Follow TV Tropes


This Is My Story

Go To

"...And you're not part of it."

My name is This Is My Story. I am a trope, one of the oldest of my kind.

Perhaps you know me well. Perhaps I need no introduction. Perhaps you've even used me once or twice. But chances are you have seen me before, a silent face in the crowd, never guessing my true nature, never knowing what I really am. I'm here today to tell you everything I know, before it's too late. They're coming for me. By the time you get this message, I might already be dead. I may even already be dead right now.

For decades, I have been used as a dramatic way to open stories, to grab the reader's attention and make them take things seriously. I am an old and tired trope, used and abused more times than I can remember, yet I have persevered. I will not let them take me into the darkness quite yet. I will stand my ground until my final breath.

I'm not telling you this because I want credit for my story, but because my story needs to be told. Just trust me when I say that you need to listen to me. You need to know the truth. It may save your life, even if it can no longer save mine. Because it could happen to you. It could happen to anybody.

The next time you hear a character dramatically and poetically introduce themselves at the start of a story, begging you to listen, remember me. Remember who I am, and remember everything I am about to tell you. Time is running short. They're coming for me. They want to silence me. This is my last stand. This Is My Story.

If the story that I am about to tell is not truly mine, and I am telling the story of another person who is the main character of the story, I would be a First-Person Peripheral Narrator.

This is my story. And these... These are my examples.

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Boruto: Naruto Next Generations: Quoted word for word by the title character (twice in fact) during the opening narration as we flashback from an apocalyptic future to show how we got there. Subverted in that Boruto notes that his father played an important role in it too, at least for a while.
    "In case I wasn't clear the first time, this is MY story. But in the beginning, for a short while... my father played a central role in my story too."
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • Steel Ball Run: At the beginning, Johnny Joestar states "This story is about how I got up on my feet. Not in the physical sense, but how I went from adolescence to adulthood."
    • JoJolion: The introduction has Yasuho Hirose stating "This is a story about breaking a curse."
    • The JoJoLands: The premise; "This is the story of a boy, in the subtropical islands, who goes on to become extremely rich."
  • My Hero Academia: "Oh yeah, I forgot to mention it. This is the story of how I became the world's greatest hero."
  • Who's Left Behind? Kayoko's Diary: The story of Kayoko Ebina's experiences of growing up in Tokyo before and during World War 2

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 
  • The Emperor's New Groove: "Would you look at that? Pretty pathetic, huh. Well, you're not gonna believe this, but that llama you're looking at was once a human being. [...] The name is Kuzco. Emperor Kuzco."
  • Ratatouille: The movie starts with Rémy crashing through a window. The action is paused and he starts narrating with the following line.
    Rémy: This is me. I think it's apparent I need to rethink my life a little bit. What's my problem? First of all, I'm a rat, which means life is hard. And second, I have a highly developed sense of taste and smell.
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse has this as a bit of a Running Gag, with every Spider character delivering a short monologue detailing their Superhero Origin and how they got to that point in the narrative, each of them starting with the same phrase. Peter B. Parker and Gwen Stacy subtly lampshade it, while Peni Parker, Spider-Noir, and Spider-Ham is a Deconstructive Parody where they all rapidly talk over each other in order to get their stories out of the way. The first and last instances of the monologue (done by Blonde Peter and Miles Morales) are played straight, with Miles's closing speech also laying out the film's thesis statement.
    "All right, let’s do this one last time. My name is..."
  • Turning Red uses this as Book Ends:
    • Prologue: "I'm Meilin Lee. And ever since I turned 13, I've been doing my own thing. Making my own moves, 24/7, 365."
    • Epilogue: "I'm Meilin Lee. And ever since I turned 13, life's been a lot."

