Follow TV Tropes


Quotes / Armor-Piercing Question

Go To

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 

Tell me, Light, from the moment you were born, has there ever been a time where you've actually told the truth?
L, Death Note

Nia: So does this mean you hate me too Adiane?
Adiane: Hate you? I really couldn't care less about you. I was told to kill you, so that's precisely what I'm going to do! Whether I hate you or not is irrelevant.
Nia: So you're saying that you're willing to kill me simply because you were ordered to do so?
Adiane: Of course I am, what of it?
Nia: If my father ordered you to take your own life, would you do that too?

Cagalli: And that's why you killed Kira? You?
Athrun: He was an enemy! He was no longer on my side! I had no choice but to kill him, did I?
Cagalli: [grabs Athrun by the neck and points her gun at him] You fool! How could you come to that conclusion? How could you end up doing something like that?
Athrun: He killed Nicol! Nicol loved to play the piano. And he was only 15. Yet Kira killed him, when he was only fighting to protect the PLANTs!
Cagalli: Kira also fought only because he wanted to protect others! So why did he have to be killed? And of all people, at the hands of a friend! One kills because another is killed! Then gets killed because he kills! How the hell is that going to bring us peace? Well?

"Wufei, tell me... how many more people must we kill?... How many more times must I kill that girl and her dog?"

    Comic Books 

"Heh—you tried to destroy me in the past too, remember? You even tried to obliterate an entire planet. So—what, you want me to take you out with Eggman? After all, if he can't be forgiven, can you?"
Sonic the Hedgehog to Shadow, Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW)

You've been making your investigative films for what, twenty years now? I wanted to ask: Have you changed anything? You've been uncovering disturbing things all over the world for twenty years now. Have you changed anything? You've worked very hard. Most people have no idea of the kind of work you've done. Intellectuals, critics, and activists follow your films closely, but culturally you're almost invisible, Mr. Pillinger. Have you changed anything?
Tony Stark, Iron Man: Extremis

Why don't you just put the whole WORLD in a BOTTLE, Superman?
Lex Luthor, Superman: Red Son

Kal-L: Bruce... I'm offering you your chance to start over. None of this is your fault. [...] Everything you've done, everything you set in motion, is because you felt you couldn't trust the people around you. And you know what? You can't. But on my Earth, it's different.
Batman: What happens to everyone on this Earth when yours comes back?
Kal-L: They'll be folded into its historical fabric.
Batman: You mean they'll die.
Kal-L: No. They'll be replaced, just like everyone on my Earth was. But they'll be better. I never lie, Bruce.
Batman: And what about Dick Grayson?
Kal-L: Yes?
Batman: Is he a better man on your Earth than he is on mine?
Kal-L: ...No.

Kitty Pryde (after being pulled away from an anti-mutant activist): How can all of you be so calm? Didn't you hear what he said?
Stevie (a Black woman): They're only words, child.
Kitty Pryde: Suppose he'd called me a nigger-lover, Stevie?! Would you be so damn tolerant then?


    Fan Works 

Mariko: They died for the greater good. Humans have made sacrifices to gods — material offerings, animals, even human lives—
Vivienne: THEY WERE MURDERED! BY HIM AND HIS! Sacrifice... has purpose. This? Senseless. Unnecessary. Wasted. Do you... even care?
Mariko: [silence]
Vivienne: Guess not.

"He loves me, Kaji. He's said it right to me," she said calmly. "No one else ever has. Not even you."
Kaji winced. He smoothed his expression back out and said, "It's just words, Asuka. Words are easy to say. They're a lot harder to really mean. How can you possibly know if it's true, and will be for as long as you’re talking about?"
"I believe him," Asuka stated with utter conviction.
"Just words," Shinji suddenly said, his voice cold and fixing Kaji with another harsh stare that made him think of how much Shinji resembled his father. "Just words... have you said them to Misato-san?"
Kaji suddenly couldn't meet his eyes.

Why am I doing this?! It makes no sense! I don't even know these people! Why am I fighting a giant fucking goat demon for them?! This is stupid, why should I care about what happens to any of them? They're all a bunch of stupid sheep that let Corvatz herd them off a cliff! They knew exactly what they were walking into! Which just begs the question, WHY AM I STILL HERE?! (flashes back to Sachi's death) DAMMIT!!

It's like a fencer's foil striking home: a lightning-fast lunge straight into the heart of the matter. Why didn't I call any of my old friends?
Hisao Nakai gets hit by one, Weekend at Hisao's

"But, you know what a better question would be-"
Pyrrha gave a start.
Ruby was leaning in slightly, peering up with faintly worried eyes.
"Are you okay, Pyrrha?"
She asked it so earnestly that for a moment Pyrrha wanted to say-
No, not really.
Untitled RWBY fic

Adrien: You're never around. You don't even know what classes I'm taking! You don't know the names of my friends. Sometimes I wonder if you even remember when my birthday is—
Gabriel: Don't be ridiculous. I know exactly when—
Adrien: Then why didn't you get me anything?
Gabriel glares right back, but he doesn't say anything. There's no good answer to that question, and Adrien knows it. He feels a strange, cold satisfaction as he watches Gabriel's expression shift almost imperceptibly, pinpointing the exact moment when his father realizes that he's been beaten.

