Follow TV Tropes


The Unapologetic

Go To

"If I had any single regret for the countless horrific events that have transpired in my wake... it's that I'm dying."

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 they refuse to apologize. They are the kind of person who, if asked "Are you proud of yourself for making Alice cry at her birthday party?", will simply reply "Yes" with a straight face. Unlike Never My Fault (though the two can overlap), they're not passing the blame, they simply aren't sorry. Or at least, they claim not to be.

This can be because they feel they did what they had to do, and had no choice in the matter, or that the end result was worth it since Utopia Justifies the Means. Alternately, they may be too prideful to admit that they didn't have to go that far. A simple "sorry" can patch things up with everyone they wronged, but their ego is making it hard for them to do so. They could just be a Jerkass who responds by telling the victim to quit whining already, or a Jerkass of the self-aware kind who openly brags about being a horrible person. They might well go into a full-on Redemption Rejection, or at least being Defiant to the End. Or they could flat-out be The Sociopath, knowing on an intellectual level that they've done something wrong but just not giving a single damn.

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, and a key component of the Complete Monster by definition. Related to Lack of Empathy, if they don't feel empathetic enough 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 or at least an apology that is half-hearted. 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.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime and 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 facade, especially toward Jill and toward 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.
  • While Vincent Leung of The Case Files of Jeweler Richard does regret some of the actions he's taken, he never apologies onscreen for any of it, and says he'd do it all over again.
  • Cross Ange:
    • The title character herself, to the point that it comes as a shock to Tusk when she does apologise for accidentally insulting his parents.
    • Salamandinay also qualifies, outright stating that she won't ask for forgiveness for demolishing Arzenal. Doesn't sound so bad, except she comes from a race of people who claim that they're all about forgiveness.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Goku wanders the woods and comes across a campsite and a fish being cooked over a fire. Goku tries to grab the fish, burns himself, then puts out the fire and eats the fish. Then Yajirobe returns to his campsite and angrily attacks Goku for stealing his fish. Goku says he didn't steal it because it was all by itself, but Yajirobe angrily points out the fact that it was cooking on a fire means it belonged to someone, which never occurred to Goku. Nonetheless, Goku refuses to apologize, saying Yajirobe was stupid to leave the fish unattended.
    • Vegeta's biggest flaw is his Pride, so it shouldn't come as a shock that he's hardly ever sorry for the things he does. When the group realizes that not all the Namekians were resurrected after being killed, Vegeta smugly reveals that he killed a group of them on his own accord and calls them out for making the wish too specific (the wish was to bring back all those killed by Frieza and his men), showing nary a sign of remorse. And let's not even get into all the non-apologies he gives for the times he screws up, like letting Cell reach his Perfect form. So it comes as a shock to everyone when he does apologize for his Revenge Before Reason attempt against Cell, which resulted in Gohan getting one of his arms grievously wounded as a result of Taking the Bullet.
