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Sorry! This article has two quotes on the main page instead of just one.
"This sentence wishes to apologize for all the needless apologies found in this story (this one included), which, although placed here ostensibly for the benefit of the more vexed readers, merely delay in a maddeningly recursive way the continuation of the by-now nearly forgotten story line."
"The thing with an apology is that it's something precious, like diamonds. If it happens once in a while, it's meaningful. If it only rarely happens, it can be a surprise. But if it happens too much, it loses its value, and thus loses its impact."—Mackenzie DeBruin
Wait, are we starting the description? Ahh, oh no!! I'm so sorry, I'll get started!
Alright, this trope is about a character who apologizes a lot. When called on it, may actually apologize for being so apologetic. Often a trait of a Dojikko or Cute Clumsy Girl and not out of place on a Shrinking Violet. Often comes with Self-Deprecation. Some Apologetic Attackers do this, some only apologize once or twice. Sorry I Fell on Your Fist is an extreme example. Sometimes associated with Canada, Eh? types.
Can also be a trait of real people.
Sorry, was that okay??
Sorry, sorry! Thank you for waiting! I'm here with the examples!
- Kaede from Shuffle.
- Ritsu Sohma from Fruits Basket is a male crossdresser who basically has fits of BERSERK APOLOGIZING whenever anything whatsoever goes the least bit wrong anywhere in his immediate vicinity, or if he even picked up the slightest implication that something was wrong. Apparently, he become this way from listening to his parents apologize for him throughout his childhood.
- Tohru as well.
- Chise in Saikano does this all the time.
- Hatsumi from Hot Gimmick.
- Ai Kaga from Sayonara, Zetsubou-sensei was specifically designed to lampshade and parody this trope. Even her name is a giveaway: "Kaga Ai" sounds like "kagai", "perpetrator" in Japanese, and she, indeed, believes that she is to blame for everything bad.
- Nagisa and Ryou from Clannad
- Himeko from Kannazuki no Miko, largely cause she doesn't (for most of the series) regard herself as being worth the space she occupies. This even sort of happens during the infamous episode 8.
- In Neon Genesis Evangelion, Asuka and Shinji play the "Stop apologising so much! Sorry..." gag.
- Shinji is almost the patron saint. Towards the end of the series, his psychological descent is seen in how he stops apologizing for every little thing and merely wallows in the disparaging opinion that he can't help anyone.
- Meanwhile, in Hataraki Man, created by Hideaki Anno's wife Moyoco, Hiroko keeps telling her boyfriend Shinji to stop apologizing so much, fueling fan speculation that Anno really did marry an Asuka in his own life.
- Vincent in Ergo Proxy as well.
- Rukia Kuchiki from Bleach gets punched in the face by Kukakku Shiba when she does this too much. Granted, she did have a good reason to want to apologize...
- Hanataro Yamada does this compulsively.
- Nodoka in Mahou Sensei Negima, especially when she's either thinking an improper thought, or using her mind-reading ability in a diabolical manner (what else to be expected from a Shrinking Violet?). Negi tends to do this as well.
- Canada from Axis Powers Hetalia has this Verbal Tic.
- To paraphrase the Ferguson brothers, Canadians have 12 ways to say "I'm sorry", but rarely apologize.
- Sumeragi Subaru from Tokyo Babylon does this a lot. In Book 4 he apologizes so much that his sister tells him to stop saying sorry, and he apologizes for apologizing.
- Jacuzzi Splot in Baccano! does a lot of apologizing for very little provocation, including claiming that he should be the one to apologize for being run into and apologizing to someone because he called her a good person without actually knowing if she was or not, and finally, apologizing for introducing himself
- Minawa from Mahoromatic, usually because she's just dojikkoed the place up. "Gomen nasai" is practically her catch phrase.
- Sena from Eyeshield 21 can go from improbably badass running back to compulsive, apologizing bowing fool in an instant if he gets flustered.
- Pagaya of One Piece apologizes nearly every time he speaks, to the point where this is almost a Verbal Tic.
- Higurashi no Naku Koro ni has a rather dark example: Hanyuu tends to say "I'm sorry" over and over, but because she can't be seen by anyone except Rika, the only characters who can hear are those who are becoming increasingly paranoid. It never ends well.
- Wedding Peach anime: Hinagiku always must scold Takurou for apologizing all the time. (Not seen in the manga.)
