All of the Other Reindeer

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The feeling that you are not needed by anyone in this world...


A character is surrounded by people who constantly put him or her down, usually because of some trait that is integral to them being a hero or villain. It seems the only responses one can make to this are the extremes: "put up with it silently" or "guess you don't need me." And, in worst case, take the Irrational Hatred to heart and start hating oneself. All the other Muggles will look down on the hero even as they're Dying Like Animals.

If a hero, the character will constantly show their virtue by putting up with it and saving their tormentors' lives again and again. Said tormentors will be grateful for about five seconds (that is, until the end of the episode), and then start it up again. There's only two settings for the hero. Stiff upper lip, or abandoning his tormentors completely. The hero's putting up with this borders on being masochistic. Few attempts are made to truly change their situation, unless it's "going too far and abandoning people entirely," (which they'll regret considering and go right back to it again.) It's not uncommon for a disillusioned hero, however, to undergo a Ten-Minute Retirement as a result of such poor treatment. As a result of this, crime and mayhem will usually skyrocket, the Muggles and mundane authorities will be unable to cope, and a slightly humiliating backtracking will be necessary as they beg the hero to come back and clean the mess up. Of course, once the hero does come back, they had better not expect gratitude; the Ungrateful Bastards may immediately start picking on them again as soon as the mess is cleaned up. This is, unfortunately, sometimes Truth in Television; see below.

If a villain, they'll inevitably explode and slaughter their tormentors, to the barely disguised envy of the audience, who may end up on his side. Oh, the hero will stop them eventually, but not before most of those who wronged the villain are taken out. Afterwards the villain will ask the hero why he didn't use his powers for evil given the rough treatment.

One of the usual problems facing a Plucky Girl. Fear of this happening is a common motivation for I Just Want to Be Normal. Compare the parental Why Couldn't You Be Different?. Often collides with Fridge Logic when you realize people are Bullying a Dragon. This is also a major problem when Individuality Is Illegal. They can make you go What the Hell, Townspeople? Compare Of the People and My Species Doth Protest Too Much.

Bonus points if, like Rudolph, the character in question is actually a reindeer.

Related to Fantastic Racism, Never Accepted in His Hometown, Internalized Categorism and Klingon Scientists Get No Respect.

Not to be confused with Olive the Other Reindeer. Nor with Sorry, Billy, But You Just Don't Have Legs.

Examples of All of the Other Reindeer include:


Anime and Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Never ever more literally than Tony Tony Chopper from One Piece, who is an actual reindeer. Even when he didn't have devil fruit powers, he was still picked on for having a blue nose, and when he did eat the devil fruit, he was violently thrown out of the herd.
    • Robin might also qualify. The children initially ostracize her because of her Devil Fruit power. When she's forced on the run, she can't find anyone willing to take her in without succumbing to fear of the government closing in on them for harboring her or betraying her for the bounty money until she meets the Straw Hats.
    • Ace was a bit of an odd case as this trope goes. It turns out his dad was Gold Roger himself. When he was growing up, though, the entire world considered the guy a Complete Monster, and seemed to spend a lot of time badmouthing him and any children he might have had, never aware that such a child actually existed and was right there listening, so Ace himself wasn't a specific target to them. Didn't stop Ace from taking it personally.
  • In Trigun, Vash the Stampede is universally hated/feared/hunted by everyone. The best he can hope for is being asked to leave a town and the worst is to watch as those trying to kill him destroy yet another town/city and kill innocents. To make matters worse, his heart of gold causes him extreme guilt over these incidents. Yet he still is always there to save them.
    • Also shown in the episode where he and Wolfwood visit the flying city only to be hated by most of the inhabitants.
  • Suzaku Kururugi from Code Geass fits this for the majority of the first season. Then his Chronic Backstabbing Disorder starts acting up.
  • A lighter version of this is shown in Spider Riders with Grasshop. He also qualifies as the ultimate Butt Monkey at times.
  • In Elfen Lied, Lucy kills all the other kids at her boarding house when they laugh at her after they'd beaten to death the puppy that she had started caring for. Later, thinking she has been betrayed by Kouta, she goes on a massive slaughter rampage.
  • In Fruits Basket, Tohru Honda was ostracized as a little girl by her kindergarten peers. In fact, the title of the series lampshades this trope: after the kids humiliate her during recess, Tohru thinks "there's no place for me, a rice ball, in a fruits basket."
    • In a more direct sense, after Tohru's father, Katsuya, died when Tohru was three years old, many of her relatives on her father's side looked at Tohru and said, "A girl like this is no consolation," because she didn't look like Katsuya. Said adults had the nerve to say this during Katsuya's wake/funeral. In Tohru's face. When they were supposed to be offering their condolences to her. Tohru's paternal grandfather summarizes it best; Tohru's silence to these comments may have allowed the relatives to think that they were speaking to an otherwise mindless child, but children are capable of listening contrary to what adults think, and they are especially prone to take such 'mindless' comments to heart. Tohru's mannerisms as she grows up are a result of such comments, and, in some ways, this pushes her into the Stepford Smiler territory.
  • Tamahome of Fushigi Yuugi reveals he was nicknamed "obake-chan" and tormented as a child because of the mark on his forehead, which designates him as a Suzaku warrior (and hence somebody who will help save the entire kingdom).
    • And fellow warrior and vitriolic best bud Tasuki immediately deflates Tamahome's big heroic moment by agreeing with "obake-chan." (Tasuki is next seen soaring into space as he screams.)
    • Parodied in the omake "The Tale of the Forbidden Women's Hot Spring Resort": The Suzaku and Seiryuu Seishi miff each other off with Amiboshi and Suboshi as media:

Tasuki: They must know your childhood nickname!
Tamahome: (pre-Berserk Button stage)
Amiboshi: Tamahome, take it easy! I'm not the one writing this stuff!

  • Mikan of Gakuen Alice is abused by classmates, teachers and her once-best friend.
    • This may be different on the manga, but at least the best-friend abuse lasted for five seconds... Unless she feels Mikan is acting stupid or wants her to stop being sad, Hotaru is the first to jump to Mikan's defense. And the classmates and at least two teachers warms up to her pretty quickly too.
  • Girls Bravo has Yukinari who was bullied and beat up by girls all his life. This is what causes him to get hives whenever he is touched by a girl.
  • In Inuyasha, the title character was bullied and picked on for his half-demon heritage his whole life. Even his own friends don't listen to him or make fun of him half the time.
  • Tsunayoshi "Tsuna" Sawada in Katekyo Hitman Reborn is referred to as "No-Good Tsuna" by many of his classmates, and put down for his bad grades by his teachers in front of the classes regularly, as well as for his lack of social and athletic skills. Even when he's trying his hardest to change for the better, people still manage to dash his hopes flat like a pancake. Reborn his at home tutor also initially spends more time criticizing Tsuna than actually praising him, though he gets slightly nicer, but his taunting never does stop. Perhaps, though, he is doing it for Tsuna's sake to provoke him into doing something about the teasing. His own mother frequently belittles him even though she clearly cares for him, and she becomes nicer in the later volumes when Tsuna becomes less of a loser.
  • Shinji Ikari from Neon Genesis Evangelion. Poor kid can't catch a break even though he saves lives and risks his own life in return. He is the Butt Monkey after all.

Asuka: (repeated line) Baka Shinji!