  • Fate/Zero: Kiritsugu Emiya fits this trope pretty much perfectly. After he has Kayneth and Sol-Ui mercilessly gunned down by Maiya after he had promised to let them go, Saber chews him out for it and questions his desire for the Grail. Kiritsugu, however, refuses to apologise and, to justify his actions, gives a speech that can be summed up as War Is Hell, I Did What I Had to Do and Utopia Justifies the Means. In fact, throughout the whole series, he never apologises for anything he does, as he believes it will all be worth it if he can put an end to human conflict.
  • Great Teacher Onizuka: Miyabi Aizawa is famously this. She never had second thoughts about harming others' life. Only in the end, after seeing Onizuka's "selfless act" (taking the blame for all her crimes) can she finally apologize to him.
  • Kaze no Stigma: Not only will Kazuma Yagami look for any opportunity to snark at others, he never takes back a word of what he says. This is lampshaded by Kirika Tachibana, who claims he doesn't even know how to pronounce the word "Sorry".
  • Kekkaishi: Downplayed with Yoshimori. While he does apologise sometimes, it's noted by Tokine that he never actually means it, since he keeps making the same mistakes and reckless decisions he's supposedly sorry for. Yoshimori is even aware of this, saying that while he always feels bad, he never changes.
  • 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 
  • Batman: Damian starts out wholly unapologetic for his attempted murder of Tim Drake, endangering innocents with his actions, and general cruel entitled behavior. He remains this way for quite some time before Dick starts rubbing off on him and his shift from this mindset is a clear sign of his character growth.
  • 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.
  • Joker: 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 The Avengers (Jonathan Hickman), 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 Past Experience Nightmares.
  • Judge Dredd: War Marshal Kazan, having launched a synthetic Hate Plague against Mega-City One to weaken it for an invasion, has this to say as he's dying of gunshot wounds:
    I regret... nothing! I apologize for... nothing!
  • In The Sandman (1989), 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.
  • Superman:
    • In Supergirl (1972) #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 Supergirl's baby cousin, he doesn't feel guilty about it at all. He even claims that it wasn't murder because he merely killed an alien.
    • Supergirl (2005): 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 in Day of the Dollmaker. The only thing resembling an apology that Supergirl got was a "I was not wrong, but maybe Supergirl might deserve another chance after all" recantation.
    • The Phantom Zone: Jax-Ur did not intend to blow up one moon and kill hundreds of persons, but he was utterly unrepentant about his tragic mistake when he was taken into custody.
  • Ultimate Marvel: Loki, when he's sealed away inside Yggdrasil by Odin for causing the start of Ragnarok.
    "I apologise for nothing. Nothing..."
  • Wonder Woman Vol 1: Queen Atomia is self-centered, murderous, experiments on people, and forcibly transforms people into her mindless slaves while also rearranging their bodies to her liking. She only shows remorse for her horrific actions when welded into a mind-altering device which forces her to and when she escapes from it she is furious. This does not apply to the reimagined Atomia seen in Wonder Woman (Rebirth) as she is much more heroic.
  • "Unapologetic" could easily sum up Whirl of The Transformers: More than Meets the Eye. An erratic, mouthy, but remarkably honest and unabashed asshole, Whirl antagonises most of the people he comes across with zero remorse.

