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Quotes / Evil Cannot Comprehend Good

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    Anime and Manga 
Sephiroth: Tell me what you cherish most. Give me the pleasure of taking it away.
Cloud: I pity you. You just don't get it all. There's not a thing I don't cherish!

Are you a moron? Some nice, flowery words and feigned empathy?! You make me sick to my stomach! Are you humans always such pathetic worms?! Why can't you just listen to your gut and do what you want to? Colonel Mustang, have you forgotten? Your pal, Scar, here was going to kill you!... And as for you, have you completely forgotten your hatred for they did to your Ishvalan countrymen?...You'll never get another chance! This is the perfect time! The ultimate opportunity! Hate them and weep! Kill or be killed! Fight each other! Grovel in the dirt! How could you four hope to team up? You're way beyond the point of kissing and making up! Right?! There's no way. No. No, you can't! Never! NEVER! It's impossible! How could you? How could you do it? HOW!?

Kohaku killed his father and his fellow villagers. He massacred an entire town. Yet his sister says she cannot kill him. She loves her brother more dearly than she loves her own life. How can this be? I do not understand.
Naraku, Inuyasha

Tao En: Impossible. Why are you getting up? Don't you fear me? Why do you fight so hard for one another?!
Tao Ren: I can't answer that. But I know that if I were in their place... I'd do the same for them.
Shaman King (manga translation)

"Why do you care so much about that... STRAWHAT LUFFY! You're in a place where escape is impossible once you enter! It's the Yonkou, Big Mom's territory! Did you really risk your life just to take back that one person!? SANJI IS GERMA'S FAILURE! He can't use his skin as a shield... And all he does is cook. He doesn't have a shred of royal pride! He put his life in danger in order to protect a weakling, all because of his useless emotions... He has a weak mind! He's unfit to be a soldier. THAT MAN IS A GOOD-FOR-NOTHING!"

Asuna: I'm not planning on staying in this cage forever. You'll see; he'll come and save me.
Sugou/Oberon: Really? Who will? That hero boyfriend of yours? Goes by the name of Kirito? [Asuna gasps, Sugou chuckles] Please. You think I didn't know? His real name is Kirigaya. I met him the other day, in the real world. I couldn't believe that weak little boy was the same one who beat SwordArtOnline. It took me a second to collect myself. By the way, where do you think I met him? In your hospital room. As you were lying there, I told him I'd be marrying you next week. My God, you should've seen his face. It was like all the color drained out of it; I could barely keep myself from laughing! Do you wanna know what I think? I'll bet you anything that brat won't have the guts to put on a NerveGear ever again! [...]
Asuna: [to herself] He's alive... Kirito's alive!

Student: He's dead! How could you do that? What kind of a man kills during a training bout?
Zuikou: You would attack a man who thinks he's training, and when you have him completely defenseless you kill him? What do you think the martial arts are for?!
Shoryu: Once mastered the martial arts are a tool for killing. In other words, they have but one purpose, which is to take the life of your opponent.
Zuikou: (beat) You're hereby expelled from this dojo.
Shoryu: I'm... what?! Expelled? You're throwing me out! Why?
Zuikou: That you don't understand WHY you're being expelled is reason enough!

Sidra: Do you really wish to betray your own universe? Even if it means its obliteration?
Frieza: Yes, and what of it?
Ro: How could you? Even the most despicable of villains has something which they hold dear and wish to protect! A loved one? Cherished memories? A precious place from one's childhood, even?
Frieza: Excuse me, my good man: I simply do not understand what it is that you are prattling about.

Vicious: You should see yourself. Do you have any idea what you look like at this moment, Spike?
Spike: What?
Vicious: A ravenous beast. The same blood runs through both of us, the blood of a beast that wanders, hunting for the blood of others.
Goryo: I'm sure you can guess the rest. Ah ha ha. Who wouldn't become a haunt after that?
Nana: Hey! How can you laugh about that?
Goryo: Do you not find it funny? It was only one child. Ha... Why, she could have found a new man! Made another one.
Nana: (thinks) Muhyo's right! This guy's evil!
Muhyo and Roji, discussing the ghost of a single mother who went insane after her only daughter's death.

    Comic Books 
Robo: You had all that time. All that power and, and influence. All this technology. You could have helped them.
ALAN: I don't understand. Why?
Atomic Robo and the Ghost of Station X

You have to think about what you're doing. Who and what made you who you are. Your role models. The beliefs they instilled in you. And think of how The Joker could never understand that. It's what makes him who he is. Think.
Jim Gordon, Batman: Hush

I don't understand friendship. A gate will be built by friendship. But the future is blocked by what I cannot understand! It makes the machine hurt! Bigfoot Bill makes a new friend. I cannot see... Something bigger comes... ...a terrible gate!
Mothman whilst explaining his future sight powers, Bigfoot Bill: Shadow of the Mothman

Edward Sundborne: We weren't bothering you. You never had to come here. Why?
Abe Sapien: You wanted to kill... millions...
Edward: Only their bodies, you fool! Their spiritual salvation was guaranteed! How can you find fault with that?! Caul, the real Caul, understood. He would be right beside us!
Abe: Then thank God he's dead!
B.P.R.D.: Garden of Souls

Choudhury: What about the man in the red suit?
Tanek Nuro: It'll be easy to deal with him, now that we've found out who he really is. First we'll take a hostage. Who does he care about?
Choudhury: Well, he has an ex-wife and a son...
Nuro: I bet he hates his ex and would sell his son to the gypsies if he could. I would.
Doctor Solar: Man of the Atom #6

What's a good deed?
Iznogoud, Iznogoud Finally Caliph

He could have killed them both. But he didn't. Why? The emotions that fill Jason right now are alien to him as they are not hate or anger.

Logical? Is it? To a machine, perhaps. Yes... A soulless machine might make that deduction. But not Lex Luthor. I know better! I know that no man with the power of Superman would ever pretend to be a mere human! Such power is to be constantly exploited. Such power is to be used!
Lex Luthor from the 1980s DC Comics revamp, on why Clark Kent cannot be Superman

Dodge: I know I liked you a whole lot more when you weren't such a crying little bitch. Then you had nerve. You were fearless and you weren't all fucked up with regrets! You were like me!
Tyler: I wouldn't underrate the power of regret. It doesn't feel good... but it's hard to learn anything important without it.
Dodge: 'Fraid I don't agree, Tyler.
Tyler: No. I know you don't. That's why your future, Dodge... it looks a lot like your past.
Locke & Key: Alpha & Omega

Belinda: You think you're so important! You think you're the center of the universe!
Supergirl: Uh... Not really.
Belinda: You totally do! I'm you and I know what you think! You act all sweet and nice, but inside your head, you're an arrogant little angel prancing through the sky on a stupid magical fantasy horse, acting like you're better than everyone!

You know nothing about a glorious life, Darkseid. There are so many things she'll never experience because of you. [...] Of course, none of what I've said has any meaning to you. You only know death. A blackness that has brought you nothing.

Brainiac: I believed you were an intelligent being. A perspicacious creature of many worlds like me. But I was incorrect. You are a threat to no one. You dedicated yourself to a planet that has nothing to offer you. It lacks Krypton's advances in science. Its weapons are rudimentary, even compared to that of the barbaric Rimbor. It is devoid of any quantifiable value. Earth is not necessary to my continued evolution. This culture is useless.
Lois Lane: (from inside the shrunken Metropolis) Superman! Clark, if you can hear me... I don't know what's happening, I don't know if this is the end... but if it is... if it is the end—
Brainiac: This culture is disgusting.
Lois Lane: —Know, please know... How much I lov—
Brainiac: What could this vacuous world possibly provide you?

Princess Python: Why did you do it, Thunder God? We'd have paid you a fortune — to keep hands off! What's in it for you — now?
Thor: So long as thou canst only think in terms of monetary gain — then verily I say — never canst thou understand!
Thor #173

Reign: It's good to see you again, Kryptonian. I knew you could do it. I knew you could save yourself. I'm pleased to see you seize your destiny. Come to claim this world as your own.
Supergirl: I didn't come back to rule this world, Reign. I'm here to kick you off it!

    Fan Works 
Ozpin: Blake Belladonna did not take pity on Mister Arc. She weighed her options and their consequences. What she did she did because she believed it was the right thing to do. She did not believe that sending Jaune home could bring any good about, and so she did what she had to. She got herself disqualified from the tournament, that is not pity, that is sacrifice in the name of what she had believed was right.
Cardin: Call it what you want, but the twerp still lost the match.
Ozpin: He would have, yes, had he not inspired such strong friendship between himself and those who surround him. Having friends is just as powerful a weapon as any sword, hammer or spear can be, and often more so. He earned that victory, but not by his actions in the ring. He earned it by building relationships that mattered, that were real, and that added to the structure of the school. Technically he may not be the most proficient, but anyone can train to be able to swing a sword well. It takes a truer heart to know right from wrong and to affect the lives of those around you in a meaningful way. Jaune possesses this ability. Had he not, he would never have emerged victorious from that ring and would be back home at this moment.
Cardin: He's allowed to stay because he has friends? That's ridiculous.
Ozpin: Not friends no, but values. Jaune has the heart of a true huntsman, something that I have noticed you lack.
By Year's End, a RWBY fanfic

Oh, why don't you stop already? You don't "love," Vlad. You've NEVER "loved!" All you've ever done in life is WANT things! You know something Vlad, you can't look me in eye and honestly tell me that your life has been all that terrible! It just wasn't ENOUGH for you! You could take away everything that ever meant anything to anyone, and the rest of the world besides, and it STILL wouldn't be enough for you! Never enough MONEY! Never enough Attention! Never enough... EVERYTHING! I fell in love with a man who has always been able to think about MORE than just himself, and I don't care how powerful or smart or perfect you THINK you are... that man is never... ever... EVER... going to be you.
Maddie Fenton to Vlad Plasmius, Facing the Future Series

Kuyou: Such foolish teachers. Rotting the minds of the youth for a ludicrous cause. To coexist with those that nearly wiped us out. How sad that you still stay here choosing to infect these misguided monsters with such filth.
Ms. Nekonome: We're teaching them to live peaceful lives, not to start wars again. Something you obviously cannot learn.

There are those who say that to comprehend evil is to become evil; but they are merely pretending to be wise. Rather it is evil which does not know love, and dares not imagine love, and cannot ever understand love without ceasing to be evil. And I suspect that you can imagine your way into the minds of Dark Wizards better than I ever could, while still knowing love yourself.

Sunset Shimmer: Wh-why?
Fluttershy: I’m sorry?
Sunset Shimmer: Why are you being so nice to me? I was horrible to you. I’ve been horrible for years! Is it just because the Princess told you to?
Fluttershy: Well, the Princess telling us did help. But remember what Snips and Snails said? They were mean to everyone because everyone was mean to them. Being cruel doesn’t accomplish anything. I mean, look at you. You’ve been so cruel for so long you cry at getting any kindness. Oh, but don’t worry, we have enough of that to go around.

"Three thousand, five hundred and forty nine"
At least Keel and his Grandfather had the decency to glance at each other in confusion for a second, before turning back to face him.
"I'm sorry Shinji? I don't understand-"
"Three thousand, five hundred and forty nine" he repeated, biting off each word with a knife like edge as he stared across the table at the uncomprehending men. "It's the number of days since my Father sent me off to live with my uncle. It also happens to be the number of days since anyone from the rest of my extended family bothered to so much as acknowledge that I even existed."
The look on his Grandfather's face more than anything else dragged Shinji back from the edge. He appeared utterly confused at his response, befuddled even, and it suddenly hit Shinji that they simply didn't understand.

Dev-Em: I've tapped into their global networking grid but I haven't found anything on Kal-El. Not a single mention of him dating back to the time he should have landed on this planet.
Dru-Zod: There has to be something. Someone with his kind of strength and abilities would have not gone unnoticed.
Tor-An: Maybe the signal didn't come from him.
Faora Hu-Ul: Or maybe he's in hiding.
Aethyr: Why would he hide? With his abilities he should be ruling over this world.
Kara Zor-El: Unless he truly is like his father then he wouldn't feel he has the right to.
[annoyed glares]

“Love? As pitiful an emotion as love? I do not understand. Grief is what powers this, it has so much more power than the stability of love.”
And that was where [Kyubey] was wrong. Love isn’t always stable, it isn’t always strong. But when it is, it is so much more. It can be enough to make someone dedicate their life to fighting time itself to save someone. To throw their life away in order to ensure their loved one is never ever trapped in their worst thoughts. To...

