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With Us or Against Us

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"If you're not with me, then you're my enemy."
Darth Vader, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

Describe With Us or Against Us here, or you are my enemy!

In a nutshell, this is a form of extremism that actually acknowledges there's a gray area in between black and white, but goes on to say that gray is just as bad as black simply because it doesn't oppose black as strongly as white does.

In fiction, a Writer on Board will hammer this point home through the use of Strawman Politicals and Demonization to show that not being on the side of right is bad, no matter what other side you take. The only hope of these people is to turn to the side of right as fast as possible.


The Knight Templar and The Fundamentalist are characters prone to holding this particular belief due to their belief that they are "right" and the other people are "wrong." An Evil Overlord is also a likely candidate seeing all who surround him as either pawns to serve their purpose for him, or obstacles that must be removed at all costs. Totalitarian regimes love this trope — if your subjects have this mentality, they will beg for your protection — thus, it is a common theme in Dystopian fiction.

Truth in Television, as anyone who has gone to a Flame War on a political or religious (or anti-religious) Message Board can attest. The Other Wiki can attest, too. The phrase "if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem" is frequently used as a more polite-sounding version that nonetheless amounts to the same thing. With that said, No Real Life Examples, Please!. The Fundamentalist is in every kind of belief that can be named, so they're all as bad as non-belief—so there's no need to pick out the crazies who think anyone who has or does not have pineapple on pizza should die or anything.


Note, this trope is not about whether any particular side is right or wrong, even the middle side. It's just about the views of people that the only right answer is their side, and nothing else.

Sub-Trope of False Dichotomy. See also Black-and-White Insanity, Activist Fundamentalist Antics, and We ARE Struggling Together. May lead to Neutrality Backlash.

No Real Life Examples, Please!


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Death Note: Outright declared by Light Yagami in the 2nd episode before killing Lind L. Tailor.
    Light Yagami: You think.... I'm evil?! I am Justice! I protect the innocent and those who fear evil! I'll become the God of the new world that everyone desires! All those who oppose that God... they are the ones who are truly evil!
  • Dragon Ball Super: During the Future Trunks Saga, this is the reason Goku Black and Future Zamasu killed all the gods in Future Trunks' timeline. As Black explains, he knew that none of the other gods would ever support or understand his plans or ideals, so they had to die to prevent them from trying to stop him.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam SEED:
    • The Atlantic Federation does this with regards to Orb. Orb has a mass driver, which the Atlantic Federation needs, so they give them this trope as an ultimatumnote . It happens all over again in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny, (albeit done by Blue Cosmos / Logos this time) when the Destroy Gundam is unleashed on the western Eurasian Federation for being too sympathetic to ZAFT. Durandal also pulls this at the end of the series, stating that anyone who doesn't agree to his Destiny Plan is a threat to world peace, in with the aforementioned terrorists and deserve to be eliminated via Kill Sat.
  • One Piece:
    • But not if you are a main character: Your badass status allows you to be supportive or enemy of the World Government with abandon. Neutral countries, on the other hand, have to accept Government leadership, or their whole population will be deported and enslaved. Because the alternative is pirates.
    • Essentially how the New World works. As it is demonstrated with the Worst Generation post-timeskip, the only way to survive is to overthrow the Yonko (ie. Law and Kid's alliances who are planning to topple Kaido and Shanks respectively) or swallow your pride and serve under them (ie. Bege and Drake).
  • In the Shaman King anime, this is the reason the X-Laws hunt down Yoh and his friends. Like Marco said, they become "too powerful to let [them] be."
  • This is the mentality of Shinji in Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V. He advocates for the poor, oppressed people in the city to rise up against the powerful elite; only instead of trying to achieve equality, he's consumed with a desire for revenge and wants to reverse the system, making his oppressors suffer. Throughout the Synchro arc, he becomes more and more militant beliefs, to the point where he regularly turns on his allies the second they don't support his increasingly-hostile ideas, and only his ideas. Any other ideas to fix the system, even in a way that benefits everyone, is seen as them siding with the rich.
  • Food Wars!: When Azami Nakiri takes over Tootsuki, he gives the students two choices: either you adhere to Central's rules and ideology, or you're an enemy to his beliefs that must be removed. Case in point, as soon as he was elected dean he boots off the three Council of Ten members who didn't vote for him, and during the Promotion Exams he does everything he can to make things as hard as possible for the "Rebels" to ensure his victory and expel them.
  • Great Teacher Onizuka: When the other Angels object to Sho's plan of murdering Onizuka, he beats them all up with a Broomstick Quarterstaff.

