Feeling Oppressed by Their Existence

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Bob is not free, or so he thinks. On the contrary, he consider himself to be very oppressed. Because there is a certain kind of people that he doesn't like, and they... exist. He's not free to kill them or otherwise remove them, thus he's not free at all.

At best, this is Played for Laughs, often running on Rule of Creepy. (In this version, the "oppression" may come in the form of I Have Boobs - You Must Obey! and be portrayed as real). At worst, it may make the character come across as a Complete Monster.

In either case, death-threats or "liberation" is optional. Whining about how the open existence of other people in itself infringe on one's freedom is enough. Note that it however does not count to claim that the other group may pose an actual threat in the future.

An Evil Overlord of the Manipulative Bastard kind may use this trope as a strategy to cling to power, directing his subjects yearning for freedom into a racist yearning for "liberation" from the existence of another ethnic group.

Sometimes done by Racist Grandma, Heteronormative Crusader or Troubled Sympathetic Bigot. The latter may have homophobia or islamophobia as an actual clinical phobia rather than just categorism.

When this destructive hatred is not focused solely on one group but every human being, it's Kill All Humans. The next step up is the Absolute Xenophobe, who wants to destroy all other sentient life, human or otherwise. The final one is the Omnicidal Maniac, who wants to kill and destroy literally everything.

No real life examples, please; We all know that some people think this way in Real Life. Let's just leave it at that.

Examples of Feeling Oppressed by Their Existence include:

Comic Books

  • In Chick Tracts, the non-Christians do this quite often. They feel insulted, threatened, even oppressed... not by how the Christians treat them, but by their very existence. Of course, the Christian characters are always loving & righteous Soulsaving Crusaders, never this trope. They never have any negative feelings towards Gays, Catholics or whatever... It's just that they find it unfortunate that they all deserve to get tortured and raped forever in hell and will get this well-deserved punishment soon enough.
  • In Bitchy Bitch and Bitchy Butch, this trope is a stock complaint from various versions of The Fundamentalist, feeling oppressed by the existence of Atheists and Gays and so on. Even when the Atheists and Gays are simply minding their own business. Especially then, actually, since they thus send the heretical political message that they somehow deserve to exist.
    • In Bitchy Butch, we also have Butchy herself, with these feelings against men and heterosexuals.


  • The Killing Fields depicts the Khmer Rouge's application of these principles to those of Vietnamese descent and "intellectuals," a category that included urban professionals and people who wore glasses.
  • Hotel Rwanda depicts the genocide in that country as a consequence of this logic.
  • I Shot Andy Warhol is about Valerie Solanas, who apparently came to believe this about all men and consequently published the infamous S.C.U.M. (Society for Cutting Up Men) Manifesto.
  • Part of what distinguishes The Matrix's Big Bad Agent Smith from his fellow Machines is his belief that human beings are, by their very existence, a destructive virus that must be eradicated. He later extends this view to all of existence, his former masters included.
  • Somewhat unusually, the Star Wars prequel films make this actually true about the Sith; until they're all wiped out, everyone else is threatened by their detrimental effect on "the Balance of the Force."


  • In the neo-nazi novel The Turner Diaries, the aryan race is finally "liberated" as the protagonists let atomic, biological and chemical bombs rain over the entire planet, exterminating over 90% of mankind. This is portrayed as a happy ending.
  • In Guards Guards, most of the Elucidated Brethren of the Ebon Night feel like this in their low-grade, resentful way. Notably, this is played for laughs.

Brother Plasterer: I reckon my brother's been oppressing me with this new flashy carriage of his. I mean, I haven't got a carriage. That's oppression, that is.

  • Another Orwell example occurs in Animal Farm, where one of the revolution's slogans is "Four Legs Good, Two Legs Bad." It's horribly subverted later in the story, however, as the ruling class of pigs essentially become human, and teach the sheep to chant "Four Legs Good, Two Legs Better."
  • An example of this attitude in sixth-century Ostrogothic Italy, as recounted in L. Sprague deCamp's novel Lest Darkness Fall:

"You don't like the Goths?"
"No! Not with the persecution we have to put up with!"
"Religious persecution. We won't stand for it forever."
"I thought the Goths let everybody worship as they pleased."
"That's just it! We Orthodox are forced to stand around and watch Arians and Monophysites and Nestorians and Jews going about their business unmolested, as if they owned the country. If that isn't persecution, I'd like to know what is!"

  • In Good Omens, R.P. Tyler appears to be one of these, but lacks the passion to do anything but send letter after Strongly Worded Letter to the local newspaper complaining about everyone and everything that annoys him by its presence - including the fact that the paper doesn't publish all of them because if they did they wouldn't have any room in the Letters to the Editor section for anyone else's letters.
  • Some Cosmic Horror stories have their human characters Go Mad from the Revelation that an Eldritch Abomination exists, in defiance of rationality or experience, even if said Abomination isn't demonstrably trying to harm them.
  • In Harry Turtledove's alternate history Timeline-191, the Freedom Party (a Confederate Expy of the Nazis) advocates a CSA "free" of any black population.
  • In Poul Anderson's A Midsummer Tempest, a Puritan bringing a young woman through France explains how oppressive it is, in that people who want to purify the Church—by forcing Puritanism on Catholics—are prevented from doing so. How can Puritans be free if they're not allowed to force other people to be Puritans?
  • Harry Potter has a personal, rather than a racial, example during The Reveal that Snape's hatred of Harry's father was totally justified. When asked "what has he ever done to you?", James Potter's response was "it's more the fact that he exists".
    • That example aside, the more general Fantastic Racism against "Mudbloods" has a lot of this, especially in Deathly Hallows.

Live-Action TV

  • The conversation between Jarod (hero) and Mr Raines (villain) in the first season finale of The Pretender:

Jarod: You stole me from my parents. You had the FBI kill my brother, and now you're trying to kill my family. What have I ever done to you?
Mr. Raines: You exist.

Tabletop Games

  • This is how most of the Imperium feels about aliens, mutants and heretics. Granted in their case it's somewhat justified, considering nearly all the aliens are just as genocidal as they are (and the ones who aren't are being manipulated by a caste of mysterious alien sages for who knows what purpose) and mutants are all vessels, willingly or not, for the power of the Dark Gods.


  • In one drunken rant, Arne Anka claim to be a victim oppressed by the existence of beautiful women.

Video Games

  • In The Elder Scrolls, the Thalmor believe that not just the existence of mankind, but the existence of the possibility of mankind, keeps the elves trapped in the normal world.
    • The scary thing is that they might actually be right.
  • In Day of the Tentacle, the mutated Purple Tentacle rules a Bad Future where he and his most loyal followers blame all humans for Dr. Fred's creation their "ungainly forms" and so wish to exterminate them all.
  • In Star Control II, this is the motivation behind the Ur-Quan Kohr-Ah's extermination campaigns. Much like the Daleks, they consider all non-Ur-Quan life to be abhorrent. They also think they're doing the universe a favor, since they believe in reincarnation and without any other species to be born into, every soul will eventually become an Ur-Quan.

Web Comics

  • Early in Homestuck, highblood Eridan hated lowbloods and often tried to commission Vriska for doomsday devices so he could kill them all...for no better reason than because, well, they existed. However, it's heavily implied that he never seriously intended to go through with it and that it was all just to keep up appearances and retain the interest of his moirail.

Web Original

  • Discussed by Zinnia Jones in the episode Re: "Can't Even Go to the Park" regarding the blog post "Can't Even Go to the Park" which gained international infamy for suggesting that the concepts of "freedom" and "Not outlawing the existence of gay people" are mutually exclusive.
  • Just about every devout Khersian thinks this way about Mack in Tales of MU. Considering she's half-demon and Khersis exists to purge the world of demons, and demons feed on humans, there is some justification. But since she's the protagonist, we are sympathetic to her situation. It doesn't help that the characters who most dehumanize demons in the setting are either Jerkasses like Gloria and Ariadne or the Complete Monster Mercy.

Western Animation

  • In the 90's X-Men cartoon this is more or less the opinion and motivation of Graydon Creed ( Despite the fact he appears to be a baseline human born to two mutant parents...who were Abusive Parents because of it). Keeping in mind he says the following as if it were fact:

Jubilee: What did we ever do to you!?
Creed: You were born!