General Zod: "You will bow down before me, Jor-El. I swear it! No matter that it takes an eternity! You will bow down before me! Both you, and then one day, your heirs!"
—Superman The Movie
The villain has many goals, but one is absolute: his nemesis bowing before him. That would mean his certain and total victory. If the villain is on the right end of the sliding scale, he may even get his way. But generally, once the demand has been made, one of three things will happen:
- The hero will say "Never!" and there will be a big fight, leading to the villain's defeat.
- The hero will say "Never!" and the villain will zap him with magic, knocking him to his knees, or Mooks will step in and manhandle him to the floor. This will allow the villain the fun of gloating for a while... and then there will be a big fight, leading to the villain's defeat.
- The hero does what he's told, but the villain suddenly gets a big surprise as the hero springs a trap, starting a big fight leading to the villain's defeat.
Needless to say this is frowned upon by the Evil Overlord List.
Compare/Contrast Kneel Before Frodo.
- Been there, got the T-shirt.
Anime and Manga
- In Bobobo-Bo Bo-bobo, Lord Giga, the Cyber City arc's Big Bad, has an attack where the opponent must show them respect.
- Digimon Adventure 02
- The Digimon Kaiser threatens to kill Daisuke's friends unless he bows down and begs for their lives. Daisuke actually complies. And then he gives Daisuke a sadistic choice (choose one friend to be spared), leading the poor kid to attempt a heroic sacrifice/take the third option.
- The same character is later defied by a tranquil yet furious TK.
Emperor: You're nobody! You will bow down before me.
- Berserk: Guts being pinned to the ground by some demons before Femto, so that he's forced to watch as Femto rapes Casca.
- Mazinger Z: One of the main reasons of Big Bad Dr. Hell to Take Over the World is that he wishes to force the entire humankind to bow down to him. He feels that will make up for years of suffering spite and abuse when he was young.
- Sailor Moon: In the Japanese version, there is a scene where Sailor Moon is captured by Prince Diamond. He puts her in a trance and orders her to swear eternal loyalty and love to him. She drops to her knees and is about to kiss his hand as a sign of allegiance but manages to snap out of it before she does so.
- Higurashi: Shion is pressured into apologizing to her grandmother this way. She then is forced to strip herself of three fingernails.
- Balalaika of Black Lagoon does a truly ruthless one of these with Hansel, one of the Creepy Twins of the Vampire Twins arc, during their confrontation. When Hansel doesn't comply, a sniper blows out his kneecap with one shot, then blows off his hand when he tries to hurl his axe at her. Balalaika then delivers a withering "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Hansel before sitting back and watching him bleed to death right in front of her.
- Even better in the dub. "I SAID KNEEL!"
- Happens in Code Geass during the beginning of the second season. Subverted when Lelouch kneels before the unintimidating and completely scared Prince Clovis, before killing him as the Trope demands.
- Peach Girl: Sae, master of the Wounded Gazelle Gambit, manages to convince her fellow peers that Momo's been bullying her and trying to steal Toji from her, when it's really the other way around. She cries after Momo hits her for badmouthing Kairi, which arouses the anger of their classmates. Sae gets a few people to restrain Momo and pin her to the ground, attempting to force her into apologizing by calling her names and repeating, "Apologize to Sae!" Luckily for her, Toji arrives in time and that starts the end of Sae's reign over Momo, for a little while, at least.
- Beatrice in Umineko no Naku Koro ni absolutely loves doing this.
- The last episode of Fruits Basket has Akito angrily grab a kneeling Tohru by the hair and force her to get on both her hands and knees before him. He then states that he will "make her regret she ever had anything to do with the Sohmas", that she will "suffer as we suffer", and demands that she "beg him for forgiveness" and "swear that she'll never interfere with the Sohmas again."
- Subverted in one arc of Ah! My Goddess. Belldandy's "rival" makes a Deal with the Devil to defeat Belldandy and successfully forces her into complete servitude, obeying her every whim. But not long after her victory, the rival realizes it's all pointless because Belldandy's pride and spirit are intact.
- In Bleach, when Grimmjow starts getting rebellious, Aizen activates his Battle Aura, which is enough to force him to his knees.
- In Fairy Tail, Evergreen threatens to shatter everyone whom she has turned to stone unless Erza takes off all her clothes and prostrates herself. Erza responds by telekinetically holding a dozen swords and threatening to turn Evergreen into a pincushion unless she breaks the spell and frees her victims. It works.