"Have you ever questioned Ronan, or his superiors? Have you ever asked yourself if they had your best interests in mind?"
"I have asked questions of Lord Ronan when things were unclear to me," she said. "As for having my best interests in mind, I repeat: I enjoy my present status in society because of obeying his orders."
"So far," said Carol. "But what happens when they feel you’re just another piece of meat to throw to the dogs?"
Iva now definitely looked confused, and somewhat angry. "Explain yourself."
"Look at it this way. They’ve probably thrown a lot of sparring partners at you, just to see how fast and how well you could kill them. Correct?"
"Substantially, yes," said Iva.
"Now they’re matching you against me, just for the pleasure of the big boys," Carol continued. "Just for the pleasure of seeing me killed. Isn’t that right?"
"The basic idea of it is correct," Iva agreed.
"This has all been done to make you into the perfect fighting machine. Would you agree with that?"
Iva looked as though she were being drawn into a trap, but couldn’t bring herself to avoid it. "Not in those precise words, but the gist of it is valid."
"So what happens when they want an even more perfect fighting machine, and throw you to her as a sacrifice?"
Iva’s jaw was open. No sound came out.
"The Kree are very functionalistic," said Carol. "You’re only good to them until they can get somebody better. Once they do, or they think they do, they’ll see you as nothing but meat for the grinder. And somebody else will be using you as a hamburger."
She doubted that Iva knew exactly what a hamburger was. But she got the meaning of it. Iva was furious. For some reason, that heartened Carol.
"In the arena, you will beg me for your destruction," hissed the blue woman. "That is when your agonies will only have started."

"You did not need the Valar to teach you that it was wrong to kill the Teleri and take their ships," Estë said sorrowfully. "You did know better, but in your reckless fear…"
"We were not afraid!" he insisted.
"Why your haste?" asked Varda, and then he knew, knew beyond any doubt, that she was right. A sickening feeling took his stomach, and he was glad he had not eaten in years.

Spinel: Do you have any idea what it was like?!
Lapis Lazuli: Yeah. Cracked, tortured, trapped in a mirror, 6 millennia, conscious the whole time. What were you trapped in?
Spinel: Pink said she'd come back, and she just abandoned me there, staring at that warp pad-
Lapis Lazuli: You mean you could have just left?

"You know, Oni... Ever since I met you, we've always been fighting. Why was it Oni? Did you have that thing with you? How did you know that with that Box of a Hundred Medicines you would turn into an Oni? Suika... When did you... become an Oni?"
Kasen, Suikakasen

Ukyo: So you're just going to do what they want you to? Even if you end up miserable?
Ranma: And how's that different from doing what you want?

"None of us are safe Kara. Our planet is on the verge of destruction. What you and Zod are doing is not just madness but pointless," said Jor.
"Zod is trying to save Krypton. If bloodlines like those on the Council hadn't existed, none of the radical decisions that are destroying our planet would have happened," explained Kara.
Jor took a step forward. "Are those your words or Zod's? Have you forgotten that Zod considered you a freak just like so many others? You are in that uniform not because of him but because of yourself and your father who believed in you." The words stunned Kara as she tried to maintain her calm. Zor-El was the one who told her she could do anything she wanted to and was the main reason she endured the insults and fights in the academy.

"Why do you serve Megatron?"
Optimus Prime, More Than Meets the Ear

"But what about your life? Do you want to be a sport Pokemon all of your existence, or do you want to do something more with your future?"

Sae: "...The ends justify the means. Do you honestly believe that one person’s rights are more important than the safety of society itself?”
Makoto: “That safety is an illusion. An illusion that lets people like Kaneshiro thrive.”
Sae: “What a childish way of thinking. If maintaining the safety we have means that an occasional innocent is jailed or suffers, then so be it.”
Makoto: “If the ends justify the means, then what, precisely, is your problem with the Phantom Thieves? If you don’t believe that people like Kaneshiro’s, or anyone’s rights, matter more than the safety of society, then why do you care that we changed his heart without his consent? Or are only those who make or enforce the law allowed to break it?”
For perhaps one of the first times of her career, Sae found herself without a single counterargument.

"This is going to sound strange…" Coach Hiraguchi began cautiously. Dusting off her hands, she finally stopped working and walked over to Kasumi. Staring seriously at her, Hiraguchi spoke firmly. "Sumire is likely to ask for some strange things in the coming days. Requests that will change how the two of you have lived your lives until now. I hope that you accept them."
With a strange fear gripping her heart, Kasumi found herself unable to nod her acceptance. She knew she should, for Sumire. But she didn't want to. Kasumi had loved her life until recently. Everything had been perfect. Up until Sumire had ran away from her on that rainy street.
"Does that scare the fearless Kasumi?" Hiraguchi asked teasingly, raising one eye in challenge.
"…Yes." She answered honestly her voice hoarse. "Why is this happening coach? Why is everything changing? It was all perfect before…"
"You should know I can't answer that question," Hiraguchi answered, a slight disapproving tone to her voice. "And who was it perfect for? You and Sumire? Or just you?"

“Thank you for saying that I really appreciate it…” She trailed off for a second, biting her lip anxiously. “But I still don’t think I agree with you. He might have gone about it the wrong way, but Doctor Maruki was just trying to help me! I don’t think he was manipulating me, not really.”
Akechi sighed and put a hand to his face for a moment. He took a deep breath, then leant forward.
“I’m not trying to convince you. I don’t care, remember that okay? But do you want to hear what Maruki thinks of you? From the perspective of someone…less under his influence.”
There was something intense in Akechi’s eyes; something that made her nod her head, even though she wasn’t sure she wanted to know.
“Good. Then first I have to ask: you love your sister, right? You miss her?”
She nodded without thinking, a little offended that he needed to ask.
“Of course I do! Kasumi was my best friend in the world, how could I not miss her?”
He nodded thoughtfully and tapped his cheek.
“And you regret causing her death?”
She winced, and slumped down into her seat a little, but nodded anyway. It wasn’t like he was wrong, it just still hurt to hear be said so bluntly.
Akechi was still smiling, but his expression turned dark. There was an edge of cruelty to it that made Sumire shrink further down into her seat.
“So then,” He said, baring his teeth slightly through his smile. “Why then, did she not return when Isshiki and Okumura did?”
Something broke.