    Comic Books 
  • In the Chick Tracts, anyone who does not agree with Jack Chick's particular breed of fundamentalist Protestant Christianity is doomed to burn in hell. Even other Christians who have slightly different views are completely evil.
  • Forever Evil (2013): The Crime Syndicate deals with any dissenters with extreme prejudice. Including their former alternate universe.
  • Mighty Avengers (2013): During Last Days, Steve Rogers declares as such to the Mighty Avengers. Either they're helping him hunt down the Illuminati, or they're the enemy. The team don't support either group, and decide to Take a Third Option.
  • When Steve Ditko took a heavy turn into Objectivism, his heroes started to preach his viewpoint. That Mr. A Alan Moore sings about? That was one of Ditko's, who claimed that man can either be good or evil with no in-between.
  • Spider-Man: Brand New Day has The Extremist. To him, you are either with the heroes or with the villains, and anyone who dares to criticize superheroes or even laugh at them is evil and schemes to blur the line between good and evil— and therefore, must be eliminated. He even tried to kill the guy who made a website dedicated to laughing at Spider-Man— who happened to be Peter Parker, himself.
  • Supreme Power sees its version of Nighthawk, reimagined as an African-American, espouse this view, believing the world to consist of masters and slaves and slaves who don't fight against the masters are with them. It's one of the ways in which the fanatical black supremacist becomes a Boomerang Bigot.
    "A long time ago, my dad heard Malcolm X speak at a church in Memphis. He said that during slave days, you had the house Negro, and the field Negro.
    The house Negro lived in the master's house, ate the same food as the master, lived in a warm room, usually in the basement. If the master got a cold, he was right there to help out, all cheerful and friendly because he wanted his own life to be good, and that meant making the master happy.
    The field Negro ate whatever scraps the dogs didn't eat, lived out in a cold shack, was beaten and kicked — and when the master got sick, he prayed every day the master would die. Didn't matter if the master was technically a nice guy or not. The master represented the system, and it was the system he hated."
  • The Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye:
    • If all his other methods fail, Prowl will try this option, even trying to use it on Ultra Magnus when the guy tries to call him on his BS before Megatron's trial.
    • Getaway, as well. He spent a year going around the crew, asking who sympathised with Megatron, and who would side with Rodimus in a coup, wiping their memories if they gave an answer he didn't like. When the time comes, he has the people who disagreed kicked off the ship.
  • The Ultimates (2015): During the Civil War II tie-in, an increasingly driven Carol Danvers begins saying this to the team. She doesn't get beyond "or" before America decides to declare herself against Carol, via the medium of a chair to the head.

    Fan Works 
  • Inverted in Aegis where Amelia declares that if Xander isn't with the lycans, then he's with the vampires. He agrees when he realizes the other option is to be killed by one faction or the other.
  • Granny Hina's general attitude in An Alternate Keitaro Urashima is that anyone who doesn't go along with her scheming to set Keitaro up as manager is a 'horrible disappointment'. Most of the Hinata Girls have shades of this as well; Shinobu is the only exception, which causes problems as she struggles with her mixed feelings about the whole awful situation.
  • Both Goh and Parker descend into this during the second arc of Infinity Train: Blossoming Trail:
    • Goh decides that anyone who doesn't give him exactly what he wants must be his enemy. This includes anyone expressing concern about anyone else who's boarded the Train; if they're not focused on Chloe and Chloe alone, he considers that to be betraying both her and him, as he needs to get her back in order to get everything back to normal.
      • Note that Goh also sees Chloe as a traitor because she doesn't want to return home. She was miserable in Vermillion (though partly because of her own refusal to open up to anyone else), feeling overlooked and bogged down by everyone's presumptions and expectations... and Goh decides that he doesn't care how she feels about it, blaming her for the whole situation, even if that isn't particularly false. He even fantasizes about forcing her back into her old role, deciding that if she suffers for it, that's a perk rather than a problem — proper payment for "betraying" him.
    • Parker, meanwhile, grows frustrated with how the bullies' Laser-Guided Karma after having their cruelty exposed doesn't feel as though it was enough to make up for how much they hurt his sister. He also worries about the potential of the adults breaking their promises again and letting things slip back to the way they were before, potentially causing him to lose his sister again... if she even makes it back in the first place. He only gets worse about this later on and tortures many people purely to make himself feel better about their supposed cruelty to Chloe.