    Fan Works 


  • All For Luz: When Luz asks Shigaraki if he ever regrets becoming a Card-Carrying Villain, he replies that the only thing he'd change if given the chance is his approach, tweaking things here and there to make his plans more effective.
  • In Infinity Train: Blossoming Trail, it's a known fact that Paul does not apologize for the horrible, horrible things he did in the anime and has a severe Lack of Empathy. This ends up ruining him since he didn't apologize for how he essentially let an Apex child drown in Silent Hill with Walter, his warden, showing absolute disgust that Paul didn't even try to save him.

Case Closed

  • Dominoes: Whenever anyone attempts to call out Yuusaku for being an abusive, Manipulative Bastard, he offers up some pithy, self-flattering excuses and self-rationalizations before doubling down and proving himself to be utterly unremorseful.

Disney Animated Canon

  • A Marriage Of Convenience: Hans starts out this way. However, after realizing that he's starting to fall for Elsa, Anna convinces him to drop this attitude, pointing out that he's not doing himself any favors by refusing to acknowledge or make any effort to make amends for his past behavior.

Love Hina

Miraculous Ladybug

  • CONSEQUENCES: The only time Lila ever apologizes for any of her behavior is when she's forced to via Ordered Apology. In EYES OF THE OWL, when her mother and Principal Damocles attempt to make her apologize in front of the whole school, she tells Marinette that she's sorry that she didn't successfully destroy her life and reputation, and that she's especially sorry Marinette isn't dead, before spitting in her face.
  • In the Dad Villain AU, Gabriel feels absolutely no remorse whatsoever for anything he did as Hawkmoth. In fact, he openly brags about it when Viceroy confronts him for the first time, arrogantly assuming that the new Butterfly wielder wants to Make a Wish just like he did. He advises Viceroy to consider his phrasing carefully, gloating about how he used his Wish to ensure Ladybug would suffer in the new timeline even though she wouldn't BE Ladybug anymore.
  • I See What You Do Behind Closed Doors: Not only does Lila refuse to apologize to her classmates once they learn how she deceived them, she brags about how much fun she had along the way, gloating that "The stuff I made you guys do was too good to be true!" She also casually outs Adrien as her Accomplice by Inaction.
  • Long Con: Lila makes clear that she's not particularly worried about her classmates figuring out how she lied to and manipulated them, pointing out that Ms. Bustier never punishes her "problem students" like Chloé, instead passive-aggressively pressuring their victims to Turn the Other Cheek and "lead by example".
  • The One to Make It Stay:
  • Scarlet Lady: Chloé, being incredibly self-absorbed, never acknowledges that she's done anything wrong, no matter how blatantly she's at fault. Adrien has repeatedly questioned whether she has any sense of shame, which typically draws a blank stare from her as though she doesn't understand the concept.
    • This is so severe that she was shocked beyond belief when her father actually ordered her to apologize for falsely accusing Marinette of theft during the Rogercop incident. Note that he likely only did so because he was heavily shaken by how Chloé seemingly fell to her death during said incident, only for his daughter to completely ignore his attempt at a tearful reunion.
    • Her status as such fuels Marinette's Rage Breaking Point in "Zombizou", when she calls out Mme. Bustier on expecting Marinette to forgive her latest transgression when Chloé not only refuses to apologize but is clearly smug about it — and fully aware that their teacher won't do anything to punish her.
    • Despite having only recently met Chloé, Zoé already knows all about her half-sister's history of bullying by the events of "Catalyst"... because Chloé freely bragged to her about it. Something she bluntly informs Mme. Bustier of when she attempts to recruit her into her "never hold Chloé accountable for anything" club.

My Hero Academia

  • Cain: The only thing Katsuki regrets is that he didn't attempt to outright murder Izuku sooner, and that said attempt failed.
  • A Clear Pattern of Behavior makes clear that Katsuki is fully aware that his Barbaric Bullying of Izuku is both wrong and a privilege he's enjoyed due to teachers turning a blind eye. He fully expects this to continue at U.A., misinterpreting the warning he gets for attacking Izuku during their Quirk Assessment test as a tacit nudge towards giving them all plausible deniability by only beating the shit out of him during combat training.