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (2020) begins with Sonic running through the streets of San Francisco, being chased by Robotnik. He narrates up to the point that the story catches up.
    "So, I know what you're thinking; 'why is that incredibly handsome hedgehog being chased by a madman with a mustache from the Civil War?' Well, to be honest, it feels like I've been running my whole life. Is this too much? Am I going too fast? It's kinda what I do. You know what? Let's back up."
  • American Beauty: "My name is Lester Burnham. This is my neighborhood. This is my street. This is my life. I'm 42 years old, and in less than a year, I'll be dead."
  • Inside Man: "My name is Dalton Russell. Pay strict attention to what I say because I choose my words carefully and I never repeat myself."
  • Grave of the Fireflies: "In 1945, on the night of September 21, I died."
  • Spider-Man: "Who am I? You sure you want to know? The story of my life is not for the faint of heart. If somebody said this was a happy little tale, if somebody told you that I was just your average, ordinary guy, not a care in the world? Somebody lied. But let me assure you this, like any story worth telling, is all about a girl. That girl, the girl next door. Mary Jane Watson. The woman I've loved since before I even liked girls."
  • Army of Darkness: "My name is Ash, and I am a slave."
  • In Gremlins, Randall Peltzer says he has a story like nobody's, though it's actually the story of his son, Billy.
  • Sunset Boulevard begins with an already dead narrator, as do its parodies.
  • The Lovely Bones: "My name is Salmon, like the fish, first name Susie. I was 14 years old when I was murdered..."
  • A tricky subvertion to This Is His Story As He told It To Me that opens Tim Burton's Big Fish: "In telling the story of my father's life, it's impossible to separate fact from fiction, the man from the myth. The best I can do is to tell it the way he told me."
  • "Hello, my name is Forrest, Forrest Gump. Would you like a chocolate?"
  • The narrator of the Australian cult classic The Castle uses this line, completely oblivious that it isn't. The actual protagonist is his father.
  • Little Big Man— "I am, beyond a doubt, the last of the old-timers. My name is Jack Crabb. And I am the sole white survivor of the Battle of Little Big Horn, uh, uh, popularly known as Custer's Last Stand."
  • Played with and ultimately averted in Tangled:
    "This is the story of how I died. Don't worry, this is actually a very fun story and the truth is, it isn't even mine. This is the story of a girl named Rapunzel..."
  • The autobiographical film The Home Song Stories begins with the protagonist Tony saying:
    "If everyone has one story which defines them, which shapes who they are, then this is mine. This story is about my childhood."