  • Momo Adachi in Peach Girl is a victim of bullying by a few of her classmates, strangers, and Sae, though Sae tries to make it seem like Momo is the one bullying her, throughout the course of the series.
  • Sailor Moon. Put down by her own friends, comrades, and guardians frequently. Even Mamoru isn't exempt from engaging in the teasing. Though, none of it's out of hatred: they're not above of telling her she sucks, but they all do care for her very much, and would gladly die for her when push came down to shove. And they do. Twice.
    • The R Movie has a scene that shows how all of the Inner Senshi were like this. Ami/Mercury was rejected for being a Teen Genius (and mistaken for an Insufferable Genius), Rei/Mars was shunned for her Psychic Powers, Makoto/Jupiter was feared for her Super Strength, and Minako/Venus was thought less of for "pretending to be Sailor V." Then, Usagi came into their lives and saved them from their loneliness. The scene as a whole happens when Fiore is torturing Usagi to almost death after she pleas for him to spare the kidnapped Senshi's lives... and they throw themselves at Fiore's feet and claim that, if not for her, they'd be alone in the world. Heartbreaking.
      • Whether this was in the american version or not, the german version showed that Minako was an outcast due to being a loner and appearing stuck-up - due to her leaving or disappearing so often to work as Sailor V.
      • Rei is popular at her school though, but the movie was separate from series continuity (e.g. it shows Usagi and Mamoru meeting as children).
    • This is actually an anime-only thing. In the manga, Usagi matures very fast and the other girls respect her a lot. They are never shown to make fun of her, or tease her. Rei is also a lot more reserved and more of a loner in the manga, but I digress.
  • In School Days, rich and pretty Kotonoha is bullied by Otome and her Girl Posse. Later, Setsuna also bullies her, in an attempt to keep her away from Makoto and make sure he goes to Sekai. It Got Worse, although the worst of it didn't fall on Otome or anyone in her immediate circle of Jerkass friends.
    • Otome got slightly redeemed because she straightforwardly told Makoto that he was an asshole and removed herself out of the picture, after learning about Sekai's possible pregnancy. No excuse for the rest, though.
    • Also, Setsuna had to go live abroad, which is arguably a sort-of punishment considering how she ended up completely alone in France, how had a crush on Makoto but didn't get to tell him, and how she wasn't around to stop Sekai and Makoto's death.
  • Naruto plays this trope straight with the titular character himself, who was ignored, mistreated and/or possibly physically abused for most of his life by the villagers of Konoha because of his status as the Jinchuuriki (demon host) of the 9-Tailed Fox, due to the belief that he's the actual incarnation of the demon itself. This goes right into Bullying a Dragon territory, considering that a sufficiently distressed Naruto would be capable of releasing the Fox, which is one of the most powerful entities in the Naruto-verse, capable of creating tsunamis and leveling mountains, and single-handedly responsible for killing mass numbers of shinobi and nearly destroying Konoha. Fortunately, Naruto simply wants to protect his fellow villagers and gain their acceptance. After defeating Pain, he's now the village hero.
    • Naruto wasn't completely alone back in the old days, though. He did have one ally, Iruka Umino, who even now doubles as his default guardian and surrogate big brother. In fact, Iruka, himself an orphan since he was very young ( in fact, he was orphaned by the Nine-Tailed Fox), was motivated to be there for Naruto because he himself was a survivor of years of All of the Other Reindeer treatment, which he dealt with by acting out in a similar way to the little jinchuuriki.
    • The villagers of Suna learned the consequences of bullying a Jinchuuriki when Gaara, the 1-Tailed host, went Ax Crazy from the mistreatment, forcing everyone, including skilled veteran ninja and his own siblings, to trend very carefully around him. After Naruto beats some sense back into him, he eventually becomes the respected and beloved leader of the village that had previously feared and hated him.
    • According to Deidara, the two Jinchuuriki Akatsuki captured before Gaara were outcasts in their villages, and no one tried to rescue them. The trend is downright turned on its head with Killer Bee, the eight-tailed Jinchuuriki. Turns out he's an extremely beloved member of his village, and when that village, particularly the Raikage and his own students, find out that he's been captured, they are pissed (though their mood changes to sheer annoyance when they find out that Bee gave his would-be captors the slip and went off on an unauthorized vacation).
      • Though it's later revealed that when he was a kid, even Bee's treatment fell under this, and it's only later that he becomes as respected as he is now.
      • It's also implied that they searched for Nii Yugito but never found the kidnappers in time to save her.
    • Due to the extensive use of clans with bloodline powers during the Land of Water's many civil wars (as well as events like the Ax Crazy Kaguya clan's war against Kiri), the people of that region have a general dislike of people possessing special bloodline powers, to the point of occasionally attempting anti-bloodline genocides. They eventually elect a woman with two bloodline powers to become the fifth Mizukage, suggesting that the trend is changing at least somewhat.
    • Chouji being shunned for being fat, until Shikamaru stands up for him and later he gets in the Ino-Shika-Chou trio.
    • When she was younger Sakura was always teased and made fun of because of her big forehead; after Ino began to stick up for her she began to get more out going.
    • The anime implies that Hinata was subject to this treatment, with the children thinking that she thought herself better than them because she was from the Hyuga clan, when in fact, the opposite was true, and she felt inadequate.
    • Rock Lee was shunned as well for not being able to use ninjutsu or genjutsu (and very little taijutsu) while in the Academy, and things didn't look up for him until he met Guy.
  • You can't really blame Soukou no Strain for having this trope in droves. It is, after all, based very loosely on A Little Princess.
  • Makino Tsukushi of Hana Yori Dango saves the trio of obnoxious popular girls that bully her multiple times (often from her vengeful boyfriend), but they continue to attempt to torment her throughout the series.
    • Tsukishi also saved Sakurako after the girl when to great lengths to torment her because she wanted Tsukasa, who was then interested in Tsukushi, to find her attractive after he called her ugly as a child. They became sort-of friends after that.
  • Bleach's Toushirou Hitsugaya was a victim of this when he was a child. In his own words...

Hitsugaya: "They're scared of me. It's not like I did anything bad to them, but... Even then, I could tell they were afraid of me (...) The only ones who aren't are Hinamori and my Grandmother."

    • See also: Sajin Komamura, who was treated like a monster due to being a huge anthromorphic canine. Before being a Shinigami, at least. when Kenpachi destroyed his mask, no one made any comment about it more than a little surprise about what his appearence was. Since then, he never used his mask anymore.
    • Among the humans, Ichigo Kurosaki and Orihime Inoue also were bullied for having red hair. Ichigo is often mistaken as a delinquent for his bright red hair, Orihime has hers forcibly cut by a bunch of older girls and stays alone until Tatsuki befriends her.
    • UNMASKED shows Ulquiorra Cifer being kicked from his clan due to one thing; he had armor, no one else did.
      • It's actually implied that they tried to kill and/or eat him because of it and he had to run to live (the next panel shows him wandering the desert with an injured arm).
  • Kaleido Star: Sora Naegino. That's all.
  • Shishioh Gen from Kekkaishi is notable for being treated little better than a dangerous animal even in a group of superpowered freaks and outcasts. This, however, might be explained by the fact that the head of this group is a Manipulative Bastard who likely had special plans for Gen.
  • Ippo from Hajime no Ippo used to be heavily bullied at school. In fact, he's introduced to boxing when Magnificent Bastard Takamura saves him from his most usual tormentor, the delinquent Umezawa (who later matures, stops bullying Ippo and comes to befriend him)
  • The spirit-sensing heroine in a short manga story is viciously abused when her "gift" is revealed. While she tries to be The Stoic, the ghostly schoolboy she's trying to help attempts to Kill'Em All by showering them with glass. Ironically this causes the classmates to believe her and they apologize profusely.
    • What short manga story?
  • This is a major problem for espers in Zettai Karen Children. The Big Bad went on the Kill'Em All route years ago after being betrayed by his superior. Minamoto's job is to make sure the Children don't follow suit.
  • In one episode of Shigofumi, the focus character is the only one with the courage and goodwill to help a bullying victim out. The victim ends up DEAD, and he becomes the next target of bullying because he'd try to help any other target. Eventually, some of the bullies try to kill him, so he attacks and nearly kills one of them in self-defense. In one of the stupidest examples of If You Kill Him You Will Be Just Like Him ever, the main character then implies that he's evil for doing so.
  • Pokémon Special. Turned out Emerald was teased for being an orphaned midget who couldn't do much of anything without some help from rather friendly Pokémon. He got so sick of the teasing that he pushed away the Pokémon who helped him and resolved to be more self-reliant. Not a bad philosophy, except that it alienated him from making any possible future friends he secretly wanted.
  • Lucia from Rave Master is implied to have been mistreated by the populace as a whole for being the grandson of the most hated man in history and the son of one of the most hated men alive. And by implied to have been mistreated, I mean locked up for more than half his life with that being the only excuse for his imprisonment while people spread rumors about him to make him the Rave Master universe's equivalent of the Boogeyman. He did not take it well.
  • Miranda of D.Gray-man grew up being relentlessly mocked by everyone she knew. And Allen himself, the main character. His strange left arm led to him being abandoned as a baby and looked upon with disgust and fear until Mana took him in.
  • Rosario Plus Vampire: Moka Akashiya was teased and bullied because of her vampire origins when she was a kid.
  • One of the main themes in Iris Zero, where 99% of kids are born with a power called an "Iris" that allows them to see things others don't. Kids without Irises, called Iris Zeros, are bullied and discriminated against. Complicating things, kids only started being born with Irises about 27 years before the series start. So, none of the adults understand the kids and their Irises, and therefore aren't making much of an effort to protect Iris Zeros from bullying. It's so bad that Toru, an Iris Zero, has a policy of "low exposure"-meaning he attempts not to stand out so no one will decide to beat him up after school.
  • Cima Garahau from Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory combines this with Butt Monkey for her backstory. She was tricked into killing the population of a space colony with poison gas, then her commanding officer foisted all the blame off on her to save his own hide. Because of this, she unfairly gained a reputation as a bloodthirsty psychopath, and the only people willing to work with her were soldiers from her home colony. Then near the end of the war, their colony is turned into a BFG, and that same commanding officer lost/never bothered recording the paperwork to show where the colonists were relocated, meaning Cima and her people have no idea where their families are. And then when Zeon lost the war and most of their forces retreated to the asteroid belt, Cima and her men were denied passage because of the gassing incident, forced to spend years eking out an existence and ducking The Federation. Is it any wonder she turns on the Zeons late in the series?
  • xxxHolic has Kimihiro Watanuki, who is insulted, bullied, ordered around and screwed over at every point. The fact that his "friends" do occasionally help him out of trouble (that he usually got into for their sake) is how we, the viewers, know that they care.
  • Lark from Crepuscule was bullied by his peers when he was five for having red eyes which were supposedly signs of being a vampire.
  • Natsume from Natsume Yuujinchou had this as a kid, because others were always calling him creepy or weird because of his ability to see youkai.
  • Little Seto and Mokuba Kaiba, the smartest kids in the Domino orphanage. Constantly bullied and picked on, with nobody to depend on but themselves. But then they got adopted, and look how well that turned out!
    • Also Kisara from the same series, who was bullied all her life because of her fair skin and white hair. Then it turns out that her mind is actually the Blue-Eyes White Dragon.
  • The eponymous character of Cat Eyed Boy. The son of a nekomata, he was born horribly deformed—he looks almost human, save for having the eyes of a cat, pointed ears, and claw-like fingernails. Other monsters see him as an enemy due to how human he looks, but he looks too inhuman for humans to see him as anything but a monster. He actually takes it pretty well most of the time, observing the world from the shadows, playing tricks on people, and interceding in supernatural events.


Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • Peter Parker, aka Spider-Man, in all of his incarnations. "With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility" is his mantra. For a while, it seemed like the only job available for someone with Super Strength and degrees in physics, biology, and chemistry is to sell pictures of himself as Spider-Man to an abusive idiot. He's moved into other fields for a time—one of the most brilliant recent ideas? High school science teacher—but tends to return to status quo. In a broader sense, other superheroes in the Marvel Comics universe tend to experience the same kind of thing from time to time, but Spider-Man's career is practically defined by it.
    • J. Jonah Jameson's anti-Spider-Man behavior is lampshaded in Marvels—and other works—as being motivated out of both jealousy and a widespread inferiority complex; when you have super-powered champions of humanity running around being selfless and heroic because they both can and choose to be out a genuine sense of heroism and nobility, it makes it a lot harder for ordinary people who can't and don't to measure up.
  • Sleepwalker put an interesting twist on this when the eponymous hero is often attacked by the very people he just helped because of his bizarre appearance. Sleepwalker got so fed up with their harassment that at one point he admitted he'd have stopped altogether, except that a few humans actually showed some appreciation. Even that didn't stop him from eventually becoming addicted to a special form of artificial light that essentially turned him into the alien equivalent of an alcoholic or a junkie.
  • X-Men. Despite the purpose for their existence being to show that mutantkind is Not So Different, they spend far, far too much time taking it on the chin from normals (and other Marvel Universe superheroes) for their mission to ever be given a serious shot at success. The Tagline for the comic used to be "Hated and Feared by a World They've Sworn to Protect!"
    • Ultimate X-Men is even worse. A huge crowd smashes Iceman's face with a bottle and begins attacking him the whole of three seconds after he saved their collective asses. This was toned down a bit once the book changed authors.
    • Various heroes have gone through periods of public hatred—even Captain America—and on the whole, Marvel is trying to be more even-handed these days...
    • Even several writers' attempts to kill Mutant Hysteria were either ignored (the X-Men being lauded as heroes after their "death" in Uncanny #226) or thrown out (the gains made by X-Statix and the outed Prof. X somehow wiped out by M-Day. You'd think having 99% fewer mutants would ease the paranoia, but then, with people like Reverend Stryker saying "It's a sign from God! Now's our chance!"...)
    • Among X-Men villains, Magneto is the exemplar of "kill 'em all," having been a Jew in Auschwitz even before anti-mutant hysteria.
    • X-Statix was an intentional inversion of this trope as it's commonly applied to mutants in Marvel Comics: The public loves X-Statix, a team made up of walking personality disorders like stuck up nerd Vivisector, the clinically confrontational and elitist Spike, and arrogant genius the Anarchist. Because, really, if you were a hot teenager with cool superpowers, people would adore you. Vivisector goes on TV to discuss the importance of fiction within fiction with Umberto Eco, Zeitgeist regularly has sex with supermodels, and U-Go Girl spun a semi-successful acting career out of her membership. The Anarchist even brings this up at one point - after starting what is essentially a traveling freakshow with himself and Dead Girl as the main attractions, he says it's different from how it looks. The people who come to see him aren't gawking at his misfortune, but clamoring to catch a glimpse of his majesty.
  • Evil Ernie (super-powered menace, published by Chaos! Comics and Devil's Due Publishing) started as an abused child who developed telepathic powers and discovered that everyone on his street knew his parents were abusing him but did nothing. So he snapped and murdered the entire street. In the asylum, he saw the hypocrisy and deceitful natures of the people who wanted to "help" him, and when their experiments gave him evil powers, he decided to kill as much of the human race as he could.
  • Empowered has to deal with this from the Super Homies, but most of them are like that anyways. Fortunately, there seems to be a slow shift in this from some of the nicer ones.
  • Marvels played with this - comics tells history of Marvel Universe, since first appearance of Golden Age Human Torch up to the death of Gwen Stacy, from perspective of average man, photographer Phil Sheldon. First we seen him and rest of people fearing and hating superhumans like Namor or Human Torch and how their attitude changes with appearance of Captain America (comics). In Silver Age Sheldon admires superheroes, but, like everybody else, hates mutants until he realizes they are Not So Different. Later he's disgusted when the general public starts to constantly bash superheroes for everything.
  • Rorschach and a group of bullies in Watchmen. Not a smart move on the part of said bullies, but it's Rorschach.
  • Mark Waid's comic Irredeemable explores this. Superman-Expy the Plutonian goes from being the world's greatest hero to being its most dangerous villain because during the ten minutes he spent up in space where he couldn't hear everyone begging for help and complaining about him behind his back a horrible disaster occurred because he entrusted a scientist with a piece of alien technology. Part of it is just that he snapped because he couldn't handle the failure, but part of it is that people were constantly ragging on him.
    • It is, however, played with with regards to exactly how much people ragged on him; he was still considered the world's most beloved hero, and although this incident certainly dented people's regard for him, it's implied that one of the reasons he snapped was because he was consumed by a desire to have everyone love him and couldn't tolerate any criticism whatsoever.
    • Similarly, Supreme Power featured Superman takeoff Hyperion, who has never had any friends and whose school life was extremely lonely due mainly to never having a normal or healthy family environment.
  • In the Luna Brothers Ultra the main heroine Ultra after a tabloid rakes through the coals. has the public turn on her, even after saving the city from a major disaster. Later at the Super Hero Awards ceremony she is ignored and booed. Until a man steps up and calls them on it. And the crowd changes it's tune.
  • The Batman villain Oswald Cobblepot (aka. "The Penguin") was born into a wealthy family. However he was also short, fat, and had a beak-like nose, which made him a prime target for the fellow society types of Gotham and his own family besides his mother. After putting up with years of constant abuse and scorn, he decided get his revenge by turning his mind to crime. His status as this is even referenced by the man himself in his Start of Darkness miniseries, Pain and Prejudice.

Oswald: Am I any better? Of course not. But I’m not any worse. Do you ever question it? Why you protect them? And why you drag me in here? Of course not. You know why? Because they look like one of you, and I...I look like one of me.

