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"World of Cardboard" Speech

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"That man won't quit as long as he can still draw a breath. None of my teammates will. Me? I've got a different problem. I feel like I live in a world made of cardboard, always taking constant care not to break something, to break someone. Never allowing myself to lose control even for a moment, or someone could die. But you can take it, can't you, big man? What we have here is a rare opportunity for me to cut loose and show you just how powerful I really am."

A fundamental part of telling a story is conflict: you want the hero to have their problems and, hopefully, overcome them in a satisfactory manner. In many cases, that conflict is entirely external; the Big Bad is plotting to Take Over the World or otherwise spill the blood of the innocent and The Hero is out to stop them. But there is also that conflict which is emotional; it exists in their mind and usually forms a mental block that they cannot break through.

A "World of Cardboard" speech is where the hero acknowledges that this mental block has been limiting them. And because of a recent personal revelation about themselves and/or their situation, they have found a way to excel past their previous limits. This is heavily dependent on the context of the story and the life of the character. Despite the room for variation, each speech has to follow the same pattern to be a world of cardboard speech: the hero is having trouble from an emotional/psychological viewpoint, the hero has a powerful revelation, and then they give the speech.


In effect, this is a Eureka Moment that leads to a Heroic Resolve. The speech itself can vary depending on the revelation, but the crux of this revolves around the epiphany that the speech giver still has the power to effectively oppose their foe. Universal to all of these speeches is that realization and being subsequently empowered because of it. What happens after the speech is usually a case of The Gloves Come Off.

Because of how dependent it is on the individual character and story, the speech can overlap with any number of tropes, due to the context, and can come in many different variations:

Ultimately, the "World of Cardboard" Speech often ends up tying in to Character Development, offering direct verbal insight into their mind and/or explaining the overarching moral of the story. Because this is an epiphany the character had, it allows them to express themselves and draw the audience into their struggles.

Named for the popular scene from Justice League Unlimited featuring Superman. Fans have long complained about how widely his power level varies throughout The DCU. This speech has him explaining why he occasionally takes a beating, he is already so powerful he is worried of the harm that would happen if he gave it all he had.

Break Them by Talking is essentially the opposite of this, with a villain outlining the hero's flaws and effectively using it against them.

You can expect a Moment of Awesome if the villain attempts Break Them by Talking and the hero responds with a "World of Cardboard" Speech. The villain may respond with "This Is Gonna Suck."

Compare Right Makes Might, Rousing Speech, Heroic Second Wind, He's Back, Fridge Brilliance, Let's Get Dangerous!, Patrick Stewart Speech, and I Am Not Left-Handed.

Not to be confused with a literal World of Cardboard (and other materials). Unless the person giving the speech is a struggling jail warden or something like that, chances are this will have nothing to do with a Cardboard Prison. This is also not the same as the Cardboard World experienced by some LSD users according to Stanislav Grof; that would be more like a feeling that life itself is a Crappy Carnival.

By its nature, tends to be a climactic trope spoiling events of the story. Spoilers Beware.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Tsukasa from .hack//SIGN has a revelation about not needing to fear reality anymore, a la this trope, which enables his escape from "The World." In the process, he gives this speech.
  • At one point in the Attack on Titan anime, Eren can't bring himself to fight because of recent revelations creating subconscious doubt and the fact that he's been severely injured. His friends try to make him see sense, each in their own way characteristic to them. Mikasa simply says that "The world is a cruel place" and that there is no other option: it's fight or die. Armin tells Eren "Someone who can't sacrifice anything can never hope to change anything" and encourages him to abandon his humanity to combat an inhuman threat. Jean brusquely reminds him that everyone's trusting him enough to give their lives for him and that if they stop now, Marco's death will mean nothing. By the time Eren finishes, we're given a summary of everything that's influenced him and motivates him to keep going on, including the discussion of choices he had with Levi and being forced to live with the consequences.
    Armin: [earlier] Someone who can't sacrifice anything can never hope to change anything.
    Eren: [internal monologue] I know that... that's why I failed. I clung to my companions and my ties to them, and I failed. [I need to] remember... [flashbacks of fallen Survey Corps members and his mother getting eaten* (angrily) I'll wipe you all out... no, I'll kill you! There's no time to figure out if this is the right thing to do! Don't try to keep your hands clean! That's right... this world... is cruel!!! [cue Unstoppable Rage and Titan transformation]''
  • In Beyblade, Kai gives an awesome one before defeating Brooklyn.
    Kai: Kai. That's my name. And I'm a Beyblader. And you might think you are, but you're not. You learned from the best but you forgot a very important lesson. Beyblading isn't just about overpowering your opponent with fancy moves. That's only part of the game. There's more to it than that. Much more. That's why I have something you don't. I have learned from every battle I fought. Every friend, enemy, and spectator always had something to offer me. And I'm a student to this game. And I always will be. With the hardships of training, competitions, the wins and the losses, they all taught me something. And I've taken that knowledge and used it to my advantage. That's why I can say, that I'm a true beyblader. That's what keeps me going. And that's my strength. I don't think you ever will (understand). Because you're not a true beyblader. You have the power and the skill, but something is missing from inside you. You don't have the beyblading spirit! That's why I have to win this battle! Because beyblading means more to me than you could ever understand! IT'S NOT JUST A GAME TO ME! FINISH HIM NOW DRANZER!"
  • Bleach:
    • Ichigo tells Ishida about losing his mother, and after seeing his father and sisters suffer as a result, not wanting anyone else to feel the same. He states that he can't save everyone, but wants to protect as many people as he can, which makes Ishida reflect on his grandfather's teachings and accept his offer to fight the Hollows together.
    • Ichigo again at the end of the Deicide Arc having attained full control of his power after properly communing with his Zanpakutou. Able to literally wipe out mountains with a casual sword swing, he calmly tells Aizen that he has surpassed him in strength and is tired of Aizen's speeches. Made all the more awesome given at this point, Aizen and Ichigo are the two most powerful characters in the series, even surpassing Yamamoto (pre-Bankai).
  • In the manga version of Bokurano, Takami "Komo" Komoda, who was lonely and detached from the world for much of her childhood, plays the piano as part of a plan to lure out the enemy pilot, who has fled from his robot. She gives an internal monologue about everything she has noticed about the world, and how she considers it beautiful and something that could only come about as a result of a miracle.
    Komo: Thank you everyone. If only I had noticed what exactly surrounds me sooner. But it's okay, now that I have noticed. Noticed the world.
  • Rolo of Code Geass overcomes his training as a tool due to his feelings of brotherly love for Lelouch, enabling him to utilize his Geass so effectively he wipes out entire squadrons of Knightmares. Even as the strain is killing him, he's happily explaining how Lelouch has finally made it possible for him to feel like a human.
  • Cowboy Bebop:
    • Spike Spiegel gives one of these to Jet before he leaves for his final confrontation with Vicious. After spending the entire series running from his past, he's finally going to face it.
      Spike: There once was a tiger-striped cat. This cat died a million deaths, was revived, and lived a million lives, and he was owned by various people who he really didn't care for. The cat wasn't afraid to die. Then one day the cat became a stray cat which meant he was free. He met a white female cat and the two of them spent their days together happily. Well, years passed and the white cat grew weak and died of old age. The tiger-striped cat cried a million times, and then he died too. Except this time, he didn't come back to life.
    • Discussed a bit with Faye.
      Faye: Is that it? You're just going to throw your life away?
      Spike: I'm not going there to die. I'm going there to see if I was ever really alive.
  • Digimon Adventure:
    • In the finale, the Digidestined and their Digimon have been digitized by Apocalymon, their Digimon were reverted to their base forms, and their crests are destroyed. They realize that their crests were powered by their own spirits and thus they didn't need the physical items, and they return to face Apocalymon with a "World of Cardboard" Speech and proceed to battle him.
    • During the hunt for their crests, which allow their digimon to evolve into more powerful forms, they found that each crest represented something special and unique about them and it would only work when they were exhibiting those attributes. Tai's crest was Courage, but he tried to force Agumon to evolve by putting himself in harm's way, which caused a warped evolution into SkullGreymon, a violent berserker. A very traumatizing mistake, but Tai learned that courage wasn't rushing into a battle, but standing up against evil, allowing Agumon to evolve into his proper form, MetalGreymon. Each digidestined had to go through something similar (although not with warped evolutions) through the remainder of the season.
    • The original gives Agumon one about the strength of his bond with his friends in the 50th episode, at the climax of his fight with Mugendramon. The dub, being the dub, turns it into him reminding Machinedramon of exactly what it is his claws do to Digimon of his type.
  • Dragon Ball Z
  • There are some example in Eyeshield 21, but mention particular to Yukimitsu Inner Monologue before score a touchdown against the Shinryuuji Naga that is also a message to all the weakling, geeky type in the world of getting out and trying sports.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • In the first anime:
      Edward: Even after I became a soldier, war still seemed like something that happened in a far off land, where I couldn't see it... or someone else fought and died. It didn't seem real... I thought war had nothing to do with me... But now that... I learned there's someone who's willing to start war, who's going to start war, just for the Stone... I know that as long as there are people who seek the Stone's forbidden power, that bloodshed will keep happening... And I know the desire for that power, lurks somewhere in all of us... The Homunculi may throw fuel on the fire of war... But didn't the desire to bring back people we love, create them?... And if they're nothing more than products of our hearts and minds, no matter how pure our intentions... Then there will never be... a war, that isn't at least in some part, caused by all of us... ever.
    • And in the final scene (doubling as Book-Ends, as nearly every episode began with first the four sentences of this speech):
      Alphonse: Humankind cannot gain anything without first giving something in return. To obtain, something of equal value must be lost. That is alchemy's first law of Equivalent Exchange. In those days, we really believed that to be the world's one and only truth. But the world isn't perfect, and the law is incomplete. Equivalent Exchange doesn't encompass everything that goes on here, but I still choose to believe in its principle, that all things do come at a price, that there's an ebb, and a flow. A cycle, that the pain we went through did have a reward, and that anyone who's determined and perseveres, will get something of value, even if it's not what they expected. I don't think of Equivalent Exchange as a law of the world anymore. I think of it as a promise, between my brother and me. A promise that some day, we'll see each other again.
    • Roy Mustang also gives one to Ed, Al, and Winry when he tracks the brothers down after Ed and Al escape from Lior. It's about the difficulties he has as a veteran of Ishbal including killing Winry's parents, and how he came to Ed and Al not to bring them back to the military, but of his own volition in order to protect them.
  • In Gundam Build Divers, Kyoya Kujo finds himself and his Gundam AGE-II Magnum pinned down by a mercenary piloting a Providence Gundam. It takes Kyoya a bit before he realizes his opponent and those he's working for don't care for the video game world they live in. He's able to get behind him and admit that he was hesitant in finding the man who has been selling the Break Decals that have been damaging the game because he feared there were actual users who were using them because they loved the game. Now that he's come to realize that they don't, he's not showing mercy anymore. He, then, proceeds to rip the Providence's DRAGOON backpack off of him and in half, kick its beam rifle away, then obliterate the suit.
  • In the first few Haruhi Suzumiya books and pretty much the entire anime, Kyon is just trying to get by, to do what he needs to do to deal with Haruhi and little more, relying on Nagato to handle any really serious issues. Then the whole world changes, so that he could go back to a normal life. In the end, he decides (In a World of Cardboard Monologue) that he much prefers the old world, and is willing to go back and enjoy it head on, and no longer rely on Yuki so much, whom had caused the events of the story as part of a nervous breakdown. The Movie version of this is epic.
  • The Final Trials in Heartcatch Pretty Cure were pretty much this: the four Cures are set against their Mirage selves, embodying their own hang-ups (Tsubomi's insecurity, Erika's jealousy towards her sister, Itsuki's denial of being herself, and Yuri's regrets and failures). As each Cure fights, they come to realize that that's what makes them who they are and they'll use it to become stronger. It takes Tsubomi the longest since she isn't sure if she can confront that part of herself, but she does. It helps unlock their Super Mode in the end, so that's a plus.
  • In only chapter 6 of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders, Jotaro is on the losing end of his battle against Kakyoin, but keeps getting back up in spite of being heavily wounded. He then gives a speech about his motivations to fight, and the difference between him and his opponent. This promptly turns the fight around, leaving Kakyoin almost dead in the end.
    Kakyoin: And still, you get up. You are so pathetic; you're nothing more than a sandbag, about to be pummeled by a skilled boxer. Why even bother standing up? I'm just gonna knock you down again.
    Jotaro: ...Look, no one ever said Jotaro Kujo was a nice guy. I beat the crap out of people more than I have to. Some are even still in the hospital. I've had idiot teachers who like to talk big, so I taught them a lesson, and they never came back to class. If I go to a restaurant and the food's terrible, I make it a policy to stiff 'em with the bill. But even a bastard like me can spot true evil when he sees it! True evil are those who use the weak for their own gain and crush them underfoot when they're through! Especially an innocent woman! And that is exactly what you've done, isn't it?! And your Stand gets to hide from the victim, the law, and the consequences! That's why... I WILL JUDGE YOU MYSELF!!!
  • In Katanagatari Shichika is given a set of rules by Togame when they start travelling together. Towards the end of the story when he no longer is bound by them, he calmly explains to his opponents how each of the rules were holding him back, and demonstrates just exactly how powerful he really is when those rules aren't holding him back.
  • In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, Fate gives a totally epic one in episode 12 before going on to have her Big Damn Heroes moment.
  • In the finale of Mobile Fighter G Gundam, the hero, Domon, does one of these combined with a love confession in one of the most heartwarming moments in the series, and often considered the most genuine love story in the Gundam franchise.
  • A major Tear Jerker example with Licenseless Rider's speech in One-Punch Man:
    Licenseless Rider: No one expects much from me... They think a C-Class hero won't be much help. I know that better than anyone. I'm not good enough for Class B. I'm weak. I know that much. No one has to tell me I have no chance of beating you. I already... know that! And yet, I must try. It's not about winning or losing! It's about me taking you on right here, right now!
  • Detective Ikari does this in the last episode of Paranoia Agent. As one of the characters who has gotten some of the worst of it: he lost his job, his wife died, and he was too old to learn any new skills. His "World of Cardboard" Speech comes when he destroys the 2-D fantasy world with a baseball bat, claiming that the real world has no place for an old man like him, but that he would rather face that harsh reality than live in a fantasy world. It is truly epic to watch.
  • Sakura of Penguin Musume gives one to Marie, talking about her strength from the Power of Friendship. The weird thing was, that at this point, Sakura was gigantic and Marie wasn't. There was no real point to start a battle of wills that ultimately evened the scales after Marie gave her own World of Cardboard Speech where she said she didn't need her friends. And ironically, it was Marie saying she didn't need her friends that provoked them to give her their love and even the scales.
  • Happens at the end of Puella Magi Madoka Magica, when Madoka finally makes her wish to become a magical girl. The whole series up to this point lays out why she should never, ever do this, first because her naive selflessness would put her in danger, and later because this would literally cause a planet-scale apocalypse due to her uncontrollable power turning her into an unstoppable witch. But she realizes that there's a way around the latter problem, allowing her to use her immense power for good, and fulfilling her desire to sacrifice herself to save others:
    Madoka: I wish to erase all witches before they are born. All the witches in all the universes, both past and future. With my own hands! note 
    Kyubey: If a prayer like that were granted, it could unravel the fabric of time itself! It would go against the very force of karmic destiny! Do you truly intend to become a god?
    Madoka: I don't care what I become. All those who have fought against witches, who believed in hope as magical girls... I don't want to see them cry. I want them to be smiling to the very end. If any rule or law stands in the way of that, I will destroy it. I will rewrite it. That is my prayer... my wish. Now, grant my wish, Incubator!
  • Occurs in The SoulTaker when the protagonist, suffering from repressed guilt about Maya's death, allows the Soul Anubis to pummel him... until he comes to a realization.
    Kyōsuke: I wanted to feel the pain Maya suffered, even just for a moment. I felt that I should know that pain. But right now, no matter how many times I'm hit, I'm not able to feel the pain. So now, I'm ending it.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann:
    • Simon gets an awesome speech when he breaks out of his Heroic BSoD and comes to accept his own strengths and weaknesses instead of measuring himself against Kamina. Then he drills General Guame a new one.
      Simon: My bro is dead. He's gone! But he's right there on my back, and here in my heart! He lives on as a part of me! If you're gonna dig, dig to the heavens. No matter what's in my way, I won't stop! Once I've dug through — it means that I've won! Just who the hell do you think I am? I'm Simon. I'm not my Bro! I'M ME!! Simon the Digger!
    • And then there's the speech to the Anti-Spiral, which is on the quotes page.
  • At the end of Tiger & Bunny, Kotetsu gives one when he returns from his 10-Minute Retirement.
    Kotetsu: And you know what? I realized you don't get to set your own limits. Even after I lose my powers and get mocked by everyone or look ridiculous, I'm not going to let that stop me. I'm going to stay a hero to the very end. I'm not going to give up. Besides, it doesn't hurt to have a hero who's uncool, right?
  • Thunderbolt Fantasy: After a comment by Syou Fu Kan upsets Ken San Un, Ken mocks Syou for carrying himself like a swordmaster, but having a sword fighting style that has no flair or style to it as if he were instead wielding a blunt weapon, giving him the title "Edgeless Blade", which Syou feels fits him just fine. Moments later they are ambushed by the Black Demon Sect's Chou Mei who now has them all cornered to kill them. During the ensuing fight, Syou throws his sword aside to kill a Mook that was about to kill Ken. Chou Mei believes he has Syou cornered, when he suddenly picks a stick up off the ground. Ken tries to rush the sword back to him, but is startled when he realizes the sword is a fake made of silver-painted wood. Syou Fu Kan then proceeds to Curb-Stomp Battle all of the mooks with nothing more than the stick, including exploding some of their heads off:
    Chou Mei: You bastard! How did you do that without a sword?!
    Syou Fu Kan: You need to stop making dumb assumptions. See, I was never using a sword in the first place.
    Chou Mei: Impossible! This can't be!
    Syou Fu Kan: Did you think that only metal could form an edge?! Don't presume so much, boy! If you channel the right force into it, then hair and cloth can split flesh and shatter bone!
    Chou Mei: Just who in the world are you?!
    Syou Fu Kan: They call me the Edgeless Blade... apparently. Though we just came up with that. Now then... if you run, I won't chase you.
  • Vinland Saga: Canute delivers one in the first arc as he abandons his Shrinking Violet character and matures into a true prince intent on seizing and using the power available to him to build a better world. In the second arc, Thorfinn delivers a three-part speech as he comes to realize his views on life and suffering and matures fully into the All-Loving Hero that his father was. Notably, the third part is delivered to Canute and ends up deconstructing some of the motivation he described in his speech in the last arc.

