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The Unapologetic

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"Repent? Me? Cheek! I can't start repenting at my time of life. I'd never get any work done. Anyway," she added, "I ain't sorry for most of it."

This is the opposite of Apologises a Lot, where a character apologizes for things he didn't do or aren't worth apologizing for. This type of character has done something (or a lifetime of somethings) that has upset others, but he refuses to apologize. Unlike Never My Fault (though the two can overlap), he's not passing the blame, he simply isn't sorry. Or at least claims not to be.

This can be because he feels he did what he had to do, and had no choice in the matter, or that the end result was worth it since Utopia Justifies the Means.

Alternately, he may be too prideful to admit that he didn't have to go that far. A simple "sorry" can patch things up with everyone he wronged, but his ego is making it hard for him to do so. He could just be a Jerkass who responds by telling the victim to quit whining already. He might as well go into a full-on Redemption Rejection, or at least being Defiant to the End. Or he could be The Sociopath, knowing on an intellectual level that he's done something wrong but just not caring.

There are some cases that the unapologetic character is in fact in the right, and the person demanding an apology is actually the bad guy from an objective viewpoint. Tyrants often try to make a heroic freedom fighter admit that he loves big brother, and was very wrong to try to put a stop to the Government Drug Enforcement.

This is usually, but not always, a Character Flaw, and may transition into An Aesop about showing consideration for others. Naive characters will easily forgive this character despite not apologizing. A common trait of The Sociopath, the Narcissist, and a character who does things For the Evulz. Related to Lack of Empathy if they don't feel empathetic to apologize. Also related to I Regret Nothing. Also see Virtue Is Weakness as the person may believe that apologizing is a sign of weakness.

Ordered Apologies won't work for this character, but if it does, expect him to give a Backhanded Apology. If he is genuinely apologetic, but has trouble actually making the apology due to pride, embarrassment, or guilt, he Cannot Spit It Out, or is Gagging On Their Words. Contrast Rejected Apology where a character refuses to accept an apology. Contrast Heel Realization, My God, What Have I Done? and The Atoner.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Guts from Berserk usually doesn't try to pass blame when he acts mean to someone or takes it on himself to Shoot the Dog, but his attitude is I Did What I Had to Do and he refuses to apologize no matter how much Puck bugs him about it. On the other hand, this is partly an aspect of his Jerkass Façade, especially towards Jill and towards Puck himself. On the occasions when he does apologize to someone, such as to Rita for killing her possessed partner John in Sword of the Berserk: Guts' Rage, it's serious business for him and therefore unusually sincere.
  • Kill la Kill: Nui Harime finds the mere idea of an apology ridiculous. Even if she comes within inches of crippling her boss's Evil Plan.
  • In Sonic X, Amy asks if Knuckles was going to apologize to Sonic for fighting against him because Dr. Eggman had him tricked, only for Knuckles to tell her to zip it just before smiling at Sonic and the gang, tells them "later", and walks away. In season 3, however, he did apologize to the gang for falling for Eggman's tricks.