  • Horndog. Not any of the characters in the book, but the comic itself, which is called "the most hated comic on the planet"...by its publisher, no less (and its creator, too).


Fairy Tales[edit | hide]


Fanfic[edit | hide]

  • Enforced in Tokyo Mew Mew No Hope Left.
  • Sleepwalker bizarrely inverts this trope when he does this to himself. Although he's formed close friendships with many of the humans he's come to know on Earth and some of them have made an effort to make him feel like one of their True Companions, Sleepwalker himself still feels that he doesn't truly belong on Earth. Even the Thing, despite being turned into an orange, rock-skinned giant, can still relate to his humans in a way Sleepwalker never could.
  • The Dark Fic Nobody Asked is a very good deconstruction of this trope as played with in Invader Zim (see Western Animation below): In a world where Zim's successfully conquered Earth, Dib and all his classmates are now enslaved by the Irkens and condemned to (seemingly pointless) hard labor—and none of them can speak to or even make eye contact with Dib, out of guilt over the fact that they never believed him and treated him like crap. Later, when Dib manages to steal a ship and escape the planet to get help from the Resisty, until the last moment he debates with himself whether or not to just keep going, to abandon Earth the fate he feels it earned for itself. Ultimately, his hero complex wins out.
  • In The Secret Life of the Backyard Kids people treat Jorge poorly because he's a wizard and some people don't think wizards are "normal" humans.


Film[edit | hide]

  • In The Film of the Book How The Grinch Stole Christmas, The Grinch was bitterly teased as a child for being green and ugly. This turns him into a mean and nasty monster with a hatred for joy, especially Christmas. This was a complete reversal from the book, where he was just nasty and the Whos represented the spirit of Christmas in its purest form.
  • Film adaptations of Stephen King's Carrie as described in Literature.
  • In Hellboy II, Hellboy shoots a rampaging plant elemental to save a packed street full of people, all while carrying a baby he saved from a car that was about to be crushed. 10 seconds after he's done saving the people, the baby's mother starts yelling at him, "What did you do to my baby!" and a policeman pulls a gun on him. The people almost riot right then and there, until Liz steps in front of Hellboy and bursts into flames, which gets everyone to shut up
  • John Hancock in Hancock is a superhero who's also a filthy bum and a drunk. Although he saves people's lives and stops criminals, because he does it while causing truly epic amounts of property damage, he gets nothing but criticism for it, until Ray Embrey comes along. The public start coming around once Embrey teaches Hancock how to be a more likeable, more personable and less insanely destructive hero.
  • Star Wars: Jar Jar Binks. No really.
  • Maruti from The Return of Hanuman was hated because of him superhuman abilities and "bringing danger" to his friends, despite that he's the reincarnation of Hanuman himself.


Literature[edit | hide]

  • The Trope Namer is the children's story (later song) "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer". The title character is mocked by his fellow reindeer for his luminous red nose, until Santa turns up asking Rudolph's help as a navigation light for his sleigh. All of the other reindeer quickly change their tune when they realise Rudolph is now in tight with the boss, and unanimously declare Rudolph will go down in history.
  • Tobias in Animorphs, who was bullied and shunned in school before becoming a hawk nothlit.
  • The teenage main character of Stephen King's Carrie, whose torment at school and at home from her Moral Guardian zealot mother leads her to burn down the building at prom and later her own house with both her and her mother still in it.
  • Tom Riddle (a.k.a. Voldemort) vs. Harry Potter, and in a different direction, Snape vs. Harry. Tom was popular at school but bullied at home (much like Harry at first), while Snape was unpopular at school, and the victim of many—including Harry's own father. To be fair, it's never said that Tom was bullied. He was a loner but as far as we are told, Tom himself was the bully at his orphanage.
    • This is taken to the next level during Harry Potter and The Order of The Phoenix. Thanks to the Ministry of Magic, most of the Wizarding World believes that Harry's crazy and dangerous, and that the return of Lord Voldemort in the previous book is a lie, just because his scar hurts and he's a Parselmouth.
    • Subverted in Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows, when Dudley, who's been bullying Harry most of the story, stops doing it after Harry saves his life from the Dementors, and at the end thanks him for it, and believes in what he says about Voldemort. Until then, the Dursleys enforce this attitude towards Harry, telling everyone that he was a freak and deranged. The first book mentions that Harry has no friends at school because no kid wants to antagonize Dudley.
    • Luna Lovegood.
  • The Bible, making this Older Than Feudalism.
    • The Hebrew Bible
      • Joseph's treatment at the hands of his brothers in Genesis would also fit this trope.
      • Jephthah, in the Book of Judges, for being the Son of a Whore.
      • David's treatment at the hands of King Saul, after he singlehandedly killed Goliath.
      • Moses at the hands of Israel whenever things got bad, despite ten plagues, water from a rock, manna and quail from heaven, etc.
      • All of the prophets fell into this trope, with Jeremiah being the exemplar.
    • The New Testament
      • Jesus is often taunted and driven out of cities and eventually brutally tortured and crucified by the people he is ostensibly trying to save.
  • Drizzt Do'urden, for not being Exclusively Evil like his fellow Drow.
  • Mat Cauthon and most female characters in The Wheel of Time. Sort of subverted in that after three major characters continue mistreating him after he breaks into the most secure fortress in the world to try to rescue them, two other female characters force the first three to apologize.
  • In Graham McNeill's Warhammer 40,000 Horus Heresy novel False Gods, Magnus the Red thinks on how he retreated to Prospero to research sorcery away from prying eyes and wishes he could show the glories of the warp to his persecutors. On the other hand, he also thinks that the warp makes such antiquated notions as good and evil fall away, so the question of how unjustly he is treated remains.
  • Rudyard Kipling's poem Tommy perfectly illustrates this trope.
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events. The first book alone has them moving in with their Illegal Guardian Count Olaf who falsely promises to "raise these orphans as if they were actually wanted." Thus, the Baudelaires are forced to become servants for Count Olaf, who gives them a great number of difficult chores. They are also called names/ridiculed by Olaf and his troupe, and various other characters throughout each book. The fifth book especially is absolutely made of this.
  • In Hiccup: The Viking Who Was Seasick, the children's picture book that started off the How to Train Your Dragon series, this is virtually called out by name:

Vikings were enormous roaring burglars with bristling moustaches who sailed all over the world and took whatever they wanted. Hiccup was tiny and thoughtful and polite. The other Viking children wouldn't let him join in their rough Viking games.

  • Tamora Pierce's Circle of Magic series features four main characters who are each initially rejected by others for being: the lone survivor of a shipwreck and thus the ultimate of bad luck; a thrice convicted thief marked with X tattoos on his hands; a girl who is overweight and possessing immense but unrecognized weather magic; and a noble who moves a lot, disregards conventional noble classism, is obsessed with thread and weaving, and is also an orphan and sole survivor of a plague.
  • Andre Norton. All the time. Fortunately, they always get away somewhere else.
    • In Star Man's Son, a young mutant tries to get himself accepted as a Star Man despite the flagrant proof of his mutation, his hair.
    • In Ice Crown, the heroine is not taken seriously by her family.
    • In The Stars are Ours!, those of "Free Scientist" blood flee Earth into interstellar space
    • Humanity is treated like this in Star Guard by alien races.
    • In Catseye, Troy's refugee status causes embarrassment all around.
  • In the Star Wars Expanded Universe, we have Dorsk 81, an alien from a planet where they reproduce by cloning. Despite being supposedly genetically identical to his older clones, he has access to Force powers. Guess how the other clones treat him?
  • In The Wave, as the eponymous student movement sweeps the school, the few kids who don't join up find themselves victims of harassment, insults and physical assaults from their peers.
  • Shakespeare was fond of using this trope for his Big Bads. The title character of Richard III. Edmund in King Lear. Shylock in The Merchant of Venice.
  • In Skinned by Robin Wasserman, Lia is treated this way because she is a mech, or a person who died and had their brain uploaded into an android.
  • Star Trek: Ex Machina. The Vulcans in that novel demonstrate this trope in how they respond to Spock's newfound philosophy of balanced emotion. Despite his admirable personal and professional traits, other Vulcans on the Enterprise crew reject him entirely for failing to follow their cultural customs exactly. At least one requests a transfer rather than live with his presence.
  • In the Starfleet Corps of Engineers stories, Nasats treat P8 Blue and other "Quiets" like this. P8 Blue was regularly dismissed by her fellows and viewed as freakish or deformed. In fact, her differently-wired brain is a trait that lets her play a vital role in establishing relations with another race living on the Nasat homeworld. Naturally, P8 saves the day.

Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • In Doctor Who, the Doctor never seems to get any respect. If his own people, the Time Lords, aren't hounding him for being a renegade they're recruiting him to save them from their own incompetence or corruption. Many of the societies of planets he saves, including Earth's, are also lacking in gratitude and acceptance. This may be partly explained, however, by the fact that the Doctor has a tendency to suddenly show up out of nowhere at roughly the same time that weird things start happening and people start dying, and people tend to put two and two together to come to the conclusion that the Doctor's somehow responsible. Once he successfully proves that he is on the side of the angels and saves the day, in the classic series at least he generally tends to get a bit more respect and gratitude.
    • The Torchwood Institute was formed specifically to police the Doctor's activities, even though every time he comes to Earth, he saves the planet from alien destruction.
  • In Merlin, the titular character has to hide his magical abilities from the people of Camelot, despite the fact he saves their lives with it every single episode. Morgana would also count, considering Uther's attitude towards magic and her feelings of isolation and fear.
  • Oz: Beecher endures a lot of this in season one before he finally takes a stand against all the abuse, in a truly awesome fashion. He continues to endure various degrees of abuse/torment, mostly at the hands of Schillinger and the Aryans, for the rest of the series. However, Beecher isn't the only victim in this show...
  • Ditto with Prison Break.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer
    • Buffy is constantly ridiculed for her strength, even by those students whom she saves. However, at the Prom, she is given a "Class Protector" award by her classmates, recognizing how she always saved them from the strange things that happen in Sunnydale.Willow and Xander are her only friends in school, and everybody seems to consider her a violent and dangerous person with violent and dangerous friends (i.e. the vampires she fights) for most of the time. But by the end of school she's saved enough people for this to become common knowledge, and people realize they misjudged her. Part of it is because Buffy set her last school's gym on fire (it was full of vamp- asbestos).
    • Also Giles, who's shunned by his fellow Watchers and not allowed to attend the retreat in the Cotswolds.
    • The girl in "Invisible Girl" who was shunned so much she turned invisible
    • Wishverse "Puppy" Angel is another good example of this. And regular 'verse Angel from time to time as well.
  • The premise of the first season of Veronica Mars is that Veronica has gone from being a slightly silly blonde popular girl to being the slightly outcast character she is because of the mystery that drives the first season (the murder of Lilly). The second season is also driven by a Big Bad who becomes evil and twisted as a result of the same crowd's exclusion and abuse, providing a contrast between what spurs one character to heroism and the other to depravity.
  • Jack Bauer on Twenty Four. No matter how many times Jack saves America from terrorists, almost everyone shuns him or threatens his life. At this point, he's portrayed as a living martyr—of torture tactics.
    • This also applies to CTU. The government's thanks for six seasons of stopping the most dastardly plots against America....shut down the whole Unit.
  • The Korean Series Boys Before Flowers focuses on a poor Ordinary High School Student who goes to an exclusive academy for rich kids and gets bullied.
  • Stargate Command in Stargate SG-1. Senator/Vice-President Kinsey started a witch hunt to shut down the program, even though it was a no-brainer that without them, all of the Earth would be slaves of Apophis, Anubis, Ba'al, or somebody worse.
    • With Kinsey, he wants it shut down so that it can be run by people he can control or by by like minded people.
  • Melinda on Ghost Whisperer is implied to have hidden her "gift" during her teens to avoid this (it's implied that she occasionally failed). One episode even reveals that when she told the truth to her first love in college, he broke up with her and called her a liar.
  • In superhero drama Misfits, the shy, nerdy arsonist Simon is ostracised by the rest of the group - especially the cocky Jerkass Nathan who taunts and belittles him constantly - because of his social ineptitude and perceived "weirdness" (rather than his power of Invisibility, which no one bothers about, despite the havoc he could wreak with it if he wanted). But he puts up with it silently, and uses his ability to help the others when necessary. Until the time comes when Simon and Nathan are in danger, and the latter has the gall to demand that Simon use his power to save them. After Nathan starts hurling some really fool-hardy abuse (yes, even in a life-threatening situation he can't muster a shred of humility or tact) Simon simply turns invisible and saves himself, leaving Nathan to face the music. Although his choice was arguably justified, some viewers still claimed this was a Kick the Dog moment for him (Nathan being ridiculously popular among fans doesn't help) and yet another indication of Simon's anticipated descent into total villainhood.
  • Very widely averted on Heroes, but the one time it did happen was one of the most heartbreaking moments in the series. Jeremy Greer, a recurring character in Season 4, has the ability to control life and death. After causing the accidental murders of his parents, he falls into a deep depression, believing himself to be a monster (a rare case of this trope happening to one's self.) After Bennet and Peter teach to control his power, Bennet arranges a cover-up so no suspicion will be cast on Jeremy, but the town sheriff, a Corrupt Hick Smug Snake, refuses to listen to anything. When he finally allows Jeremy to walk, half of the town is waiting outside, ready to crucify Jeremy. One of them attacks Jeremy, seeking vigilante justice. Jeremy falls back into his depression, kills the attacker, and refuses to heal him. The cops re-arrest him. After taking him back inside, the deputy takes Jeremy out back, ties him behind a truck, and drags him to death through the streets.
  • Smallville: Season 10 is all about costumed vigilantes coming out of the shadows and into the public eye in response to the constant "anti-hero" mud-slinging. The general public distrusts the heroes' motives for no other reason than because they can, despite the numerous times the Blur saved their lives. When Oliver Queen comes out as the Green Arrow, he goes on TV and delivers a stinging Take That to all the anti-hero nonsense.
    • It's now been said that Darkseid himself is behind the anti-hero buisness, manipulating peoples minds and increasing the hate.
  • "Sanctuary: Before the series began, Will Zimmerman lost his job with the FBI because of his outlandish theories about certain cases. He's been right all along.
  • Both Duncan and Connor MacLeod in the flashbacks to their villages in Highlander.
  • Jim Brass gets this treatment on CSI after being accused of killing a cop-the other officers at the funeral turn their backs on him literally.
  • In Sherlock, the titular consulting detective is not very well-liked or well-respected by the police, despite the fact that he often solves their cases for them, often called a "freak" and viewed with suspicion for his psychotic- ahem - sociopathic tendencies. It doesn't help that he's not exactly easy to get along with. It's also heavily implied that John Watson is his first real friend who actually appreciates him for his brilliance and character, not just for what he can do.
  • Hell's Kitchen Season 3 gave us Julia; while most of the contestants are professionally-trained chefs, caterers and the like, she was a Waffle House line cook. For most of the season, her teammates treated her like garbage, marginalized her abilities, and pushed her off to the side. Then one foggy Chr-I mean, challenge, after Gordon sees the women shove Julia off to peel potatoes, he orders them to give her a shot. As it turns out, a Waffle House cook is pretty well-equipped to handle a breakfast themed challenge and cook quail eggs pretty well (who knew?). Unlike Rudolph, however, most of the other women continued to treat Julia like crap because they didn't think she deserved to be there.
    • However, the majority of the teammates had karma bite them in the ass. There was Tiffany, who noted in an interview that "she [Julia] works in a fucking Waffle House" being the first to be eliminated. Know-it-all Joanna was the second to be booted off (who was at least three years younger than Julia and a sous chef. Melissa degraded her for causing the team to lose a challenge but Julia pointed out that Melissa caused them to be screwed over. And though she never won the challenge, Julia is still the only contestant from the show that Ramsay has shown respect and was given an opportunity to go to Culinary School.


