If I Can't Have You

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"But if I wasn't ever going to be happy again, then I would make sure that they wouldn't be alive to enjoy their happiness."

"I don't want nobody, baby!" Just kidding.

"If I can't have you, then no one will!" is a Stock Phrase often spoken by jealous and envious characters (often villains) demanding to be loved. The set up is usually as follows: Baddie has grown infatuated with the hero or his Love Interest and kidnaps her with the intent to "marry" her. Or just have his way with her. While it is possible for the villain to love their captive in a non-sicko way, it's usually love of the Love Makes You Evil or Love Hungry variety. Case in point: once the hero breaks her out and they kiss passionately, expect him to shout this line and decide that if she won't love him, she's not going to love anyone period.

If the villain is a Femme Fatale who was wooing the hero, she may well shoot him once his love interest shows up. Many a non-villainous "jilted" Clingy Jealous Girl will react this way, and there may be some truth to it, as this seems to be the mentality behind many people who kill their cheating spouses or ex-lovers (both in fiction and in Real Life). A woman may also be more likely to get away with it.

If the villain ever had an inkling of a chance, this becomes a form of Kick the Dog that shows that they're "The Wrong Guy".

See No MacGuffin, No Winner when the trope phrase is directed at something of intrinsic value, rather than an object of affection. See also Love Makes You Evil, Yandere, and Living Emotional Crutch. The polar opposite of I Want My Beloved to Be Happy. Often the person trying to kill the object of their affection is Not Good with Rejection.

An alternative to killing their beloved is for the villain to kill the hero for being a romantic rival. If the villain is canny, he'll play it off as an accident. If he isn't quite sane, he'll tell his captive and actually expect this to make her throw herself in his arms.

As this trope frequently occurs during the climax of a story, beware the spoilers!

Examples of If I Can't Have You include:


Anime and Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Hitagi Senjougahara from Bakemonogatari makes it clear that she won't tolerate her boyfriend Koyomi Araragi showing interest in any other woman. At one point, she nearly stabs him in the eye with a mechanical pencil after he so much as talks about another female using her first name without an honorific. And only stops once he screams, "Stop it! There's nothing guilty about it! I didn't mean it like I knew her well! I'm only devoted to you, Senjougahara!" Afterwards, when he comments that she'll kill someone, she promises that he will be her first and only victim. Unless someone else kills him, in which case, she'll kill his killer. She then goes on to say how romantic it is because then he would truly belong to her and she would be able to be near him while he's on his death bed.
  • In Berserk, during Griffith's Ho Yay-tastic fight with Guts before Guts left the Band of Hawk, Griffith is shown having this kind of thought. He considers all the different possibilities of attacking Guts, realizing that one way, if executed properly, would most likely end in Guts' death. He hesitates, but then thinks to himself, "But... if I can't keep him here..." and ends up attempting it. Of course, he fails.
  • In Black Cat, Creed gets this way with Train. Embittered and horribly jealous that his numerous attempts to have Train join him to rule the world fail because of Saya's influence, he eventually decides that he would rather that Train die than remain under the spell of "that witch." In one instance, acting very much like a Yandere, Creed even tells Train (after he smashes Train into a wall):

"This is all your fault, Train! It's your fault for making me mad! Time and time again, I come to get your cooperation so it wouldn't come to this. But despite that... all those attempts were futile. All of them!"

  • Diva in Blood Plus, who killed Riku after raping him, partially so that no one else could have him, but also to spite Saya.
  • Genkaku from Deadman Wonderland, after confessing his love for Nagi, decides that if Nagi refuses to join him in the Undertakers, he'd rather kill him.
  • In a Death Note flashback, when Misa tries to ignore a Stalker with a Crush who surprises her at night, he pulls a knife, saying, "Then I'll kill you and myself!"
  • In Full Metal Panic!, Takuma (at least, in the novels) is shown to start acting like this towards Tessa. "I don't care if I have to kill Tessa to get the others. On second thought, I should kill them all. After all, Tessa made a fool of me and didn't bother to acknowledge my good will. If I can't have her, I'll break her."
  • The Count of Monte Cristo is the basis for the manga Gankutsuou, where Mondego shoots his wife and son, then dons a mecha suit to fight The Count.
  • Raoh in Hokuto no Ken was prepared to kill the heroine if she did not reciprocate his feelings. However, he finds she is already dying of radiation poisoning, and so moved by her determination he uses his own power to extend her life..
  • Kyou Kara Maou: Wolfram to Yuuri season one, episode fifty-two- "Maybe I should just kill you now; then you'd be mine forever." Presumably not meant seriously, as he sheathes his sword and forgets about that plan of action the moment Yuuri falls down a short staircase. It never comes up again.
  • While the traditional lines are never said, the subtext of Yurimaru's death via Zakuro's Action Bomb trap in Ninja Scroll is blatant. Yurimaru is an an electrokinetic Bishonen who uses Razor Floss- Zakuro is a viciously inventive explosives expert with at the least a prominent facial scar and at most is so covered in scars she looks like Frankenstein's Monster. Zakuro has a major crush on Yurimaru, but Yurimaru is a Depraved Homosexual in love with (and sleeping with) their leader, Himuro Gemma, and so he rejects her advances rather bluntly. Yurimaru promptly stumbles into an explosives-rigged shed near the climax of the movie, and is blatantly blown to pieces when a detonating rat triggers the whole place going up in flames.
  • Kanou in Okane ga Nai clearly stated to his lover Ayase that he is not getting away from him. Ever. And if he tries to, then he will find him and repossess him, by force if necessary.
  • Mookyul from Totally Captivated was looking for Ewon Jung for 10 years before finally finding him. Luckily Ewon feels the same way. Luckily for Ewon. Mostly...

