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"I am the law!"

A character declares him- or herself to be the sole representative of a group or abstract concept. The implication is often that they believe that they can speak for the entirety, and that their needs, wants, and thoughts and those of the group are one and the same.

Will usually come in the form of someone asking about X, with another character replying that they are X.

Not to be confused with Screw the Rules, I Make Them. Unrelated to I Am the Band. See also A God Am I and Badass Boast. A phrase like this is usually spoken with copious amounts of punctuation. Said phrases might also be lyrics to an "I Am" Song.

I am the examples!

I Am Advertising

  • Australian company Quicksilver Cruises claims, "Quicksilver is the Great Barrier Reef."
  • Charter Internet has introduced Timothy, who IS the Internet.

We Are Anime & Manga

  • Catherine II in Le Chevalier d'Eon: "I am Russia!"
  • In Death Note, we get this in stereo from Light and L: "I am... Justice!" They both use the same word for 'justice' but different ones for 'I.'
  • In Dragonball Z, when Goku first reaches the Super-Saiyan level he proceeds to lecture Frieza, the gist of which is "I am the hope of the universe!"
    • In Dragon Ball, when Staff Officer Black questions Commander Red's true motives, the commander udders this line: "I am the Red Ribbon Army. What's good for me is good for everyone and I want to be taller. All my life, I've drawn the short straw. I've had to contend with being a mere pebble in a land of giants. It is the curse of my existence. You couldn't possibly understand what it's like...the nightmare of being a genius...yet trapped inside this ugly little body?"
    • Piccolo says to Cell, "I am the Namek!" here
  • Setsuna F. Seiei from Mobile Suit Gundam 00: "I am Gundam!"

We Are Comicbooks

 Thanos: My skills, my power, are more than a body can provide! I move with the cosmos, held only by thought and never by flesh! I am Thanos, emperor of the universe! I AM the universe!

    • "I like you, Glorious Godfrey! You're a shallow, precious child -- the Revelationist -- happy with the sweeping sound of words! But I am the Revelation! The Tiger-Force at the core of things! When you cry out in your dreams -- it is Darkseid that you see!"
    • One early New Gods story ends with a scene that might just be Jack Kirby poking fun at Darkseid's fondness for saying this sort of thing.

 Mr. Miracle: Wow! Look at that dude! Have you been out in the storm all this time, Mister?

Darkseid: (not looking at him) I am the storm!

  • But not a wedding.
    • In Suicide Squad, one of Darkseid's associates, Granny Goodness, a godlike alien fighting a mere mortal, drops, "We are gods.  We don't aspire to cruelty; we are cruelty!" as she overpowers Amanda Waller. She then drops Amanda Waller.
  • In Bionicle:

 Zaktan: You think you know horror, Irnakk? Horror is looking into the eyes of the Shadowed One, knowing you are about to die... and then being forced to live. Horror is waking each day to see every part of your body moving on its own - a shifting mass of Protodites where once was solid metal and living tissue. Horror is what is in the eyes of your partners when they look at you... and in the cries of your enemies when your swarm engulfs them. Don't talk to me about fear, creature - I am fear!//

    • Later, when Big Bad Makuta manages to successfully pull off his Xanatos Roulette and become a Physical God, he tells the heroes, "No longer must I fight you in hopes of controlling a universe. I AM THE UNIVERSE!"
    • Earlier than that, when Makuta was confronted by The Mole of the Barraki - who claimed that under the Brotherhood Law, he has to be spared - right before he "spared" the Mole, Makuta's response was "Under Brotherhood law? I am Brotherhood law!"
    • Before any of that, in 2001, as part of his speech when the Toa come to destroy him (destroy being The Makuta's word here):

  I am destruction.

  • In Uncanny X-Men #423 Wolverine says "when it comes to mutants, we are the police!"

 Linkara: Well so much for Law and Order: Mutant's Division.

  • In One Hundred Bullets, Augustus Medici, the head of The Trust, is staring out his hotel window at the lights of the city below. He says they make him happy. The call girl in his room, wondering why, asks if he works for the power company. His response: "Work? No. I am the power company."

I Am Film

  • Judge Dredd contains his catchphrase (see the page quote), which he uses to attempt to scare a group of criminals into turning themselves in. It nearly works, but the gang members ultimately end up firing at him, forcing him to attack.
  • In Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, Palpatine says "I am the Senate!"
    • This is also the name of an awesome song on John Williams' soundtrack for the film.
  • In Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, Davy Jones is informed by one of his Mooks that Will must have been claimed by the sea, to which he replies "I am the sea!"
  • Antz

 Big Bad: Don't you understand? It's for the good of the colony! ( killing all the worker ants)

Z: What are you saying? We are the colony.

