Trope Workshop:Screw The Pain Medication

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Someone is hurt pretty bad, yet still conscious. They need medical help, likely need surgery. They're getting ready for a major operation, but they order the doctor not to use pain killers, let alone anesthesia. Sure, they know they're in serious pain and need to be treated - but for these folks, whatevere the reasons pain isn't much of a problem, to the point that they may outright say, "Screw the Pain Medication!"

This trope is often used to show one of many things: the patient is a badass Made of Iron; they simply don't feel any pain; or, in some cases, pain killers are in short supply, and they want them saved for someone who really needs them. It's often seen when a character engages in Self-Stitching, where such medication is either rare or not present. This is can go Up To Eleven if it's a Life or Limb Decision.

See also Macho Masochism.

Examples of Screw The Pain Medication include:

Fan Works

  • In the Real Person Fic Just Taken, Melanie strictly requests that she isn't given pain medication after she was severely injured in a fight, which included getting ran over by a car. She even woke up during the middle of emergency surgery, which she just shrugs it off. Of course, this request was later declined when she finds herself in a different hospital, who gives the medication by force. Melanie complains that the medication was making her even worse, wanting to vomit at one point. However, considering one of the reasons for admission against her will was due to her eating disorder, she wasn't able to do so.
  • In Spice Fortress Series, none of the women are given any medicine, even during surgery, yet seem not to care.
  • Though understanding why she had to be on them, Emma wants the doctors to either reduce or stop giving her medication when she got out of a coma in Astral Journey: It's Complicated, as they were just making her very sick, even worse than being in a coma.



  • The Cardinal of the Kremlin: after getting shot, a state trooper notifies his superiors about his shooters and the hostages. He declines to form any medication for pain to go through it.

Live-Action TV

  • This is true of Barry Allen in the CW series The Flash. Thanks to the effect his Super Speed has on his metabolism, pain meds wouldn't work for him anyway.

Oral Tradition, Folklore, Myths and Legends

Video Games

  • Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance: The cyborg warrior Raiden is impaled by a sword during his fight against Monsoon, and he asks his support team over radio to "turn off his pain inhibitors". This rush of pain proves beneficial: it triggers Ripper Mode for the duration of the fight, as well as allowing it to be used in short bursts from that point on.

Western Animation


"Did Lincoln ask for girly gas when they blow'd his head off?"


Other Media

  • A joke circulating during the late 1960s and the 1970s (and still occasionaly seen today) invokes this trope: A yogi goes to his dentist to get his teeth worked on. When offered Novocaine, he declines, saying, "I transcend dental medication".

Real Life

  • During World War II, Colonel von Stauffenberg refused to take morphine, out of fear of developing an addiction to the stuff.
  • According to I'll Take Your Questions Now, a 2021 tell-all book by former Trump White House staffer Stephanie Grisham, the then-President refused to be sedated while undergoing a colonoscopy, because he did not at any time want to let go of the power of the Presidency.