Yu turned to head for the doorway. But before he reached it he heard Ren’s voice.
Yu looked over his shoulder to see the boy sitting there.
Ren: I have a question… you’re heading home one night. Things are normal. Like they always are whenever you head back home from school- except this time you hear a woman crying for help. You turn the corner and you see her begging for a drunk and off-kilter man grabbing her and trying to force her into a vehicle. If you were a ‘good little boy’ you’d pay it no mind cause hey it’s none of your business right? But you’re not like that are you? You’d intervene. You’d tell the guy to back off and get him off the girl. There’s a tussle and the asshole winds up hurting himself. Except it turns out he’s a fucking high-time super rich politician with connections out the asshole and more money than you could hope for. He intimidates the woman, the person you tried to help, into basically telling the police a lie and saying you assaulted her. You get taken away. You’re given a criminal record. Your mother starts crying herself to sleep every night. Your former friends suddenly start to avoid you like the plague. You had a girl who liked you but now she’s terrified of you. Teachers start finding convenient excuses for you to go into study hall all so they don’t gotta put up with you. Pretty soon you’re a pariah on society all cause you played good Samaritan.
Naoto hid her eyes behind her hat as his story went on. She had read the police report on Amamiya and knew what he was talking about. Reading the statistics and basics of the crime on a paper was one thing but… hearing it from the horses mouth was something different. The simply brash and harsh tone of it all caused her stomach to almost wretch.
Everyone else likewise felt a very tangible air of uncomfortable atmosphere at hearing the story. Kanji grit his teeth in anger at the scenario. Yosuke just looked down and miserable, perhaps some part of the story reminding him of his own social ostracization. Rise just looked blank and hollow at the story while Yukiko was simply silent. Neither one of them could really process the emotions of what they were feeling or how they’d react if they were forced to go through it. Chie was stuck between anger and pity, unsure if she should be upset at herself or the situation. It was probably a good thing Teddie wasn’t here… he’d probably not understand any of it and just say something inappropriate.
Ren: Tell me something Narukami, if you were in that situation? What would you have done differently from me?
Yu paused as he stared at the man for a long moment. Slowly the boy turned back to the doorway and said the only words that he rightfully could at the time.
Yu: Not a whole lot to be honest.
And like that, Yu opened the door and left the room.

    Film - Animation 

Anna: What did I ever do to you?!
Elsa: Enough, Anna!
Anna: No, why?! Why do you shut me out?! Wh-Why do you shut the world out?! WHAT ARE YOU SO AFRAID OF?!
Elsa: I said ENOUGH!!

Judy: That went so fast. I didn't get a chance to mention you, or say anything about how we...
Nick: Oh, I think you said plenty.
Judy: What do you mean?
Nick: "Clearly, there's a biological component"? "These predators may be reverting back to their primitive, savage ways"? Are you serious?
Judy: I just stated the facts of the case. I mean, it's not like a bunny can go savage.
Nick: Right, but a fox could, huh?
Judy: Nick, stop it! You're not like them!
Nick: Oh, there's a them now?
Judy: You know what I mean! You're not that kind of predator!
Nick: The kind that needs to be muzzled?! The kind that makes you think you need to carry around fox repellant?! Yeah, don't think I didn't notice that little item the first time we met! So l-let me ask you a question: Are you afraid of me? Do you think I might go nuts? That I'll go "savage?" You think that I might try to... EAT YOU?! (bares his teeth and claws)
Judy: (steps back and reaches for her fox repellant)
Nick: I knew it. Just when I thought somebody actually believed in me.

Luna: Please. I'm a trained astronaut. I know what I'm doing.
Ham: Trained astronaut? Space chimps are a joke.
Luna: Is that what you think of your grandfather?

Woody: I'm sorry, Buzz. This is my only chance.
Buzz: To do what, Woody? Watch kids from behind glass and never be loved again? Some life.

    Film - Live-Action 
Emma Russell: They were going to take over Monarch and kill the Titans. I didn't have a choice!
Madison Russell: Bullshit! You said we were doing this for Andrew. [tearfully] Do you really think he would've wanted this?
Emma Russell: [looks anguished; slightly shakes her head]
Madison Russell: Exactly.

Detective Del Spooner: Robots don't feel fear. They don't feel anything. They don't eat, they don't sleep...
Sonny: I do. I have even had dreams.
Detective Del Spooner: Human beings have dreams. Even dogs have dreams. But not you. You are just a machine. An imitation of life. Can a robot write a symphony? Can a robot turn a canvas into a beautiful masterpiece?
Sonny: ...Can you?


Scrooge: (about the children Ignorance and Want) Have they no refuge or resource?
Ghost of Christmas Present: Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?

All sorts of interrogation points flashed before his eyes. He put questions to himself, and made replies to himself, and his replies frightened him. He asked himself: "What has that convict done, that desperate fellow, whom I have pursued even to persecution, and who has had me under his foot, and who could have avenged himself, and who owed it both to his rancor and to his safety, in leaving me my life, in showing mercy upon me? His duty? No. Something more. And I in showing mercy upon him in my turn - what have I done? My duty? No. Something more. So there is something beyond duty?" Here he took fright; his balance became disjointed; one of the scales fell into the abyss, the other rose heavenward, and Javert was no less terrified by the one which was on high than by the one which was below.
Les Misérables, Volume V - Book Four, "Javert Derailed"

Hanna: We couldn't keep everyone. There wasn't room.
Judge: No, but what I'm saying - let me rephrase - to make room, you were picking women out and saying "You you and you have to be sent back to be killed."
Hanna: Well, what would you have done?

Amaram: Your men died in the name of battle, so that the strongest man would have the weapon. Anyone would have done what I did, even Dalinar himself.
Kaladin: Didn't you tell me you'd given up that grief?
Amaram: Yes! I'm beyond guilt!
Kaladin: Then why do you still hurt?
Amaram: Everything I've done, I've done for Alethkar. I'm a patriot!
Kaladin: If that's true, why do you still hurt?

Jaina Proudmoore: I am doing what I know to be right.
Kalec: As did Arthas when he slaughtered everyone in Stratholme. And even he did not act with such hatred in his heart towards those he killed. Tell me, is this what your legacy is to be, Jaina Proudmoore? To be another Garrosh? Another Arthas?