- In Code Geass, C.C. does this when she loses her memories.
- Keroro Gunso: Rabbi is constantly apologizing for her brother...and sometimes herself. Possibly lampshaded, when she is apologizing in the third movie for not being more useful, despite being mind controlled.
- Bakura from Yu-Gi-Oh! sometimes did this, at least in the dub. When he accidentally set off a Booby Trap in one scene, he started chanting, "I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry" etc. Maybe not the wisest thing to do while attempting an Indy Escape. Possibly related to the fact that in the dub, he has an I Am Very British accent, and as the Real Life section attests, the British are notorious for excessive apologizing.
- Azmaria from Chrono Crusade (who is also a Cute Clumsy Girl) does this quite often. In one scene in the anime, she tries to cook a meal and has several clumsy accidents happen as she does, and follows up every accident with kneeling on the ground and folding her hands together while squeaking out "I'm sorry! I'm sorry! I'm sorry!"
- Yuri from Honey Hunt. She gets better.
- Yukinari from Girls Bravo.
- Miranda Lotto of D.Gray-man.
- Belldandy of the Oh My Goddess! manga. Keiichi even calls her on it during the Peorth arc.
- Yuki of Uragiri wa Boku no Namae wo Shitteiru.
- Mikado of Durarara.
- An Ace Attorney Doujinshi, "Turnabout Illusions", featured a client named Ian Knottworthy who was prone to starting every conversation by going into the Pose of Supplication and saying "I'm so sorry!"
- Sae Sawenoguchi from Magic Users Club.
- Kisaragi from GA Geijutsuka Art Design Class, being a Cute Clumsy Girl, also apologizes a lot.
- Darui from Naruto. His habit of apologising a lot actually becomes plot-relevant during a battle.
- Larawell in the second volume of Dazzle.
- Sakurai Ryou from Kuroko no Basuke. He even apologizes to his opponents during basketball matches.
- Aries of Fairy Tail has almost no lines at all that don't include an apology.
- In one episode of Maburaho, Kuriko tells Kazuki that he does this too much. His response is to apologize for it.
Sorry for continuing with examples from Film
- John Ritter's character in Noises Off. Christopher Reeve's character does a variant on the theme.
- Hello, Wesley from Wanted. At least, I think that's his name. Anyway, he shot someone while doing a flip over their car IN ANOTHER CAR while saying "I'm Sorry!" in slow motion.
- According to Monty Python and The Holy Grail, God gets really annoyed at people who constantly apologize when He's trying to talk to them.
- C-3PO in Star Wars.
- Annie in The First Wives Club.
- Nina, the lead of Black Swan, shows this trope in spades.
- Frank Tupelo's first line in the movie The Tourist is "I'm sorry." The woman who just sat down in front of him actually asks what he is sorry for.
Sorry for mentioning Literature at all
- In America: The Book, Samantha Bee apologizes a lot in her "Would you mind if I told you how we do it in Canada?" sections. In a footnote, she says "Sorry for the footnote". This is a parody of Canada's reputation for excessive politeness.
- Jim McCarthy in The War Against the Chtorr. His Colonel Badass girlfriend often calls him on it.
- The imps in the various Discworld disorganizers. Mostly because, as the disorganizer name implies, they tend to screw up a lot.
- Magrat can open a door apologetically.
- Alfred in the Death Gate cycle. This is because, as a Sartan, he feels that the mess the worlds are in is partly his fault.
- Similarly to the Canadian example, George Mikes in How To Be An Alien comments that if you stand on an Englishman's foot, he will be "so sorry", presumably for not having had it amputated.
- Twilight. Bella Swan apologises all the time.
- In The Idiot, Lukyan Timofeevich Lebedev doesn't exactly say "I'm sorry", but will constantly criticize himself and agree vociferously with any insults flung in his direction, which has about the same effect.
- In The Book of the Dun Cow, Senex the rooster apologizes constantly when he makes mistakes, which he feels guilty about since he is technically his land's ruler. This eventually leads to a Deal with the Devil which eventually turns fatal.
- Podrick Payne, the meek squire in A Song of Ice and Fire
I apologize for using examples from Live Action Television
- In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Tobin Dax was one of these, as we see during Jadzia's zhian'tara ritual, where his personality is placed into O'Brien's body temporarily. Complete with being told to stop, and apologising for apologising.
- The Tenth Doctor, from Doctor Who. So much so that "I'm sorry, I am so sorry." is pretty much his Catch Phrase. Well... one of them. In his case, most of the time he's sorry to be the bearer of bad news, rather than sorry for any of the Jerkass things he's done.
- He seems to have rubbed off on his companions. Rose and Martha both use that phrase as well, in the same context.
- He says it at least 120 times during his run, and that video doesn't include his last three episodes. (So sorry if this link renders the word utterly meaningless.)
- Dean Winchester from Supernatural.
- Dean may be the absolute king of self-blame, but he doesn't actually apologize very often. It's Sam who stops in the middle of a fight to apologize for bumping into his brother (which, of course, leads to him getting choked).
- McGee on NCIS, though this is arguably just so Gibbs can deliver a Dope Slap and his overused line about how apologizing is a sign of weakness.
- As Time Goes By. Sandy dates a guy who is always apologising, sometimes preemptively just in case something goes wrong. She leaves him when she realises this is an aspect of a fetish he has.
- Robin on How I Met Your Mother visits a Canadian bar in New York and tests its "Canadian-ness" by deliberately bumping into somebody to see if he apologizes for it. He does. And he offers her a donut. Marshall tests it by turning off the lights (because Canadians are afraid of the dark).
- Pretty much every character in Smallville (at least in the first few seasons), but especially Lana and Clark. Most episodes finish with an apology duel, where they try to out-apologise each other.
- As the title suggests, the lead character of the Britcom Sorry!
- Steve Urkel in a few Family Matters episodes.
- Ellen in Slings and Arrows. In her case, however, it's a clear case of passive-aggressive insincerity. People don't want her to apologise, they want her to start being on time and remember her lines!
- Sookie in True Blood
- This was part of why Amanda Kimmel came in third in Survivor: China, amongst other reasons.
- A Royal Canadian Air Farce episode had then-Justice Minister Allan Rock apologizing for claims his government made about former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. He then kept appearing throughout the episode to apologize for such things as breaking election promises, fatty foods, long line-ups at bank machines, and all the cold weather they'd been having that winter. Finally, he apologized for making so many apologies and told the viewers that this would be the last governmental apology of the evening . . . "and for that, we are sorry."
- Quite a few of the characters from Gossip Girl are guilty of this, Serena being the worst. Chuck averted it for the first couple of seasons by hardly ever apologising for all the jerkass things he did, but come season three he started apologising as much - if not more - than everyone else.
- In Crownies Richard is constantly apologising "profusely" to Judge Walker, usually because he's brought in uncooperative witnesses. She lampshades it in one episode, while she's forcing him to copy by hand a list of prior convictions that he'd given her without a chance to properly format them, while dealing with a sprained wrist. He then informs her that his wrist was sprained in a bike accident on the way to her lecture two nights ago. She reveals that the ambulance that picked him up also dented her Prius. He apologises. Profusely.
- Elizabeth on the ninth season of Hell's Kitchen. Television Without Pity's tagline for the episode in which she was eliminated read as follows: "Elizabeth's gone. She's sorry, you guys. She's so sorry. So sorry. Sorry sorry sorry! (Sorry.)"
Our apologies for having examples from Music
- REM's "So. Central Rain (I'm Sorry)", whose chorus is entirely made up of Michael Stipe yelling "I'm sorry!", while "The Apologist" is the same deal but with added "So sorry!"'s.
- The Vocaloid song Heta Lenka ends each refrain with Len letting out a long, clumsiness-induced "Sumimaseeeeeeeeeennn!!" ("I'm sorryyyyyyyyyyy!!")
- The Galaxie 500 song "Sorry".
Are you sorry that you love me
Am I sorry that I love you too
Seems it doesn't make a difference
That we're sorry all the time
Pardon us for having so few examples from Stand Up comedy
Please excuse that we have to resort to listing examples from Video Games
- Anju in The Legend of Zelda Majoras Mask.
- Colette from Tales of Symphonia. "I'm Sorry" is practically her Catch Phrase.
- In the sequel, Emil manages to take the trope even further.
- And in the original, Lloyd and Regal already did.
- Also in the original, Colette even [tauntingly] apologizes when she blocks enemy attacks.
- There's an NPC, a Yakuza member, in Raidou Kuzunoha vs. the Soulless Army, standing just inside of Fukagawa-Cho. He almost always says, no matter when you talk to him, "I don't mean to criticize ya..." It's almost his Catch Phrase, if an NPC can have one.