Mookyul: I was gonna lock you in a cage if you told me to let you go, but it turns out for the best, since now we won't have to go through the pain in the ass of fighting.

    • Ewon really, really hopes he doesn't mean that. (He does.)
  • Ann from Sailor Moon said something of the sort about Mamoru at one time; as did Ali about Usagi.
  • Saitama Chainsaw Shoujo: After being dumped by her boyfriend Fumio Kirisaki declares "Alright, I'll kill him...Then I'll die."
  • After he realizes that Ichigo loves Masaya and not him, Kisshu from Tokyo Mew Mew becomes this way. In episode 45, after Ichigo refuses to leave Earth with him, he goes into a rage and tells Ichigo that if he can't have her then he'll kill her. Ichigo seems like a goner at first, but then she is rescued by Masaya, who turns out to be her Mysterious Protector the Blue Knight.
  • Jagara from Wolf's Rain has this relationship going on with Darcia. Particularly notable since Jagara killed her twin sister Harmona, Darcia's lover who had essentially been on life support for years, in order to get her out of the picture. (In all fairness, as said, Harmona had been on life support for years and Jagara didn't know that Darcia had probably found a way to bring Harmona back. It's still a Moral Event Horizon, and a Despair Event Horizon for Darcia.) Later, during a confrontation between the two, Jagara stabs Darcia with a poisoned dagger when he refuses her.
  • This is the reason why Seto Kaiba destroys the fourth Blue-Eyes White Dragon trading card in Yu-Gi-Oh!! when he gets his hands on it. The rules of the game forbid duelists from having more than three of the same card in their decks. He already had the only other three ever printed, so he ripped it in two since he couldn't use it.
    • Well, that and in the manga, the Blue Eyes he destroyed disobeyed him in a (shadow) duel and refused to attack Yuugi. He destroyed it out of revenge.
  • Naoe from Mirage of Blaze was prepared to kill Kagetora and himself so that Kagetora will "never belong to anyone else".
  • Naraku from Inuyasha couldn't have Kikyou and killed her twice because of it. It also didn't help that Kikyou was out to kill him in revenge, and she was one of the few capable of doing so.
  • At one point in the Hot Gimmick manga Hatsumi tells her abusive boyfriend Ryoki that she can't be with him anymore when he orders her to make the impossible decision of choosing between him or her family. When she leaves him he's shown thinking to himself "That stupid woman...If she can't be mine she should just die."
  • Zetsuai 1989: Kouji swings between both I Want My Beloved to Be Happy and If I Can't Have You with regard to Izumi. He's aware that I Want My Beloved to Be Happy is a better attitude, but he can't quite bring himself to feel that way, and often talks about how he'd like to lock Izumi away. In fact, his behaviour tends to stop short of full-on If I Can't Have You, but he angsts quite a bit about how he resents anything that makes Izumi happy if it takes Izumi's attention away from him.
    • Also, when Izumi was five, his mother discovered his father was cheating on her, and murdered him in front of Izumi so that she could "possess him completely". Years after this, after getting out of prison, Mrs. Izumi goes to her son, explains her reasons and kills herself in front of him.
  • Girls Bravo: Lisa Fukuyama is an insane user of black magic who develops an intense infatuation for Yukinari after his appearance matches a description in her horoscope for her soul mate and often employs her magic to get closer to him-which often fails spectacularly. She often has her attendant Kosame stand nearby with her loaded gun trained on Yukinari, making a not so subtle threat to shoot Yukinari if he refuses her.
  • Shuichi Shindou from Gravitation qualifies for this when the stress of Yuki being outed puts him into the hospital, and Shuichi, in the polar opposite of I Want My Beloved to Be Happy, talks at length about how he would rather Yuki die than leave him.
    • That said, Suichi is a Love Martyr who allowed himself to be raped in order to keep Yuki's relationship with him a secret despite Yuki generally being a Bastard Boyfriend. He basically implies at some point that he'd be happy to die for him, just not for him to leave him.
  • In Gunslinger Girl Cute Bruiser Henrietta, who has a major Big Brother Attraction towards her handler Giuseppe, recreates the incident where one of the other cyborg girls killed her own handler. This is chillingly summed up as: "She was making a subconscious threat — if you don't love me, I'll kill you." In chapter 83, they both kill each other after Giuse is mortally wounded at her hands. Laser-Guided Karma for Giuse because he Took a Level in Jerkass several chapters earlier after realizing that he had failed Henrietta, but Henrietta herself was Too Good for This Sinful Earth.
  • Goshuushou-sama Ninomiya-kun: Inner Reika (who's Yandere for Shungo) completely looses it in the last episode upon seeing him try to kiss Mayu, and screams at her subordinate Hosaka to kill Shungo.
  • Threads of Time: Sali Tayi explicitly tells Atan Hadas that if she runs away with Moon-Bin and doesn't marry him, he'll kill them both.
  • Played with in Monster. Johan seems to have less of an "If I can't have you, no one will" attitude toward his sister Anna as he does an "I can't have her, so no one can", and proceeds to murder her foster parents.
    • Played straighter with Lady Drunk Eve Heinemann toward Dr. Tenma.
  • In the Fishman Island arc of One Piece, captain Vander Decken has this attitude toward the gigantic mermaid princess Shirahoshi. He's constantly sending her 'love letters' in the form of large weapons that are guided to her by his Devil Fruit power, forcing her father to keep her locked up in a tower for ten years.
  • Ai no Kusabi: Guy to Riki.
  • In Helen ESP one of the school's mannequin's take this attitude to her builder. And since she, being a doll, can't...
  • In the My-HiME manga, Shiho, Brainwashed by the Princess earring she has, challenges Yuuichi to a quiz to determine if he is the "real" Yuuichi, and any answers that she deems incorrect (that is, refusing to say that he loves Shiho and wants to leave with her), result in her claiming he is an imposter and having her Child slam him into the ground. When he fails the first two questions and responds to her question of whether he loves her with a Like Brother and Sister answer, she decides he is a fake and prepares to kill him, but Mai is able to destroy Shiho's Child and save him.
  • In Axis Powers Hetalia England to America briefly before letting him become independent.
  • Sakura Gari: Everyone does this over Souma. And then Souma in turn does this to Masataka.
  • Mizore in Rosario Plus Vampire tries to kill the rest of Tsukune's harem and turn Tsukune himself into a popsicle so she can have him all for herself. However, once she's added to the harem she becomes friends with her love rivals and continues to stalk Tsukune. She says herself that she doesn't really "need" to stalk him anymore, it's just "more fun."
  • Rune of Karakuridouji Ultimo in chapter 11 says he needs to kill his crush Yamato and then die himself.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima: Chapter 338 features Chisame's brief stint as a Yandere, played for laughs of course, with a dose of If I Can't Have You.