    • Tellingly, when Aizawa asks him if he knew how much force he was attempting to use on Izuku during their Heroes vs. Villains exercise, Katsuki proudly points towards the half-destroyed building they were in and proclaims "Yeah, about that [much]," making clear that he deliberately aimed for lethal damage.
  • Dandelions in the Wind: After getting expelled from Yuuei, Katsuki reflects that his prideful, antagonistic, and unapologetic attitude is part of what landed him in such a bad position in the first place.
  • Mean Rabbit has Aizawa, who refuses to apologize for his sadistic teaching methods. Such as singling out Izuku for being Quirkless, turning most of Class 1-A against him through his 'logical ruses' and manipulations. Even after Izuku saves his life at the USJ, he makes clear that he has no intention to recant or treat him any better, insisting that Izuku will always be mistreated for his Quirklessness and "had better get used to it".
  • Type-2 Hero:
    • When Nedzu confronted Katsuki with the fact that he knew he had blown off one of Izuku's arms, Katsuki casually dismisses it, showing absolutely no remorse for his actions. Even after being informed that he's not permitted to enter U.A.'s entrance exam, he blames Izuku, infuriating Nedzu enough that he hits him with a "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
      Nedzu: Why should I let a bully and a thug like you enter U.A.'s halls?
      Katsuki: (shrugs idly) Like you said, I got a strong quirk and good control over it. What does it matter what I did to a useless deku like him?
      Nedzu: (in a Tranquil Fury) It matters because U.A. is a hero school, where we train heroes. Being strong isn't the only thing that makes a hero, and you are greatly lacking in those categories. As such, Bakugou Katsuki, despite your school's best efforts, you are hereby barred from taking the U.A. entrance exam. You are not permitted to attend.
      Katsuki: (head lowered, muttering) Damn deku...
      Nedzu: What was that?
      Katsuki: This is all that deku's fault! He's always getting in my way and ruining things! Why can't he just stay down like the Quirkless freak he—
      (Nedzu tosses a throwing knife past his cheek, drawing blood)
      Nedzu: Make no mistake, Bakugou, everything that has happened today is your own fault. I had hoped you'd display some regret for what you'd done, but it's clear you care only for yourself, and we don't need a second Endeavor. You've earned yourself a Red Mark. You are barred from applying to other Hero programs for the remainder of your life. If any program extends an invitation is their own prerogative, but any application you submit will be rejected. (to Vlad and Eraserhead) Take him away, dump him at the gates. He is no longer welcome on U.A. property.
      Katsuki: (flailing and screeching) You can't do this to me! I'm stronger than anyone! I'm supposed to be the hero!
      Nedzu: Then you shouldn't have acted the part of the villain.
    • As Nedzu alludes to, Endeavour is completely unrepentant about everything he did in his efforts to become the Number One Hero or the way he abused his family in order to live vicariously through his 'successor'.
  • Whispered Tribulation:
    • Aizawa refuses to acknowledge that he might have jumped to conclusions about Izuku, insisting that he was right to kidnap him and that he should have been permitted to torture a False Confession out of him... though naturally, he believes said confession would have been legitimate. It takes extensive therapy for him to recognize his mistakes and start expressing remorse.
    • His co-conspirators Vlad King and Sniper are just as bad about this, which leads to several Broken Pedestals. Especially amongst Vlad's students, like Pony, whom he knew was dating Izuku and still refused to apologize to her. Once Izuku is officially cleared, they regret what they did, in no small part because their careers are completely destroyed.
    • Katsuki naturally refuses to show any remorse over how he treated Izuku, even when confronted by an utterly furious Principal Nedzu.
  • Words May Hurt: Despite seriously injuring Tenya during their first exercise together, Katsuki shows absolutely no remorse for his actions. In fact, he treats U.A.'s response as a Bewildering Punishment, protesting that the only reason he ignored All Might's orders to stand down is because Deku was there.