    Comic Books 
  • From the Green Lantern, this has become part of John Stewart's character, almost to the point of repetitiveness. John Stewart killed a planet... and he would do it again! John Stewart killed a Green Lantern... and he would do it again! John Stewart killed a Green Lantern planet... and he would do it again! Note that these decisions are usually the last available option.
  • The Joker hates apologies. He hates the very idea that something should ever be apologized for.
    Joker: "My friend... Jonny Jonny... what I hate more than everything... is apologies."
  • Black Swan, the enigmatic voice of knowledge in New Avengers, is first seen triggering a bomb to blow up an alternate Earth. She never apologizes for this or anything else she says she has done, saying she did what was necessary. But she isn't heartless; the emotional toll her career has taken on her manifests in Bad Dreams.
  • In The Sandman, Morpheus is the immortal ruler of dreams, and tends to be very inflexible, refusing to apologize or admit error. In his backstory, he sentenced a woman to hell for eternity simply for refusing his advances (when she had very good, selfless reasons for doing so.) After several thousand years, he is finally goaded into freeing her by his sister Death, which sets in motion the events leading to his own demise.
  • Supergirl:
    • In Supergirl Vol 1 #9, Supergirl catches her then-boyfriend cheating on her. When she confronts him, he isn't even slightly sorry.
    • Elseworld's Finest: Supergirl & Batgirl: When Supergirl and Batgirl accuse Lex Luthor of murdering a baby -Supergirl's cousin-, he doesn't feel guilty about it at all. He even claims that it wasn't murder because he merely killed an alien.
    • Throughout the entirety of Gates/Igle's run Catherine Grant wages a smear campaign aimed at Supergirl, driven for petty reasons -Kara bruised her accidentally as she was saving her life, and Cat thought that she could gain notoriety by libeling the young hero-. And she doesn't feel guilty at all, not even after Supergirl saves her life over and over again.
  • Ultimate Marvel: Loki, when he's sealed away inside Yggdrasil by Odin for causing the start of Ragnarok.
    I apologise for nothing. Nothing...

    Fan Works 
  • Advice and Trust: Gendo does not make a habit of apologizing... ever. He fired his two best pilots for "insubordination" (i.e. not following orders would have got them hurt or killed during a battle), stating that he would replace them with the more reliable and more efficient dummy plug system. In the next battle Zeruel easily destroyed the dummy plugs and it would have killed everyone if Shinji and Asuka had not returned of their own volition. Did Gendo rue his words, think he was wrong and apologize? Not at all. He commended them - giving them the world's most token commendation - and rehired them because he had been ordered to, and he never ever suggested he was sorry at all.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: Genocide: When Asuka beat Keiko during a combat simulation, Misato ordered her to apologize. Asuka didn't want to say sorry, though, because she didn't think that she did anything wrong, and the other girl shouldn't be a pilot anyways.
  • Trixie from An Extended Performance rarely apologizes for her mistakes, due to her Inferiority Superiority Complex. This predictably gets her in a lot of trouble.
  • Paul in Pokémon Reset Bloodlines apparently had not apologized to anyone in years. Much to his chagrin, he's forced to do it when Gym Leader Janine refuses to otherwise give him info about an upcoming tournament to enter the Safari Zone.

  • In In This Our Life, Stanley doesn’t care that she stole Peter from her sister (her husband!), that he killed himself after she basically drove him crazy, or that she’s trying to seduce her former fiancé, who’s now Roy’s fiancé.
  • In She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, John Wayne's Catch-Phrase is "Don't apologize, it's a sign of weakness."
  • In one scene of Wedding Crashers: Jeremy had made a foul remark about one of the proper ladies in the wedding, earning him the glares from the guests. He then makes this statement to John:
    Jeremy: I'm sorry. I'm not sorry. Okay? I'm not gonna apologize, I'm a cocksman! *gets glares from wedding guests again* Tourette's.
  • Joanna in You Again is this, first by refusing to acknowledge that her fiance's sister Marni is a former victim of her high school bullying, or that she even remembers Marni at all. When Marni confronts her about it in private and demands an apology by threatening to tell her brother the truth, Joanna gives a dismissive, insincere apology and insults Marni afterwards, hardening Marni's heart further. The trope is finally subverted after Marni exposes Joanna's unpleasant past to Will (the brother/fiance), effectively ruining the wedding, does Joanna genuinely apologize to Marni, explaining that she feels awful about abusing her in high school and that she only lied about not remembering Marni because she panicked when she realized she was marrying into her abuse victim's family.