Chisame: Oh yeah, you're gonna get stabbed and killed one day! No, I'm going to stab you and then I'll die too.

  • In Bokura Wa Itsumo the Clingy Jealous Girl Onohira uses this on Haruna when he tell her that he was going out with his Living Emotional Crutch to which she responds by taking out a knife and saying "If I can't be in your arms, nobody else can either!"
  • Bleach: Orihime's hollowfied brother Sora tries to kill Ichigo (and Tatsuki, though less so) for taking his place in Orihime's heart. He then says he'll kill Orihime just so no one else can have her.
  • In School Days Sekai stabs Makoto to death after he is shown choosing Kotonoha over her and later tells Kotonoha that she and Makoto truly loved each other.
  • In the Rose of Versailles, Oscar's father wants to marry her off to Girodelle—but she does not want to marry him. Andre is so distraught about this, that he puts some rat poison into Oscar's wine and his, but he prevents Oscar from even tasting it, since he realized on time that what he would have done was wrong.
  • One of the creepiest examples comes from Minoru Murao's Knights manga. Of all people, Nina, the cute little girl of the cast goes nuts when she assumes that the object of her affection Mist is physically involved with his Ms. Fanservice companion Euphemia. Her response is to lead a supernatural agent of the Corrupt Church (the same Church that nearly burned her at the stake after accusing her of being a witch) to kill him. She even shoots him in the leg with a crossbow. Her motivation? To send his soul to Hell, where it will be "purified," then join him in death so they can be together for all eternity. Keep in mind that this guy saved her life in the first few chapters, which is why she's so hung up on him in the first place. This is borderline Love Makes You Evil. To her credit, she does eventually realize just how utterly screwed up she was, and works to undo her actions.
  • Haru To Natsu has protagonist Makoto caught between twin sisters who both want him. He prefers Haruna, the stable and sweet model student, while also being chased by Natsuki, who wants him because Haruna wants him. Oh, and did I mention Haruna's quite Yandere for Makoto? To the point that their first kiss is while she's holding a very large butcher knife, and later promises (while wielding that same knife) that if he ever cheats, he wouldn't like what happens.
  • Elegy to Luka in The Betrayal Knows My Name.


Comic Books[edit | hide]

Tiberius Stone: You think I'd let you leave this place?! Leave ME!?

  • This is the basic principle behind The League of Evil Exes in Scott Pilgrim
  • Monica's Gang: In one story, several mothers have been abducted and Monica and Maggy decided to investigate. They disguised themselves as a mother in order to find the villain's hideout. The villain explained about how he'd been bullied for not having a mother ever since she vanished so he decided that, if he couldn't have a mother, nobody would. His mother reappeared and spanked him for his crimes. Fittingly, the villain's name is Frédipo. (Fred + Édipo - Édipo being how Oedipus Rex is known in Brazil)
  • Ecipso feels this way towards Superman, after trying-and failing-several times to possess and/or corrupt him.


