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"Anything, you say? Hmmm."—Stock response
A stock phrase and a sentiment. A character, usually a sympathetic one, is all out begging another for a favor - or to be spared a cruelty.
If the other is ready to listen, expect to be doing anything. A particularly cruel villain will take the pleading character at their word, extort something out of them that they'd never agree to otherwise, and then gloat and commit the atrocity anyway. Hope against hope that it won't cross over into Scarpia Ultimatum territory.
Related to Ain't Too Proud to Beg, but this trope is more about paying any price, while the other is more about giving up pride and defiance. It shows up a lot in porn and slash fiction.
Compare Deal with the Devil, in which this is often Satan's cue.
Anime & Manga
- Ranma ½: Ranma actually uses it on Kuno in canon. Kuno has a wish granting sword and Ranma (female) offers to do "anything" if he uses the wish for her. Ranma of course intends to first get the wish and so become permanently male before paying up- thus being safe from any shenanigans- but Kuno asks for a kiss first. Ranma just can't do it.
- Axis Powers Hetalia: Italy says this when Germany finds him in a tomato box. Played for Laughs, obviously.
- Cecily in The Sacred Blacksmith offers to give Luke anything if he'll help her save Aria. "If it's money, I will work for you until the day I die. If it's my body, you can do anything you want with me." (Luke, being a Jerk with a Heart of Gold, helps out and doesn't ask for any reward.)
- Sorta used in the Fruits Basket manga. Broken Bird Rin Sohma offers to sleep with her cousin Shigure if he tells her how to break the curse of the clan. He actually declines said offer.
- A very squicky version occurs in Kimba the White Lion, in which an underaged cub Lea/Raya offered herself as a bride to the adult lion BuBu, in hopes of making him spare Kimba. Even Totto, Bubu's advisor seemed appalled by this.
- Guaranteed to make Yuuko's ears perk in Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle and XxxHolic. Lampshaded in one instance of the latter; Yuuko warns a customer desperate to have a magical photograph that shows her pushing another woman off a cliff destroyed that "one shouldn't say 'I'll pay anything' quite so easily." The customer insists, and so Yuuko grants her wish and names her price: the customer must never allow her image to be recorded on any kind of media ever again, or else her victim and crime will also appear in the recording. In today's society, with the prevalence of camera phones, security cameras, live TV broadcasts, and the like, she's essentially doomed herself to solitary house arrest for the rest of her life.
- If a girl ever says this in a hentai doujin, expect live eels or an enema kit to show up by the next page, if not the next panel.
- Gokujou Drops: Komari pleads with Yukio to sponsor her insisting that she'll do anything to return the favor.
- In an issue of Tales Of Suspense, Captain America tells the Red Skull that he will do anything Red Skull wants if he refrains from destroying all of the U.S.'s major cities with a gigantic energy weapon. Red Skull makes Cap promise to serve him for 24 hours, which Cap does (It was the Silver Age). Cue Red Skull gloating about it on TV and the Marvel Earth citizens, fickle morons that they are, screaming for Cap's blood.
- It's subverted in the first Cerebus comic to feature Red Sophia, in which she offers it to him after he beats her it a sword fight (she attacked)... and instead of having her do something... erotic, he uses her as a pack mule.
- An old joke involves a man in the desert who is so desperate about not having fucked for months that he wants to screw his camel. But the camel escapes every time. Then, the man finds a crashed plane, and rescue a beautiful girl from it. She proposes to do anything as reward. So the man asks her to hold the camel.
- There is a joke about a Brainless Beauty university student who needs to pass an upcoming exam. She comes to her professor's office, pose seductively, and offer to do "anything" for a good grade. The professor tells her to study for it, if she's really willing to do anything.
- A significant plot point in I Want a Refund. This trope is played with quite a bit. To elaborate, it is Invoked in an Inverted form, Subverted, Double Subverted, Triple Subverted, and then Subverted again.
- King Roland of Druidia in Spaceballs tells the hero Lone Starr that he'll pay anything if Lone Starr will rescue his daughter. Lone Starr agrees to do it for a million spacebucks (but, what with becoming a hero in the process of rescuing her, he ends up taking only 248 spacebucks for food, gas and tolls).
- A variation is used in Geppetto.
- For many tropers, when you hear Please, I Will Do Anything!, you think of this scene from The Princess Bride (too bad for the Count that he didn't have the "Anything" Inigo wanted...):
Inigo Montoya: "Offer me money."
Count Rugen: "Yes!"
Inigo Montoya: "Power, too, promise me that."
Count Rugen: "All that I have and more. Please."
Inigo Montoya: "Offer me everything I ask for!"
Count Rugen: "Anything you want..." *attacks again*
Inigo Montoya: *stabs Rugen* "I want my father back, you son of a bitch!"
- In Bent Max's general plan of escape from a concentration camp seems to be whatever it takes.
- Liliah in The Ten Commandments, to save Joshua,the result of which is her marrying Dathan.
- Jesse does this to his foster dad in Free Willy, when he's begging him to help save the whale.
- Lily in Harry Potter begs for baby Harry's life with "I'll do anything." It doesn't work, and she dies anyway. But not before making a Heroic Sacrifice that saves Harry's life.
- Snape also begs Dumbledore to help protect Lily from Voldemort with this as well. Dumbledore calls him out. It's more played straight after the calling out though.
Dumbledore: "And what will you do for me, Severus?"
Snape: "What will I do? ...Anything."
- In the Dark series Razvan begs with Evil Sorcerer Xavier for his daughter's life, saying "I'll do anything. That's a mistake when you're talking to a sorcerer and it enables Xavier to take possession of Razvans mind and body.
- David Gerrold's The War Against the Chtorr novel A Season for Slaughter. Jim McCarthy does this when begging Randy Dannenfelser for access to a prowler robot so he can look for "Lizard" Tirelli.
- A Series of Unfortunate Events: Violet says this to Count Olaf in the first book when she learns he captured her baby sister Sunny in a bird cage and dangled her from the window of his tower. Count Olaf's response is "Anything? Would you consider marrying me during the play tomorrow?"
Live Action TV
- In the Life Action TV show of Jin, Kyotaro, a samurai, privately begs actor Sawamura for money and declares he would do anything (though not with the exact words.) Sawamura tells him to "partake in a show" - that show being to prostrate himself before Sawamura in the streets and publically plead, which Kyotaro does.
- In Star Trek: The Next Generation, "Encounter at Farpoint", when Picard believes his away team to be in danger, he makes said bargain in exchange for Q bringing them back. When they're teleported to the bridge, he echoes the bargain to Picard. But it wasn't Q who brought them back, but the creature.
- Parodied in Blackadder Goes Forth when Blackadder discovers Bob, a woman disguised as a male soldier.
Bob: "Oh, sir, please don't give me away, sir! [...] I want to do my bit for the boys, sir."
Blackadder: "Oh. Really."
Bob: "I'd do anything, sir!"
Blackadder: "...yes, I'd keep that to myself if I was you, Bob."
- "Lost": Kate does one of these in "I Do" when Pickett is threatening to shoot Sawyer, but then Jack calls on the walkie-talkie Just in Time and saves the day, more or less.
- On Angel, Angel's sworn enemy, Holtz manages to get his hands on Angel's baby son, Connor. Holtz threatens to break his neck unless Angel allows him to take the baby away. Angel not only agrees but, when it seems like Holtz is faltering, begs him to simply take the boy, instead of hurting him.
- The beginning of the "Let's Go to the Mall" video that Barney shows on his laptop in an episode of How I Met Your Mother plays around with this trope.
- The Doctor says this pretty much word for word in the Season 4 finale when the Daleks captured him and his Tardis and make him watch as his Tardis (with Donna inside it) is sent to the core of the ship to be incinerated.
- In Torchwood: Children of Earth, Jack pleads with the 456 to spare Ianto's life when it released a virus in the building where both he and Ianto were.
- The Meat Loaf song I would do anything for love (but I won't do that).
- Believe it or not, the song was inspired by an argument over buying a box of raisins.
- Makes perfect sense, really.
- In Oliver!, the song "I'd Do Anything" is mostly one guy saying he'd do anything for a girl, and the girl making ridiculous or strange suggestions, to all of which he agrees. Then Fagin co-opts it, and does the routine with his gang of loyal street urchins, and his suggestions are a little darker.
- Though not stated in dialogue, in the Dream Ballet from Oklahoma Laurey suggests that she will do anything to have Jud spare Curly's life.
- In Salome, Herod makes a solemn vow to give Salomé whatever she desires after she has danced for him. When she demands the head of Jokanaan in a silver charger, he objects and suggests a Long List of priceless things he could give her. "Give me the head of Jokanaan", she insists.
- Order of the Stick: When Nale is annoyed that Sabine met up with another of her old flames, she suggests, to make it up to him, they could play "Evil Conqueror and the Innocent Virgin"; Nale says that this time, he gets to play the conqueror.
"Oh, no! I'll do anything to keep my parents from being executed, Your Evilness! Anything!"
- In Schlock Mercenary, Elf is captured along with several others. As their captor gives the command to kill Kevyn Andreyasn, Elf pleads with him and desperately says "I... I'll do anything." Subverted in that their captor is an alien and has no interest in human females, telling her contemptuously that she has "nothing with which to negotiate."
- According to Penny Arcade, this is the fifth stage of hacked-account grief.
- The Nostalgia Critic does this in the Tom and Jerry movie review, where he really doesn't want to listen to another song.
- Used as a Meaningful Echo in Disney's Beauty and the Beast:
- First when Belle is pleading for her father's life
- Second when Beast is hanging Gaston over the edge of the roof.
- In several episodes of SpongeBob SquarePants.
- Gargoyles: The Weird Sisters ask MacBeth what he would be willing to trade for Demona's aid in protecting his family and kingdom. He answers, "Anything."
- Used by Tahno in The Legend of Korra as he begs Amon not to take his bending away. It doesn't work.
- Something of a pornography staple, or so we've been told.