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"Oh, I know Hamlet. And what he might say with irony, I say with conviction: 'What a piece of work is man! How noble in reason! How infinite in faculty! In form, in moving, how express and admirable! In action, how like an angel! In apprehension, how like a god!'"
Jean-Luc Picard, Star Trek: The Next Generation, "Hide and Q"

The villain, or The Great Gazoo, or just a misguided member of an advanced race comments on how weak/pathetic/cowardly/worthless (or just un-powered) humans are. "Why do you care about them?" Or the villain will be more direct and point out that Humans Are Bastards and thus not worth saving.

This will lead into the hero responding with the Patrick Stewart Speech, in which he may concede that humans are weak (at least for the moment), but there is much that is noble about humanity as well. He notes that they have much potential, and he admires humans' capacity for love/friendship/loyalty/courage/persistence/whatever virtue it is the writers want to Aesop. If you hear the sentences "There is much that we could learn from them," or "We were Not So Different, once," you're likely in the midst of a Patrick Stewart Speech.

Note this is not just defending humans out of a general respect for life, or even for sentient life: the Patrick Stewart Speech notes specific qualities of humanity itself which make it worth saving, above and beyond simply being a sentient lifeform. In short, Humans Are Special and Rousseau Was Right. One variant of this speech will praise our flaws instead, pointing out how in overcoming/fighting them we grow better and create beautiful things.

When done well, can give the viewer a sense of pride. When done poorly, comes off as overly preachy, or even ridiculous.

For a lighter-hearted version, end the Patrick Stewart Speech with some relatively minor accomplishment of humanity: "And they came up with jelly-filled donuts! How can you hate a species that invented jelly donuts? Have you tried these things?"

So named because Patrick Stewart has delivered such speeches many times, both as Captain Jean-Luc Picard from Star Trek: The Next Generation and as Professor Xavier from the X-Men films. (He was trained as a Shakespearean actor, after all.) Do note, however, that while the Patrick Stewart Speech is always superb, with a perfectly balanced combination of precise logic and emotional appeal, a five-minute Patrick Stewart Speech holds barely a candle in comparison to a twenty-second Whoopi Epiphany Speech, just in terms of pure wise clarity.

See also Kirk Summation, World of Cardboard Speech. Contrast Hannibal Lecture and Shut Up, Kirk.

Examples of Patrick Stewart Speech include:


  • Sailor Moon gives these all the time. Her introduction speeches are all about the innocence and wonder that is currently being invaded by the bad guys. Then, right before she powers up to end the deal, she'll plead with the bad guys to let the people live in peace. In the manga, she even gives up being a being of pure energy and thought so she can live on earth, pain and all, with her friends--and gives a speech about it, too. When faced with the Big Bad every season, they tell her how awful the world is and how useless her idealism is.

 Sailor Galaxia: Teamwork is a pitiful illusion! The only one you can rely on in this vast galaxy is yourself! Have you given up, Sailor Moon?

Sailor Moon: No, I haven't. I love this world... even though there are lots of sad or difficult things...I like this world very much because I could meet everyone! I know you wonderful this world is!

Sailor Galaxia: Stop joking! This world can not be protected by someone who won't fight! It's because of your weakness that all your friends are gone!

  • Multiple characters within the Fullmetal Alchemist franchise.
    • In particular the one given by Ed to Envy in the Brotherhood/manga story, which also doubles as a Reason You Suck Speech.
  • The anime movie Steamboy features a few of these on the (im)morality of war. They're rather intelligently done on a whole. For bonus points, in the English dub the character delivering these speeches is voiced by Patrick Stewart.
  • In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS, when Scaglietti's Hannibal Lecture has paralysed Fate into inaction, Erio and Caro do this to counteract it. In this case, it's about Fate's own worth rather than that of humanity as a whole, but it stil fits here.
  • Guts delivers one of these in the first episode of the Berserk anime. The fact that he does it while slowly torturing a dying Apostle makes the whole thing truly disturbing.
  • Simon gives a lengthy one (which is really more like a dialogue) in the last episode of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann to counter the villain's Puny Earthlings speech.
  • If such a thing is possible, there is a combined Patrick Stewart Speech and William Shatner Speech in the finale of Macross Frontier, in response to Grace O'Connor's plan to give humanity the Vajra's ability to sense fold waves:

 Brera: Being connected to you scoundrels, I truly realised... no matter how far we go, humans are always alone.