    Comic Books 
  • Buffy Season Eight has this gem from Dracula after he loses his extra abilities. Toru intercepts his thrown sword, and Dracula takes it from him and slices him up while they exchange these words.
    Toru: Just like an old man. He needs his cane to stand. Doesn't know what to do with himself now that he's an ordinary vampire. Like the rest of us.
    Dracula: My boy... I was never an ordinary vampire. Or did you forget who I used to be? I've killed more men than God's plagues combined. And that was before I started eating people for fun. The fields of Europe used to steam with the blood of my enemies. Trust me... the vampire's the least of your concerns. It's the old man you need to worry about.
  • The Sandman:
    • Dream delivers one towards the end of The Kindly Ones, but it's an inversion: Dream does realize and vocalize his Fatal Flaw, but he's unable to do anything about it. It doesn't lead to Character Development, nor does it lead to Asskickery (even though, or perhaps especially because it could), and he knows it. Shortly after delivering the speech, Dream is dead because he can't break free of his own responsibility.
      Dream: Rules and responsibilities: these are the ties that bind us. We do what we do, because of who we are. If we did otherwise, we would not be ourselves. I will do what I have to do. And I will do what I must.
    • A more straightforward example would be in "Season of Mists", when he battles Azazel for the lives of Nada and Choronzon. Azazel reneges on his bargain to release them if he loses, only for Dream to explain that while they are in his realm, reality conforms to his wishes. He was honor-bound to treat Azazel (and his prisoners) as a guest when he entered the Dreaming, but after Azazel renounced Dream's hospitality, he had no such protection. As soon as Azazel reveals his intentions, he finds himself in a bottle in Dream's hands without his powers or prisoners.
  • The Mighty Thor Volume 3 Issue 3 has Thor searching for lost Asgardians after resetting Ragnarok. While in Katrina-ravaged New Orleans, Iron Man approaches him about having to register with the government... this being several months after Iron Man and Mr. Fantastic unleashed the robotic Thor clone that killed the second Goliath. Thor then decides to show just how insulted he was by initiating a Curb-Stomp Battle with Iron Man.
    [after Thor Mjölnirs Iron Man through a few buildings in one strike)
    Iron Man: Damn, that really... damn. You've... been... working out.
    Thor: No, there is only one difference. In this time and this place, I am no longer holding back
    [cue giant lightning bolt frying Iron Man's armor and Thor's Bring It speech]
  • Superman could be considered the king of this trope easily. His speeches at the end of the White Martian Invasion arc and the arc wherein Preus is introduced are damn near tear-jerking due to awesomeness alone.
  • The Flash:
    • The series had one of these during the classic "Return of Barry Allen" storyline. Up until then, the current Flash, Wally West, had been unable to run as fast as Barry Allen, his predecessor. He assumed it was just a natural limitation of his powers, even though he had run faster in the past, and other super-speedsters easily ran much faster than him. But when faced with an impostor who had impersonated his late mentor Barry Allen and ruined his good name, Flash broke his barrier in order to take the villain down. As it turned out, his speed limit had been subconscious; he was so scared of surpassing Barry (and thus replacing him) that he had throttled his own speed. After realizing this, Wally never had problems with speed limitations again.
    • A less intense example comes from The Flash: Rebirth, when Barry is running around, and Superman chases him.
      Superman: I've raced you before. I've even won some of those races.
      The Flash: Those were for charity, Clark. (Takes off in a sonic boom)
  • Syndablokk from Empowered gets one when he explains that his power causes nothing but collateral damage (he has elemental command of masonry and stonework). Being one of the (very) few decent heroes in this 'verse, he's extremely reluctant to use his ability unless the villain's already wrecked everything around him.
  • World War Hulk:
    • Not a speech, but when the Sentry finally showed up to face The Hulk, we get this exchange;
      Hulk: You don't want this fight, Sentry.
      Sentry: Yes. God help me, I do. Because you're the only one I can hit... LIKE THIS!
    • And just before, when the Hulk is about to give the thumbs up/thumbs down, the Sentry, on the other side of the country, listens, mimics the gesture.
      Sentry: You hear that, Bruce? It's time to play God.
  • An older example. Spider-Man, who was trying to take a break, gets annoyed when Ox of the Enforcers picked up the car he was in and tried to shake him out of it. Spider-Man explained how he usually pulls his punches to not kill people, but just realized Ox could probably take it before he punched him out.
  • Whenever The Kingpin was the featured villain of a story in the Silver Age, he usually gave one explaining his hidden muscle mass after someone mocked him for being "fat"; these speeches often came with demonstrations of power, with Fisk cracking his desk in half with one blow or soundly thrashing the person who'd laughed at him.
  • In Legacy, Cade gives a brief but powerful one during his Final Battle with Darth Krayt which acts as the culmination of his Character Development during the entire series.
    Cade: I know who I am, Krayt.
    [Cade effortlessly cuts down Krayt]
    Cade: I am a Jedi.
  • In Teen Titans, when Cassandra Sandsmark lost the powers Zeus gave her, Ares restored them. However, when she tried to fight Ares' evil son Lord Lycus, Lycus was able to drain the powers Ares gave her into himself. It is then that Cassie realizes all this time, she had been borrowing powers from others and not using her own innate powers as a demigod daughter of Zeus. Once she activates her innate powers, she proves far more powerful than Lycus.
  • X-Men member Rogue gives abridged versions of these speeches as her introduction. Her default power is to absorb the life-energy of anyone she touches along with an extra abilities like mutant powers. She also can't control this; anything more than the most glancing of touches will start the transfer, meaning she can't ever touch anyone. Really gives new meaning to the phrase "hurting the ones you love." Not that it ever stopped Gambit from trying, especially in the occasional instance where her powers were either dampened or she (for however long) had control of them.
  • Shadow the Hedgehog does this in Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog. After spending some time as Dr. Eggman's sidekick, he learns that Eggman was holding back things on Professor Gerald Robotnik and his past. Once he learns the truth and being able to say goodbye to Maria, he easily puts Snively (who had came after Shadow since he stole his last strands of hair) in a Curb-Stomp Battle and tells the sniveling lackey to tell Eggman that he knows who he is and he can shove his evil ideals.
  • Secret Wars (2015) finally has Doctor Doom admit out loud that which he would have killed anyone else for saying, that Reed Richards is his better.
    Doom: It's the same thing it's always been between you and I... YOU THINK YOU ARE BETTER THAN I AM.
    Reed: No, Victor. You're wrong. I've always believed you could be better than what you are.
    Doom: No. I mean NOW. This moment. If you had this power, you think you could have solved it all — solved everything... You think you could have done SO... MUCH... BETTER... DON'T YOU? DON'T YOU?!
    Reed: Yes. And we both know it, don't we?
    Doom: Yes, damn you...NOW DIE!