My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic

  • A Dream: The entire Valiant family acts this way. Not only is not a single member ever the least bit apologetic about any of their actions, most are openly proud of what they've done.
  • 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.
  • The Young Six: Sandbar's old friend, Comet Trail insults Ocellus due to him being in Canterlot during Queen Chrysalis' invasion. When Sandbar asks him to apologize, Comet refuses, causing Sandbar to end his friendship with him.
    • In a later chapter, Comet does apologize to Ocellus for insulting her.

Neon Genesis Evangelion

  • 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.


  • Olivine Romance: Jasmine never apologizes to anyone, freely acknowledging that she is incredibly prideful and stubborn, much like her mother.
  • 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.


  • ZigZagged in Craving the Sky. Weiss absolutely hates giving apologies because she was forced to apologize so often growing up that she believes the entire point of an apology is to be humiliating. When under stress however. she'll revert to apologizing for anything and everything she thinks she might be blamed for. Interestingly, this means she also dislikes receiving apologies from those she cares about.

Static Shock

    Films - Live-Action 
  • 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.
  • From John Wick, when John confronts Iosef for killing his dog, instead of apologizing, the bastard just coldly tells him that it was no big deal... before John casually gives him a Boom, Headshot!.
  • In She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, John Wayne's Character Catch Phrase is "Don't apologize, it's a sign of weakness."
  • Skyfall: When James Bond reappears in M's apartment after a three-month absence (due to the assumption that he was dead), he confronts M about her telling Eve to "take the bloody shot," which allowed Patrice (the man Bond was chasing at the time) to get away with files of many MI 6 agents. M's response is I Did What I Had to Do, that it was the possibility of losing him or the certainty of losing all those other agents, and outright asks if he's expecting a "bloody apology."
  • Barry Champlain from Talk Radio is a Shock Jock who specializes in being as big of a Jerkass as possible on-air and refuses to apologize for his crass and offensive statements. During his climatic Villainous Breakdown, he admits to being a Hypocrite and says he still won't apologize.
    Barry Champlain: I should hang; I'm a hypocrite. I ask for sincerity, and I lie. I denounce the system as I embrace it. I want money and power and prestige: I want ratings and success. And I don't give a damn about you, or the world. That's the truth: for that I could say I'm sorry, but I won't. Why should I?
  • Us has Adelaide. While she is willing to put herself between her counterpart and her family for their sake, she can never bring herself to apologize for stealing the real Adelaide's life and leaving her to a life of living hell. Whether this is just part of "Adelaide"'s personality or the result of her suppressing her memories is unclear.
  • In one scene of Wedding Crashers: Jeremy had made a foul remark about one of the proper ladies in the wedding, earning him 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 afterward, 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.
  • Nanny Ogg's rant from Carpe Jugulum after a priest tells her to repent. She's 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.
  • Carrie: A rare example of this trope where the character is very sorry for what they have done and believes that a simple apology is not enough. Sue Snell joins her friends in taunting Carrie and pelting her with tampons after she had her first period. She was disgusted with herself after a talk with her boyfriend Tommy Ross, who helped her realize how disgusting her behavior was. Despite this and Tommy calling her out for not apologizing, Sue does not apologize to Carrie because she thinks that an apology was not enough. Instead, she decides to have her boyfriend take Carrie to the prom so she can feel accepted for one night, with tragic consequences.
  • 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?
  • In Doctrine of Labyrinths, Felix often neglects to apologize for the things he does to annoy or hurt others, sometimes because he thinks he's doing what's right even if it's against the rules, or because someone really needs to be taken down a peg. Other times he's needlessly reckless or cruel and is clearly ashamed of himself afterward, but is too arrogant and fearful of emotional vulnerability to admit it, or even feels that he's done something too bad to be fixed with words (e.g. when he nearly kills someone during a rage blackout he insists it would be pointless and self-indulgent to say sorry, however guilty he feels). Him learning to swallow his pride and apologize more consistently is a crucial part of his Character Development in book 4.
  • Martín 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 forgiveness". Then he describes how Fierro was part of the invasion of the Indian territories and his little part in 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.
  • 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.
  • The Rising of the Shield Hero: Malty Melromarc is so unrepentant of her crimes and wrongdoings that whenever she begs for mercy, she never once apologizes for her actions, which is a pretty dead giveaway that she doesn’t feel anything resembling regret, shame, remorse, or guilt.