Grace: That's why we-

Alto: But it's because we are alone... that we can love someone!

    • It becomes more clearly defined as a Patrick Stewart Speech when you inter-splice the lines that Sheryl and Ranka are singing at the time: In fact the song Lion may have been written just for that moment, as it is also the more prominent song in the Nyan Nyan Service Melody

 Ranka: I'm not alone anymore, Because you are with me.

Sheryl: I want to survive, even living on the edge, I'm in love with you... Ranka: I'm not alone anymore...

Sheryl: With the star's guidance... Ranka: Because you are with me...

Sheryl/Ranka: I want to live, I want to survive, I'm in love with you (I love you)Until I show you my serious heart I will not sleep!

  • Judai Yuuki, almost constantly, in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX. Jaden, less so.
  • In Stellvia of the Universe, Masaru's personal Crowning Moment of Awesome is a Patrick Stewart Speech broadcast to the entirety of humanity from a space station about to be crushed by a cosmic cataclysm. He survives.
  • Variation in Mahou Sensei Negima, Negi is nearly tempted to return to Earth and abandon the Magic World to be destroyed by Fate, who claims that the inhabitants' lives don't matter because they are just meaningless illusions. Asuna counters with:

 All of us have been helped by all sorts of people since we came to this world! Bounty hunters, and information sellers, and inn proprietresses... Some of them have even saved our lives! That's got to go for you too. Right, Negi!? Like hell this is just some "illusion"! Are you completely dense!? Just look at the people around you! Children! Families! Old guys! You honestly think we can save ourselves and just sneak off home leaving all of them to him!? There Is... Absolutely... No Reason... To Hesitate For One Second Over This!!! Not in a million years would we think of taking orders from a little idiot spouting such patently ridiculous nonsense!!!


 Merry: And besides, if you do kill them off, who the hell's going to make the doughnuts?

  • Enoah Ballard delivers an absolutely beautiful one in the final volume of Eden. Read it here.
  • In Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, During the final fight with the Anti-spiral, Simon, Nia, and Yoko team up to give one to the Anti-Spiral King. And, as you would expect, it's totally awesome.

Comic Books

  • Professor Xavier of the X-Men, multiple times.
    • Which is perhaps why for the X-Men movies, Patrick Stewart was a perfect fit. (The other reason why being that, despite the character having been created when Stewart was only 23 years old, Jack Kirby drew Xavier at the time looking almost exactly like the Patrick Stewart of today.)
      • Patrick Stewart had lost his hair by his early 20s, and apparently he doesn't age... maybe there was an epic chance meeting unrecorded in the annals of fantasy/sci-fi history? ;)
      • Xavier's appearance was actually apparently based on actor Yul Brynner. Google him and you'll see.
  • Being an adopted alien, Superman is quite fond of this.
    • Sometimes he doesn't need a speech. Just pointing out that frickin' Superman absolutely adores humans and wants to be a human is enough:
    • Wonder Woman is also quite found of this. Though she's a bit more of a realist then Superman, she'll break out the speech when the situation calls for it.
  • In Watchmen, the emotionless Dr. Manhattan justifies his return to earth with a smaller version of this--he realises that all human lives are "thermodynamic miracles", events that have no logical or probable reason for occurring. They simply shouldn't happen. The fact that he says this in the middle of a giant smiley face ON MARS (that really exists) just drives the point home.
  • Don't insult "earthmen" in front of The Guardians. They find them quite useful. There is a reason they've made six-plus human Lanterns (with four currently active).
  • Optimus Prime (as usual) delivers one in the Dreamwave comics sequel to the original series, and to drive the point home, it contrasts Megatron's earlier Hannibal Lecture with humans abandoning those trapped under some rubble, and others raiding shops in amongst the chaos - with images of firemen then rushing to save those under the rubble, and the thieves using what they stole to help out as well. Then Optimus lets out a little secret - he knows the majority of humans are assholes, but he also knows that they're an impressionable lot, and so he fights for those who deserve it - because he knows that if anyone can turn humanity around, it's them. And to put the cherry on this cake of awesome? Those same humans then risk their lives to ram a fire engine right in Megatron's face! And remember - humanity hates all transformers right about now.
  • In The Killing Joke, Batman gives one to The Joker in response to his "one bad day" monologue.