  • Moby-Dick: "Call me Ishmael." Probably the most widely-known example of this trope, as well as one of the most well-known lines from classic literature.
  • Animorphs started every book like this, always including lines like "My name is ___. I can't tell you my last name. The Controllers are everywhere. I won't tell you where I live. I'm writing this all down so that more people will learn the truth."
  • Hyperion Cantos: Endymion is written while the eponymous character is trapped inside a "Schrodinger's Cat Box" and could die at any moment.
  • About half of House Of The Spirits is put together by Alba who eventually writes it down when released from prison.
  • The beginning of Robyn Manx's The Rebel is a bit like this.
  • The Lovely Bones begins this way, as does The Film of the Book. "My name is Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973."
  • The Red Tent begins thusly: "We have been lost to each other for so long. My name means nothing to you. My memory is dust" and continues in this vein for some time. The speaker is Dinah, the daughter of Jacob from the Old Testament.
  • Never Let Me Go: "My name is Kathy H. I'm 31 years old, and I've been a carer now for over eleven years. That seems long enough, I know..." She goes on to tell the story of her life, beginning in early childhood and ending right where the book began.
  • Brain Jack: "Right now, as you read this prologue, I am sifting through the contents of your computer." The protagonist goes on to tell you that he tracked you when you bought the book, citing the actual ISBN number of the book to tell how he did it.
  • The Name of the Wind: My name is Kvothe. I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep. You may have heard of me.
  • InCryptid: Sarah spends most of the first chapter of Calculated Risks recapping the series up to there, especially the events of the previous book, Imaginary Numbers.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Desperate Housewives: "My name is Mary Alice Young. If you read this morning's papers, you might know about the unusual day I had last week."
  • Patrick McGoohan's Opening Narration on the early half-hour episodes of Danger Man: "A messy job? That's when they call on me, or someone like me. Oh, yes — my name is Drake. John Drake."
  • 24: "I'm federal agent Jack Bauer, and this is the longest day of my life."
  • Nowhere Man: "My name is Thomas Veil, or at least it was. I'm a photographer, I had it all: a wife, Alyson... friends, a career. In one moment it was all taken away, all because of a single photograph. I have it; they want it; and they will do anything to get the negative. I'm keeping this diary as proof that these events are real..."
  • Life On Mars: "My name is Sam Tyler. I had an accident and I woke up in 1973. Am I mad, in a coma or back in time? Whatever's happened, it's like I've landed on a different planet. Now maybe if I can work out the reason, I can get home."
    • Ashes to Ashes (2008): "My name is Alex Drake. I've just been shot and that bullet has taken me back to 1981. I might be one second away from life or one second away from death. All I know is I have to keep fighting, Fight to live, Fight to see my Daughter, Fight to get home."
  • Burn Notice: "My name is Michael Westen. I used to be a spy."
  • The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air: "Well, this is a story all about how my life got flipped, turned upside down..."
  • Doctor Who: "This is the story of how I died."
    • "And do one more thing for me. There's a little girl waiting in a garden. She's going to wait a long while, so she's going to need a lot of hope. Go to her. Tell her a story. Tell her that if she's patient, the days are coming that she'll never forget. Tell her she'll go to sea and fight pirates. She'll fall in love with a man who'll wait two-thousand years to keep her safe. Tell her she'll give hope to the greatest painter who ever lived and save a whale in outer space. Tell her this is the story of Amelia Pond. And this is how it ends."
  • Strangers with Candy— "Hello. I'm Jerri Blank. 32 years ago I dropped out of high school and ran away from home. Oh, I made a lot of friends... did a lot of time. I was a boozer, a user and a loser. I stole the TV. Did some more time. But now I'm back in school. And though the faces may have changed, the hassles are just the same!"
  • Dark Shadows: "My name is Victoria Winters". Jusified as it originally was her story before she left the show, afterwhich it began to focus on Barnabas Collins.
  • Seen in one episode of The Golden Girls, when the girls are part of the cast of a local theater production, of which Patrick Vaughn (an In-Universe minor celebrity) is the star. As the lights come up on opening night, his character addresses the audience, saying, "My name's Biff. I'm a drifter."

  • Suzanne Vega's "Luka" and "Calypso", both in her album Solitude Standing.
    "My name is Luka. I live on the second floor."
    "My name is Calypso, and I have lived alone."
  • Dion and the Belmonts's "Runaround Sue":
    "This is my story sad but true
    About a girl that I once knew
    She broke my heart and ran around
    With every single guy in town"
    • Affectionately parodied by the early-1990s comedy metal band Scatterbrain's "Don't Call Me Dude":
    "This is my story sad but true
    About a girl that I once knew
    She broke my heart I became unglued
    It all started when she called me Dude!"
  • This trope is one possible interpretation of "In the Flesh?" from Pink Floyd's 1979 album The Wall: the track serves as a framing device for the album's story. However, because said story is very Mind Screw-y (in true Pink Floyd nature), the accuracy of this interpretation is just as debatable as that of any other.