    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.
  • Breaking Bad: As Walt's criminal career progress, the side of him that would feel sorry for killing even in self-defense disappears. His pride also doesn't help, making his few apologies insincere and the sincere ones only happen when he is sedated. 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 picked a fight with the coach for no apparent reason. He then refused to apologize for doing so.
  • In Extraordinary Attorney Woo, the episode "The Pied Piper" has Young-woo and her coworkers defending a young man who kidnapped a school bus full of children. He turns out to be a Well-Intentioned Extremist; he's protesting a particularly brutal cram school which emotionally abuses its students and harms their mental and physical health, and he took the kids out for a day of playing outside to show them what they were missing. As such, when asked by the court if he has any remorse for his crime, he answers with a Blunt "No", and says he'd gladly do it all again, jail or no jail.
  • In Friends, Joey demands that his date stop eating off his plate. Shortly afterward, she gets the last slice of chocolate cake for dessert. When she comes back from the ladies' room, he's finishing the last bite and announcing "I'm not even sorry!"
  • Played for Laughs in an episode of Full House, Michelle hides some of her family's things, which she later returns. Among them is DJ's Milli Vanilli cassette. Upon discovering Michelle had taken it, Stephanie calls DJ out for accusing her of stealing the tape and demands an apology. DJ simply says "in your dreams". Stephanie accepts this anyway.
  • Game of Thrones: In Season 7, Gendry runs into Beric and Thoros and angrily yells at them for betraying him and selling him into slavery earlier, which almost got him killed. They refuse to apologize or make amends, saying that since he's still alive, he shouldn't be complaining.
  • 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: In 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.
  • Uther Pendragon from Merlin is unfailingly pompous and has a reactionary, gung-ho attitude that results in a lot of innocent people being wrongly accused, tortured, imprisoned, and/or killed. His heavy-handed actions have devastating repercussions for Camelot, but he barely ever acknowledges this or shows remorse for the suffering he's caused. Even when he's actively proven wrong he refuses to take it on board, and as he's the King (moreover, the sort of King who'll gladly lock his own kids in the dungeon for days on end for defying him), it's understandable that people are reluctant to call him out.
  • 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 Jerkass, he's also completely shameless, immune from embarrassment, and even seems kind of proud of his spectacular failures.
    "Check it out: two ankle monitors! Judge says it's the first time he's ever had to do that. Ya boy's a question on the state bar exam!"
  • Alice Cooper from Riverdale never apologizes for what she's done, from harassing Archie even after she learned about his sexual abuse, gaslighting Betty while she was undercover in The Farm cult, enabling Polly's criminal behavior and her general Holier Than Thou attitude. While she sometimes sort of makes amends, it never sticks. It doesn't help that nobody ever fully calls her out or punishes her, giving her little incentive to make a lasting change.
  • 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 & 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."
    Dean:: Yeah. I lied. But you were being an infant.
    Sam: Wow. Even for you, that apology sucked.
    Dean: Oh, I'm not apologizing. I'm telling you how it's gonna be.
  • True Blood: In "Sunset", Holly orders her sons to apologize for humiliating her boyfriend Andy by posting a nude photo of him on Facebook. While Wade apologizes, Rocky angrily refuses, saying if he said he was sorry, that would be a lie. Andy accepts this.
  • The Vampire Diaries: While Daman Salvatore isn't the type to shift blame, he almost never apologises for his many harmful actions. A good example is after Vicki Donovan dies and Elena blames Damon since he was the one who turned her into a vampire in the first place. Damon merely replies that he feels no remorse for what he did. In general, when he does apologise, it's usually because he's messed up in a way that affects everyone, himself included.

  • 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 

  • John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme: The Shadow Minister of Saying Something Stupid and Failing to Apologise For It has this as his job. While he claims initially that he is just doing his job, Patsy Straightwoman soon gets him to admit he's not sorry for what he said and isn't going to apologise. Until she makes him.
    Shadow Minister: You know, I think it's possible to apologise too much.
    Patsy: Yes, yes, I do think that's possible. I don't think that's a mistake you've made.

  • Christianity holds the belief that if one does not repent of their sins and accept Jesus as Lord and Savior before the time of their death, they will end up in Hell.

  • 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.
  • In Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus, when Aaron the Moor confesses to the part he played in various terrible deeds (including the rape and mutilation of Titus' daughter, and the murder of his two sons) he refuses to apologize for any of the carnage and mayhem he's caused. He claims to have done "a thousand dreadful things" and that his only regret is getting caught before he could do "ten thousand more".
  • Anne Boleyn is portrayed this way in Six, and proudly so. A large chunk of her solo "Don't Lose Ur Head" is her defiantly refusing to apologize for her outbursts and impulsive actions, even as she's about to be beheaded. The chorus even starts with, "Sorry, not sorry."