    Films — Animated 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The world in the Apocalypse film series is divided into who's believing who is God: Franco Maccalusso or Jesus Christ. Neutrality on the issue is brutally dealt with by the One Nation Earth agents and officers.
  • Avatar: Colonel Miles Quaritch while fighting Jake Sully at the climactic battle of The Tree of Souls.
    "Hey, Sully, how does it feel to betray your own race? You think you're one of them? It's time to wake up."
  • In Ben-Hur (1959), this mentality is what drove Messala to sentence Judah Ben-Hur to slavery. Messala wanted his friend Ben-Hur to turn in the Jews who were speaking against him and the Roman occupation. Ben-Hur refuses, so Messala tells him, "You're either with me or you're against me." Ben-Hur replies, "If those are my choices, then I am against you."
    • Given that is was made in The '50s, this is likely a reference to McCarthyism, in which many Hollywood people were ruined for declining to name Dirty Communists alleged to be among them.
  • In Magnum Force, the renegade cops, whose idea of justice is premeditated murder of the accused, try to use this to make Cowboy Cop Harry Callahan join them: "Either you're for us, or you're against us."
    Harry: I'm afraid you've misjudged me.
  • In The Matrix, this is explicitly stated; any human seen in the Matrix who the Resistance hasn't unplugged can, at any time, become an indestructible monster capable of killing an entire team in seconds. An Exact Words twist comes up in the sequels; Some Machines, such as Seraph and the Oracle, are not inimical towards humans, and Smith actually finds a way to download himself to a Resistance fighter and raise havoc in the Real World.
  • Parodied in Monty Python's Life of Brian, where the splinter groups against the Romans hated each other as much as the Romans. While this was originally intended as a satire on the increasingly-fractured British Left in the late '70s (the Pythons were all for Labour at the time, although John Cleese has since become a Lib Dem), it turns out that the Jews in Jesus' day really were quite fractured and always squabbling against themselves instead of the Romans.
  • From Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides:
    Pirate: You're either with us or against us!
    Philiip: I am neither with you, nor am I against you!
    Pirate: Can he do that?
    Jack: He's religious; I believe it's required.
  • Revenge of the Sith: When Anakin Skywalker-cum-Darth Vader throws that line at Obi-Wan, he simply responds, "Only a Sith deals in absolutes" (which, ironically, is itself an absolute) and ignites his saber.
  • In The Rock, Captain Frye makes this claim to Major Baxter during the Mexican Standoff. Baxter hesitates, then draws on General Hummel, but spins and shoots Captain Darrow instead. He takes a bullet for his trouble.
  • Transformers: Age of Extinction: Harold Attinger's rant, his last words, at Cade Yeager are him going of about how "there are no good or bad aliens, just us or them, and you choose them!" This only paints him before his death as a massive Hypocrite as he was completely fine with letting so many of "us" die for his greed and prejudice towards Transformers.
  • In X-Men: First Class, Sebastian Shaw attempts to convince the young mutants on Xavier's team to join the Hellfire Club, and he warns them:
    Choose freely, but know that if you're not with us, then by definition, you are against us.
  • Played for Laughs in Street Fighter when tensions arise between Bison and Sagat's men after Bison welshes on a debt by paying with his worthless "Bison dollars" which he believes will be valuable after kidnapping Britain's queen, and Sagat in turn presses Bison's Berserk Button by calling him a raving lunatic and throwing it in a fire. Ryu and Ken wander in at the absolute worst possible time, with Ryu grabbed by Sagat and Ken grabbed by Bison, and we get this exchange:
    Bison: You're either with us... or against us!
    Ken: Uh... is that multiple choice?
  • The 1944 British film The Halfway House was made during the Second World War and and while it isn't directly a war film has a firm patriotic tone. This trope is particularly important with the lone character from a neutral country, the Irish Terence who is urged by everyone including his English girlfriend not to accept a promotion to the Irish embassy in Berlin. In the end he decides against it and is even implied to join the British armed forces.