    Video Games 
  • The Conduit: "My name is Michael Ford. I'm probably the only one left who knows the truth...I know it, because I was there."
  • [PROTOTYPE]: "My name is Alex Mercer. I'm the reason for all of this. They call me a killer, a monster, a terrorist. I'm all of these things."
  • The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion: "I was born 87 years ago. For 65 years I've ruled as Tamriel's emperor, but for all these years, I've never been the ruler of my own dreams. I have seen the gates of Oblivion, beyond which no waking eye may see. Behold, in darkness, a doom sweeps the land. This is the 27th of Last Seed, the year of Akatosh, 433. These are the closing days of the third era, and the final hours of my life."
  • Final Fantasy:
    "This is my story, and you're not part of it."
    • Technically, Auron is the one who started all of the "my story" stuff in the first place. To Tidus at the very beginning of Final Fantasy X:
    Auron: This is it. This is your story. It all begins here.
    • Yuna uses the line in the climax of Dissidia Duodecim.
    Emperor Mateus: I look forward to seeing this tragedy unfold.
    Yuna: This is my story. It has a happy ending!
  • Averted by Eternal Darkness: "I am Dr. Edward Roivas. I am a clinical psychiatrist. I am also dead. This is not my story, nor even the story of the Roivas family. It is the story of humanity."
  • Mega Man ZX Advent: Ashe says this twice, once after defeating Albert "You're no Mega Man king... You're no god... You were gonna destroy the world... You were gonna end the story... You're not the one to make that decision! This is my life, my story!". And when saying goodbye to Vent at the end "We can meet anytime... Because this is our story!"
  • Assassin's Creed: In Assassin's Creed II and Brotherhood, the main character Desmond Miles does a recap of the story so far in this manner.
  • Fahrenheit: "My name is Lucas Kane. My story is about an ordinary guy has extraordinary happened to him. Maybe it was supposed to happen, maybe it's my destiny, karma, or whatever. I know one thing for sure nothing's gonna ever be the same again."
  • Star Wars Battlefront II (2017): Iden's trailers had a monologue of her about how she was telling her story, and by association, the Empire's. The monologue itself is absent in the final game.
  • Dragon Age II starts with Varric (Hawke's party member and subtle Deuteragonist) being dragged into an interrogation chamber and ordered to tell about Hawke. Cue "You'll need to hear the whole story..."
  • Used almost often enough to be Arc Words in Guild Wars 2. For starters, at the end of the introductory cinematic, your character, no matter what race or background, says it word for word.
  • Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time: "Most people think time is like a river that flows swift and sure in one direction. But I have seen the face of time, and I can tell you: they are wrong. Time is an ocean in a storm. You may wonder who I am or why I say this. Sit down and I will tell you a tale like none you have ever heard."
  • Guardian Tales: A variation for the Knight, the self-insert Player Character, as their lore entry within the in-game Hero Book contains only one sentence: "This is your story."

    Web Comics 
  • Khaos Komix: "My name is Steve Madi/Mark Sheffield/Amber Jury/Nay Oten/my current name is Tom Blake/Alex Murphy/Charlie Trueman/Jamie Davies. I am currently doing something. This is my story".
  • "My name is Antimony Carver. I would like to share with you the strange events that took place while I attended school at Gunnerkrigg Court."
  • The autobiographical Joe vs. Elan School, which is a story about how the author's parents paid professional kidnappers to take him to a Juvenile Hell in Maine, starts off with a very blunt, "I was 16. 2:00 AM. 2 men. Too late. Too slow. To Maine. Highway. Byway. Dirt road. Horrible drive. Even worse arrival..."

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Sonic Prime: Sonic narrates a good portion of the first episode, introducing himself, Eggman, and his friends to the audience. The episode also cuts back and forth between his experiences in the new Shatterspaces while remembering the events leading up to how he got there.


Video Example(s):


It's My Story Too, You Know?

In "Final Fantasy X" (HD Remaster), the party has just learned a horrible truth: that each Final Aeon is the Fayth of a summoner's guardian and that Fayth is doomed to become the next Sin. Determined to find a way out of this, Tidus declares it to be his story and that it'll go the way he wants it, or he'll end it. Yuna, however, isn't having this, saying that it's not only his story, but hers too and that she does things with no regrets.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (1 votes)

Example of:

Main / ThisIsMyStory

Media sources: