Apologetic Attacker

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Inigo Montoya: You seem a decent fellow, I hate to kill you.

The Man in Black: You seem a decent fellow, I hate to die.

Heroes are, at least for the most part, good people, with clear morals. However, they also have to dish out some punishment now and again, usually directed at people who are decidedly less good, and whose morals are rather lacking, so it's all good.

However, some heroes may feel bad about inflicting any kind of injury on another person, no matter how deserving that person might be. Under these circumstances, the least the hero can do is to let the villain know that, while they may be punching him in the face, they are at least sorry. Very sincerely sorry indeed.

This is even more likely to occur when the character the hero is attacking is not really evil, but needs to be incapacitated for some reason. The hero will say something like "I'm really, really sorry about this," before whacking them over the head or knocking them out in some other way.

However, some people will apologize for attacking even the most deranged Psycho for Hire, even if the psycho's actions left that person with no choice but to attack. Perhaps they're simply someone who Apologizes a Lot.

Alternately, the attacker might not be a good guy, but is still not exactly evil, and does not want to hurt whoever they're attacking. They might be controlled somehow but are still able to speak, they might have transformed into something with a Horror Hunger that they can't redirect, or they might just be unhappy about attacking someone.

Compare Sorry I Fell on Your Fist, where the victim apologizes; Why Did You Make Me Hit You?, where the manipulative attacker merely pretends to feel guilty; and My Fist Forgives You, where the attacker is quickly settling a score. If the attacker apologizes beforehand without explaining why, it's a Preemptive Apology.

Examples of Apologetic Attacker include:


Anime & Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • In Fruits Basket, Tohru hits Kyou with her bag because she thought he was a pervert. Tohru is a Sorry I Fell on Your Fist character, and awkwardly apologizes to Kyou afterward.
  • Legato's arc in Trigun only ends when he forces Vash to shoot him, execution style, in the head. Vash is really, really broken up about it afterward.
  • Quatre Raberba Winner of Gundam Wing. He always forces his enemies to surrender before he has to kill them, then he apologizes for having to kill them. In fact, most Gundam pacifist pilots such as Kira, Uso and Loran say this and tells their enemies to get out of the mechs.
  • Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Keiichi hugs Mion and apologizes for killing her in an alternate reality.
  • In Ranma ½, forced to stop a rampaging Ryouga, Akane rips off a mooring post from the docks and bashes him over the head with it, yelling, "I'm sorry!" When this fails to even faze him (indeed, the post bent in the shape of his head) she bashes him some more, punctuating each strike with "I'm sorry!"
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist episode 36, Edward says sorry to Kain Fuery after punching him out.
    • And Maria Ross apologized in advance before and after slapping Ed across the face for going into Laboratory 5 on his own. Justified since Ed's higher in rank than Maria and could give her and Denny Brosh their walking orders if he wanted to (of course, he doesn't).
  • Though not technically in the Naruto Anime, in the Clash of Ninja games, Hinata actually APOLOGIZES for using a counterattack.
    • The First and Second Hokage apologise to the Third Hokage for putting him through trouble, who in turn apologises to the former two for fighting them. It's a long story how they got into that situation.
    • Though it doesn't strictly count as an apology, the fifth Mizukage expresses regret before attacking Sasuke.
    • Pain apologises to Jiraiya before making the killing blow.
    • The undead Second Mizukage and Third Raikage are very apologetic about fighting against the Joint-Shinobi force and even give warnings about what attacks they are about to use.
  • In her first appearance in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, Fate mutters an "I'm sorry" before blasting Nanoha to unconsciousness. This was the first clue that Fate wasn't as evil as her appearance and actions indicated.
  • "Colonel Sanders" in the Tournament Arc of Mahou Sensei Negima apologizes for using overpowered tactics and cheap tricks (that would be downright cheating if there were any rules) in battle. He's sorry for beating you up, but he just has to reach the final match.
    • Sayo also does this; she starts off her attack by warning her enemies of the imminent danger.
    • Earlier than that is when Negi and Asuna attempt to take out Chachamaru when shes alone, Negi really doesn't want to, to the point where he can't bring himself to do it and blows himself up instead.
  • Ai Kaga from Sayonara, Zetsubou-sensei actually attacks by apologizing in at least one instance, using her head and bowing a lot.
  • In Buso Renkin, when Kazuki is about to kill Chouno, he says that he's sorry. Chouno promptly sticks his tongue out and says, "Don't apologize, you hypocrite." Kazuki then kills him, proving that you don't need to apologize if the person you're attacking is going to be a dick about it afterward.
  • In Yu Yu Hakusho, Toguro invokes this after ripping a monster in half on the order of his client Tarukane: "Not even the best of contracts justifies killing as cruelly as I have just done. I apologize to this creature."
  • A rather odd example from Neon Genesis Evangelion: during Shinji's battle with the possessed Unit 02, he apologizes before stabbing it - to Asuka, who he's well aware isn't even inside it at the time.
    • Pilots do tend to get emotionally attached to their machines, particularly someone like Asuka, where piloting it is pretty much all she has to live for. He knew she'd be upset if he damaged Unit 02, so he apologized.
    • Toji does this when he beats Shinji up out of anger over his little sister getting injured during Unit-01's first fight.
  • In Monster, Tenma profusely apologizes as he puts the gun to the head of one of Wulf's men.
  • In R.O.D the TV, Yomiko apologizes as she rifles the pockets of a Mook that she and Anita knocked out.
  • In the So Bad It's Good anime Chargeman Ken, this is hilariously done in episode 35, with Ken's infamous "Dr. Volga, forgive me!" line as he launches him at the enemy as a human bomb.
  • Syaoran does this to Yukito in the Cardcaptor Sakura manga, apologizing right before punching him in the gut to knock him out so Sakura can use her magic to capture the Firey card.
  • In Akira, Takashi hates using his Psychic Powers, but against someone who just won't give him the chance to explain himself and keeps attacking him ( Mozu, a local Extraordinarily Empowered Girl, he decides to do so... and after the apology, he unleashes a fatal psychic attack.

Takashi: "You don't leave me any other option... (kills young Mozu) I'm so sorry."

  • In Bleach, Primera Espada Coyote Starrk apologies to Kyōraku while shooting him in the back with a Cero while the latter tries to attack Wonderweiss, stating the arrival of Wonderweiss means Aizen has lost patience.
      • Played in a darker and more sarcastic manner with with someone who is possibly the leader of the Stern Ritter for the Vandenreich. After they start attacking, he says "Sorry, but we were ordered to kill everyone."
  • In Panty and Stocking With Garterbelt, Stocking apologizes for attacking Panty, and cutting her up into 666 pieces, and provides a rather forced explanation.


Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • In Air #1 (not the same as AIR), the protagonist apologizes to a Well-Intentioned Extremist before kicking him in the crotch. As with many instances of this trope, the victim thinks she's apologizing for something she already did.
  • In Patoruzu, Patoruzu hits Gaston the Frenchman hard enough to knock him unconscious. Isidoro points out that he may have killed him with his sheer strength. The moralistic Patoruzu is horrified by this and promptly apologizes to the unconscious Gaspar for hitting him so hard. It turns out that Gaspar was faking unconsciousness in order to make Patoruzu feel guilty so he could catch him off-guard.
  • Ragdoll does this a couple of times in Secret Six.
  • Subverted in Nodwick when Artix and Yeager apologize to a villain (after they'd had fun fighting their way through his dungeon, unlike the one they'd just been in that they'd found boring) because Piffany was about to attack him.


Film - Animated[edit | hide]

  • A very creepy version occurs in Coraline, where the badly-mutilated Other Father is strapped into the mechanical mantis and forced to attack Coraline, mournfully mumbling apologies as the mantis stalks her.

Other Father: Sooo sorry . . . Mother's maaaaaking meeeeee!


Film - Live-Action[edit | hide]

  • In Men in Black, the Arquilian battlecruiser that parks over Earth sends a simple message: "Give us the Galaxy or Earth will be destroyed. Sorry."
  • An example where the person being attacked isn't a villain occurs in The Matrix Reloaded, when Seraph apologizes to Neo before attacking.
  • In Force 10 From Navarone, Maritza demands that Barnsby hit her to make it appear that he and Mallory attacked her and got away. Barnsby apologizes and hits her weakly. She berates him and orders him to hit her harder. Mallory suddenly punches her hard and knocks her out.
  • The Princess Bride: "You seem a decent fellow. I hate to kill you." "You seem a decent fellow. I hate to die."
    • And later, after his fights with Inigo ("Please understand I hold you in the highest respect.") and Fezzig ("I do not envy you the headache you will have when you awake. But for now, rest well and dream of large women.").
  • Wesley in Wanted was a bit of a nebbish who apologized for everything. After he meets Fox, and balks, asking what his target did to deserve being killed, the next target is apologized to, as Wesley still isn't morally committed even though he's otherwise committed.
  • An example where both parties were equally neither bad nor good, in the film Highlander, in the battle scene where Connor receives his mortal wound a priest slits the throat of a member of the opposing clan and then quickly offers last rites.
  • Done traumatically in District 9 when Wikus, halfway through his human-to-prawn transformation and being experimented on by MNU scientists, is forced to shoot a chained-up alien with one of their mega-weapons. His hysterical, traumatized reaction is one of our first indications that he's not an outright Villain Protagonist, and that for all that he's internalized MNU's xenophobic propaganda, he still views the aliens as people.
  • The Operative in Serenity. River is also very apologetic after she beats Simon up in order to get to the bridge.
  • In 1940's The Mark Of Zorro, Badass Preacher Fray Felipe apologizes as he knocks out the alcalde's soldiers with a club during the climactic melee.

Felipe: (WHACK!) God forgive me. (WHACK!) God forgive me.

  • Subverted initially by the monk in Dragonheart as he's quoting humorous scripture while (non-fatally) shooting mooks with arrows, then plays it straight when he sees the Big Bad, grunts out "Thou shalt not kill" while trying to fatally shoot him.
  • Played for laughs in Attack of the Clones when C-3PO's head gets knocked off and is fused to a battle droid's body, forcing him to open fire on the Jedi Knights, him frantically apologizing for every shot fired. (He never lands a single shot)
  • Carlisle in the film version of Twilight.

Carlisle: "I don't relish the thought of killing another creature, even a sadistic one like James."

  • In Cellular Jessica apologises to one of the bad guys after she kills him by cutting his brachial artery.

Jessica: "Tenth grade biology. Brachial artery... pumps 30 liters of blood a minute. There's only five in the human body. I'm sorry."


Literature[edit | hide]

  • In George RR Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series, there is a successful assassin's guild called The Sorrowful Men, who always apologize to the victim for killing them just before the victim dies.
  • In Audrey Wait, Audrey's mom had to quit Taekwondo because "she was always apologising to the attack dummies".
  • In Terry Pratchett's The Fifth Elephant, Sybil Vimes automatically says, "I'm terribly sorry!" just as she whacks a guard over the head with an iron bar. This is an interesting counterpoint to her original character, in Guards Guards, as an overpowering personality who takes no guff from anyone. In the rest of the series she's far more polite and apologetic, despite taking just as little guff.
    • Of course, in her original appearance, she was Sybil Ramkin. Her philosophies are sometimes kind of old-fashioned, so she probably figured that, now that she's married, it's Sam's job as the husband to protect her, so she doesn't need to protect herself anymore and she can mellow out a little.
  • In Terry Pratchett's Interesting Times, Rincewind is puzzling out the apologetic note before he gets hit over the head.
  • In J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter, Harry, Ron and Hermione apologize to Neville after using the Full Body-Bind curse on him because he was in the way.
    • Dobby is very much this in Chamber of Secrets with the various things he does to try to protect Harry.
    • In The Deathly Hallows, Voldemort says "I regret it" when murdering Snape.
  • Kevin from The Resurrection Casket.
  • In Point Blanc, book two of the Alex Rider series, the Gentleman, an assassin, gets his nickname because he always sends flowers to the families of his victims.
  • Jane Bennet, as represented in Pride and Prejudice And Zombies, has been reported to cradle zombies in her arms, apologizing for dismembering them, even as what remains keeps trying to bite her.
  • Iella Wesseri's husband, thought to be dead for two years, was found in a prison when the New Republic captured Coruscant. Iella was delighted to have him back, and although he seemed quieter and weaker than he had been before this he was also glad to see her again. Later Iella, being a New Republic Intelligence officer, was assigned to escort an Imperial informant to safety so he could dish out about {{ManipulativeBastard Isard]]. But when the two of them got out of a speeder in the safe place, her husband shot the the informant and tried to shoot Iella. She shoots him, and as he was dying she found that during his long absence he'd been turned into one of Isard's Manchurian Agents. Surprisingly, he doesn't say the word "sorry" at all during that, but regret is pretty heavy throughout what he says to her.
  • In the Warhammer 40,000 novel "The First Heretic", part of the Horus Heresy Series, the main protaganist whisper "Forgive me" over the vox channel to a loyal captain during the famous Drop Site Massacre, right afterwords he gave the order to open fire, causing thousands of the loyalists to die within seconds.
  • In the Mistborn series book Hero of Ages, Marsh tells Sazed, "I wish I understood why I have to kill you. I'm sorry." Then he attacks him.
  • It turns out this is the real way to use the eponymous Sword of Truth in the Sword of Truth. Holding onto pure anger will get some mileage out of it, but holding onto pure forgiveness will cut through magical defenses. Naturally, true forgiveness is pretty hard to not express to some extent. YMMV on this one, as the first example overlaps with Stockholm Syndrome. It makes sense in context.


Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • In the first episode of Andromeda, Captain Hunt's Nietzchean crewmate (who practices the species-wide belief of self-interest) sees that Hunt is at an disadvantage. He stands up, apologizes for his impending treachery, and then attacks the captain.
  • The M* A* S* H episode "Dear Sis" centered around Father Mulcahy feeling guilty for punching out a delirious guy so that he could be operated on. Mulcahy's actions would be reasonably justified by the regular morals of planet Earth, especially since the other guy punched him first and Mulcahy decked him in self-defense. And the guy might have died if Mulcahy did nothing. Did the guy, perhaps, feel grateful for this afterward? Of course not.
  • Star Trek: The Original Series:
    • In the episode "Where No Man Has Gone Before", Kirk pauses to apologize to Gary Mitchell before smashing him with a rock. Mitchell just happens to get back his super-powers in that instant.
    • And in "Operation - Annihilate!" a whole colony does this: they've been infected by Puppeteer Parasites, and they apologize and beg their victims to run away even as they're attacking.
    • In "The Man Trap", McCoy says "Lord forgive me," as he kills the Monster of the Week, which had shapeshifted into his ex-girlfriend.
  • In "Time's Arrow, Part 2" of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Riker says "I just want you to know that I have the utmost respect for the law" to a policeman, then punches him out.
  • Jack Bauer. For the "You're not evil, but you're in my way - therefore I'm going to incapacitate you rather than torture or kill you" version, anyway.
  • During the showdown with Crichton in the Farscape episode "Self-Inflicted Wounds," Pathfinder Neeyala remarks, "I have never before released my bristles to kill. Your forgiveness."
  • In Heroes, Hiro briefly bows and apologizes to Tracy before punching her in the face.
  • Encouraged in the Rahmens parody educational series The Japanese Tradition episode about dating. If you are forced to fight, you should say "I'm sorry I have to do this" before dealing out justice.
  • In the Doctor Who episode "Invasion of the Dinosaurs", Sergeant Benton attacks his superior (who's on the wrong side):

General Finch: (with his hand in Benton's face) You'll be court-martialled for this, Sergeant!
Sergeant Benton: (while repeatedly slamming the General against a desk) Yes, sir! Very sorry, sir!

    • And then later, in the revived series 5 finale, Auton!Rory apologizes desperately to Amy as he's forced to kill her.
    • Angel Bob.
    • The Doctor, in Classic Who, would many times apologize, on the rare occasions when he punched someone, such as the fifth Doctor, in "Warriors of the Deep".
    • The Tenth Doctor also apologizes all the damn time, and on several occasions "I'm sorry, I'm so, so sorry," meant "I have run out of ideas for how to save you and your victims, so I'm going to kill you now." Obviously does not apply to beings such as Daleks.
    • One of the Tenth Doctor's biggest awesome moments involved playing this straight and inverting it, when he Out-Gambitted The Master and temporarily made himself canonically a God Mode Sue via the amplified thoughts of the human race.

The Doctor: "I'm sorry. I'm sooooo sorry. Because you know what I'm going to say to you."
[The Master backs away, almost whimpering, and the Doctor leans in close to his ear]
The Doctor: "I forgive you."

  • In Prison Break, Scofield does this quite frequently whenever forced to harm good people (often bystanders) to stick to his plans. Justified in that he only starts doing this after witnessing an inmate hang himself, supposedly because Scofield didn't save him from T-Bag.
  • On Neighbours, Dylan made a point of doing this when he was coerced into an armed robbery. This more than anything convinced Stuart (if not his sergeant) that he was telling the truth, leading him to go undercover to get him exonerated.
  • The husband on Man Woman Wild always apologizes to the animals he catches before killing them to feed himself and his wife. And thanks them after they're dead, too.
  • On Criminal Minds, a father and daughter are abducted and he's forced to fight other captives or both of them will be murdered. When the killer ups the stakes and orders him to beat a defeated opponent to death, he has no choice but to comply, moaning "sorry" with every reluctant blow.
  • During an early episode of Breaking Bad, Walt breaks down crying and apologizing after more-or-less being forced to kill a captive drug dealer. Quite a strong scene. You can enjoy it here to get some context.


Professional Wrestling[edit | hide]

  • Shawn Michaels said "I'm sorry, I love you" to Ric Flair at Wrestlemania XXIV just before Shawn used his finishing move and pinned Flair. As a result of losing, Flair had to retire, enhancing the emotional impact of the moment.
    • This later got an Ironic Echo during Shawn's stretcher match against Batista at Backlash. The whole thing was essentially a squash match, with Batista finishing it by mouthing "I'm not sorry. I don't love you." Then plastering Shawn with the Batista Bomb.


Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

  • In Warhammer 40,000, the Tau always claim to be apologetic attackers... as they commence orbital bombardment, then use a mix of sterilization, concentration camps, and possibly mind control on their new subjects. To be fair, the Tau are the only race who allows their foe to surrender as a matter of course, and they are still a marked step up from the "good guys," who torture first, kill, and then ask questions.
    • Now now, let's be fair. The Inquisition will torture first, mind rape the answers out of you, and then kill.


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • Fiona Mayfield of Arcana Heart, whose down-forward strong attack is accompanied by a heartfelt "I'm sorry!" as she smacks her opponent up into the air with her BFS.
  • In the Disgaea series, some of the healer classes shout "Forgive me!" as a battle cry when you have them attack physically. For some reason, apparently demonic healers feel more badly about injuring others than the human ones in Final Fantasy.
    • And then there's Flonne, who counts... sort of. "Whoops, pardon me!"
  • Polka in Eternal Sonata will apologize to enemies after hitting them, and one of her opening-battle quotes is something to the effect of "I'm sorry, but I'm in a hurry!"
  • Dizzy from Guilty Gear has two wings that do most of the attacking for her, and she apologizes for them (and tells them to stop) during battle.
    • Bridget's intro has him pull a Dynamic Entry and trip his opponent before the fight starts. He then turns, goes all "oops" and apologizes.
  • In the prologue before the game starts, an alien invasion kills Iji's father and little sister and almost the whole human population, but even after she is transformed into a nanomachine-powered cyborg, she has no desire to kill her attackers and says a grief-stricken "I'm sorry..." when she does.
    • Before you start racking up kills in Iji, Iji will sometimes mumble a tear-quenched "I'm sorry" after killing an enemy. This gets reversed if you shoot everything you see, however, which makes her yell "Why don't you just DIE!" or similar when shooting them.
  • Some of the mercenaries in the Jagged Alliance series are Apologetic Attackers, and others begin as such but grow hardened (or develop a murder fetish) with experience.
  • During the first battle with Jafar in Kingdom Hearts, he orders the Genie to attack you. Before every attack, the Genie yells "I'm really sorry about this!" or the equivalent ("Oh please oh please let me miss!") as well as "Quick, get out of the way!", and if he does hit you, health orbs fly out of his fist to make up for it.
  • Shannon in Ougon Musou Kyoku is literally an Apologetic Attacker, as one of her moves is an apologetic bow.
  • The automated turrets from Portal fit this trope. After being deactivated, they say things like "No hard feelings" and "I don't hate you".
    • They may also apologize to each other if one turret collides with another.
  • Alouette in La Pucelle occasionally apologizes after physically attacking a monster. She's a nun whose special attacks often involve beating enemies over the head with the game's Bible equivalent.
  • Sonic Adventure 2: Battle added Tikal to the massive 2-player revamp for the treasure hunting stages. Every time she'd use a special attack, she might say "I'm sorry."
  • Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity has Blaze, sort of. She sometimes says "Sorry" a bit timidly when she passes other racers. Funny how she doesn't when she hits others with an attack item.
  • Sophitia of the Soulcalibur games exclaims "I'm sorry!" after using the widow maker attack on a male opponent.
    • Talim is another example of this trope, apologizing during even basic attacks.
    • Soulcalibur IV has voices for custom characters which say stuff like that also.
    • Siegfried as well, moreso during his stint as The Atoner in III and IV. Considering that he once served time as the Big Bad (thanks to Soul Edge), this is understandable.
    • Patrokolos from Soulcalibur V says "I'm sorry" quite often when fighting against his sister Pyrrha, who herself does this a lot due to being manipulated by Tira into becoming a killing machine (and a suitable vessel for Soul Edge).
  • Despinis from Super Robot Wars R is not just chronically shy, she always says "I'm sorry" before blasting you to smithereens or beating you to a pulp. True to that, when she joins your party in OG Gaiden, she seems to be more proficient at support skills rather than direct combat.
  • System Shock 2. Some formerly-human enemies told you to run or said sorry when they were shooting you for some extra horror.
  • If Mint delivers the final blow in a battle in Tales of Phantasia: "Forgive me, please..."
  • One of Estelle's opening-battle quotes in Tales of Vesperia is "I'm sorry if I hurt you!"
  • Kohak takes this role in Tales of Hearts when you fight friendly but Zerom-possessed characters Rage Camellia (Sergeant Morga) and Lonely Veronica (Marin) as bosses.
  • Emil from Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World eventually becomes this after he seals his Super-Powered Evil Side.
  • Susie Evans from Valkyria Chronicles, being a staunch pacifist, will sometimes freeze up and stop moving if you order her to attack someone (regardless of how much AP she has left). She can, however, use Ragnaid on an ally and still move around fine.
    • Also, one of the enemy lieutenants remarks how the protagonists seem like good people, and he's sorry he has to fight them.
  • Avril Vent Fleur in Wild ARMs 5 apologizes for the pain she's about to inflict with her attacks.
  • In Episode I of Xenosaga, one of MOMO's battle end sayings is "I'm sorry, are you okay?" If they collapsed in a shower of blood, they are pretty far from "okay."
    • Chaos is a more extreme case of this. In certain cases during battle in the second episode, he'll quickly say sorry before attacking. In Episode I, however, he has a pre-battle and battle end quote in which he prays for the enemy's soul.

"Poor lost souls... may you be reborn again anew!"
"May all your souls rest in peace..."

  • World of Warcraft has a few like this.
    • Vaelastarsz - a Red Dragon enslaved by Black Dragon Nefarian.

Vaelstrasz The Corrupt: Forgive me, (player)! Your death only adds to my failure!

    • Sir Zeliek - a great Paladin turned into a marionette of the Lich King, trapped inside his own body as the Lich King uses his own holy powers to commit atrocities.

Sir Zeliek: Forgive me! I- I have no choice but to obey!

  • Most of the Splicers in BioShock (series) are pretty out of it, but the Pigskin occasionally realizes that you're not, in fact, his hated father. He apologizes, but keeps hunting you, because the Saturnine would do horrible things to him if he let you go.
  • In Fallout 3, the Robo Brain enemy sometimes acts like this.
  • Freudia Neuwahl and Liebea Palesch in Rosenkreuzstilette. One can only predict the results when they go up against each other in the sequel.

Freudia: "I'm sorry, Tia..."
Liebea: "Forgive me, Miss Tia..."

  • In the original Dead or Alive, one of Kasumi's win quotes has her kneel down and apologize to her fallen foe, asking if he/she is alright.
  • Rose from Street Fighter will frequently ask her opponent, "Are you hurt?" or "Are you all right?" This trope is much more prominent in her Fighting Your Friend situations.
  • In Deadly Premonition, one of the lines sometimes spoken by the shadows when they attack is "I'm sorry!"
  • In the video games based off of the One Piece series, any time Sanji fights a woman, he apologizes for every attack, since in the manga he Wouldn't Hit a Girl.
  • Shizumaru Hisame from Samurai Shodown bows and apologizes to his fallen rival in one of his winning animations.
    • If he performs his Zetsumai Ougi and kills his opponent, he actually breaks down crying.
  • After utterly destroying his opponent with Omnislash ver. 5, Cloud Strife in Dissidia Final Fantasy cares enough to apologize with a dry "No hard feelings."
  • Even though she threatens to kill Noel if she doesn't return to her post at first in BlazBlue Continuum Shift, Tsubaki surprisingly ends up holding back and even begs for forgiveness whether she wins or loses. She also forgives her for the trouble she got her into since Noel is her friend and therefore she knows that she didn't want to fight against her.
    • Also, surprisingly enough, Tsubaki knew that she could never defeat her even though she didn't hold back. Then again, in fact, she herself didn't even know that Hazama was only using her to hurt her deeply enough to awaken the true successor to the Azure from within her... which, of course, causes Noel to fly into a rage and refuse to forgive him when she realizes it during her encounter with him.
    • Litchi also has this line in her winquote against Bang because she thought he was a pervert but didn't know that he was really trying to impress her.

Litchi: I-I'm so sorry! You came out of nowhere, so I thought you were a pervert and smacked you! Are you alright? (He's completely out... but he looks really happy. Odd...)

    • In general, Litchi also counts. As she is a doctor and a very benevolent one, she really wouldn't like to fight unless the situation is really severe. A lot of her win quotes had her apologizing to her enemies, and in the Arcade Mode, she was clearly sorry for having to force her way through by beating her colleague Tager.
  • Artix Entertainment games have rare occurrences where the heroes fight against someone only to find out after beating them up that they weren't really as bad as the non-player characters who sicced them on them made them think and they apologize to them before deciding to show those non-player characters who's boss for setting them up and using them. A good example is during the cutscene after the hero defeats Lord Ovthedance where he/she apologizes to him for not realizing that the Great Godfather of Soul set him up and conned him/her into doing his dirty work.

Hero: The Great Godfather of Soul's conned me into doing his dirty work! That weasel!
Lord Ovthedance: Me glad you realize that. Would have been better if you realize it before you beat Lord Ovthedance down.
Hero: Yeah, sorry about that. We've got to get you down to that Dance-off so you can beat that liar for both of us!
Lord Ovthedance: Am you kidding? Me am not in the best shape, thanks to some random hero who decided to...
Hero: ...I said "I'm sorry".

  • Bug!! has a Mook that turns around and farts at Bug's face! While apologizing with a rather crude "Sorry" or "Sorry, just ate".
  • SD Gundam G Generation's system that lets you put any non action girl into a mobile suit usually results in this. Tifa, Shekti, and other girls of their kind will apologize their opponent before blasting them up to bits.
  • In Team Fortress 2, The Engineer might apologize when killing a Pyro. This is mainly because Pyros are the natural Spy killers, and Engineers hate Spies.
  • In Abe's Exodus, the second Oddworld game, the only way to calm down a Mudokan that had been exposed to laughing gas was to give them a good hard slap. Slap them again and they get "angry" and have to be apologized to or they will refuse to listen to any instructions and even slap you (or any other nearby Mudokan) back. If you slap a "sad" Mudokan, you had better apologize fast, or they will let out a pitiful little "no…" and start beating themselves to death with their own hands.
  • Rival Schools: When initiating a team-up attack as Unmasked!Akira, she shouts "Gomen nasai!" ("I'm sorry!") while she performs the initial hit.
  • Hamton from Tiny Toons: Defenders of the Universe apologizes when he throws something at a enemy.
  • Many of the robots in Cosmic Break appologize when making a kill (even when 'killing' trees and lifeless barrels). Mostly the more human ones. Some however like Baltheon invert the trope by laughing.
  • Skyrim has one dungeon filled with ghosts under the control of a necromancer. Unusually, the ghosts are still self-aware, just not in control of their actions, so they will constantly tell you to run away and shout warnings to be on your guard before they attack.
    • Also, the draugr sometimes croak apologies at you in Ancient Nordic.
  • Dragon Quest VII (AKA Dragon Warrior VII in the States) has a great beginning world that partakes to this. The first dungeon has THREE bosses. A miniboss to enter, a second-in-command, and a world-sector boss. There is no break to heal or save in between the last two. Why does this fit? The World-sector boss is Matilda who only asks you to kill them and free the world-sector. They only defend and the battle just turns into a Tear Jerker with bonus exp.
  • In Persona 3 Portable, Bonus Boss Theodore is extremely apologetic when he fights the player character. His sister Elizabeth also apologizes occasionally when she hits you, but not nearly as often.
  • PROXY from Star Wars: The Force Unleashed has the "primary programming" directive of killing his master, Starkiller. However, being a very naive droid who literally doesn't understand the concept of death, he treats it like an ordinary task and is otherwise quite friendly toward him. In fact, every time he randomly attacks Starkiller and fails to strike him down, he apologises for it.


Webcomics[edit | hide]

  • The 'Fallen' Grace versus Damien battle in El Goonish Shive definitely qualifies. Damien threatens to kill all her friends, she goes Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass on him, rips him to shreds, then reverts to her ordinary personality and apologizes for beating him up, before asking him to surrender. Of course, he DOESN'T, but that's another trope...
  • In Everyday Heroes, Mr. Mighty has to knock out Iron Jane after she attacks him ... later, he has to knock her out again to prevent her from killing her former boss in revenge.
  • Dr. McNinja has been shown, in a throwaway gag to when he was younger and still working out the kinks in balancing his ninja and doctor roles, apologizing over and over and over to the body of an enemy ninja he'd just murdered.
  • Errol of Seekers profusely apologizes to the female Lizaar as he delivers a sound beating to her in a tournament.
  • Cale in Looking for Group is convinced he has to kill an innocent child to save a kingdom. Up until this point, Cale has been bordering on Stupid Good and hates the thought of even harming a single innocent - but eventually goes through with it anyway.

Cale: "I'm sorry... I'm sorry."

Web Original[edit | hide]


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • Silverbolt did this to Cheetor several times in a row once in Beast Wars.
    • Cheetor commented on wanting to return the favor when the argument was made that Silverbolt was "acting in his best interests".
  • In Frisky Dingo, when Xander Crews and Killface were forced to fight to the death. They had originally agreed to fake it, and figured they'd think of something eventually, but when the audience wasn't buying it, Killface apologized to Xander before biting his ear off, escalating the fight into actual to-the-death territory.
  • Starfire from Teen Titans is oftentimes an apologetic attacker.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender "The Earth King": Katara apologizes to all the guards she has to water-whip out of the way when the Gaang's trying to get into the Earth King's palace.
  • The sequel series, The Legend of Korra also uses it, when Asami discovers her father is working for the Equalists.

Asami: I love you, Daddy. *attacks*

  • Samurai Jack apologized to a guy for knocking him out and stealing his clothes after Jack's own clothes were stolen.
  • After Him turned everyone evil in one episode of The Powerpuff Girls, they apologized after beating the snot out of everybody.
  • Much like the example from The Matrix Reloaded above, Phoebus does one of these to Esmaeralda in Disney's adaptation of The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
  • Lampshaded and subverted in an episode of Kim Possible:

Member of Team Impossible: I wish there was another way.
Ron: Really?
Member of Team Impossible: Not really, but that's what our lawyer told me to say.

  • On The Simpsons, Nelson apologizes as he is forced to attack Drederick Tatum who has been swabbed with "Poindextrose".
  • In the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2003, Donatello got one of these while attempting to save a power plant worker from a cooling tower that he'd just rigged to blow up. It Makes Sense in Context...

Don: We don't have time for this! Please accept my apology!
Worker: For what?
Don: For this. (Cue the use of his Simple Staff)

  • In the My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic episode "The Return of Harmony, Part 2", Fluttershy is ordered to restrain a brainwashed Rainbow Dash, and proceeds to fly up to the sleeping Rainbow and... gently awaken her, then ask "I'm just wondering if it's okay if I hold you down against your will for a little bit." Twilight Sparkle's reaction is predictable.
  • In the TV version of Redwall, the abbot asks God for forgiveness after attacking an invader.


Real Life[edit | hide]

  • Remember those newspaper articles about the Polite Bandits? Two women desperate for drug money but apparently not too enthusiastic about the criminal business would rob people at gunpoint while saying "Please," "Thank you," and "I'm sorry."
    • These crop up every now and then, and sometimes end up in the news. They vary from genuinely remorseful drug addicts to professional criminals who simply happen to be polite about their business.
  • Many people who are members of religions that respect animal rights (such as Hindu), but who are forced to eat meat due to economic or health conditions, thank and/or apologize to the animal before eating it.
  • There was a recent case where a U.S. Serviceman was mugged at gunpoint by three other men... however, upon opening his wallet and finding his military I.D, they returned to the man, apologized, gave him back his stuff (except his keys...) and thanked him for his service.
    • A similar urban legend exists about a group of teens who stole a car for a joyride, opened the glove box and realized it belonged to Mr. Rogers, and returned the car with an apologetic note.
  • Attila Ambrus, a failed Hungarian hockey player, robbed post offices and banks at gunpoint. He would usually thank the teller, even though slightly drunk.
  • In Norah Vincent's Self-Made Man, she recounts second-hand an anecdote of this sort. The full paragraph is on the quotes page.
  • Not long ago, there was a bank robber who apologized for frightening an employee. He apologized for scaring her and sat down to talk. She apparently convinced him to convert to Christianity and turn himself in.
  • Albert DeSalvo committed several (dozen) rapes in which he would apologize to his victims and show concern for their physical safety. Aside from, y'know, the raping bit. This is one reason why some modern profilers feel DeSalvo and the Strangler were two different people, as the Strangler's victims were savaged by the killer.