  • Bartholomew and the Oobleck: When Bartholomew snaps that he might at least say he's sorry for causing the rain of oobleck, King Derwin initially says that he's a king, and kings never apologize. Bartholomew chews him out and starts to leave, but then Derwin begins to cry and admits it is his fault and he is sorry.
  • The page quote is Nanny Ogg's rant from Carpe Jugulum, after a priest tells her to repent. She been a bit naughty her whole life (by religion's standards) but is a good person. Her fellow witch Granny Weatherwax also never apologizes, to anyone, for anything, because she's not sorry.
  • Susan of Changes is very clear and unapologetic about hiding Harry's daughter from him for years. She considered it the best solution then and won't waste time worrying about "what ifs?" Harry understands and tells her simply they are through which Susan expected years ago when she hid Maggie away and isn't sorry for that either.
  • In Children of the Black Sun, Dremman, warleader of the Wolf Clan, is unwilling to even feign remorse for betraying Sierra, even after he has clearly failed and now has to work with Sierra again. Drugging her and selling her to a torturer was apparently a perfectly reasonable course of action under the circumstances, and why should he act like he did anything wrong?
  • Satan from Paradise Lost refuses to repent to God due to his pride that had him thrown out of heaven, even if God is willing to welcome him back if he does so, because, in his words, he would rather rule in hell than serve in heaven.
  • The classic Israeli children’s poetry book That Kid Is MeHebrew , there’s a poem in which the narrator says he’s willing to suffer all sorts of punishments, from not being allowed to have chocolate to getting Corporal Punishment, so long as he doesn’t have to apologize.
  • Martin Fierro: At song III, before describing the Indians as The Savage Indian and an Always Chaotic Evil race, Fierro exaggerates this trope when he declares: "No one asks them forgivennes". Then he describes how Fierro was part of the invasion of the Indian's territories and his little part on their genocide.
    • After committing numerous murders, the only one Martin Fierro asks for forgiveness is God in song IX, when Fierro kills a lot of the men of the partida (soldiers who work as policemen) who tried to arrest him for his first two murders. He never apologizes to anyone else.