- Pokémon episode "Control Freak!". Jesse of Team Rocket puts on a golden mask that gives her control over Pokemon. It takes over her mind and makes her even more arrogant than normal. She calls herself Queen of the Pokemon and commands her "lowly subjects" (James and Meowth) to bow to her. After she demonstrates the mask's power, they do so.
- In Black Butler season 2 episode 6 Alois requests that Claude make Sebastian do this.
- General Zod of Superman, of course with a hearty "Come to me, Son of Jor-El. Kneel before Zod!" This has pretty much become his Catch Phrase in the comics.
- Likewise Gorilla Grodd has adopted his own version to be on multiple occasions, likely because his name ends in the same "-od" sound. He once even shouted it while brandishing a spoon and, in the same comic, tried to bite off Lex Luthor's head. Needless to say he was a little unhinged...
- Xerxes in 300 to Leonidas. It doesn't work the first time; the second seems to, but only because Leonidas was preparing an attack. Apparently, it's a regular part of his gaining new territories, servants, etc.
- Somewhat subverted in the Infinity War epic-over from Marvel, in which the Magus, who has the eponymous gauntlet forces Thanos the Magnificent Bastard to his knees. Thanos dryly notes that he isn't doing it willingly, nor will he continue doing it unless forced before explaining to the Magus just how badly the villain had miscalculated.
- Max Lord in his fully evil head of Checkmate phase liked using his Compelling Voice for this.
- And then she snapped his neck. And then he came back.
- In the Spider-Man / Human Torch: I'm with Stupid miniseries, a publicity-craving Torch tries to single-handedly storm the Latverian embassy. He's promptly frozen solid by "subthermic cannons", forcing Spidey to rescue him by pretending to join forces with Doctor Doom. Doom demands that Spidey kneel and swear his eternal allegiance. When Spidey does so without any fuss, Doom realises that they're just words and asks him to back it up. Spidey lifts up the frozen Torch as though he's going to dash him on the ground, then web-swings out.
Films -- Animation
- In Mulan, Shan Yu demands that the Emperor bow before him. The Emperor refuses with a pretty cool metaphor: "No matter how the wind howls, the mountain cannot bow to it." Ooh, BURN!
- In Disney's Aladdin, after Jafar gains the Genie's lamp and wishes for the Sultanate and the powers of a sorcerer: "We will never bow to you!" ("Why am I not surprised?") Naturally, the evil Jafar can magically compel obedience from the Sultan and Princess Jasmine. However, prior to Jasmine's defiance, the Sultan noticeably begins to bow.
- Prince of Egypt. The priests have a Villain Song based around this. Oddly, they're addressing Moses, who is a titular, well, Prince.
You put up a front
- Saddam Hussein does it to the American and Canadian armies near the end of the South Park film.
- During the climactic battle of Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, Sephiroth orders it to Cloud:
Sephiroth: On your knees... I want you to beg for forgiveness.
- The sequel movie to Disney's The Little Mermaid has Morgana, the sister of Ursula, using the power of the trident to force most of the main characters to bow down before her, including King Triton.
Films -- Live-Action
- And here's the one that provides the page caption. The latter is a play on this trope as Supes has secretly weakened Zod at that point .
- Zod also has the President kneel, with this classic exchange:
President:' Oh, God...
- From the 300 film, best illustrated by Xerxes' speech to Ephialtes. Note that Ephialtes wanted revenge on Leonidas, who had—justifiably—not allowed the physically unable hunchback to become a Spartan, and so the former gladly bowed down to Xerxes the first chance he got.
- Leonidas [i]does[/i] kneel in the end; only so that he can get one last shot at Xerxes. He doesn't kill him, but he does make him bleed.
- In Gladiator, Commodus offers Maximus the chance at first, but once turned down, Commodus just orders Maximus and his family's execution.
- Star Wars
- Palpatine wanted this from Luke, but it didn't work out so well.
- Jabba The Hutt also states that Han and Chewbacca have the option of pathetically begging for their lives should they choose to exercise it. Han tells Jabba off while Luke confidently gives the gangster one last chance to be bought off by letting them go. Less than 5 minutes later, Jabba learns the hard way that he should have listened.
