• Before making a single edit, Tropedia EXPECTS our site policy and manual of style to be followed. Failure to do so may result in deletion of contributions and blocks of users who refuse to learn to do so. Our policies can be reviewed here.
  • All images MUST now have proper attribution, those who neglect to assign at least the "fair use" licensing to an image may have it deleted. All new pages should use the preloadable templates feature on the edit page to add the appropriate basic page markup. Pages that don't do this will be subject to deletion, with or without explanation.
  • All new trope pages will be made with the "Trope Workshop" found on the "Troper Tools" menu and worked on until they have at least three examples. The Trope workshop specific templates can then be removed and it will be regarded as a regular trope page after being moved to the Main namespace. THIS SHOULD BE WORKING NOW, REPORT ANY ISSUES TO Janna2000, SelfCloak or RRabbit42. DON'T MAKE PAGES MANUALLY UNLESS A TEMPLATE IS BROKEN, AND REPORT IT THAT IS THE CASE. PAGES WILL BE DELETED OTHERWISE IF THEY ARE MISSING BASIC MARKUP.


WikEd fancyquotes.pngQuotesBug-silk.pngHeadscratchersIcons-mini-icon extension.gifPlaying WithUseful NotesMagnifier.pngAnalysisPhoto link.pngImage LinksHaiku-wide-icon.pngHaikuLaconic

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.

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.
  • Gary Mitchell in the final arc of Star Trek (IDW). Despite all his power, power enough to snuff out universes at a whim, he still can't cope with the fact that he lost to Kirk.
  • In the comic adaptation of Rod Serling's original draft for the Planet of the Apes film, Zaius clearly feels this way about humanity. Despite the fact that humans killed themselves in nuclear war, they can do everything better than the Apes can.
  • Lex Luthor. Full stop. Everything he does is motivated by how insecure he feels when compared to Superman. Luthor does sometimes make a good point or two but the fact that it's all about his ego really destroys his argument.

Fan Works

  • The first two stages of Cori Falls's fics had Jessie, James, and Meowth feeling oppressed by Ash and his friends simply existing and having it slightly better than them (mainly due to the kids not being criminals), with Jessie even using it as a justification for attacking them in the "WYDS" for the episode "Forest Grumps."
  • Jealous shippers employ this trope in their fics, painting certain characters as horrible, evil monsters out to destroy the pure and holy love of their OTP simply because they're close to one half of said OTP. It becomes especially idiotic when said characters aren't even romantically interested in that person, or even their family members.
    • Sheith fans have become really bad about this in Voltron: Legendary Defender fandom, bashing anyone who dares be "too close" to Keith or Shiro. Particularly Lance, simply because he's Keith's most popular fanon ship, even though canon Lance has no interest in Keith and later on only has eyes for Allura.
    • Some Raven/Lucius fans in Fire Emblem: Blazing Blade fandom hated Priscilla back in the day for being too close to and having an innocent crush on her brother Raven... despite the fact that she knows very well he doesn't return her feelings, and that Raven's only paired ending is with Lucius.
      • Kent/Lyndis shippers at one point absolutely despised Rath, one of Lyn's other prospect love interests. While most fics ignored him, other fics had Kent being jealous and angry towards the man for so much existing within the same space as Lyn. They were also quite vicious towards the Kent/Fiora pairing, though they seemed to like Fiora just fine as long as she wasn't anywhere near "Lyn's man".
      • Seth/Eirika shippers who demonized Innes were likely this trope, due to Innes outright admitting he had feelings for Eirika instead of keeping silent like Seth.
    • At least one Lance/Silver fan in the Pokémon Heart Gold/Soul Silver fandom wanted Lyra dead simply because other fans shipped her with both guys. Never mind that the game series has no official couples for the rivals, the Player Character, or most of the other characters unless explicitly stated.
    • Beck/Jade fans in Victorious are horrible about this, bashing Tori for daring to have a close friendship with Beck and insisting that she's running some kind of Machiavellian scheme to steal him from Jade. This is despite the show showing that she twice turned down a romantic relationship with Beck and that he is crushing on her. In fact, they're so insecure about Tori that they've been known to take Tori's Crossover Ships (usually Freddie from iCarly and James from Big Time Rush) and apply them to Jade. Yes, to protect their ship from Tori, they sink it.


  • 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 are prevented.
  • 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?", the 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.
  • Lord Imperious Delirious in Beast Wars: Uprising is so disgusted by the fact that Cybertronians have sparks that he can't rest until he's killed every last one of them.

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.

  • In Doctor Who, this is how the Daleks feel about all other forms of life.
  • Spoofed on Married... with Children: Al and NO MA'AM often spoke this way about their wives or women in general; in turn, Al's Straw Feminist neighbor Marcy sometimes said the same about men. In the end of a given episode, both sides are typically undermined by Hypocritical Humor.
  • Like his comic self, Lex Luthor in Supergirl. His year long gambit in Season 4 was all so he could kill Superman.

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!

  • When manipulated by Slade, Terra has the exact same conversation with Robin about the Teen Titans.
  • In Transformers, while it's clear that Unicron hates all life what really gets under his metaphorical skin is Primus and anything he's created. He cannot stand his brother's existence.
    • A few characters have commented that most incarnations of Megatron fall victim to this as well. Megatron likely could have won the war a long time ago if he wasn't so insistent on bombing every last remnant of the old government, Optimus Prime, or the human race out of existence. Tellingly, he's at his most effective in the final season of Transformers Prime when he has a chance to destroy the Autobots, humanity, and Unicron in one fell swoop.