  • The concept of "War is Peace" in 1984 boils down to this trope.
  • In "The Bleeding Man", the government official implies that the doctor's lack of enthusiasm for her plans would be troubling to the government higher-ups.
  • In Darkness at Noon, Rubashov recalls having enforced the principle that not to be absolutely with the Party was to be against the Revolution, and realizes he is doomed by that same principle now that the Party has decided to destroy him.
  • Invoked by both sides near the end of Deryni Checkmate, during the acrimonious Interdict debate in the Curia which began the schism in the Gwyneddian Church. At one point, Cardiel addresses a couple of junior bishops: "Siward? Gilbert? Do you stand with us? Or with Loris?" Loris finally hangs the lampshade when Cardiel (host of the assembly in Dhassa) orders him to leave: "Then it is war. All who side with the enemy shall be counted as the enemy. There can be no other alternative."
  • Something of a Zig-Zagged Trope in The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri. Illustrated in the form of this quote.
    "The darkest places in Hell are reserved for those who remain neutral in times of a moral crisis."
  • In The Illuminatus! Trilogy, Hagbard Celine says, "People who say, 'You are either a part of the problem or a part of the solution' are usually the former."
  • In the Left Behind books, during the Tribulation, it eventually comes down to joining God or joining the Global Community, as both sides end up squashing any sign of neutrality on the issue.
  • Belgarath defines the battle at the core of The Malloreon as "them and us" at one point (as opposed to "good and evil", which he considers a dangerous game to start playing).
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire Melisandre believes that people either are on the side of her god R'hllor or that of the Great Other. She uses the analogy of a half-rotten onion to prove to Ser Davos that a man who is half-evil is still evil, not good.
    • Cersei has the more selfish, very paranoid form of this: either you are on her side (and agree with almost everything she says or does), or you're an enemy she must belittle, control, side-line and/or get rid of. The pool of people "on her side" — isn't all that great in size, and it gets smaller book by book as she turns on even those who were genuinely on her side at some point. See, if you disagree with her and she has some emotional investment in what you're unhappy about, you just have to be an enemy now. It's that simple. It goes about as well as you'd imagine. If not worse.
    • King Aerys "The Mad" Targaryen was very much like Cersei in that it was his own self-centred paranoia that eventually turned him into a side of one vs pretty much the whole Kingdom. Cersei's own brother, Jaime, eventually put him out of his (and everybody else's) misery, the poor sod.
  • In the Sword of Truth series, one of the explicitly stated Aesops is that our lives are our own, and we should do with them as we choose. Not a horribly warped lesson, right? Yet Goodkind turns this into a Broken Aesop with parts of the rest of the books that claim the only "real" choice for our lives is to fall in line with his views, and that any other choice just makes you as wrong than the bad guys. Even if people have been lied to all their lives, like the Hakens in Soul of the Fire, they either side with Richard, or they have crossed the Moral Event Horizon, and should die like the evil swine they are.
    • Similarly, the bad guys' whole belief system is based around the exact opposite idea, that your life should be spent only serving others, and if you are special in any way or, God forbid, try to enjoy life, you deserve everything the evil army is going to do to you. In fact, it's not so much "any other choice makes you wrong," as the only choices: Side with Richard (and probably be steamrolled by the Order anyway), be willingly oppressed by the Order and (probably) live, or get caught in between them and die either way. This is a world with no middle ground.
  • In The Thrawn Trilogy, Borsk Fey'lya sees his political rivals as his enemies. He's not above leaving them to die, and thinks that everyone else thinks in similar terms. Thrawn in fact counts on Fey'lya acting this way to paralyze the New Republic and dispose of the people who pose a real danger to him, like Admiral Ackbar. This is a trait that most Bothan share; Bothan society is based around a system where the pursuit of power and influence were paramount, and it was quite normal to use backstabbing, political maneuvering and character assassinations against others to gain influence. However, they previously only did it within their own society; Borsk was either unable or unwilling to see that other races didn't operate this way. Thrawn, having analyzed species' psychology based on their artwork, knew and took full advantage of it.
  • In Thud!!, the narrator discusses the increasing dwarf/troll conflict and its effect of causing dwarfs and trolls to resign from the watch:
    Some people would be asking: Whose side are you on? If you're not with us, you're against us. Huh. If you're not an apple, you're a banana!