Karen gave me a bleak, hard look. "There are those of us who wish it could be another way. That there was some middle choice between being slugs beneath the Andalite hooves, and being... and being..."
"Slave masters?" I suggested.
I expected her to yell at me. Instead she put her face close to mine. Her voice was low. Her green eyes so enormous I almost felt I could see through them to the Yeerk inside. "What would you do, Cassie? What would you do, if you were one of us? Would you live your life as a blind, helpless slug?"
I didn't have an answer. Instead I looked away.
Animorphs #19: The Departure

    Live-Action TV 

Morden: What do you want?
G'Kar: What do you mean, what do I want?
Morden: What do you want?
G'Kar: What do I want for supper? What do I want to do this evening? What do I—
Morden: What do you want?
G'Kar: This is pointless. What I want is for you to go away and leave me in peace.
Morden: As you say.
G'Kar: Wait. What do I want? The Centauri stripped my world. I want justice.
Morden: But what do you want?
G'Kar: To suck the marrow from their bones and grind their skulls into powder.
Morden: What do you want?
G'Kar: To tear down their cities, blacken their sky, sow the ground with completely, utterly erase them.
Morden: And Then What??
(Dramatic Pause)
G'Kar: ...I don't know. As long as my homeworld's safety is guaranteed, I don't know that it matters.
Morden: (disappointed) I see. Thank you for your time, Ambassador. Good day.
Babylon 5, "Signs and Portents"

Morden: What do you want?
Londo: This is a silly conversation.
Morden: Yes, it is. What do you want?
Londo: To be left alone!
Morden: Is that it? Is that really all, Ambassador?
(Dramatic Pause)
Londo: ...All right. Fine. You really want to know what I want? You really want to know the truth? I want my people to reclaim their rightful place in the galaxy! I want to see the Centauri stretch forth their hand again and command the stars! I want a rebirth of glory, a renaissance of power! I want to stop running through life like a man late for an appointment, afraid to look back, or to look forward! I want us to be what we used to be. I want... I want it all back, the way that it was! Does that answer your question?
Morden: Yes. Yes, it does. Thank you, Ambassador.
Babylon 5, "Signs and Portents"

Inquisitor: Who are you?
Delenn: I am Delenn.
Inquisitor: Unacceptable answer. I already know your name. Who are you?
Delenn: Delenn! (shocked)
Inquisitor: If you repeat an unacceptable answer, the penalty will be increased. Who are you?
Delenn: I... I am the ambassador for Minbar.
Inquisitor: Unacceptable. That is only your title. What other people call you when you choose to hide behind formalities. Who are you?
Delenn: I, uh... I'm the daughter of... (shocked)
Inquisitor: Unacceptable. What a sad thing you are. Unable to answer even such a simple question without falling back on references and genealogies and what other people call you. Have you nothing of your own? Nothing to stand on that is not provided, defined, delineated, stamped, sanctioned, numbered and approved by others? How can you be expected to fight for someone else when you haven't the fairest idea who you are?
Babylon 5, "Comes the Inquisitor"

The Doctor: The concept is simply staggering! Pointless, but staggering!
The Captain: I'm gratified that you appreciate it.
The Doctor: Appreciate it? Appreciate it? But you commit mass destruction and murder on a scale that's almost inconceivable and you ask me to "appreciate it?" Just because you happen to have made a brilliantly conceived toy out of the mummified remains of planets!
The Captain: Devil storms, Doctor! It is not a toy!
The Doctor: THEN WHAT'S IT FOR?! What are you doing? What could possibly be worth all this?
Doctor Who, "The Pirate Planet"

Rose: You don't have to do this anymore. There must be something else - not just killing. What else is there? What do you want?
Dalek: (silently turns back to van Statten, and then back to Rose) I want... freedom.
Doctor Who, "Dalek"

Amy: Save him. You can save him, you always save everyone. That's what you do.
The Doctor: Not all the time. I'm sorry.
Amy: ...Then what is the point of you?
Doctor Who, "Amy's Choice"

Tell me if your precious Renly commanded you to kill your own father and stand by while thousands of men, women, and children burned alive, would you have done it? Would you have kept your oath then?
Jaime Lannister, aka The Kingslayer, Game of Thrones

If abortion is murder, then no matter how you feel towards Mary Donovan, aren't you guilty of the murder of her unborn child?
ADA Benjamin Stone, Law & Order

Sayid: (to Juliette) You said earlier that if you told me everything you knew, I'd kill you. I'm going to test the validity of that statement.
Sawyer: He means "talk."
Juliette: We don't have time for this.
Sawyer: We cleared our schedules. We got all the time in the world.
Juliette: You know it's interesting... that you two are now the camp's moral police. I'm curious, Sayid, how long was it before you told everyone on that beach exactly how many people you've tortured in your life? Do they know about Basra? And I'm sure the first thing you did when you got here, James, was to gather everyone in a circle and tell them about the man you shot in cold blood the night before you got on the plane. So why don't we just skip the part where you two pretend to be righteous? I'm taking that medicine back to Claire, and you're going to let me. Because if she doesn't get it, she's going to die. And the last thing either of you need right now... is more blood on your hands.

Picard: But whatever circumstances you encountered, why didn't you notify Starfleet?
Maxwell: And wait six months while the bureaucrats sit around reading reports, trying to figure out what to do? They don't know what's going on out here. But you should, Picard. You know what it's like to be under fire.
Picard: You weren't under fire.
Maxwell: Lives were at stake.
Picard: Whose lives?
Maxwell: We had to act now.
Picard: Why?