Music[edit | hide]

  • Naturally, Rudolph himself, who experiences this until he saves Christmas, whereupon he's hailed as a hero.
    • Or until the other reindeer realise he's in with the boss (Santa), so they start sucking up to him.
    • A Golden book was written as a follow-up to the original story; in it, the other reindeer have gone right back to teasing him again.
    • There is a version of this song performed by Jack Johnson where Rudolph calls them on their crap and tells them he doesn't want their friendship.
  • Paul Tripp and George Kleinsinger's 1945 song "Tubby the Tuba" - Tubby wants to play a melody, but is laughed at by his orchestra because "people don't write pretty melodies for tubas." After a bad rehearsal, Tubby encounters a large frog who offers a low, catchy tune for him to try. When Tubby starts playing it in front of a famous conductor, the orchestra is worried he'll disgrace them - but the conductor wants to hear the rest, and once complete, the rest of the orchestra is awestruck and eager to contribute to Tubby's song.
  • Hello! Project member Mitsui Aika.
  • Insane Clown Posse advertises themselves as "The Most Hated Band in the World"
  • Primus used to use "Primus Sucks!" as a catchphrase.
  • Eminem was a victim of this for being white, to the point he was beaten into a coma and had to re-learn all his basic functions when he woke up.


Mythology[edit | hide]

  • Hephaestus, the Greek god of the forge, fire and blacksmithing, was shunned by the other gods because unlike them he was... * drumroll* ... ugly. Despite him being the creator of practically every Applied Phlebotinum / Iconic Item / MacGuffin / Amulet of Concentrated Awesome / similar object in the mythos; from Zeus's lightning bolts to Athena's shield and spear to the gods' thrones to the first human woman, Pandora; merely because of his appearance he was never treated with anything other than pity if not outright mocked. But this did not stop him from continuing to make these wonderful things for them. For a long time his wife, Aphrodite, cheated on him yet he uttered nary a complaint, and when she did it with Ares he finally sought an ounce of vengeance by trapping them in a net and bringing them before the other gods in hopes that they would be shamed; but instead the other gods mocked him again about his wife being unfaithful to him. And then he just went right back to making things for them. Poor guy. He did try to rape Athena, though. He failed, but still...
  • Loki.

Theatre[edit | hide]

DE GUICHE (looking at the cadets):
Here are the rebels! Ay, Sirs, on all sides
I hear that in your ranks you scoff at me;
[[Impoverished Patrician That the Cadets, these loutish, mountain-bred,
Poor country squires, and barons of Perigord]],
Scarce find for me—their Colonel—a disdain
Sufficient! call me plotter, wily courtier!
It does not please their mightiness to see
A point-lace collar on my steel cuirass,—
[[No True Scotsman And they enrage, because a man, in sooth,
May be no ragged-robin, yet a Gascon!]]
(Silence. All smoke and play)

  • In most of the first act, Elphaba in Wicked gets this treatment from everyone, including her future best friend Galinda and her future Love Interest Fiyero, just because she happens to have green skin. Her father hates her, her sister's ashamed of her, and until Galinda's conscious catches up with her, poor Elphie's only friend is her teacher (and look how that turns out). She's still shunned even after she makes friends with Galinda and Fiyero, but manages to bring it to a glorious "screw you all" at the end of the first act... right before the government turns on her and condemns her. Poor thing can't catch a break, even when she tries to save her crazy sister's lover, the Animal population in general, and Fiyero.

Video Games[edit | hide]

  • The NPCs of Breath of Fire IV love to torment Ryu (and the player) with pointless Fetch Quests and genre-change mini-games. In the end, the player decides whether to "put up with it silently" or Kill'Em All.
  • In Bully, Petey is more than a bit feminine, and though Gary is constantly a prick to him Petey keeps going back. Probably because that was the only 'friend' he had (until Jimmy).
  • Castlevania: The Belmont clan at one point suffers this, as their immense magical power caused them to be feared by the locals. Trevor Belmont, however, manages to set things straight by saving these people from Dracula's wrath (and kicked his butt), only then they start accepting the family.
  • In Fallout 1: the player character spends the majority of the game going through hell to find a water chip to save the Vault s/he hails from, only to be kicked out in the end for having become too different in the process. At least, that's the reason that s/he is given. In fact, the Overseer fears that he will break the Vault Experiment by encouraging people to leave before the experiment's set date.
    • Also played straight in Fallout 3 where everyone hates you upon your return to Vault 101, assuming you go back upon hearing the distress call that is. They hate you because all hell broke loose when your father left the vault rad roaches killed a few residents, and his leaving stirred up a rebellion and blame you due to proxy.
  • Oswald from Odin Sphere is loathed by virtually every being on the planet because of his cursed nature as a shadow knight—at best, he is tolerated by whoever is employing him because of his fearsome combat skills, much to the disgust of the ruler's other underlings. Oswald is well-aware of the fact that the universe itself despises him, but puts up with it because the only other alternative would be to give up and go die in some corner. Which he does when he is spurned by the only person in the world he cared for. It happens twice, point of fact.
  • The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess has a very minor subplot based on this, which only takes place in cutscenes. Link is shown to have a strong friendship with Colin, a child in his village, who is routinely picked on by the other children for being shy and pacifistic. But when Colin saves one of the village girls from being trampled by a rampaging villain, he turns into an instant hero and everyone wants to be his friend.
  • Avalon Code has a moment that neighbors Phantom Brave proportions. The Big Bad dupes one of your friends into jacking the Book of Prophecy and uses it to begin his own plot for omnicide - thankfully, it stops midway through, as he doesn't have the power in his current body to wholly destroy the world. Your love interest (Fana will be your substitute if you don't have one) gets pulled INTO THE BOOK and their page entry is ruined thoroughly during the fiasco, however, and you are buried as well. Once you're unearthed, what does the "Holy" King do? Why, he accuses you of destroying the town, brings together a bunch of civilians who equally use you as a scapegoat, and throws both you and the only guy who has even half an idea what just happened in jail to rot for all eternity! Thankfully, you manage to get out of there with help from a fellow con who uses the basement of the castle to store his ill-gotten goods, and from there the two of you begin your plot to get the book back and set things right.
  • While not exactly abused, Arcueid was extremely isolated by the other True Ancestor vampires, even from themselves. They were glad she was around to kill Demon Lords, but she was so incredibly powerful that she unnerved them a bit so they never taught her anything and tended to reset her memory every now and then. Just when she finished wiping out the Demon Lords and they were getting ready to accept her and teach her, Roa comes along aaaaand... now there are no more True Ancestors except for her.
  • The Witch Boy from Overlord 2 was treated this way by... everyone in Nordberg save for childhood friend Kelda, because he was generally creepy-looking and disruptive- the latter partly as revenge for shoddy treatment. This led him to be tossed out of the town when the Glorious Empire arrived to conquer the town and purge the region of magical beings. Given that he's an Enfant Terrible in a series revolving around Villain Protagonists, this quite naturally results in the entire village being either enslaved or eradicated them when the adult Witch Boy returns to conquer the world.
  • In Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis, most of the school life of one Vayne Aurelius seems relatively normal, save for the numerous hijinks that his friends drag him into. Then comes a teacher attempting to take his life (and his fighting said teacher in self-defense), and the Reveal that he was an artificial, and very powerful, Mana, and the entire school turned on him. Luckily, his friends are still there for him.
  • Phantom Brave takes this to rather disturbing lengths.
  • Arc the Lad has Darc who's not merely bullied but reduced to slavery'? by the Deimos race (intelligent humanoid monsters) thanks to his obvious human lineage. He reacts by deciding that any Deimos who will not submit to him and acknowledge him as king is better dead. And proceed to kill all those who fits the descriptions
  • Quake IV had Matthew Kane, the main character, who ends up being Stroggified (in every way except for the fact that he still retains his mind, due to being rescued before having his mind control chip activated). At first, most of his comrades (aside from his Squad members) reject him for this, but after learning that he's thw best and only hope for humanity, everyone wants to be his best friend.
  • Mass Effect has no less than three examples:
    • Ashley Williams is the granddaughter of the human commander at Shanxi—the only battle where an Alliance force surrendered to an alien one. Since then, the military has had it in for her family, which is a bad thing when military service is In the Blood. Despite her obvious competence, Ashley is constantly stuck with minor and degrading posts.
    • Grunt is considered an abomination by the krogan for being genetically-engineered. They are, however, willing to give him a chance to prove himself. In the end, krogan care more about how well you can fight than how you were born.
    • The asari are a species able to mate with anyone, and pride themselves on their population of half asari hybrids. When two asari mate and have a child, the "pureblood" is considered an outcast since they don't contribute anything new to the gene pool. It also doesn't help that purebloods have a (admittedly pretty small, but still greater than zero) chance of becoming Ardat-Yakshi, which are essentially mass-murdering Horny Devils in a sci-fi setting.
  • Mild example: In the Nancy Drew games, even the non-Jerkass suspects tend to pick on Nancy's clothes, hair, or looks in general.
  • 15-year-old Rudy from the first Wild ARMs suffers from this. His unusual strength and his ability to use ARMs (magic guns said to have been used by Demons) freaks people out, making him an outcast from socity (the fact that no one knows where he came from does not help matters). Best shown at the beginning of the game when he's driven out of the village he just saved because the villagers (who , up till that point, had been nice to him) found out he carried, and wielded, an ARM.
  • In Final Fantasy VII, Cloud had a lonely and alienated childhood in Nibelheim. He was apparently shunned and ostracized by many of the children, especially Tifa's close friends, as well as being viewed as a troublemaker by the adults. This makes it easy for Tifa's father to blame Cloud for causing Tifa's near fatal accident when she was eight years old when it actually wasn't his fault—running off into the Nibel Mountains was entirely Tifa's idea, not Cloud's. The years of social isolation lead to deep emotional insecurities which drive Cloud to leave Nibelheim in an attempt to become a famous hero and thereby prove to everyone that he's not a loser. Unfortunately those same insecurities prevent Cloud from getting into SOLDIER and also contributes to his mental breakdown during Hojo's experiments.
  • While the rest of the dragons accept her, Cynder faces this from the Cheetahs, particularly Chief Prowlus and the Hermit, for her actions under Malefor, despite the fact she was Brainwashed and Crazy at the time and is now trying to help Spyro save the world. While the Hermit doesn't change, Prowlus and the rest of the village come around after they help them out. Sparx also has the same habit, typically not letting Cynder live down what she's done, but ultimately asks her to keep watch over Spyro as they go through the Burned Lands to confront the Big Bad and he can't go with them.
  • In Nie R Kaine was bullied and ostracized by the other children for being intersexed.


Web Comics[edit | hide]

  • Tales of the Questor: Quentyn the Questor is treated as joke by most of his community. However, the trope is subverted when Quentyn calls a meeting to tell the town he doesn't care what they thought of him. Furthermore, when he agrees to go on what seems a permanent exile to undertake an apparently impossible quest in order to save the town, the whole community is stunned at this sacrifice. After it sinks in, the town's opinion changes overnight to mark Quentyn as a hero.
    • It is also lampshaded and subverted in the "Old Secrets" storyline where Quentyn's chief tormentor, Rahan, drunkenly whines how Quentyn is able to get away with anything because of this trope while he has to work for any reputation while everyone is jealous of his father's money.
    • Arguably Quentyn's respect starts much earlier and builds up gradually as he proves his abilities. He also seemed to get plenty of respect until a he decided he wanted to be a Questor, which was generally considered to be an outdated tradition with no apointed Questors for decades.
  • Minus. The problem with powers is that they make playing with you rather unpleasant. So they don't.
  • Jeremy from Platinum Grit. His entire family treated him as a disappointment and an idiot from early childhood, an attitude shared by his college professor and by the staff of the family asylum. But because he's never known different and he's so impossibly nice, he thinks it's all perfectly normal.
  • The closest thing we've ever seen of an explanation for Belkar's behavior comes from this Order of the Stick, in which he tells of his desire to grow up and brutally murder all of the other reindeer "in their dreamless sleep."
  • Bob and George: Dr. Light made X deliberately different from the others—including a distaste of ice cream among ice-cream fanatics—producing this trope.
  • In Endstone, Cole hears murmurs about her being a Half-Human Hybrid.
  • Ferris and Demos of Fishbones both endure this, for being Jewish and Nerdy and for having an intimidating family, respectively.


Web Original[edit | hide]

  • In The Gamers Alliance, the half-elf Shyralis was bullied by other elves because of her mixed blood and scary looks. She took the abuse for as long as she could, but eventually she snapped and lashed out with her magic, killing a group of young elves who had been tormenting her. She ran away and eventually ended up on a dark path of full-blown villainy.
  • Entire Fourth Grade Class Hates Jeremy Halcote, so states The Onion.
  • Damien Carter-Madison is a villainous example from Survival of the Fittest. He even made a hitlist of all the people he wanted to take out.
  • Happens repeatedly to teenagers in the Whateley Universe who become mutants. Aquerna couldn't even go home for Christmas vacation because her family didn't want her around. She looked perfectly normal and has low-end powers. But it works the other way too: Phase seems to be ostracized by a lot of the students at Whateley Academy because he is a Goodkind, and his family are the most famous, most influential mutant-haters on the planet.


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • Tim from The Life and Times of Tim is regularly put down around the office by the other employees. They also tend to call him "Tim the idiot." His boss always singles him out to do random and unpleasant favors for him. Not those kind of favors.
  • Both humans and dogs alike would put down Balto for being part wolf. The humans would drive him off out of fear of him, while the dogs would ridicule and taunt him for having a dirty bloodline.
    • It's sad to learn in the sequel that while Balto had rescued a town of humans from a deadly epidemic, he is still living as a stray and is still ridiculed by some dogs in the community.
  • Dumbo is probably the animated Trope Codifier.
  • As revealed in the Kim Possible episode "Attack of the Killer Bebes," Doctor Drakken's descent into megalomaniacal mad science can be traced to being made fun of in college, by Kim's father and their mutual friends. "Made fun of," meaning "one singular incident of mockery"; Drakken (then the not-blue Drew Lippski) promised Dr. Possible and his roommates that he'd provide blind dates for a sockhop. When the day of the dance comes, Drew shows up with four utterly ridiculous fembots he built himself, that look like they started life as industrial vacuum cleaners. The three non-roboticists instantly bust up laughing at the ludicrous sight, and start poking fun at Drew about exactly how ludicrous it is. The way Dr. Possible recounts the story, he clearly still thinks he was a lot less mean about the whole thing than Drakken did, especially since (aside from the robots) he seems to remember Drakken pretty fondly.
  • Invader Zim
    • Dib is king of this trope. He is tormented on a regular basis by his peers due to his belief in the paranormal—which, in this Crapsack World, often means "not being as dumb as a sack of bricks." All the while he is constantly battling the alien Zim, who his classmates regard as a normal (if green) human kid.
    • As a subversion of the standard hero reaction to the trope, Dib doesn't always take the abuse in stride; he argues with people a lot, and in one episode seriously contemplates falling into Zim's latest trap just so he can take his classmates down with him. In another episode ("Mopiness of Doom") he does the opposite, deciding that the paranormal isn't worth all the pain he suffers and temporarily quits. However, in the end he always does what's good for humanity, even if he just gets mocked for it later, due to either duty, pride or a mixture of the two.
      • Except in fanfiction; in a trope specific to the fandom, many writers actually have Dib turn evil and team up with Zim to destroy humanity out of spite, since Zim, at least, seems to hold some kind of healthy respect for Dib. Although even many of these have Dib regret his actions after the fact.
    • Gaz.
    • Zim himself, who is the laughing stock of the Irken Empire. He actually deserves that reputation, though ... not that it matters, since he's oblivious to it and convinced he's the best thing ever.
  • Wilt from Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends. While he's well-known for being one of the best imaginary friends in the show in terms of good deeds, and occasionally gets some form of recognition for his actions, far more often, his natural kindness gets either taken advantage of or stomped all over. Examples include:
    • The destruction of a chandelier he had been working for six hours on,
    • Not acquiring his own room despite having the best reason to obtain it (living the longest in the house without his own room and the room being custom-made for him),
    • And an episode dedicated to everyone he comes in contact with immediately using his inability to say no to force him to do chores and such for them while a game he'd been dying to see was on. The episode results in being imprisoned twice, finally reaching home the moment the game ends, and once he finally learns to say no and stand up for his own needs once in a while, the episode ends when he accidentally says yes to another chore and the door being slammed in his face before he can correct himself.
  • Danny Phantom. His ghost alter-ego is hunted and hated, while his human half is bullied and victimized by the more popular students of his school. The former improves over time throughout the run of the series. The latter... well, at least he has his True Companions.
  • Gargoyles uses this both ways: the heroes are constantly abused by the very people they're trying to protect, who generally scream and run away from, or else attack, their rescuers. Meanwhile, resident Big Bad Demona has long ago cracked under the strain and decided on "kill them all".
    • While it certainly falls under this trope, people in the show do show a variety of responses to the Gargoyles, and the reactions generally are not too unrealistic, especially given they've been blamed for a variety of bad circumstances, some of it deservedly.
  • Though purely comedic, Butters from South Park has his alter ego Professor Chaos.
    • At the start of the series, Stan, Kyle, Cartman and Kenny were relatively well-liked by their classmates, and were perfectly willing to bully their less popular peers. However, as the show went on, a combination of Character Development and Characterization Marches On (that generally made them more sympathetic to fans) led their social status to become much more fragile. According to Craig, all of the other kids think they're assholes. Even if he was exaggerating, it still isn't all that unusual for their popularity to dip beneath Butters'.
  • Jay Sherman from The Critic. He gets it from his boss, his make-up lady and the many people who disagree with his views on films.
  • Lightly subverted in Kung Fu Panda in that long before the climax of the film, Po had already gone a long way earning the respect of most of the Furious Five because of his Heroic Resolve facing his hopeless Training from Hell without complaint.
  • Lilo and Stitch played around with this in the trailers and print advertising, which showed Stitch being rejected by various members of the Disney Animated Canon; the tag line was "There's one in every family." The original movie shows that Lilo is rejected by her peers for being "weird," while Stitch is rejected by the entire Galactic Federation. (This is at least marginally understandable, however, given Stitch's destructive powers and fondness for anarchy.) The animated series shows that Lilo continues to be ostracized by her peers, particularly Alpha Bitch, Myrtle.
  • In A Bugs Life, Flik is regularly ridiculed and insulted for wasting his time on creative thinking and inventing instead of gathering food for the Offering. It's this ability that eventually saves the day.
  • In Beauty and the Beast, Belle and her father are socially shunned by the members of the village where they live - Maurice for his inventions and generally unconventional ideas, Belle for the fact that she enjoys reading and daydreams a lot.
  • Meg from Family Guy is the Family Whipping Post (oftentimes from Peter). However the Meg bashing is diminishing.
  • The Trumpet of the Swan has Louis the trumpeter swan, who is mute. The original novel doesn't show much of Louis' interactions with the other swans, but this trope is definitely played up in the animated film adaptation.
  • Then there's the 1966 stop-motion animated TV special that's the Trope Namer. With the exception of Yukon Cornelius, every single adult figure (including Santa Claus!) comes off as a complete Jerkass in the way they treat Rudolph. Only averted by the fact that Rudolph ultimately is accepted by his peers... after saving their asses from the snowstorm and (indirectly) from the Abominable Snow Monster of the North Pole.
  • The Simpsons: With the the exception of Maggie Simpson, the immediate Simpson family are occasionally put down by their hometown, Springfield. The people of Springfield are generally known to fair-weathered and fickle, earning the reputation of "Meanest Town in America". There is even a "Code of the Schoolyard" in Springfield Elementary School, where children amongst themselves are expected to always make fun of those different from them. This trope is usually put into effect due to Homer's blunders, Bart's mischief, or a series of events which bring out the town's general nastiness.
    • When Homer Simpson plays the role of Paul Bunyan in The Simpsons episode, "Simpsons Tall Tales":

Homer: Oh, I get it. When I'm crushing and killing you, you don't like me. But when I can save your life, suddenly I'm Mr. Popular.
Lenny: Yeah, that's pretty much it.
Homer: Woo hoo! I'm Mr. Popular!

    • There is even a upcoming episode plot in Season 23, where the people of Springfield decide to exile the Simpson family.
  • Megamind ends up giving super powers to Hal Stewart, who then uses them to exact revenge on society for treating him like a loser. Megamind himself counts as well. His being ostracized and bullied in school is what initiates his Start of Darkness.
  • In the Animated Adaptation of How to Train Your Dragon, the other Viking children are this to Hiccup, the protagonist. The community places a high value on brawn and physical bravery, and Hiccup is on the small and scrawny side. He has exceptional intellect and skill when it comes to mechanics and building things, but until his dragon-taming abilities are finally showcased, he gets mocked. Even his father...

Stoick: Just be a little less...this.
Hiccup: You just gestured to all of me!

Real Life[edit | hide]

  • Truth in Television, to varying degrees, in many a schoolyard.
  • Ironically not the reason the Columbine killers went on their massacre, as no one remembers them being bullied. Dylan Klebold thought he was being bullied, suffered from severe depression, and had a massive inferiority complex while Eric Harris was a complete sociopath. In fact, reports say the killers were the reindeer, and the 'Trenchcoat Brigade' were some of their targets.
  • Hines Ward was born in Korea to a Korean mother and an African-American father. As a child, he was shunned by Korean society. After moving to the United States and becoming a Superbowl MVP, he and his mother were invited back to Korea to be honored as Korean heroes. Ward's mom gave a press conference reminding everyone that when Hines was a small boy in a stroller, people went out of their way to come over and spit on the half breed black boy. She concluded by telling the country to go screw itself. Hines has been much more positive and has used his position to sponsor trips to Korea for mixed race children and has said "If the country can accept me for who I am and accept me for being a Korean, I'm pretty sure that this country can change and accept you for who you are," and has also set up a foundation to combat racism in Korea.
  • There's a very long and very sad history of black Olympic athletes being held up as heroes while America needs them for Gold medals, then being thrown to the wayside as soon as the Olympics end. Most notable is Jesse Owens, who won four gold medals in the 1936 Olympics in Germany. In Hitler's Germany, Owens was allowed to stay in hotels with his white peers. When he returned to the "The Land of the Free", he was legally forbidden from sharing accommodations with his white peers. When the entire Olympic team was invited to the White House to meet the President, Owens was not allowed to come, even though he was the most successful athlete amongst them. He never met the President, nor received a telegram from him (as all the other Olympic athletes did), nor did he receive ANY communication from the President as is tradition. Even Adolf Hitler stood up and waved to Owens during the Olympic proceedings. Owens later had his Olympic eligibility revoked for superfluous reasons. He spent much of the rest of his life working at a dry-cleaner or as a gas station attendant.
    • Just as bad was what happened to 1936 Olympians Marty Glickman and Sam Stoller... well, almost Olympians. They were both pulled from their events because they were Jewish. To be fair, there was another, INFINITELY less pleasant reason for Owens' treatment in the Reich: Hitler's hold on power was still weak and fresh off of a few thousand rounds of the West complaining about little itsy bitsy things like Pogroms and the like taking place courtesy of the Brownshirts. Thus, Hitler CONSCIOUSLY chose to invoke this disparity by de-discriminating Berlin and removing several of the racial and religious restrictions upon those coming there. The second the Olympic village moved out, the "Verboten" signs and punishing racial discrimination came back into play. Had Owens stopped to meander in Berlin after he faded from public view, he would likely have "disappeared."
  • Things were similar for black boxers around that time. When Jack Johnson became the first African-American World Heavyweight Champion, there were mass searches for a "Great White Hope" to dethrone him. When he beat James Jeffries in "The Fight Of The Century," riots broke out across the country in protest.
    • Johnson probably didn't help his case by constantly resorting to vicious mockery of his opponents and overtly parading around with white women, a tremendous social taboo at the time. Then again, if the reindeer will never have anything but loathing for you, you may as well rub their faces in it.
  • Alan Turing, a great mathematician and logician who contributed a lot for the existence of modern computers, was injected with hormones that caused his body to become deformed (by growing breasts, for instance) just because he was gay. And then he killed himself. The British government officially apologised for the way Turing was treated... 55 years later.
    • Not only was Turing a great mathematician, but he was one of the major people who created a decryption device called a Turing bombe (using the work of Polish cryptographers, who created the theory, but lacked the funds to make the device itself), used against Enigma, the encryption device used in the German Army during World War II. It can be argued that without Turing, there would be no British government today. And this was how they treated him.
    • He also created the idea of the Turing test for artificial intelligence which can still be found in use today.
  • The autobiographical book Please Stop Laughing At Me: One Woman's True Inspirational Story by Jodee Blanco appears to be a version of this, particular according to many user reviews. From the Amazon synopsis: "Blanco describes how she was first victimized in a Roman Catholic grammar school because she defended some deaf children when they were picked on by hearing students. She gave the names of the ringleaders of this cruel activity to one of the nuns, and was subsequently ostracized by former friends for being a tattletale." The book describes how she was cruelly bullied and tormented in several different schools, apparently as a result of defending other mocked people, getting good grades and the like. Kids can most certainly be cruel.