  I spoke to Commissioner Gordon before I came in here. He's fine. Despite all your sick, vicious little games, he's as sane as he ever was! So maybe ordinary people don't always crack. Maybe there isn't any need to crawl under a rock with all the other slimey things when trouble hits. Maybe it was just you, all the time!



  • Satan delivers one of these in The Devil's Advocate in his climactic scene. It involves his reasons why God Is Evil, Satan Is Good, and then wraps up with, "In spite of all his imperfections, I'm a FAN OF MAN! I'm a humanist. Maybe the last humanist."
  • Optimus Prime in Transformers delivers one of these in response to Ironhide's query why they fight for the humans, a primitive and violent race: "Were we so different? They're a young species - but I have seen good in them. We cannot let the humans pay for our mistakes. Freedom is the right of all sentient beings."
  • Superman's father, Jor-El, does this at least once in the film series: "They can be a great people, Kal-El; they wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way. It is this, above all, their capacity for good, that I have sent them you ... my only son."
  • Beautifully subverted in Mars Attacks (Film). The President of the United States, played by Jack Nicholson, delivers one of these when the martians make it into the bunker underneath the white house. After he ends the speech with a truly cliche "Can't we just get along?", the head martian sheds a tear and offers to shake hands with the president. As they shake, the martian's robotic hand comes loose, crawls around to the president's back and promptly stabs him through the chest.
  • Averted in Outland. The hero played by Sean Connery, having defeated the killers sent to eliminate him, limps up to the boss of the corrupt space-mining colony, opens his mouth to say what he thinks of him, then says "Oh fuck it" and just decks the man.
  • The Prime Minister in Love Actually has one of these, specifically for Britain:

 "We may be a small country, but we're a great one, too. The country of Shakespeare, Churchill, the Beatles, Sean Connery, Harry Potter. David Beckham's right foot. David Beckham's left foot, come to that."


 "He learned, almost too late, that man is a feeling creature and, because of it, the greatest in the universe."

  • Charlie Chaplin of all people, gives one at the end of The Great Dictator. see it here
  • Professor Xavier gives such a speech to Magneto in what is almost a literal Patrick Stewart Speech; however, it happens in X-Men: First Class, where Stewart's character is played by James McAvoy. During their chess game, Charles attempts to convince Erik that human beings are capable of great understanding, and that mutants should be patient, as "we have it in us to be the better men." Erik skeptically replies, "We already are."
  • One of the earliest in cinema was in the seminal 1936 sci-fi movie Things To Come on the nature of humanity's progress.

 "Rest enough for the individual man - too much, and too soon - and we call it death. But for Man, no rest and no ending. He must go on, conquest beyond conquest. First this little planet with its winds and ways, and then all the laws of mind and matter that restrain him. Then the planets about him and at last out across immensity to the stars. And when he has conquered all the deeps of space and all the mysteries of time, still he will be beginning."