Data: Sir, Lt. La Forge's eyes are far superior to human biological eyes, true? Then why are not all human officers required to have their eyes replaced with cybernetic implants?
(Picard is at a loss for words and turns away)
Data: I see, it is precisely because I am not human.
Picard: (shaken) That will be all, Mr. Data.
Star Trek: The Next Generation, "The Measure of a Man"

Picard: A single Data, and forgive me, Commander, is a curiosity: a wonder, even. But thousands of Datas, isn't that becoming a race? And won't we be judged by how we treat that race? Now tell me, Commander, what is Data?
Maddox: I don't understand.
Picard: What is he?!
Maddox: A machine!
Picard: Is he? Are you sure?
Maddox: Yes!
Picard: You see he's met two of your three criteria for sentience, [intelligence and self-awareness,] so what if he meets the third, consciousness, in even the smallest degree? What is he then? I don't know, do you? (to Riker, who'd been forced to argue for Maddox's side) Do you? (to the judge) Do you? Are you prepared to condemn him and all who come after him to servitude and slavery?
Star Trek: The Next Generation, "The Measure of a Man"

Riker: What's the problem?
"Geordi": I've had to shut down the warp engines, Captain.
Riker: Why?
"Geordi": Antimatter containment fields are fluctuating. It's nothing to worry about though.
Riker: We're on the edge of the Neutral Zone on impulse power, and you're not concerned?
"Geordi": I'll have the engines back online in no time, sir.
Riker: Like you tracked down that faulty processing accelerator?
"Geordi": I'm running a level one diagnostic.
Riker: For thirty hours? It would never take you more than four. You're incapable of that level of incompetence, Mister La Forge! Worf, where did you get that scar?
"Worf": In combat.
Riker: What battle? When? Which sector? Which unit? Mister Data, if we left immediately, when would we arrive at Outpost 23?
"Data": At warp 1, in three days, four hours.
Riker: How about at warp 7? (pause) At warp 8? At warp 9? What's the matter, Data? What happened to those millions of calculations per second?
"Data": Pardon me, sir. I am experiencing subspace interference which limits my abilities. I can't operate as quickly as-
Riker: What did you say?
"Data:" I said I cannot operate-
Riker: No! That's not what you said. You said "I can't." You used a contraction, didn't you?
"Data": Sir, I can explain if you would just give me a moment.
Riker: No, you can't. Don't even try!
("Picard", "Troi" and Tomalak have come out of the ready room)
"Picard": Captain, perhaps it would be best if we discussed this-
Riker: SHUT UP!
"Picard": I beg your pardon?
Riker: I said, "Shut up!" As in "Close your mouth and stop talking!"
"Troi": Will, I sense how upset you are. You're angry and impatient...
Riker: Deanna, back off. Well, would anyone else like to speak up? Or shall we end this charade?
Star Trek: The Next Generation, "Future Imperfect"

Dean: When crap like this comes around, we deal with it. Like we always have. What we don't do is we don't go out and make another deal with the devil!
Castiel: It sounds so simple when you say it like that. Where were you when I needed to hear it?
Dean: I was there. Where were you?

Sam: That you have a choice about. You don't have to come out until you're ready.
Riley: If I ever am.
Sam: In the meantime, all of this self-hating, violent crap... how's that working for you?
Degrassi: The Next Generation, "Beat It, Part 2"


    Newspaper Comics 

Old Man: I've dedicated my life to reading all these books, I have learned who were the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Babylonians, Incas, Mayas...
Boy: Wow! And we grandpa? Who are we?
(a moment later)
Mom: Where's your grandpa?
Boy: In the library, crying.

Calvin: Dad, how does soldiers killing each other solve the world's problems?
(Calvin's Dad stares straight ahead, completely lost for words)
Calvin: I think grown-ups just act like they know what they're doing.


Only once have I been made mute. It was when a man asked me, "Who are you?"
— "Sand and Foam" by Kahlil Gibran

    Video Games 

Do you feel like a hero yet?
— One of many condemning questions in Spec Ops: The Line

Is this for Belka? Or for Erusea?

The Dragonborn: The Blades say you deserve to die.
Paarthurnax: The Blades are wise not to trust me. Onikaan ni ov. I would not trust another dovah.
The Dragonborn: Why shouldn't they trust you?
Paarthurnax: Dov wahlaan fah rel. We were made to dominate. The will to power is in our blood... you feel it in yourself, do you not? I can be trusted. I know this. But they do not. Onikaan ni ov dovah. It is always wise to distrust a dragon. I have overcome my nature only through meditation and long study of the Way of the Voice. No day goes by where I am not tempted to return to my inborn nature. Zin krif horvut se suleyk. What is better? To be born good, or to overcome your evil nature through great effort?

Who are you, that do not know your history?
Ulysses, Fallout: New Vegas

Tell me, Dr. Freeman, if you can. You have destroyed so much. What is it exactly that you have created? Can you name even one thing?

Yuthura: I wanted to use the Force to free the other slaves I knew, to fight for what I knew was right. The Jedi restrained me until I couldn't stand it any more. They claim the dark side is evil, but that isn't so. Sometimes anger and hatred are deserved and right. Sometimes things change because of it.
Player Character: But not always. Mostly, it makes things worse.
Yuthura: Any failure to get the results I want is due to a lack of power on my part. That can change, in time. As a Sith, my mettle is tested far more than when I was a Padawan. I know this may sound strange, but only my compassion stands in my way, now. Once that is gone, let the slavers beware.
Player Character: But... if you lose your compassion, will you still care about those slaves?
Yuthura: I... yes, of course. I-I mean... losing my compassion as in... holding back...

"Your friends... What kind of... people are they? I wonder... Do these people... think of you... as a friend?"
"What makes you happy? I wonder...what makes you happy...does it make...others happy, too?"
"The right thing...what is it? I wonder...if you do the right thing...does it make...everybody...happy?"
"Your true face... What kind of... face is it? I wonder... The face under the mask... Is that... your true face?"
The Lunar Children, The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask

Do you remember the question that caused the creators to attack us, Tali'Zorah? "Does this unit have a soul?"
Legion, Mass Effect 3

What can change the nature of a man?