Fairy Tales[edit | hide]


Fan Works[edit | hide]

  • In the cross-over comic Grim Tales from Down Below, Minnie pretty much screams this at Junior before trying to decapitate him. While she's not actually a villain, she is under the influence of Him, making her evil at the time it was said.
    • For added Squick, Minnie is Junior's half-sister, so he's as creeped out as the readers are.
  • In Revenge Road, Hikaru decides to kill Kyosuke and Madoka, angry at Kyosuke for rejecting her and Madoka (to a slightly lesser degree) for stealing him away, and jealous of the happiness they share.
  • In the final chapter of Project Gethinator, Admiral Daro'Xen, who is Yandere in a big way for Commander Shepard, utterly loses it after he decisively turns her down and calls her on her crazy scheme and her obsession with him. She proceeds to turn the same mineral scanner that Tali's idiot crewman Prazza from the preceding fic Inglorious Boshtets accidentally used to make a star go supernova on the main star of the Eta Carinae system, causing it to go hyper-nova, making sure to have the Normandy's drive core disabled so Shepard, Tali and the crew cannot escape. Only Shepard's quick thinking and Legion's advanced technical skills get everyone out of there alive.


Film[edit | hide]

  • Claude Frollo from Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame movie: "She will be mine or she will burn!"
  • Anakin Skywalker from Star Wars, sort of.
  • Alec Baldwin's character, Teacher, from The Juror (1996). At first Annie Laird's Stalker with a Crush, he changes to this trope after she "betrays" him and tries to get him killed. He then becomes obsessed with killing her.
  • At the end of The Count of Monte Cristo, the villain attempts to kill Mercedes, although it's less about love and more about denying her to Edmond, who has ruined his life in vengeance for sending him to the Chateau d'If in order to have her for himself.

Edmond: You've only got one shot. And it'll take more than that to stop me.
Fernand: Well, then, I'd best place it where it will do the most damage.
[turns the gun on Mercedes and fires]

  • House of Flying Daggers: Leo says to Mei "You're the love of my life. You don't have to love me, but you can never go with him." This, of course, is after he has stabbed her in the chest with a dagger.
  • In Titanic after Rose jumps out of the last lifeboat onto the ship to be with Jack, Cal is shown looking extremely jealous as they embrace, so much so that he takes a gun and shoots at them, intending to kill them both.
  • Lampshaded in Cursed. "If I can't have him... Well, you know how it goes."
  • A non-romantic example from Hot Fuzz: Leslie Tiller is killed because she was going to move away from Sandford, and the NWA didn't want her horticultural experience to be used for any of Sandford's competition for 'Village of the Year'.
  • The Bishop of Aquila from Ladyhawke, after his curse on two lovers is broken by an eclipse, aims his staff like a spear at Isabeau, the female half of the couple whom he had wanted for himself, declaring that if he cannot have her: "...then no man shall!" Etienne stops him by throwing his sword, which goes right through the priest and kills him.
    • Also, the significance of them being transformed into a wolf and a hawk. Both animals mate for life.
    • The curse itself is specifically mentioned to have been a case of this.
  • In the Morgan Fairchild film The Seduction, a male loner stalking a celebrity news anchor inserts such a message into her teleprompter script, causing her to have a Heroic BSOD on the air.
  • In Three Amigos:

El Guapo: Jefe, you do not understand women. You cannot force open the petals of a flower. When the flower is ready, it opens itself up to you.
Jefe: So when do you think Carmen will open up her flower to you?
El Guapo: Tonight, or I will kill her!

  • Repo Men (2010): The relationship with Jake and Remy was rather brotherly, going back to their childhood with Jake as a bully. As adults working together in repossession, Jake gradually became rather attached to Remy, and the repo job was something that bonded them together. But in doing this job Remy and his wife Carol had a rocky marriage, so things weren't looking up. Remy was thinking about quitting repo. Jake got desperate and sabotaged a defibrillator, resulting in Remy getting an auto heart from the shock, and his wife leaving him. Eventually becoming enemies Jake was determined to keep Remy by him by some means, which led to Jake putting him in a brain dead (dream state) coma and continuing to do repossession jobs to keep Remy alive and happy; so not only did Jake remove Remy from his wife, it is highly likely that he killed Remy's love interest, Beth.
  • The motive for trying to kill Laura.
  • The ending of The House of Yes invokes this even though the words are never spoken.
  • Near the end of Toy Story 3, Woody actually tells Lotso that if Daisy couldn't have him, then no one would.
  • Near the end of Tucker and Dale Versus Evil, Chad puts Allison on a Conveyor Belt of Doom when he realizes she and Dale are falling in love.
  • In Megamind, this is what triggers Titan/Hal's Face Heel Turn, since he only agreed to become a superhero on the basis that this would attract Roxanne to him. When this didn't turn out to be the case, he begins a city-wide rampage, and ends up tying her to a radio tower on the top of a tall building.
  • Bobby (played by Fred Savage) in the TV movie No One Would Tell does this to his girlfriend Stacy.
  • In Red Eye the final confrontation gave a bit of this vibe.
  • In Misery Annie tries to keep Paul from leaving her but knows he'll want to leave her when his legs get better and then says that she has a gun and she might put bullets in it.
  • Dark Shadows: The entire reason Angelique cursed Barnabas and buried him alive is because he rejected her advances. When he eventually escapes his coffin, she tells him to either return her love this time, or she'll destroy his family (which she's been doing for the last two hundred years anyway).


Literature[edit | hide]

  • Phantom of the Opera. If Erik can't have Christine, not only will Raoul be dead, but he plans to blow up Paris. This tends to be forgotten in most other versions. Bonus points for the fact that Erik retains much of his woobieness, despite being batshit crazy.
  • Éponine from Les Misérables (book only). Éponine gives Marius a (fake) message that his friends are expecting him at the barricades, and then she goes there herself in hopes that they'll die together, since she can't have him.
    • Actually, in the musical, Éponine does more or less the same thing. See the "Theater" folder below.
  • This happened in the Wind On Fire Trilogy to the princess, though she didn't get killed.
  • This is effectively Morgoth's motive - if Iluvatar won't let him create anything of his own, he'll corrupt and break Arda.
  • In Neil Gaiman's short story "Murder Mysteries," the first murdered angel turns out to have been killed by his partner when he moved on from extensively studying Love with him to studying Death instead.
  • The title character of The English Patient has an affair with Katharine Clifton; when her husband finds out, he combines this with Murder the Hypotenuse and suicide, trying to kill them all in a plane crash.
  • Don Quixote: Part II, chapter 60, Claudia Jeronima and Don Vicente Tornellas, from different factions of the civil war that was plaguing Barcelona, secretly fall in love and planned to marry, but one day Claudia Jeronima learned that Don Vicente wants to marry another woman. The next day, overwhelmed and exasperated, she shot him. And then she learns that he never intended to marry any other woman that Claudia.
  • In the first novel of the Binding Of The Blade series, Joraiem marries Wylla, whom Rulalin loved. One morning, Rulalin knifes Joraiem and bolts.
  • Frollo from The Hunchback of Notre Dame. He utters the line "No-one shall have her" quite a few times over the course of the story, which ends up badly for Esmeralda (and pretty much everyone else in the story).
  • Christopher Carrion has a bad case of this in the back story to Clive Barker's "Abarat" series aimed at Princess Boa, which ends with him killing her on her wedding day.
  • In Cold Comfort, Allie Carpenter says the stock phrase before killing Senator Wainwright.
  • The Revenge of the Sith Novelization has the relationship between Anakin and his wife Padme steadily progress into this. Even though she was faithful to him, he didn't believe her - he believed she was falling for Obi-Wan. And in a sense she was - at one point she says that there is one Jedi the proto-Rebellion can trust absolutely, and is shocked to discover that she doesn't mean her husband. He chokes her with the Force.
  • In Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian story "Shadows in Zamboula," after Zabibi repulses Totrasmek, and asks him for a Love Potion, he gives her something to drive her lover mad, so that he attacks her.
  • Meta-example happened in Dungeons & Dragons novels. Dragonlance writer Margaret Weis didn't liked that her beloved character Death Knight Lord Soth has been taken by Ravenloft, so she get Armed with Canon, wrote things that made it impossible for Soth to ever be transported to Ravenloft world in the first place and then turned him human and killed him so nobody else could have him.
  • In Bruce Coville's The Ghost in the Third Row the ghost in question was killed by a jealous lover after she choses his rival over him.
  • Lydia in Peter Moore's Caught In The Act attempts this on Ethan in the school play. She fails.
  • In Death series: Indulgence In Death has a guy who killed a girl he was interested in a drunken fit of rage because she was not interested in him.
  • In "Confessions of a D-List Supervillain", The hero Ultraweapon says this to the protagonist after erasing the memory of his ex-girl-friend Aphrodite, who had begun dating the protagonist.


Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, a creepy, creepy love spell causes every woman in town to try to do this to Xander.
    • In another episode, it is revealed that a student killed his teacher he had a relationship with because she tried to end it. He then shot himself, and his ghost possesses people to reenact the scene with fatal consequences.
    • Spike chains up both Buffy and Drusilla, and declares he'll stake his his vampire ex-girlfriend as a sign of his love for Buffy. When Buffy is unimpressed, Spike says he'll release Drusilla to feed on her unless Buffy gives him the faintest crumb of hope that someday he might have a chance with her.
  • On Angel, Gunn assumes (incorrectly) that this is the reason why Knox chose Fred to be the vessel for Illyria, after she turns him down for Wesley. In fact, it's because he thinks it's an honor only she was worthy of.
  • Parodied on Mystery Science Theater 3000 when Joel and the Bots saw I Accuse My Parents: "No one's gonna take you away from me. Not even me, see! I'll kill me before that happens."
  • At the end of the Cadfael episode "The Rose Rent", Miles screams and begs Judith to "Tell me you love me!" while threatening to throw her and himself into a blazing fire if she doesn't.
  • Factors importantly into a twist ending from Tales from the Crypt, in which it is shouted repeatedly by the murderer.
  • In Robin Hood, this was Guy of Gisborne's reaction to Marian making it very, very clear she's not interested. Fans actually got more annoyed at her insensitivity then at his murderous response, despite the fact that by this stage Marian had given Guy dozens of chances to change his ways, and he squandered each and every one of them. Her outburst was simply the last straw.
  • Despite an amicable breakup, Barney Stinson of How I Met Your Mother thinks this is happening with Wendy the Waitress.
  • Happens in the final arc of Choujin Sentai Jetman. Maria, after reverting back into Rie Aoi, stabs Radiguet from the back. Radiguet retaliated by killing her, but not because she's a traitor, but because "If I can't have you, then I won't let Red Hawk have you!". Just another Moral Event Horizon Radiguet crosses in daily basis.
  • On LOST this refers to the relationship of Ben/Juliet in which Ben sends Goodwin on a death mission so he can have Juliet. Also Juliet tells Jack in "The Other Woman" "He think that I am his."
  • Penelope says this to Chad in the Sonny With a Chance episode Sonny With A Secret. She tries to kill Sonny with a bomb, and then, when Chad and the So Random cast tries to fly to Wisconsin to save her, she takes the position of the pilot, hands Chad one of the only two parachutes on the plane, and tells him to jump from the plane with her and date her since his girlfriend will be gone. When Chad chooses Sonny over Penelope, she says this trope, takes both parachutes, and jumps out of the plane, leaving Chad and the others to a plane crash. (They escape, partially because this is Disney.)
    • So Random had Audrey Vale's character, Julia Peters (aka the "I'm going to marry Zac Feldman show!" girl) shows this in one of her Zac Feldman cheers.

Julia: Zac, Zac, he's my man! If I can't marry him NO ONE CAN.

  • Implied with Dr Maki in Kamen Rider OOO, who killed his sister because she was about to get married and leave home, thus couldn't spend time with him any more.
    • Jiro in Kamen Rider Kiva, who uses this exact line and tries to kill Yuri after she leaves him for Otoya.
  • In The Big Bang Theory, the guys are in line to watch a special edition of Raiders of the Lost Ark with 21 additional seconds of footage. They just miss out on getting in. So Sheldon sneaks into the movie theatre and steals the movie reels.
  • On Chuck Volkhov threatens to do this to Frost. Particularly twisted in this case because he's not losing her to anyone else, he's in danger of being captured and would simply rather she die than live without him.
  • An astounding number of meteor freaks who pursued Lana Lang on Smallville had this as a modus operandi.
    • And then there's Davis, who was apparently A-OK with burying himself alive to stop his Super-Powered Evil Side from rampaging around the world, but only if Chloe loved him. If not...
  • When Blair dumps Chuck on Gossip Girl he puts a dating fatwa on her. It works.
  • Rose from Two and A Half Men implied that she purposely shoved Charlie in front of an oncoming train not long after she caught him cheating on her with another woman.
  • Malcolm in the Middle: In one episode of the time Francis lived in Alaska, he and some co-workers were stranded in a cabin while their boss went for supplies. They had nothing but a piece of string to entertain themselves with until even it vanished. They were so obsessed they even put the main suspect in a "trial" for it and invoked the trope.
  • In C-drama Holy Pearl, a loose adaptation of Inuyasha, Naraku-expy Shi You Ming was turned down by Kikyo/ Xian Yue in the backstory. He explains he is willing to accept that, as long as she doesn't fall in love with anyone else. You can guess what happens next.


Music[edit | hide]

  • Interestingly enough, the well-known song by Yvonne Elliman that shares this trope's title has this trope subverted. If she couldn't have him, she wouldn't stop him from pursuing others instead- but she'd keep herself from pursuing relationships with others instead.

For dreams that never will come true
Am I strong enough to see it through
Go crazy is what I will do
If I can't have you
I don't want nobody baby
If I can't have you, uh-huh!

    • Tony Di Bart's 'The Real Thing' uses this trope as song lyrics in much the same way.
  • Dream Theater's concept album Metropolis Part II: Scenes from a Memory has this as an important part of the main plot. It's how Victoria died.
  • The Megadeth song "Loved to Deth": "If I can't have you, then no one will/And since I won't, I'll have to kill..."
  • The titular song from the James Bond film The World Is Not Enough. "If we can't have it all, then nobody will..."
  • The Beatles song Run For Your Life written by John Lennon: "I'd rather see you dead little girl, than to be with another man". It's actually a pretty upbeat country-rock song.
    • The lyrics actually come from Elvis's "Baby, Let's Play House," which is also an upbeat country-rock song.
  • The song "Turn It On" by Franz Ferdinand invokes this trope by name.
  • Sonata Arctica's song Don't Say A Word is about a man who kills his wife/girlfriend after she leaves him.
  • Always by Saliva is about a man who shoots and murders his girlfriend over leaving him (or cheating on him, not sure which).
  • "Kim" by Eminem, anyone?
    • Also pretty much implied in "Stan"
  • Tom Jones' "Delilah", in which a man catches his girlfriend cheating, fatally stabs her, and pleads for her to forgive him. It's quite catchy.
  • The Mothy song The Tailor Shop on Enbizaka sung by the Vocaloid Megurine Luka has her pulling one of these.
  • "The Phantom Opera Ghost" by Iced Earth.
  • "Siberian Kiss" by Glassjaw

I've watched you whore yourself for one more thing
Why don't you sell yourself for one more?
There's always one more thing
Why don't you sell yourself
If I can't have you, NO ONE WILL!!!