  • At the end of Robert A. Heinlein's novel Have Space Suit - Will Travel, the hero gives a Patrick Stewart Speech to the aliens who were deciding whether to destroy Earth.
    • Note that the most effective part of his speech is a threat. "Go ahead, take away our sun. We'll make one. And then we'll come for the ones that did it!"
      • Nope, the aliens weren't idiots, they knew if they acted we were helpless. Even the hero who made the speech realized it was rather childish but he just wanted to do the Churchill, "We shall never surrender" thing.
    • Note that the hero also briefly considered using a speech or two from some of earth's more famous orators... Then realised that it would be hollow if his last words on behalf of mankind just stole someone else's clever speech. His own last words (not death last, but last words admissible to the 'court' as it were) inspired one alien to do the whole 'were we not so different once' thing. It works.
  • Aximili from the Animorphs series of books, being an alien stranded on earth, will often think of the virtues of humans that make us worth saving. Like jellybeans, chocolate, popcorn, and the pinnacle of human achievement, the cinnamon bun. Needless to say, he is the epitome of the parody or light-hearted version of this trope. He has, however, marveled at humanity's willingness to trudge on despite seemingly hopeless odds. And not just trying to endure or cut losses, but to still achieve victory. He also notes that humanity's drive to succeed has enabled us to progress faster in technology than any other race, who are only ahead of us because they are millennia older.
    • He also remarks upon how humans are able to survive in a world with hundreds of different species that wouldn't mind having anything made of meat (Earth native or not) for dinner.
    • We get the same thing, oddly enough, from Visser One, one of the major villains. One of the first two long-term Human-Controllers, she eventually became, as one character notes, "addicted" to humanity, including having human children.
  • Crowley, of all people, makes one to Aziraphale in Good Omens, this time listing all the little pleasures of life that simply wouldn't exist if all there was to existence was Heaven. The idea of humanity having merit simply for being human is the general theme of the book.
  • Ayn Rand and Terry Goodkind are a big fan of this (perhaps too big), and their main characters have numerous paragraphs of monologue that extol the potential of man, usually focusing the most on things like our genius and indomitable will.
  • T.H. White's The Book of Merlyn contains a lengthy Hannibal Lecture on humanity's flaws, which seems like a massive downer. However, it does follow it up with a brief Patrick Stewart Speech on what the speaker considers to be humanity's saving grace: the love it has for its pets.
  • Death actually gets one in the Discworld novel Reaper Man. He stands before Azrael, his boss, and basically tells him that humanity deserves a Death that will care for them, rather than a simple blind force.

 Death: Lord, what can the harvest hope for, if not for the care of the Reaper Man?

  • Even though he's talking about hobbits instead of humans, Gandalf is fond of them. And Hobbits are just Englishmen anyway.
  • After being outwitted and getting one of the greatest Shut Up, Kirk squelches ever by Mr.Scratch, Daniel Webster gives an outstanding example of this trope in The Devil and Daniel Webster
  • In Sophocles' Antigone the chorus sing: "Wonders are many, and none is more wonderful than man".
  • One short story features humans in a peaceful, utopian future society desperately trying to invert this, using archived footage to convince aliens who want to make humanity slaves that they're too violent, unstable, and warlike to be worth keeping as slaves. It backfires catastrophically — the aliens wanted slave soldiers and are now convinced that humanity are the best they've ever found; they don't even have to train them to be aggressive.

Live Action TV


  Q: Jean-Luc... Sometimes I think the only reason I come here is to listen to these wonderful speeches of yours.

      • Subverted during the same speech when Q responds to Picard's scolding with what amounted to a Shut Up, Kirk.
    • Subverted in the episode "Code of Honor". Picard is talking about how wonderful humanity is, then breaks off and says, "forgive me, this is becoming a speech." Troi replies, "You're the captain, you're entitled." Picard then says "I'm not entitled to ramble on about something everyone knows." While looking almost directly at the camera.
        • Actually subverted in an episode of Deep Space Nine. After a baseball grudge match between our heroes and a crew of Vulcans, a pissing match ensues. The various aliens in the crew balk after the Vulcan disses human emotion.

 Ezri Dax: Did I forget to wear my spots today?

Quark: All that intelligence and he still doesn't know what a human looks like!

    • Also Quark gives such a speech in defence of the Ferengi:

 Quark: The way I see it, hew-mons used to be a lot like Ferengi: greedy, acquisitive, interested only in profit. We're a constant reminder of a part of your past you'd like to forget. But you're overlooking something: Hew-mons used to be a lot worse than the Ferengi. Slavery. Concentration camps. Interstellar wars. We have nothing in our past that approaches that kind of barbarism. You see? We're nothing like you. We're better.

