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"He'd rather have a buffalo take a diarrhea dump in his ear
He'd rather eat the rotten asshole of a road-killed skunk and down it with beer"
Theme song, The Angry Video Game Nerd

You want me to describe another trope? I'd rather drink Brain Bleach!

A character expresses his displeasure for an idea by claiming a preferred alternative — except that alternative is clearly something the average person would find unthinkably undesirable, usually subjecting oneself to pain. This is mainly a Comedy Trope, deriving humor from the exaggerated, ridiculous description of unusual torture and possibly from Cool and Unusual Punishment. Can be a type of Freudian Slip or Suspiciously Specific Denial if the audience knows the character would actually find the mentioned activity enjoyable (even though most people wouldn't). If used in this manner expect the character to be objecting to something rather trivial. Even if it's not this, in especially comedic works expect another character to accuse the objector of doing this.


Commonly used to respond to the advances of an Abhorrent Admirer or Casanova Wannabe. Also commonly used by Caustic Critics to describe the painful badness of what they're reviewing.

Compare I Need to Go Iron My Dog as more mundane excuses. Contrast Fate Worse than Death as a more serious comparison. Anything but That! is another negative (over)reaction, though usually to threats. I'm Thinking It Over! is the related comedy trope where two lopsided alternatives are presented, and the character takes far too long to choose between them. If eventually forced into the undesirable situation, it might become Too Desperate to Be Picky.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • My Hero Academia: Played for Drama near the end of Final Exams Arc where both Midoriya and Bakugou are paired up against All Might for their finals. Bakugou would rather fail the exam than accept help from Midoriya, at least until Midoriya knocks some sense into him.
  • Tamagotchi: Played for Drama. In episode 143, when Kizunatchi starts to fall to the ground after she's overwhelmed trying to fend off the eggification of Tamagotchi Planet, Mametchi and his friends all express immense displeasure at this, and Mametchi says that he'd rather fall victim to the egg curse himself than see her die. The other Tama-Friends all agree with his statement, exclaiming they'd also rather become eggs even at the cost of sacrificing their interests.

    Asian Animation 
  • In episode 31 of Happy Heroes, the "romantic date with Miss Peach" scenario the Supermen go through in Doctor H.'s virtual reality dream goggles proves too disappointing for them, and once they wake up they tell the Doctor they never want to dream again.note  When the Doc tries to draw their attention to another scenario he made that he thinks they might enjoy, the Supermen stick to their word, with Smart S. commenting he'd rather die than have another dream.

  • Jeff Foxworthy has a bit about how people imagine southerners in white-collar professions, noting that the Southern accent is "not the world's most intelligent-sounding accent", including this doctor:
    "A'right, now what we gonna do is, saw the top o'your head off, root around in there with a stick an' see if we can't find that dadburned clot."
    "No, thanks, I'll just die, okay?"

    Comic Books 
  • A Hellblazer comic subverts this: a couple is arguing, with the man saying that he'd rather shove red-hot needles in his eyes than talk to her family any more. A while later, due to demonic influence, he does just that, and tells her in a completely normal voice that he was wrong: this is much worse.
  • In issue #2 of the (New 52) Blue Beetle series, at Brenda's quinceañera, La Dama suggests that Brenda should find a boyfriend.
    Brenda: But I'm not interested in any boys I know.
    La Dama: Oh come on. He looks handsome enough.
    Brenda: Joey Gonzalez?! I'd rather crap broken glass!
    La Dama: Well that was ladylike...
  • In an issue of Teen Titans, Changeling traps Terra by wrapping around her as a snake during a training session. He offers to let her go for a kiss, but she says she'd rather kiss a Wookiee. Gar says that it's out of his range.
  • In one Spider-Man story that takes place right after the Acts of Vengeance, the villains he defeated during the arc team up for revenge against him; after they think they've killed him (they haven't naturally) Trapster hits on Titania, suggesting they go out and celebrate (with "you, me, a bottle of vino?"; her reply is that she'd "rather gargle battery acid".

    Comic Strips 
  • Before pairing up with Liz, Jon repeatedly had women tell him what horrible things they'd prefer to a date with him in Garfield. It was a kind of Running Gag for a while.
  • Similarly, Michelle does this to Curtis sometimes when he asks her out.
  • In one Peanuts strip, Snoopy played a mixed doubles tennis match with his partner Molly Volley, a girl notorious for her Hair-Trigger Temper. In the final strip, he was invited to another match. His reply? "I've had distemper and I've played the mixed doubles. I'd rather have distemper." (Ironically, he would be her partner again, and it would be even worse, seeing as one of their opponents was "Crybaby Boobie", who complained about everything, literally.)

    Fan Works 
  • In Painted in the Worst Light Snape is unable to eat porridge of any variety.
    Snape: It's an intolerance. It's not an allergy, but I'd rather eat nails. It wouldn't feel any different.
  • In Season of Change a post-fifth year Harry would rather be subjected to the Cruciatus Curse than spend yet another summer with his relatives.
  • In The Golden Age a number of supposed Muggleborn are informed they were the product of rape. One anonymous witch is extremely bitter about her parentage in her written reply.
    It might have made all the difference when I was at Hogwarts, but now I would rather have hot needles stuck in my eyes than accept charity from Lucius Arsehole Malfoy.
  • In The Best Revenge Snape needs to get a Christmas present for Charity.
    He would rather stick needles in his eyes than set foot in some god-awful be-ruffled establishment full of witches' furbelows.
  • In Old West, Rattlesnake Jake tells Delilah Rangler not to accept a bribe from his rival Irvin Worst, and she doesn't need to be told twice.
    Delilah Rangler: Please, sugar. I may be a murderous criminal, but I ain't stupid. Plus, takin' money from Irvin Worst would mean I'd have to suffer him staring at my tits. I'd rather screw an exhaust-pipe.
  • Knights of the Founders:
    And, of course, if he was given the choice, he'd much rather chew off his own arm than go and stay with Aunt Marge, Ripper, and her other bulldogs — all of whom, thanks to lots of reinforcement from Marge, hated Harry with a passion.
  • What doesn't kill you:
    Luna: No spacing out on me mister. Your first test is tomorrow, you need to eat as much as I'm sure your stomach doesn't want to.
    Harry: A test? I'd prefer a trip to the doctor for a colonoscopy. I'd prefer a root canal...
  • In The Loud House fanfiction The Nightmare House, Lincoln says he would rather suffer for ten years in a glass cage with no food but accompanied by his sisters than live with his fake sisters.
  • Oil and Water:
    Ron: Why would you want to go anywhere with the ferret?
    Harry: Because he is my friend and he asked me to go is why. You're more than welcome to join us.
    Ron: No thanks I'd rather stick a fork in my eyes.
  • I Don't Love You:
    Harry: Not enjoying the party?
    Snape: I'd sooner cut myself into little pieces in order to make it easier for Hagrid's mutt to eat me than go back into that hell.

    Films — Animation 
  • In the song "On the Open Road" from A Goofy Movie, Max lists a number of things he'd prefer to having to take a parent/child-bonding road trip with his father.
    All in all, I'd rather have detention
    All in all, I'd rather eat a toad
    And the old man drives like such a klutz
    That I'm about to hurl my guts
    Directly upon the open road
  • From Shrek the Third, we have a pair of college girls having a conversation, with one of them saying, "And then I said, 'I'd rather get the black plague or get stuck in an iron maiden than go out with you!'"
  • In Brave, during an explosive argument with her mother, Merida shouts "I'd rather die than be like you!"
  • In Toy Story 3, the toys try to escape the daycare by sneaking out through the garbage chute, but their path is blocked by Lotso and his henchmen, who threaten to throw them in the dumpster if they don't stay with them and be part of their "family". Jessie responds with: "This isn't a family! This is a prison! I'd rather rot in this dumpster than join any family of yours!"
  • Recess: School's Out: Miss Finster would rather eat playground dirt than go back to be with Benedict.
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy's Big Picture Show has a dramatic example when Edd and Eddy have a falling-out after one cruel joke too many.
    Edd: I'd rather face my consequences, Ed, than wander aimlessly with a so-called friend!

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Ever After, Marguerite and her mother make plans for her to wear a dress that belonged to Danielle's deceased mother to the masquerade ball. After walking in on Marguerite about to try on the dress, Danielle angrily declares "I would rather die a thousand deaths than to see my mother's dress on that spoiled, selfish cow!"
  • In George of the Jungle, Ursula's mother is trying to drive George away from Ursula.
    George: So you no want Ursula to love George?
    Mom: I'd rather have my tongue nailed to this table every morning at breakfast.
  • A Played for Drama example in Star Trek (2009). When Nero's ship is caught up in the black hole created by the Red Matter, Kirk (against Spock's better wishes) offers a lifeline: to show that humans are decent enough to give an enemy a chance. Nero's reply?
    Nero: I would rather suffer the end of Romulus a thousand times. I would rather die in agony than accept assistance from you.
    Kirk: You got it. [to Sulu] Arm phasers. Fire everything we got.
    • Arguably, this is more so that Kirk can't be accused of racism by his superiors in the Federation than anything else. He recognizes that the people back on Earth aren't going to look too kindly on him if he doesn't offer assistance, and he knows the Romulans well enough at this point to guess that Nero will reject his offer. Even if Nero did accept, Kirk could probably have simply used this as leverage to blackmail him. This incident is actually an example of Spock and the Vulcans not being entirely logical due to their bad blood with the Romulans.
  • Happens in High School Musical when Zeke tries to ask Sharpay out.
    Sharpay: I'd rather stick pins in my eyes.
    Zeke: But wouldn't that be uncomfortable?
  • Happens in Singin' in the Rain when Don kisses Lina while filming a love scene after learning that she got Kathy fired from her job because she knew he liked Kathy:
    Lina: Oh Donny! You couldn't kiss me like that and not mean it just a teensy bit!
    Don: Meet the greatest actor in the world. I'd rather kiss a tarantula.
    Lina: You don't mean that.
    Don: I don't— Hey Joe, bring me a tarantula!
  • Lockout: The leading man, Snow, initially refuses the call to save the president's daughter with the line "I'd rather castrate myself with blunt rocks."
  • In the aftermath of getting a dick farm branded on his ass on Jackass 2, Bam Margera has this to say:
    Bam Margera: I'd rather rip my dick off and throw it in the river than to do that again. God damn.
  • The Empire Strikes Back:
    • Leia pulls this on Han during their "excuse me princess" exchange, which starts when Han thinks Leia wants him to stay because of the way she feels about him:
      Leia: Yes! You're a great help to us! You're a natural leader!
      Han: No! That's not it! Come on! Ah, come on!
      Leia: You're imagining things!
      Han: Am I? Then why are you following me? Afraid I was going to leave without giving you a good-bye kiss?!
      Leia: I'd just as soon kiss a Wookiee!
      Han: I can arrange that! [as he leaves] YOU COULD USE A GOOD KISS!!
    • A non-verbal example occurs later; Darth Vader tries to convince Luke to join him in ruling the galaxy. After a few minutes, Luke lets go of what he's holding, letting himself plummet into the abyss.

  • In The Three Musketeers(1993) the queen declares that "I would rather die" than be Richilieu's wife when he takes the throne. He screams, "THAT CAN BE ARRANGED!"
  • A memorable one from Without a Paddle comes when the protagonists are stranded in freezing rain, sans clothing:
    Dan: The only chance we have to survive is to huddle together for warmth.
    Jerry: I, for one, choose death.

  • In A Christmas Carol Scrooge suggests that the indigent go to prisons or workhouses instead of him giving to charity. The person he's talking to says "Many can't go there; and many would rather die."
  • Dave Barry once wrote in a column that he "would rather undergo vasectomy via Weed Whacker than attend an opera."
  • Variant: In The Dresden Files: Summer Knight Harry informs his literal Exposition Fairy Bob the Skull about how his latest client is Queen Mab of the Winter Court. Bob says something to the effect of "Here's where I ask you why you don't try a safer profession, like administering suppositories to rabid gorillas."
  • In Tomi DePaolo's book Helga's Dowry, the eponymous troll maiden comes back after earning her own dowry so she can afford to marry. However, in the process, she's learned that her intended doesn't love her and is only interested in marrying wealthy. She tells him she'd rather wander the world forever (the penalty for being an unmarried troll maiden) than marry him. (Fortunately, she winds up being able to Take a Third Option.)
  • Roger Ebert's review of Seven Days in Utopia began, "I would rather eat a golf ball than see this movie again."
  • Red Dwarf: Lister bluntly informs Rimmer he'd rather drink his own diarrhea, or anyone else's for that matter — every hour on the hour for the next fifty years — than spend the rest of his life having to put up with him.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Addams Family: In "Morticia the Matchmaker", a young lawyer's boss tries to send him to talk business with Gomez, saying that he's ideally suited because he's met the family before. The lawyer says he'd rather interact with a scorpion nest.
  • The A-Team: "Moving Targets" has a double example.
    • When B.A. wakes up enraged about being put on a plane, Face says that he would rather sit near a king cobra without clothes on than let him out of his restraints.
    • At the end, B.A. announces that he booked them passage on a freighter for the return trip and volunteered the other three to pay for it by helping around the ship (including repainting the whole thing). Hannibal wryly comments that he would have preferred it if B.A. had made him eat one of his cigars.
  • In Happy Days, Potsie asks a girl to do something romantic with him, and she retorts, "I'd rather catch diphtheria!"
  • Burn Notice: Andre Dekker, one of the Villains of the Week in "Unpaid Debts" and a black market courier, tells Michael he would sooner cut his own throat than allow anyone to interfere in his deliveries.
    "Do you think I would hesitate to cut yours?"
  • Babylon 5: At the end of the first season, faced with going into the council chamber and ceding all claim to a sector of space to the Narns, Londo comments, "I think I'll go stick my head in the station's fusion reactor; it would be less painful. And after a while, I might even come to enjoy it."note 
  • In an episode of The Big Bang Theory, Raj is about to lose his work Visa and is in danger of deportation, so Sheldon offers to let Raj work for him. (Not with him, for him.) Raj says he'd rather swim naked across the Ganges River with paper cuts on his nipples and die a slow agonizing death from infection than work with Sheldon. note  Then he says he'll take the job.
  • In the fifth season of Chuck, Morgan, who's lost bits of his memory and is trying to regain them by watching his old favorite movies, in this case Star Wars, says he'd rather claw his eyeballs out than hear any more of Jar Jar Binks.
  • The Vampire Diaries:
    • Stefan and Damon are forced to visit their old girlfriend Katherine, who's trapped in a tomb by a spell. She asks them to join her, and Damon says he'd rather poke his eyes out.
    • When Klaus is out hunting for werewolves to turn into hybrids, one of them says she'd rather die than become a vampire.
  • This is just one of the many snide weapons in the vocal arsenal of Blackadder, particularly in the fourth season.
    [George suggests he do a stage act after ripping on Music Hall]
    Blackadder: Thanks George, but if you don't mind, I'd rather have my tongue beaten wafer-thin by a steak tenderizer, and then stapled to the floor with a croquet hoop.
  • House of Anubis:
    • Patricia does this at least once.
      Amber Maybe I could find you a boyfriend, too, Patricia.
      Patricia: I'd rather chew on glass.
    • Eddie does this as well when Fabian suggests he takes Patricia to the movie on Ancient Egypt. Being that the two of them had a fight just before this, he replies that he'd rather take Victor.
  • Married... with Children:
    • Al once claimed he would rather "rip my nose off with a can opener, bob for apples in a sewer" and "have a catheter the size of a garden hose" than get a second job to support Peg's shopping.
    • In "Buck Saves the Day", he claimed he'd "rather slam my nose in a car door. I'd rather have a proctologist named Dr. Hook. I would rather watch Roseanne Barr do a striptease than take these little booger machines camping."
    • When Peg was pregnant and suggested that the baby sleep in their room, Al stated that he would "rather sleep in a bunk bed underneath Oprah. I would rather engage in a threesome with Roseanne and her really cool husband. I would rather play naked Twister with every one of The Golden Girls than to share a room with that little doody-geyser."
  • Monk: Monk's hang-ups often mean he'd rather do any number of horrible things than one thing most people would take in stride.
    • "Mr. Monk and the Naked Man"
      • Upon seeing all the nudity on a clothing-optional beach, Monk purposely stares into the sun, trying to make himself go blind.
      • After Chance (the titular nudist) hugs him goodbye, Monk begins walking towards the ocean in a daze, seemingly attempting to commit Suicide by Sea rather than deal with all the issues the hug brought up.
    • In "Mr. Monk Gets Jury Duty", Monk tells Natalie he would rather be sucked out of an airplane than have jury duty.
    • In "Happy Birthday, Mr. Monk", Monk and Natalie are being pursued by a stranger, which Stottlemeyer says relates to a bounty just put on Monk's head. At one point, they're faced with the choice of hiding in a dumpster or a port-a-potty. Monk initially declares that he prefers death. However, after a few seconds, he hides in the dumpster with Natalie.
  • Voyagers!, "An Arrow Pointing East": When the Sheriff asks Maid Marian how she's enjoying their excursion through the woods, she compares it to eating live lizards.
  • The Cosby Show: The regular actors ended up acting out a storybook scene from a story Rudy wrote, where an evil henchman makes romantic advances on the good song leader, and she rejects him:
    Henchman: ... And then there's two weeks out of the year that I get to go on vacation and cruise and pillage. And if you played your cards right you could come along and pillage with me.
    Song Leader: I'd rather sit on a cactus plant!
    Henchman: We could do that, too, if you'd like.
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus: In "The Piranha Brothers," Luigi Vercotti describes the prospect of having to meet Doug Piranha:
    Luigi: Well, I was terrified. Everyone's terrified of Doug. I've seen grown men pull their own heads off rather than see Doug. Even Dinsdale was afraid of Doug.
  • Red Dwarf: Kryten is aghast that Lister and the Cat would rather face horrible (if prolonged) death at the hands of Simulants in the slim hope of looting their ship for food rather than live off Kryten's dandelion soup. The Cat states that if it was the option of a Simulant using their ribs as a xylophone, he'd hand them the sheet music.
  • The Late Show with Stephen Colbert: On June 15, 2018, Colbert mocks the deleterious work conditions at the White House and the difficulties of hiring staff. To the question "Interested in a job in the White House?", he jokes that the GMail app offered the auto-suggested responses, "No", "Hell no", and "I'd rather eat a muffin made of broken glass."
  • The Orville: Ed lampshades the Timey-Wimey Ball in "Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow" as follows:
    Ed: You guys will not get me into a discussion of time travel logic. I'd rather chew broken glass.
  • Cheers: After Sam hits on her yet again, Rebecca clarifies the matter for him: She not only doesn't want to go out with him, she'd rather have her gall bladder removed.

  • "Weird Al" Yankovic's "One More Minute," singing about an ex.
    That's right, you ain't gonna see me crying
    I'm glad that you found somebody new
    'Cause I'd rather spend eternity eating shards of broken glass
    Than spend one more minute with you.
  • The song "Beg, Borrow, and Steal" by Ohio Express is all about how he'd rather do those three things for a living than go back to his Tsundere girlfriend.
  • The closing lines of Tom Lehrer's "Oedipus Rex".
    You may end up just like Oedipus,
    I'd rather marry a duck-billed platypus,
    Then end up just like Oedipus Rex!
  • The chorus of Luther Vandross' "I'd Rather" has a downplayed version of this trope, as the singer chooses to suffer while together with his true love rather than be by himself or someone else.
    I'd rather have bad times with you, than good times with someone else
    I'd rather be beside you in a storm, than safe and warm by myself
    I'd rather have hard times together, than to have it easy apart
    I'd rather have the one who holds my heart

    Print Media 
  • Stuart Campbell used this in some of his more negative Amiga Power reviews:
    • The review of International Rugby Challenge featured a "scientific" comparison of the game with other "most-bad things." The Bosnian war, the Somalian famine, the Rodney King beating, and the depletion of the ozone layer were all judged to be not as bad as International Rugby Challenge, though "Having Electrodes Attached To Your Genitals And Being Flogged Senseless With A Knotted Rope" would probably be just as bad.
    • The short review of the Porting Disaster of ThunderJaws included the statement "I'd rather have my liver pierced with a rusty fork and undergo a particularly unpleasant series of rabies inoculations than have to play this quite disgracefully boring and incompetent production-line conversion job again."

  • Evil Dead: The Musical: "Join Us" has Ash state, "I'd rather look like this moose" than join the Evil Dead. Unfortunately, said moose is also a Candarian demon, which bites his hand.
  • My Fair Lady: In "I'm An Ordinary Man," Higgins says that he'd "be equally as willing for a dentist to be drilling than to ever let a woman in my life," and, in the second verse, that he'd "prefer a repetition of the Spanish Inquisition."
  • Much Ado About Nothing: Benedick provides an epic example after he gets mad at Beatrice:
    "Will your grace command me any service to the world's end? I will go on the slightest errand now to the Antipodes that you can devise to send me on; I will fetch you a tooth-picker now from the furthest inch of Asia, bring you the length of Prester John's foot, fetch you a hair off the great Cham's beard, do you any embassage to the Pigmies, rather than hold three words conference with this harpy!"

    Video Games 
  • The Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures throws up a randomized message each time the Nerd dies, usually following the template: "I'D RATHER (colorful verb phrase) FROM A (animal's body part) THAN CONTINUE THIS (colorful adjective) GAME!!"
  • In a level early in Delicious 6: Emily's Childhood Memories five-year-old Emily states that she'd rather be stung by bees than play with the boy next door.
  • In Genshin Impact, Diluc hates the Fatui so much that if he was forced to choose between dealing with them or "eating a Cryo-Slime whole", he says he'd be better off getting crushed to death by a giant meteorite. Paimon immediately teases him for being so dramatic.
  • This happens twice in Super Monkey Ball 2. A constantly brought-up plot point is that the main antagonist of the Story Mode, Dr. Bad-Boon has a crush on Meemee, who doesn't reciprocate at all, and rather harshly states she doesn't like him. Bad-Boon tries to get Meemee to marry him so he'll give back all the bananas he stole in the opening. Both times, she says she'd rather starve to death and stay small note  than marry him. He does not take those reactions well. note 
  • During the part in Secret of Mana where you get rescued from dying in the desert by the Tasnican Republic sandship and subsequently enslaved by the obnoxious bratty commander when the Boy and the Sprite find the Girl, the commander is trying to make her serve him, but she's not being very cooperative.
    Commander: Massage my back!
    Girl: I'd sooner have my gums scraped.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 

    Web Videos 
  • A regular occurrence with The Angry Video Game Nerd, often in a profane matter. For example:
    • In the first Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde episode, he advises to destroy the game instead of playing it, saying, "You'd rather super-glue your asshole shut than play that game. You'd rather drown in gasoline."
    • The episode on Who Framed Roger Rabbit for the NES includes two such lines that became part of the lyrics of the Theme Tune: "I'd rather have a fucking buffalo take a diarrhea dump in my ear than subject them to this horrendous garbage... I'd rather eat out the rotten asshole of a roadkill skunk than play this game, ever again."
  • Joueur du Grenier:
  • Arkle, host of the YouTube show Shameless Cashgrab, said that his at-the-time recent tooth canal was a less unpleasant experience than watching My Mom's a Werewolf.
  • FishStickOnAStick, in his review of Blood Whistle, concludes that the story is beyond salvaging because he "would rather get impaled by the Blood Whistle itself than have to read this story again."

    Western Animation 
  • Nikki from 6teen tends to use this trope quite a bit:
    • In "Employee of the Month", Nikki says that she would rather pull a watermelon out of her nose than be employee of the month at the Khaki Barn.
    • In "Mr. Nice Guy", the girls are trying to teach Jonesy how to act nice in front of a date, and when Cailtin suggests that one of them should be a pretend date for Jonesy to practice on, Nikki says that she would rather watch someone eat her hand.
  • The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius: When Jimmy is faced with the offer of visiting Eustace's place after the former beat the latter in a kite battle, Jimmy says he'd rather gargle liquid nitrogen.
  • The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 has some:
    • In episode "The Ugly Mermaid", Mario, in his Frog Suit, flees from a (very ugly) mermaid princess who instantly falls in love with him and wants to marry him.
    Mario: I'd rather face a thousand Koopas than one mermaid mackerel with marriage on her mind.
    Luigi: Hey, well, thanks for the help, Clyde, but I’ve never seen anyone so happy to be back behind bars.
    Clyde: 12,423 years and no parole is a lot better than one more day with those Koopas.
  • Animaniacs:
    • In one episode, a businessman sitting next to the Warners, who pester him and want him to be their "special friend", tells them that "I'd rather be stranded on an island and be eaten by cannibals than be your 'special friend'!" Which is exactly what happens to him at the end.
    • In her debut cartoon "Meet Minerva Mink", Minerva listens to her phone messages, one of which is from a nervous Lawrence, asking, "I was wondering if you'd like to go out with me?" Minerva, Breaking the Fourth Wall, replies, "I'd rather chew aluminum."
  • In the Arthur episode "Arthur and the Square Dance", after Arthur spends the entire episode believing that he and Francine are in love, this exchange follows:
    Arthur: You don't want to kiss me?
    Francine: Are you kidding?!? I'd rather get head lice!
  • BoJack Horseman: Near the end of "That Went Well", when Mr. Peanutbutter receives a visit from his ex-wife about a proposition she wants him to take up.
    Katrina: Listen, butt-sniffer, I work for a guy and we're looking for a guy. You're supposed to be this big hero now, so someone brought your name up in a meeting and now I have an opportunity for you.
    Mr. Peanutbutter: Oh, is it being married to you again? Because I'd rather get euthanized. Spoiler alert for Marley & Me.
    Katrina: It wasn't a spoiler until you said the name of the movie.
  • In the Bonkers episode "I Oughta Be in Toons", Bonkers mentions that former child star Babyface has an ego so obnoxious, that people have said that they would dance barefoot on the surface of the Sun rather than work with him again.
  • In an episode of The Critic where Jay reviews a really junky movie with Clint Eastwood returning as Dirty Harry in "Beverly Hills Robo [[Film/K9 K-9]] Cop and a Half 2". Jay unveils a scale that measures the movie in terms of diseases he'd rather have than watch it, which goes past leprosy and "unidentified yellow substance" before settling on spastic colon.
  • Darkwing Duck: In "Star-Crossed Circuits", while D-2000 is trying to get Darkwing to take a romantic moonlight walk with it, it corners him against the edge of the tower and says he can either come along or dive into the bay. Darkwing thinks a moment and then takes the plunge. Unfortunately, it takes this as Playing Hard to Get.
  • Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines: In "Sky-Hi I.Q.", an efficiency expert assigns command of the Vulture Squadron to Muttley, prompting Dastardly to protest "It'll be a rainy day in May before I take orders from that mutt!" (And sure enough, a rain cloud emerges from Dastardly's phone and douses him.)
  • In "Doug vs. the Klotzoid Zombies", Doug imagines what would happen if all of Quailman's friends avoided him. When Quailman asks Skeeter if he wants to hang out, Skeeter says he would rather kiss a moving train.
  • DuckTales (1987):
  • DuckTales (2017): In "Happy Birthday, Doofus Drake!", Goldie recalls being trapped in another dimension where a million tiny imps would stab her with splinters and whisper all her worst failures in her ears. She says that her current situation, being locked in a Gilded Cage and forced to be Doofus's new "Gummeemama", is worse.
  • On Family Guy Carter really doesn't want to spend time with his son-in-law. He gives this response when Lois asks if Peter could join him in a poker game.
    Carter: Sorry, honey. I'd rather be stuck in an elevator with Nathan Lane, Gilbert Gottfried, Carrot Top, uh, Sean Hayes.... well, you get the picture.
  • Final Space: In the episode "Hyper-Transdimensional Bridge Rising", Gary says that getting swallowed by his colon is preferable to trusting Clarence, who has previously betrayed him and his friends earlier in the show.
  • Goof Troop: In "Have Yourself a Goofy Little Christmas", Pete prepares to his family on a vacation to Aspirin, Colorado. When P.J. suggests that the Goofs come with them, Pete retorts that he'd eat cat litter first.
  • The Loud House:
    • In "Space Invader", Lincoln begs Lucy to make up with Lynn. Lucy's response: "I'd rather wear pink."
    • In "Save the Date", Lincoln denies having feelings for Ronnie Anne, saying he'd "rather lick the bathroom floor" than kiss her. Somewhat amusingly, he rescinds this statement when taken up on the "offer".
  • At the beginning of the Martin Mystery episode, "Terror From the Sky," Martin is talking to a friend about how Jenny, a girl he has a crush on, told him that he was so sweet, he gave her a toothache. We then cut to Jenny talking to Diana, and she reveals that she actually told Martin that she would rather have all her teeth pulled than go out with him.
  • On Metalocalypse Murderface buys his grandma a new motorized scooter. She tells him that he's going to heaven for it, and Murderface flatly says that he'd rather die than go to heaven.
  • Samurai Jack: In a Season 5 episode, when Jack saves Ashi from a crab creature and expects some gratitude for it.
    Jack: You're welcome.
    Ashi: I'd be happier as this creature's excrement that be grateful to you!
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • In "Squidville", after SpongeBob and Patrick accidentally destroy Squidward's house, Squidward tells them "I would rather tear out my brain stem, carry it into the middle of the nearest four-way intersection, and skip rope with it than go on living where I do now."
    • In "Just One Bite", when SpongeBob asks Squidward if he'd like to try a Krabby Patty for the first time, he responds "If I were trapped at the bottom of a well for three years with nothing to eat but that Krabby Patty, I'd eat my own legs first! (beat) And not just the extra ones."
    • In "Keep Bikini Bottom Beautiful", when SpongeBob asks if he can help Squidward, Squidward tells him that "I would rather be beaten to a pulp."
  • In the Star Trek: The Animated Series episode "Albatross", after another fight with Spock, McCoy tells Kirk that if he lands in jail again, Kirk should leave him there rather than sending Spock to effect another jailbreak.
  • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987) episode "Rhino-Man", Shredder and Krang have Rocksteady and Bebop become superheroes so they could enter a superhero contest and receive a diamond they want.
    Shredder: (about Rocksteady and Bebop) Oooh, those morons! I should've handled this hero business myself! But I'd rather eat brussels sprouts for a week than be a do-gooder.
  • Montana Max's relationship with Elmyra from Tiny Toon Adventures is like this. In the episode, "Prom-ise Her Anything", Monty tells Elmyra he'd rather get a lobotomy than be her date. In "It's a Wonderful Tiny Toons Christmas Special", he tells her he'd rather eat dog food than kiss her Under the Mistletoe. Both times, he doesn't just say this to her, he yells it to her, really loudly.
  • Toby in Trollhunters decides to ask every girl in school (except his best friend's crush) to the High-School Dance. He is universally turned down; the one rejection we see on screen is, "I'd rather choke to death."
  • In Xiaolin Showdown, after Raimundo pulls a Face–Heel Turn and joins Wuya, she makes the same offer to the now captive Clay and Kimiko; Kimikio's response is rather unsubtle, while Clay says he'd "rather kiss the rear end of a very ugly mule."

    Real Life 
  • White House adviser Kellyanne Conway has gone on record saying that, if offered the job of White House press secretary, would "Slit my wrists, bleed out, put Cement Shoes on, jump off the bridge, and then I'll take the job — are you kidding me?" Read the story here.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Pain Level Comparison


CPR From Bob or Asthma Attack

Rudy would rather suffer through his asthma attack than get CPR from Bob.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

Main / WouldRatherSuffer

Media sources:

Main / WouldRatherSuffer