  • X-Wing Series: Elscol Loro, an anti-Imperial fighter who's much more extreme than the New Republic, has come to believe this by The Bacta War. She tells Iella that there's no way to really stay "neutral". Either you're with the Empire or against them. Attempting to not get involved just tacitly supports the status quo of the Empire. As a result, she claims she'll target civilians if they don't wake up and side with her fight, but Iella reigns her in.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the Arrow episode "Vigilante," Vigilante says this almost word-for-word to Green Arrow, regarding Vigilante's war on crime. Green Arrow, seeing Vigilante as the crazy Knight Templar Vigilante Man he is, declares that he is against him. It's eventually revealed that Vigilante is a former Central City cop, who was shot in the head at the same moment as he was hit by the particle accelerator explosion. While the dark matter did grant him a Healing Factor, it may have also left him with some brain damage.
  • Blake's 7. In "Star One", the Master Computer that runs the Terran Federation has been sabotaged, causing chaos across the galaxy. Supreme Commander Servalan uses this as a pretext to seize power, declaring that anyone who opposes her is part of the sabotage conspiracy. Ironically it was Servalan's self-centred scheming that lead to Star One being compromised in the first place.
  • Played for Laughs on The Colbert Report, by being the basis of Stephen Colbert's life philosophy. "You're either with us or you're against us. It is either Coke or Pepsi. You're either gay or you fight it." Finally he states he divides the supermarket into "cheese" and "not cheese." He also tends to badger people, including guests, who do not fall into one of his two categories, with "Pick a side—we're at war."
  • Parodied in a 2014 episode of The Daily Show, as Jon Stewart tries to talk about Israel's actions towards Palestine, only to be immediately shouted down by the Daily Show correspondents, who criticize him for being anti-Israel, one of whom even calls him a "self-loathing Jew." This leads Jon to mention that being critical of Israel's actions does not imply approving Hamas' actions. However, this leads to the correspondents shouting at him for ignoring the plight of the Palestinian people.
  • Dominion: During the Extermination War, the higher angels declared neutrality, something that Michael respected. However, now that many of them have joined Gabriel, that agreement has been invalidated; Michael tells the higher angels living in secret in Vega to either stand with him, or leave the city.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Queen Cersei Lannister tells her son Joffrey that "Everyone who isn't us is the enemy." This is all very well when House Lannister is the most powerful and wealthy family in the Seven Kingdoms, but after years of war drain their resources they make an alliance with House Tyrell. Cersei fails to understand the necessity for power-sharing, and her efforts to undermine the Tyrells instead of working with them cause disaster for everyone.
    • Stannis Baratheon:
    Stannis: The Iron Throne is mine. By right. All those that deny that are my foes.
  • Iron Fist (2017). Once he gains the power of the Iron Fist, Davos goes round killing members of the Triads. Joy Meachum argues that this will make him a Hero with Bad Publicity, so Davos approaches Mr. Yip, a local businessman who was being shaken down by the Triad gangs, and offers his protection free of charge. Yip however is afraid of taking sides in the conflict and refuses the offer, so Davos decides he's with the Triads and kills him, to the shock of his own gang.
  • Napoléon: When Napoleon visits Fouché, the Minister of Police, to demand his support for Napoleon's coup on 18 brumaire, he states that Fouché must decide on the spot whether he's with him or against him. He also points out that he's now Fouché's only hope, since both the royalists and republicans will want to execute him for treason and conspiracy.
  • Our Miss Brooks: Mr. Conklin's given Miss Brooks this ultimatum a couple times, in order to force her compliance with a dubious scheme of his. Usually, however, Mr. Conklin chooses to warn Miss Brooks that it's in his power to make her time at teaching at Madison High "either very pleasant or very miserable."
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
    • Commander Kira tells this lesson to the Cardassians when they've started a rebellion. She's reminded in the same episode that Odo (her lover) used to be against the Bajorans while the Cardassians were occupying her planet.
    • Kira to Odo: "We used to have a saying in the resistance, 'If you're not fighting them, you're helping them.'" Kira holds a very dichotomised view of "collaborators", particularly in the days immediately after the Cardassian Occupation, and one which is challenged on several occasions through the course of the series.
    • In "The Darkness and the Light", members of her former terrorists cell were killed. Eventually she found that it was a Cardassian wounded in one of their bombings seeking revenge. He stated he'd been a civilian servant, not involved with the crimes against Bajorans, and worked in a building they bombed. Kira doesn't care-she considers them all guilty, as none of them should have been there on Bajor to begin with. Yes, there is a reason she admits to being a former terrorist...
  • Commander Dolim gives this ultimatum on Star Trek: Enterprise when he announces that the Reptilian and Insectoid Xindi have taken control of the Earth-Shattering Kaboom weapon and are going to use it on Earth. The other Xindi refuse to cooperate with him, and civil war breaks out.
  • Russel Hantz tried this phrase on Sandra during Survivor : Heroes Vs. Villains. Backfired spectacularly when Sandra immediately told him she was against him, something those on the Survivor Jury loved.
  • In Power Rangers S.P.D., Emperor Grumm gave Piggy this ultimatum to ensure that he had his aid in his conquest of Earth. Even when Piggy said that he'd swear allegiance to him, Grumm still demanded he go into a pit of torture for a day to think it over.

  • 'Which Side Are You On?,' the classic union-organizing song from the 1930s.
    They say in Harlan County
    There are no neutrals there
    You'll either be a union man
    Or a thug for J. H. Claire

    Professional Wrestling 

  • On The Coodabeen Champions, one-eyed Collingwood fan Digger once complained about how the umpires were running the game: "The way they were umpiring, you would have thought they didn't care whether Collingwood won or they didn't!" Tony pointed out that they weren't meant to care, prompting an angry rant.

  • Played with in The Bible. It's not so much as "us or them" as Jesus saying that neutrality on Him simply does not exist. Anyone who does good deeds is "for Him", even if they're an atheist, because God Is Good. Anyone who does evil deeds (i.e. sin) is "against Him", because sin is basically "an offense against God", even if that person worships God. In other words, it is impossible not to choose a side because your actions choose it for you, rather than you making a conscious decision on the matter. This is distinct from salvation, which only comes through accepting Jesus', including His Divinity, sacrifice and resurrection, in faith.
    • Luke 11:23: "He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth."
    • Luke 9:50 features an inversion: "Jesus said to him, "Do not hinder him; for he who is not against you is for you." For context, this verse refers to a man who was casting out demons in Jesus's name, but was not among the disciples. So the disciples told him to stop. Thus, the above quote.
    • James 4:4 is a warning to spiritual adulterers:
      "Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God."

    Tabletop Games 
  • Forgotten Realms has a paladin Order of Samular. Once they hunted a demon and an elven community that happened to be between them — surprise! — didn't allow a little army of human heavy cavalry to crash through their territory just so... "thus allying themselves with the evil tanar'ri." More than a generation (human) later elves were still upset about the resulting bloodbath and paladins "wary of elves and their unknowable, inhuman ways."
  • Warhammer 40,000 demonstrates what happens when you mix this trope into a setting that runs on Black-and-Grey Morality. The results, from the Imperium of Man and Tau Empire, are not pretty. In the Horus Heresy novels, this kind of view is expressed by many who are joining the traitors.
    Tarik Torgaddon: If those are my choices, then I am against you.
    • During the Horus Heresy, there was a planet called Bastion which tried to stay neutral in the big war and invited representatives from both the Emperor and Horus to make a case for which side to join. Unsatisfied, Horus ordered Bastion to be obliterated. The message to other planets was simple: you even consider allying with the Imperium, and you die.
    • Pretty much the exact opposite situation occurred with the Forge World of Xana II. While a hive of scum and villainy by Forge World standards, they decided to stay neutral during the Heresy as they already had significant territory and stood to gain little. The Warmaster secured their support with promises of relics and freedom of research, and they promised him Ordinatus Minoris Engines in return. The Loyalists attacked just as the handover began, and although they succeeded in destroying or capturing all three Ordinatii, the assault both got their Navy Battlegroup shot to hell by the Xanatite defense fleet and broke open the high-security prison of Anacharis Scoria, Dark Archmagos. Taking command of the defence with his personal force of enhanced combat robots he annihilated over half of the Astartes assault force and committed the planet firmly to the Traitor cause, where it has supplied the Traitor Legions for over ten thousand years. Good job, Dark Angels.

  • The Crucible: "A person is either with this court or against it, there be no road between."
  • In A Man for All Seasons, Thomas More does not like King Henry VIII's actions, but rather than complain, he keeps his mouth shut and refuses to say anything one way or the other. Unfortunately, Sir Thomas is widely known as one of the wisest and most honest men in the kingdom, and his silence makes his position on the issue pretty obvious to everybody. King Henry then lays down the gauntlet, and makes everyone in England swear an oath affirming his support of the King's actions, prompting the film's main conflict.
  • Pretty much said word for word in Love In Hate Nation by Susannah to Miss Asp as the girls destroy Nation and threaten her into joining them.