      • No slavery, huh? So how's that whole "treating your females as property" thing going, eh?
    • Heck, Encounter At Farpoint is Q stating Humans Are Morons, with Picard shooting back Shut UP, Hannibal lines and Q returning Shut Up, Kirk lines.
    • Subverted in Deep Space 9 when Sisko is forced to give one of these during the pilot episode ("Emissary"). For one, he's actually standing up for all races of the Alpha Quadrant, not just humans. But the real trick is that the aliens to whom he must give this speech (or die!) lack any familiarity with some of the basic concepts necessary for a Patrick Stewart Speech to work. Primarily, they exist outside of time, and so don't even understand the concept of cause and effect!
  • Star Trek: Voyager. Q gives a heartfelt speech when he's about to be executed in "The Q and the Grey", but as the other members of the Continuum know all-too-well that he's an irresponsible Jerkass they're not impressed.
  • The Doctor, of Doctor Who, multiple times; particularly "Ordinary, stupid, brilliant PEOPLE" in comparison to the emotionless Cybermen in "The Age of Steel"; and his "indomitable" speeches in "The Ark in Space" and "Utopia"; subverted in "The Christmas Invasion", in which the Doctor, still slightly loopy from a botched regeneration, realises half-way in that his impassioned plea is actually the lyrics to "The Circle of Life" from The Lion King.
    • The Doctor has also commented on humanity's genius with confectionery, from jelly babies to edible ball bearings.
    • Inverted in "The Beast Below", Season 5, Episode 2 of the new series. "Nobody HUMAN has anything to say to me today!"
    • Another, very touching one, in "The End of Time". He tells Wilfred Mott that he's 900 years old, to which the old man remarks:

 Wilf: We must look like ants to you!

The Doctor: I think you look like giants.


 The Doctor: For all we know that's a brand-new form of life over there, and if it's come inside to discover us then what's it found? This little bunch of humans, what do you amount to? Murder? 'Cause this is where you decide, you decide who you are. Could you actually murder her? Any of you? Really? Or are you better than that?


The Hostess: I'd do it.

Mr. Cane: So would I.

Mrs. Cane: And me.

Dee Dee: I think we should.

    • "The Ark in Space": "Homo sapiens. What an inventive, invincible species. It’s only a few million years since they crawled up out of the mud and learned to walk. Puny, defenceless bipeds. They’ve survived flood, famine and plague. They’ve survived cosmic wars and holocausts. And now, here they are, out among the stars, waiting to begin a new life. Ready to outsit eternity. They’re indomitable."
    • Even the TARDIS herself gets in on it:

 "Are all people like this?"

"Like what?"

"So much bigger on the inside."

  • In Outcasts, the rather Picard-esqe Richard Tate, President of the Human colony on the planet Carpathia, confronts a mysterious alien race only known as the Host Force. They communicate with him through a vision of himself.

 Host Force: Your species is a brutal and destructive one. And less significant in the universe, than a single bacteria, on a coral reef.

Richard Tate: Maybe, but we have one thing you appear to have lost on your evolution to disembodied know-it-all. We may be frayed at the edges, but we still have love. And while we have that, we still have hope.

  • Commander Adama in the 2003 miniseries of Battlestar Galactica does a subversion. Rather than give a sappy speech at the Battlestar's decommissioning he asks "Is humanity worth saving?" A pertinent question considering the incoming genocide by humanity's rogue robotic children.
    • And he stops just short of saying no. Athena later rubs this in his face.
    • Later on the series, his son Lee uses one in Baltar's trial, working for the defense. Ironic, no?
  • In Babylon 5, Sheridan combines a Patrick Stewart Speech with a Kirk Summation and serves it all up with a Large Ham when he tells both the Vorlons and the Shadows to "Get the hell out of our galaxy!"
    • Also, there's Sinclair's response to the reporter in the first season as to whether humanity should be out in space.
    • Delenn gave one in the first season to the other members of the Grey Council.
  • In Angel, Angel gives one of these to Illyria, declaring himself champion of humanity, even for a traitor on her side ("He's scum, but he's still human"). Subverted when the speech is cut short by Wesley shooting the traitor in the chest. Angel, somewhat annoyed, asks him "Were you even listening?"
  • In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Spike explains to Buffy why he likes the world, and the humans in it, and thus would rather side with Buffy against Angel's evil personality Angelus than see Angelus summon the demon Acathla that sucks the world into Hell. A subversion in that he's not defending humanity except as food, but is quite fond of some parts of the culture that we give rise to.