    Live Action TV 
  • In one scene on the Israeli series Arab Labour, Jewish-Israeli Meir asks his Arab-Israeli friend Amjad how to say ‘sorry’ in Arabic. Amjad initially says that there’s no such word, as it would be a huge humiliation for an Arab to apologise, but quickly says that word is mut'asif.
  • Downplayed on Babylon 5 with the character of Londo Mollari. He's shown to apologize several times throughout the series (notably in "The Gathering" and "The Geometry of Shadows"), but in "The Very Long Night Of Londo Mollari", it's revealed he was never sorry that he'd done something, but that he'd been caught. It's not until he's willing—and able—to give a sincere, unlooked-for apology to his rival G'Kar that he's able to escape the coma his conscience had put him in.
  • Insufferable Genius Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory doesn't apologize for anything he does. For him to apologize would imply that he was actually wrong, which is impossible for a genius like him, as his calculations for all things in life are always correct. He could never accept the possibility that he might be wrong, and thus he never apologizes. Of course, when push comes to shove, even he'll break down and try to make amends if he wronged any of his friends. He'll come up with a solution or compromise to the problem that he started, thus still making him look good, but that's as close as he gets to actually apologizing.
  • Walter White in Breaking Bad. By the time of the final episode, even after admitting that his intentions weren't as noble as he tried to claim, he still never apologizes to Skyler or Jesse for everything he put them through.
  • In Coach Trip, Bruce and John got kicked out of the fourth season after Bruce picking a fight on the coach for no apparent reason. He then refused to apologize for doing so.
  • In one episode of Friends, Joey's at dinner with a woman who specifically tells him not to touch her dessert while she's in the bathroom. When she comes out, he finishes the last bite with a smile and says "I'm not even sorry."
  • In the Home Improvement episode "Luck Be a Taylor Tonight", Fred states that he never apologized to any woman, and when Tim asks how many times has he been married, his response was three because he can't find a woman who understands him.
  • In House of Anubis, when Joy tries to talk to Nina about the former's kiss with Fabian, Nina asks if it's supposed to be her way of saying sorry. Joy responds by saying, "I wasn't going to apologize,"
    • Patricia has a moment like this too where she refuses to apologize to Eddie for accidentally spilling a secret of his, only it's justified, because she didn't actually do anything wrong, and was just being forced to apologize to Eddie so she could convince him to drop an article he was writing about the local ghost.
  • H2O: Just Add Water: The episode "In Hot Water", Lewis is accused of releasing a dolphin from the aquarium he recently was hired by and his rather vicious new boss calls the police. However, the girls, who actually caused said dolphin to break free, are able to return him. When Lewis demands an apology for all he went through, his boss scoffs at the idea. The police quickly call her out by threatening to inform her boss of the dolphin going missing, getting her fired, if she doesn't do as Lewis asked. She reluctantly agrees to do so.
  • On NCIS, Gibbs' Rule #6 is, "Never apologize. It's a sign of weakness."
    • He does, however, admit that this doesn't necessarily apply when apologizing to a friend.
    • Rule 18 provides a partial aversion: "It is better to beg forgiveness than to ask permission."
    • When first informed of Rule 6, Bishop responds that she thought it being a sign of weakness was kind of the point, to which Gibbs unusually has no answer.
  • Angela from The Office (US) refuses to apologize for her actions. This is exemplified in an episode in which she is given the task of calling up clients who were upset due to a company mistake. She refuses to say the company is sorry to everyone she calls, even though she has nothing personal at stake.
  • Jean-Ralphio Sapirstein of Parks and Recreation is an example that's Played for Laughs - in addition to being an obnoxious Jerk Ass, he's also completely shameless, immune from embarrassment and even seems kind of proud of his spectacular failures.
  • This is discussed in one episode of The Sopranos after Christopher gets out of drug rehab:
    Tony Soprano: So, what step are you at now?
    Christopher: I did all the steps, except for the one where I'm supposed to go around and apologize to all the people I fucked over when I was using.
    Tony Soprano: ...I think maybe you shouldn't do that one. You know, let sleeping dogs lie.
    Christopher: Yeah, that's what I was thinking.
  • In The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, London quoted her dad's sayings that "There's two things rich people never do: Apologize and pay taxes". One of her rich friends responds that her dad said the same thing the last time she visited him in prison.
  • Dean Winchester from Supernatural does not apologize for his harmful actions or admit his wrongdoings, often justifying himself by saying things like "I'd do it again," "I made the right call," or "That's not what I meant."

  • In the song "Walking in My Shoes" by Depeche Mode, the narrator doesn't ask for forgiveness:
    Now I'm not looking for absolution
    Forgiveness for the things I do
  • Elvis Costello invokes this in his song "Hand in Hand" from This Year's Model with the opening line "Don't ask me to apologize, and I won't ask you to forgive me." It sounds like an even compromise, until you parse it.

  • Fat, French and Fabulous: Jessica is never sorry for the horrifying things she says or at least not as sorry as she probably should be. In fact, she usually responds to criticism with "You are welcome!"

    Professional Wrestling 

  • Christianity holds the belief that if one does not repent of their sins and ask God for forgiveness before the time of their death, they will earn eternal damnation.

  • Arms and the Man: Sergeius has one phrase: "I never apologize."
  • In Liliom, Liliom, when brought to the Judgement of the Dead, acknowledges that he was a bad husband to Julie and a bad father to his unborn child, yet refuses to apologize for it: "I'm not sorry for anything," he coldly insists.

    Video Games 
  • Vico from A Dance with Rogues will never apologize for anything he does or has done to the Princess and to others. The only apology he'll ever give the Princess is for raping her, but he only gives it if she slept with him in the Dwarven Inn and then goaded him into finally admitting he's sorry. He will not apologize if not asked right then and will never bring up the subject himself afterwards.

    Web Comics 
  • Othar's twitted side-story in Girl Genius has the Master of Paris read Othar a letter supposedly from him, in which he accuses himself of recent crimes in an apologetic tone. Othar's answer?
    Othar: That letter is a fraud! Othar Tryggvassen may do things that lesser men find objectionable or slightly illegal, but I never apologize!

    Web Videos 
  • In Hellsing Ultimate Abridged, Alucard has caused so many horrible acts such as massive collateral damage, multiple noise complaints, a dozen innocent deaths, and lots of sexual harassment, and after all of this, he states that he's not apologizing for them.

    Western Animation 
  • In The Angry Beavers, a couple of Labcoat-wearing scientists frequently cause inconveniences for Norbert and Dagget. They don't apologize for anything they do, because they do it For Science!
  • Beetlejuice falls into this early in the series; a plot point in one first-season episode is that he breaks a promise to Lydia, and then refuses to apologize for it, saying that he never does anything wrong and therefore never apologizes. By the end of the episode, he...almost does. Unusually for the trope, however, he seems to learn from the experience; a number of later episodes have him telling her he's sorry for minor inconveniences.
  • In the The Fairly Oddparents episode, "Timmy the Barbarian", Timmy mentions that the advantages of being a barbarian are taking what he wants, kicking butt, and never having to apologize.
  • Blooregard "Bloo" Q. Kazoo from Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends:
    • In the episode, "Cuckoo for Coco Cards", Bloo doesn't apologize to Coco for trying to steal all the attention from her, despite the obvious hints that he should, such as a pen, an apology card, and a self-addressed envelope, and thus tries to collect all the trading cards of the Imaginary Friends without her help. It's only after he finds out what his status is on his card Big Insensitive Jerkface that he apologizes to her.
    • In the special, "Destination Imagination", when World apologizes to Frankie for shrinking her friends, Bloo mentions to him that when Frankie makes him apologize, she makes him sound like he means it (a fact later proven in the episode).
  • Futurama has the recurring character Hedonismbot — a robot who...was apparently built for no other reason than to be a hedonist. Indeed his first ever spoken line was (in the context of all robots being responsible for Earth's eventual destruction);
    "I apologise for nothing!"
  • Harry and His Bucket Full of Dinosaurs had the episode, "Yo-hoo-hoo," where Harry and his dinosaurs play "Pirates," but Harry soon gets carried away with the game and starts ordering everyone around and being mean to them. The dinosaurs then stick Harry on a deserted island and won't let him come back until he apologizes to them. But Harry refuses because "pirates never say they're sorry."
  • In The Penguins of Madagascar episode, "Out of the Groove," Julian becomes jealous when all the zoo patrons pay more attention to a bunch of dancing baboons instead of him, so he gets back at the baboons by dumping a crate of skunks onto them. The baboons then get revenge on Julian by casting a spell on him that causes him to lose his ability to dance. The baboons say that they'll only reverse the spell if Julian apologizes to them, but Julian refuses because he thinks that apologizing is for the "weak and wrong."
  • Mr. Cat from Kaeloo rarely ever apologizes for his actions.
  • Buttercup from The Powerpuff Girls:
    • In the episode, "Paste Makes Waste", Buttercup teases Elmer Sglue for eating paste. When Elmer turns into a giant radioactive monster as a result of eating a fly that swam in toxic waste and landed in his paste, Blossom and Bubbles get trapped in him, leaving Buttercup to apologize to him the only option of saving them. Of course, Buttercup is reluctant to do so.
    • In the episode, "All Chalked Up", Buttercup destroys Bubbles' chalk, leading Bubbles to get a new set from a butterfly that is really a disguised Him. The chalk transforms her drawings into giant monsters. At the end of the episode, Buttercup reluctantly tries to apologize, but Bubbles accepts her apology before she can give it.
  • Subverted in an episode of The Simpsons:
    Homer: I never apologize. I'm sorry, that's just the way I am.
  • In The Spectacular Spider-Man, Norman Osborn's catch phrase is "don't apologize, I never do." In fact, his son realizes that he's been replaced by a body double when the double apologizes to Spider-Man.
  • In an episode of Spliced, Entree accuses all of his friends of stealing his lucky stone, only to find out that it was stuck in his ear the whole time. Entree's friends then tell him that he should apologize to them, but Entree refuses because he believes that "only losers apologize."
  • Squidward Tentacles from Spongebob Squarepants:
    • In the episode, "Fools in April", Squidward pulls a mean-spirited April Fool's prank on SpongeBob and everyone is mad at him for making SpongeBob cry. Squidward does feel guilty, but has a hard time apologizing to SpongeBob, since it's not something he normally does. After several unsuccessful attempts to apologize, he puts his head in a bubble, and as a result, SpongeBob can't hear him when he says he's sorry. He does give SpongeBob a full apology when his conscience immediately starts to haunt him.
    • Played with in "Whatever Happened to SpongeBob". After SpongeBob leaves Bikini Bottom after all of his friends call him a "idiot boy" for ruining their day, all of them were remorseful for their actions, but Squidward wasn't sorry as he was delighted that he was gone. While Patrick was remorseful, he didn't directly apologize to him, though this is out of stupidity. Sandy and Mr. Krabs were the only ones to apologize to SpongeBob, though the latter was a bit sheepish about it.
    • In the episode, "Little Yellow Book", the townspeople of Bikini Bottom are mad at Squidward for reading SpongeBob's diary, making him cry. Mr. Krabs orders Squidward to apologize to him, only for Squidward to reply that he'll get over it. Squidward spends the remainder of the episode feeling proud of what he did until his house gets repossessed and he ends up stuck in the pillory in the middle of the town while people are throwing tomatoes at him. He desperately asks SpongeBob to forgive him, until he reads SpongeBob's real diary, feeling that it's Worth It while tomatoes are being thrown at him again.
  • "Devious" Diesel from Thomas the Tank Engine:
    • In one scene of the episode, "Diesel Does It Again", Diesel accidentally bumps into Percy from behind, startling the little green engine in the process. He didn't apologize for the act.
    • In the episode, "Wild Water Rescue", during one of his rare Jerk with a Heart of Gold moments, Diesel tries to rescue Percy when he is trapped in a flooded track, only for the floodwater to short out his generator, stranding them both. After Diesel explains to Percy that he tricked him into going to the quarry to find the Mayor so he could take him to the Search and Rescue Center instead, he tries to apologize, but has a hard time saying the word, "Sorry". Percy even asks him if he's trying to apologize, but before Diesel can answer, the Search and Rescue Team find them.
  • Implied with Hekapoo in Star vs. the Forces of Evil. She let Marco think for 16 years that his old life was long gone. When Star tells Marco that he was only gone for 8 minutes, Hekapoo reveals that she "forgot" to tell him about how time works in her dimension and says "Not sorry."

    Real Life 
  • Leon Czolgosz, an anarchist who assassinated U.S. President William McKinley in 1901 pleaded guilty on his trial and refused to speak to his lawyers. Before his execution, he stated: "I killed the President because he was the enemy of the good people – the good working people. I am not sorry for my crime."
  • A lot of toddlers can be this, due to them not knowing better about those sorts of things.
  • "Any apology is something of a fantasy." - Andy "The Vulture" Tsang Wai-hung, ex-Commissioner of the Hong Kong Police Force.
  • In 1984, Dan Lafferty murdered his sister-in-law Brenda and her baby daughter in cold blood on orders from his brother Ron, who blamed Brenda for his wife leaving him. Since Ron is a self-proclaimed prophet of the Fundamentalist Latter-Day Saints and supposedly had a revelation calling for Brenda's death and the death of her infant daughter, Dan has consistently refused to apologize for the murders, insisting that they were divinely ordered.