Ky: Sol, are you only accompanying us so that you can exact your revenge on That Man?
Sol: Why the sudden curiousity?
Ky: I want to know if you sincerely don't care what happens to the rest of the world.
Sol: That's a dumb question.
Ky: It is not! Yes, he did took away some of what makes you human, but that doesn't mean he altered your mind or your soul.
Sol: So what?
Ky: I want to believe that you'll fight for the people of this world.
Sol: Are we seriously having this conversation? Look, kid, I'm a monster. I'm here to do two things: destroy That Man and kill all the other Gears. If the world's in trouble, I'll bust some asses, sure, but only 'cause I need it around to do my job. Not too different from the Valentines in that sense. Now if you've got it in your head that we're gonna be best pals, rethink that. I've got my own shit to take care of.
Ky: Then why do you care about Dizzy?
Sol: ...What?
Ky: My wife. You saved her and she's a Gear. My son, Sin. He's a half-Gear. You said you wanted to destroy all Gears. Why are they any different?
Sol: ...This conversation is over, and we're never having it again.
Ky: Wait! Dammit, you can't run away from the truth, Sol!
Sol: (grabs Ky by his collar) Shut the hell up, Ky, or I'll pound the shit out of you!
Ky: (undeterred) Try.
Sol: Now we're talkin'.
Ky: Tell me, Sol. (knocks Sol's hand away) Just what will happen after you've taken your revenge?
Sol: I don't really think that far ahead.
Ky: Will you go hide from the world like Sin said you would?
Sol: ...
Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN-

"Hold! What you are doing to us is wrong! Why do you do this thing?"

Niko: How much?
Darko: A thousand.
Niko: You killed my friends for one thousand dollars?
Darko: How much do you charge to kill someone?

Free Drone Bandit: We are the Free Drones, and we fight against the Protectorate oppression. Underrail Protectorate - the same faction that destroyed BioCorp, that enslaved North Underrail, that has committed so many atrocities and fed itself fat with the corpses of those who would not conform - is now here. Well, we don't want them here, or anywhere else but Hell! We are gonna stand up to them, 'cause we ain't a bunch of quakers!
Protagonist: Let Me Get This Straight.... You've stolen supplies crucial to Rail Crossing's defense against raiders in order to "stand up" to the Protectorate? Do you even think about these things, or do you just know how to shoot guns and regurgitate all those stock lines about oppression and other mumbo-jumbo?
Free Drone Bandit: We are at war with those rats! You.. you don't understand anything!
Protagonist: If Rail Crossing does not receive these supplies, the raiders will run them over. That is all I need to understand. Many lives will be lost, and the whole station will be wiped out. Is that what you're fighting for?

    Visual Novel 

Hisao: We should go back in. The guests Sae invited are in there, they probably want to meet you and talk with you. You know, ask you questions and stuff. About those paintings you worked so hard for.
Rin: I don't want them to ask me questions like that. I can never say the right things.
Hisao: What do you want then?
Rin: That someone wouldn't have to ask questions from me.
Hisao: But if you found someone like that, then what? Do you really think it would be some kind of be-all, end-all thing, star-crossed lovers and happily ever after?
My question is met by a blank stare, the darkness in her eyes unfazed by the thinly veiled bitterness.
Rin: No, I don't think that. But at least then I wouldn't have to be alone.
She whispers the words to the lights of the town but I hear them anyway.

    Web Animation 

Besides, Alfred, you are forgetting one tiny thing: We are your mind! How can you escape from yourself?

Oobleck: And what about you, Blake? You seem to carry yourself with a sense of purpose.
Blake: There's too much wrong in this world to just stand by and do nothing. Inequality. Corruption. Someone has to stop it.
Oobleck: Very well. How?
Blake: I... uh.
Oobleck: Hm.

"I don't like fighting, Vegeta! I only did it because it was literally do-or-die! And frankly, at this point, I'd be fighting you... out of pity. Is that what you want? A pity fight?"
Gohan to Vegeta, Dragon ShortZ, "DTF"

Zlatan Ibrahimovic: It is only a matter of time. To win the Champions League, this is Zlatan’s destiny.
Cristiano Ronaldo: If it’s your destiny, then why haven’t you won it by now?
Zlatan Ibrahimovic: ...Excuse me?


    Web Comics 

Penny: Did you even try to talk to any of us, Rob? We could've helped you find a better solution. You need to use your words and learn to trust us, including Gumball. You didn't have to do this alone.
Rob: Why on Earth would I ask for his help? He's the one who made me a villain in the first place!
Penny: Let me ask you this: did Gumball force you to be the bad guy, or did you choose to be the villain?
Rob: ... What?

Ben (playing as Obi-Wan): Speaking of stuff that's already happened... All this death. How could this have happened? Already?
Sally (playing as Yoda): If only they were animals, I could cure them.
Ben: Um. We need to find out who did this.
Sally: Maybe it was bees!
Ben: Sally, this is serious. You need to play it seriously.
Sally: Just because you do everything Dad tells you to!
Ben: What? No I don't!
Sally: Why are you studying medicine then?!
Obi-Wan: I...

Zoss: There's work to be done. Which shape will you choose, hm? Will you choose to be a king? Or will you choose to remain as you are? Peasant!
Allison: No. I choose king.

Really, Garou. So you did have an "image of a ideal hero" inside of you. I see now. I now understand what you wanted to do. Even though you said you wanted to be a "monster of absolute evil"... What you really wanted to be was a hero. You compromised and decided to be a monster. To bring about world peace, you took the easy route, thinking a monster's job was quicker and easier than a hero's. A monster role is simpler after all, all you had to do was defeat heroes. It's perfect for someone with no confidence like you.
Peace made by ruling the world with fear can't succeed as long as you can't defeat me. It will never work. It's absolutely impossible for you. Your compromised monster hobby! VS my serious hero hobby! Even if that's all I had, I still wouldn't lose! It was a mistake to lower the hurdle right before the goal. A half-assed objective can't succeed. But what about "next time?" What will you do next?
Saitama, One-Punch Man

May: First place I asked about work wouldn't hire me 'cause their boss is a robophobic shithead. And the idiot working there was too much of a coward to call him out on it.
Dale: That's illegal. You should report it to the robot civil rights people.
May: I just got out of jail, remember? I gotta keep my head down and not stir up trouble.
Dale: Then how are you different from the person working at that store?