- In Eternal Sonata, Polka apologizes most of the times she's healed in battle, or after her turn of attacks. She tends to do it a lot outside of battle too.
- Fire Emblem 10 (Radiant Dawn) has a conversation where Rafiel would over-apologize. Ike suggests that he doesn't need to be so soft, prompting a confused Rafiel to apologize again (this is how he was brought up in the heron tribe).
- According to Nailah, all herons were like this, Reyson is an exception because he has spent to much time picking up manners from Tibarn.
- Wild Arms 4 - Yulie Ahtreide. Dear god, Yulie Ahtreide. How often she apologizes is even a point of discussion among the main party at one point! (She stops doing it eventually, though, after taking several levels in self-confidence...)
- Oichi from Sengoku Basara. Oh sweet heavens for the love of GOD... Oichi!!
Oichi: I'm sorry... This is all Ichi's fault... I'm so sorry, please forgive Ichi...!
- Definitely Talim in the Soul Series, at least in the third one.
- In the second game, Sophitia is the Apologetic Attacker. This doesn't make her any less vicious, however.
- Rina from Fading Hearts apologizes to Ryou at the slightest chance of offence or disappointment she may have caused, especially when her behaviour becomes more evasive as the Visual Novel goes on.
- Yuna from Final Fantasy X. She often apologises for doing stuff, even when Tidus walked in on her. For better or worse, she changes in Final Fantasy X 2.
- Sakura Matou from Fate Stay Night.
- Angela Orosco from Silent Hill 2 takes this to a depressing extreme.
I'm also sorry for listing examples from Web Originals and Web Comics
- Communitychannel Natalie Tran. Popular Australian youtuber. She either apologises for not making a video soon enough, or aplogogises for making one. Even after her most liked videos, like "We Just Touched Awkwardly" she apologeticly whispers "back to normal broadcasting, next video". She even titles some of her videos "Sorry, this is so crap" or "sorry it doubles but there are outtakes" or "sorry this isnt very good guys" or "sorry this is crap. late merry christmas/hsm/favourite songs" . She even has a video entitled briefly: "sorry"
- Dee in Tales of MU is anything but a Dojikko, but she apologizes at the drop of a cowl.
- Maddison Atkins, as Adam observes.
- Parodied in "Soh-ry", part of a self contained series of "Canadian Stereotype Comics" in Hark! A Vagrant.
- Modern day Germany in Scandinavia and The World, out of guilt for Nazi Germany's actions. (They're separate characters here.)
- Kieri from Slightly Damned, especially earlier on. At one point moves into Sorry I Fell on Your Fist territory when Kieri claims it is her fault that she was cursed by a spiteful demigod. Justified by how Kieri is strongly suggested to have had an abusive mother.
- You wouldn't expect it, but The Nostalgia Critic. For God's sake, his top fuck-up was not finding Optimus Prime's death depressing.
- The horribly abusive childhood of Jeremy MacConnor (Platinum Grit) has made him honestly believe everything to be his fault, and he apologises accordingly.
We regret that we didn't mention Western Animation earlier
- In Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman, Rocky (voiced by Kelly Ripa) is a klutzy scientist working for Wayne Enterprises that apologizes frequently, even if there is no reason. Though this is arguably a covers, making this a subversion of sorts.
- Wilt from Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends.
- Fluttershy from My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic.
Oh, were we arguing? I'm sorry.
Oh, sorry. I thought the open sign meant you were open, but I must have been mistaken.
You understand, don't you? You're not mad at me, are you? Please don't be mad at me!
- Victor in Corpse Bride is this from time to time, especially when he's around Victoria, his bride in an arranged marriage. (He's never seen her before, and he's shy and clumsy, desperate to hold on to his manners.)
- Fry does this while listening to his ex's story of what happened to her after he got frozen. He only apologies because he feels bad for her and he does it at times when it's completely unnecessary.
Michelle: But it did give me a chance to think...
Fry: I'm sorry.
Oh my, we forgot Real Life! Our apologies!
- This a common trait among people with low self-esteem and lacking trust and/or social skills. It's a defense mechanism to prevent rejection, violence or hostility that one feels directed towards him/her, but also to dodge and avoid a conflict.
- The apologizing when called out on it is often true because there's really nothing else to say to fair criticism.
"Um, we don't have any more examples. Sorry!"