    Video Games 
  • In the second part of the BioShock Infinite DLC Burial At Sea, Elizabeth is making her way through the newly war-torn Rapture when Ryan gets wind of her and contacts her wondering what she is doing in the city and offers to let her fight for him. She makes it clear she's on her own mission and doesn't want anything to do with Rapture or his war. But Ryan, paranoid as always of outsiders, takes that to mean she's a "parasite" and sics his splicers on her.
  • The AI in the Civilization series often act like this: Trade with them, or be considered enemy; trade with their enemies and also be considered enemies. This is particularly visible in IV; there, it's near impossible to stay neutral unless you have the forces and tech advanced so no one want to wage war against you anyway, unless you have a different religion as Isabella, who invokes "With Us or Against Us" on your state religion.
  • Diablo III: Due to their half-angel half-demon heritage, humans of Sanctuary are utterly hated by most angels and demons, to the point of being obsessed with killing them even more than their "eternal enemies." The madmen among humans tend to return the sentiment. Examples include:
    • Demonkind decided to stop fighting angels and focused specifically on mankind, recognizing their potential and their corruption of evil itself. Belial and Azmodan in particular wage bloody and costly war instead of taking the smart route and stealing what they need to destroy everyone - their hatred of humanity is that immense. It is no wonder it eventually bites them in the ass, as the player character manages to figure out the Lord of Lies and utterly decimates the armies of the greatest military commander of the Burning Hells.
    • Angelkind could not stomach the demonic corruption of humanity, and left them to die as they focused on defending the High Heavens and fighting in pandemonium, even as the armies of the damned were routed straight to Sanctuary. Imperius constantly berates the player character, and Malthael went insane with a thirst for human souls.
    • Some humans find both of these attitudes disgusting and plan to kill anyone in their way, regardless of alignment. Examples include Zoltun Kulle and the Templar Grand Master.
    • Unfortunately this attitude is starting to bite the ass of all sides when the Humans managed to produce a God-like champion called the Nephalem, who has the power to wage a one man war against heaven and hell alike and is violently protective of humanity.
  • Dragon Age:
    • Dragon Age: Origins: The Big Bad Loghain's game-long paranoia regarding Orlais (Fantasy Medieval France), and his conviction that they're using the the Blight as a smokescreen to send in Grey Warden spies to infiltrate and retake Ferelden (Fantasy Medieval England) from within, becomes so intense by the end-game that he's convinced that you're either with him and thus the nation's continued freedom, or you're against Ferelden's independence and are an Orlesian spy/sympathizer.
    • In Dragon Age II, tensions between the mages and the templars in Kirkwall reach a peak when Anders blows up the Chantry that Hawke is forced to either side with the mages and protect them from the Templars or side with the Templars and exterminate the mages.
      • By Act III, Meredith is so paranoid that she believes that anyone who disagrees with her is a blood mage's slave. She refuses to acknowledge the possibility that her fellow Templars might disagree with her entirely of their own free will. You're either with her, or with the blood mages. This gets even more pronounced when she whips out her lyrium idol sword, which was the cause of Bartrand's insanity and also what pushes her to the edge.
      • By the end of the game, Anders has deteriorated to the point that anybody who does not explicitly share his exact opinions on mage freedom fighting is just as bad as an enemy. It's difficult to say how much of this is from Anders himself and how much comes from Vengeance.
    • Dragon Age: Inquisition: Sera claims to dislikes elven culture's "us against them" attitude toward humans, yet ironically holds this view between nobles and commoners, and "elfy elves" verses everyone else. It also comes to a head in her romance with a Elven Inquisitor, as she'll force you to choose between your elfy beliefs or the relationship.
      Sera: Take your elves. I'm just people.
  • The Elder Scrolls
    • In Morrowind, Balmora Mages Guild Stewardess Ranis Athrys has this attitude toward any mages who do not join the Mages Guild. Several of the quests she gives involve convincing these outsider mages to join the Guild, and in most cases, killing the mage in question is an acceptable quest resolution to her.
    • Skyrim:
      • Ulfric Stormcloak is like this. In the words of Jarl Balgruuf:
        Balgruuf (paraphrased): "To not fight with him is to side against him!"
      • Jarl Balgruuf of Whiterun is desperate to try remain neutral in the conflict. When first asked what side he supports, he replies "Whiterun's." He eventually is forced to choose, however and lends his support to the Empire.
      • After a certain point in the main quest the Blades discover that the Dragonborn has been working with Paarthurnax, who is a dragon and the former right hand of Alduin, and they refuse to cooperate with him any further unless he kills Paarthurnax for his past crimes against mankind. The player doesn't have to do this to finish the main quest, but the Blades cannot be convinced to let their grudge go.
        Delphine: "It's your choice Dragonborn: us or him."
  • In Fire Emblem Fates, both Hoshido and Nohr nations will treat you this way if you choose one side over the other, especially in the Revelations path if you choose neither side. A few individuals do eventually warm up to you.
  • Edelgard's belief in this in Fire Emblem: Three Houses is the reason they end up as The Heavy on every route besides their own. Some of their opponents sympathise with their intentions, but Edelgard feels the only way to change the world involves defeating anyone who isn't absolutely on their side.
  • Namm, the angelic god of justice from the Nexus War series, is so absorbed with the necessity of his war with the Manipulative Bastard demon lord Tlacolotl that he considers anyone not as dedicated to the war as he is to be a real or potential enemy. Casualties of this so far include mortals who haven't become angels fast enough, anyone who tries to sit the war out, angels who don't have perfect scores on the Karma Meter, and Azazel, another angelic deity who Namm didn't think was supporting him enough. Namm's attitude is the main recruitment method for Tlacolotl, yet at the same time Tlacolotl really is enough of a threat to the universe that it's not clear whether Namm is actually wrong or not.
  • In PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale:
    • This is the reason for Good!Cole MacGrath starting up a rivalry with Raiden.
      Good!Cole: You're either gonna help me, or I'm gonna stop you... here.
    • This is also why Spike fights Parappa. Parappa questions Spike's constant pursuit of monkeys, and asks him if he dislikes fun. Spike comes to the conclusion that Parappa must be working for Specter if he's defending the monkeys at all.
  • Shin Megami Tensei series as a whole can be summed up as "the armies of Heaven and Hell hate each other's guts but constantly point their weapons at neutral humans to the point of hating them even more." Figuring out why is usually a plot point; sometimes Humans Are the Real Monsters, but sometimes they're more powerful than they realize and the supernatural world fears them.
  • Victor Saltzpyre of the Vermintide series subverts the trope somewhat by playing it far more compassionately. He is an ardent believer that everyone is either with Chaos or against them.... but in his case, it means that he is willing to join forces with factions the Empire is usually on bad terms with, so long as the end goal harms their mutual enemy.
  • World of Warcraft:
    • The Scarlet Crusade believes its holy purpose is to destroy the Scourge. However, they believe that anybody who has not joined the Crusade is likely a carrier of the plague and is thus their enemy as well. Only when preparing to face Kel'thuzad have they grudgingly worked alongside other groups.
    • Garrosh officially adopts this philosophy as of Tides of War, declaring that all members of the Horde, even those who aren't in a military occupation (including civilians and shopkeepers) must swear absolute loyalty to him and him alone, or be put to death.
  • In X3: Albion Prelude, the Terran Conflict has this in spades in the war zones. The two human factions, the high-tech Earth State ("Terrans"), and their Lost Colony, the Argon Federation, are locked in a Guilt-Free Extermination War. Even if you're a loved Guardian of Earth in the Solar system and celebrated Federation Marshall in Argon Prime, the Argon Federation navy will blow your ships up left and right in the conflict zone because the Terrans like you more. The same applies with the Terrans if your reputation is ever so slightly higher with the Argon. If you're neutral with both, they'll take turns blowing your crap up. However, outside of these war zones both sides will happily sell you battleships even if they just blew your stuff up two systems over.