 Buffy: What do you want?

Spike: I told you. I want to stop Angel. I want to save the world.

Buffy: Okay, you do remember that you're a vampire, right?

Spike: We like to talk big, vampires do. "I'm going to destroy the world." It's just tough guy talk. Struttin' around with your friends over a pint of blood. The truth is, I like this world. You've got... dog racing, Manchester United, and you've got people. Billions of people walking around like Happy Meals with legs. It's all right here. But then someone comes along with a vision. With a real... passion for destruction. Angel could pull it off. Goodbye, Piccadilly. Farewell, Leicester bloody Square. You know what I'm saying?

    • None of which explains all that business with The Judge earlier in the season.
      • He does whatever Drusilla wants, and would do anything to get her back from Angelus. So while his Patrick Stewart speech is partly true for him, it's mostly a way of avoiding telling Buffy that he's been cuckolded. She figures it out later, anyway.
      • Also, Spike pays attention to technology. Dru may have thought the Judge was going to end the world, but Spike would notice that he's only going to kill people until the army brings up the tanks and airstrikes. He's only doing it to keep Dru happy.
    • Anya gets one in "End of Days"

 I was kinda new to being around humans before. And now I've seen a lot more, gotten to know people, seen what they're capable of and I guess I just realize how amazingly... screwed up they all are. I mean, really, really screwed up in a monumental fashion. And they have no purpose that unites them, so they just drift around, blundering through life until they die. Which they know is coming and yet every single one of them is surprised when it happens to them. They're incapable of thinking about what they want beyond the moment. They kill each other, which is clearly insane, and yet, here's the thing. When it's something that really matters, they fight. I mean, they're lame morons for fighting. But they do. They never... They never quit. And so I guess I will keep fighting, too.

  • Captain Jack Harkness' monologue in the Torchwood episode "Everything Changes" about the wonders of 21st century Earth that never cease to amaze him; considering he is an immortal ex-Time Agent in a World War II uniform who was native to the 51st century prior to his first appearance, he might as well be an alien from another planet.

  "There you go. I can taste it. Oestrogen. Definitely oestrogen. You take the pill, flush it away, it enters the water cycle, feminizes the fish. Goes all the way up into the sky, then falls all the way back down onto me. Contraceptives in the rain. Love this planet. Still, at least I won't get pregnant. Never doing that again."

  • Inverted Trope on Supernatural: in the Season 4 episode "Wishful Thinking," when someone asks why people can't get what they want, Sam and Dean say it would create chaos.

 Dean: I guess people are people because they're miserable bastards who can't get what they want.

    • As cynical as the show is, even the speech is played straight a few times. Dean doesn't understand why Anna would give up being an angel for being human. He's not totally swayed by her reasons, but he agrees that sex is pretty cool. Castiel also thinks humans are okay, and considers each of them to be works of art, being created by God. Also, because angels and humans were created by God, he considers the idea that humans are inferior to be close to blasphemy.
    • In Season Five's "Hammer of the Gods," The Trickster/Gabriel gives one of these to Lucifer, the season's Big Bad, who refers to humans as "cockroaches" and "flawed, broken abortions." The Trickster tells Lucifer that, although Humans Are Flawed, they try to be better. Then tops it off with, "And you should check out the Spearmint Rhino."
  • Hilariously subverted in the comedy series Hyperdrive. After their disastrous First Contact with the Queppu, the crew seek to avoid future problems by covertly nuking the planet behind the captain's back while he's busy giving his speech.
  • Seeing how wanting to be human is a major part of the show, Being Human has a few, usually from Mitchell, who, despite living through both World Wars, and being attacked by a mob believing he's a peadophile, still has complete belief in human goodness.
  • Kind of parodied in this scene from Misfits, when Nathan gives a ridiculously impassioned rooftop-speech to his brainwashed friends about the glories of hedonistic youth:

 "She's got you thinking this is how you're supposed to be - well it's not! We're young! We're supposed to drink too much, we're supposed to have bad attitudes and shag each other's brains out! We were designed to party! This is it. So a few of us - we'll overdose, or go mental - but Charles Darwin said you can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs, and that's what it's all about, breaking eggs! And by eggs I do mean getting twatted on a cocktail of Class A's. If you could just see yourselves! It breaks my heart - YOU'RE WEARING CARDIGANS! We had it all...we fucked up bigger and better than any generation before us! WE WERE SO BEAUTIFUL!"