Oscar: You didn't create this situation. Carl is the one who —
Cliff: Oh, shut up! I provoke him! I do stuff I'm not supposed to! I get mad and pop-off!
Oscar: Do you think there's anything you could do or say to me that would make me hit you?

    Web Video 
Tifa: I'd like to know something, actually. Why are you still even here?
Cait Sith: Well, because-
Cid: I bet the f**ker called up the Turks to say we were coming so they could ambush us.
Cait Sith: What?! No, I-
Barret: Or maybe you're recording live so your friends from Shinra can hear us.
Cait Sith: Do not call those people my friends!
Tifa: They why, Cait? Why is your greedy corporate fat cat ass even here?!
Cait Sith: Because I fucking hate my job! I've seen firsthand what Shinra's done. All the things they've destroyed: homes, dreams, lives... And if it means they can make a few more bucks, the planet will probably be next! I know you guys don't trust me, but I can't just sit around anymore and watch them abuse their power like this. That's why I'm coming with you.

Maud: I decided to end my life, rather than undertake the monumental task of salvaging it.
Pinkie: But you're gonna die anyway?
Maud: Obviously, what's your point?
Pinkie: My point is that if death is certain anyway, then what's the harm in trying to live a little longer? At the very worst, you'll still end up dead like you wanted, but at best you might actually be happy.
My Little Pony: Totally Legit Recap "Rock Solid Friendship"

"Phil, I've read the history books, You- you k- you slayed the dragon, you slayed Alivebur. You were the- you- you- you are the Saint George of the Dream SMP, we understand! Everyone understands that, Phil, but... Look what you've done! How can you look at this and still see yourself as a hero?!"
Ghostbur, to Philza, standing by the ruins of L'Manburg, Dream SMP

We went from confident, barrel-chested baritone Toby Keith, gonna "put a boot in bin Laden's ass," and now we just have this bitter, shrieking lump of dough who sounds like he's shitting pine cones, screaming profanities at his television. It's more true to life, I guess, but who would want to admit that that's who they actually are??
Todd in the Shadows, on "Am I the Only One?" by Aaron Lewis

    Western Animation 

Iroh: What do you plan to do now that you have found the Avatar's bison? Keep it locked in our new apartment? Should I go put on a pot of tea for him?
Zuko: First I have to get it out of here.
Iroh: And then what?! You never think these things through! This is exactly what happened when you captured the Avatar at the north pole! You had him, and then you had nowhere to go!
Zuko: I would have figured something out!
Iroh: No! If his friends hadn't found you, you would have frozen to death!
Zuko: I know my own destiny, Uncle!
Iroh: Is it your own destiny? Or is it a destiny that someone else has tried to force on you?
Zuko: Stop it, Uncle! I have to do this!
Iroh: I'm begging you, Prince Zuko! It's time for you to look inward and begin asking yourself the big questions: Who are you? And what do you want?
Avatar: The Last Airbender, "Lake Laogai"

Zuko: You were right about what Katara needed. Violence wasn't the answer.
Aang: It never is.
Zuko: Then there's one thing I have to ask... What are you going to do when you face my father?
Avatar: The Last Airbender, "The Southern Raiders"

Myaxx: Azmuth is a hopeless paranoid. He built in the self-destruct as a last resort to keep his most prized creation out of the wrong hands, but he never thought anyone would be foolish enough to set it off.
Gwen: Obviously he never met Ben.
Ben: I can't believe you knew about this the whole time and didn't tell me.
Tetrax Shard: I'm sorry, Ben. I thought you'd be more concerned about how this affected you rather than others.
Ben: What do you mean? I help people all the time with the omnitrix.
Tetrax: That's true. You do help a lot of people, but ask yourself this: do you help because it's the right thing to do, or for the thrill of being a hero?

BoJack: I'm the one who has to live with this shit. I'm the one who has to feel the guilt all day, every day.
Diane: So you're the victim here?
BoJack: Yeah. And I know that's not the woke, progressive, intersectionally appropriate thing to say, but I would say, yeah. I'm the one who has suffered the most because of the actions of BoJack Horseman.
Diane: You've suffered?
BoJack: Yeah, I have!
Diane: The most?
BoJack: The most!
Diane: Really? More than, say… Sarah Lynn? (BoJack flinches)

Braxby: I guess what I'm getting at is I keep hearing you say, "that's not me, I've changed", but how can we believe you've stopped this pattern of behaviour if you won't acknowledge this pattern exists?
BoJack: I don't even know what pattern you're talking about.
Braxby: I'll try one more time. Over these last two days, you've drawn us an outline of a person. A person who doesn't think about others, a person who puts his own needs first, and over and over, other people get hurt. Not necessarily because he means to hurt them, but because he just doesn't care. This person I'm describing, is it a different person, or is it you?
BoJack: Yeah. It's me.

Peter: Listen, I've had a good life. And you can always be proud of your father and all his accomplishments.
Meg: What accomplishments?
Peter: Go to your room.

Demona: I will have vengeance for the betrayal of my clan. Vengeance for my pain.
Selene: But who betrayed your clan?
Luna: And who caused this pain?
Demona: The vikings destroyed my clan.
Selene: Who betrayed the castle to the vikings? (Demona did)
Demona: The Hunter hunted us down!
Phoebe: Who created the Hunter? (Demona did)
Demona: Canmore destroyed the last of us.
Luna: Who betrayed Macbeth to Canmore? (Demona again)
(Demona's eyes widen as she realizes just what she's done)
Gargoyles, "City of Stone, Part Four"

(General Eiling, made into a super-strong monster thanks to an experimental serum, prepares to crush Shining Knight with a car)
Eiling: Superman and your Justice League are a threat to a safe and stable world.
Old Woman: Drop the act.
(Eiling turns to discover that a group of ordinary people has gathered around the fallen Shining Knight, making a human shield)
Old Woman: You think killin' Superman would make the world safe? Or killin' this boy? Or us? Tell me, how many of us do you have to kill to keep us safe?
Eiling: They're the ones I'm after, not you. I'm not the menace - metahumans are. Superpowered beings.
Boy: You're the only one around here with superpowers.
(Eiling pauses, then drops the car he's carrying)
Eiling: All right, I've become what I hate. I'll give you that.
Justice League Unlimited, "Patriot Act"

If you were an Earth Kingdom citizen, do you think you're the kind of person you want as your king? What have you ever done for your people?
Mako to Prince Wu, The Legend of Korra, "The Coronation"

Spongebob: Why are you acting so nervous? And why are you sweating so much? And why do you look so hungry? And... [grins massively]
Squidward: N-No, wait, it's not what you think! ...T-T-This is a big misunderstanding, you got to believe me, I... LISTEN, I'M TELLING YOU, YOU BETTER LISTEN TO ME, SPONGEBOB!!!
Spongebob: You like Krabby Patties, don't you, Squidward?
Spongebob Squarepants, "Just One Bite"

Rarity: What is important is that you understand how your column make the ponies that you're writing about feel.
Sweetie Belle: I do understand, and we've all been feeling guilty, but we just want our cutie marks so badly.
Rarity: Do you really think that writing nasty things and making everypony feel horrible is your destiny?
Sweetie Belle: Well...when you put it that way...
My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, "Ponyville Confidential"

Homer: Let me ask you something; does your money cheer you up when you're feeling blue?
Mr. Burns: Yes.
Homer: Okay, bad example... So let me ask you this! Does your money ever hug you when you come home at night?
Mr. Burns: Why, no...
Homer: And does it ever say, "I love you?"
Mr. Burns: No... it doesn't...
The Simpsons, "Burns Verkaufen der Kraftwerk"

McCallister: Arr, Burns, your scurvy schemes will earn ye a one-way passage to the boneyard!
Ned: I'd like to hear from Sideshow Mel!
Mel: I'll see to it that Burns suffers the infernal machinations of hell's grim tyrant!
Otto: Yeah!
Burns: Oh, you all talk big, but who here has the guts to stop me?
(the residents of Springfield all begrudgingly avert their eyes; except for one)
The Simpsons, "Who Shot Mr. Burns? Part 1"

Mr. Possible: Sounds like your Mr. Barkin is tough, but fair.
Kim: Dad, I'm a cheerleader! We don't do detention!
Mr. Possible: Really? Who does "do detention"?
Kim: I don't know...Other kids? Ones who break the rules.
Mr. Possible: Like you did?
Kim Possible, "Tick-Tick-Tick"

Brian: If there was a God, would he have put you here on Earth with a flat chest and a fat ass?
Meg: I'm... made in His image.
Brian: Really? Would He give you a smoking hot mom like Lois and then have you grow up looking like Peter?
Meg: Well...
Brian: And what kind of God would put you in a house where nobody respects or cares about you, not even enough to get you a damn mumps shot?!
Family Guy, "Not All Dogs Go to Heaven"

Lord Viren: Any one of these men and women are willing to give their life for you!
King Harrow: Would you, Viren?
Lord Viren: I... [clears throat]
King Harrow: ... Get Out!.

Blossom: But you gotta admit, things are unfair around here! I mean, there's only one female villain in the whole town!
Miss Bellum: And you didn't stop her.
Blossom: That's right!
Buttercup: We girls gotta look out for each other!
Voice: Oh, really?
(three women step out from the shadows and surround the girls)
Businesswoman: Was Femme Fatale looking out for me when she stole from my bank?
Policewoman: Was she looking out for me when she broke my arm?
Blonde Girl: Was she looking out for me when she stole my hairstyle? (the other two women glare at her) Well, she did!
The Powerpuff Girls, "Equal Fights"

[After they get pulled over by a cop]
Mordecai: Benson, we're sorry.
Rigby: Yeah, the bag wouldn't open and the napkins—
Benson: NO! No more! Here's what you guys are gonna do for the rest of the trip! Nothing! Absolutely nothing! Don't say anything! Don't DO anything! JUST STOP MESSING THINGS UP!
Rigby: Benson, why do you hate us so much?
Benson: [sighs] I don't hate you guys. I just hate some of the things you do. ...Okay, I really hate some of the things you do. I know you don't mean them, but I'm your boss, and it's my job to push you to do better.
Regular Show, "Busted Cart"

Stan: This video can change how people think about bullying! It needs to be seen by everybody, Kyle!
Kyle: If it needs to be seen by everybody, then why don't you put it out on the internet for free?
Stan: [long silence]
Kyle: Well?
Stan: ...What- what was the question again?
Kyle: [slowly] If you really think every kid in America should see your anti-bullying movie, then why don't you put it on the Internet, for free?!
Stan ...Get- get out of here, Kyle! I'm trying to go to the bathroom!
South Park, "Butterballs"

Commander Clash: Wait, soldiers, listen to me! (soldiers stop) Look around you! Take a good long look! This is the future of the world! If you help monsters like Plunder...
Looten Plunder: Monsters? (soldiers stare at Plunder) Who are you calling monsters?
Commander Clash: You! You and your kind!
Looten Plunder: Don't listen to him! Money's all that matters. Money and power! (soldiers cheer for Plunder)
Commander Clash: What good is money in a world destroyed by waste and pollution?
Captain Planet and the Planeteers, "Mission to Save Earth Part 2"


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: