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Quotes / Honor Before Reason

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    Anime and Manga 
Kikyo: There is something I wish to ask you: why didn't you kill me that night? It would've been easy enough, given my condition.
Inuyasha: I don't play dirty, that's why!

[after Ichigo Kurosaki recovers from his Superpowered Evil Side mid-battle]
Ichigo: ...And the one who cut off your left arm and leg, was that me, too? In that case, cut off my left arm and leg! ... If we're going to finish this, it won't be even unless I'm in the same state as you.
[Ulquiorra gives him a Blank Stare]
Ishida: Kurosaki! Do you know what you're saying?!
Bleach, Ch.353

    Comic Books 
Van Meach: At least you didn't try to poison me.
The Fox: Never. En garde, sir.

GoGo: Why are we stopped?
Wasabi: The light's red!

Héctor: You always this nervous before a performance?
Miguel: I don't know. I've never performed before.
Héctor: What? You said you were a musician!
Miguel: I am! I mean, I-I will be. Once I win.
Héctor: That's your plan? No, no, no, no. You have to win, Miguel. Your life literally depends on you winning. And you've never done this before? Here, I'll go up. [reaches for the guitar]
Miguel: [Pulls it away] Uh, n-no! I need to do this.
Héctor: Why?
Miguel: If I can't go out there and play one song, how can I call myself a musician?
Héctor: What does that matter?
Miguel: Cause I don't just want to get de la Cruz' blessing. I need to prove that... that I'm worthy of it.
Héctor: [Momentarily touched] Oh. Oh, that's such a sweet sentiment. [Beat] At SUCH a bad time!

"You might think Motome was disgusting for what he did, but man cannot survive on air alone. Would you truly have acted any differently?"
Tsugumi Hanshiro, Harakiri

Malcolm Reynolds: I had an out. Had every reason in the 'Verse to leave [River and Simon] and haul anchor.
Shepherd Book: It's not your way, Mal.

[In a Flashback, Jinnah is offered "shameful letters" from his political enemies while fighting over Pakistan's right to be its own country]
Past Jinnah:: [It would be] more shameful of us to read them.
Politician: We don't read them, sir; it was suggested that we use them.
Past Jinnah: We do not descend to this level! The shame is not theirs, it is ours. Destroy them!
Politician: They are talking about our county! Savaging our people! [Notices Jinnah's look] ... I am sorry sir.
Past Jinnah: I too am sorry. For the thought that blackened your generous mind.
Guardian Angel: [to present-day Jinnah's spirit] Well, a bit prudish of you. You could have changed the entire course of history with those few letters.
Jinnah: Are you trying to play Satan with me? Did I hear you saying that I should have tried to use blackmail against my political opponents?
Guardian Angel: It would have saved lives.
Jinnah: History is made by the will and the wants of millions of people, not by some letters and not by some blackmail.

"In Okinawa, honor VERY important."

"Me, I'm dishonest. And a dishonest man you can always trust to be dishonest. Honestly. It's the honest ones you want to look out for, because you can never predict when they're about to do something incredibly...stupid..."

Alfred Jodl: We are soldiers! We've taken our oath to the Führer!
Hermann Fegelein: Should the oath prevent us from thinking independently?

"My honor is dearer to me than my life."
Don Quixote de La Mancha, Don Quixote

The king heard him. "You stiff-necked fool," he muttered, "too proud to listen. Can you eat pride, Stark? Will honor shield your children?"

But great victories of the human spirit against fearful odds-as both Themistocles and Churchill so clearly saw-are not won in the last resort, by logic. Reason is not enough.
The Greco-Persian Wars, by Peter Green

In this movement the gentlemen who led the British army displayed those virtues that were as much a part of their social and intellectual order as the shortcomings that had got them into the present mess. They had defied reason in the interwar years; they defied it now with an instinctive faith that the right thing to do was the most dangerous and difficult. They had been bred to provide leadership; they prized bravery and resolution above any kind of cleverness and expertise; and they were to fight their way out of catastrophe, as had their country in 1940, by treating facts as less real then willpower.
The Desert Generals, by Correlli Barnett

"In the same way, when the Lacedaemonians fight one at a time, they are no worse than any other men, but when they fight together, they are the best in the world. Because though they are free, they aren't totally free. Custom is the despot who stand over them, and they secretly fear it more than your people fear you. They do whatever it commands, and its command is always the same: not to run away from any other force, however large, but to stay in formation and either prevail or die."
Herodotus, The Histories, via Demaratus.

Every virtue tends towards stupidity, every stupidity towards virtue; "stupid to the point of saintliness," they say in Russia.
Beyond Good and Evil, by Friedrich Nietzsche

"Really, Athos, you would make a singular general. You would fight only in broad daylight, inform your foe of when you planned to attack, and never attempt anything by night lest you should be accused of taking advantage of the darkness."
Aramis, 20 Years After

Vengeous: Only a heathen brings a gun to a swordfight.
Skulduggery: Only a moron brings a sword to a gunfight.
Skulduggery Pleasant, "Playing With Fire"

"The Arends are very noble. Nobility is a trait that's not always trustworthy, since it sometimes causes men to do things for obscure reasons."
Belgarath, Pawn of Prophecy, The Belgariad

    Live-Action TV 
Sheriff: A man learns all the details of a situation like ours, well, then he has a choice.
Mal: I don't believe he does.

"It doesn't matter that his Grail may or may not exist, what matters is that he strives for the perfection of his soul and the salvation of his race and that he has never wavered or lost faith."
Delenn, Babylon 5, "Grail"

Gowron: Think about what you are doing. If you turn your back on me now... for as long as I live, you will not be welcome anywhere in the Klingon Empire. Your family will be removed from the High Council, your lands seized, and your House stripped of its titles! You will have nothing!
Worf: ... except my honor.
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, "The Way of the Warrior"

"It's not about profit anymore; it's about respect."
Quark, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, "The House of Quark"

"We have the most powerful ally in the world, but you're too high-minded to let Her help us. So, we're gonna end up the most principled corpses in Potter's Field."
Root, Person of Interest, "The Day The World Went Away"

"I'm not going to swear an oath I can't uphold. Talk about my father if you want, tell me that's the attitude that got him killed. But when enough people make false promises, words stop meaning anything. Then there are no more answers, only better and better lies. And lies won't help us in this fight."
Jon Snow, probably the most triumphant Reconstruction of this trope, Game of Thrones

"I applaud your courage and deplore your stupidity."
The Doctor, Doctor Who, "The Girl Who Died"

"I may get Fs, but by God, I earn them!"
Waldo Geraldo Faldo refusing to cheat on a test, Family Matters

    Tabletop Games 
"Brave men die everyday, unremembered. Courage recieves no prize, but cowardice and dishonour can buy happiness and renown. The brave among us must accept their rewards from within, even in the throes of death."
The Catechisms Martial, Warhammer 40,000

"To fight for the right
Without question or pause
To be willing to march into Hell
For a heavenly cause"
Don Quixote de La Mancha, Man of La Mancha, "The Impossible Dream"

"You'd think after everything that went down, Frankie would have cut Tommy loose right then. If that's what you think, you're not from Jersey."
Nick Massi, Jersey Boys

    Video Games 
"Accomplish the mission and live...? Why didn't I think of that?"

"Bro, you are such an idiot! He offered us money, but no, you had to go and do the right thing! Since when are you such a goddamn boy scout?"
Eliot Salem, Army of Two

"The craven mind is sharp with self interest.
The honourable mind is much easier to manipulate."

"Honor means nothing to a corpse, Saurfang. You have the luxury of underestimating death, but it is something with which I am intimately familiar. Maybe you don't care if your people die so long as it is honorable. But to me, this Horde is worth saving. Anyone who disagrees does not deserve to stand among us. So die your warrior's death, High Overlord Saurfang. It means little to me. Perhaps I will raise your broken body to serve me once more. Or perhaps you will have a chance to say hello to your son."
Warchief Sylvanas Windrunner, World of Warcraft

Ranulf: Lethe, you idiot! Why won't you fall back?!
Lethe: The soldiers think that if we retreat any longer, we'd be throwing away our pride.
Ranulf: You're following the lead of some blood-crazed soldiers? You're supposed to be in charge!
Lethe: I know that retreat is the sane course of action, Ranulf. But if we run now, we'd lose the values we hold dearest in our hearts!

Shimura: You have no honor.
Jin: And you are a slave to it.

"I stay 'ere because it's me duty. And bein' a dwarf is about doin' yer duty, even if it makes ye miserable. ESPECIALLY if it makes ye miserable!"
Durkon Thundershield, The Order of the Stick #84

    Web Original 
Finally, Aoki decides to try to end the fight. He grabs Hirota's arm with both hands and cranks it into a hammerlock. It was disgusting and airtight. Even Hulkamania wouldn't get you out of this hold. And it was about here where a cultural problem developed. In Japan they have this thing called Bushido. It's like giant balls, but more institutionalized. It's why we had to invent the atomic bomb. It basically means that when some asshole is ripping your arm off, your warrior spirit requires you to allow it. So Hirota's left arm refused to tap out as his right one was snapped into a vaguely arm-shaped sack of bone splinters.

Blake Thorburn: I like to give people the benefit of a doubt until they give me reason to do otherwise.
Rose Thorburn: Noble. Stupid as fuck, but noble.
Blake Thorburn: Not arguing that. I’m The Fool, after all.

    Western Animation 
[Lex Luthor offers Batman a gun during a battle against Darkseid's armies]
Batman: [shakes his head] Not my style.
Luthor: Suit yourself. I'm planning to live through this.
Justice League Unlimited, "Destroyer"

Player Azula: Wait. What's that? I think it's your honor!
Player Zuko: WHERE!?
[Azula exits through a hidden door]

Aerrow: You made a deal with the Dark Ace? Are you out of your mind?!
Harrier: I know exactly what I'm doing! I'm ensuring that the Cyclonians will never threaten Terra Rex!
Piper: That's the Dark Ace. He doesn't do deals.
Harrier: He gave his word! He is honor-bound.
The Dark Ace: [smiling] Honor is overrated. The Cyclonian invasion force is preparing as we speak. [sucker-punches Harrier]
[during the latter battle in the sky]
Harrier: Those who fight with honor will always prevail!
The Dark Ace: Times have changed. [blasts Harrier out of the sky]
Storm Hawks, "The Code"

[Bugs Bunny and Yosemite Sam are about to escape from the house fire when suddenly...]
Sam: [Gasp] Your cake!
Bugs: Forget the cake!
Sam: No way, I ain't staying indebted to you!
The Looney Tunes Show, "The Stud, The Nerd, The Average Joe, and The Saint"

Optimus Primal: What are you doing? You'd won.
Dinobot: You slipped. To defeat you in such a manner would be lacking in honor. I would not have earned the right to lead. I prefer to beat my enemies the old-fashioned way: BRUTALLY!

    Real Life 
"Peace is a precious and a desirable thing. Our generation, bloodied in wars, certainly deserves peace. But peace, like almost all things of this world, has its price, a high but a measurable one. We in Poland do not know the concept of peace at any price. There is only one thing in the lives of men, nations and countries that is without price. That thing is honor."
Polish Foreign Minister Jozef Beck, on the eve of World War II


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