 "The reason is "humans are foolish", right? Yes! They certainly are foolish. Going after the face of a dead woman, trying to abandon everything in order to keep someone important safe and running away alone. Right? Because we're foolish, we won't understand unless we trip on something along the road and hurt ourselves. But even if we get lost on that road and make mistakes, we'll continue to travel. There's no need for you to guide us!"

  • Horribly subverted in an episode of the 1985-87 CBS revival of The Twilight Zone. Sufficiently Advanced Aliens land, claim they triggered humanity's evolution and threaten to wipe them out for not reaching their potential (mentioning their only virtue seems to be "a small talent for war"). A human diplomat delivers a Patrick Stewart Speech and buys humanity 24 hours to demonstrate why they should be spared; the governments of the world quickly put together a comprehensive world-wide agreement to stop all fighting. The next day the diplomat presents the treaty to the alien representative; he looks at it...and laughs. He explains that humans were placed on Earth to evolve into powerful warriors. Instead they've merely developed the aforementioned "small talent for war", and the global peace treaty proves their inherently pacifist nature. There's nothing left for the aliens to do but scour the planet clean and start over again elsewhere.
  • Parodied in an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000. The omnipotent Observers have been making Pearl Forrester and Professor Bobo fight to the death throughout the episode. At the end, Pearl has Bobo down and the Observers order her to finish him. Pearl refuses, throwing away her sword and delivering a speech (directly to the camera) about how humans may not be perfect, but their capacity for compassion and love makes them special. It does get to the Observers...until Bobo gets up and clocks Pearl in the back of the head, reminding her that he's not human. Then she starts chasing after him, shouting "That's it Magilla, you are so dead I can't believe it!"
  • In the Smallville episode Blue, Kara Kent tries to convince her father Zor-El not to destroy the human race, but he just beats her up and continues his rampage, forcing Clark to save the day.
  • Happens in the Farscape episode "A Constellation of Doubt." The episode is intercut with a documentary they intercepted from Earth about the alien members of the Moya crew who visited. A lot of it involves people being very xenophobic and showing only the worst of human nature, but Noranti redeems us (sorta):

 Noranti: I like that you're always striving to reach higher - hoping for a better tomorrow! It's the quality that first attracted me to your Uncle.

Bobby: That humans dream?

Noranti: Yes! You're so ignorant! But you never give up, even in the face of insurmountable odds!

  • At least one episode of every Ultra Series focuses on Human Spirit and Courage.



  • There is a Jewish legend (probably Older Than Feudalism) that after the Flood, the angels came to God, and criticized his decision to create the humans, with the way it turned out. God's answers was a passage from the Old Testament which described the sufferings of pregnancy and childbirth. In other words "wait until I'm done".

Video Games

  • In what is possibly a subtle parody of the concept, the Sidekick Issun in Okami will comment that "Humanity sure was smart coming up with something like this" if you examine one of many things that go doink.
  • Shortly after the release of the independently developed Visual Novel Katawa Shoujo, Four Leaf Studios, had this to say about the game's seemingly squicky premise.
  • Mass Effect lets the player character deliver one of these, using the dialogue system to pick each stirring theme on the fly. It's up to the player if they end up giving a straight example or subverting the hell out of it; either way it's a lot of fun to finally get the mic when it's speechifying time.
    • The sequel's last level has you keeping the hopes of your teammates up before the final battle by once again allowing you to use the dialogue trees to create your own speech. Twice!
    • As well in Arrival you give one to Harbinger, which is pretty cool, especially considering how you're on an asteroid about to crash into a Mass Relay.
  • Knights of the Old Republic II had a similar example, where you could give a speech to some Dantooine troops before a battle. (although you could only choose 3 pre-made speeches, one good, one neutral, and one subversion meant to demoralize the troops rather than rally them). Some Gameplay and Story Integration occurs here, as the speech you choose actually influences how many troops survive the initial cutscene battle, changing the number of troops on hand for the Last Stand (to the point where it can be a Curb Stomp Battle for either side).
  • Dante in Devil May Cry gave one of these to Agnus when the Mad Scientist asked how a half-demon could be stronger than a full-blooded one. Worth noting is that he said that humans have something that demons don't... but he didn't say what it was.
    • That is (possibly) revealed as The Power of Love in a supplementary speech made by Nero to Sanctus, right near the end of the game.

 Nero: Never could take those legends too literally, but I do know that Sparda had a heart. A heart that could love another person, a human. And that is what you lack!

      • I was under the impression that the thing humans have that devils don't that Dante was referring to is the ability to shed tears. Recall Dante's line in Devil May Cry 1: "Trish... Devils never cry. These tears... Tears are a gift only humans have." and the repeated usage of the line "Devils never cry" throughout the series.
        • Well, it's also hinted that devil may cry, because devil may love.
    • In the last episode of the Devil May Cry anime, the main bad guy is giving his "How could I lose!?" speech, wondering if those who are born weak are doomed to always fail. Dante says that winning and losing doesn't have anything to do with power, it depends on the quality of your soul. The bad guy tries to use this to his advantage, saying "Oh, so since your soul is good, you'll spare me, right?" He doesn't.
  • In Sonic Adventure 2, in one of the last scenes, Amy tries to convince Shadow that humans are essentially good and should be protected from the upcoming armageddon from the final boss, The Biolizard. The speech triggers a memory for Shadow, that he kept a promise to his dear friend Maria to protect all of life.
  • At the end of Final Fantasy VI, Kefka's denunciation of existence prompts a response from the members of the party.
  • Ash Lambert made a quite rousing Patrick Stewart Speech after the Big Bad had revealed his plan to "cleanse" the world and it's sinful inhabitants.

  Ash: You're wrong! Though this world may be wicked, life itself is precious! Good and evil, love and hate. Each man contains the potential for both. You would exterminate mankind for their sins? I would fight the gods themselves to save them!

    • Of course, it kinda lost a little of its initial, profound bite when the Big Bad called him out on the Moral Dissonance in that speech.

Web Comics

  • Subverted - along with all other things - in The Non-Adventures of Wonderella. When the Vaguely Greco-Roman Godhead plans the destruction of the world to pave the way for a newer, better one, Wonderella shows the Godhead the value of human life... not with a well-reasoned speech, but by calling them "dickholes" and complaining that her sister can fly and she can't. Impressed that one of their creations should show such unbridled passion, they decide to leave the world as it is.
    • In another strip, Wonderella convinces Patrick Stewart himself to give one of these speeches to an alien that thinks Star Trek is real. However, the purpose of this wasn't to convince the alien to leave, but distract him long enough to get a sniper bullet to the skull. Stewart, of course, wasn't aware of this.
  • People is sometimes kind.
  • In Sluggy Freelance (Chapter 30: "Dangerous Days Ahead"), Torg fails badly at this.

  Torg: But you've lost sight of the fact that it is our weenieness that makes us human!


Western Animation

  • Optimus Prime of Transformers, multiple times.
  • Parodied in the Treehouse of Horror segment "Night of the Dolphin". Homer's speech to inspire the humans to fight back contains nothing but minor accomplishments of humanity (except the first one): "We invented computers, leg warmers, bendy straws, peel 'n' eat shrimp, the glory hole, and the pudding cup!"
  • Parodied in an episode of Futurama, where Nibbler describes Earth as "homeworld of the pizza-bagel". Presumably, other cultures invented pizza and/or bagels (or foods similar to them), but no one else had ever thought of combining them.
  • The Tick makes a Patrick Stewart Speech to dissuade Omnipotus from eating Earth. He quickly rifles through his apartment to find objects to use as evidence of Earth's right to exist, including a bowling trophy and a half-eaten cheese basket.
  • Butters gives one of these on South Park. However, he is not arguing against the destruction of humanity; he is just arguing that life is too good to waste on being emo.
  • Eek the Cat was prone to rattling off long, bizarre and frequently funny lists of what makes Earth so great to some alien bent on blowing it up.

Real Life