    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.
  • In Final Fantasy XIV, Emet-Selch is flippant about the chaos, mayhem, and death he's caused in his quest to undo the Sundering. Should the Warrior call him out on this, he takes it as flattery. At the end of Endwalker, Emet-Selch makes it very clear that although he was beaten and has the benefit of hindsight now that his memories have been restored, he does not regret what he did as an Ascian. He goes so far as to call his ideals "inviolate" and "invincible".
  • Mass Effect 2: A sidequest on the Citadel has you try to clear the name of a quarian on Pilgrimage, who's been falsely accused of stealing a credit chit from a Jerkass volus. When it's revealed that he simply left it behind at a store, however, the volus simply says that she 'could have' stolen it. The C-Sec officer is no better, as he threatens to arrest her for vagrancy if she doesn't get a permanent residence. Thankfully, a Paragon interrupt allows you to call them both out for this:
    Shepard: Are you two serious?
    Kor Tun: What?
    Shepard: You've falsely accused this girl of stealing from you. All you have to say now is that she 'could have' stolen it?
    Kor Tun: Now just a minu-
    Shepard: [to Officer Tammert] And you! She gets harassed and insulted by this guy and you throw in a threat to arrest her for vagrancy?
    Officer Tammert: How about if I run you in for obstruction of justice?
    Shepard: You think you're going to 'run in' a Spectre? I think both of you should get out of here.
    Officer Tammert: Son of a...
    [They both walk away]
  • In Nancy Drew: Alibi in Ashes, the character Alexei refuses to apologize for treating everyone contemptuously all the time. He explains that he once cared about being nice, before being framed for theft made him the town pariah, and that if Ned had gone through the same thing, he would be just as angry as Alexei is now.
  • Persona 4: When the Investigation Team confront the Killer, Yosuke Hanamura states that he will never forgive them for murdering Saki Konishi. The Killer merely scoffs at this, saying that Yosuke can keep his forgiveness.

  • 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 

    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!
  • Arthur: "Take a Hike, Molly" revolves around Molly's inability to apologize and confess to her mistakes. She breaks Slink's phone, gets Rattles to fall into a river, and packs snacks that Binky can't eat due to his peanut allergy. The others pretend to leave Molly, and so when she's left alone, is forced to admit that she was wrong.
  • 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.
  • Bojack Horseman. Part of what makes it difficult for the title character to reconcile with anyone he’s hurt: he stands by his choice, but he’s not happy with the results or having hurt someone, yet doing so won’t ensure the relationship will be mended nor that the situation will improve nor that everything will be the same as before. So he does nothing. And time passes.
  • 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 has his moments:
    • 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!"
  • In Harriet the Spy, part of the reason why Harriet's friends and classmates are so angry at her for the things she wrote in her notebook (along with the invasion of privacy with her spying) is her stubborn refusal to apologize for her actions. For her part, Harriet believes that one should never apologize for seeking and speaking out the truth (and that she thinks she should be apologized to for the theft and reading of her notebook). It isn't until she sees just how hurtful her words were (as well as a pep talk from her former nanny via mail, telling her she should apologize) does she come around and give a Heartfelt Apology to her friends and classmates.
  • 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."
  • Mr. Cat from Kaeloo rarely ever apologizes for his actions.
  • Little Bill: "When Friends Get Mad" features Little Bill briefly turning into this. Kiku accidentally ruins Little Bill's painting by spilling paint on it. She apologizes but Little Bill who thinks Kiku did it on purpose gets mad and crumples up her painting in return. Everyone wants him to apologize but he refuses as he still thinks Kiku did it on purpose. Once his parents help him understand that what Kiku did was an accident, he apologizes to her the next day and they become friends again.
  • In Metalocalypse, Nathan Explosion of Dethklok claims to have an "apology problem". When he ends up apologizing to one of his bandmates at one point, he almost dies from it just struggling to get the words out.
  • 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."
  • 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.
  • Smiling Friends: The titular character of "Mr. Frog" has been terminated from his show for putting a TMZ reporter in his mouth, and Charlie and Pim are trying to help him get his career back. Pim suggests apologizing for his incident with the reporter, to which Mr. Frog replies with "Hello, but I'm not sorry".
  • In The Spectacular Spider-Man, Norman Osborn's catchphrase 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 and wants to apologize, but he faces extreme difficulty doing so since it's not one of the things he normally does, and his personal hatred toward SpongeBob makes it even more strenuous. 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 an "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 & Friends:
    • 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."


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): The Unrepentant


Hello, but I'm not sorry

After Mr. Frog gets terminated from his show for putting a TMZ reporter in his mouth, Pim suggests apologizing for it. Mr. Frog isn't sorry.

How well does it match the trope?

4.56 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / TheUnapologetic

Media sources: