Extreme Doormat

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Jump to: navigation, search
What a pussy.


"They can't break you if you don't have a spine."
Wally, Dilbert

Humble, quiet, obedient, stoic; the Extreme Doormat is all of these virtues... and that's all he is. The Extreme Doormat lacks drive, ambition, and even opinions. He probably has awesome combat skills, he'll likely even look incredibly awesome and mysterious as he kicks ass, but much like a Stepford Smiler he is completely hollow inside. Maybe he lacks a soul, has been psychologically tortured, or is just an Extreme Doormat.

Naturally, such a narratively empty character won't start drama, so they're usually a Satellite Character, Battle Butler, trusty companion, or part of a love harem for the more active hero. Part of being the Extreme Doormat is they will obey just about any command from their love/hero/superior officer short of the suicidal ones (and sometimes even those). Sometimes, this can result from an Empty Shell with combat training under Mind Control.

A common plot for the Extreme Doormat is the discovery or growth of their own personality and backbone. Be it by having a true friend Teach Him Anger, confronting their (ab)user or being the subject of Character Development or even a Mook Face Turn when the hero who treats them nicely encourages them to abandon a boss who doesn't, or a "lover" who keeps them dependent.

Often the victim of those Taking Advantage of Generosity.

Contrast Yamato Nadeshiko and Silk Hiding Steel, both of which appear to be this trope but have a hidden iron clad backbone.

Examples of Extreme Doormat include:


Anime And Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Rei Ayanami of Neon Genesis Evangelion spends most of her life being mistaken for this trope, even stating that she would commit suicide if the commander told her to do so (and if the reasons for doing so were tactically sound, as the Commander's instructions nearly always were). However, in the last few episodes, she gains some volition.
    • Though that might not actually be the same Rei....considering everything.
    • Shinji himself qualifies for being an Extreme Doormat as well. This only furthers his status as Woobie Extraordinaire.
      • At least twice, he has to put himself in this position so Rei won't.
  • Tohru Honda from Fruits Basket starts out like this. She constantly apologizes for the smallest of things, rarely stands up for herself, often chooses to belittle or instantly forgive very serious wrongs done to her, and is very much a Pollyanna. Much of the series centers around Tohru steadily gaining the courage to face herself and her problems and take initiate to defend what she loves.
    • Machi is as well this trope for most of her appearance due to being pushed by her mother to be absolutely perfect. She develops no personality, preferences or opinions of her own and is pretty much devoid of emotion. Later on she is able to show anger more often at her half-brother Kakeru and other emotions, usually in their most extreme form when she is not being completely sober.
  • Hatsumi from Hot Gimmick is so spineless she nearly defines this trope.
    • A spoilery example to back that up: Hatsumi is so spectacularly doormat-like that she actually apologizes to a guy while he's having her gang-raped by his friends. She's apologizing because of something her father did to the gang-rapist's mother, which prompted the gang-rapist to attack Hatsumi as a form of proxy revenge. I repeat: She's apologizing to her rapist for something she didn't even do. The cherry on top: we later find out that it was someone else's father who wronged the gang-rapist's mother, not Hatsumi's. The whole thing was a Shaggy Dog Story.
  • Haji from Blood Plus is characterized entirely by his complete devotion to Saya and his obedience to her wishes, even when she makes him promise to kill her. Her adopted brother Kai finally goads him into expressing his Bodyguard Crush at the end of the series.
  • Lucciola in Last Exile starts out this way, but his loyalty and friendship to Dio helped him take the initiative to save him. And then he dies. * Sniff*
  • Fuyuki from Keroro Gunsou qualifies most of the time. Push him too far, though, and he's so terrifying, the manga can't even show his face.
  • Anthy from Revolutionary Girl Utena is actually described as being "less forceful than a doormat", but the truth is a bit different. She and her brother deliberately play up this trope in order to convince others that their plans for the future are honest, and then to convince themselves that their plans for her are righteous. And her Emotionless Girl act is a result of the massive trauma she's gone through and the way her brother keeps her emotionally anesthetized through their abusive relationship.
    • Utena herself tries to become one of these in episode 12 to cope with loosing a duel to Touga and loosing Anthy. Fortunately, Wakaba snaps her out of it.
  • Nataku in X 1999, as it befits him for his nature as a dead little girl's clone.
  • In Princess Tutu, Mythos starts out as an extreme doormat for Fakir, and most others who get a hold of him. He does, however, manage to capture many hearts, be an amazing dancer, and even a great fighter on the rare occasions when he tries.
  • Nemu from Bleach is a somewhat Rei-like example of the trope. In her case, she was actually created by Mad Scientist Mayuri to serve as his obedient assistant. He has no compunction about injuring or even potentially kill her, as he can simply rebuild her. And yet she still cares for him on some level.
    • Also, Hanataro Yamada.
  • Fiore from Chrono Crusade, who calls herself 'only a doll' and lives only to serve Joshua and Aion.
  • In Code Geass, Karen Stadfeldt/Kouzuki's biological mother, an Eleven maid who was used by an adulterous Britannian, seems to be one of these, which earns her the scorn of the family and disappointment from Kallen's part. Kallen mistook her mom's devotion towards her and her dead brother Naoto as devotion towards the father, and when heartbreakingly proved wrong, she had a change of heart and decided to make Mrs. Kouzuki her reason to keep on fighting, aside of Zero and the Black Knights.
  • Yuki Nagato in Suzumiya Haruhi starts out as this, but develops independence, free will and opinions over the course of the story. Ultimately, her loyalty lies to Kyon, more than her Boss or her leader Haruhi.
  • Minor character Miya from Mai-Otome is an unhappy and unwilling accomplice to all of Tomoe's misdeeds, but is afraid to stand up to her. She ultimately gets blamed for everything and is forced to leave school permanently, never to be seen again.
  • Arguably Mousse of Ranma ½.
    • And very specifically, too, in a later manga story: the Mask of Submission is a pair of glasses that causes whoever is seen through them to kneel and grovel, pretty much begging to be trod upon. After Mousse uses them on Ranma a few times to satisfy his ego, he realizes what a Jerkass he has been and deliberately puts them on backwards, so he's the one begging and groveling.
      • Didn't that actually happen after Shampoo, the girl he is a Stalker with a Crush towards, asked him to stop using them and, upon his initial refusal, commented that she thought he was pathetic for taking advantage of items created to protect those who had no other way to fight off martial artist?
    • Also Konatsu towards Ukyo (which it's shown she takes advantage of a lot) and Sasuke towards Kuno.
  • Train from the anime version of Black Cat was this for quite a few episodes during his time in Chronos. Speaking in a monotone, hardly having any opinion on anything, and being quietly wangsty. He was also the strongest assassin in Chronos.
  • The main argument people have about Ai Yori Aoshi is whether Aoi is just a Yamato Nadeshiko or an Extreme Doormat too.
    • Aoi does have a backbone, when she chooses to use it; otherwise, she would have never resisted her parents, time and time again. On the other hand, Taeko is an Extreme Doormat.
    • Other possible suspects include minor characters Saionji and Chizuru. Saionji has the excuse that we only see him in his capacity as butler / chauffeur.
  • The Captain from Hellsing basically follows Major around like a big, quiet dog that doesn't do anything unless commanded to. Which sort of makes sense considering he's a werewolf.
  • Byaku from Kekkaishi is an example of this trope who is also a Big Bad of a major arc. Having no drive or desires of his own, he spends both his flashback and the main story fulfilling wishes of whatever woman happens to be next to him, no matter how potentially dangerous to him, her and innocent bystanders, not because he loves them or anything, but seemingly because he can't think of anything better to do although manga suggests that he loved Hime after all. This is presented as extremely creepy.
  • Yugi from Yu-Gi-Oh!. MUCH more so early on.
  • Lala-Ru from Now and Then, Here and There is an Extreme Doormat in all but one respect. She can provide water with the use of her pendant, which is an invaluable ability in her desert planet... so much so that wars have been fought over her, often civil wars. She has thus retreated into extreme stoicism and refuses to give anyone water when told, since it just causes death. In this regard, she is more steely than an iron mine, taking heaps of abuse and threats (and implied rape) rather than give in. By the series' end, she becomes a Defrosting Ice Queen and Mama Bear, using her power to help save Sho and her loved ones. Super ending spoiler: she even makes a Heroic Sacrifice to fill the planet with oceans.
    • Abelia is also this towards King Hamdo for most of the series. No matter how much he shrieks and rants and raves at her, or how insane/barbaric his orders, she quietly carries out his instructions and never, ever speaks back or shows signs of being disgruntled. She gets over it.
  • Fate Testarossa in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha. Despite being repeatedly abused by her mother, Fate remains loyal to her until the end, when Nanoha finally befriends her.
    • Justified because she remembers how Precia treated Alicia, and doesn't know that those aren't her memories.
  • Dolls in Darker than Black are generally this, although some develop the ability to think for themselves to an extent.
  • Genji Ronoue from Umineko no Naku Koro ni is "exemplary furniture," according to Ronove. He basically lets Kinzo and Beatrice do whatever they please, even if that includes killing the rest of the family. He even shocks Kanon by passively accepting Beatrice as his new master after she kills Kinzo in the third arc... and her next task for him is to die. He complies.
    • Clair Vaux of Bernard in Requiem of the golden witch, as she is merely a tool created by Bernkastel for the purpose of reading Beato/Yasu's past.
  • Cooro from +Anima. While he has his own opinions and was a Cheerful Child who loves apples, he won't go against anyone's decisions, even if they were made under stress, frustration or stubbornness. While the early chapters pointed it out, it wasn't until the final volume that it was properly addressed.
  • Kotonoha from School Days due to her insecurity.
  • Skip Beat!: Kyoko, at the beginning when she used to live with Shou.
  • Honey Hunt: Yura, up until her Abusive Parents divorce and reveal they couldn't care less about her. This results in her first Crowning Moment of Awesome when she tearfully announces to the press that she no longer considers them her parents and that "people like them should just burn in hell". Even after that though, she still shows instances of this trope at times.
  • In Monster, Tenma starts off as a complete bitch of his fiancee and his boss, who publishes his research under his own name and takes credit for his extremely difficult surgeries. Although he grows a spine early in the series' run, both his and Eva's flashbacks characterize him as woefully passive and exploitable.
  • Sawako from Kimi ni Todoke is this normally, but it's subverted when she refuses to help Kurumi get together with Kazehaya, on the basis she can't support her fully due to her own feelings for Kazehaya.
  • Tsuna from Katekyo Hitman Reborn, though he gets better somewhat. Kozato Enma even more so. They become fast friends mainly because of how they can relate to each other in this aspect.
    • Also, Kyoko Sasagawa.
  • SHUFFLE!: After discovering that it was not Rin's fault that her beloved mother died (it was indirectly her fault), Kaede Fuyou becomes a Yamato Nadeshiko Housewife whose only purpose in life was, according to her, "to serve Rin-kun" — so she can make up to him for all the tremendous abuse she piled on Rin (who willingly took the blame because Kaede was this close to just let herself die by despair) before the discovery.
  • Yukinari Sasaki from Girls Bravo. Granted, he tries to stand up for himself when people bully him but he usually ends up backing down. People mock him for this by saying "You're too much of a coward to talk back! If you're a man then act like one!" Also, he takes frequent beatings from his friend Kirie for being an Accidental Pervert and hardly ever complains to her about it afterwards. He also never decides to say, stop being friends with her and frequently blames himself for when bad things happen to him.
  • Aine Yukimura of Sensual Phrase, especially in the manga.
  • Hinata from Naruto was shown to be one of these during her childhood. Her interactions with Naruto enable her to grow out of it.
    • Don't forget about Sakura. She's this around Sasuke, especially in Part I. The scene in the hospital shows it quite well, with Sakura not doing anything to call Sasuke out on his actions.
    • Itachi of all people, fits this trope pretty well, combining it with Well-Intentioned Extremist and My Country, Right or Wrong. What's that, Danzou? You need me to kill my entire clan to prevent a war? No problem! Okay, it's not that simple, but you get the point.
    • Speaking of Danzo, his ideal of a shinobi leans toward this: An individual with exceptional combat skills, a willingness to die for his country, and no emotions or opinions to prevent him from doing so. He does his best to mold Root in this image but falls short himself, to his own disgust.
  • Anri Sonohara. She eventually starts to develop a spine.
    • Also, Saki Mikajima. She'll listen to whatever Izaya tells her to do, even if it means endangering her life. Even after she betrays him, she continues loyally obeying him afterward, too.
  • Hinata from H2O: Footprints in the Sand acts this way initially towards her grandfather.
  • Victorian Romance Emma: Monica's husband, which might be part of why she married him.
  • Fumi of Aoi Hana. She gets better.
  • Masato and Miku of Zeorymer are both the most doormatty of Extreme Doormats.
  • Ayumi of Gokinjo Monogatari. When she's chosen as the receptionist at the fashion contest and can't move from the hall, she even gets a comment from Yuusuke, that it suits her just perfectly.
  • Little House With an Orange Roof: For a tsundere, Natsumi has serious problems saying "no", especially when challenged to "prove" she's worthy to marry Shoutarou. This has led to her being groped by slimy salarymen in a cabaret, and being utilized for slave labor by her in-laws, among other things.
  • Yukiteru Amano of Mirai Nikki starts out as an Extreme Doormat, and becomes less of one as the series goes on.
  • Soubi in Loveless. Ritsuka tries to break him out of it, but Seimei would prefer he stay that way.
  • Rodoreamon from Simoun starts like this, then grows a spine as the series progresses. By the Distant Finale, she's become the Iron Lady.
  • Kenshin was this during his days as an assassin. He never asked questions, made conversation, or gave his opinion with his superiors who gave him orders to kill. He only did what was necessary to bring on the new era - even if it would cost him his sanity in the end.
  • Tick Jefferson of Baccano! tells Luck that he'll do anything to prove his worth to them. He'll also do anything that will let him use his scissors.
  • Lithuania in Axis Powers Hetalia seems to border on this- he's sweet, humble, obedient, and pretty happy considering how much he gets bossed about, esspecially by Bad Boss Russia and best friend Poland.
  • Arcee in Transformers Headmasters. After being an Action Girl throughout the movie and season 3, she was turned into a docile, subservient secretary, who didn't wield a weapon once in the entire series, and rarely left the "office".
  • Gilbert Nightray of Pandora Hearts is often this to his master Oz, but with Alice he normally stands up to her.
  • Tetsuma in Eyeshield 21 is this to his old friend Kid, to the point he is very Literal-Minded and takes orders to the extreme, doing ONLY what Kid told him to do. It was only after Monta defeated him in a catching battle that Tetsuma began to develop his own ambitions and more emotions.
  • Sanada Yukimura from Gate 7 is so much of a doormat that he's called to shup up by his students...kindergarden students.

Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • Insignificus in Secret Six. He does anything a member of the Secret Six says while lamenting that he is not worthy to shine their shoes
  • When Magneto ran the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, the doormat role was played by the appropriately named Toad.


Film[edit | hide]

  • Titanic: When it comes down to it, this is what Ruth and Cal wanted to turn Rose into. For Ruth, the obedient, well-behaved daughter. For Cal, the perfect little wife who exists to love, obey, and honor him.
  • In Coming to America, the woman Prince Akeem was to enter an Arranged Marriage was groomed to be an Extreme Doormat, totally compliant to his every whim and wish. Unfortunately, Prince Akeem didn't like the idea of being married to such a woman, and his desire to find a woman with a bit of spine begins the plot of the movie.
  • George McFly was like this in Back to The Future before Marty helps him take a level in badass in 1955.
  • Harry in Dumb and Dumber. Throughout the movie, he comes off as a little smarter and more sensible than Lloyd but for the most part goes along with everything Lloyd does partly because he's just very passive.
  • Larry from The Three Stooges comes across as the most sensible of the three in most of the shorts but apparently only goes along with what the others do—and puts up with Moe's abuse—because he's just very passive. The fact that Curly and Shemp also put up with Moe's abuse makes them examples of this as well.
  • Nina starts out like this in Black Swan.
  • Belle in Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas. She went from not taking any of the Beast's shit to being his "cheerful lifecoach".
  • Milton in Office Space (up until the very end, at least.) He was compliant every time he was told to move his desk, until he ended up essentially in a closet in the basement (with the light turned out!)
  • Andy from The 40-Year-Old Virgin is NOT an example of this. He's very shy and sensitive, but he ultimately stands by his values in spite of his lecherous co-workers and, even at the film's beginning, is shown to be surprisingly assertive when he wants to be.
  • Stu from The Hangover, who allows his girlfriend to abuse him, cheat on him, and boss him around...until he finally stands up to her at the end.
  • Darth Maul is this trope combined with Psycho Supporter. Particularly notable in that he is a Sith Apprentice, who are generally supposed to be The Starscream. He has no ambitions of his own and he acts only on his master, Palpatine's, command. In fact, the only reason he even passed the Sith Initiation was because Palpatine lied to him about cultivating a new apprentice in order to work up enough anger in Maul to even attempt to kill him. For all intents and purposes, he's little more than Darth Sidious's personal attack dog.
    • Given that Palpatine trained Maul from early childhood with the specific intention of him being an "Apprentice" who's disposable and inevitably disposed of, this isn't surprising.


Literature[edit | hide]

  • Annie Kinsella in Shoeless Joe: her main line of dialogue is "Oh love, if it makes you happy, you should do it.", even if that means ray should plow up his crop and build a baseball field and then kidnap J.D. Salinger on a whim, risking financial ruin and jail time. avoided in the book's movie adaption, Field of Dreams, in that Annie also recieves a few of Ray's visions herself.
  • The house elves in Harry Potter. They seem to share a universal inferiority complex, despite incredible magical power. They live to serve, literally, and seem to be happiest slaving away for their masters, but have extremely powerful magical abilities and are able to defeat powerful wizards without too much difficulty. On the other hand, house elves are shown to be more than capable to skirt around orders or outright attack people if it means protecting a wizard or witch that they really care about. While Dobby was a prominent example, Kreacher was shown putting up a good struggle against the orders of Sirius (his master), just because he didn't like him. And then there's the fact that several hundred house elves - who technically were under control of Death Eaters since Hogwarts was being run by Snape and the Carrows at the time - had no problem rallying together and saving the defenders of Hogwarts.
    • Of course, since Snape was only running Hogwarts on Dumbledore's request and not for the Death Eaters as everyone believed, the elves probably weren't as controlled by the Death Eaters as appearances suggested.
    • Played straight with Merope Gaunt; implied with Eileen Prince.
      • Dobby was a unique case-he was suffering abuse above and beyond what a house-elf would be inclined to expect even from a master like Lucius Malfoy. In a later book he tells Harry that when he was hired by Dumbledore, he actually talked the man down from a very generous salary and vacation package to a pittance with no vacation time. He likes work just fine, the Malfoy family was just that bad.
      • He got one day off a month with Dumbledore, and even considered that a bit much, from the sound of it.
  • Nathaniel from Anita Blake; until he grew a pair to please his mistress, the title character, he was so incredibly submissive and masochistic both in and out of the sex dungeon that he literally could not do anything without his master's/mistress' permission. Oh, did I mention he's a wereleopard(?!)
    • Nathaniel was probably this way before becoming a wereleopard, having been a child prostitute, raped, and a drug addict, not to mention living in an abusive home before all that. Dominant natures are not created by gaining the ability to shift shape. When you consider he's first introduced at age seventeen or so, and all this has already happened to him... It makes more sense.
  • The Patient Griselda from European folklore, appearing in Boccaccio and Chaucer, which makes it Older Than Feudalism.
  • Arguably, the Other Mother really wanted something to love so she tried to keep Coraline for herself and make her into the "perfect, obedient daughter". Such as when she tries to sew buttons on her eyes so that she'll be a well behaved "little doll".
    • The Other Father is this to the Other Mother. Even though he obviously wants to help Coraline, he is unable to.
  • Lenny in Of Mice and Men, towards George.
  • During the time she had spent with Algaliarept, Ceri from The Hollows seemed to be this. She regained her pride pretty fast, though.
    • That's because she got her soul back. Al had stolen her soul to make her serve him, but Rachel negotiated for it to be returned as part of their deal.
  • Fanny Price of Mansfield Park becomes this after living eight years with her neglectful Aunt and Uncle Bertram and her Complete Monster of an aunt Mrs. Norris. This makes the moments where she stands up for herself, such as refusing to marry the Casanova, all the more impressive... not to mention astonishing to her fellow characters.
  • The bratty kids parents from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
  • Ann from the Gemma Doyle trilogy. At first.
  • Quentin, Howard's father from Archer's Goon, is this; he explicitly states that his role in life is to be a passenger.
  • Nutt, from Unseen Academicals, is basically this, and it's repeatedly lampshaded. He's described as an "amiable milksop", and tries to always be helpful and agreeable and "accumulate worth" because he's an orc and was at worst horribly abused and at best taught to keep his head down as a survival strategy. He does have opinions, and sometimes expresses them, but is very meek about talking to anyone he doesn't know well.
    • Coin, from Sourcery, is a Tyke Bomb who effectively grew up possessed. He's never made his own decisions in his entire life, so he never learned how.
  • Phedre isn't this, but she acts like it when working in her professional capacity to satisfy the unique tastes of her clients. More than one enemy, up to and including a God of Evil, has failed to recognize the difference until it was too late.
  • Millicent Hattersley, best friend of the heroine of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.
  • Mersault from The Stranger thinks that nothing really matters, so he does pretty much anything people ask him to.
  • Smeagol from The Lord of the Rings to both Gollum and Frodo, which leads to some conflict of interest...
  • George Wilson from The Great Gatsby, an ineffectual car salesman who is completely dominated by his wife and her lover, until Daisy accidentally kills his wife and Gatsby takes the fall for it, causing him to go berserk and confront Gatsby in a murder-suicide.
  • The Manchurian Candidate - Raymond Shaw, although he is too arrogant to be a perfect fit, has many of the features of this. He has little drive or emotional depth, and he always caves in to his shrewish mother, even giving up the only girl he ever had any interest in just to shut her up.
  • Ashley Wilkes in Gone with the Wind, who disagrees with the American Civil War but is willing to fight anyway.
  • Aaron Stampler from Primal Fear or so it seems.
  • Agafya in Oblomov. The titular character is also guilty of this, seeing as he is pushed around by Tarantyev.
  • Catherine from the Malory Towers series. However, the other characters dislike her strongly because she's always so kind and friendly and helpful- for instance, she once sharpened all of Belinda's pencils for her without asking. However, Belinda used them for her art and kept some of them blunt on purpose, and so she definitely didn't thank her. They nickname her 'Saint Catherine' at one point and use it mockingly.
  • In Death series: Purity In Death reveals that Donald Dukes' wife is this. She knows what he's doing and seems unable or unwilling to do much about it. Eve Dallas, considering her Dark and Troubled Past, has little patience for people like this.
  • Bertie of Jeeves and Wooster is the epitome of this—story after story shows that he can be bullied or cajoled into anything. He suffers the worst of one Zany Scheme after another because he's simply unable to say "no" to a friend, Jerkass or otherwise. Besides that, he's afraid to stand up to his Grande Dame aunt, and he lets his valet dictate every facet of his existence, even down to the details of his wardrobe. Attempts to assert his rights by keeping an article of clothing Jeeves disapproves of invariably give out by the end of the story.

Anybody can talk me round. If I were in a Trappist monastery, the first thing that would happen would be that some smooth performer would lure me into some frightful idiocy against my better judgment by means of the deaf-and-dumb language.

Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • Supernatural: When it comes to his family, Dean is so like this it's scary. He thinks he deserves the verbal abuse or blame from just about anybody, and is so needy when it comes to Sam that he sells his soul to bring Sam back from the dead. He's saved from living here by being opinionated and obstinate in everything else.
    • In Hunted he's kidnapped and used as bait after Sam just abandoned him in the middle of the night, pretty much dismissed him with a "He means well," and didn't contact him until he needed him. And all Dean can come up with is a "You ever do that again and I'll...". Do what, Dean? Grow some spine when it comes to dealing with your family?
    • In season four, Sam stops just short of choking Dean to death after Dean calls him a monster on top of Sam's hallucinations of Dean loathing him in one episode. Guess who calls to apologize to whom. Of course, that might be as much practicality, since Dean needed to get Sam to go to back to Bobby's to continue the incredibly painful process of detox. Or at least stop following Ruby's plan. His apology probably would have had the desired effect, too, if the angels hadn't meddled with the message.
    • It gets so much worse in Seasons 5 and 6. No wonder Famine accused him of being empty: he's got nothing left to give, not even to Lisa and Ben, because he's given it all to his family, who never needed him as much as he needed them.
    • Angels are implied to supposed to be this—follow your orders and don't ask questions—and the higher-ups don't like it when the doormats start questioning.
    • Castiel can also be an Extreme Doormat, although Depending on the Writer and his mood, sometimes he just straight out rebels and loses his shit. During his breakdown in season five, he tends to sacrifice himself and obey the Winchesters (particularly Dean) without question, no matter how much it hurts him. Castiel is even reduced in rank and tortured by heaven because he is getting too emotionally attached. A physically and psychologically broken Cas takes on all the damage a time travel trip requires (to the point that he cannot stand up), in order to make sure Sam and Dean survive. Given how readily and unquestioningly the millenia-old Cas sides with Dean, and Castiel's (obviously untrue) claims about Angels not having emotions, it's likely that he was just so eager to have someone he could believe in telling him what to do that he so willingly switched from being heaven's doormat/bitch to being Dean's doormat/bitch.
  • The Actives on Dollhouse are pretty much like this when in "blank slate" mode. They act like Purity Sues except even more obliging and unambitious. They're basically like children on Valium.
  • Darryl Morris on Charmed has done everything for the Charmed Ones. He even forgave them after Phoebe and Paige stole his soul. He had managed to grow a spine after getting put through the wringer one too many times without a thank you and put some distance between him and the girls. They didn't understand why.
  • Degrassi the Next Generation: Anya MacPherson was an Extreme Doormat to her best friend Holly J before she gained a bit of a backbone.
  • Played with in The Fast Show. One of Paul Whitehouse's characters tries to have opinions about the topic du jour whilst talking with his mates in the pub, but refuses to disagree with any of them for fear of offending. As a result he fails to come to a conclusion about anything and lives his life in a state or perpetual bewilderment.
  • In a Monty Python sketch, a couple goes to marriage counseling. The counselor instantly seduces the wife right in front of the husband, who can't bring himself to utter a word of protest.
  • Jerry on Parks and Recreation. He's constantly the butt of jokes and barbs from everyone in the office, even the nicer co-workers, and he rarely objects with anything more than an exasperated sigh.
  • Niles Crane on Frasier was portrayed as this, at least to his wife Maris, almost completely ignoring the fact that she treated him like crap and running to her pretty much whenever she snapped her fingers. He got better about this tendency over the years, eventually culminating in his divorce from Maris and learning to be on his own.


Music[edit | hide]

  • 2-D of the Gorillaz is an Extreme Doormat to Murdoc. To date the psychopathic bassist has kidnapped him, stolen his girlfriend, sold most of his belongings, taken several of his organs, beat him up repeatedly and run over him... twice. And though 2-D has only recently smartened up to this and come to resent Murdoc, he's still too afraid of him to do much.


Newspaper Comics[edit | hide]

  • Caspar Milquetoast from the 1920's comic strip The Timid Soul. His name went into the dictionary as a word for this trope.


Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

  • Slave Mentality in GURPS turns your character into this.
  • Beholden in Genius: The Transgression, who lack a worldview of their own and generally end up simply going along with the most convincing Genius in the area and serving the vitally important role of Igor.


Theater[edit | hide]


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • Yuna from Final Fantasy X. She apologizes or is sorry for eveyrthing that happens (including being kidnapped and other things that she couldn't prevent or wasn't even concerned in) and triggers a major plot element by accepting Seymour's proposition to marry him despite being fully aware that he is planning to eliminate the council of Yevon because they Guados mocked him for being a Half-Human Hybrid. Oh, and even after he DIES and comes back as a ghost, she still wants to marry him so she can send him to the Farplane. Justified by her habit to try to do everything by herself without warning so nobody else will be hurt, even if she doesn't seem to realise that her Guardians have to rescue her if her plan fails. And the sole reason she became a Summoner in the first place? Because her father was one and killed Sin via the ritual Heroic Sacrifice, thus giving a few years of peace to Spira, so she has to do the same. The majority of Yuna's Character Development in the game is outgrowing this. The turning point being the moment she confronts Yunalesca and resolves to find a way to end Sin permanently.
  • Youko Hasekura, resident emotionless Ninja girl of CROSS†CHANNEL, lives mostly only to do whatever the protagonist Taichi Kurosu asks of her, except for the times when she decides she knows what's better for him.
  • Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis gives us Vayne Aurelius, The Hero...
    • Though Vayne is more than just your typical doormatty hero: he has a pretty good reason to be that way. He's the Mana of Wishes. Meaning he exists to grant everyone else's.
  • The player character in BioShock (series) arguably is this way even after the Mind Control is cured. "You won't even walk until someone says go!"
    • By extension, this is applicable to virtually all silent player characters in a video game, a fact that the game's developers intended to point out.
  • Namine in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories is this for the Organization until the end, where she defies Marluxia for Sora's sake. In 358/2 Days, she's suddenly back an extreme doormat for DiZ. For her few scenes in Kingdom Hearts II, though, it's clear she's gotten past this phase at last and does things because she wants to, rather than because someone ordered her to.
  • Dragon Quest VII has Pepe, who just wants to keep everyone happy, but is pressured and pushed into a situation where he 'must' choose between his lover Linda and his family... because Linda refuses to do anything to solve her own problems and expects him to sweep her away from it all by eloping, regardless of how that would leave his family to deal with her family's debt. In the end, he cracks under the pressure and leaves town alone. This doesn't help.
  • Charon, a possible companion in Fallout 3, has been brainwashed to unquestioningly obey whomever holds his employment contract. His doormat behavior doesn't extend to anyone else, though. Employers who antagonize him would be well advised not to fire him.
  • Yes Man in Fallout: New Vegas is forced to be as helpful as possible due to his programming. However, he's also incredibly cheery about it. If the player decides to kill him [1] all he can do is beg for mercy and say that he deserves it. Of course, he's actually instrumental if the player wants to be the sole ruler of Vegas and in the Independent Ending he notes that he's found a program that allows him to be more "assertive".
  • Saori Hasegawa, the Hermit Social Link in Persona 3 Portable's female path. Naturally, she ends up on the receiving stick of some Malicious Slander, and it's up to the protagonist to teach her to enforce her opinions.
  • Deekin, the kobold bard in the Neverwinter Nights expansions, reappears in Neverwinter Nights 2 as a shopkeeper and complains to the Knight-Captain that he often has to tell people he's not dangerous and means them no harm. After the events of Hordes of the Underdark, this groveling, unassuming little kobold shopkeeper should be about a 30th-level bard/dragon disciple.
  • Dante Moro in Assassin's Creed II, who is left extremely impressionable after being knifed in the head. The guy who paid the thugs to attack him (who secretly lusted after Moro's wife) is subsequently able to talk Dante into anulling his marriage, and even has the audacity to hire him as a bodyguard.
  • Uther, leader of the lost kingdom of Insalaum in Super Robot Wars Z2 Saisei-Hen starts out as one of these, taking orders from an old hag of a prime minister, retreating after taking a single hit and just being an all-around sissy. Once he awakens his Sphere, he does a complete 180, gains about fifty levels in badass, smashes the final boss of the first game into the dirt with one hit, and if you end up taking the "If" route, he becomes the game's Big Bad.


Visual Novels[edit | hide]

  • Used as a Deconstruction in the Visual Novel Heart De Roommate when one of the girls accuses the resident Yamato Nadeshiko of being this, only coming across as sweet and innocent because she's too much of a moral coward to have her own opinions. Amusingly enough said character quickly proceeds to rectify this by expressing her own opinions on the other girl?s Genki Girl / Yandere tendencies. Thus proving that she really was a Yamato Nadeshiko; otherwise she wouldn't have the inner iron to do such a thing.
  • M in Shikkoku no Sharnoth never shows any emotion or interest in anything. He doesn't even bother telling people to leave him alone.
  • Assassin in Fate/stay night never varies from polite interest in his emotions. Caster partially ruptures his lungs, he continues chatting. True Assassin eats his way out from inside and he practically comments on the weather. Bleeding to death after Saber has run him through? Talk about birds. He expresses no opinions or goals beyond wanting to have one good fight during his tenure as a temple guardian. He can't leave the temple because he'll vanish if he does, and even if he beats everyone else, his master wins and gets the Grail and he still won't get anything because he is a fake Heroic Spirit that is something of a composite identity, and therefore has no wish to be fulfilled (not that the Grail would grant a wish to fake like him). Why bother?
    • Also Kuzuki, who weirds out Shirou with his complacence. Around the time Archer kills him, though, it seems like at least SOME of this is faked. Continuing a fight to the death against someone you have no hope against just because he feels he ought to finish what he started? Suuuure.
  • The protagonist of X-Change is in exactly the wrong genre to be this, and he only gets weaker after getting turned into a girl. Not until the third game does he finally get the option to fight off an attempted rapist.


Webcomics[edit | hide]

  • Kevin J Dog from Newshounds.
  • Kazuo of Red String fits this trope perfectly. His entire life is wrapped up in winning his Father's aproval. From his job, to his major, to the girl he marries he'll do anything Kenta says. Shame Kenta sees Kazuo as worthless and nothing but a bargaining chip, which finally drives Kazuo to attempt suicide.
  • Kusari from Sluggy Freelance is an interesting case: She does have an attitude, but that's about all. She still obeys the CEO of Hereti-Corp absolutely, and though she is capable of rational, independent thought, she has no motivation to do anything but serve. Mind Control is suspected, but it also seems like she has been made this way from the start and has no "real" self.
  • Gary from Ménage à 3 allows himself to be beaten, kissed by his gay friend (who is well aware he's straight) and prevented from having sex by the person who claimed she would help achieve this goal.
  • Lenny appears this way in Our Little Adventure.
  • Marten in Questionable Content indulges a little snarking now and then, but most of the time patientely endures all kinds of crap from the rest of the (mainly female) cast. Oh! And his former job was "office bitch" (with an official office bitch business card, no less).
  • In Spacetrawler, the Eebs are an entire species of doormats. Which in turn has led to them all being enslaved, as they will follow any direct order.
  • Tavros in Homestuck, to the point where he can't even bear a grudge towards the person who paralyzed him. Taken to extremes in the afterlife when he can't even bear a grudge towards the person who killed him. Who is the same person who paralyzed him earlier.


Web Original[edit | hide]

  • "Handy" from Void Dogs doesn't even consider herself to be a person. Considering that her real name is a serial number, this might not be surprising.
  • Several characters from Tales of MU show levels of doormat affinity, but two in particular have fit the definition of Extreme Doormat:
    • Two the Golem was set free with an order to do what she wants, but she was created with only one desire: to do as she's told. Her growth out of being an Extreme Doormat began when she learned to have other desires, starting with eating sweets.
    • The Lizard Folk use communal decision making, so Hissy holds no strong opinions of her own. Human missionaries decided she should go to school, the school decided she should join the skirmish team. Her response to all of it is simply that she has no objection. As a background character, her Extreme Doormat status wasn't even apparent until she got some Character Development.
  • Weasley Crusher of The Binder of Shame was constantly bullied by the other players, on one occasion being pushed into buying pizza with money he said he needed for insulin.
  • Although he likes starting arguments, The Nostalgia Critic constantly succumbs to peer pressure because he desperately wants to be loved and those arguments nearly always end with him crumbling for not much reason.


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • Leanne Cartman, Eric Cartman's mom in South Park. She will give her son anything and everything he wants to ridiculous extremes, without objection.
    • One episode focused on this, with the Dog Whisperer basically explaining that her social ineptitude means her son is the only real companionship she has, which is why she will do anything to make him happy so she can spend time with him. This is one of the reasons Cartman is such a Jerkass and a spoiled brat.
      • And in a more recent episode, She finally decided enough was enough and started denying Cartman... Only to have him convince everyone that she repeatedly raped him - in public.
    • Chris from the two-part episode "Do The Handicapped Go To Hell?/Probably" is also an example of this, as he lets the rude/abusive Saddam walk all over him during the episode and reacts very passive-aggressively to Satan cheating on him.
  • MODOK in the animated Iron Man series (from the '90s) has aspects of this trope, constantly putting up with the Mandarin belittling him and even having to be persuaded out of helping him enact a plan that would KILL HIM. When asked why he puts up with it he answers "He makes me laugh. Seriously, I LIKE him."
  • Wilt from Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends. His catchphrases are "I'm sorry" and "Is that okay?". When lost in the woods, his first suggestion was "I can starve first if it helps."
    • Occasionally he has outbursts of anger at being treated as a doormat... and then apologizes for it.
  • Gaston from Disney's Beauty and the Beast wanted Belle for his wife because "she is as beautiful as him", and he expects after they are married (which isn't happening if Belle has anything to say about it) that Belle will become his obedient "little wife who massages his feet".
    • It should be noted while this is his expectation of her, Belle is not this trope in the least. LeFou and the Three Blonde Bimbettes, on the other hand...
  • Mr. Milk from Making Fiends has quite a few doormat qualities, although it's mostly because he's stuck being school teacher to local Villain Protagonist Vendetta. Having an evil red bird fiend constantly keeping him in check doesn't help much either.
  • Harley Quinn is this personified when it comes to the Joker. Lampshaded in this exchange:

Harley: "I'm not a doormat! Am I?"
Poison Ivy: "If you had a middle name, it would be welcome!"

    • She does have a spine, even though it takes some time to dig it out. The episode Harlequinade demonstrated that when angry enough, she's perfectly willing to blow the Joker away (with a machine gun!) with barely a second thought. Probably the only scene in the entire series where the two showed genuine mutual respect and affection, as fits to their twisted minds.
  • Stacy Rowe from Daria fits the bill, though she started to grow a spine in the final season.
  • Luxor the cat from Tutenstein, thanks to the magic that compels him to serve the pharaoh.
  • On King of the Hill, Bill can fit this trope sometimes, although it can be tragic just as much as it's played for laughs. He was really a go-getter guy when he was in high school and pretty tough and likeable, but his current doormat status is implied to partly be because he joined the army, but mostly due to his leeching, cheating, dominating ex-wife Lenore, who left him with a broken heart and a missing spine.

Bill: When people yell at me, I usually do what they say!

    • Bobby can be like this too, mainly because even for someone his age, he's astonishing easy to influence and can be pushed into behaving in strange ways just from being around certain people.
    • Cotton's second wife Didi is maybe the most extreme possible version of this. She's always shown as quiet, depressed, and submitted, all of which are desireable traits in a spouse to the Jerkass Cotton Hill. With little free will of her own, she seems more like a slave then a wife.
  • Stimpy from The Ren and Stimpy Show can be like this sometimes for Ren.
  • There was a short-lived Terrytoons character called John Doormat. However this is only when he's with his wife; when's he's at work he's actually a mean, scary boss.
  • Hey Arnold!: Phoebe served as this for her friend Helga at times. One episode had her get tired of this after Helga's actions lead her to get hit by a car and she gets Helga to be this for her. Things go back to the way they were by the end of the episode though.
  • Cleveland Brown from Family Guy. Also, Meg. Until she Took a Level in Badass.
  • The Simpsons has Waylon Smithers, an assistant to Mr. Burns. For much of the series he helps with Burns' schemes almost unquestioningly, but he may be a subversion in that there are some schemes even he will object to at the risk of losing his job. (See "Who Shot Mr. Burns Part 1.")
  • Fluttershy of My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic, who kowtows to pretty much everything under the sun. Don't push it, though.
    • A recent episode revolves around her doormattitude, which has been turned Up to Eleven for the sake of the episode; she's even pushed around by Angel Bunny, who up until now tended to make it his job to keep everyone else's pushing around to a minimum. So she goes to a seminar on assertiveness, which causes a complete personality 180. She actually calls Pinkie Pie and Rarity worthless to their faces before the Heel Realization rolls around.
  • The Bushwoolies from My Little Pony were frequently troubled by the difficulty they had disagreeing with anyone, especially each other; their leader Hugster seemed to be the only one who really had a mind of his own. It was probably all they could do to decide to rebel in "Escape from Katrina" in the first place.
  • The Looney Tunes Show 's incarnation of Porky Pig will put up with or go along with anything because he's soft-hearted and wants to have friends. Bugs Bunny is determined to make him more assertive, but Daffy Duck takes advantage of him on a daily basis.
  • Pushover in The Smurfs episode "The Smurf Who Couldn't Say No", who basically is a Smurf who has trouble saying no until he accidentally causes the Marsh Monster to be released by extinguishing the ancient Foxfire Flame in the Great Swamp, and then he and Scaredy return to the swamp to relight the flame and Pushover insists on Scaredy doing the honors. By the time the episode ends, Pushover is no longer a pushover!

Real Life[edit | hide]

  • Most people have met someone like this. Often, these people either inspire the protective instincts of others or they're constantly taken advantage of. Many times, without meaning to, these people come off as somewhat creepy.
  • Some Dogs.
    • Also, some cats, if you look at the page image.
  • This can be a sign of certain psychiatric issues. Often, people who have been abused, outcast, or in other ways mistreated can be very nice out of fear that if they say no, then bad things will happen.
    • The abuse survivor version of this is called Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. it comes with a side of lack of self worth, inability to connect with others, and lack of ability to express emotions. It's particularly sad because to the sufferer, being treated like a doormat is better than being excluded entirely, and they're convinced that if they try to express and assert themselves again, then they'll just end up being hated.
  1. Don't worry, he'll upload himself to another Securitron