, she does. So she orders Raoul to save her from herself and take her to some foreign country where Erik will never find her no matter how much she resists or protests later. Erik doesn't give them the chance anyway.
  • According to his friend (and fellow druggie) Thomas de Quincy, Samuel Taylor Coleridge would regularly decide to quit taking opium and hire men to stop him from going into the pharmacist's to buy the stuff. (At the time of course, opium was legal in England and mandatory in China.) Unfortunately, Coleridge couldn't figure out a way to stop his future, drug-craving self from simply paying the men some more money to let him into the pharmacist.
  • A politician in one story by Ephraim Kishon. He lets his wife bind him to a chair, to avoid him going to an interview which would probably uncover his corruption, but he's starving for the publicity and can't resist.
  • Played for Neverending Terror on the Stephen King short story Quitters, Inc. The titular clean-living agency is run by The Mafia and once a client signs up, they will never be allowed to leave because, they say, going cold turkey is obviously a tough thing to do... so they will continuously watch their members and provide "incentives": it's either quitting smoking and following any further instructions to improve their health that the agency gives them, or have everyone they love be tortured in front of their eyes, a thousand volts and one missing finger at the time (and they will not only be Forced to Watch, but they will be charged for the torture's supplies on their monthly bill).
  • in the The Dresden Files novel Proven Guilty, Leah is entrapped in ice at the heart of Mab's territory. She tells Harry to not release her regardless of what she says, but is asking for release a few minutes later.
  • In The City and the Stars, when Alvin decides to leave Lys, he knows the inhabitants have telepathic powers, and can easily make him tell the robot carrying him back to Diaspar to stop. As such, he instructs the robot to follow no orders until he's safely back, including Alvin's own.

    Live Action TV 
  • Friends:
    • Monica tells Joey not to let her open any more of her wedding presents until Chandler gets home. Five seconds later she asks for another one. In a subversion Joey immediately complies. He's no fool; she's a proven obsessive-compulsive with freakish upper-body strength.
    • In another episode, Chandler tells Phoebe and Rachel he's thinking of calling a girl he's split up with. They think it's a good idea.
      Chandler: No! That was a test! In a few hours I'm really gonna want to call her, and you guys have to talk me out of it!
    • And the one where Pheobe charged Monica with stopping her calling Mike, because they both know there's no future in the relationship. In the end, Mike's impassioned speech impresses Monica so much she encourages them to get back together, much to the disgust of the guy Mike had asked to keep them apart.
  • ALF had a pretty good example of version 2 in its first season. Every 75 years, all Melmacians go through a day of unpredictable madness and for everyone's safety have to be locked in a cage for the duration. Before being locked up, Alf warned the Tanners that he'd say anything in order to get them to release him, and then spent much of the episode doing exactly that, though in his case he used guile and trickery rather than pleading — at one point even imitating the kids' voices to perfection to make it seem they were locked in there with him. Eventually, he managed to fool Brian into thinking his madness was over, even though the day wasn't, by claiming that the days were shorter on Melmac.
  • In an episode of That's My Bush!, Dubya accidentally takes some ecstasy pills (thinking they were aspirin) and instructs Princess to lock him in a bedroom and not let him out no matter what so he won't be able to mess up the anti-drug conference taking place at the White House. Unfortunately, she ends up letting him out. That's right. She's dumb enough to be tricked by a high President.
    • Dubya did display a tiny bit of savvy before the drugs took effect, though. As soon as The Ditz closed the door, Dubya started screaming "HELP! PRINCESS! OH GOD IT'S HORRIBLE!". She immediately opens the door and comes face to face with a smug looking Dubya saying "No...that's what I told you NOT to do!"
  • Variation on 3rd Rock from the Sun. Harry tells his bartender boss (this was when he worked in the town bar) to insist that he stay and work if he asks to leave with Vicki. Vicki comes up and Harry asks to leave. The bartender complies with Harry's plan, but Harry becomes more insistent, eventually launching into a rant starting with "Well thanks a lot, you son of a bitch!"
  • In the episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation "Clues" the entire crew, apart from Data, had their memory erased by aliens who didn't want their existence known. Picard orders Data never to tell the rest of the crew what had happened. It doesn't quite work out as planned due to several pieces of evidence that show that they were missing a day, so they end up going back to the aliens' region of space. The end up convincing the aliens to erase their memories again only this time they are more careful about not leaving any evidence of the missing time.
  • Sea Patrol has Buffer trying to give up smoking in the pilot episode. He gives half a pack to Spider, the youngest crewman, and tells him not to give them back no matter what. Subverted in that Spider actually gives them to someone off the ship and thus can't give them back when Buffer wants them.
  • Doctor Who:
    • "Genesis of the Daleks" - aversion. The Doctor holds Davros' life in his hands as he forces Davros to order the destruction of the Dalek program. The Doctor then tells Davros to announce that his order cannot be countermanded - but before Davros can relay the order, his PA comes in and saves the day for him. Davros quickly shouts, "My last order is cancelled, repeat, cancelled. No action is to be taken."
    • Also, in the Series 6 episode "The Girl Who Waited", Future!Amy tells Rory if he really loves her, he can't let her into the TARDIS, even though staying outside would mean her death.
  • This happened as a matter of course in early seasons Buffy the Vampire Slayer, as Oz's lycanthropy turned him into a Cold Blooded Jelly Doughnut. Further, a similar situation crops up for Xander in The Pack, when he is imbued via Primal ritual with the spiritual essence of a psychotic hyena.
    • In the seventh and last season, Spike eventually realizes The First Evil is taking over his mind and causing him to eat people again despite his now having a soul. Early in the episode "Never Leave Me" he orders Buffy to tie him to a chair to keep others from harm: "I get free, someone's gonna die."
  • In the last episode of Coupling, Susan wants to have a natural childbirth, and tells Steve that she's not to be given an epidural unless she asks for it three times; his very first "are you sure?" gets him thrown clear through the delivery room doors.
  • True Blood, when a necromancer is attempting to make the vampires 'meet the sun'. The restraints of thick silver chains burn through their skin and must be kept there until sunset.
  • Hannah Montana has an episode where Miley gives Lilly her checkbook for her new bank-account and tells her not to give it back. Leads to a hilarious "Miley doesn't live here anymore" moment when Lilly doesn't give it back.
  • How I Met Your Mother:
    • Robin, reeling over a breakup, warns friend (and ex-boyfriend) Ted that some time in the future she will attempt rebound sex with him, and makes him promise to resist her advances. By the time she makes her move, she's such an emotional wreck that Ted finds resisting very easy.
    • Lily, reeling over a week away from Marshall and their son Marvin while on the train to Far Hampton, makes The Mother promise not to let her to see a picture of Marvin knowing it will only upset her further. The Mother snatches Lily's phone away when she tries to look and they fight over it before humorously apologizing to each other afterwards.
  • Wings: When Brian and Alex decide to date exclusively, Brian gets nervous about being able to live up to the commitment. So when Joe throws a party at the house for a bunch of gorgeous girls, Brian instructs him to lock him in his room until morning. After he does so, a girl walks out of the bathroom wearing only a towel.
  • On 30 Rock, Tracy is about to go to sleep and warns Liz not to wake him up, because "I will attack you". Instantly after he loses consciousness he cries out to Liz to save him from his nightmare.
  • In one episode of Malcolm in the Middle, Malcolm basically cocoons Reese in rope to stop him getting in trouble before his driving test. When they're done, Reese says he needs to pee, to which he gets a response that amounts to "too bad, should have gone earlier." And then Reese congratulates Malcolm on following his instructions.
  • Seinfeld:
    • Jerry asks Kramer to get rid of the number of a girl he can't stop seeing. Kramer tears up the number, but when Jerry begs for it back Kramer angrily throws down the torn up pieces of the number and calls him out on it.
    • Kramer does this again in "The Hamptons" when Jerry's girlfriend asks him not to let her have lobster because she's a Straw Vegetarian. Later that night, Kramer catches her trying to sneak-eat the leftover lobster and stops her from relapsing.
  • The episode "Mrs. California" of The Office essentially has its entire "A" plot dedicated to this trope. Robert California tells Andy that his wife wants a job at the Dunder-Mifflin office, but must not be hired under any circumstances. As soon as his wife is in the room, Robert California is insisting and begging that she be given a job. Hilarity Ensues.
  • In the Community episode "Origins of Vampire Mythology", Britta's old douchebag boyfriend Blade comes to town. Knowing that she'd run off with him in an instant if he called her, she gives Annie her phone and tells her not to give it back until he's gone. True to form, Britta is soon begging for the phone back. Annie does give it back, but after reprogramming the phone so that texts to Blade will go to Annie's phone instead.
  • When Charlie attempts to quit heroin on Lost (knowing that sooner or later he's going to run out, anyway), Locke takes his drugs and promises to only give them back if he asks for them three times. In two moments of weakness, Charlie demands his drugs back, but Locke refuses to return them. Finally, at the end of the episode, Charlie breaks down and asks for them the third time. Locke hands them over, and Charlie throws them into the fire.
  • In Peep Show, lovable stoner Super Hans demands that Mark refuse to give him any drugs, even if he turns up at the door brandishing a block of wood. A subversion, in that when Super Hans actually does turn up at the door brandishing a block of wood, Mark hands over the drugs immediately and without further comment.
  • In the Monk episode "Mr. Monk Visits a Farm", Monk catches Jimmy Belmont setting his illegal marijuana crop on fire. He runs away as the smoke gets very strong. We cut to Randy's farmhand Oates finding Monk handcuffing himself to a tractor as he believes he has inhaled reefer. He appears to have a full panic attack, even saying the trope page quote here, but then instantly sobers up when the sprinklers come on and drench him, prompting him to have the "Eureka!" Moment that solves the case.
  • Stephen Colbert said this in the September 4th 2013 episode of The Daily Show, when trying to re-Americanize Jon after he spent the summer in the Middle East.
    I'm going in there, and I'm going to break this man. So no matter what you hear, whatever screams of agony or perhaps pleasure you may hear, I want you to promise me you will not go in this door.
  • In an episode of The Brady Bunch, Mike and Carol instruct Cindy to not be a tattletale. But when she sees Tiger making off with some important papers, she refuses to tell her family.
  • Curb Your Enthusiasm: Played for Laughs in "Palestinian Chicken" when Juliette tells Larry to keep her away from the dessert table at a dinner party, "no matter what". Naturally, neither she nor the other guests are happy when he holds her to her word.
  • An episode of Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide had Ned asking Gordy to lock him in the janitor's closet and not let him out until he finished his homework. However, Gordy opens the closet every single time Ned starts begging as a Secret Test of Character, at one point even unlocking the door before Ned says anything ("...I panicked."). Finally, Gordy decides to lock himself in the closet with Ned so he can't unlock the closet. Right after he slides the key under the door, the two of them realize they're locked in a closet they can't get out of.
  • Played for Drama in The Terror when Crozier decides to go cold turkey. He tells his steward, Jopson, that he 'may beg', but that Jopson is not to give in.
  • In Capadocia Lorena beats an inmate to death and nearly kills another while under the influence of drugs. Ashamed of herself and determined to get clean, she handcuffs herself to the bars of her cell, and gives the keys to La Colombiana, with instructions to NOT release her no matter what.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • Happened in the comic strip Bloom County when Steve Dallas enlisted Opus' help in quitting cigarettes. He lasted 38 minutes before saying "give me a %$#*& cigarette before I stick you in a blender." Opus refuses, and Dallas quickly goes Axe-Crazy on him.
  • Calvin and Hobbes: Calvin asks Hobbes to tie him up so he can escape from the ropes à la Houdini. But he can't quite get himself free, and then his parents call him for dinner...
  • When Linus from Peanuts tries to kick his security blanket habit, he literally invokes this trope as he gives the blanket to Snoopy. Snoopy correctly guesses that Linus will have a nervous breakdown before too long, and is filled with sadistic glee at the mere thought of Linus begging to have his blanket back.
  • In a 1952 Mickey Mouse Sunday comic, Pluto finds a small statue and digs up the yard trying to bury it. Mickey scolds Pluto and orders him not to dig under any circumstances, only for him to see in the newspaper that the statue is missing from the museum and that a $500 reward is being promised for its return. The last panel has Mickey digging holes well into the night, while Pluto smugly obeys what he'd been told.

     Puppet Shows 
  • In one "Tubmans of Porksmith" sketch on Muppets Tonight, Howard Tubman asks his butler to hide the last jar of apple butter and not tell him where. Howard immediately asks for it, but Carter sticks to his orders, until Howard becomes so desperate he offers Carter a day off, which he hasn't had for forty years. Carter says the jar is fastened to Howard's back, and then takes his day off, leaving Howard to remove it himself.

    Stand-Up Comedy 
  • Prior to several of his performances, Steve Martin would tell the spotlight guy to never give him a blue spot, no matter how many times he might ask for one later. Naturally, one of his routines entailed asking for a blue spot and getting increasingly indignant when it failed to show up.

  • In The Duchess of Malfi, planning to kill his brother Ferdinand, the Cardinal tells his courtiers not to come into his rooms no matter what they hear, as the insane Ferdinand needs to learn that causing a disturbance won't get him anywhere. This comes back to bite him when Bosola turns up and kills both of them.

    Video Games 

  • In Skin Horse, Tip gives this order upon being possibly infected with lycanthropy. But:
    Tip: When night falls, we'll know if I've been infected. Until matter how much I plead, no matter what I may say, do not open this door.
    Tip: Wait. There's no bathroom in here.
    Unity: Nice try, monster!

    Western Animation 
  • American Dad!: In "A Jones For a Smith", Stan accidentally gets addicted to crack and decides to lock himself in Roger's attic while he goes cold turkey, telling Roger not to let him out until he's clean. Roger complies but then immediately opens the door again and lets Stan out because he forgot his comb. Which he then realises that, as one of The Greys, he doesn't even need.
  • In the Arthur episode, Brain Gets Hooked, The Brain becomes hooked on a TV show called Junior Island. It gets to the point that he has to beg Arthur and Buster to hold onto a key for him that locks away a key in a cabinet that locks away a drawer in the kitchen containing a DVD of ''Junior Island'' just so he won't get distracted from his schoolwork. He tells them no matter what he does or says, do not return the key to him until the next day and this responsibility falls to Buster. It isn't long before Brain is on his knees begging Buster to disregard what he said earlier and give him back the key. Buster falls for the obvious Look Behind You trick and Brain snatches the key from Buster. It turns out Brain made it even more complex, hiding keys in unorthodox places like the Rubik Cube. It takes Fern to snap him out of his obsession with the show.
  • Camp Lazlo:
    • In one episode, Scoutmaster Lumpus wanted some time alone, so, having been pestered by the scouts who were tying help him while he was fishing, he snaps at them that they can "help" him by not helping him at all. Later, he calls for help (because he's being attacked by a sea serpent), and Hilarity Ensues as the scouts debate whether they should 'help him by helping him' or 'help him by not helping him'. All the while as the serpent tries to eat Lumpus, who is still frantically pleading for help.
    • In another episode, Edward fakes a yeti attack on the air, and when the Jelly Beans rush to help him out, he says he took care of the situation. Next evening, he insists that everybody stays in their cabins and don't come into the radio station "because it's too dangerous" (and so he could fake another attack). Before long, real yetis invade the radio station and Edward is screaming for help. Fortunately everyone rushed in this time, even though the platypus wasn't in any danger at all.
  • Captain Planet and the Planeteers: In the episode "The Unbearable Blightness Of Being", Gaia and Doctor Blight are in a "Freaky Friday" Flip. However, Blight didn't tell her assistant, MAL, of her Evil Plan, due to being angry with him at the time. As such, he doesn't question a single word when before switching back, Gaia-as-Blight instructs him to do a bunch of eco-friendly things, no matter how much she tells him to stop later.
  • Family Guy: In "Hard Boiled Meg", Quagmire gets a nonstop case of the hiccups and begs Peter to give him a Mercy Kill, telling him to go through with it matter what he might say. Later, the hiccups finally stop and Quagmire is relieved, but Peter doesn't believe him and tries to kill him despite his pleas.
    Quagmire: Peter, no! They went away! My hiccups are gone!
    Peter: Oh no, that's exactly what you said not to listen to.
    Quagmire: Peter, please, I swear! They're gone! Listen!
    Peter: Sorry, Quagmire. I promised to get take you out of your misery. And when I give my word on something, I give it my all, like when I guarded Jeffrey Epstein.
  • Done multiple times within the space of one episode of Garfield and Friends with Jon Arbuckle's Little Black Book.
    Garfield: Make up your mind!
  • In an episode of the 2007 version of George of the Jungle, the gang convinces George to go back on his vow to always help people because of him doing menial tasks for Big Mitch. But when Mitch has them captured, they try to call George for help, but George refuses to help on the grounds of what they said.
  • In an episode of Harriet the Spy, Harriet had a plush duck toy in her youth, but decided she was too old to be playing with it. She had her nanny, Ole Golly, hide it away and promise never to reveal its location, no matter how much she begged. In the present day, with the stress of having a million tests to study for at school, as well as keeping a friend's secret from reaching Marion Hawthorne's ears, Harriet begged Ole Golly to reveal her plush toy's location, but her nanny held true to her promise to never reveal anything. Ole Golly eventually gives Harriet's plush toy back to her, saying there was no promise about just handing it back if asked.
  • In an episode of King of the Hill, Dale asks to be locked in a small vent with a raccoon so that he can capture/kill it. Dale orders Hank and the others not to let him out until it is subdued, no matter how much he begs and screams. Naturally, once he's locked in there, he begins begging and screaming to be let out. Hank lets him (and the raccoon) out, and Dale chides him with, "I give you one little thing to do, and you screw it up."
  • Legion of Super Heroes (2006):
    • In "Brain Drain", Brainiac 5 locks himself in a containment chamber and makes this request when concerned that an interface with other Coluans will make him dangerously unstable. Which it does, but when things go wrong the Legion breaks him out of the chamber anyway. But that all takes a backseat to the Find the Cure! plot.
    • Another version occurs later when Brainiac 1.0 starts to influence his actions. He asks Superman to destroy him if he goes crazy.
  • Lilo & Stitch: The Series "Sample": Gantu learns of Experiment 258 (an alien that can repeat any sound it hears very much like a recorder). As he leaves to find and catch the experiment, Gantu (having been listening to confidence self-help tapes) commands 625 to not let him back in the ship unless he's captured the experiment, "no matter what I say, no matter how much I implore you". However, Gantu comes across two alien hunters and he flees back to the ship and bangs on the door in desperation, but 625 won't let him in because of what Gantu instructed him earlier.
    Gantu: (banging on ship door) 625! Open the door!
    625: (pops out from an opening in the ship hull) Eh, where's the experiment?
    Gantu: But—
    625: Sorry, squiggly. Can't let you in without the experiment. Hey, your orders.
    Gantu: By the fires of the planet Kremlot, I'LL BREAK EVERY BONE IN YOUR—!
    Merwin: (in distance) I think he went over that way!
    (Gantu flees)
  • Looney Tunes:
    • Sylvester mistakes a baby kangaroo for a giant mouse. At one point asks to be locked in a box with it so he can finally catch it, giving instructions to his son not to open it so the kangaroo doesn't escape. Naturally, he gets beaten senseless, while his son admires his dad's dedication.
    • Sylvester and his son once took upon a job chasing mice inside a ship. Trying to get out of catching the "giant mouse", Sylvester said that, since there's only one of it and several normal-sized mice, Junior should handle the giant one. After Junior tricked the "giant mouse" back into its cage, Sylvester led Junior outside the room and told him not to open the door no matter what he hears because Junior might dislike what he sees. Soon after that, a mouse Sylvester was chasing got inside a crate full of vitamins made to enhance mice muscles, and continued to pummel Sylvester inside while his son kept his promise and refused to open the door.
  • The Mask: Not wanting his alter ego to become Mayor, Stanley instructed Milo to hide the mask and not tell him where it was until the election was over. Stanley would later learn Pretorius was the opposing candidate. Can you believe Stanley would try this again in a later episode?
  • Rugrats (1991):
    • In "No More Cookies", After raiding the cookie jar gives her a stomach ache from Hell, Angelica orders the babies to stop her from eating cookies ever again, "Even if I beg, even if I cry, even if I threaten to beat your baby brains in!" Hilarity predictably ensues.
    • At the end of "Cuffed", when Chuckie and Angelica managed to free themselves from being cuffed together, Angelica tells Chuckie to go and never speak to her again. But when she accidentally cuffs herself to her bed with the key just out of her reach, she tries to call Chuckie back to help her.
      Angelica: Come back, Chuckie! Come back!
      Chuckie: Oh no, Angelica. I know when I'm not wanted.
  • In the episode "This Little Wiggy" of The Simpsons, Mayor Quimby arranges for a decommissioned prison to be reopened. On camera, he has himself strapped into the electric chair so he can demonstrate (through acting) what will happen to condemned criminals. He specifies that he has informed his guards not to unstrap him, no matter how agonized he appears. Unfortunately, Bart and Ralph were playing in the prison the night before, and had turned the power back on. So when the mayor's aide throws the switch...
  • Spongebob Squarepants
    • The trope namer and page quote is the episode "The Paper," in which Squidward throws away a gum wrapper, and Spongebob takes it and asks Squidward if he wants it back. Squidward gets fed up after a while and tells Spongebob the quote at the top. Cue Spongebob doing all sorts of weird and amazing things with said paper and Squidward eventually trading away everything he owns to get the paper back. Only to find out that he can't do anything Spongebob did with it.
    • Also, "Krusty Love" where Mr. Krabs gives SpongeBob his wallet and instructs him not to give it to him while he's on his date with Mrs. Puff. Before the date even starts, Krabs is begging him to buy something. When SpongeBob gives in and brings it, Krabs berates him for spending all his money. It goes back and forth for a while until SpongeBob snaps, gives Mr. Krabs a manic tirade, and leaves.
    • In the comic "Great Grandma", Squidward, embarrassed to be invited over to his grandma's house, makes Spongebob promise to pretend he doesn't exist for a month, that the visit will last three minutes, that she's not allowed to play any music, and that he won't eat anything she cooks. Then he finds that he actually really likes Spongebob's grandmother, has a lot in common with her, and forgets that he made all of these promises with Spongebob. He doesn't get punished as harshly for breaking these promises but the sight of Spongebob's unmoisturised grandmother makes him faint.
  • Total Drama: In the Brunch of Disgustingness, Trent, having trouble downing gross food, insists the other guys force feed him so they can win the challenge. When they follow through with this, Trent insists he was just kidding, to no avail.
  • Dojo in Xiaolin Showdown makes himself a special prison because every thousand years or so he grows a second head and becomes totally evil for a day. He then instructs the monks not to let him free no matter what until the next day. Omi, of course, eventually falls for one of his tricks.

    Real Life 
  • The basic idea behind BDSM play. In fact, the whole point of a safeword is to be able to beg and plead and protest to one's heart's content and still have a way to give a legitimate "stop."
  • You might have experienced this if you share a house with a heavy sleeper, who needs you to wake them up at a given time. The problem is, before the sleepyhead is fully awake, they will be barely aware of what's going on around them, and will do everything to stay in bed—so you'll be asked to keep trying to wake them up even if they keep yelling at you to leave them alone, or if they keep sleepily asking you to give them a hour or so more.


Video Example(s):


The Paper

Squidward tells SpongeBob to keep the paper with him.

How well does it match the trope?

4.76 (21 votes)

Example of:

Main / NoMatterHowMuchIBeg

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