Big Bad: ( Shoved aside by Cutter) Cutter, what are you doing?!

Cutter: Something I should have done, long ago. This is for the good of the colony.

Big Bad: You useless, ungrateful maggot! I AM THE COLONY!

  • Chariots of Fire. Eric Liddel is trying to avoid running on Sunday and a friend makes a place for this. When one of the English grandees questions the legality of this, another says:

 That's a matter for the committee.

Then a third says "We ARE the committee".

  • RoboCop: "We practically ARE the military!"
    • Comes back to bite Robo in the ass too: "You thought you could just stroll in here and arrest me? You're product!
  • The 1990s TV movie Kingfish starred John Goodman as Governor Huey P. Long of Louisiana (on whom Willie Stark of All The King's Men was also based), and featured a scene where Goodman, in a Dixie accent similar to the one he had in O Brother, Where Art Thou?, bellowed "I am the constitution of the State of Louisiana!".
  • The Princess Bride:

 Miracle Max: Beat it, or I'll call the Brute Squad!

Fezzik: I'm on the Brute Squad!

Miracle Max (surveying the giant Fezzik): You are the Brute Squad!

  • "This ship IS England", Captain Jack Aubrey in Master and Commander.
  • Defied in Iron Man. After Tony declares his intent to run his company with "more responsibility and consideration for the country's greatest good", a reporter shows him pictures of Stark Industries weapons in enemy hands, accusing him of hypocrisy.

 Tony: I didn't approve any shipments

Reporter: Well, your company did.

Tony: Well I'm NOT my company.

    • Played straight in the sequel when he faces the congressional committee that is trying to confiscate his armor.

 Tony: I am Iron Man. The suit and I are one.

  Pinhead: What you think of as pain is a shadow. Pain has a face. Allow me to show it to you. Gentlemen, I... Am... Pain.

  • In Star Trek: First Contact Data and the Borg Queen discuss this about the Queen's statement of "I am the Borg". Data asks if this means she is their leader, so she replies, "I am the beginning. The end. The one who is many. I am the Borg." To which Data replies, "An interesting, if cryptic, response."
    • Given that the Borg Queen is apparently a personification of the Borg's collective intelligence, her statement was true.
  • In Raiders of the Lost Ark, as Indiana Jones is menacing to shoot a rocket at the Ark of the Covenant:

 Belloq: Indiana, we are simply passing through history. This [points at ark], this * is* history.

    • "I AM RIPPER! TEARER! SLASHER! GOUGER! I AM THE TEETH IN THE DARKNESS! THE TALONS IN THE NIGHT! I AM THE POWERFUL WAVES OF THE OCEAN! THE MIGHTY WIND IN THE AIR THAT BRINGS THE SOFT BREEZE IN THE MORNING? the, I am the, Dew upon the flowers that glisten in the sunlight?? The pleasant scent of freshly cut grass???, The giver of presents to small children, Igivehugswhennooneelsewillgivehugs. Mine is kindness and sweetness and cheer… i'm beowulf"
  • I Am Legend.
  • The Siege:

 William Devereaux: I am the law. Right here, right now, I am the law!

 Charles Michael Michaels: I am ice skating!

  • The Last Detail

 Bartender: Beat it, before I call the shore patrol.

Budusky: I am the fucking shore patrol!

 Milo: Hey, we're all rock 'n' rollers here?

Chazz: (pointing a plastic Uzi) You look like half a butt puppet! Do you know what it's like to be on the bill and to play for 15 minutes and the only people there to see you are the other bands and their girlfriends? Don't talk to me about Rock 'n' Roll! I'm out there in the clubs and on the streets and I'm living it! I AM ROCK 'N' ROLL!

 Rethrick: Still think you can change your fate, Mike? I AM THE FUTURE, MIKE!

I Am Literature

 God: I am that I am.

    • The sequel tries to top this:

 God 2.0: I am the way and the truth and the life.,BR>

God 2.0: I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.

      • Really that's most of the gospel of John.
    • Jesus also does it in the most minimalist way possible:

 Jesus: I AM.

 I will send you Torus's worst dream!

I AM Torus's worst dream!

 Assassin: Who are you?

Vimes: The Law, you sons of bitches!

 Jonathan Teatime: So I'd rather you didn't try any last-minute stuff.

Death: I AM Last Minute Stuff.

    • From the short story "Theater of Cruelty":

 Carrot: You see, sir, as I understand the law, you are an Accessory After The Fact. Or possibly Before The Fact.

Death: Young man, I AM the fact.

 The Archchancelor's Hat: I challenge. And those who will not face me must follow me, in accordance with the Lore.

Wizard: Whereabouts in the Lore?

The Archchancelor's Hat: I embody the Lore.

  • Rand al'Thor from The Wheel of Time: "Come against me, if you dare! I am the storm! Come if you dare, Shai'tan!"
  • I Am the Cheese.
  • In The Thrawn Trilogy, the Noghri object to their sovereign Grand Admiral Thrawn breaking their rules by having a commando under suspicion taken to his ship rather than being tried by their elders. He doesn't like this. He doesn't like this at all. In fact, when the maitrakh keeps protesting he reminds them of what it means to defy the Empire by ordering an airstrike on the hills around him - and on Honoghr, where most of the planet is barren, this is really bad.

  "I am the law on Honoghr now, maitrakh. If I choose to follow the ancient laws, I will follow them. If I choose to ignore them, they will be ignored. Is that clear?"

 Drefan: You don't even have your weapon.

Richard: I am the weapon.

  • From Prince Caspian, the werewolf boasts - "I am hunger. I am thirst. Where I bite, I hold till I die" - and goes on.
  • Neil Gaiman's American Gods: Shadow asks Czernobog (who is smoking a cigarette) if he's frightened of getting cancer. Czernobog scoffs, "I AM cancer. I do not frighten myself."
  • Kelsier and later Vin in Mistborn: "I am Hope."
  • In Ethan of Athos, when interviewing the telepathic Terrance Cee for possible recruitment:

 Elli: Of course not. Not on our own people.

Terrance: Lady, when this thing is activated, I am the other people.

  • In the RCN story The Way to Glory, Daniel becomes aware of an Alliance spy and sets a trap for him with Adele's help. When it goes badly -- the spy is killed and the admiral he was duping forms a grudge against Daniel and Adele -- he frets that perhaps he should've instead reported the matter to the proper authorities. Adele points out that as an agent of Cinnabar's intelligence service, "I am the proper authorities," and nothing the admiral says will outweigh Adele's report on the incident.
  • Sherlock Holmes on his brother Mycroft:

  "You are right in thinking that he is under the British Government. You would also be right in a sense if you said that occasionally he is the British Government.”

  "I am the law, and I am the judge! I am the oppressed, and there is the oppressor!..."

I Am Live-Action TV

 Kira: You're part of the Dominion, aren't you?

Female Changeling: Part of? Major, the Changelings are the Dominion!

  • In Angel, as the title character tools up for the big fight scene...

 Angel: You're driving.

Doyle: Wait a minute! No, no! I'm not combat ready, man. I'm just the messenger!

Angel: And I'm the message.

  • In season three of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, during the aftermath of Faith's murder of a fellow human being and the ensuing angst, Faith says to Buffy: "We don't need the law, we are the law!"
  • In Stargate SG-1, the Goa'uld have a tendency to yell "I am your god!" at defiant foes. The Wraith in Stargate Atlantis go for the somewhat more disturbing "I am your death."
  • The West Wing:

 Donna: [Despairing of the nigh-impossible process of getting travel expenses reimbursed] We're getting beat by the system, Josh.

Josh: We are the system, Donna.

Donna: ...well, we suck!

    • Also, when Donna had described him as not practicing law: "I don't practice law? I help write the laws! I make the laws! I am the law!"
    • And later:

  Leo: You don't pick losing candidates and usher them to their principled end. You're the guy who takes good men and makes them great. You and Josh still think you're barking at the heels of the party - you are the party!

 Random civilian: Get out of here before I call the police!

Cop: I am the police!

 Olly Reeder: "Are you out of the loop?"

Malcolm Tucker: "Fuck you Andy Pandy, I am the loop..."

  • From Trailer Park Boys we have the alcoholic Jim Lahey, who is the liquor.
    • "Against the law, is it Randy? Well I AM THE LAW! Go get the chains and orange gag balls."
  • From 24 Season 2 we got:

 Civilian: Get out or I call the police!

Jack Bauer: I AM the police!

  • Rather like The Thick of It above, the ever-popular Scenes from a Hat from the even-more-popular Whose Line Is It Anyway? has these suggestions for "announcements that will make this audience cheer wildly":

 Ryan: "In ten minutes, we bring out the liquor!"

Wayne: "I'm the liquor licker!"

  • In one episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000, Dr. Forrester told TV's Frank to push the button and Frank said, "I am the button!" He was acting high at the time, though.

I Am Music

 Javert: I am the law, and the law is not mocked!

 I am the angel, I am madness

I am the word, I am the law

I am holding truth, release your sadness

I am the key, I am the door

I Am Professional Wrestling

We Are Tabletop Games

  • Konrad Curze from Warhammer 40000: "I fear no evil. For I am Fear Incarnate!"
    • The Canticle of Absolution of the Grey Knights.

 I am the hammer!

I am the hate!

I am the END!

We Are Theatre

  • At the end of the opera Paul Bunyan, The Unseen title character is asked who he is, and he says:

 Where the night becomes the day,

Where the dream becomes the fact,

I am the Eternal Guest,

I am Way,

I am Act.

We Are Videogames

 Callo Merlose: "It's far too dangerous! We must wait for reinforcements!"

Ashley Riot: "Reinforcements? I am the reinforcements."

 Shepard: Better for humanity? Or just Cerberus?

Illusive Man: Cerberus is humanity.

    • Don't forget Aria:

 "I am Omega."

    • According to Javik, the Protheans invoked this trope right and left. There's an avatar, a "voice" of just about everything. He is the avatar of vengeance. He later proclaims Shepard to be the avatar of victory.
  • From Command and Conquer Red Alert:

  Kane: I am the future.

    • And in the Firestorm expansion to Tiberian Sun.

 Slavik: I AM Nod!

  • In the Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi games (which feature a moderately changed script from the movies/anime), when Goku goes Super Saiyan against Frieza, Frieza, displaying visible fear, asks "What ARE you?" and Goku comes back with ""I am the hope of the universe. I am the answer to all living things that cry out for peace, I am protector of the innocent, I am the light in the darkness, I am your WORST NIGHTMARE, FRIEZA!"
  • An example of Kain's dry sense of humour in Legacy of Kain: Blood Omen 2:

 Duncan: "Restricted area. This passage is for night shift workers only."

Kain: "I am the night shift."

    • The Elder God often speak of himself this way. From Soul Reaver 2 and Defiance:

 Elder God: "I am the Engine of Life, the source of Nosgoth's very existence. I am the hub of the Wheel, the origin of all Life, the devourer of Death."

Elder God: "I am the still center of the turning wheel, the hub of this world's destiny."

Elder God: "I am the Wheel and its turning. I am the circle of life and death."


 (the beginning of the story)

Remember me!

Need me!

I can provide you with everything!

I am love.

Find me, and walk beside me.

 (the final battle)

I am light.

I am darkness.

Half of myself is what

You have fought in the past.

I create, I destroy.

And I create again.

I am love.

--Goddess of Mana, who is the final boss.

  • From his themesong: "I am the Eggman! That's what I am, I am the Eggman! I got the Master Plan..."
    • My name is Shadow the Hedgehog. I am the world's Ultimate Lifeform.
      • Shadow's spinoff title also featured the themesong "I am". It actually averts this trope but is an I Am song and contains some Shaped Like Itself with it's chorus "I am, I am I'm all of me."
      • Also, every ending of this game has Shadow starting with, "I am Shadow the Hedgehog...", includes the noun of what he believes he is (depending on the path you chose), a speech, and then ending with "...this is WHO I AM!"
  • In World of Warcraft, Deathwing gets this just before the final battle.

 Deathwing: I am Deathwing. The Destroyer. The end of all things. Inevitable. Indomitable. I! AM! THE CATACLYSM!

 "I am the deadly shadow and the bird of prey. I am the poisoned dagger that brings swift death!"

 Mr. James Wong: You are nothing, Tequila! I am Hong Kong!

We Are Web Comics

 Homestar: Strong Bad, so I see you decided to join the other side, eh?

Strong Bad: What joining? I am the other side!

We Are Web Originals

 Death: Lo. I have become death. Stealer of pie.

 Receptionist: Your agenda.

Keynes: That won't be necessary, I am the agenda.

 The Cinema Snob: You're out of order, they're out of order! The whole system is out of order!

The Nostalgia Critic: I am the system!

Snob: I know you're the system! That's my point!

Critic: I know it's your point! It's just when you say that I'm out of order and the system's out of order it's kind of redundant!

I Am Western Animation

  • South Park used this in reverse, in a somewhat more...belittling manner.

 This is deeply offensive to the Jewish community!

You are the Jewish community!

 I am the terror that flaps in the night!

I am the offtopic discussion that ruins your YKTTW!

I am Darkwing Duck!

  • Batman was a triple threat in Batman the Animated Series: "You are NOT my father. I am NOT a disgrace. I am Vengeance. I am the Night. I AM Batman!"
    • When the pilot episode of the animated series was scripted out, Batman's first scene was going to be fairly similar to how it was in the recent Tim Burton Batman movie from 1989, but meddling executives made them change it because they felt it was too frightening for children, particularly as this was the first episode and they wanted to hook the audience first. Like in the movie, at the end of a fight Batman grabs a thug and holds him over the edge of rooftop. The criminal defiantly yells, "Who do you think you are?! You can't rule the night!", to which Batman coldly declares "I *am* the night!" and drops him off the building.
  • "I am become Gigabyte, destroyer of systems!"
  • Cat R. Waul from An American Tail: Fievel Goes West says something along these lines.

  Cat R. Waul: "Simply put, mouseling, I am the law here, and you are a mere hors d'ouevre."

 Waspinator: "Wait! Need plan! Wazzpinator in charge!"

Dinobot II: "I am the plan."

    • Also from Beast Wars:

 Optimus Primal: Megatron, don't! Their power is beyond what you can imagine. You can't control it!

Megatron: I am power.

 STORM SHADOW: Anyone can use a weapon, but the ninja is a weapon.

(Proceeds to dismantle a tank with his bare hands.)


  • Popeye says "I yam what I yam, and that's all what I yam." Depending on how you interpret this rather philosophical statement, this is either the straight trope or a defiant aversion.
  • American Dad:

 Roger: You want me to leave this nation? I AM THIS NATION!

I Am Real Life

  • "You think you are the State? No, I am the State." - Louis XIV
    • Interestingly subverted by his last words: "I am dead, but the state will survive".
      • The two statements are in fact entirely consistent: French law considered the king the personification of the nation, but the new king ascends instantly upon the death of the old king. Therefore, Louis XIV's great-grandson Louis XV (his son and grandson, both also named Louis, died a few years before Louis XIV did) became "the state" at the moment of his death. Thus the phrase, "The King is dead. Long live the King."
    • This is consistent with the idea of the Divine Right of monarchs, where the king or queen is seen as the source of all law and political authority in his or her domain. In this framework the monarch is above the law. This is why you'll see similar statements from almost every European ruler from the Renaissance to the modern age.
      • Even where monarchs are firmly constitutional, they frequently are the legal embodiment of the state. For example, where American criminal cases are The People or The State v. Whoever, British and Commonwealth Realm cases are Regina (the Queen) v. Whoever.
  • France seems to like these: "The Revolution is over: I AM The Revolution." - Napoleon
  • The name of the comedian escapes memory at the moment, but he put on a skit about two people going on a date for the first time. They would sit down and take turns plunking down cards with all of their emotional problems.

 Man: Look, I'm neurotic. I need to see other people. (Plunk!)

Woman: I'm schizophrenic; I AM OTHER PEOPLE!!!

Man: Okay! Take the pot. You win.

  • Salvador Dali: "I do not take drugs. I AM drugs."
    • Also, when asked to define surrealism, he answered "I am surrealism."
  • Portly Miami sports radio talk show host Hank Goldberg once dealt with an obnoxious caller by subverting this for humor:

 Caller: You don't know anything about basketball!

Hank: What do you mean? I AM a basketball!

Doubly funny, considering that a self-deprecating sense of humor is normally one of the last things that one would associate with Goldberg.
  • While they (to my knowledge) never explicitly said "I am the State", Those Wacky Nazis spent much of their time and effort in promoting that image. For example: "Ein Volk, ein Staat, ein Reich, ein Führer. (One people, one State, one empire, one leader)" - Adolf Hitler.
  • In an interview, Amy Lee from Evanescence declared "I AM Evanescence."
  • Fidel Castro said of Che Guevara, 'he WAS the revolution'.
  • Roy Bean, while serving as a Justice of the Peace, often called himself "Law West of the Pecos". See here.
  • Stephen Colbert of The Colbert Report claims, "I know western culture, I am western culture.
  • Jorge Luis Borges' "A New Refutation of Time": "Time is the substance from which I am made. Time is a river which carries me along, but I am the river; it is a tiger that devours me, but I am the tiger; it is a fire that consumes me, but I am the fire."
  • A rather tragic case with Pacific Southwest Airlines Flight 1771 with David Burke killing the pilot but not before proclaiming "I'm the problem".


  1. Amen!
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