- In The King and I, Yul Brynner famously declares "Your head must never be higher than mine!" forcing Anna to the floor in her attempt to comply.
- He-Man and the Masters of the Universe: "Now. You. Will. KNEEL!"
- In Mystery Science Theater 3000 The Movie, Dr. Forester forces Mike and the bots to bow down to him. When they try to bluff their way out, he cuts off the oxygen supply in the Satellite of Love so all have to bow to Dr. Forester to save Mike.
- Naturally, Monty Python have some fun with this in Life of Brian.
Centurion: Oh, and throw him the floor again, sir?
- Inverted and hilariously parodied in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, as the traveling band of adventurers quickly throw themselves down before God as He appears to them. Only for The Almighty to be upset by this gesture, being fed up with His subjects constantly bowing and grovelling before Him.
- James Bond
- The first thing psychopathic assassin Red Grant does to James Bond when he captures him in From Russia with Love:
Grant: All right, now get up on your knees. Put your hands in your pockets. Keep them there.
- In Never Say Never Again, Fatima Blush has a twist on it, demanding Bond write that she was the best lay he ever had—before she shoots him in the groin.
Blush: Now write this. The greatest rapture of my life was afforded to me on a boat off Nassau by Fatima Blush.
- It happens in the book version of The Man with the Golden Gun" -- or at least, it's a crime Bond charges Scaramanga with having committed in the past.
- Cleopatra featured a scene like this between the fair lady of the title and her future boy toy Mark Antony. Interesting inversion, in that it's a main character demanding the kneeling and it actually counts as a Crowning Moment of Awesome.
Marcus Antonius: You dare ask a representative of the Roman--
- Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon has a rare heroic example.
Li Mubai: Bow to your teacher!
- Shouted by Jay after cold-cocking a guard with a baseball bat in Mallrats.
- In Return to Oz, the Nome King is a bit too Affably Evil to demand this sort of thing from Dorothy, but he's more than happy to demand it of Mombi.
The Nome King: Kneel.
- In The Last Dragon, Sho-Nuff tells Leroy to bend down and kiss his Converses. Slightly subverted when Sho-Nuff then proceeds to kick Leroy in the face.
- Puma Man
- Defied in The Ten Commandments, the Charleton Heston one. Ramses tells Moses to command the conquered Ethiopians to kneel before Pharoah, but Moses informs him that he's brought the Ethiopians in friendship and sort of tells Ramses to mind his own business.
"Command what you have conquered, my brother."
- Loki demands this of a crowd in Stuttgart, Germany in The Avengers, showing himself to be reasonably Genre Savvy, as having the heroes defeat him and take him captive is part of his plan. This was given a musical treatment by Tumblr member MeganPhntmGrl.
- During the subsequent fight in Stuttgart, he even attempts to forcefully make Captain America bow before him, but to no avail.
- According to the legend, it was Willhelm Tell's refusal to bow before governor Gessler's hat that provoked the whole "crossbow-and-apples" thing.
- This happens several times in The Bible, and is therefore Older Than Feudalism.
- One of the most memorable comes from the Book of Esther, where the Jew Mordecai refuses to bow to the evil advisor Haman.
- As well as Satan's final temptation of Christ:
Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, "All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me."
- There's also the bit in the Book of Daniel where Darius wants everyone to worship him, but Daniel refuses and gets thrown into a lion pit. The lions leave him alone, and Darius is impressed enough to convert to worshiping the Abrahamic God.
- Also from Daniel's book is the story of Shadrach, Mesach, and Abednego, which is essentially the same story. The three guys refuse to worship Nebuchadnezzer's giant idol and get thrown into a furnace. God sends down an angel to protect them from the flames, and Nebby is impressed enough to convert. For a while, anyway.
- In the fourth Harry Potter book, Voldemort orders Harry via the Imperius Curse to bow before dueling him after being resurrected. Harry refuses, so Voldemort simply uses magic to force him.
- In the film adaptation, it is implied that he uses the Imperius Curse to make Harry bow before him.
- In a reversal of roles, Nicolae Carpathia's humiliated bow before Jesus Christ in the Left Behind book Glorious Appearing was made even more of that kind of moment in the Dramatic Audio presentation. Of course, Nicolae was left powerless to resist after Lucifer was cast out of him. Lucifer, on the other hand....