    Fan Works 
  • Episode 8 of Sword Art Online Abridged has Kirito, who jumps in to save a group of people he's never seen before in his life and probably will never see again, yelling out his speech in denial, or realisation, or anger, or probably all three.
    Kirito: You know something? I really hate people! They're selfish, ignorant, loud obnoxious pricks, with basically no redeeming qualities whatsoever. I mean really, look at all they've achieved! Genocide, global warming, reality TV, and just a never ending parade of failures and fuck ups! They are, without question, a complete write-off of a species, and how dare you make me care about them!
  • After Gohan finally achieves Super Saiyan 2 in Episode 60, Part 2 of Dragon Ball Z Abridged and effortlessly curb stomps the Cell Jr.s, he delivers a haunting one to Cell himself, all while never raising his voice above a menacing whisper.
    Gohan: Cell, you don't get it. I hate this. The vibrations through my fists on contact. The taste of blood in my mouth. The sound of my heart in my ears. I hate it. I always have. But right now, in this moment, the only thing I hate more than it is you. Because you were right about me. I was a coward. Scared of what would happen if I snapped. Afraid that, if I lost it this time, I'd never come back. That I'd finally kill someone. But I'm not scared anymore, Cell. Because there's no point in being afraid of the inevitable.
  • In Kyon: Big Damn Hero:
    Mikuru (big): So... in a roundabout way, you and I, together, even though I still stumble a little bit, are forging towards a brighter future. One that isn't predetermined to you, that doesn't damage the future I come from. If you understand what I said earlier... you have the power to change me. Not my past self, so directly... but your influence ends up helping me become the person I am. I could tell you everything, try to make it predetermined... I could say things were better or worse then they truly will be, and try to trick you into changing things for me. Once, I did - sort of - tell you about the goals of the people I work for. Instead, though, this time I'll do what Yuki-chan did. I'll tell you nothing, even if you would believe me. But I'm not trying to keep you in the dark because I want to manipulate you... I'm telling you as little as possible because I believe in you. I have absolute confidence that if I don't limit you, you will achieve something wonderful. And maybe, just in small, selfish bits... I might lead you towards something that I think we both would like...
  • Child of the Storm:
    • Thor (previously James Potter — the first attempt at the whole humility thing sort of backfired) give Snape a speech along these lines, referencing a canon Badass Boast.
      Thor: I am the God of Thunder and Lightning spoken of in ancient myth and whispered legend, Snape. I am he who battled Jormungand, the father of all great serpents, and fought the greatest Jotunheim had to offer when Merlin was but a suckling babe. I am Thor Odinson, God of the Vikings. Not a petty conjurer of cheap tricks. All the power of the storm, from all the world, flows through my veins. It can be summoned by my hammer at any time, wherever it is. A lightning storm in Japan? Mine. A hurricane off the coast of Barbados? Mine again. A brace of tornadoes in Kansas? Mine. All that might, all that destructive force, mine to command.
    • Harry provides a succinct one to a HYDRA assault team in chapter 74 when he has finally been pushed too far.
      Harry: You people and your guns. Did you think that they would protect you from me?
    The answer to that, by the way, would be no.
    • And in chapter 78, he provides an inversion, where he rejects The Final Temptation from Chthon (essentially, the power to "play God.")
      Harry: I never wanted power. I never wanted to be God. And I am done playing.
    • A much darker variant in the sequel also comes from Harry, given to the Red Room as he passes the Godzilla Threshold and becomes the Dark Phoenix.
      Harry: I am no man. You thought I was, or that I was something close. You thought that I was something you could tame, that you could control. But all along, I LET you do it. I LET you mess with my mind and body, because I was afraid -- not of you, but of me. I was afraid of cutting loose and being what I REALLY am. Well, guess what? I'm not afraid any more.
    • And later on, he mentions that he "lives in a world of glass" as part of a Blasé Boast.
  • From chapter 26 of The Doorstop, Nanoha gives a truly epic one to a Chaos Assassin.
    Nanoha Takamachi: The day before yesterday was the first time I killed. Six of them were valued employees, men and women with loving families and excellent career prospects who I had nothing but the utmost personal and professional respect for. The last two were my own adoptive children. Erio and Caro came from backgrounds that would have broken any lesser individual, and they came out happy, caring, and the finest recruits I have ever had the privilege of training. They battled against monsters and criminals, protected the innocent, and saved the life of the woman I love most in the world. Your animals, your killing machines? They do not deserve it." [...] "Here is what I am going to do, assassin. I am going to make sure the Hellhounds get the help they need, that they are given the chance to become productive members of society. I am going to stand against your gods' forces, no matter what strange powers or arcane technologies they might wield, and I am going to cleanse their masters' taint from their hearts, their minds, and their souls. Then, once all else is done, once the war is over and the universe is at peace once more, I shall go to your gods and I shall forgive them, for they have strayed far from their path and know not what they do. I shall forgive them, and I shall grant them what healing and redemption I can muster. People die in war. I can accept that. I am only one amongst billions. I can accept that. But even if this is impossible, even if I fail, this is the path I shall strive to walk. This is the will of Nanoha Takamachi. DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME?
  • Faren Brosca sort of gives one in Dragon Age: The Crown of Thorns while curbstomping the most powerful form of the demon that trapped them in the fade. Then again, it's not so much him letting loose as saying he's actually not under the influence of any empowering emotion or whatnot.
    Faren: You know, I could say I'm doing this because I don't plan on letting those important to me die. I could say it's because I'm in a hurry to get out of this Fade thing and find out what happened to Kallian. I could say it's because I had a sort of revelation that ever so epically opened my eyes to a sort of higher calling. And I could also start a long, pointless monologue about true strength and a heap of other stuff, during which, truth be told, I may not even know what I'd be talking about half the time. I could babble for hours about nonsense, but the truth is that, right now, I am simply kicking your ass because I just don't like you.
  • This concept is somewhat referenced in the Naruto/Justice League Crossover Connecting The Dots Superman has to teach all about not blowing stuff up when he's stopping crime.
  • From Shadowchasers: Torment Chapter 45:
    "It does seem like I've been gotten pretty full of myself hasn't it?" he finally said. "It's funny, but hearing you talk about how everything in the universe hinges on the balance between Light and Darkness, Chaos and Order, it made me realize something. I've..." He paused before sighing as he started again.
    "I've been way too inwardly focused, ever since I woke up in that morgue. At first, all I cared about was getting my memories back... With every clue to my past I chomped at the bit rushing from one lead to another... Everyone I met, friends, foes, they seemed so unimportant. The Dread Emperor, Willy, Kesto, even poor Ravel. I started treating everyone I fought as beneath me, thinking it would all be worth it once I regained my memories, and discovered my true self."
    "It seems that whoever I was before I met Ravel the first time... He was an arrogant son of a bitch... Maybe that's how I got into this whole mess...
    "But now..." His right hand clenched into a fist.
    "Now I know that getting my memories back, that finding my true self... it all doesn't mean shit if I only end up looking back with shame at what I was willing to become to get there! I'm not the only one with a stake in this fight... The people who took me in and treated me like family are risking their lives for something bigger then who's right or wrong, or who's more powerful. We're fighting to protect all of creation... Every human, every Shadow... Every resident of Heaven, Hell, and every realm in-between... If Tharizdun returns nobody will be spared, so I can't keep on acting like some petty little child and act like I'm above it all!" He drew the top card off his deck.
    "So I'll use the strength all of my opponents have given me, good or evil, strong or weak, and the lessons taught to me by everyone who's helped me when I needed them the most, and I'll take down you, Tiberius, and everyone else involved in this mad plan!"
  • In Time Braid: (after Sakura has finally tapped into her full potential)
    Hidan: You'll run out of chakra soon, but Jashin won't. He's a god, but you're just a fancy medic-nin.
    Sakura: [injury heals, chuckles] You know, I've been telling myself that for years. But as long as my Heaven Seal is active I can't fool myself. I see too much, and I can't miss the implications. I'm not just a medic-nin, Hidan. I'm the last native kami of this demon-haunted world, and my domains are insight and mystery. Not to mention that I just took about six levels of badass. Don't make me fight you, or you'll lose.
  • The Immortal Game: When Celestia regains her power after weeks of being depowered and tortured, she delivers a speech in a similar vein as the Trope Namer:
    Celestia: Centuries of boiling water for tea when I knew that I could boil the seas. Of lifting quills when I could lift mountains. Of breaking wax seals when I could break anything I please. My power is too much for this world. But it isn't too much for you, is it, Terra? Now I get to find out what I'm really capable of. No lives to save, no plans to make, nothing to hold me back. I am divinity unleashed.
  • In Reconciliation, Hanako, having received an angry "The Reason You Suck" Speech from Lilly, who is grieving over the loss of her husband Hisao and rejecting Hanako's attempts to console her, talks about her past, including the loss of her parents, her isolation, becoming friends with Lilly and Hisao, being upset by being pitied, and finally lashing out at them. Hanako says the loss of her friendship with Hisao and Lilly was worst of all because she knew it was her fault, and as such, asks Lilly to accept the support of those closest to her.
  • In chapter 20 of Ace Combat: The Equestrian War, Rainbow Dash delivers a speech to Gilda during their second confrontation after the war has already ended.
    Rainbow Dash: I hate to break it to you, G, but you've lost this battle the moment you attacked Firefly. No... actually, even back when you hurt Medley. But I've got to thank you for one thing. For challenging me! Thanks to you, I still have one more reason to fight and live! We may not be so different after all, but I can clearly see who is who. And you're not yourself! But since there is nopony else in the sky besides us, now you'll get a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see just how fast I really am!
  • Reharmonized Ponies:
    • Twilight has one after Fluttercruel makes her realize Fluttershy's motivation for becoming Princess Gaia/Nightmare Whisper, breaking her out of her mental block that'd plagued her the entire battle.
      Twilight Sparkle: You... you're doing this... not because you want to force yourself on others, you're not really doing this because you're scared of truth. You're doing this, you want to make the world fair, BECAUSE YOU'RE OUR FRIEND! And we're doing this BECAUSE WE'RE YOUR FRIENDS! We can't escape it! OUR FRIENDS CHANGE WHETHER WE LIKE IT OR NOT! I HATE IT! Discord showed me what I didn't want to see! That we could all grow into ponies different from the ones we made friends with! Ponies that may well drift away from each other! ... THAT'S THE PRICE OF HAVING FRIENDS AND — It's-worth-it! It will ALWAYS be worth it! Because if that pony was ever really your friend, then before or after doesn't matter, friendship is now! It doesn't have a future or past! No matter how distant, a friend is a friend! And my heart is more free BECAUSE I accept that!
    • This also activates the Element of Magic without the crown she normally needs. The others follow suit, activiating their own Elements with their own World Of Cardboard Speechs and finishing with Fluttercruel earning her Cutie Mark and realizing what it, and Fluttershy's, really mean, giving a speech of her own and summoning the Element Of Kindness.
    • In the Epilogue/Dark World timeline, Twilight and the rest of the the Element bearers have spent the last thousand years as Discord's brainwashed enforcers, stuck between being his playthings and carrying out his will. When Twilight suffers a Villainous BSoD following a meeting with Apple Pie (whose ability to find joy even in this world completely baffles her), she withdraws into her mind and, after much debate with other aspects of her personality and Cadence's spirit, decides not to give up hope, which finally frees her from Discord's taint. Upon awakening, she states the following:
      Twilight: I leave behind Tragedy, Master's tool, I leave behind Sparkle, Discord's toy, I am simply Twilight The Unicorn. I am me. I have magic to do and tragedies to face. I'm done hiding in the cage I've made for myself and those around me...I'm finally free. And I have some friends to make.
    • Similarly, when Liarjack is restored to Applejack after a Vision Quest and talking to Applebloom's spirit and the Father Of Alicorns, she gives a speech of her own:
      Applejack: Ah made a PROMISE TO APPLEBLOOM to look after her family an' it's 'bout time Ah kept it the right way! Ah'm done hidin' in lies. They work fer me, not the other way 'round. The Apple family. The Pie family... little Apple Pie, who'd laughed. Ah'm there fer ya all.
    • And again when Twilight and Applejack manage to restore Rarigreed to Rarity. We should probably just accept that this is going to be a staple of Dark World.
      Rarity: I am ugly. Inside and out. I'm a horrid creature. I won't hide from that any more! Desire has its own beauty, desire fuels progress. Without it, nothing can move forwards because nothing wants to move forwards. My desire for Tom to be real created something beautiful because I nurtured that desire for so very long! But I have been ugly. Divorced from reality for a thousand years. I've grown so strong, in some respects... but so much else about who I am has... stagnated. No longer. Desire is supposed to be honest. Desire is supposed to be straightforward, desire in its pure form doesn't hide its intent. I'm done hiding from truth. I'm still... desirous. I still want it all. And SINCE I want it all, then I'll ACCEPT it all, beauty and ugliness, in equal measure.
    • Justified, as awakening one's Element without the physical Elements seems to require a personal epiphany in order to happen.
    • We get another one when Spike awakes as the new Element of Generosity. His gets bonus points for also being a "The Reason You Suck" Speech aimed at Discord (who isn't even there).
    • And now Pinkie Pie's had one after her own Heel–Face Turn:
      Pinkie Pie: What do I decide? What should I do? It's like I can think clearly again, all I could see for a zillion years was bullies were my friends were supposed to be. ...I could try to make them up give the Elements... save my foals... but they've suffered enough...I can see that now...I was wrong...Twilight was right...I made them killers...I can only hope whoever's out there had mercy on them...And if they are in Pony Heaven, anything I give them in Equestria could never hold a candle to whatever Paradise provides them. But what if they're in Pony Hell like Twilight said? But how could I save them, if I brought them back by going back into the fog? I could just...quit...curl up and cry, let guilt crush me...but that'd hurt my friends. After all they did to save me, it'd be wasting this second chance I've been given...It's like they told Dashie...laying down and dying doesn't fix what I did... My niece...they're all here...they cared for me...they suffered to save me...they protected me...They cared for me...And I tried to throw them away...I can't make up for much...but I can make up for that... I'm sorry for what I've done...But I don't have time to let it crush me...I love my foals...but I can only pray their souls are in Pony Heaven...I love my friends...and they're right here...I'm free.
    • Rainbow Dash's is a bit delayed, but she does eventually give one that shows she's done tearing herself up over the choices she's made.
      Rainbow Dash: Yeah, I'm glad you didn't kill me, I'm glad until I got my head on straight you had me tied to a bed and set that mare to keep an eye on me so I couldn't try to rip my own Element to pull the plug. But I'm tired of 'what ifs', what if I'd chosen to turn right around and Sonic Rainboomed Discord into the ground a thousand years ago? Maybe it'd have killed him, maybe I'd have shattered every bone in my body and not left a scratch on him. It doesn't MATTER. I've spent the last THOUSAND YEARS obsessing myself with 'what if'. What if I'd made the other choice? What if I'd not turned down Grogar's offer to take out Discord? What if, what if, what if. Buck 'what if'! I didn't rip my heart out and show it to you so you'd be thinking about what ifs.
    • Twilight gives one during the Final Battle after hijacking Nightmare Paradox's time travel spell and combining it with her connection to Minty Pie, summoning the G1, G2, G3, and G4 Mane Casts to the present.
      Twilight: You have power over time? The magic between friends transcends time, space, reality, death, beyond all barriers! Friendship doesn't just pierce the barrier between life and death, but all barriers, everywhere! This is a friendship that pierces the walls between worlds! We've been made, unmade, and remade, but the links we've forged between our souls are all still here! You have six Elements of Harmony that are absolute? We have six sets of hearts beating together in harmony! You have a gallery of Nightmares? We have a herd of FRIENDS! I'm not scared. Not with all of you by my side. And neither are they scared by my side!
    • Rarity had been greatly traumatized by her time under Discord's control, and ashamed and terrified of both her Cutie Mark and her Element of Generosity, because Discord had corrupted them to corrupt her. She has an epiphany after helping Diamond Tiara make a dress for her mother and breaks out of her funk. She gives this internal monologue:
      Rarity: I managed a smile. Maybe I was being foolish. But I knew this wasn't pointless... or at least, I didn't believe it was. And I think I finally understand. Making things beautiful and making beautiful things is simply what I am good at. A pony is not a slave to their cutie mark no matter what they teach you in school. It's your guide, not your master. My Element and my Cutie Mark are not the same thing, have never been the same thing, and I was a foal for believing they were. If making beautiful things and making things beautiful are what I'm good at, and my Element is to be generous towards others, of course I'll share my talent with them. But that isn't the only thing I can share. Letting my sister help, spending time with others: those are generosities too, not just giving away THINGS. And I should have remembered that when Twilight's spell made me relive those moments I had been true to that inner spirit. But I was too scared of what I had done. I'll never know how much of what I did was Discord's taint or my own choices, but I'm not ashamed anymore. Not as long as I remember that no matter what riches cross my path, my greatest treasure is at home, and she is waiting for me. And whether I find someone to live my life with is up to me. For the first time in weeks, I finally feel free.
    • Bright Eyes gives one at the climax of her 7 Dreams/Nightmares story, when she realizes that she's fighting Cruel Eyes/D___t's Shadow in her own mind and has been stupid letting him make the rules and is able to overcome the fear he's been causing her the entire time. She promptly uses the control over her mind this gives to reconfigure her weapon and give her the opening needed to finish him off.
      Bright Eyes: And I'm an idiot! I've been letting YOU set the rules and what goes and what doesn't here. You've had me so caught up in this mess I hadn't thought this through! This is all in MY head? MY mind? MY soul? That means I can do anything I WANT! And I've always had with me the lance that pierces the darkness! And now that I've realized that, I've got no reason to be afraid of you anymore!
    • Celestia gives one at the end of her Reharmonizing side story after realizing that while her subjects do fear her, they don't hate her as she had feared, allowing her to let go of the guilt she's had ever since the Day of Chaos.
      Celestia: I am Princess Celestia. I remember the big bang. I have seen things ponies can never comprehend. I am the Day itself...and my subjects fear me. But they do not hate me. They fear me as child fears their mother. I have guilt I must live with, but what a chaotic tyrant made me do is not among the things I should be ashamed of. I now know that I am both feared and loved by my subjects as their ruler and their mother. And I both love and fear for them the same way. I am free.
  • Another great MLP example is Nyx's after-the-fact speech toward the end of Past Sins about why she threw herself between the ponies of Ponyville and a horde of monsters from the Everfree forest.
    Nyx: As an alicorn, I can bear the burdens no other pony can. I threw myself in the way of a Lupus Major to protect Twilight because, while the beast wounded me, it could have easily killed Twilight. The pain I endured saved not just one life but lives all over Ponyville. It's far better for me to be wounded if it means somepony, anypony, can continue to live and be happy. I can be bruised, battered and beaten but, as long as there is still breath in my lungs, I will continue to protect ponies. I will protect them, because what can kill them I can survive, because what hurts them is but a scratch for me, because it's the one thing I've been able to do right.
  • An interesting variation, delivered to the protagonist, from Calvin and Hobbes: The Series (after Calvin had nearly gone insane from trying to avoid Laser-Guided Karma):
    Susie: Calvin, you live by your own rules! You make things up! You create! You destroy! You tease temptation! You do all sorts of horrible things, most of them to me, yes, but then there are days you do good all on your own! You shouldn't let something like Karma run your life! You need to be rude and nasty and gross and weird, so that you can be good on your own accord.
  • Another MLP story, the AU Rainbooms and Royalty, goes directly to the source and has Twilight Sparkle (who's been repressing her power ever since her traumatic entrance exam) paraphrase the Trope Namer when fighting Blackened Armor (aka her Brainwashed and Crazy brother).
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic/The Dresden Files crossover The Dresden Fillies Bon Bon delivers one summarizing who Harry Dresden is.
    Bon Bon: You're a man of iron and blood, stone and fire. Touched by darkness, but not overcome by it. Beaten and damaged, but unbowed. Unrelenting in word and deed, in thought and creed. You would lay siege to Tartarus itself if that's where Twilight had been taken. And all because she's your friend. Because you would do anything to keep her safe. Because you care.
  • The Powers of Harmony: Twilight says this after Blair throws her off the edge of Neighagra Falls in an attempt to make her use her powers.
    Twilight Sparkle: For ten years I've felt restless, like I'm stuck in a tiny box that's pushing in on me from all sides. I feel a constant pressure on my font at all times, like a wild animal pulling on it's chains just begging for release. It's only gotten worse since this magical growth spurt started, and now I feel a constant tingling in my horn, like my magic is trying to spill out. I've desperately wanted to let go, to just start firing off as much magic as I can, but I haven't because of what happened the last time I did that. When I had that Flare ten years ago, I experienced a sensation like nothing I've ever had before, nor since. Not only was I completely immersed in my own magic, but all the magic around me, as well. I could see the safety wards in the room and all around the castle, the magic being cast by students in the school, and even all the magic out in Canterlot itself. For the briefest of moments I was connected to all the unicorns around me, and when I saw all of that, it was a simple matter to unravel the spell surrounding one little dragon egg. It felt good—no, it felt amazing. In that instant I had access to more magic than I'd ever dreamed, and I wanted it all. I wanted to learn every single spell I saw, and then I wanted to learn every other spell there is, as well. Since then I've dedicated my life to understanding as much about magic as I can, but it's never enough because there’s just so much. Equestria is huge, the world is huger still, and the universe is of a size and scale that's beyond comprehension. We haven't even scratched the surface of how magic works, and all I want is to learn and see as much of it as I can. I know my work will never be finished, but that's comforting in a way, because the saddest day of my life would be the day there's nothing left to learn.
    Blair: So why have you been holding back? Your Absorption power will help you achieve more than you could ever dream.
    Twilight Sparkle: Because I won't able to stop. Back then, I just wanted to keep having that feeling of immersion and connection with all the magic around me, and I tried to take all of the magic around me into myself. I didn't know what I was doing, and instead of absorbing the magic, I redirected it to the ponies around me. It's a small miracle nopony was hurt, and didn't want to take that chance again. And you want me to return to that. I stood at the edge of a terrible precipice that I was only barely able to turn away from, and you'd have me take a running leap off the edge?! You'd force me to release something I know I won't be able to control because I couldn't even handle it's shadow?! I only have one thing to say to that! Be careful what you wish for!
  • In the Pony POV Series Chaos Verse, Fluttercruel gives one during the Final Battle right before using chaos to fight back against Nightmare Phobia and gaining her own cutie mark.
  • In Perfection is Overrated, before the final confrontation with The Usurper, Nagi and the remaining SUEs, the Himes reject his offer of a perfect world, speaking of how they have overcome their flaws while their opponents did not.
    Yukino: All of us were once powerless. We've had to struggle against everyday difficulties, as well as those unique to our own lives, and change and grow stronger to continue on in life, even before we became Himes. With these new powers, we've had to question ourselves, do things we never even thought possible and face odds that were against us even with our powers! But when have things ever been difficult for you or the SU Es before now? Have any of your problems been significant enough that success was not guaranteed? Because you haven't faced adversity, you don't have what it takes to win!
    Midori: Getting this far was impossible for us at the beginning, even once we'd awakened our powers. It might sound like I'm ripping off an anime, but we've had to become better fighters, grow as people and survive multiple battles in order to be able to face you, without being handed any of that on a silver platter like you were! If your SUEs had become stronger, they might have been able to defeat us, but they couldn't grow, and so were defeated because we surpassed them! Our victory will be one we have earned ourselves!
    Nao: [when the Usurper asks if they wish to keep the world the way it is in spite of its flaws] Nothing is perfect! Bad things happen to us in life, some of which happen without reason and some of which are our own faults! This world is, to some degree, the one we deserve! But people can change, and they can improve themselves! They might not ever achieve 'perfection,' but whatever world they make would damn well be better than whatever you come up with if your SU Es are any indication of what you consider perfect!
    Shiho: Life doesn't always give you what you want. Sometimes the object of your dreams or the person you desire is beyond your reach no matter how hard you try. Sometimes your goal is impossible before you even begin. But life goes on, and you can find new reasons for living, new goals, new people to cherish, and sometimes you may even find that your old goal was not what you truly wanted! You could never realize any of this if you simply got what you wanted all the time!
    Shizuru: Imagination and reality are two separate things. Often, things you'd hoped for don't quite measure up in reality. But sometimes, something or someone defies your expectations and yet is wonderful in its own unique way. An endless fulfillment of all your fantasies would deny you this satisfaction, and render all the times your wishes were granted meaningless!
    Natsuki: I was offered such a world once. But I realized that it was just that, a reflection of my deepest desires that could not ever become true, and chose to continue to stay in this one! If I rejected a world based on my own personal desires, what makes you think I would accept one based on yours? I would never sacrifice the joys and sorrows of my own life to become a mindless slave for your pleasure!
    Mai: Each one of us has a person that is special in their own way. We've spent time with them, bonded with them, allowed them to become important to us, and become a part of each other's lives. We can name a few ways in which those people fall short of perfection, but many others in which they've touched our hearts, influenced us, and made us happy. They will never be perfect and I'm not sure how close they are to being as good as they can be, but they're precious to us and they've become irreplaceable parts of our lives. If we were to accept your world, we'd give up all of who we are and who they are, and that's why you must be stopped!
  • Friendship Is Showtime has Haru spend several chapters in a Heroic BSoD induced by his Superpowered Evil Side nearly killed Twilight. The mane cast finally help him out of it by telling him You Are Not Alone, restraining the Dragon Phantom with the Elements and allowing him to access Flame Dragon against Phoenix. He proceeds to give a version of the Trope Namer speech as he Curbstomps Phoenix.
    Haru: Phoenix – You're strong, and you seek to find strong opponents to fill that void of yours. Me? I've got a different problem. Ever since I got these powers, I felt like I lived in a world made of cardboard. Taking care not to not break something, break somepony. Never allowing myself to slip to Dragon's control, even for a moment otherwise somepony could get hurt. But you can take it, Phoenix. What we have here is a new opportunity for me to cut loose and show you a real SHOWTIME!
  • Justice League of Equestria: Rainbow Dash/Supermare gives one at the climax of the first arc of Mare of Steel, during her final fight with General Zod:
    Zod: You could have been more than some costumed fool. You could have been a great leader. You could have been a god! Why are you throwing this away for mere weaklings?
    Rainbow Dash: Because I love them! They raised me from when I was a foal! They showed me all the good that's in this world, and they were by my side throughout my life, encouraging and comforting me as I grew! They never abandoned me, or said I wasn't worth it; not when I failed my first flight exam, not when my father died, not when I fought against Nightmare Moon and Discord, never! They made me the mare I am today, and I am grateful that I have such great ponies surrounding me! And you know what? They accept me for who I am; I don't love them because they see me as a god, I love them because they see me as Rainbow Dash!
    Zod: Then you are just as weak as they are!
    Rainbow Dash: I'm not weak. I am Supermare! [punches Zod]
  • Turnabout Storm: After Phoenix finally gets the much needed lead he needed to find a way to the truth behind the mystery, and after a much needed realization regarding the eerily similar to his mentor Sonata, he delivers to himself a short but effective inner speech before stepping back into the courtroom:
    Phoenix: I was given one more chance, one more chance to find the truth. It's either sink or swim. Even if she tries to have me arrested for intrusion. I got her on the stand; it doesn't matter anymore. It's time she pays her dues for all she's done... Including the murder...
  • A variation where the character giving the speech is not the one who delivers the imminent beatdown: in A Certain Destined Introduction, Misaka Mikoto is feeling alone, hated, and guilty; her power seems like it's useless, she's beginning to think she only ever destroys things, and she's about to give up... and then Kuroko steps up and makes it perfectly clear just who the Railgun is, to the villains and Mikoto herself.
    Kuroko: Indeed, she is a criminal. Taking the law into her own hands, reading manga without paying for it, mistreating public vending machines, electrifying people indiscriminately just because they annoy her; even stealing game arcade coins without a second thought. To be honest, she's the picture-perfect law-breaking delinquent. But, so what? She might be a criminal, but you are ten times worse! You trick others into doing your dirty work for you, hurt our students and threaten Hitomi-san with their lives, and spread horrible rumors while hiding behind your status at school — while you're a coward, Onee-sama is noble and brave, and she helps anyone no matter who they are! It doesn't matter what you say! The truth is still the truth, AND THE TRUTH IS THAT MISAKA MIKOTO-ONEE-SAMA IS A TRULY AMAZING HUMAN BEING!
  • In the Fairly Oddparents fanfic, Never Had a Friend Like Me, Norm is still mostly a sarcastic individual, but vaguely nicer since meeting his newest master. After he saves Timmy, Amanda, and Cosmo, Wanda, and Poof from the Pixies and Anti-Fairies, he banishes them, except for HP and Anti-Cosmo, whom he restrains, and delivers an awesome speech to them, detailing how being a genie grants him powers beyond comprehension, and how after performing wishes for all kinds of masters has removed any restraint he would otherwise have. The two can only quiver in fear.
    Norm: That's an understatement. Maybe you and your buddies are starting to think your little magic tricks make you invincible. Maybe you think you're actually powerful enough to withstand any obstacle. I think you're just a bunch of idiots who've forgotten exactly who you're dealing with. There is a reason why genies spend most of the time locked up. We're famous for being tricky to deal with, but that because you don't want to deal with us when we're done playing around. We have no rules or real limitations on what wish we can grant. Do you have any idea what that means? Anything we want to do is possible as long as someone wishes for it. Da Rules, bad luck, and trying to achieve perfect order limits what you can do. Not a genie. And we have the raw magic power to back up that sort of limitless potential. I want you to imagine for a moment exactly what that means about the kind of wishes I've dealt with in the past. Not every master I've had was a saint. I've dealt with thieves, warriors, spies, murderers, psychopaths, and politicians. I've heard every warped idea they've ever considered to the point where I find any wish practically predictable. Even with the amount of twisting I can do to a wish, I have to grant some rather distasteful desires at times. I can honestly say that I've granted some wishes that would give you nightmares. Me and morality parted ways a long time ago. I need you to consider what this all means for you. I need you to consider exactly what it truly means when you've manage to make a genie, someone with enough magic to make you look like a second-rate stage magician and a history of granting wishes regardless of how unthinkable they might be ethically, completely furious with you. ''
  • Anthropology: Lyra and her human friends have put on the Elements of Harmony in an attempt to stop Discord from wiping out humanity. When Discord corners them, Lyra and her friends find themselves at a loose end, while he gloats and claim that humanity is just begging for the end to come. Lyra starts talking about how when she first came to Earth, Lyra was lost and didn't know what she was doing, thanks to the friends she's made, and all the help they gave her, she not only knows she can be a human, but she as well as the rest of humanity can accomplish anything. The Elements thought it was awesome speech, because they activated and defeated Discord.
    Lyra: I'd only just gotten here when I met Audrey, and she was my first friend. She let me stay with her. Without her kindness, I would have been lost in this world. And then I met Nathan, and he gave me something — just a guitar, but it meant so much. I finally found what I was meant to do as a human. It's one of the most generous gifts I've ever gotten. And Randall welcomed me into his band. I got to perform music with real humans. And he even helped me find my parents. Even now... He's always shown some real loyalty. Even if he thought I was crazy. Out of all the weird new things I experienced in the human world, that airplane was the strangest... But I wasn't afraid, because you (Paul) shared your laughter with me. You helped me overcome one of the hardest challenges of all, Monica. All this time I'd been lying to everyone. But you... You convinced me that I had to be honest. To my family. To all of you. To myself. And I'm so much happier now that everyone knows the truth about me. Of course we can. Magic has nothing to do with this... The important thing is that I realized that all these humans were the best friends I'd ever had, and that I belonged here in this world with them. I thought I'd never be a normal human, but thanks to them... I know that we can accomplish anything. [the Elements activate]
  • This post from r/AskScienceFiction answers the question "Why do you resist us?" with a literal Patrick Stewart Speech about how the Borg's self-proclaimed "perfection" is a fallacy.
  • In Origin Story, it is Alex's acceptance of the fact that she's not merely a physical copy of Power Girl, not merely the memories of Xander Harris, but a person in her own right made from many, many parts that allows her to stop running and be the hero she was always meant to be.
  • In The Institute Saga 3, Superman gives one just before he and Apocalypse start fighting.
  • In the original version of the I Am Going to Save and/or Destroy Equestria! chapter "Today I Reach For The Stars" (before the author changed the outcome to him winning due to superior tactics and a power-up due to negative comments complaining he had become a God-Mode Sue), while battling Crunch the Rock Hound and Squirk the Sea Fiend, Ambrose has an epiphany that all this time, he had been limiting his magic by the laws of physics and causality. In Equestria, magic is only limited by your imagination and willpower. Thanks to this, he is able to perform feats nopony had ever believed possible, curb-stomp the two, and even briefly control almost all of reality, even the sun and moon.
  • In Ranma Saotome, Chi Master, Qiáng Wang decides to lure Ranma into a confrontation, thinking has a good idea of the young martial artist's skills. But Ranma explains that the whole reason he was fighting in Kowloon Walled City was because his Guru wanted to teach him restraint, and he's kept himself at that level out of habit. But since he's fighting relatively tough opponents, and doesn't have to worry about his surroundings, he won't hold back.
  • Escape From the Moon: In the sequel The Mare From the Moon, one happens in chapter 15. Unusually, it's a character doing this on behalf of somepony else:
    Twilight Sparkle: I... asked her about that, after Starlight told me about the whole thing. She compared it to something from one of Spike's comics, actually. That most of the time, she feels like she lives in a world of cardboard, and that she always has to hold back to keep from breaking everything around her. Daybreaker is what happens when she doesn't care enough to hold back anymore, to let loose with everything she has without worrying about the consequences. And that's something that she'd only use as an absolute last resort.”
  • Triptych Continuum:
    Spike had been taught to be careful: scales were rougher than flesh, claws more edged than hooves. To realize that every moment spent among ponies was an instant where he could cause harm without meaning to, and so he never did.
    His family was under attack, and nictitating membranes flickered across his eyes as he swiped to draw blood.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Kung Fu Panda, Po learned that the duty of The Chosen One was to fight Tai Lung and was terrified, as despite all the strides he made as a martial artist he didn't believe in himself. The Dragon Scroll was revealed to be blank but shiny, a reveal that took Po some time to comprehend. There is no "secret ingredient," your strength comes from your own effort and not some outside power. Since Tai Lung spent his life desiring the secret of the scroll and became a bad guy over it, it becomes a Breaking Speech that lets Po get the upper hand against him.
    Tai Lung: You cannot defeat me. You... you're just a big... fat... panda!
    Po: I'm not a big fat panda. I'm the big fat panda.
  • Tiana's speech to Facilier in The Princess and the Frog when he tries to lure her by material want rather than the love she always had.
    Tiana: My daddy never did get what he wanted...but he had what he needed! He had love! He never lost sight of what was really important!
    Dr. Facilier: Easy with that thing! Careful!
    Tiana: AND NEITHER! WILL! I!
  • Frozen: "Let It Go" serves as one for Elsa expressed through Awesome Music. Having spent most of her life concealing her ice powers, she is discovered and runs from her kingdom. Once she realizes she has nothing to fear and no one to accidentally hurt, "Let It Go" comes on and she starts using her powers to their full extent, creating snow creatures, a new wardrobe, and an enormous castle. In some ways, it is a subversion, though, as even when using the full range of her powers she still did not have full control and traded one form of isolation for another, and accidentally injured her sister Anna. When Anna sacrificed herself to save Elsa, and in turn her love for her sister was enough to reverse the effects of the frozen heart, Elsa realized that "Love can thaw a frozen heart" and she gained full control of her powers, finally able to reverse the eternal winter at will.
  • A Bug's Life: During the climax of the film, Flik gives one to Hopper in response to his statement that the ants are just lowly life forms who are meant to serve grasshoppers, having realized that Hopper keeps bullying the ants and trying to keep them under his thumb because he's actually afraid of them and are well aware of what they're capable of. The ants quickly realize Flik's right and are galvanized into beating Hopper and his men back.
    Flik: Ants are not meant to serve grasshoppers. I've seen these ants do great things... and year after year, they somehow manage to pick enough food for themselves and you. So who's the weaker species? Ants don't serve grasshoppers! It's you who need us! We're a lot stronger than you say we are. And you know it... don't you?