  • "Goodnight Socialite" by The Brobecks includes this trope in the chorus.
  • "Pick up the Phone" by Falling in Reverse, which is about an abusive relationship from the perspective of the jealous boyfriend, features the line "I'll be damned if I see you with some other man; If I cannot have you then nobody can"
  • "Die With Me" by Obsidian Shell has two refrains, one starting with "die with me or fight for me," the other "mine. only mine." -- Mad Lib Metal Lyrics in this case sounds entirely appropriate, of course.
  • In the "Please Don't Leave Me" music video when her boyfriend attempts to leave her P!nk exhibits Sanity Slippage and chases after her boyfriend with an axe.
  • The Barenaked Ladies song "Straw Hat and Old Dirty Hank" is an intensely upbeat song about the devotion a farmer has to a lady who is special to him. Of course, he's actually a stalker, the lady is a singer, and he shows up at her house bearing "flowers and a twenty-two with shells."


Theater[edit | hide]

  • In the final act of the opera Carmen, the eponymous character is killed by the hero for this reason.
  • In the opera Wozzeck, the title character stabs Marie to death following this line. (Büchner's play doesn't use the line.)
  • The ending of Menotti's opera Maria Golovin has an extremely jealous Donato attempt this to Maria. Subverted in that he is blind and thus has to ask his mother to aim the gun at her, which she doesn't, instead pointing him in the wrong direction and leading him to believe that he did.
  • Éponine in the musical Les Misérables. In the song "One Day More," Marius is debating to himself whether to follow Cosette to England or fight with the students. Éponine, standing beside him, practically makes the decision for him by grabbing him by the arm and the two of them running off. A minute later, they are next seen with Enjolras and the other students, and Marius tells Enjolras "My place is here, I fight with you." This is made a lot more obvious in the revival, back when Celia Keenan-Bolger was Éponine (in the revival, Éponine extends her hand out to Marius, and he quickly grabs her hand and they both run). See the "Literature" folder above for the book version.
  • In Martin Guerre, the play's antagonist, Guilliame attemtps to kill Bertrande after losing her to not one but TWO Martin Guerres.


Mythology[edit | hide]

  • The huldra of Scandinavian folklore are a type of fairy who appear as beautiful women with cow or horse tails. Although they are often eager to marry, they are also very strict and demanding, and if you even think of turning one down, she will kill you.
  • In one version of the Hyacinthus myth, his death isn't an accident. Zephyr grows jealous that Hyacinthus chose Apollo over him, and purposefully blew the discus off-course to hit him. Needless to say, this version is more popular.


Myth and Legend[edit | hide]

  • There is a Japanese folktale concerning a woman named Kiyohime who, when rejected by the object of her affections, turns into a dragon and kills him. More information can be found on The Other Wiki.


Video Games[edit | hide]

"The dating pool be surprisingly small when you're one of the undead."

Pitch: But he sure didn't give ME any presents when I was a kid! If I don't get presents, no-one should.


Visual Novels[edit | hide]

  • Gilgamesh decides at the end of Fate route that if Saber will not submit to him, he'll just rape and kill her. But then again, even if she did agree his next idea of how their relationship would go would be making her drink the 'black mud' from the cursed Grail. Destroying her mind and giving her physical form.
  • School Days does this to its main character in at least one ending and in the anime.
  • In Tsukihime, Akiha says something like this in one of the routes, and does her damnedest to kill Shiki. To be fair, though, she'd had a pretty rough week.
  • In Ever 17, Sora gets really close to this after seeing Takeshi and Tsugumi having sex in the gondola.
  • As should be obvious by the title, Yandere has three Yandere characters for the protagonist to choose between. Don't expect a happy ending.

Web Comics[edit | hide]

  • There was a really weird version of this in Dominic Deegan; when it's revealed that villain Karnak was in a Love Triangle with Donovan over Miranda, the reason he's been trying to kill Miranda is to hurt him for taking her away from him.
  • In General Protection Fault, Trudy says this exact phrase when pointing a gun at Nick's head after he stated that he could not trust her or return her feelings upon realizing her role in a wide-reaching conspiracy. In an alternate future, the same scene had resulted in her killing him, but in this timeline, he merely stands there, resolute, until she drops the gun and is unable to shoot him.
  • Gunnerkrigg Court. Diego sets up a scheme to fortify the Court in such a way that it simultaneously murders the hypotenuse and subjects the woman who resisted his advances to a Fate Worse Than Death.
  • Spacetrawler may be the only work to combine this trope with The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Growp's attempts to murder Emily are actually his twisted way of saying he loves her. He eventually takes a bullet and dies to save her from getting killed by the wrong person.
  • Homestuck plays this straight when Eridan decides to kill Feferi when she defends Sollux after Eridan KO's him.
  • Raven Red, toward Harmony Thunder, in Jet Dream. She specifically wants the sex-changed Harmony back in her male persona as Jack Thunder - something everyone else knows to be impossible. If she can't have Jack Thunder, well....


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • The Mask had a slight variation on this line on the always-controversial episode, "Flight as a Feather." After Cookie BaBoom, the mayor's Stripperific ex-girlfriend, reveals the suicide belt bikini around her body, she announces, "If I can't have Mortimer [the Mayor], then no one can!"
  • El Tigre had Sergio and Dr. Chipotle Jr yelling this in the episode "Love and War".
    • It is implied this is the Titanium Titan's motive when he commands his giant squid to destroy both White Pantera and El Tigre after losing WP's trust and failing to win him back.
  • Happens twice on The Fairly OddParents. First, in "Super Bike," the titular bike tried to keep Timmy away from everyone else, eventually resulting in this. Secondly, in "Just the Two of Us," Trixie, suddenly becomes completely insane despite being relatively sane before, completely loses it and attacks Timmy after he breaks up with her when they're the last two people on Earth.

Timmy: "Note to self: Never break up with a girl in the violent gardening tools section."

  • Harry Osborn pulls this with Mary Jane in the 1990s Spider-Man animated series.
  • A non-romantic example is in the Futurama episode Where No Fan has Gone Before which has the Big Bad yell this. Sort of.

Melllvar: If I can't have the original cast of Star Trek, no one will!

  • Taken to ridiculous extremes in an episode of Tale Spin, in which Baloo masquerades as a woman ("Tan-Margret") in order to enter a flying competition. One of the other contestants becomes so smitten with "Tan" as to propose marriage, which is obviously rejected; he then spends the rest of the episode trying to kill 'her,' even saying to himself, "If I can't have her, no one will!"
  • Another non-romantic example is in the Garfield Thanksgiving Special. Garfield was put on a diet the day before Thanksgiving, and thus he's not looking forward to what is usually his favorite holiday. When Jon isn't looking, he puts a bunch of garlic on the vegetables that Jon just threw into a pot without cutting, saying something like "If I can't enjoy Thanksgiving dinner, nobody will!" in a rather evil-sounding tone.
    • There's a comic version where he goes even farther; he doesn't just make the dinner nasty, he makes it literally inedible. Instead of garlic, he adds dish soap to the vegetables, and he ruins everything else too.
  • South Park has a non-romantic example in the episode where the city hosted a film festival. While explaining his motives for doing this in every small town, the man behind this stated that, if he can't live in a calm town instead of Los Angeles, nobody will.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants gives us a Ho Yay example when Patrick is upset that Spongebob chose a life of living with jellyfish over his old life and snaps, attacking Spongebob with a jellyfish net while saying "If I Can't Have You as a friend, I'm gonna make you a trophy! I even picked out this nice jar for you!"


Real Life[edit | hide]

  • The various cases in Real Life where somebody kills their spouse either after they cheat on them or after they request a divorce.
    • Something to keep in mind if you're ever tempted to ask why an abuse victim "doesn't just leave": the majority of women killed by their partners are killed after leaving or while in the process of leaving. Then again that statistic doesn't include women who leave before things get that bad and so don't die. After all the fact that most people who die of skin cancer are being treated for it doesn't make getting treatment a bad idea.
  • The 1986 situation comedy My Sister Sam – an ordinary situation comedy about a freelance photographer whose teen-aged sister comes to live with her – became forever known for the murder of one of its stars, 21-year-old Rebecca Schaeffer, by a stalker who had been fixated with her. The stalker, Robert Bardo, actually found out where Schaeffer lived and had confronted her; when the meeting began to grow ugly and she tried to get him to leave, he shot her to death. Bardo was ultimately convicted in her killing and sentenced to life imprisonment.
    • Schaefer's death resulted in the passage of anti-stalking laws in California, and heightened awareness of fan obsession and stalking.
  • Adolf Hitler wanted to burn Paris to the ground when the Allies were about to retake it. Then when the war was ending and the Allies were surrounding Germany, he tried to completely raze the country and everyone in it to the ground, making every last German die with him in a futile Last Stand. Fortunately in both cases, his generals disobeyed his orders.
  • Among other reasons, the one-time standard wedding liturgy phrase "Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace" has been eliminated because of instances where a stalker or former jilted lover will arrive (uninvited) to a wedding and – just as the officiant is about to begin the vows – declare his/her love for (as appropriate) the bride or groom, and that they "were meant to be together."
  1. "Hear me... you foul American fool, wherever you are! You can play your forces like a puppeteer all you want, BUT THIS IS MY PLAY!!! Here is the city that you have saved. Without the Psychic Amplifier which you so rush-fully destroyed, I no longer has a use for it. Behold... the power... OF MOTHER RUSSIA!!!"(cue nuke)