- The Wheel of Time
- Protagonists do this too. Rand at one point snaps at the Aes Sedai:
Rand: I forget nothing, Aes Sedai. I said six could come, but I count nine. I said you would be on an equal footing with the Tower emissaries, and for bringing nine, you will be. They are on their knees, Aes Sedai. Kneel!
- Before that, Ishamael (as Ba'alzamon) did this a lot in the first book.
Ba'alzamon: Kneel! Kneel, and acknowledge me your master! In the end, you will. You will be my creature, or you will die.
- Star Wars Expanded Universe
- In the New Jedi Order series, Supreme Overlord Shimrra uses a gravity-controlling creature called a dovin basal to force Luke Skywalker to bow to him when they meet face-to-face during the climax. Then subverted because between his own formidable Force powers and his nephew Jacen's rapport with the Vonglife, Luke is able to resist gravity and pull himself back to his feet, to the stunned amazement of Shimrra and his court.
- In The Thrawn Trilogy, Joruus C'Baoth has foreseen that Mara Jade will kneel before him. She does, in order to strike him dead.
- And in Star Wars Legacy, Darth Krayt forces Cade to sleep with Talon.
- In Ben Counter's Warhammer 40,000 novel Chapter War, the apparition of Periclitor demands that Sarpedon kneel before him.
- Randall Flagg demands Glen Bateman kneel to him near the end of The Stand. Bateman's response? Laughter. Of course, he gets killed, but it's a serious break to Flagg's aura of invulnerability.
- Marnie forces Eric to do this in True Blood.
- Smallville's incarnation of Zod is fond of it, of course.
- The first version is an awesome subversion. Zod is possessing Lex, whom he's placed his full Kryptonian powers into. He orders an apparently beaten Clark to kneel, saying the famous words. This allowed Clark, even as he's being driven to his knees, to pull out the Phantom Zone crystal and evict Zod from Lex and back to the Phantom Zone. More awesome: When Lex is first possessed by Zod the audience/characters(?) are initially unaware of who Lex really is. First line? "Kneel." (At that moment, fanboys rejoiced...) "KNEEL BEFORE ZOD!"
- The later Zod, a younger version preserved as sort of a backup, does this with his soldiers frequently in a more ceremonial manner.
- Inverted in the Season 9 episode "Pandora". When Clark finally reveals himself to the recently restored Kandorians, Major Zod says their savior has come and commands his troops to "Kneel before Kal-El".
- The Season 9 finale has Zod turn it into a mother of a Badass Boast in his final battle with Clark. "Unlike you, I would lead from the throne, not from the shadows. Every human, including the woman you love, will KNEEL BEFORE ZOD!!!"
- Season 9's Major Zod had at least one time saying "KNEEL BEFORE ZOD" pretty much every single episode he was in. It should me mentioned however that 'Major' Zod took the Zod you know and love and made him more awesome...
- Ironically enough, Lois pulls a "Kneel Before Zod" moment in the season 10 episode "Harvest". When Clark, weakened by Blue Kryptonite, is buried alive by a rural community who plan to sacrifice Lois in a ritual to ensure a bountiful harvest, he manages to regain enough of his strength to escape his grave and rescue Lois. When the villagers see Clark survive gasoline burns that would have killed a normal man instantly, Lois goes full-on Charlton Heston on them, declaring that Clark has been sent by God to punish the villagers "with great vengeance and furious anger", thus forcing the Blue-K enhanced villagers to back away long enough for Clark and Lois to make their escape. As they watch Clark speed off with Lois, the townsfolk all kneel.
- Mystery Science Theater 3000: In an episode, Forrester is practicing the speech he plans to give after conquering the world, and even says "Kneel Before Zod!" He also shouts "You will bow down before me, son of Jor-El!" at one point.
- Doctor Who
- The Master, having sadly forgotten everything he'd read on the Evil Overlord List, demanded this of Martha. Which she did, but then began to laugh because her capture was part of an elaborate plan. Notable for being a rare occasion when the hero ordered to kneel just sucks it up and does it rather than go through a lot of gritted "Never!" posturing first.
- And years earlier in The Curse of Fenric:
Fenric: The choice is yours, Time Lord. I shall kill you anyway, but if you would like the girl to live... kneel before me.
- Years earlier, in the First Doctor episode "Assassin in Peking", the First Doctor is ordered to kowtow before Kublai Khan. He refuses, but not out of pride—he's an old man and very stiff from having just walked most of the way across China. Fortunately, the great Khan, who is also quite elderly, finds the scene amusing.