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle has Harold's tirade to his coworkers at the end.
  • The Hustler makes it clear from the beginning that although Fast Eddie is a talented pool player, his attitude is holding him back. It's no surprise that he eventually gets his World of Cardboard Speech. Now, how he gets it, on the other hand...
  • At the end of Serenity, River admits to Simon as he lies dying from a gunshot to the stomach that she understands that she's always relied on him and the rest of the crew to take care of her through her helpless madness. Then, she adds that now, it is her turn to take care of them. Cue awesome.
  • Jules' coffee-shop speech near the end of Pulp Fiction:
    There's a passage I got memorized. Ezekiel 25:17. "The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of the darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy My brothers. And you will know I am the Lord when I lay My vengeance upon you." Now... I been sayin' that shit for years. And if you ever heard it, that meant your ass. You'd be dead right now. I never gave much thought to what it meant. I just thought it was a cold-blooded thing to say to a motherfucker before I popped a cap in his ass. But I saw some shit this mornin' made me think twice. See, now I'm thinking: maybe it means you're the evil man. And I'm the righteous man. And Mr. 9mm here... he's the shepherd protecting my righteous ass in the valley of darkness. Or it could mean you're the righteous man and I'm the shepherd and it's the world that's evil and selfish. And I'd like that. But that shit ain't the truth. The truth is you're the weak. And I'm the tyranny of evil men. But I'm tryin', Ringo. I'm tryin' real hard to be the shepherd.
  • Shadow of a Doubt:
    • Uncle Charlie's unspeakably evil "this world is a hell" speech:
      Charlie: You think you know something, don't you? You think you're the clever little girl who knows something. There's so much you don't know, so much. What do you know, really? You're just an ordinary little girl, living in an ordinary little town. You wake up every morning of your life and you know perfectly well that there's nothing in the world to trouble you. You go through your ordinary little day, and at night you sleep your untroubled ordinary little sleep, filled with peaceful stupid dreams. And I brought you nightmares. Or did I? Or was it a silly, inexpert little lie? You live in a dream. You're a sleepwalker, blind. How do you know what the world is like? Do you know the world is a foul sty? Do you know, if you rip off the fronts of houses, you'd find swine? The world's a hell. What does it matter what happens in it? Wake up, Charlie. Use your wits. Learn something.
    • This speech is actually pretty tragic, because of Uncle Charlie's optimistic youth; it is also a turning point for Little Charlie, as she goes from optimism to seeing the world as a foul, hypocritical place.
  • In The Karate Kid Daniel took an injury to his leg, leaving him out of the final match. Everyone said that Daniel did great and shouldn't think that removing himself because of such an injury is a sign of weakness. Daniel makes a plea to Miyagi that even though he almost made it to the tournament finals if he didn't face Johnny in the final match he would never have balance with the Cobra guys or in his relationship with Ally, or in himself. That was an effective lesson to Miyagi that his student finally understood his training.
  • In The Matrix Revolutions, Neo gives a rather brief, but effective, one to Smith, when the latter demands to know why Neo persists in fighting him.
    Neo: Because I choose to.
  • Labyrinth. "For my will is as strong as yours, and my kingdom as great — You have no power over me!"
  • Jack Skellington sings one of these near the end of The Nightmare Before Christmas, in the song "Poor Jack." He is having a Heroic BSoD about his failure to bring about Christmas, starts reprising Jack's Lament, starting with the line "I, Jack, the Pumpkin King"... then remembers that, yes, he is the Pumpkin King, and will work hard on making next Halloween even better. It also has Jack realizing while what happened didn't go as planned, he gave it his all and there were still good parts to it. While he screwed up he wouldn't regret what he did because it was still worth the problems.
  • Mark "Rent" Renton gets one at the end of the adaptation of Trainspotting. It's the closing monologue to the film that closely mirrors his opening monologue.
  • The Lord of the Rings film series:
    • The Two Towers:
      Sam: I know. It's all wrong. By rights we shouldn't even be here. But we are. It's like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo; the ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end... because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was, when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it's only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines, it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you, that meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn't. They kept going... because they were holding on to something
      Frodo: What are we holding on to, Sam?
      Sam: That there's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo. And it's worth fighting for.
    • And at the climax of The Return of the King, given by Sam:
      Sam: Do you remember the Shire, Mr. Frodo? It'll be spring soon. And the orchards will be in blossom. And the birds will be nesting in the hazel thicket. And they'll be sowing the summer barley in the lower fields and eating the first of the strawberries with cream. Do you remember the taste of strawberries?
      Frodo: No, Sam. I can't recall the taste of food, nor the sound of water, nor the touch of grass. I'm naked in the dark, with nothing, no veil between me and the wheel of fire! I can see him... with my waking eyes!
      Sam: Then let us be rid of it, once and for all! Come on, Mr. Frodo. I can't carry it for you... but I can carry you!
  • Taylor Reese has one in Knockaround Guys:
    Taylor: Five hundred fights. That's the number I figured when I was a kid. Five hundred street fights and you could consider yourself a legitimate tough guy. You need them for experience. To develop leather skin. So I got started. Of course along the way you stop thinking about being tough and all that. It stops being the point. You get past the silliness of it all. But then, after, you realize that's what you are. You learn a lot of things on the way to five hundred. None more important than this. [headbutt]
  • Villainous example in Last Action Hero.
    Benedict: Gentlemen. Since you are about to die anyway, I may as well tell you the entire plot. Think of villains, Jack. You want Dracula? Dra-cool-la? Hang on, [takes out the ticket] I'll fetch him. Dracula? Huh. I can get King Kong! We'll have a nightmare with Freddy Krueger, have a surprise party for Adolf Hitler; Hannibal Lecter can do the catering, and then we'll have a christening for Rosemary's Baby! All I have to do is snap my fingers and they'll be here. They're lining up to get here, and do you know why Jack? Should I tell you why? Hmm? Because here, in this world, the bad guys can win!
  • The final battle in 8 Mile is B. Rabbit making one giant "World of Cardboard" Speech in free style form.
  • Inception has an interesting version of this, in that the emotional conflict and the physical conflict are the same thing, through the character of Mal. It is an interesting version of the relationship between the physical/emotional conflict, but the "World of Cardboard" Speech comes in this dialog:
    Cobb: I can't stay with her anymore because she doesn't exist.
    Mal: I'm the only thing you do believe in anymore.
    Cobb: I wish...I wish more than anything, but I can't imagine you with all your complexity, all your perfection, all your imperfection. Look at you, you're just a shade. You're just a shade of my real wife. You're the best I could do, but...I'm sorry, you're just not good enough.
  • At the climax of The Prestige, Angier delivers one of these, also a Final Speech.
    Angier: You never understood... why we did this. The audience knows the truth. The world is simple, miserable, solid all the way through. But if you can fool them, even for a second... then you can make them wonder. And you get to see something very special. ... You really don't know. ... It was the look on their faces.
  • Watchmen has Dr. Manhattan recite one to Ozymandias towards the end after Ozymandias attempted to kill him by tricking him into going through the same accident that turned him into Dr. Manhattan in the first place, and thought he succeeded.
    Manhattan: I'm disappointed in you, Adrian. Do you really think you can kill me? Reassembling myself was the first trick I learned. It didn't kill Osterman... did you really think it would kill me? I have walked across the surface of the Sun. I have witnessed events so tiny and so fast they can hardly be said to have occurred at all. But you, Adrian, you're just a man. The world's smartest man poses no more threat to me than does its smartest termite.
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984). "I take back every bit of energy I ever gave you. You're nothing, Freddy. You're shit."
  • Return of the Jedi:
  • Batman gets one at the end of Batman Forever.
    Batman: I'm both Bruce Wayne and Batman. Not because I have to be. Now, because I choose to be.
  • At the end of Terminator 2: Judgment Day Sarah Connor gave an epilogue that showed where both she and John Connor had changed over the course of the movie. The entire time they were thinking that Judgement Day was inevitable and that all machines were the enemy, when they were surprised by the compassion shown by the terminator sent to protect them. It ends up overlapping with a Patrick Stewart Speech.
    Sarah: The unknown future rolls toward us. I face it for the first time with a sense of hope... because if a machine, a Terminator, can learn the value of human life... maybe we can too.
  • Harry Potter: Neville Longbottom gets a particularly Badass one in the eighth movie when he's invoking As Long as There Is One Man:
    Neville Longbottom: It doesn't matter that Harry's gone. People die every day! Friends, family. Yeah, we lost Harry tonight. He's still with us, in here. So's Fred, Remus. Tonks, all of them. They didn't die in vain. But you will! Because you're wrong! Harry's heart did beat for us! For all of us! It's not over!
  • Hal Jordan in the Green Lantern movie has one when he talks to the Guardians just before the climax. He was told that he was given the ring because he embodies the Corp ideal of being fearless, but he constantly doubts himself because he knows full well what he is afraid of and refuses to share them. When confronted with Parallax coming to destroy Earth, Carol told him that he isn't fearless, but courageous. He can overcome fear. This made him realize why the Corp had so much trouble with Parallax, they were "too afraid to admit they were afraid." Talking to the Guardians, he confessed his human weakness and explained that overcoming fear is the key to beat Parallax.
  • This one from Billy Jack:
    Billy: Bernard, I want you to know... that I try. When Jean and the kids at the school tell me that I'm supposed to control my violent temper, and be passive and nonviolent like they are, I try. I really try. Though when I see this girl... of such a beautiful spirit... so degraded... and this boy... that I love... sprawled out by this big ape here... and this little girl, who is so special to us we call her "God's little gift of sunshine"... and I think of the number of years that she's going to have to carry in her memory... the savagery of this idiotic moment of yours... I just go BERSERK! [cue Curb-Stomp Battle]
  • At the end of Ben Wheatley's trippy historical thriller A Field in England, the cowardly, obsequious Whitehead gets one as he's being hunted by the intimidating alchemist O'Neill.
    O'Neil: You cannot escape the field, Whitehead!
    Whitehead: Then I shall become it! I shall consume all the ill fortune which you are set to unleash. I shall chew up all the selfish scheming and ill intentions that men like you force upon men like me, and bury it in the stomach of this place!
  • In The Avengers (2012), after having people walk eggshells around him to avoid provoking him for the entire movie , Dr. Bruce Banner finally gets asked to 'get angry' so that his alter ego can help fight off an alien invasion. His response?
    Bruce Banner: I'm always angry (Hulks out in less than a second and punches a space whale in the schnozz, stopping it dead in its tracks)
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron has one where requesting the other person to drop the mental block: Hawkeye sums up to Scarlet Witch how the odds are all against them, but he'll keep on fighting, so it's better that she drops her reluctance, and becomes an Avenger. It works.
    Hawkeye: Hey, it's your fault, it's everyone's fault, who cares? Are you up for this? Are you? Look, I just need to know because the city is, is flying. Look, the city's flying, we're fighting an army of robots, and I have a bow and arrow. None of this makes sense, but I'm going back out there because it's my job, and I can't do my job and babysit. It doesn't matter what you did or what you were; you go out there, you fight, and you fight to kill. You stay in here, you're good. I'll send your brother to come find you. But if you step out that door, you are an Avenger.
  • Captain America: Civil War: After confronting Zemo outside the base where the other Winter Soldiers were held, Black Panther comes to this conclusion.
    T'challa: Vengeance has consumed you. It's consuming them (Cap, Tony, and Bucky). I'm done letting it consume me.
  • Mr. Smith Goes to Washington: By the end of the movie, Smith is barely standing, public opinion has been turned against him in his own state, his newspaper has been shut down by Taylor's goons, and he's about to face expulsion. But even then, he stands his ground.
  • In Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Bruce attends Clark's funeral in Smallville and ends up talking to Diana about how badly he screwed up. He promises to live up to Superman's ideal and wants to find the other metahumans and bring them together. Diana is uncertain that will work because she has a low opinion of humanity, while Bruce asserts that "Men are still good."
    Bruce: The circus back east is burying an empty box.
    Diana: They don't know how to honor him, except as a soldier.
    Bruce: I failed him in life, I won't fail him in death. Help me find the others like you.
    Diana: Perhaps they don't want to be found.
    Bruce: They will, and they'll fight. We have to stand together.
    Diana: A hundred years ago I walked away from mankind, from a century of horrors. Man made a world where standing together is impossible.
    Bruce: Men are still good. We fight, we kill, we betray one another. But we can rebuild. We can do better. We will. We have to.

  • Sondra Marshak and Myrna Culbreath's published Star Trek novel The Prometheus Design is all about Spock doing the "shouldn't hold back" type, encouraged by the legendary Vulcan explorer Savaj to accept and embrace his inner Badass. It seems that Vulcans have all kindsa super powersnote  and badass abilities, but Spock, living among Puny Earthlings as he does, doesn't want to acknowledge his. According to the authors, Canon Spock was an extremely watered-down version of what he and Vulcans are really capable of. Pick up a copy of — well, any of Marshak and Culbreath's published Star Trek novels, or go read anything in the ''Kraith'' series starting with Volume Four which was where Marshak came on board the writing teamnote . Marshak just loves this trope.
  • In Harrison Bergeron, Harrison goes down to the TV station, and before he takes off his handicaps, says "even as I stand here — crippled, hobbled, sickened — I am a greater ruler than any man who ever lived! Now watch me become what I can become!" And then it's all heavily subverted when he promptly becomes a corpse, thanks to a dictatorial surgeon general armed with a shotgun.
  • In Tales of an Mazing Girl gives one to as a reason of why she doesn't kill-and thus is better then him. Shes glad her very conservative Uncle isn't present though.
  • Discworld:
    • In Lords and Ladies, Granny Weatherwax gives the Queen of the Elves one of these when she explains why she's better than her.
    • Even closer example: the all-powerful Coin, from Sourcery, describes living in the fragile world of non-sourcerers as "like trying to sleep on a bed of eggs". It's implied that all such sourcerers eventually feel obliged to leave the Discworld's reality to avert living in a World of Cardboard. He is, though, also a bit more literal about it: Magic is anti-reality. Whenever he uses too much of it, things that are as natural to him as breathing, he thins the world that much more - and when the world gets too thin, the things outside want to get in.
  • Bill Fitzhugh's Pest Control has this when Bob and Klaus are cornered by an armed assassin. Klaus says they need a weapon. Then a lightbulb goes off in Bob's head, and Klaus actually watches his shoulders square with Heroic Resolve as he declares that the entire city of New York is a weapon, and then proves it by killing their pursuer by running through a few restauraunts. Any further detail would spoil the book, so I'll just say it makes Jason Bourne look like a putz.
  • While not a Villain per se, Tyburn in Rivers of London was an interfering bitch who was determined to crush the protagonist for her own political ends. When she gives him a "Reason You Suck" Speech about how useless he is and how easy it was to stop him, Peter Grant's comeback is awesome. Made doubly so because he totally owns her in front of her entire family of river spirits causing matriarch Mama Thames to applaud him for doing so.
  • In the Vampire: The Requiem supplement "Danse Macabre," a wonderful story of the Chicago vampires running in bits between the chapters climaxes with an antiheroic version of this. Prince Maxwell Clarke confesses to the diablerie of Norris Spiegel in a scene that's half "World of Cardboard" Speech and half "Reason You Suck" Speech adding up to a Moment of Awesome as he shares a recent revelation: He's truly sick of pushing himself to his limits keeping the city safe for a bunch of ingrates who use that safety to plot against him and abuse and mock him for his efforts to keep the peace. The speech goes on a while and is interrupted a couple of times, but this excerpt sums it up nicely:
    Prince Clarke: I'm tired of being lobbied, taken for granted and schemed against. I am now, officially, a tyrant. You all knew I'd ignore my own laws, Persephone here proved that, and I'm sick of the pretense. I get to do whatever I want. You don't. You don't Embrace, you don't kill one another, you sure as hell don't commit diablerie, but if I feel like it, I can do any of that. I think you'll put up with it, I really do. Because the alternatives are worse. Because in my tenure, I've run this city better than any Prince anyone can remember. Because with me, Chicago works. If you don't agree? Think you can do better? All right, try to upset the apple cart. Just remember Norris. He had half of us blackmailed, he was old and smart and had a legion of spies behind him. Look where he ended up.
  • In Perelandra, although he doesn't actually make a speech, Ransom gets physical on the Un-Man, once a fellow professor before he was possessed by a Demon. The realization that he can actively hate this enemy (being ultimately a thoroughly evil superhuman being) without the usual guilt or conflicted feeling unexpectedly makes him capable of terrible things.
  • In John Dies at the End, Dave becomes determined to save Amy, a girl being victimized by the same supernatural forces that he is. After a narrow escape from the shadow men pursuing her, and after opening up to her about his Dark and Troubled Past, he puts his foot down:
    Dave: We have no idea what they were doing to you, Amy, when those things took you all of those times. But they're not going to do it again. This being scared bullshit, it's exhausting for me. And you know, I reach a point where I say, you can kill me or tear off my arms or soak me in gasoline and set me on fire, but you won't keep me like this, imprisoned by fear. Now, after everything I've seen, I'm not really scared of monsters and demons and whatever they are. I'm only scared of one thing and that's the fear. Living with that fear, that intimidation. A boot on my neck. I won't live like that. I won't. I wouldn't then and I won't now.
  • In The Hollows novel The Undead Pool, the elf community has turned on Trent, and his businesses are taking a hit due to his ex-fiance Ellasbeth leaking information about them. She attempts to forcibly take custody of their daughters, and it doesn't go at all well for her. In the aftermath:
    Trent: Birthright is given. Power is earned. I still have it, and it is growing, not failing. This lost wealth will strip the dross from me and show what I am. This union between me and demons proves my foresight and courage. The girls are mine. I'm still willing to allow you to see them because I have felt the pain of being apart and it was almost too much to bear, but if you try to take them again, I will come down on you with everything I have. Do not push it, Ellasbeth. You've not seen the depths of what I'm capable of.
  • Journey to Chaos:
    • For all of A Mage's Power, Eric lacked confidence in his own abilities and leaned heavily on the spirit of Dengel as a Heroic Host. When they have a falling out, Eric musters the courage to confront him, and once he is victorius, he announces that he doesn't need Dengel anymore. He will face the future on his own strength alone.
      Eric: I don't need your power. I don't need your encouragement. I don't need you. Now begone.
    • Tiza has suffered amensia for years before the series began. It causes her confusion about her past and identity. Then she meets Haburt, whom she's subconsciously terrified of but she refuses to admit to it. When he makes his move and recreates a crucial momment from her past, she admits to this fear and steps forward confidently to overcome it. Then he sheds light on her past and tells her the identity of her parents.
  • The crucial final exchange between Meursault and the Priest in Albert Camus' The Stranger. According to him, the world is a cardboard:
    Meursault: From the dark horizon of my future a sort of slow, persistent breeze had been blowing toward me, all my life long, from the years that were to come. And on its way that breeze had leveled out all the ideas that people tried to foist on me in the equally unreal years I then was living through. What difference could they make to me, the deaths of others, or a mother's love, or his God; or the way a man decides to live, the fate he thinks he chooses, since one and the same fate was bound to “choose” not only me but thousands of millions of privileged people who, like him, called themselves my brothers. Surely, surely he must see that? Every man alive was privileged; there was only one class of men, the privileged class. All alike would be condemned to die one day; his turn, too, would come like the others.
  • In Honorverse commodore Sir Aivars Terekhov's Pre-Mortem One-Liner towards brigadier Francisca Yucel combines a Kirk Summation with The Reason You Suck and an internal epiphany: long wrought by his Survivor Guilt towards the subordinates he had lost because he thought he wasn't good (or ruthless — this comes up later) enough, and tortured with the moral responsibility for the orders that would make thousands dead, Terekhov finally comes to realization that, yes, he is ruthless, but that's okay — so long as there are people in the world like brigadier Yucel, who are fine to vent on.
    "Why is it," Terekhov asked conversationally, "that people like you always think you're more ruthless than people like me?"
  • Silence by Shusako Endo is a Historical Fiction novel dealing with persecutions of Japanese Christian in the 1600s by the Shogunate. The lead character, Fr. Rodrigo is wracked by the "silence of God" in the face of the sufferings undergone by the faithful and the ineffectiveness of any attempts at martyrdom. Eventually, he apostasizes to prevent the sufferings of other captives and yet another apostate comes to him and treats him like a priest, insisting that they apostasized because they were weak and not strong, but they did not suffer the less for being so. This leads him to an epiphany where the act of compassion towards other people's sufferings and the capacity to share other people's pain is by itself proof of God:
    Fr. Rodrigo: Even now I am the last priest in this land. But Our Lord was not silent. Even if he had been silent, my life until this day would have spoken of him.
  • Oathbringer (third book of The Stormlight Archive): Odium tries to convince Dalinar that he drove Dalinar to commit the war crimes that turned him into a Broken Ace, seeking to leverage this surrender of agency into full-fledged control. Dalinar refuses to give in, declaring that atoning for the atrocities he committed turned him into the man he is today.
    Dalinar: Journey before destination. It cannot be a journey if it doesn't have a beginning.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the series finale of Extras, after taking a role on Big Brother, Andy finally realizes the absurdity of the measures he's taken to be famous and that none of it is making him any more happy, culminating in one of the most heartfelt and effective on-camera indictments of celebrity culture.
    Andy: You are literally the gutter press. And fuck you, the makers of this show as well. You can't wash your hands of this. You can't keep going 'Oh, it's exploitation but it's what the public wants.' No, the Victorian freakshow never went away. Now it's called Big Brother or X-Factor, where in the preliminary rounds, we wheel out the bewildered to be sniggered at by multimillionaires. And fuck you for watching this at home. Shame on you, and shame on me. I'm the worst of all because I'm one of these people who goes 'I'm an entertainer. It's in my blood.' Yeah, it's in my blood because a real job's too hard...Someone once said that I'll never be happy because I'll never be famous enough, and they were right.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Tyrion telling Shae that despite the betrayal and outmaneuvering by his family, he wants to stay in King's Landing because he both belongs there and he likes playing the game against his family and the other manipulators of the city.
    • Littlefinger's awesome "chaos is a ladder" speech to Varys. Destroying "the Realm" isn't the end, it's an opportunity.
    • Jon Snow's Honor Before Reason speech when everyone is ticked off that he refused to swear a false oath, even with the fate of the world riding on the situation.
    "I'm not going to swear an oath I can't uphold. Talk about my father if you want, tell me that's the attitude that got him killed. But when enough people make false promises, words stop meaning anything. Then there are no more answers, only better and better lies. And lies wont help us in this fight."
  • The Suite Life of Zack and Cody episode "Summer of our Discontent" had Zack go to summer school. He can cope with the work, but this brings resentment from the other students who go on to give him a wedgie every time he impresses the teacher, until he learns to keep his mouth shut. He finally gets tired of pretending to be less intelligent than he is and gives a speech that doubles as both this trope and "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
    Zack: You know what? That's it. There's nothing wrong with being smart. In fact, and this'll probably shock you, but outside these walls it's considered a good thing. So go ahead, call me a nerd. But next year, when you're all here, I won't be. I'll be taking The Road Less Traveled right to the beach!
  • Angel:
    • The series had one of these in the appropriately titled episode Epiphany. In the previous handful of episodes he had managed to alienate his entire team because he was under the impression that there would be some sort of Grand Finale where the forces of evil are defeated forever. After having a morally devastating realization on the universality of evil, he resolved that all he could do was simply help the innocent. This epiphany wavered as his life kept taking turns for the worse, but he regained it right before the end; he even referenced it in his Rousing Speech three seasons later, just before the series' Grand Finale. It's all the more awesome as, in the previous episode, "Reprise", Holland Manners delivers Angel his version of the speech about evil's implacability, which causes Angel's brief Heroic BSoD.
    • Season Five's You're Welcome was a world of cardboard episode. Angel had been losing his hero spirit dealing with Wolfram and Hart machinations. Cordelia woke from her coma to restore that resolve and to warn him of a plot against him by Lindsay. In the climactic mano-a-mano, Angel beat the snot out of him saying, "All those tattoos, all those new tricks you've learned... just don't matter. Doesn't matter what you try. Doesn't matter where I am or how badass you think you've become. 'Cause you know what? I'm Angel. I beat the bad guys."
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • The series had one when she asked for help from the Watchers Council about learning exactly what Glory was (The Big Bad of the season). The council subjected her to a long series of tests to prove her worth, but she eventually refused, explaining her own epiphany. Glory actually respected Buffy because she was the Slayer, that she had power. The Watchers Council didn't have the power to stop Glory, so their tests on Buffy were pointless and only an exercise to make them believe they had some control. This speech left the Watchers council dumbfounded. Of course Buffy was also dumbfounded when the Watchers relented and revealed that Glory was a hell demon god.
    • Used again in the Grand Finale. The speech was instigated by the First Evil mocking her for being the lone Slayer. Buffy then had an epiphany regarding the Slayer legend given from the beginning of the series, and she decided to ignore that limitation.
      Buffy: So here's the part where you make a choice. What if you could have that power, now? In every generation, one Slayer is born, because a bunch of men who died thousands of years ago made up that rule. They were powerful men. This woman... (Willow) is more powerful than all of them combined. So I say we change the rule. I say my power... should be our power.
    • And used again in the Season Seven episode, Bring On The Night. Buffy, after spending an episode fleeing, with her friends, from a supposedly unkillable, prehistoric "uber-vampire," finally meets him face-to-face, in front of her friends, and gives a speech:
      Buffy: Look at them. They're terrified. Meat for the beast. You're going to kill them, and there's no way I can stop you. You can't be killed. But, see, here's the thing: I don't believe that. I always find a way. I'm the thing that monsters have nightmares about. And right now, you and me are going to show them why.
  • Battlestar Galactica (2003):
    • Admiral Adama gets at least two of these per season.
    • There were two in the season 3 finale. One by Lee Adama (which is too long to put here, but is in the quotes page), and a short one by:
      Saul: My name is Saul Tigh. I am an officer in the Colonial Fleet. Whatever else I am, whatever else it means, that's the man I want to be. And if I die today, that's the man I'll be.
  • A particularly dark use, and inversion, of this trope in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. The "in"famous episode "In the Pale Moonlight" had Sisko relate his story in a computer log about his efforts to convince the Romulans to participate in the Dominion War. Finding that simple logic wouldn't work, he sought the help of Garak and other criminals to falsify evidence. He struggled with the serious moral and ethical compromises he had to go through to achieve this. By the end he stood up and instead of being morally untouchable he stated with growing conviction that the benefits outweighed the moral standing of one officer, even himself... and then erased the log.
    Sisko: At oh-eight-hundred hours, station time... the Romulan Empire formally declared war against the Dominion. They've already struck fifteen bases along the Cardassian border. So, this is a huge victory for the good guys! This may even be the turning point of the entire war! There's even a "Welcome to the Fight" party tonight in the wardroom!... So... I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover up the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But most damning of all... I think I can live with it... And if I had to do it all over again... I would. Garak was right about one thing – a guilty conscience is a small price to pay for the safety of the Alpha Quadrant. So I will learn to live with it...Because I can live with it...I can live with it. Computer – erase that entire personal log.
  • Farscape: Crichton who makes the wormhole weapon and decides to go and tell everyone that they suck for wanting it, and threatening to let them all die. He explains why he shouldn't have made it in the first place. Also a Moment of Awesome.
  • Firefly:
    • The speech that Simon gives Jayne at the end of Trash, where Jayne suffered an accidental neck injury immediately after Simon learned that Jayne tried and failed to collect on their bounty in a previous episode:
      Simon: No matter what you do, or say or plot, no matter how you come down on us... I will never, ever harm you. You're on this table, you're safe. 'Cause I'm your medic, and however little we may like or trust each other, we're on the same crew. Got the same troubles, same enemies, and more than enough of both. Now, we could circle each other and growl, or sleep with one eye open, but that thought wearies me. I don't care what you've done, I don't know what you're planning on doing, but I'm trusting you. I think you should do the same. 'Cause I don't see this working any other way.
    • Which is then capped off by:
      River: Also? I can kill you with my brain.
  • Kamen Rider The original rider suffered from this originally in that while his strength had been greatly increased his physical responses still assumed he was normal. So breaking a sink while trying to turn it on or hurting another person while trying to comfort them or throwing bad guys into walls so hard they explode... Since he's the first Rider he tends to give plenty of speeches to both enemies and other Riders.
  • Kamen Rider Decade
    • The series features a slight twist on this. During the final confrontation in each world, the Big Bad will deliver a Breaking Speech to Tsukasa and that world's primary Kamen Rider. Tsukasa will counter with a World of Cardboard Speech, not for himself, but for his current partner, explaining their motivation and how that makes them a real hero - which is typically the main point of the other Rider's original TV series, as Decade is an anniversary show. This is also typically the point where Tsukasa gains access to his partner's powers as per Decade's conceit of Power Copying.
    • In Movie Wars, Decade unknowingly delivers a "World of Cardboard" Speech simultaneously with Kamen Rider Double, seconds before they cross over. What's notable about this is that the subject of their speeches are almost the same, even culminating in the two of them alternately declaring their respective catchphrases.
  • Pushing Daisies featured quite a lot of these, many of which were aided by the narrator.
  • Doctor Who:
    • Inverted in the episode "The Waters of Mars" when the Doctor has the epiphany that he doesn't have to follow the rules anymore because he is the last of the Time Lords and the laws of time belong to him. But when he tries to act on this epiphany and save the remaining crew of Bowie Base One, Captain Brooke shoots herself rather than allow him to play with the future chain of events he himself told her was immutable. He realizes he has a mental block, says the speech, attempts to kick ass fueled by the power of his new outlook, but mostly fails.
    • The 2005 episode, "Bad Wolf" holds an exchange between the Doctor and a Dalek and features quite an impressive Badass Boast.
    • Much later on, the newly minted Doctor (XI) in Series 5 has just saved the world and so forth, as usual, but is a bit cheesed with the alien police force that failed to do anything. So he calls them back to Earth. At which point he gives a bow-tie choosing, CMoA speech, culminating with the police seeing every villain the Doctor has ever faced - and noticing that Earth, a world even the aliens think is Made of Cardboard, is still here: "But you're not the first lot to have come here. Oh, there have been so many. And what you've got to ask is... what happened to them? - Hello. I'm the Doctor. Basically... run."
    • Still later, in the episode "A Good Man Goes to War", a villain calls the Doctor a "good man". He responds, "Good men don't need rules. Today is not the day to find out why I have so many."
    • The 12th Doctor delivers a beautiful one in "Flatline". After he's tried for the entire episode to peacefully engage the Boneless on the grounds that there may just be a misunderstanding causing them to kill innocent people while he's also trapped in a shrinking TARDIS, he finally has enough. When he finally emerges from the TARDIS, he unbuttons his coat and lays it down.
      The Doctor: I tried to talk, I want you to remember that. I tried to reach out, I tried to understand you, but I think that you understand us perfectly. And I think that you just don't care! And I don't know whether you are here to invade, infiltrate or just replace us. I don't suppose it really matters now, you are monsters! That is the role you seem determined to play, so it seems that I must play mine! The man that stops the monsters! I'm sending you back to your own dimension. Who knows? Some of you may even survive the trip, and if you do, remember this: you are not welcome here! This plane is protected! I am the Doctor! [Clara tosses him the Sonic Screwdriver] And I name you THE BONELESS!!! [uses the Screwdriver to create a force field, blowing the Boneless away]
    • Up until the series 8 finale, the Doctor has often struggled with self-doubt about his morality and occasions where both allies and foes alike have compared the friends he brings along on his interstellar travels to underlings or soldiers under his command, most notably Davros' Breaking Speech in "Journey's End". When his old arch-nemesis the Master decides to tempt him by giving him an undead army made of Cybermen for a birthday present as a way to convince him that they are Not So Different, however, he finally finds his answer, rejects her offer and proceeds to undo her plan:
      The Doctor: I am not a good man! And I'm not a bad man. I am not a hero. I'm definitely not a president. And no, I'm not an officer. You know what I am? I... am... an idiot. With a box and a screwdriver, passing through, helping out, learning. I don't need an army, I never have. [gestures towards Clara] Because I've got them. Always them. Because love, it's not an emotion. Love is a promise.
    • In "The Girl Who Died", the Doctor realizes what he was trying to tell himself when he chose his new face — that he always tries to save people, even if it's in violation of the rules of time travel, as he did when he was in Pompeii. As such, he states this before using Mire field medkit technology to save Ashildr's life:
      The Doctor: I know where I got this face, and I know what it's for. OK, what's it for? To remind me. To hold me to the mark. I'm the Doctor, and I save people. And if anyone happens to be listening, and you've got any kind of a problem with that, to HELL with you!
    • At the climax of "The Zygon Inversion", the Doctor tells Zygon commander Bonnie — who wants to break The Masquerade and start a war with humanity — exactly why War Is Hell, in the process summing up everything that has driven him since the Time War:
      Twelve: I don't understand? Are you kidding? Me? Of course I understand. I mean, do you call this a war, this funny little thing? This is not a war! I fought in a bigger war than you will ever know! I did worse things than you could ever imagine! And when I close my eyes... I hear more screams than anyone could ever be able to count! And you know what you do with all that pain? Shall I tell you where you put it? You hold it tight, till it burns your hand! And you say this: No one else will ever have to live like this! No one else will ever have to feel this pain! Not on my watch!
    • Just before the climax of "The Doctor Falls", the Doctor tries to get the Saxon!Master and Missy to help him in what looks to be a hopeless Last Stand against the Cybermen, giving a speech that may very well define him and his character better than any other:
    The Doctor: I'm not trying to win. I'm not doing this because I want to beat someone, because I hate someone, or because I want to blame someone. It's not because it's fun. God knows it's not because it's easy. It's not even because it works because it hardly ever does. I do what I do because it's right! Because it's decent! And above all, it's kind! It's just that... Just kind. If I run away today, good people will die. If I stand and fight, some of them might live. Maybe not many, maybe not for long. Hey, you know, maybe there's no point to any of this at all. But it's the best I can do. So I'm going to do it. And I'm going to stand here doing it until it kills me. And you're going to die too! Some day... And how will that be? Have you thought about it? What would you die for? Who I am is where I stand. Where I stand is where I fall.
  • In Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles episode "The Last Voyage of the Jimmy Carter," John Connor gives a truly awesome speech to Jesse about exactly why he is mankind's leader. In one scene, John goes from being a whiny, lovestruck emo kid to being the John Connor who will lead mankind.
  • Power Rangers Dino Thunder:
    • In the episode "Fighting Spirit," Tommy had spent the last dozen episodes either trapped in amber, trapped in his morphed form or trapped in an invisible form (the reason being that Jason David Frank had other commitments to attend to). But they made his return to normalcy in a suitably epic and Continuity Nod filled method. Tommy tried to use his Ranger Powers to return to normal but he was stuck in a dream-coma. Here, in his mind, he had to fight his past Ranger forms who continually overpower him. Progressing to his time as the Green Ranger, he is beaten down but refuses to give up, which was what his past ranger incarnations wanted to teach him. This in turn lead to him awakening from the coma and unlocking his current Ranger form's Super Mode.
      Green Ranger: You passed the test.
      Tommy: Test? What are you talking about?
      Red Zeo Ranger: You haven't been fighting us... you've been fighting for your life.
      White Ranger: And you've proven the will to live is stronger than any Ranger power.
    • Linkara in his History Of Power Rangers reviews talks extensively about this episode. He points out that the superficial reading is a meaningless lesson because Tommy has never shown anything but rigid determination in his Power Ranger career. But taking the entire season into account and knowing his history holding six different powers and four colors, he speculated that Tommy came to view himself as only worthwhile when holding a Ranger power. Thus his lesson was that it was his spirit and effort that made the Ranger power worthwhile and that his name was Tommy Oliver, not "Green/White/Red/Black Ranger."
  • In Rescue Me, Needles delivers one to his crew in season 5. He's been the consummate nice guy and something of a doormat up to this point, but he realizes after breaking up a fight that his crew will never respect him unless he's a hardass.
  • In the 2005 Hercules, Hercules becomes a bit demoralized when he finds out that his father is the villain Antaeus, not Zeus, but he immediately bounces back with:
    Hercules: It doesn't matter who my father is: Zeus, Amphitryon, or the Cretan Bull! [tackles Antaeus through a pillar] It doesn't matter! I AM NOT MY FATHER! [Antaeus rubs dirt on himself to replenish his strength] Yes, Antaeus, seek the Mother's strength. I rely on my own. My birth doesn't matter, only my life! I make it have meaning. No one else. [Antaeus tries to shove Hercules into a bonfire, but burns his own hand and flinches. Hercules looks at his own wounds] We are not gods, Antaeus, only men. Only very strong men! [knocks Antaeus far away]
  • Jack McCoy tends to give these at least once a season in Law & Order, generally when the defense lawyer is going for Jury Nullification. Sometimes it works. Other times, not so much.
  • Smallville:
  • A rather dark variation in Once Upon a Time, as Snow White is finally driven to renounce her Incorruptible Pure Pureness and declares that she's going to kill her nemesis Cora. It mixes with Despair Speech and a dash of Shut Up, Kirk! as her husband tries to console her and try to steer her away from the dark side:
    Snow: I've followed the same rule my entire life... "Hold onto goodness". It's what my mother taught me. How many more lives is following that lesson going to take away from me? [...] I made the 'right' decision when I stopped Regina's execution all those years ago when it could have saved us all this heartache. I made the 'right' decision when I sent Emma through that wardrobe alone, and we didn't see her first steps. I made the 'right' decision when I let my own mother die from Cora's poison. [...] All I want is our happy ending. It's time. We've earned it. No more lives lost. No more hearts broken. [...] I don't care about justice anymore. We keep thinking people will change. What if that's wrong? What if I'm the one who has to change? [...] I'm going to kill Cora.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation plays with the concept in the Grand Finale. Q outright TELLS Picard what the purpose of the test was and the reasons why he put Humanity on Trial. Picard, tired of Q's games, just wants it to be over and doesn't fully understand what he is told, but he does listen.
    Picard: I sincerely hope this is the last time I find myself here.
    Q: You just don't get it, Jean Luc. The trial never ends. We wanted to see if you could expand your mind and your horizons and for a brief moment, you did.
    Picard: When I realized the paradox.
    Q: Exactly. For that brief fraction of a second, you were open to options you'd never considered. THAT is the exploration that awaits you. Not mapping stars or studying nebula, but charting the unknown possibilities of existence.
    Picard: Q, what is it you are trying to tell me?
    Q: (leans in to whisper something, but pulls away) You'll find out. In any case I'll be watching. And if you're really lucky I'll drop in to say hi, from time to time.
  • In the episode "Something Old", of How I Met Your Mother, Ted decides he's had enough of relying on the Universe giving him signs and decides to take matters into his own hands.
    Ted: Maybe it's dumb to look for signs from the Universe. Maybe the Universe has better things to do—dear God, I hope it does. Do you know how many signs I've gotten that I should or shouldn't be with somebody, and where has it gotten me? Maybe there aren't any signs. Maybe a locket is just a locket, a chair is just a chair. Maybe we don't have to give meaning to every little thing. Maybe we don't need the Universe to tell us what we really want. Maybe we already know that deep down.
  • Faking It: In "School's Out", Lauren gives one to the school board which doubles as a Rousing Speech to convince them to save Hester High.
  • Married... with Children has Al deliver one to his local librarian after she calls him a loser, as detailed in the Quotes section.
  • The Exorcist: In the first season finale, Pazuzu traps Father Tomas in an illusion, where he's tormented with all his failures, in an attempt to goad him into suicide. Before he can, however, the sight of a cross inspires him, and he realizes that despite his flaws, he has never truly strayed from his faith, and has still done good. This gives him the strength to break free of the illusion, and to then lead the charge in exorcising the demon for good.
    Tomas: These things do not make me weak. They make me what I am.
    Pazuzu: And what is that?
    Tomas: An exorcist.
  • 24: In the Season 7 finale, Renee Walker realizes the only way to get the names of the conspirators from Alan Wilson is through the use of torture. She and Jack discuss the struggle between following the laws they've sworn to uphold and what they're willing to do to save innocent lives:
    Jack:I can't tell you what to do. I've been wrestling with this one my whole life. I see fifteen people held hostage on a bus, and everything else goes out the window. I will do whatever it takes to save them — and I mean whatever it takes. I guess maybe I thought if I save them I could save myself...
    Renee: Do you regret anything that you did today?
    Jack: No. But then again, I don't work for the F.B.I.
    Renee: I don't understand.
    Jack: You took an oath. You made a promise to uphold the law. When you cross that line, it always starts off with a small step. Before you know it, you're running as fast as you can in the wrong direction just to justify what you started in the first place. These laws were written by much smarter men than me. And in the end, I know that these laws have to be more important than the fifteen people on the bus. I know that's right. In my mind I know that's right. I – I just don't think my heart could ever have lived with that. [Renee is close to tears] I guess the only advice I can give you is try to make choices that you can live with.

  • Queen's “We are the Champions” is entirely this trope
    I've paid my dues time after time
    I've done my sentence but committed no crime
    And bad mistakes I've made a few
    I've had my share of sand kicked in my face
    But I've come through! (And we mean to go on and on and)
    We are the champions, my friends
    And we'll keep on fighting til the end
  • Eminem:
    • The last verse in "Lose Yourself":
      No more games, I'ma change what you call rage
      Tear this motherfucking roof off like two dogs caged
      I was playing in the beginning, the mood all changed
      I been chewed up and spit out and booed off stage
    • "Not Afraid":
      And I just can't keep living this way
      So starting today, I'm breaking out of this cage
      I'm standing up, Imma face my demons
      I'm manning up, Imma hold my ground
      I've had enough, now I'm so fed up
      Time to put my life back together right now
  • The title song from Kamelot's concept album The Black Halo. Ariel finally defies Mephisto and declares that he no longer fears damnation. This leads him to finally come to the realization that he is the master of his own destiny, and that love is the truth he had been searching for all along.
  • Year Zero by Nine Inch Nails: "The Great Destroyer" has a speech like that printed in the liner notes: "I hope they cannot see the limitless potential / living inside of me to murder everything / I hope they cannot see I am the GREAT DESTROYERRRRRR..." Coming out of the guy who created The Downward Spiral and wallowed in angst and depravity for much of The '90s, this is kind of a triumphant moment for Trent Reznor.
  • Kansas' "Carry On Wayward Son" is basically a musical version of this trope.
  • Wiccan singer/songwriter Leigh-Anne Hussey sang in "The Burning Times" that she will not answer hate with fear, rage, or "a smug cheek-turning love"; by strength alone will she not be moved.
  • The Galileo 7 song Running with Scissors invokes this image as well.
    And I'm running with scissors, in a world made of paper and paste
    Nothing can stop me, no one can stand in my way

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Shawn Michaels to Chris Jericho, WWE RAW, 1-Sep-2008:
    Shawn Michaels: I take comfort in the fact that your wife and children won't be watching. Mine won't, either. But someday... someday I'm gonna tell them about all of this. I'm gonna tell them of the day when their father was this close to walking away... and, although it's considered a strength to turn the other cheek, sometimes you've got to look evil right in the face and spit in its eye! All the pain, all the suffering that you have put me through is gonna rain down on you at Unforgiven, and it is gonna rain down on you with absolutely no remorse. I will never apologize for the man that I am or the life that I have lived. And I'm going to have no regrets about what happens to you. Unforgiven... it's an appropriate name, isn't it Chris? Because I will never forgive you for what you've done to me. My only hope is that, someday, God can forgive me for what I do to you!
  • On the 1-Aug-2008 episode of WWE SmackDown!, Edge managed to give a World of Cardboard Speech in two words... "I understand!" All the more impressive considering he pulled off the entire World Of Cardboard motif as a Heel.
  • The Rock's last promo at Wrestlemania XIX.
  • From TNA's 12/2/10 episode.
    Winter: [to Angelina Love] There's nothing wrong with you Angelina. In fact, you're perfect. But you don't have to worry. Now that we're together, we will never have to lose again. I guarantee that. WE. WILL. NEVER. LOSE.
  • On TNA's April 14, 2011 edition, Mickie James confronts her archenemy Madison Rayne, who the previous week hit her with Tara's motorcycle. She gives her own speech, telling Madison that while she has been making her life a living hell, the previous week she went too far and tried to take the coward's way out of their match. She then states that nothing, including her dislocated shoulder, will stop her from beating Madison to within an inch of her life at Lockdown. And she meant every word, completely destroying Madison at Lockdown in 36 seconds. Deserves special mention for Mickie's completely badass delivery of the speech.
  • Kelly Kelly of all people delivered one to Natalya at the commentary table. Natalya and Beth Phoenix had vowed to destroy her because they felt she and the rest of the model Divas weren't worthy of being in WWE. Kelly responded by asking Natalya what she was saving the WWE Universe from, and that she had already proved herself by beating Beth at SummerSlam and would do so again if Beth became the #1 contender (Beth did and Kelly did).
  • On 6/27/11, CM Punk delivered arguably the best worked shoot of the modern wrestling era to John Cena, now retroactively dubbed the "Pipe Bomb" promo but at the time was known as the WWE version of the Summer of Punk. It was his Austin 3:16. His Hard Times Promo. His To Be THE Man Promo.
    Punk: I hate this idea that you're (John Cena) the best. Because you're not. I'm the best. I'm the best in the world. There's one thing you're better at than I am and that's kissing Vince McMahon's ass. [[...]] I am the best wrestler in the world. I've been the best since day one when I walked into this company. And I've been vilified and hated since that day because Paul Heyman saw something in me that nobody else wanted to admit. That's right, I'm a Paul Heyman guy. You know who else was a Paul Heyman guy? Brock Lesnar. And he split just like I'm splitting. But the biggest difference between me and Brock is I'm going to leave with the WWE Championship. I've grabbed so many of Vincent K. McMahon's brass rings that it's finally dawned on me that they're just that, they're completely imaginary. The only thing that's real is me and the fact that day in and day out, for almost six years, I have proved to everybody in the world that I am the best on this microphone, in that ring, even in commentary! Nobody can touch me!
  • The Miz of all people delivered one to Daniel Bryan on the Talking Smack talk show after Bryan accuses him of wrestling the soft WWE style like a coward. It was so good, smarks couldn't decide if it's a work, a shoot, or both.
    Miz: Let me tell you about a coward! Let me tell you about a guy who tells his WWE fans, people that he loves that he will be back — he PROMISES THEM! — "I promise you, I will be back in one year's time to claim this (Intercontinental) title!" But you didn't, Daniel, did you? But I'm the coward. I'm the one who doesn't love the fans.
    Bryan: If they would let me come back, I would come back.
    Miz: Oh you would? You love that WWE ring, you love wrestling. You love being right in that wrestling ring and you love wrestling, right? Well why don't you quit? Why don't you quit and go to the bingo halls with your indie friends, then?
    Renee Young: I think you need to calm— That's not what this show's about!
    Miz: No, no, I got this! Me and the GM have this. Thank you very much, Renee, this is is a great show, but we're talking here. I need to talk to you (Bryan) real quick, because the fact is you're the one who calls me the coward, but you're the one that doesn't get in the WWE ring again.
    [Bryan gets up and walks off]
    Miz: No! Don't you walk away from me, Daniel. Don't you walk away! I'm the one that loves the fans. I'm the one who loves everyone and everything. You're the one that gets up and walks away, every single time! You're the coward! I am not a coward! I am your Intercontinental Champion...
    [Miz picks up his Intercontinental Championship and holds it next to his head]
    Miz: ...and there is a reason I am making this the most relevant, prestigious title the WWE has, and I deserve the respect on SmackDown Live!
    Renee: Okay. Okay!
    Miz: Get that camera right here. Get that camera right here.
    [Renee throws her hands up in resignation, while Miz looks straight at the hard camera]
    Miz: Understand that this is day 141 of the Never-Ending Intercontinental Championship World Tour, and I swear to you, I promise you, it will be the most relevant title on SmackDown Live. I could care less about those little kids out for the Tag Team Titles, and the Women's Championship, and the WWE Championship. This is my show. MY show! And I'm sick of all of you, my GM, sitting there criticizing me, calling me the coward! YOU'RE the cowards! I'm the one here, day in and day out, in that wrestling ring, beating people up. Thank you! Very! Much!

    Tabletop Games 

  • In Anyone Can Whistle, after J. Bowden Hapgood refuses to help Nurse Faye Apple tackle the corrupt town administration and reveal that the "miracle" is a fake, she admits her limitations - and her intention of overcoming them — in "See What It Gets You:"
    And when the hero quits,
    Then you're left on your own.
    And when you want things done,
    You have to do them yourself alone!
    And if I'm not ready
    And lightheaded,
    I can't stand here dumb.
    So, ready or not, here — I hope — I come!
  • In Macbeth, Malcolm is joined by Macduff, who left Scotland for England to seek aid from King Edward the Confessor and form an allegiance with Northumberland and Lord Siward. Malcolm fears that he would surpass Macbeth in wickedness, greed, lust, and a yearning for lands in addition to his apparent lack of graces, when Macduff reproves him and mentions that his mother and Duncan were more virtuous in raising Malcolm than Macbeth could ever be. Malcolm's speech was a Secret Test of Character to show his virtuous nature and readiness to help restore the Scottish throne from Macbeth's tyranny.
  • "Rose's Turn" from Gypsy is the definitive musical theater example. It isn't addressed to any visible character, but with lyrics like these, an on-stage audience isn't necessary:
    Well, someone tell me when is it my turn?
    Don't I get a dream for myself?
    Startin' now it's gonna be my turn!
    Gangway, world, get off-a my runway!
    Startin' now, I bat a thousand!
    This time, boys, I'm taking the bows — and
    Ev'rything's coming up Rose!
    Ev'rything's coming up roses!
    Ev'rything's coming up roses, this time for me!
  • Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street has not one but two dark versions of this: the first, "My Friends", when Todd rediscovers his razors and formulates his exact revenge upon the Judge; and the second, "Epiphany", when Todd's mind cracks and he becomes the mass-murdering pie-meat supplier of legend.
  • Elphaba's Defying Gravity from Wicked overlaps with I Am What I Am.
  • The Lion in Winter:
    • About halfway through the play Prince Philip has a No, Mister Bond, I Expect You to Dine moment with King Henry — and three other people who happen to be listening in — revealing he is nowhere near as delicate or naive as he looks, seemingly proving himself a cunning adversary. Just when you think Philip's achieved his Moment of Awesome, Henry promptly demonstrates why Philip sucks.
      Henry: I found out the way your mind works and the kind of man you are. I know your plans and expectations - you've burbled every bit of strategy you've got. I know exactly what you will do, and exactly what you won't, and I've told you exactly nothing. To these aged eyes, boy, that's what WINNING looks like!
    • Henry has the upper hand, right? Wrong. Philip launches into his "World of Cardboard" Speech and plays the people hiding in the room against him.
  • "Being Alive" from Company can be seen as this for Bobby, as he finally admits that "alone is alone, not alive" and becomes ready to commit.
  • Terence Rattigan's The Browning Version has a wonderful one where the protagonist, Andrew Crocker-Harris, explains in painful detail his failures as a teacher to his replacement. The movie version adds a valedictory address where he's even more ruthlessly self-critical.
  • John Osborne's The Entertainer features its protagonist, music hall comedian Archie Rice, musing over the emptiness of his profession:
    Archie Rice: You see this face? This face can split open with warmth and humanity. It can sing, tell the worst, un-funniest stories in the world to a great mob of dead, drab irks. And it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter. It doesn't matter because look, look in my eyes. I'm dead behind these eyes. I'm dead, just like the whole, dumb, shoddy lot out there."

  • From BIONICLE, after Takanuva develops a Superpowered Evil Side:
    Takanuva: But I'm not my "kind", not anymore — your shadow leeches saw to that. I'm half Toa of Light, half Toa of Shadow. This was what you wanted, wasn't it? Toa consumed by darkness, Toa not hampered by things like mercy or morality. Well, now you can choke on it.

    Video Games 
  • Metal Gear Solid has several per game.
  • One of the possible endings for Planescape: Torment has the Nameless One making a World of Cardboard Speech... and disbelieving the final boss out of existence.
    The Nameless One: If there is anything I have learned in my travels across the Planes, it is that many things may change the nature of a man. Whether regret, or love, or revenge or fear — whatever you believe can change the nature of a man, can. I've seen belief move cities, make men stave off death, and turn an evil hag's heart half-circle. This entire Fortress has been constructed from belief. Belief damned a woman, whose heart clung to the hope that another loved her when he did not. Once, it made a man seek immortality and achieve it. And it has made a posturing spirit think it is something more than a part of me.
  • Dawn of War: Dark Crusade features a rare villainous example given by Necron Pariah Thomas Macabee in the introductory movie to the Necron stronghold.
    Macabee: Lucky creatures. At long last you have found the tranquility of death. I was like you once, clinging to life and blind to the truth. When I uncovered the truth, I too shuddered and paled with fear. Deep in these catacombs, I was remade. Here, my brethren slumbered for aeons, while the living grew like weeds. My lord knew this day would come. He had plans for us all. We would purge this world, once more. So come, poor victims of life. We will grant you tranquility in these crypts. Kronus will be a tomb world, once more.
  • Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones had the Prince discovering his slain father in a deep cavern. Being taunted by his evil side, he had a revelation that gave him the mental fortitude to reject his Superpowered Evil Side.
    Dark Prince: What now then? Gather up enough sand, perform another grand rewind? Or perhaps you can return to the Island and travel back to a time when he might still be saved. Maybe rescue a Damsel in Distress along the way!
    Prince: NO! You are right. I have been like a child. Naive and arrogant; always rushing to undo my mistakes. Never facing the consequences of my actions. No more. I accept what I have done, and all that it implies. [transforms back, without water]
    Dark Prince: What is this?! You have no water! How did you—?
    Prince: You hold no power over me now! Be gone! Retreat to whatever dark hole spawned you, and do not trouble me again.
  • Delivered collectively by the heroes at the end of Final Fantasy VI as they're about to fight Nietzsche Wannabe Kefka. See the quote page for the whole thing, including the villain's hilarious reply.
  • Yuna delivers a good one to Lady Yunalesca in Final Fantasy X, when she announces her intention to Take a Third Option rather than complete the Final Summoning.
    Yuna: I will stand my ground and be strong. I don't know when it will be but someday, I will conquer it. And I will do it without false hope.
  • Dissidia: Final Fantasy:
    • The game is full of these, often combined with a Heroic Second Wind moment. In fact, pretty much all of the cutscenes in the ten Destiny Odyssey storylines before the battle with the villain, consists of the hero giving one of these: Cloud refuses to let Sephiroth psyche him out, Terra learns not to let her powers define who she is, Cecil decides to fight for what he really cares about, etc. Here's Firion's for an example:
      Emperor: You should have disposed of your fantasy and accepted me as master.
      Firion: There is no meaning in strength only used to hurt others! I have dreams... dreams worth dying for!
      Emperor: What will an insect like you do?
      Firion: Believe in the future! And persist in the present! That's what I'll do!
    • And here's Onion Knight's. Bit of backstory. Throughout his Destiny Oddyssey, Onion Knight acted as a bit of a Straw Vulcan, arrogantly trusting only his intelligence, running from every encounter with people that he thought he "can't defeat", and pushing Terra to go to the source of a strange power, to prove that he wasn't "without valor" despite that. So, after that backfires horribly, he's learned a little more about how to be a hero, and faces the Cloud Of Darkness, who multiple people said is too powerful for him:
      Onion Knight: I finally got it. I was a fool to defy my heart, just to bind myself to reason. I will protect Terra with my own strength. That's what's most imporant to me! Don't get me wrong—I still won't fight against anyone I can't beat. But I've decided in my heart to fight. That's why I'm going to beat you!
    • For the Warrior of Light, there's the end of his personal journey, where he meets his rival Garland, who tells him that they are fated to continue fighting forever and ever Because Destiny Says So, and that all that's left for them is to find some grim enjoyment in it; in response, the warrior stoically refuses to fall into despair, declaring he will fight to bring the cycle to an end.
      Warrior: Garland, I pity you.
      Garland: Pardon?
      Warrior: You are bound by the chains of destiny and steeped in despair. And for that, I pity you. Indeed, we have repeated our battles time and time again. You could say that we have been caught in the cycle of battle. But now that I know the truth, I can overcome it. All that is left to do now is fight to end the cycle!
      Garland: You can defeat me here, but that would only be another step in the cycle!
      Warrior: Whatever destiny the world may hold for me, I can never give up! This battle shall come to an end, and I shall save you, too!
  • There's a really, really anti-heroic version in Tales of Vesperia when Yuri reveals why he's become a Vigilante Man. It's definitely a case of the hero breaking past his limits and taking action, but as Flynn points out, that's not necessarily a good thing.
    Yuri: The laws have always been the tools of whoever happens to hold all the chips...You can't deny that lives were saved because those bastards were put down. You'd rather tell those people, "sorry you have to die today, I promise we'll change things soon?"...They're out there, you know. People so bad they'll just go on hurting others. What can the average person do but be victimized by people like that? You know it was the same way with our people in the lower quarter.
    Flynn: Even so, Yuri, what you're doing isn't right. Do you intend to rain down your justice on all the villains of the world? That's the behavior of a common criminal!
    Yuri: I recognize it for what it is and I've made my choices. Murder is a crime.
    Flynn: And even knowing that, you intend to dirty your hands.
    Yuri: Intend to? I already have.
  • Mega Man Zero 4:
    • Before the Final Boss battle (in a Grand Finale, to boot), Zero delivers this speech as a Shut Up, Hannibal! to Dr. Weil's attempt at a Breaking Speech. It is one of the best moment in the entire series:
      Zero: If I destroy Weil's core, the explosion will take Ragnarok out with it... If Ragnarok is blown apart, it no longer poses a threat!
      Weil: Are you even capable of it? The Reploid hero, protecting justice and humanity! I am one of those humans you have sworn to protect! Do you have it in you to defeat me?!
      (cue One-Winged Angel)
      Zero: I never cared about justice and I don't recall ever calling myself a hero...I have always only fought for the people I believe in. I won't hesitate...If an enemy appears in front of me, I will destroy it!
    • The best part about it is, Zero has finally learned what he was really fighting for, a question that has plagued him since Iris' death in the X series, proceeding to kick the Big Bad's ass, save the world again, and finally end the centuries-long Robot War.
    • He has another one in a flashback from the Drama Tracks, delivered to Omega. This one more or less speaks for his earlier incarnation and says more or less the same stuff.
      Zero: Omega, I finally knew because I fought with myself… What kind of fighting I have done so far? What exactly my hesitation has been so far? Now I can say that my power is not for destruction. It's for my friends; my power is to protect my friends' beliefs! Be gone, my nightmare!
    • At the end of X8, Zero delivers one again:
      Zero: Even if we Reploids are destined to join the scrap heap when that evolutionary step does come about...we still have to fight...Not only against Mavericks, but against our own destiny as well.
  • In one of the bonus maps of Disgaea 2, Kurtis faces an army of clones of his old Anti-Hero self, seeking to eliminate him for being an "outdated" kind of hero. Seeing them as incarnations of his previous mistakes, he gives a lengthy speech about true heroism and proceeds to kick ass.
    • In Disgaea 5, the main character Killia has one of these moments later in the game. Killia has been doubting himself since the death of his Love Interest Lieze and his revenge against the Big Bad has been his only reason to keep going. But when the party is almost defeated by The Dragon Bloodis, his friends remind him that he is not alone. Killia understands that he does have a reason to keep fighting, to protect the people who are important to him.
      • In a later stage, the plot that has been running regarding Killia's inner personality Killidia finally comes to fruition. He's been struggling to hold down his destructive impulses, fighting with a voice in his head that can kill everyone. In the final moments before a huge showdown with Bloodis on Goldion's home planet, Killia finally realizes this other voice never existed, he was so scared of having to confront his power that he wasn't using it, but after this the player gains use of Killia's exceptional Overload skill, and for this one single battle it is permanently active. Killia takes the power he's been hiding from, and realizes it doesn't have to be about power, it can be about protection, effectively destroying Killidia and merging Killia with his power.
  • Alicia of Valkyria Chronicles has one when she's standing against an enemy battleship fortress as an activated Valkyria, stating that she knows how to give her life as a Valkyria meaning. Her impending Heroic Sacrifice is stopped by a 1-2-3 punch from Welkin consisting of a confession of love, a marriage proposal, and a Cooldown Kiss.
  • In Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, Marche, after being captured, accidentally gets teleported into the fourth crystal room. While the totema cannot defend the crystal, Babus stands in Marche's way and Cid reminds him that he's alone, asking him if he believes he can do it. Marche notes that he hasn't always been confident in himself, but while he enjoys the world, it isn't real and he must destroy the crystal to go back home.
    Cid: You're alone now. None of your friends can help you. You would fight even with the odds stacked against you? Are you so sure of your abilities?
    Marche: Not at all. I'm always nervous. But... I can't afford to let that stop me. I love this world... there's magic and the clan is fun. Sometimes, I'm not sure I really want to go home. But I am sure that this place isn't real. It's a game! It's just a dream— an escape from the real world! But you can't just avoid problems forever... I have to go back! I have to destroy the crystals!
    Babus: And I suppose you think we're just going to stand here?
  • In Modern Warfare 2, Captain Price gets two epic such speeches, back to back, in the final two levels.
    Price: The healthy human mind doesn't wake up in the morning thinking this is its last day on earth. But I think that's a luxury, not a curse. To know you're close to the end is a kind of freedom. Good time to take... inventory. Out-gunned. Outnumbered. Out of our minds. On a suicide mission. But the sand and rocks here stained with thousands of years of warfare... they will remember us. For this. Because out of all our vast array of nightmares this is the one we choose for ourselves. We go forward like a breath exhaled from the earth. With vigor in our hearts and one goal in sight: We. Will. Kill him.
    Price: This is for the record... History is written by the victor. History is filled with liars. If he lives, and we die, his truth becomes written, and ours is lost. Shepherd will be a hero, 'cause all you need to change the world is one good lie and a river of blood. He's about to complete the biggest trick a liar ever played on history. His truth will be the truth. But only if he lives, and we die
  • Sonic the Hedgehog: Short and to the point:
    Sonic: What you see is what you get: just a guy that loves adventure. I'm Sonic the Hedgehog!
  • StarCraft:
    Zeratul: You speak of knowledge Judicator? You speak of experience? I have journeyed through the darkness between the most distant stars. I have beheld the births of negative-suns and borne witness to the entropy of entire realities. Unto my experience, Aldaris, all that you have built here on Aiur is but a fleeting dream, a dream to which you will only wake up to an even greater nightmare.
  • In the freeware RPG Last Scenario, what was meant to be a Rousing Speech takes the form of one of these. Prince Wilhelm delivers a speech to his disheartened troops, explaining how selfish he's been while people like the protagonists risked their lives to see him rise to the throne. Until then, he was bitter about the new responsibilities thrust on him, and never realized how much his people were sacrificing while he did nothing. He promises that he'll finally become the leader they've idealized him as if they'll just keep fighting a little longer. The speech alone is enough to convince the enemy commander to order a retreat, since his entire plan hinged on getting the soldiers to give up on their weak-willed leader.
  • Near the end of God of War II.
    Kratos: If all on Olympus will deny me my vengeance, then all on Olympus will die. I have lived in the shadow of the gods for long enough. The time of the gods has come to an end!
  • In the final battle of Wild Arms 2, what starts with the protagonist extends to all of humanity delivering a speech about how they should stop relying on heroes to do all their fighting and making Heroic Sacrifices. They promise to fight together to protect the world... while the protagonist is fighting alone in the one place they can never physically reach. Cue Combined Energy Attack and Music Of Awesome. It starts around 2:50 and extends through the entire fight.
  • The Force Unleashed 2:
    • In the trailer:
      Starkiller: [narrating while slaughtering stormtroopers and droids] Betrayed by Vader for the last time. A new journey begins... with something worth fighting for... someone worth dying for... and I will not stop... I will not rest. Vader can't stop me now! [quietly] Vader can't stop me now. Nothing can.
    • There's one in the actual game too at the very end:
      Starkiller:[to Vader who has been captured by the rebels] I let you live. You tell me I'm a clone but I chose to spare you. [beat] Maybe Kota's right. Maybe this is all a trick — a way to get me so confused... that I'd forget who I really am and become your slave again. But either way... I. Let. You. Live. I've finally broken your hold over me.
  • In the Assassin's Creed II Bonfire of the Vanities DLC, Ezio delivers one of these after Savonarola is killed, coupled with a bit of Shaming the Mob. Some of which is Truth in Television and including quotations from The Light in the Heart.
    Ezio: Silencio! Silencio! Twenty-two years ago, I stood where I stand now... and watched my loved ones die, betrayed by those I called friends. Vengeance clouded my mind, and it would have consumed me, were it not for the wisdom of a few strangers, who taught me to look past my instincts. They never preached answers, but guided me to learn for myself. We don't need anyone to tell us what to do. Not Savonarola, nor the Medici. We are free to follow our own path. There are those who would take that freedom from us, and too many of you gladly give it up. But it is our ability to choose - whatever you think is true - that makes us human. There is no book or teacher to give you the answers, to show you the path. Choose your own way. Do not follow me, or anyone else.
  • Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag: Bartholomew Roberts begins his pirate career with one of these, some of which is Truth in Television, including quotations from A General History of the Robberies and Murders of the most notorious Pyrates.
    Black Bart: In honest service there are thin commons, low wages, and hard labour. Yet as gentlemen of fortune we enjoy plenty and satisfaction, pleasure and ease, liberty and power... so what man with a sensible mind would choose the former life, when the only hasard we pirates run is a sour look from those without strength or splendour! Now, I have been among you six weeks, and in that time I have adopted your outlook as my own, and with so fierce a conviction that it may frighten you to see your passions reflected from me in so stark a light. But... if it's a captain you see in me now, aye then... I'll be your bloody captain! For I have dipped my hands in muddied waters, and withdrawing them find 'tis better to be a commander than a common man!
  • Towards the end of Kingdom Hearts I, Sora is all about these.
  • The PSP remake of Castlevania: Rondo of Blood (The Dracula X Chronicles) has Richter give one after beating the True Final Boss.
    Richter: I'm a Belmont. That's my job.
    Dracula: Humanity will call me back.
    Richter: You're right. We never learn. But one day, we'll have to. And if you return, someone like me will be waiting for you.
  • In Asura's Wrath, when Asura is finally facing down Chakravartin in the final DLC chapter, he lays it all out in his distinctive way:
    Asura: I understand it all now! The true reason for my wrath!
    Chakravartin: You are not worthy!
    Asura: I could not stand it! There is always some fool who wants to rule the world! Always forcing others to do what they cannot do for themselves!
    Chakravartin: How can he, be so powerful!? I am the only God!
    Asura: That, is why... I pray to no one! Nor will I be prayed to! And above all else... I will never forgive you... for making MY DAUGHTER CRY!
  • The Secret World:
    • Carter spends most of her time wishing she was normal and fearing her magical powers for their sheer destructive potential; however, in "Carter Unleashed," she finally decides to cut loose on the Familiars swarming up from the basement.
      Carter: Miss Usher and Mr Montag want me on the bench for this game, and I know it's to keep their star player from being injured mid-season, but it feels more like being put in the penalty box. I want to step up to bat... I mean, I want to help out! I can use my powers- the really freaky ones. (Beat) You know they warded this school from the inside because of me? (Beat) I'm tired of being scared of it, being made sick by it; maybe that's how my powers want to be used- for me to just say the words and tear it all down!
    • Freddy Beaumont delivers a rare villainous example during the confrontation in the Illuminati Archives.
      Freddy: I've been in exile for a very long time. I was forced by false prophets to flee my homeland in disguise, degrade myself by pretending to be something I'm not, to be much less than I truly am. I spent a long time cursing my kind, planning my revenge and victorious return. Eventually, I got on with my life, and now, they're all dead and forgotten by those who once worshipped them! There's a lesson in there somewhere, I'm sure. Thing is, I'm ready to be myself once again; no more disguises. Their false prophecies perished with the White God. I'm free... and I don't plan on anything... or anyone changing that.
  • Halo 4 has Cortana give a very simple speech to Master Chief as she explains how she sacrificed herself to ensure that he survived the destruction of the Didact's ship. Much of the game shows how Chief is so involved with being the hero that he has lost much of what it means to be a regular person.
    Master Chief: It was my job to take care of you.
    Cortana: We were supposed to take care of each other... and we did.
  • Silent Hill 2 has the final fight with Pyramid Head begin with James realizing why it existed.
    James: I was weak. That's why I needed you. Needed someone to punish me for my sins. But that's all over now. I know the truth. Now it's time to end this.
  • After beating Alkaid, the Shura King in the final scenario of Super Robot Wars Compact 3, Alkaid asks, "Folka Albark, you say that the old ways of our worlds were wrong and searched for an answer, is that so? What is the difference between our people and these people?" Folka answers, "I have fought alongside the people of these worlds and learned from them the answers to my question, the people of this world and us are exactly the same." Keita is surprised at Folka's answer but Folka continues, "Do you GET that, Shura King? We are like they are, we just have to find a way to live without fighting, that's all. We just didn't know HOW. It's not just about fighting; we have to learn how to build a new Shura World with our own hands." Van asks, "So that is your answer, Folka?" Alkaid says that ideals alone will not make it a reality, but Folka retorts that they can do it. Alkaid says again that anyone can SAY they can do it and Folka says that he and the remaining Shura will find a way. Alkaid says that it is time then that he joined his beloved Generals in the great beyond and says "Folka, I leave the Shura World in your hands."
  • Phantasy Star IV has Chaz giving a most righteous two-part version to Le Roof, where he essentially calls bullshit on the entire spiritual meaning of the Algo solar system: the Protectors are mindlessly obedient servants of the Great Light the same way that Zio and Dark Force are the servants of the Profound Darkness, the only difference is that the good guys are outside the seal and the bad guys are trapped inside it. After that, he realizes that none of that matters and neither do the gods: what matters is that innocent people will die if somebody doesn't do something, and that is worth fighting for.
  • In the Genocide run of Undertale, the final boss, Sans has one that runs for the entire first phase of his fight, admitting that he Stopped Caring a long time ago, and never bothers to put his all into anything anymore, but that what you've done and are about to do are so awful that he can't afford to not interfere anymore. You're going to hear this speech a few times.
  • Blaz Blue Chrono Phantasma: As Noel was being assisted by Rachel into accepting her Murakumo nature, the process is interrupted by (who else?) none other than Terumi, going on about how she has a the power to destroy a god. Noel refutes his claim, saying that she'll use it to save Tsubaki. This only make Terumi mock her further by calling a puppet. What does Noel say in response?
    Noel: You're right... no, it's true. I am a puppet. But... but even then, there's nothing false about my desire to save Tsubaki. As long as I feel that way, I'll always be Noel Vermillion. Whether I am a human or a doll... it has no bearing on my thoughts and feelings!

    Visual Novels 
  • Ace Attorney:
    • Near the end of the last case in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Justice For All, after discovering that his client is guilty, Phoenix begins to question what it means to be a lawyer. Edgeworth reveals what he learned in his time overseas. It's not about "winning", it's about revealing the truth.
      Edgeworth: We prosecutors use anything we can to attack the defendant. But [...] It doesn't matter how many underhanded tricks a person uses... the truth will always find a way to make itself known. The only thing we can do is to fight with the knowledge we hold and everything we have. Erasing the paradoxes one by one... it's never easy... we claw and scratch for every inch. But we will always eventually reach that one single truth. This I promise you. That's the reason why prosecutors and defense lawyers exist.
    • After the Big Bad's Villainous Breakdown in the final case of Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, there is some surprisingly poignant words from Klavier Gavin and the Judge about the nature of the law, given that the two of them are a Bunny-Ears Lawyer and a Cloud Cuckoolander. While the Big Bad believes "the law is absolute" and needed to protect the "ignorant masses" from themselves, Klavier and the Judge point out that the law is constantly changing as a reflection of human morals, and that it is thus the job of lawmakers and defenders to nurture it over time.
    The Judge: The law is the end product of many years of history... the fruit of human knowledge! Like a gem, polished to a gleam through trials... and errors. It is this fruit we receive, and pass on, and face in our time. And it is always changing, growing. Nurturing it is our task as human beings.
  • Fate/stay night:
    • Shirou delivers a World of Cardboard Speech in the Unlimited Blade Works route on how, even if he knows it's only because he's selfish and naive and knowing where he may end up if he keeps it, he'll still try to work towards his ideal of saving everyone to Archer — who can't hear a word of the speech because Shirou is busy fighting him and can't speak loudly enough to be heard. The trope also shows up in Heaven's Feel, where Kotomine lays out his own convictions on letting Angra Manyu loose on the world, which opposes Shirou's equally selfish and Not So Different ideal to destroy it to save Sakura (of course, one of these selfish ideals won't also eradicate humanity, but that's not really the issue here).
    • Shirou's version of the prayer that activates Unlimited Blade Works also carries tones of this:
      I have created over a thousand blades
      Unaware of loss, Nor aware of gain
      Withstood pain to create weapons, waiting for one's arrival
      I have no regrets. This is the only path
      My whole life was Unlimited Blade Works.
  • In Katawa Shoujo, near the end of Shizune's route, Hisao takes Misha on a tour of a campus, showing her places where they spent time during their days together, and how he started out as depressed and unwilling to do anything, but became more engaged over time. He ultimately concludes by telling her that he had to face the painful truth that he essentially pushed away all his friends during his time in the hospital and he does not want her to do the same to Shizune.
  • In Tsukihime, Shiki's Moment of Awesome comes when he manages to scare Roa shitless with one of these: justified in that to him, the world really is as flimsy as cardboard. For context, Roa has previously believed Shiki and he share the power to see death. He even goes as far as to thank Shiki for teaching him how to use it. Turns out, what Roa sees are actually the lifelines of living things. Shiki, on the other hand, can see the point of end for all things, including inanimate objects and even the universe itself. The speech is him really drilling in the difference.
    Shiki: You don't understand death at all. That's why you can't kill me, and why you're only able to kill a weakened woman. If you could see death, you couldn't maintain your sanity. All you can perceive is the part which keeps things alive. If you could see death, you wouldn't be able to even stand... It's like the world on the moon, a desolate wasteland. Being able to see the "death" of things means you are forced to see the world's uncertainty and fragility. The ground is like it's not there, and the sky seems about to fall at any moment. You don't know of the illusion that the whole world could perish in an instant. That is what it means to see death. These eyes, this power isn't something you can boast about like you did. Do you see your mistake, now, vampire? Life and death may be back to back, but they will never face each other. I'll show you. This is what it means to kill something.
  • In New Danganronpa V 3, Shuichi Saihara comes to this conclusion after finding out the true nature of the killing game in the final chapter:
    Shuichi: When Maki said she was going to sacrifice herself just now, I thought...Why? So many of our friends have sacrificed their lives. Why Maki? Why now? Why do we have to go through it again? The sadness of losing Kaede..and Kaito... Why do we have to feel that sadness over and over and over again? Why do we have to bear that burden...? Well, I don't care how much the audience wants it, I'm not gonna feel that way anymore! I don't want anyone to feel that way anymore! Even if this is fiction, even if we're all fictional... The pain in my heart is real! The sadness I feel when I lose the people I love is real! I won't forgive this game that treats us like toys. And if this is what the world wants...then I reject that world! I'll fight the world that inflicts suffering for entertainment!
  • A villainous version occurs in Dies Irae with the main Big Bad Reinhard where he chooses to embrace his power after having constantly denied it for years and to reach for greater heights instead of following the Nazi regime as an emotionless drone:
    Reinhard: Ah, why can't you endure my touch? If a mere graze upon your delicate skin sends you shattering to a myriad pieces, how can you hope to withstand my embrace? Such cruelty. Why must this world -from the tiniest blade of grass to the vastest of mountains- be so painfully fragile. So be it, then. My love shall take the form of destruction. I shall ravage so I can cherish. I adore the weak that bow before me, as well as the defeated that bend their knees. My love expands to the vassals that rebel, and those that mean me harm. I love all and everything. And so shall I lay waste to everything before me.

    Web Animation 
  • Broken Saints: Raimi's speech to Shandala in Chapter 21 about how much she has meant to him.
  • Much like the page quote above, in the Death Battle rematch between Superman and Goku, Superman delivers a quick one to Goku while they are fighting.
    Superman: With every step, an earthquake. With every breath, I could create a hurricane. This is my burden. Be thankful it is not yours.
  • In the last episode of Season 5 of Arby 'n' the Chief Arbitur gives one to Trent Donnovich in response to a "The Reason You Suck" Speech Trent had delivered earlier in the season.
    Arbiter: It doesn't surprise me that a dose of emotion would have a toxic effect on an emotion-deprived cretin like you. Who's really the plastic one here? Your bleak outlook on life is poisonous. Maybe the world is a big sinking ship. But we can't accept that as an inevitability and use it as an excuse to act like shitheads. We have to be the change we seek. We have to build something better for ourselves.

    Web Comics 
  • Girl Genius:
  • Torg from Sluggy Freelance gets one of these at the end of the "That Which Redeems" arc (doubling as his Moment of Awesome).
    Torg: Redemption is overrated.
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • Roy Greenhilt's response to Xykon after the lich asks him to stand down and come back later, immediately after Xykon suggests that he's still trying to impress Daddy. Roy manages to prove just how far he's come, and that he's no longer the same college kid who swore to kill Xykon just because his dad thought he couldn't.
      Roy: I'll be the first to admit that I got into this quest for all the wrong reasons, but none of that matters now. You're a threat to the entire world, not just me and my family. But like it or not, you're still MY responsibility. Because I'm the only one here who's willing to be responsible. You may not be out to destroy the physical planet, but living under the heel of a walking villain cliché like you will destroy its soul. If I don't beat you here and now, then soon this screwed-up nonsensical world won't exist anymore. There won't be any place left for introverted dwarves. Or androgynous elves. Or idiotic bards or greedy rogues... or sexy sylphes. Or hell, even raging narcissistic paladins. Bloodthirsty halflings will probably get along fine, though. So, in summary, it's a dirty job, but some PC has to do it. Enough with the speeches. Let's get down to brass tacks.
    • In the prequel Start of Darkness, Xykon gives Dorukan a brutal one about how much he resents being looked down upon by wizards, something that has happened frequently during the book:
      Xykon: Hey, you know what really gets under my skin? Proverbially, of course? A century of wizards looking down their damn noses at me. I know people think I'm stupid. Because I'm not a wizard. Because I get bored easily. Because I have no interest in strategy or tactics or contingency planning. But see, I've learned a lot over the years since I died. A lot more than I learned during my life. And now I see planning doesn't matter. Strategy doesn't matter. Only two things matter: Force in as great a concentration as you can manage, and style. And in a pinch, style can slide. In any battle, there's always a level of force against which no tactics can succeed. For example, all I need to do is keep smacking you with Energy Drains, and eventually you won't be able to cast any of your fancy spells at all. Because yes, I am a sorcerer — and this magic is in my bones, not cribbed-off "Magic for Dummies". And I can keep casting the same friggin' spell at you until you roll over and die. You can have your finely-tuned watch -- give me the sledgehammer to the face any day.
    • Ironically enough, a later fight against Xykon by Vaarsuvius shows that simply possessing greater power than one's opponent, even greater magical power, isn't enough. On the other hand, Xykon explains that power isn't just having a lot of powerful magic spells; it's whatever resources you have at your disposal, and a knowledge of how to put them to good use. In Xykon's case, sometimes it is magic, sometimes it's a +8 racial bonus to listen checks and sometimes it's having the strength to crush your opponent's windpipe with your bare hands.
    • As he crushes the Azure City Resistance, Redcloak makes a short but effective one, in which he explains how he's learned to stop taking foolish chances and being easily goaded into fights.
      Redcloak: Not too long ago, that would have been a very effective taunt. But you can thank one of your "brothers" for its futility now. What I have lost in depth perception, I have gained in perspective. Stupid risks are just that: stupid. Crush him.
    • Then a short one, but a good one, from Elan to Tarquin:
      Elan: You know, the first time I met Nale, we ended up in almost the exact same situation. He wound up hanging over a pit of monsters, and I pulled him up. He didn't understand why I did it. I told him it was because I was the good twin, not the neutral twin.
      Tarquin: Good, good, glad to hear it. Now pull me up, I think my fingers are slipping.
      Elan: But see, dad, that's the thing. I'm not a twin anymore. And you're not the real villain.
      [Tarquin, shocked, falls off]
      Elan: Don't worry. You'll live.
    • Roy gives one to Vamp!Durkon during their fight to save/destroy the world (which doubles as a Shut Up, Hannibal!):
      Roy: Oh... I understand. YOU'RE NOT DURKON AT ALL! You are just some undead thing hiding behind his face. I don't know whether you started out as Durkon and turned into this, or you're just squatting in his corpse — but I was stupid to think it even matters! How many different levels of denial was I in, anyway?!? I am going to stop you, and if that means I never get my friend back because he was twisted into being you, then I will be sad, but you will be DEAD!!
    • Durkon delivers one to the High Priest of Hel when the later starts having a breakdown over not being able to understand why Durkon's mother would sacrifice riches for five complete strangers.
      Durkon: Thar's na much ta explain. Ye told me b'fore tha ye are who ye are on the worst day o' yer life. An' tha's true. Tha's 100% true. But ye know who else ye are? Ye are who ye are on the next day. Tha day ye wake up an' haf ta decide: are ye gonna make this the new worst day o' yer life... or na. Ye are who ye are on all yer days. All o' them. Includin' tha worst and tha best. Ev'ry single one counts. All tha way ta tha end. An' when ye haf a new worst day, ye can get stuck thar, lookin' back on it an' worryin'. An' tha's normal. But sooner or later, ye gotta take all tha pain an' do sumthin' wit it. Try ta make sumthin' better outta it[...] My mother turned tha worst thing tha could ev'r happen ta anyone inta tha best thing tha could happen ta anyone. Ta five anyones. An' I turned tha worst thing tha could happen ta me inta savin' tha world from people like ye.
  • The Last Days of FOXHOUND:
    • Liquid Snake makes a combination of the World of Cardboard Speech and Calling the Old Man Out when he echews his earlier Idiot Hero tendencies for a more practical outlook, and pulls a gun on Big Boss during their final fistfight.
      Liquid: Oh no. That was the old Liquid. The dumbass Liquid. The Liquid who'd cut his arm off to prove he could get by without it. I realized something while I was dead. My entire life I've been obsessed with proving you wrong. Proving that I'm not garbage, that I can be the best in spite of all my recessive genes. But I've figured you out, old man. I know why you always told me I was worthless. Why you destroyed my self-confidence, made me think I had to do everything the hard way to earn any respect. I'm better than you. And you know it. If you hadn't turned me into such an insecure showoff, history would only remember you as Liquid Snake's father.
    • Subverted in that Liquid is wrong; Big Boss manipulated his emotions not to cripple him out of jealousy, but to strengthen him by giving him a relentless drive to overcome his perceived inferiority to Solid Snake, thus allowing him to continue on Big Boss' goals.
  • In Anti Bunny, main(ish) charecter Nailbat gives one of these, pointing out that he is a blackbelt, bullets dodge HIM, he can't be killed until the day he dies in about six months, knows that whatever he does he won't have to face the consequences of because he'll irrevocably die, and has the power to defy fate. He doesn't chose his lifestyle and code of honor because of labels or societies demands, he does it because it's the right thing to do. I mean, when you cannot die until the clock hits zero and you know if you do something with horrible consequences it won't matter for you in the long run, it takes a very strong sense of right and wrong to not abuse that.
  • Smoke from WTF Comics unloads one of these onto Nikisha after she attacks Anna with a poisoned throwing star in order to get to him. Oh, and while giving this Smoke is also beating her to an inch of her life her
    Smoke: It's always the same... wherever I go, it's the same. People like you have no problem hurting the innocent to get at others... can't just come after who you really want. NO! You try to kill a kid whose only mistake was being a friend! Just leverage! A tool! Just like before, just like her! Well not again!
  • From Misfile, Rumisiel delivers this speech:
    Rumisiel: You want to see spirits? You want to look into the eyes of the beings who will watch over the end of days? I have seen the fall of empires and the murder of millions! I have shoved that data into files like so many numbers! I have seen a great many things, but little as ignorant and dangerous as a conceited little girl who has used so called "spiritual devices" to turn her own unbridled ID into a demon capable of killing the one she's too stupid to realize she loves!
  • In Captain Gamer, while he's fighting a mind-controlled Mai Shiranui, who tells him that there will always be evil and he'll never change that, Captain Gamer responds that she's right—there will always be evil, but there will also always be good, and that is why he continues to fight.
  • In Captain SNES: The Game Masta, Lucca gives a truly memorable one to the Eater of Dreams in comic 647.
    Lucca: When there is no hope... there's nothing to lose by trying. Maybe I am destined to become a puppet. Maybe there's nothing I can do to stop what's coming. BUT I'LL BE DAMNED IF I GO DOWN QUIETLY. Even if I have to twist the very fabric of reality... I won't lose!
  • Melna Durnaxe of Dominic Deegan gets a very special moment of closure during the 'March Across Maltak' Arc.
  • Alison, the superhero title character of Strong Female Protagonist, gets an extremely disturbing one as part of a Not So Different speech when she visits a villain in prison.
    Alison: I fantasize about killing people all the time.
    Cleaver: ...What?
    Alison: I think about how easy it would be. What if I just started showing up to Klan rallies with an I-beam? Knock down the capitol building, force them to pass Universal Health Care, stuff every Ayn Rand fanatic into a big mason jar and hurl them into the sun. I could do it, you know. I really could. And then there's these people with their fucking sneers going "You're a monster! You're a thug! You kill people!" NO FUCKING SHIT I KILL PEOPLE! I put holes in mountains! I break shit constantly without even trying! I saved the world on no less than seven fucking occasions, and guess what, super-accuracy is not one of my anomalies! Am I supposed to be impressed that you've never killed anybody? What a bold moral choice from someone who's terrified of violence and scared shitless of going to jail! It's like, have you ever had the option of murdering a bunch of people? Okay, then why the FUCK am I listening to your opinion on the matter? Every day I don't kill a thousand fucking people, they should throw me a god-damned tickertape parade!
  • In El Goonish Shive, Elliot gives a minor one in the middle of fighting Nanase.
    • Adrian Raven gives one when the school he teaches at is being attacked by a wizard
    Raven: My career choices are limited. I have been shamefully forbidden to serve in any military. I CAN act directly if the situation involves magic or is an immediate threat to myself or others. You are a homocidal wizard attacking a public school. No-one will care if I kill you.
  • Downplayed and Played for Laughs in Buster Wilde Weerwolf. Buster delivers this to the people who are afraid of him and oppose him with I Am What I Am thrown in, but everyone had already ran away and only one person was there.
    Buster: PEOPLE! I BESEECH YOU! Run not away! Please hear me! While it is true that I am a were-wolf, a bloodthirsty animal, a moon-crazed creature of the night, if you will...uh...Is it not true that, in a manner, we're that and more? And less? More or less. Hm? Am I not human half the time...I think? Must you condemn me thusly? *sniff* What of compassion?! And empathy? Can you not accept me for who I am? Cast out me not! Shun no more me! I AM HERE! I AM WEER! GET USED TO IT!!

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • The Trope Namer, which you can watch here and read at the top of the page, is Superman's speech in Justice League Unlimited during his fight with Darkseid in the Grand Finale. The specific moment is in answer to Darkseid asking, "Can't you see that it's hopeless?" after he's attacked by Batman. Superman proceeds to hit Darkseid harder than he's hit anything else in the DCAU, and has him on the ropes, only for Darkseid to resort to an Agony Beam when it becomes clear Superman would win a straight fight.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: Zuko confronts his Dad during the Day of Black Sun. He unfolds his life and what he went through to please his father, deconstructing his own life and motivations, topping it off with a rejection of his nation's goals and summary of how they are viewed by others before finally telling Ozai that he's leaving to join the Avatar. See the quotes page for the entire exchange.
  • In Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, Terry was always being chided by the Joker for not being "the real Batman". At the climax, Terry finds himself slightly outmatched but comes to realize that the original Batman never beat the Joker at his mind games. To counter this, Terry turns the tables through an epic verbal beatdown that actually gets the Joker to stop smiling. He gets the Joker to finally lose his cool by doing exactly what Joker had wanted Batman to do ever since they started fighting: laugh. Terry makes the Joker flip out by laughing...because he was laughing AT him, making the Joker the butt of the jokes. Granted, the immediate result is not what Terry had in mind, but it shows show that Terry is his own man, able to combat the Joker better than the original Batman ever could: unlike Bruce, Terry could see the Joker as a pathetic loser. It can be viewed here.
  • Danny Phantom villain Spectra uses the misery of children to permanently appear young; naturally, she would go out of her way to traumatize her victims to provide enough angst to maintain her appearance. Danny's humiliation and psychological breakdown at her hands gave Spectra and her servant the upper hand during their earlier fights with Danny, until Danny realizes that being hard on himself only makes things worse.
    Danny: Man, I'm so tired of you dumping on me, and I'm so tired of dumping on myself. Jazz never did that, even when I was mad at her, and I won't let her DOWN!
  • Blue Beetle gives one in the season 2 finale of Young Justice. After spending the entire series fighting with the Scarab (and it fighting with him) being stuck inside Jaime's body with each other for a few months turned them into equals and partners, united against any outside threat.
  • The Hulk says something similar to the JLU example in the Avengers, Assemble! episode "Hulked Out Heroes". After Gamma-poisoning turns the rest of the Avengers (save for Black Widow) into monsters, Hulk advises The Falcon to treat "everything like an egg" in order to avoid breaking things. During the finale, Hulk gleefully states that he always has to hold back to avoid killing his opponents, but now that he's up against a group of Hulked-out monsters, he no longer has to worry about that.
  • Kim Possible Movie: So the Drama: Kim's Pre-Asskicking One-Liner before the final fight crosses with this, helped by Ron's Love Confession while they were tied up.
    Kim: You're right, Drakken. Boys, dating, oh it's hard, but THIS... is easy!
  • Batman: Under the Red Hood plays with the trope. Finding out that Batman had not killed The Joker to avenge the death of Jason Todd sets Red Hood out to find out why, causing a wave of crime and chaos to follow. Batman's response to him is that he has yearned for the opportunity to make The Joker pay for what he did but does not out of fear for what it will bring about in him with regards to the rest of his rogues gallery. The twist comes when the critical moment arrives and he has the opportunity, in the end still choosing not to and not straying from what he had said earlier.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic combines this with Shut Up, Hannibal! at the climax of "The Return of Harmony":
    Twilight Sparkle: I'll tell you what we've learned, Discord! We've learned that friendship isn't always easy, but there's no doubt it's worth fighting for!
  • Archer: Sterling Archer gets a badass one in "Sitting".
    Archer: So here's the thing, Farooq. I don't know about any stories, but whatever badass shit that you heard I did? You really need some context, because pretty much my whole life, pretty much right up until this minute my default setting has been half-assed. (cracks knuckles) But that was before I had a child. A child you threatened to harm. A child, I just realised, who's probably on her way up to the roof so Aunt Pam can swat at biplanes! So imagine, as I literally beat you to death - Hang on... Yeah, literally - that a giant hand has turned my dial from half-assed to quadruple-assed!
  • DuckTales (2017) has a variant, where Louie gives Donald a World of Cardboard Speech as a pep talk to inspire him to weaponize his Unstoppable Rage to defeat Gladstone Gander in a race.
    Louie: Come on, Uncle Donald! So you have the worst luck in the world, who cares? No matter how bad things get—like really, really bad—you keep going. It's kind of ridiculous. You never had the common sense to give up before; why start now?

Alternative Title(s): World Made Of Cardboard Speech