    Web Original 
  • Dream SMP: This Trope is pretty much the Eggpire's entire principle. While they do try and convince people who don't like the Egg to like it, they especially detest people who are neutral towards it, as it implies that the Egg has no influence on them.
  • The SCP Foundation thinks that the Global Occult Coalition are hypocritical Knight Templar who think Murder Is the Best Solution when it comes to the anomalous, but stories focused on them show they're really more of this trope. They're perfectly okay with anomalies as long as they aren't dangerous or don't break the Masquerade.

    Western Animation 
  • Lock-up in Batman: The Animated Series actually says, "If you're not part of the solution, then you're part of the problem." (Throughout the episode, he also blamed the "liberal media," as well as "gutless police, mindless bureaucrats, and coddling doctors" for society's problems, so he's really more of an outright criticism of conservative argumentation.)
    • In a different episode, Poison Ivy is also shown to have this view, and she also says the above sentence almost exactly the same way: Anyone who isn't treating plant life like they would their own children, to her, is someone who must be destroyed, hence why she is at odds with Batman before he even does anything.
  • In one episode of Daria Jane begins dating a guy named Nathan who is really into 1940s nostalgia, to the point that she begins dressing in 40's styled clothing on a daily basis. Eventually, Nathan proves to be a Straw Fan after his passive aggressive insults to Jane's clashing wardrobe leads an exasperated Jane to state "it's a fad, it's just for fun." Nathan counters about how he's one of the true believers left after everyone else moved on to a new fad, and Jane is either with them or against them. Jane kicks him out after he makes a disgusted comment about her owning sweatpants.
  • Zapp Brannigan in Futurama views the Neutral Race this way. "With enemies you know where they stand, but with Neutrals, who knows?" Therefore he decides to crash the Planet Express ship into their capital. "Another heroic battle in the war between Good and Neutral!"
  • Demona says this in the pilot of Gargoyles: "If you are not my ally, then you are my enemy."
  • The Legend of Korra: Used repeatedly throughout Book 2, usually by Korra herself, most frequently on Mako when he's less than one hundred percent supportive of her efforts to get someone, anyone to fight the Northern Water Tribe's occupation of her homeland.
    • It also gets turned against Korra when she gets between a group of Northern and Southern Water Tribesmen about to fight one another. The Southerners get angry at her for not taking their side.
  • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003), this is the main reason the Shredder takes on the Turtles for the first time, with them having turned down his offer to join him after learning who he really was, he declared this. And anyone who is his enemy, he destroys without mercy.


Video Example(s):


Yunnan and Olviia

Yunnan and Olivia are forced to serve their wicked king.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (14 votes)

Example of:

Main / WithUsOrAgainstUs

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