- "KNEEL! KNEEL BEFORE THE MIGHT OF SUTEKH!"
- Borusa uses the mind-power enhancing Coronet of Rassilon to force the Fifth Doctor to kneel before him in "The Five Doctors".
- Five also is forced to his knees in Four to Doomsday and The Visitation.
- Rassilon: On your knees, mankind!
- Dukat forced Sisko to do this at the end of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
- In an episode of Stargate SG-1, a minor Goa'uld tries to force a captured Teal'c to acknowledge that him and his family are gods. His refusal provokes a Heel Face Turn from the guards.
- Wraith queens in Stargate Atlantis have mind control (and Power Echoes) at their disposal and could force captives to do just about anything. What do they want them to do? KNEEL. Sheppard tried to put his own spin on this at one point; the Wraith were not pleased....
- Subverted in the Captain Proton holoprogram in Star Trek: Voyager. Lonzak orders the aliens to "Kneel before Chaotica!", but as they're photonic lifeforms making First Contact with humanity, they have no idea what he's talking about.
- In the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers episode "Green No More", Goldar gives this treatment to de-powered Tommy Oliver. He even uses a handy device to show him just how far he has fallen, rubbing it in as much as possible, then demands that Tommy bow and admit that he is his superior before he dies. Tommy starts to give a misleading answer, then flips out and (in the face of all reason) kicks his butt all over the Otherworld.
- On an episode of QI Stephen Fry pointed out a similarity between the topic discussed and the Superman movie. Leading him to point at Alan Davies and declare 'Kneel before Zod' in his fantastic upper-class British accent.
- In one episode of The League of Gentlemen, restart officer Pauline (in an exercise in magazine-selling) demands that Ross beg her. This becomes an Ironic Echo when he gets her fired, and then offers to help her get her job back if she begs him.
- Played with in the episode "Wishful Thinking", where a small child who gains super-strength yells "Kneel before Todd!" when toying with teenagers who used to bully him.
- In the Season 6 finale, Castiel proclaims himself the new God, and demands that the heroes bow and profess their love to him. Season 7 opens with Bobby getting down on his knees and asking if that's good enough or if he wants "the whole forehead-to-the-carpet thing?" The villain promptly decides it's pointless, since they're only doing it out of fear, and leaves to spread the word of his godhood.
- In The Big Bang Theory, on hearing that a team of strong contenders will not feature in the University's Physics Bowl Tournament, Leonard invokes this trope.
- Parodied in an episode of Mock the Week, discussing the recent Church of England Synod:
Frankie Boyle: Wasn't General Synod the villain in Superman II? "Kneel before Synod!"
- Mortal Kombat Conquest: From Shao Kahn to Raiden in the series finale episode:
Shao Kahn: You... will... bow! To... me.
- That Mitchell and Webb Look: Parodied using General Drayfox, an incredibly PC supervillain, who wants his enemy to kneel before him—unless he objects to it for religious reasons.
- The 1960's Batman series episode "The Spell of Tut". King Tut does this to Robin the Boy Wonder.
- In an episode of Charmed, the valkyries of Norse legend arrive in San Francisco. Then, they meet a perverted biker.
Valkyrie: On your knees.
- Space: 1999. A female mind-controlling villain forces a character to do so in this scene from "The Lambda Factor", followed by an Evil Laugh.
- In the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "The Squire of Gothos", Trelane holds Captain Kirk at swordpoint and demands that he kneel. Kirk knocks him away and snaps the sword over his knee.
- Whacked-out rock band Electric Six quotes this in their song "Rip It!":
You're listening to your politicians
- Westside Connection's hip hop song "Bow Down".
- The Evile song Thrasher has the line "Bow Down to the Thrasher" in its chorus.
- Spoofed in the Captain Kremmen radio serial, when our noble hero is about to meet Gort, ruler of the evil Thargoids.
Thargoid Guard: Earth scum, you will enter the throne room on your knees!
- There are a ton of Charms in Exalted that allow you to do this to other people, or potentially have this done to you. Most notably is the charmset of the fallen demon king Malfeas, which includes a charm called Kneel or be Knelt and another that turns you into a living Ark of the Covenant that melts the skin off everyone who doesn't immediately prostrate themselves to you.