Madoka: You’re wrong about us Kyubey. You’ll always be wrong about us. I know that now. Because you can’t see just how much we can do when we work together, you can’t see that they can beat any obstacle you put in their way as a group.
Kyubey: Oh? As a collective hive mind entity I rather resent that remark. I work in harmony with other Incubators to expedite the Grief collection process always.
Madoka: But you don’t work WITH them. You don’t listen to others' ideas or feedback. You don’t ask if they need anything... You don’t comfort friends in need because you don’t have friends at all.
Kyubey: What need would I have for friends? I am highly skilled for this very task, with millennia of experience. What blunder could I possibly make that a human would help with? Sure, your kind is good for information and experimentation, but that is all.
Madoka: That doesn’t mean you won’t ever make a mistake. We all make mistakes! And even sometimes when you do everything right, it still doesn’t end up like you wanted. That’s life! I think that’s what Mama would say if she was here.

    Film - Animated 
You can't be serious. We're this close to our biggest payday ever and you pick now all of all times to grow a conscience?
Lyle Tiberius Rourke, once the majority of his mercenary crew decide to abandon him for condemning the Atlanteans to death out of greed, Atlantis: The Lost Empire

Frollo: I know... You helped her escape! And now, all Paris is burning because of you!
Quasimodo: She was kind to me, master.
Frollo: You idiot! That wasn't kindness, it was cunning! She's a gypsy! Gypsies are not capable of real love!

Merryweather: What won't Maleficent expect? She knows everything.
Fauna: Oh, but she doesn't, dear. Maleficent doesn't know anything about love, or kindness, or the joy of helping others... you know, sometimes I don't think she's really very happy.

Lord Shen: How did you find peace? I took away your parents. Everything. I scarred you for life.
Po: See, that's the thing, Shen. Scars heal.
Lord Shen: No they don't. Wounds heal.
Po: Oh yeah. Well, what do scars do? They fade, I guess?
Lord Shen: I don't care what scars do.
Po: You should, Shen. You gotta let go of that stuff from the past 'cause it just doesn't matter. The only thing that matters is what you choose to be now.
Lord Shen: You're right. Then I choose THIS! *attacks Po one final time*

Hans: B-but she [Elsa] froze your heart?
Anna: The only frozen heart around here is yours.

Mirage: He's not weak, you know.
Syndrome: What?
Mirage: Valuing life is not weakness.
Syndrome: Oh, hey, look, look, if you're talking about what happened in the containment unit, I had everything under control.
Mirage: And disregarding it is not strength.
Syndrome: Look, I called his bluff, sweetheart, that's all. I knew he wouldn't have it in him to actually...
Mirage: Next time you gamble, bet your own life.

Mr. Incredible: You mean you killed off real heroes so that you could pretend to be one?
Syndrome: Oh, I'm real. Real enough to defeat you!

    Film - Live-Action 
Bruce Wayne: I'm no executioner.
Henri Ducard: Your compassion is a weakness your enemies will not share.
Bruce: That's why it's so important. It separates us from them.

What were you trying to prove? That deep down everyone's as ugly as you? You're alone!

Kevin Lomax: What about love?
John Milton: Overrated. Biochemically no different than eating large quantities of chocolate.

Rocket: Question: what if I see something that I wanna take and it belonged to someone else?
Rhomann: You would be arrested.
Rocket: But what if I want it more than the person who has it?
Rhomann: It's still illegal.
Rocket: That doesn't follow. No, I want it more, sir, you understand me? (Gamora drags him off) I can't have a discussion with this gentleman?
Drax: Say someone does something that irks me, and I decide to remove his spine.
Rhomann: Th-that's actually murder, one of... the worst crimes of all. So, also illegal.
Drax: (genuinely surprised) Huh.

Elsa Schneider: Don't look at me like that. We both wanted the Grail. I would have done anything to get it. You would have done the same.
Indiana Jones: [Coldly] I'm sorry you think so.

You came back... to a place like this? Why? A man like you? Why?

Why do you do it? Why get up? Why keep fighting? Do you believe you're fighting for something, for more than your survival? Can you tell me what it is? Do you even know? Is it freedom? Or truth? Perhaps peace. Could it be for love? Illusions, Mr. Anderson. Vagaries of perception. The temporary constructs of a feeble human intellect trying desperately to justify an existence that is without meaning or purpose! And all of them as artificial as the Matrix itself — although only a human mind could invent something as insipid as love! You must be able to see it, Mr. Anderson! You must know it by now! You can't win! It's pointless to keep fighting! Why, Mr. Anderson, why, WHY DO YOU PERSIST?!

Vidal: Why did you do it?
Dr. Ferraro: It was the only thing I could do.
Vidal: No, you could have obeyed me.
Dr. Ferraro: I could have, but I didn't.
Vidal: It would have been better for you. You know it. I don't understand. Why didn't you obey me?
Dr. Ferraro: To obey - just like that - for the sake of obeying, without questioning... That's something only people like you can do, Captain.

You know what your problem is? You think everybody’s like you!
Han Solo to Beckett, Solo

Miss Giddy: They are not your property!
Immortan Joe: Miss Giddy!
Miss Giddy: You cannot own a human being! Sooner or later, someone pushes back!
Immortan Joe: Where is she taking them?
Miss Giddy: She didn't take them, they begged her to go!
Joe: Where is she taking them?
Miss Giddy: A long way from you.

Oskar Schindler: These people, my people. I want my people.
Amon Goeth: Who are you, Moses? Come on, what is this? Where's the money in this, where's the scam?
Schindler: It's good business.
Goeth: Yeah, it's "good business" in your opinion. Look, you've got to move them, the equipment, everything to Czechoslovakia, pay for all that and build another camp. It doesn't make any sense. You're not telling me something... You're probably scamming me somehow.

Zod: He cares. He actually cares for these Earth people.
Ursa: Like pets?!
Zod: I suppose so.

James Bond: You live well, Scaramanga.
Francisco Scaramanga: At a million dollars a contract, I can afford to, Mr. Bond. You work for peanuts, a hearty "Well done!" from Her Majesty the Queen, and a pittance of a pension. Apart from that, we are the same. To us, Mr. Bond, we are the best.
Bond: There's a useful four-letter word, and you're full of it.

I thought by eliminating half of life, the other half would thrive. But you've shown me...that's impossible. As long as there are those that remember what was, there will always be those that are unable to accept what can be. They will resist. [...] I'm thankful. Because now, I know what I must do. I will shred this universe down to its last atom. And then, with the stones you've collected for me, create a new one - teeming with life that knows not what it has lost but only what it has been given. A grateful universe.
Thanos, Avengers: Endgame

"What a fool to give us thy life for thy sister's."
Winifred Sanderson, Hocus Pocus

Blind you are, Morgoth Bauglir, and blind shall you ever be, seeing only the dark. You know not what rules the hearts of men, and if you knew you could not give it.

If there is one thing Voldemort cannot understand, it is love.

His knowledge remained woefully incomplete, Harry! That which Voldemort does not value, he takes no trouble to comprehend. Of house-elves and children's tales, of love, loyalty and innocence, Voldemort knows and understands nothing. Nothing. That they all have a power beyond his own, a power beyond the reach of any magic, is a truth that he has never grasped.

Mordred and Agravaine thought Arthur hypocritical - as all decent men must be, if you assume that decency can't exist.

[Supreme Chancellor Fey'lya] lives in a world where alliances shift by the moment. Borsk does what Borsk needs to do, at any given moment, to benefit Borsk. And he's so jaded by that political philosophy that he thinks everyone else plays by the same rules.
Luke Skywalker, Vector Prime

Madeline Raith: You refuse to appear with the House at meetings of the Court, and spend your time among the kine, grooming them and bringing shame upon your family. At least tell me you are planning to take the beasts to some sort of auction.
"People like you always mistake compassion for weakness."
Harry Dresden, Death Masks, The Dresden Files

Aftran: What's your game, human? You save me, you guide me, now you feed me? What are you trying to prove?
Cassie: It bothers you, doesn't it?
Aftran: What bothers me?
Cassie: It bothers you when your victims don't hate you.
Animorphs #19: The Departure

Corran Horn: You don't get it, do you? You've already lost and you're continuing down that losing path. Haven't the last four thousand years taught you anything?
Exar Kun: I know more than you could ever hope to learn in four thousand years or forty thousand years.
Corran Horn: That may be. But I know the one thing you don't. You're never going to win. You destroy those who oppose you, and what does that leave you?
Exar Kun: The faithful.
Corran Horn: From among whom arises a rival. You have a schism.
Exar Kun: And I destroy the heretics.
Corran Horn: Yes, you do. And again and again that cycle repeats itself and you let it go on because you've forgotten the most fundamental truth of reality: Life creates the Force. When Kyp destroyed Carida, he diminished your power. When you destroyed Gantoris, you diminished your power. You're a predator over-grazing your prey, but you can't stop because the dark side fills you with this aching hunger that will never be satisfied.

The sudden epidemics across France were suspicious to the Allies, but since the illnesses had no real military utility there was much doubt expressed when Reich involvement was first suggested. As the locations of the outbreaks grew the chance of co-incidence in their origin shrank, although naysayers remained. It was not until the Isle of Wright small pox case was reported on December 10th that it was universally accepted in Western capitals that the Nazi regime had, for some inexplicable reason, contaminated portions of France, and were attempting to contaminate Britain, with highly infectious and quite lethal, although medically controllable, diseases.

What the Allied leaders did not understand, and was not clear until after the war, was that the Reich had fully expected that their efforts would indeed devastate Allied ground troops. The Nazis, not entirely unreasonably, had assumed that most of the troops of non-Anglo/American origin would not have received full vaccination regimens and that their formations would lack adequate medical staffing to deal with the epidemics, which surely sweep through their ranks. The Party gave scant concern to the welfare of most of the National forces and large segments of the civilian populations in the Occupied Countries, considering them to be little more than animated machinery, and assumed that the same would hold true for their enemies.

Indeed there is some evidence that Himmler was more surprised by the massive medical effort that the Allies made to help the local population than he was that the Allies had bothered to provide sufficient medical support to their “slave troops”. This remarkably brutal worldview may provide one of the best windows into the depravity that was the 3rd Reich.

The other Picard did not rage or fume or anything else: he sat coolly and looked at his counterpart. "I don't understand you, Captain. I am offering you a chance to survive."
"There are more important things than survival," Picard said very softly. "And no, you do not understand us.
"May we never so change that you do."

"The treacherous are ever distrustful."
Gandalf, The Two Towers

To a monster the norm must seem monstrous, since everyone is normal to himself. To the inner monster it must be even more obscure, since he has no visible thing to compare with others. To a man born without conscience, a soul-stricken man must seem ridiculous. To a criminal, honesty is foolish. You must not forget that a monster is only a variation, and that to a monster the norm is monstrous.

Evil people do not understand justice, but those who follow the Lord understand it completely.

    Live-Action TV 
Hamilton: Why do you keep fighting? You signed away your Shanshu. There's nothing in it for you anymore.
Angel: People who don't care about anything... will never understand the people who do.
Hamilton: Yeah, but we won't care.

You know the difference between us? I really do understand you. You only think you understand me.

You know, all this talk about "These guys are criminal masterminds. They've gotten together and their extraordinary guile and their wit and their skill..." It's, it's—it's a lie. Any fool can blow something up. Any fool can destroy. But to see these guys, these firefighters and these policemen and people from all over the country, literally with buckets, rebuilding... that’s extraordinary. And that's why we have already won... they can't... it's light. It's democracy. They can't shut that down.
Jon Stewart, in the first post-September 11th, 2001 episode of The Daily Show

Cyber-Leader: (watching from above as humans and Cybermen fight) I ordered surrender.
Tenth Doctor: They're not taking instructions. Don't you understand? You're on every street, you're in their homes, you've got their children! Of course they're gonna FIGHT!
Doctor Who, "Doomsday"

Maaga: I don't know. I have heard that on occasions, they even die for one another.
Drahvin 3: Die? For their friends?
Maaga: There are many strange things in the universe.
Doctor Who, "Galaxy 4"

Pity? I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank.
— A Dalek, Doctor Who, "Genesis of the Daleks"

Saffron: Everybody plays each other. That's all anybody ever does. We play parts.
Mal: You got all kinds a learnin’ and you made me look the fool without even trying, and yet here I am with a gun to your head. That's 'cause I've got people with me, people who trust each other, who do for each other, and ain't always looking for the advantage.

Quiz Show Host: Category: You're Boning Your Boss's Wife. Etiquette Question. Do you serve red wine or white wine when she comes over?
(the two contestants think it over before the buzzer rings)
Quiz Show Host: All right, that was actually a trick question. The correct answer is, "you shouldn't be boning your boss's wife." Now that's something you'd know if you either of you had a conscience.

Lex: You were born to be the chosen one. You're simply better than us.
Clark: And that always killed you.
Lex: No. No, what "killed" me was is that you didn't even want it. You fought it, you - you hid from it! I would have taken it, and then relished it, embraced it.
Smallville, "Finale"

Picard/Locutus of Borg: Worf. Klingon species. A warrior race. You too will be assimilated.
Worf: The Klingon Empire will never yield!
Locutus: Why do you resist? We only wish to raise quality of life for all species.
Worf: I like my species the way it is!
Star Trek: The Next Generation, "The Best of Both Worlds: Part II"

You still don't get it, do you? Huh?! This ain't about your money, bro, your boy gave you up. That's right. And we ain't had to torture his ass neither!
Omar Little, The Wire

You have no conscience, and that's your weakness. Did it ever occur to you that there are very few people who will take money to forget about a murder? It didn't, did it? I knew it wouldn't. No conscience limits your imagination. You can't conceive of anybody being any different than what you are.

Lester Nygaard: But I'm not the person you think I am, some kind of monster.
Molly Solverson: There was a fella once, running for a train. And he had a pair of gloves, this man, and he loses a glove on the platform, but he doesn't notice. And then later on, he's on this train sitting by the window, and he realizes he's just got this one glove left. But the train's already started pulling out of the station. So what does he do? He opens the window and drops the other glove on the platform: now whoever finds the first glove can just have the pair.
Lester Nygaard: So, what are you telling me?
Molly Solverson: ...Goodbye, Mr. Nygaard.

Ultraman, you traitor. You aren’t human. Yet, why do you defend them? Why don’t you defend us aliens?
Alien Carmilla, Return of Ultraman


Deaf, dumb, and blind, you just keep on pretending,
That everyone's expendable, and no one has a real friend.
It seems to you, the thing to do would be to isolate the winner,
Everything's done under the sun,
And you believe at heart, everyone's a killer!
Pink Floyd, "Dogs" (Animals)

    Tabletop Games 
Liliana: You didn't tell Chandra about Josu.
Gideon: No, and I won't. It's not my story to tell, is it.
Liliana: If you told her, you might have used it to make her feel...make her feel she should help us kill Belzenlok.
Gideon: Liliana...If that's what you want, why didn't you tell her?
Liliana: I don't need to, do I? She already wants to help us kill Belzenlok.
Gideon: Because she agrees with us that it has to be done before we face Nicol Bolas again. I don't even know what you're asking me. Are you trying to find out why my first impulse isn't to use information given to me in strict confidence by one friend to manipulate another friend?
Liliana: No, of course not! (storms out)
Gideon: Her capacity to lie to herself is almost infinite.
Magic: The Gathering, Return To Dominaria

    Video Games 
The desire to save someone is something he cannot comprehend at all.
Raymond Shields on The Mastermind/Simon Keyes, Ace Attorney Investigations 2

Dr. Young: Let's discuss your obsession with the Batman.
Riddler: Hardly an "obsession", Miss Young. I simply feel the obligation to expose him.
Dr. Young: You know who he is?
Riddler: More important, I know what he is.
Dr. Young: What do you mean?
Riddler: It's obvious! The mask, the weapons, the scare tactics; he's a criminal. No different than Joker, Two-Face, or myself.
Dr. Young: Most people would consider him a hero.
Riddler: (loudly stands up) Most people are idiots! They can't see Batman for the villain he is! Riddle Me This! Where did he get his car and his gadgets?
Dr. Young: I-I don't-
Riddler: With money stolen from the criminals he "defeats"! Why does Gordon turn a blind eye to his antics? Batman bribes him! The answers are right in front of your stupid, gawking face!
Dr. Young: Edward, please calm down!
Riddler: WAKE UP, GOTHAM! No sane, law-abiding man does those things! No one's that selfless! Batman is as vile as they come!
Dr. Young: Security! Security!

Heh, it's strange, but the thought of not being driven by external validation is unthinkable, like I actually cannot conceive of what that would be like!

Sanctus: The power of Sparda... why won't you give me strength?! Am I not worthy?!
Nero: Never could take those legends too literally. But I do know that Sparda had a heart. A heart that could love another person, a human. And that is what you lack.

Man is mortal, and doomed to death and failure and loss.
This lies beyond our comprehension - why do you not despair?

Exdeath: Why... why won't you die!?
Galuf: Takes a lot more than that... for me to kick the bucket! I'll destroy you, Exdeath... even if it means I have to take you into the afterlife myself!
Exdeath: Fool! All the hatred in existence would never be enough to defeat me!
Galuf: This... isn't anger... isn't hatred... it's...
Exdeath: Then... what...?

Christo: The corpses disobeyed their master... i-is this a miracle?
Killia: No, not a miracle. The love they have for their daughter beat out the evil energy.
Majorita: Don't be ridiculous... love?! Corpses should just be quiet and obey me, like corpses do...! If you love her so much, then I'll turn her into a corpse right now! Die, little girl!!
Disgaea 5, before the final battle of Chapter 10

Zidane: As long as there's hope, I'm not going anywhere.
Kuja: (beaten) Then... I want you to erase me.
Zidane: What?
Kuja: The world has disowned me. I have been defeated by life itself.
(Zidane closes the distance between them. Kuja chuckles, perhaps expecting Zidane to go through with it - but Zidane offers him his hand)
Kuja: Why?
Zidane: Do I need a reason to help someone? Or is my help not good enough for you?
Kuja: It's likely that... I will hurt you again.
Zidane: I can take a beating.
Kuja: I don't think I will ever come to understand you.

Kerrigan: You know, you are not so bad, Abathur.
Abathur: Unclear...

Megatron: Cybertron is at the center of my universe! How is it not at the heart of yours?
Optimus: Cybertron is about all life! Destruction to keep Cybertron on life support... There must be another way!
Megatron: Flesh isn't life! Servos, gyros, and fuel. That is where life comes from! You're defending by-product at best! I will rebuild Cybertron and retake the galaxy!
Megatron to Optimus during their final confrontation in Transformers: Devastation.

Chloe Frazer: (after solving a puzzle involving two mechanical sculptures of Ganesh and Parashurama, which ended with Parashurama's axe stopping a few feet away from her throat) He yielded.
Asav: I-I don't understand. note 
Chloe: That's 'cause you've got it all twisted, my friend. Ganesh allowed himself to be struck by the axe.
Asav: (incredulously) That makes no sense.
Chloe: Not to a selfish prick, no. (One of Asav's men handcuffs her to a railing with her friends) You see, Ganesh could've defeated Parashurama easily, but if he had, that would've made Shiva's axe look weak. Powerless.
Nadine Ross: Ganesh sacrificed himself to preserve his father's honour.
Chloe: See? Even she gets it. Not a drop of Indian blood in her.

...What are you doing? Do you really think I've learned anything from this? No.
Sparing me won't change anything. Killing me is the only way to end this.
If you let me live... I'll come back.
I'll kill you.
I'll kill everyone.
I'll kill everyone you love.
... why?
...why are you being... so nice to me?
I can't understand.
I can't understand!
I just can't understand... (runs away)
Flowey, should you repeatedly choose [MERCY] after defeating him, Undertale

AI Junko Enoshima: Y-you all...why? Why? can you throw yourselves back into the depths of despair!?
Hajime Hinata: Because we believe...
AI Junko: ...huh?
Hajime: We believe in our future. That's what makes us different from you. We believe that if we try new things, even difficult things, that everything will turn out okay. We believe we can even create our own futures!
AI Junko: Th-that's impossible! That can't be's not even despair...WH-WH-WHAT IIIIIIISSSSSSSSSSSSS THIIIIIIIIIIIS!?
— The final trial, Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair

Sly: I don't get it. You knew so much about my family, you must have known my father had a son. If you hated the Coopers so much, then why did you let me live when you stole the Thievius Raccoonus?
Clockwerk: Because I wanted to show the world that without your precious book, the Cooper line was nothing!
Sly: Ah, see, that's where you're wrong: the Thievius Raccoonus doesn't create great thieves, it takes great thieves to create the Thievius Raccoonus!

"You're too clouded by darkness to see that there's something greater. Try all you want, but you'll never defeat a heart filled with pure light."
Aqua to Maleficent, Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep

Xemnas: I need... more rage... I need more... hearts...
Sora: Xemnas. There's more to a heart than just anger or hate. It's full of all kinds of feelings. Don't you remember?
Xemnas: Unfortunately... I don't.

"That Pokémon [Giratina]... That shadowy Pokémon was captured/defeated?! Your doing so means that this irrational world will remain in existence! Does that make it impossible for me to create a new world? Even if I made new Red Chains, the new world can't be made! Why?! What compels you to protect the two worlds? Is spirit, a vague and incomplete thing, so important to you?!"

"We had created monsters we couldn't control. We drugged them, tortured them, eviscerated them... We brutalized their minds... but it did not work. Until they came. And it was not their force of will — not their Void devilry — not their alien darkness... it was something else. It was that somehow, from within the derelict-horror, they had learned a way to see inside an ugly, broken thing — And take away its pain."
Ballas, Warframe

By sparing Grace, do you seek to gain my trust? A feeble ruse. Your crocodile tears may poison her with doubt, but I am not so easy a mark.
Sofia Lamb, Bioshock 2

"Why do you never learn? Love, hope, dreams... Worthless. Mere words. And yet your faith in them refuses to die. But no longer. I shall carve a despair into the human soul that will last until your kind finally dwindles and dies!"
Mordegon, Dragon Quest XI

Georg Weissmann: Hah...STILL sticking to the 'mutual assistance' argument and invoking the power of 'human bonds,' of all things... I would ask you to read a history book before saying such nonsense, Ms. Bright. As an example, consider the overpowering, nation-crushing machine called 'war.' Is man not only capable of being ground beneath its treads?
Estelle: Absolutely not! In the middle of the biggest war in Liberl's history, my mother gave her life to save mine! And because of that, I chose the path of a bracer, and now...look at me! I'm here to stop the crisis YOU caused and prevent another war from breaking out! All thanks, in the end, to my mother! Hell, I'd say you just made my point for me! People are NOT powerless! Not against anything!
Weissmann: Pfeh! You're quite good at trite answers, if nothing else.
Estelle: If you really, seriously believe people are powerless...And you've really convinced yourself humanity can only be 'saved' by you turning us into emotionless superbeings... Then that makes you really pathetic, I think.
Weissmann: What?!
Estelle: I mean, that'd mean you've never known the joy of trusting someone or helping them. To think that your only smug satisfaction comes from watching people struggle...That's just...That's too sad.

"What the hell is wrong with you people?"
Zak to Kamala, Marvel's Avengers

...Are you all idiots? You should get rid of me... if you don't want me getting in your way.
Beat - none of the Thieves move to attack him.
..You all are truly beyond my comprehension.
The Traitor/Goro Akechi, Persona 5, after the Phantom Thieves refuse to kill him after winnning their fight with him.

I was so close. STOP. LET ME WIN.
The Killer/Tyrannia, Annventure

Agent 146: I'm stupid? Don't you realize the chip is power? Communications, politics, money ... anything! And you're pissing it away!
The Girl: No, we get it. We're just not that kind of people.

Elan: I saved you 'cause I'm the Good twin, not the Neutral twin.
Nale: ... I don't get it.
Elan: Yup.

Redcloak: ...No. Let them go. This is a waste of time. They can go back to the slave pits and tell the other humans how merciful we were, and how one of their own paladins was willing to let them die. It'll be great PR, don't you agree?
[Gilligan Cut]
Slave #1: ...and the whole time, he never broke.
Slave #2: I never seen such stubbornness before!
Slave #3: I couldn't hear what info the goblin was after, but from the look on his face, he didn't get it.
Slave #4: So, some paladins made it through the battle?
Slave #5: They must be making that man's life a living hell!
Slave #6: By the Twelve Gods, if he can resist them, so can we!
Slave #7: Spread the word to the next cell.

That Buddha... why the hell is he so happy? I got way more friends on Facebook! My website gets more hits! I top the Forbes 100! He didn't even make the list! And I'm sexier than him!! His priorities must be all screwed up!
The Devil, Sinfest

Your Questor made a move that they completely failed to prepare for. Unsurprising. I've found schemers and plotters are rarely able to cope with simple things like honor and courage.
Archivist Guild lawyer, Tales of the Questor

Florence might have trouble thinking like me, but I should be able to think like her. She's pretty straightforward, how hard could it be? Let's see. Florence works hard for me. Any time I'm threatened, she moves to counter it. When I was hungry, she gave me her food. *frowns* Okay, maybe it's not so easy to think like an alien. She's not moving in any pattern I can make sense of.
Sam Starfallnote , Freefall

Morgan: I've seen how Lancelot and the Queen feel for each other. I needn't destroy Arthur - his loved ones shall do it for me.
Morgan: It's been five years. He can't possibly remain ignorant - can he? I'd better make sure he's not.
Morgan: I send enchanted cloaks. I send enchanted drinking vessels. All tricked against unfaithful wives. All neatly neutralized. Arthur must be colluding with them! But why?
Morgan: He loves them. He just loves them that much. And they him. ...I wonder what that's like?

    Web Original 
David: Every single plan the Joker makes here is predicated on the innate selfishness of human beings.
Andy: Right, he plays the systems: human self-interest, human rules and authority.
David: As we'll see as this movie goes on, the one thing the Joker absolutely cannot predict, and does not plan for, and doesn't understand, is altruism.
Chris: He and Lord Voldemort have so much to talk about, including their intense hatred of self-righteous orphans.
Chris Sims, Andy Khouri, and David Uzumeri on The Dark Knight

Chris: For all that this movie gets wrong about Superman's character, Zod's discussion with Ursa about Superman's weakness is a really great bit.
David: They just can't at all comprehend that Superman actually thinks of other Earthlings as *equals*.
Chris Sims and David Uzumeri on Superman II

Christian: It's about love!
Duke: (snarls) Love?
Nostalgia Critic as the Duke: Ah yes, that human emotion I have heard so much about.

"No, what you mean is you would do that, because people are good, and decent, and kind! You, however, are an A-Hole, and it pisses you off so much to see a world where you didn't become a jerk-wad, because you can't accept that you're just a complete and total jackass!"

Locus: Why do you continue to help these people, Agent Washington? You have nothing to gain from them. No reason to fight for them. And yet, here you stand with your life on the line for them.
Washington: Is that so hard to understand?
Locus: You used to be so much more... You were once an enemy to these men. You were ruthless! You were a survivor!
Washington: I was a different person.
Locus: No, you were a soldier.
Washington: You say that like they're two different things.
Locus: When a true soldier is told to kill, he kills. He does not question why, he does not mourn the fallen; he fulfills his role and moves on to the next.
Washington: Is that what you want to be? A true soldier?
Locus: No, that is what I am! I'm a professional, Agent Washington. I complete my-
Washington: Yeah yeah yeah, you complete your missions at all cost. You can say that as many times as you want, but I know what you really are. You're a coward.
Locus: Ridiculous.
Washington: You keep trying to play yourself off as some sort of weapon. That you don't care about anyone or anything. But the fact that you're trying so hard to understand me breaks your entire act! No matter how hard you may want to be, you're not a machine, you're a murderer. But you hide behind the idea in your head, because you're too afraid to take responsibility for what you've done. I know I used to be a real piece of shit, but at least I'm trying to do something about it.

It was a harrowing experience, but I don't hold a grudge. We should love our enemies. It makes them so damned mad.

My fellow Americans, throughout our history we have been forced to choose between totalitarianism and justice. We have never sought out this conflict, but time and time again, due to the actions of despots, we were forced to decide. Each time tyranny misjudged us. It thought we would sacrifice our principles for comfort... for safety. But we have proven time and time again that we will never compromise freedom. We will never be cowed or intimidated into surrendering even an inch of our adherence to liberty.
President Bob Kerrey, Zhirinovsky's Russian Empire

Mercury: So how are the new "friends"?
Emerald: I hate them.
Mercury: Orders are orders.
Emerald: I just... how can they be so happy all the time?

"See, that's what your problem is, Mr. 'I've spent thousands of years as a human.' No matter how much you may try to understand us, to emulate us, you can't. Not because you're incapable of it, but because you can't see past your own cruelty to realize what true love, true human feeling, is... You're right. I was a selfish, cruel bastard who hurt countless people for no reason. I recognize that now. And it was that exact recognition that made me realize the world is a better place with people like those girls in it. Far better than I could ever attempt to make it."

Sombra: Relentless... Why such lengths to protect your petty imperialistic interests?
Luna: (Standing protectively between Sombra and Celestia, her sister) You're a fool if you think that's what I'm trying to protect.

"They just take everything that has ever been said about them and blindly try to stick it to other people. They don't think about what the words mean or if they apply, they just know that someone used them and it meant something bad to someone else. And so they think that just using those same words on what they hate will make a convincing argument for normal people to hate them too. Because their twisted narcissism makes them think everyone but themselves are mindless and have programmed responses to trigger words."
Passerby on incels, Fundies Say the Darndest Things


    Western Animation 
Toadstool: What are you, crazy? You could have been rich. *punches him to no effect* You could've had your stand back. *punches him again* All you had to do was give up! *punches him twice. Panting* Why?
Hop-Pop: Because this is about more than just me! *uppercuts Toadstool, knocking him out*

Azula: The thing I don't understand is why. Why would you do it? You know the consequences.
Mai: I guess you just don't know people as well as you think you do. You miscalculated. I I love Zuko more than I fear you.
Azula: No, you miscalculated! You should have feared me more!

I just don't understand you. You're afraid of your own shadow, yet you feel the need to risk your life to try to stop me. People are such puzzles.
The Computer to Courage, Courage the Cowardly Dog, "Mega Muriel the Magnificent"

Only you would regard love as a weakness.
Goliath to David Xanatos, Gargoyles

The corrupt are the first to believe that others can be corrupted.
Elisa, Gargoyles

Mabel: (offering a taco) Want one?
Pacifica: Oh, I'm not supposed to take handouts.
Mabel: Handouts? It's called sharing! You do know what sharing is, right?
Pacifica: Sha... sharr-ing?
Mabel: Just take it.

Mongul: The Black Mercy is a telepathic species. It reads the heart's desire and feeds the individual a totally-convincing simulation of it.
Batman: So he's dreaming.
Mongul: Oh, far deeper than any dream. I wonder where he thinks he is. Sitting on a throne ruling the universe, all you human garbage mewling at his feet... More honest, don't you think, than this pretense of being a "selfless hero"?

Lisa Simpson: You're still evil! And when you're trying to be good, you're even more evil!
Mr. Burns: I don't understand. Pigs need food, engines need coolant, dynamiters need dynamite. I'm supplying it to them at a tidy profit. And not a single sea creature was wasted.
The Simpsons, "The Old Man and the Lisa"

Homer: I’m telling you Marge, this'll work. They'll think I'm Krusty and give us free stuff. I've been getting free stuff all day! Look at this swell bucket of house paint. Look at it!
Marge: I'm not saying it won't work, I'm just saying it's dishonest.
Homer: Well, if we agree, then why are we arguing?
The Simpsons, "Homie the Clown"

Bart: Teamwork is overrated.
Homer: Huh?
Bart: Think about it. I mean, what team was Babe Ruth on? Who knows.
Lisa and Marge: Yankees.
Bart: Sharing is a bunch of bull, too. And helping others. And what's all this crap I've been hearing about tolerance?
The Simpsons, "Mountain of Madness"

Cartman: You see guys, it all worked itself out. Tadow, tadow, how you like me now? Feel a little silly now, Kyle? Tadow, how you like me now?
Kyle: I still feel bad, Cartman.
Cartman: What? Hu- How can you feel bad? Somebody else is gonna pay for our crime.
Kyle: Yeah. That makes it even worse.
Cartman: Bu... eh... Kyle, you don't seem to understand. We're not gonna get punished for this. Ever.
Kyle: I know.
Cartman: So... so then, how can you feel bad?
Stan: He feels guilty for doing it and for letting someone else pay for it.
Cartman: ...But he's not gonna get in trouble.
Stan: It doesn't matter if you get in trouble or not, you can still feel bad. I think you're right, Kyle. Maybe we should confess.
Kenny: [Yeah, maybe we should.]
Cartman: What?? Eh... (tries to be upbeat) Hey you guys! There's nothing to feel bad about! We're, we're off scot-free!
Kyle: We feel bad for other people.
Cartman: (looks at the other boys in disbelief) For oth-er... (winces) Uh. Oww... Ih... Ih, ih, is it that... you think you might get in trouble later?
Stan: Tomorrow in school we'll all tell the teacher it was us, and let her decide what to do. (points an accusing finger at Cartman) And Cartman, if you had any thread of a conscience at all, you'll do the same! (He, Kyle, and Kenny leave)
Cartman: Eh buh... eh... eh... Freakin' weirdos, man!
South Park, "Toilet Paper"

(Cartman comes to Kyle's house dressed in a nice sweater)
Cartman: Hey Kyle.
Kyle: That isn't it, Cartman.
Cartman: What isn't it?
Kyle: That isn't being nice, that's just putting on a nice sweater.
Cartman: I don't understand the difference.
Kyle: I know you don't. (closes the door)
South Park, "Casa Bonita"

Forget about [the Chum Bucket], I just can't take so much kindness in one sitting! Need... hatred...
Plankton, SpongeBob SquarePants "Walking Small"

[Nightmare has forced Spider-Man to face an illusion of his Uncle Ben]
Nightmare: Your greatest fear, your greatest failure, back to haunt you... FOREVER! [Evil Laugh]
Spider-Man: ...Uncle Ben?
Uncle Ben: [smiles] How's it goin', Pete? [they embrace] Still daydreaming, aren't ya?
Spider-Man: You got half that right, Uncle Ben. [Ben unmasks him and ruffles his hair] Man, it's great to see you!
Nightmare: "Great to see you"?! This is your ultimate failure! Your greatest fear!
Uncle Ben: Yeah, you said that. Who's the Gloomy Gus?
Spider-Man: Mr. Pasty? He's just pathetic. [to Nightmare] Nightmare, you don't know my Uncle Ben, and you sure as heck don't know me. You think this is some buried secret? Even though I couldn't save him, I live with what happened to Uncle Ben every day, but not in the way you think.
Nightmare: Huh?
Spider-Man: I took responsibility for this tragedy, and turned it into something special: helping people every day as Spider-Man. Guess who taught me that magic trick?
Ultimate Spider-Man, "Strange Days"

Kion: I'm worried about the Roar. The last time I used it, I was really angry. And it caused so much destruction!
Mufasa: The Roar of the Elders is very powerful.
Kion: I know. And that's why I'm thinking... [sighs] I shouldn't use it again. I... I'm worried that I might turn into Scar.
Mufasa: Scar cared only for himself. His selfishness fueled his anger. Why were you angry, Kion?
Kion: Janja and the hyenas. They were attacking my mom. I was so mad at them when I used the Roar! I lost control. And it almost hurt my mom. I almost hurt my mom!
Mufasa: Scar never cared for anyone else the way you do, Kion. So perhaps you should speak with the one you care so much about.
Kion: Right. I will. Thank you, Grandfather.
The Lion Guard, "Never Roar Again"

Grogar: I've seen each of your humiliating defeats at the hooves of six puny ponies! And do you know why they've always bested you?
Chrysalis: Because they cheat!
Tirek: Because they are annoyingly lucky!
Cozy Glow: I'm just a kid, so...
Grogar: It is because they work together!
My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, "The Beginning of the End - Part 1"

"Eyeball": If you knew, then why were your Gems being so nice to us?
Steven: Because they're nice! They're nice people!

    Real Life 
Evil... has every advantage but one - it is inferior in imagination. Good can imagine the possibility of becoming evil... but Evil, defiantly chosen, can no longer imagine anything but itself.

The fascist is not a happy traveller in the realm of myth and fairy tale [...] In Pan's, Sergi Lopez' Captain Vidal cannot see the faun with whom Ofelia converses. And how could he? He has no understanding of such matters.

A moderately bad man knows he is not very good: a thoroughly bad man thinks he is all right. This is common sense, really. You understand sleep when you are awake, not while you are sleeping... Good people know about both good and evil: bad people do not know about either.
C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.

There's one thing that evil cannot stand, and that is forgiveness.

How well does it match the trope?

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