Resistance Is Futile

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Jump to navigation Jump to search
"We are the Borg. Lower your shields and surrender your ships. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own.. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile."
The Borg, Star Trek

...but welcome.

A villain will say some variation of "resistance is futile." Often, it will turn out resistance was anything but, but villains do like to have their moments. Other common variations are "it is useless to resist us" and "resistance is useless."

See also Nothing Can Stop Us Now, and other forms of Tempting Fate.

Examples of Resistance Is Futile include:

Trope Namer[edit | hide | hide all]

Picard: Our culture is built on freedom and self-determination!
The Borg: Freedom is irrelevant. Self-Determination is irrelevant. You must comply.

Anime and Manga[edit | hide]

Film[edit | hide]

Vader: You are beaten. It is useless to resist. Don't let yourself be destroyed as Obi-Wan did.

  • Long before the Borg, the "Captain" in Cool Hand Luke was giving this exact warning to his inmates.

Literature[edit | hide]

"Forget resistance. It is futile. No host has ever overpowered a Yeerk. It is impossible."

  • In the Warhammer 40,000 novel Fall of Damnos we get this nice message from your usual friendly neighborhood apocalyptic robots next door, "We are the Necrontyr. We are Legion. We Claim Dominion of this World... Surrender and Die. (Note this message was translated by the local Tech Priests, and they insist the last three words were properly translated)
  • In the British Star Wars parody "Star Bores", the Big Bad is a Dark Lord of the Hith, a group of evil beings with a distinctive lisp. At some point, said Big Bad delivers this gem: "Rethithtanth ith uthelethth!"

Live-Action TV[edit | hide]

  • As noted in the page quote and the Trope Namer section above, this is a favourite Catch Phrase of the Borg from Star Trek.
    • Well before the Borg, Captain Kirk said, "It is useless to resist us!" while pretending to be his Mirror Universe self. Meanwhile, he was trying to figure out how to help the locals resist.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Master, in "The Deadly Assassin": "Resistance is futile".
    • A Dalek, in "Revelation of the Daleks": "IT IS FUTILE TO RE-SIST". These happen to be its last words.
    • A Cyberman, in "The Tomb of the Cybermen": "TO STRUGGLE IS FUTILE."
      • "Resistance is Useless" was a favorite phrase of the Cybermen in their first two stories, "The Tenth Planet" and "The Moonbase." Which actually makes them technically the trope namer (1965), however the phrase is more commonly associated with the Borg.
      • The Borg themselves actually derive some of their characteristics from the Cybermen. The original episode featuring the Borg was "Q Who".
    • Noah, the human-turned-Wirrn in "The Ark in Space": "Your resistance is useless."
    • An Eternal in "Enlightenment": "Resistance is futile". He was very friendly about it, though.
    • A Dalek, in "The Stolen Earth": "RESISTANCE IS USELESS."
    • Played with in "The God Complex": One of the mottos of Tivoli, the Most Conquered Planet in the Galaxy, is "Resistance is exhausting."
  • In the The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, this is the Catch Phrase of the young Vogon guard. He really loves to shout it and considers it a major job perk.
  • The Space: 1999 finale "The Dorcons":

Varda: Commander, the Psychon will tell you how futile it is to resist us."
Maya: "Resistance... (sigh) futile."

Mainwaring: "Further resistance is useless. In the name of the King I demand that you surrender."

Music[edit | hide]

Trapped within my fierce desire
Resistance is futile

  • Comfort Eagle by Cake:

To resist it is useless
it is useless to resist it.

My directives are simple peace and justice for all
Your resistance is futile if you fight me you'll fall

Videogames[edit | hide]

  • The Aparoids in Star FOX Assault, apparently inspired by the Borg, spout lines like that. Well, the Queen and Pigma do, the rest isn't much for talking.
  • Actually accurate in the Ashbringer tie-in comic for World of Warcraft.

Kel'Thuzad: Further resistance is pointless. Your will is no longer your own.

  • Kunzite says the exact line in Tales of Hearts (orig. teikou wa muimi da).
  • Mass Effect 2 Big Bad Harbinger tends to s-- ASSUMING DIRECT CONTROL. YOU CANNOT RESIST.
  • The far too numerous doppelgangers in Baldur's Gate shout this incessantly as you hack them to bits "It is useless to resist!" Since they only have some two battle lines and the latter 3rd of the game consists almost entirely of fighting great wads of them at once you'll be hearing it. A lot.
  • If you meet a particularly hostile alien race in the original Master of Orion game, they will say "Resistance is futile. The fate of the <your race> is inevitable. Prepare to submit to the <our race> Empire."
    • This is one of the messages from the Antarans, in the second game, when they're specifically attacking one of your colonies.

Webcomics[edit | hide]

X: Resistance Is Futile, George.
George: Damnit, I knew he was gonna say that.

  • In Sabrina Online, where Amy, in the advanced stages of her pregnancy with Thomas' son Timmy, is commanded to get pickles and Chex mix by the unborn wolf/squirrel child.

Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • In The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, the three eat a pizza gone bad; Billy and Grim have bad dreams, and Grim's consist of replicating Mandies that go "Resistance is useless. Obey...".
  • Brainiac in The DCAU was fond of "You are only delaying the inevitable." It was practically his catchphrase.
  • In the ReBoot episode 'Between A Raccoon and a Hard Place', Megabyte says "Resistance is futile" - the intention of the writers was to reference the Borg from Star Trek.
  • Of course, The Simpsons has parodied this at least once. In "Lisa The Vegetarian", Lisa's class is forced to watch a film called Meat and You: Partners in Freedom (number 3F03 in the Resistance is Useless Series).
  • The Phalanx in the X-Men cartoon even used both parts of the Borg catchphrase ("Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated." Though contrary to popular belief, the Borg say "resistance is futile" last.)
  • Said by the boss bad guy in Challenge Of The Go Bots after his invasion force had landed on an alien world: "Resistance isn't only futile, it's stupid!"
  • "I am Soundwave. Resistance is futile."
  • Was a title for a KaBlam!! episode.
  • Regular Show: "Prepare to be assimilated. Resistance is DUMB!"

Real Life[edit | hide]