- Andrew from the Star Wolf team in Star FOX 64 is introduced saying, "Bow before the great Andross!"
- World of Warcraft
- An NPC for the An'Quiraj world event was called "General Zog". If a player did the "/kneel" emote to him, he would reply with "General Zog acknowledges your submission with a glance."
- Patch 3.3 also included Zod's Repeating Longbow with the flavor text "Kneel before him."
- High Prophet Barim, a boss in the Lost City of the Tol'Vir in Cataclysm, will yell "Kneel before me and repent!" midway through the battle. The players will be drawn to him, forced to kneel and have their souls sucked out of their bodies, forcing them to kill the Harbinger of Darkness before they can resume the battle against him.
- We also have Cho'gall, using his Conversion ability to force players to kneel and worship him, granting him more power. Said players' companions had best snap them out of it quick.
- Rozalin from Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories has an attack called "Kneel Before Me". Did we mention she uses it on her allies? Let's also mention that it's a Status Buff. The description's not exactly helpful, as it simply reads "You heard me."
- Kingdom Hearts
- Played with in Kingdom Hearts II: Saix simply asks Sora to show just how important Kairi is to him. Sora, who Ain't Too Proud to Beg, kneels of his own volition.
- Saix does it for real in Days when he yells at Roxas to "Grovel before me!" while they fight.
- Seifer's Catch Phrase for the game: "KNEEL LOSER!"
- In the old Tetris Attack game for the Super Nintendo (a port of Panel de Pon in which all of the characters were replaced with characters from Yoshi's Island), you could take a look at all of the characters available in the Options menu, complete with a bit of text from that character. Kamek's text starts off with superiority and ends with demanding Yoshi to "KNEEL, KNEEL BEFORE YOUR NEW MASTER".
- Happened on Mitadake High. They said no. Badguy shot them in the face.
- George Takei's huge Large Ham intro speech in Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3:
"The Imperial war machine has been unleashed. Do not struggle against what is inevitable. All who stand in the way of our divine destiny will be swept away by the march of history. You will bow before us, or you will cease to exist."
- In Knights of the Old Republic, the protagonist gets the option to demand people to bow down to him once it is revealed that he was the former Big Bad.
- In the Imperial Agent storyline of Star Wars: The Old Republic, Darth Jadus will demand that Cipher 9 bow before him. You're given the option to refuse, after which he electrocutes you for defiance.
- In The Godfather game you can make targets fall to their knees, most easily achieved by shooting them in the knees.
- Guild Wars Factions has shiro doing this to some spirits he has captured.
- In the fight against Odin in Final Fantasy XI, you can avoid instant death from his ultimate attack by using one of two commands that cause your character to kneel. There's still a chance that you will die from the damage done, but you at least reduce the chance.
- BioShock (series)
- In Battle Realms, one of Serpent Clan Kenji's lines when he slays a foe is "bow before me!". If you choose to "ally" with the monks instead of the ninja, Kenji also forces the monks to kneel before him in the post-battle cutscene.
- Happens in The Force Unleashed 2.
Darth Vader: (force-chokes Juno) Bow before me, or she dies.
- Jedi Academy: Near the end (one of them), the ghost of Marka Ragnos declares the Player Character will kneel before him. Instead of whining at you to do it, which wouldn't be likely to work, he immediately sets out to beat the crap out of you to make you submit/dead.
- In Wandering Hamster, there's a certain sentient spleen who wants Bob to kneel before him. Kneeling gives no results (expect for spleen's comment), and the only way to get past him is to refuse to kneel (and thus, fight him).
- In Blood, two of the lines Chernobog says when you fight him are "Bow down to me" and "Kneel before me".
- Shao Kahn of Mortal Kombat is fond of this trope, being the Emperor of Outworld and all. "Bow to me!"
- In the Story Mode of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's Portable: The Gears of Destiny, Large Ham Lord Dearche commands this to practically anyone she's about to fight.
Dearche: A lowly fragment like you dares to raise your hand against your lord? Such arrogance! KNEEL BEFORE ME!
- Darths and Droids: "Cyborgs under my command, Kneel before Valorum!" It is later revealed that the GM planned to name Valorum "Zod".
- Girl Genius. The Sturmvoraus family test their Compelling Voice by ordering Lady Vrin to kneel. Earlier they'd realised that Agatha Heterodyne had the voice when she walked on stage (playing Mad Scientist's Beautiful Daughter Lucrezia Mongfish) and commanded "KNEEL YOU MISERABLE MINION!" whereupon the entire audience instantly dropped to their knees.
- Parodied in this Laugh-Out-Loud Cats: "LINE UP ALPHABETICALLY." "Hey! Neil before Zod!"
- Homestuck: Gamzee demands that Equius kneel before him, playing on Equius's strong belief in/fetish for submission to his superiors. Equius does indeed kneel after having an arrow fired through his knee, and is promptly strangulated to death. What drives the scene into outright horror is that it's also heavily implied that Equius is getting off on his own murder.
- Pibgorn: "Now, in acknowledgement of my supremacy, prostrate yourself before me."
- The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob
Fructose Riboflavin: Bow before your new master, whelp!
- The power-hungry Dark Overlords from Dimension Heroes.
- Kneel (or Equivalent) Before Zod!
- That Guy With The Glasses ran an advent calendar of "Zodmas", with General Zod discussing his various opinions on Christmas traditions, how he will subjugate humanity to a never-ending era of suffering (marathons of "Baby's Day Out", toes that shoot missiles, etc.) then telling the audience to kneel. In the end, it's subverted since a hero doesn't defeat him, but he decides not to invade our planet out of disgust for humanity's mis-interpreation of the word "kneel".
- Spoofed in Robot Chicken. "Lay down on your backs before Zod! Now, using your lower abdominals, raise your legs and hold on a five-count before Zod!" See here.
- The Powerpuff Girls:
- Mojo Jojo tries to extort this out of Blossom by dangling a Bound and Gagged Professor over a Lava Pit.
- Princess' première also includes her telling Blossom, "Prepare to bow to your princess!" Cue the Fiery Redheaded leader's first Crowning Moment of Awesome.
- Later on, a giant alien robot manages to defeat the Powerpuff Girls, take over Townsville and make the entire town kneel before it. Mojo Jojo (who has been aiding the girls because he couldn't stand to see something more evil than him) witnesses this, utterly snaps, and proceeds to beat the crap out of the five or six times bigger robot with his bare hands.
- In The Batman, Lex Luthor forces Superman to do this by drugging him with a combination of Kryptonite dust and Poison Ivy's mind-control pollen.
- Lex also does this to fellow criminal mastermind Gorilla Grodd in the Grand Finale of Justice League Unlimited, by turning Grodd's own Mind Control powers against him. And we love him for it.
- Batman: The Brave and the Bold:
- "Kneel Before Grodd!" Gorilla Grodd travels forward in time to take over the Ape Army and beat the Tiger Army. He succeeds, and has the Tiger leader "Great Caesar" bow to him; complete with Agony Beam.
- Fox also tries to make Bronze Tiger kneel before him at the end of "Return of the Fearsome Fangs!", and Bronze Tiger pretends to comply so he could attack Fox while his guard was down.
- Degaton does it to Batman and the Justice Society in "The Golden Age of Justice!".
- Has happened on Veggie Tales a few times, in the dramatizations of the above-mentioned stories from The Book of Daniel. Mr. Nezzer even wrote a song that people can sing as they bow to his giant chocolate rabbit idol. Yeah, it's a weird show.
- Vertigo in the two-parter "Reunion", when using her powers on Wolverine:
Vertigo: On your knees!
- Here's another:
Vertigo: Kneel. Become one of the master's slaves. They cannot help you.
- The episode "Betrothed" of Teen Titans had Blackfire telling Starfire: "That's right. Bow down before your Grand Ruler!" Cue Starfire retaliating with "You may be the ruler of this planet, but you are not the ruler of ME!"
- The South Park episode "Scott Tenorman Must Die" has the eponymous Scott force Cartman to get down on his knees, beg him for his money back, and act like a "little piggy".
- In Jackie Chan Adventures, Tarakudo: King of the Shadowkhan does this often. Captain Black once responded with, "The only king I bow to is Elvis Presley, and I don't see you wearing blue suede shoes."
- Vilgax attempted this on Ben in the Ben 10: Alien Force finale when he finally succeeded in taking the Omnitrix from him. Ben's answer: "You already got the Omnitrix, Vilgax. Don't ask too much." Old George later attempts a slightly less aggressive version of it on the heroes, with not much more success.