Psycho Ex-Girlfriend

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Knives Chau lives up to her name.
"Never let the crazy outweigh the hot."
—Regarding Mathilda, of MadWorld and Anarchy Reigns

This is someone The Hero used to be with, but broke it off. Said Ex is Not Good with Rejection.

You can expect the Ex to become a Stalker with a Crush. Many times, the Ex will become a villain because Love Makes You Evil. Despite the obvious gender differentiation in the title, it is not Always Female.

Oh and God help anyone our hero dated after this loon. They will suffer. Sometimes the hero will be targeted as well.

There are, at times, sympathetic Psycho Exes. Such as, if the break up was done because of the hero being a two-timing jerk at the time.

This is about the person who went nuts because of the break up.

We also have tropes for: someone the hero knew was evil when they started dating, someone who turned out to be a psycho within the relationship, and someone who was turned into a psycho out of the blue in order to kill off the relationship.

See also Yandere.

Examples of Psycho Ex-Girlfriend include:

Anime and Manga

Comic Books

  • Ray Palmer and his ex-wife, Jean Loring, in Identity Crisis. She gets committed to Arkham Asylum at the end. (Despite, er, not even living in the same state. Apparently there are no other asylums in the DCU.)
  • Wally West's ex-girlfriend Frances Kane, who returns as the psychotic villain Magenta. However, her violent insanity is actually an unfortunate side effect of her powers.
  • Gender-flipped (and foisted on her boyfriend) in Canadian mangaesque series Scott Pilgrim, where the main antagonists are the League of Ramona's Evil Ex-Boyfriends (oh, and one Ex-Girlfriend), whom Scott must defeat in various bizarre fight scenes in order to continue dating his Love Interest.
    • Played straight with eventual fights involving Scott's ex-girlfriends Envy and Knives. For fairness's sake, apparently, Ramona handles these fights.
  • Tony Stark broke up with Kathleen Dare because she was being too clingy. So, she shot and crippled him.
    • When Tony is later assumed to have died from an illness she shoots herself so she can join him in the afterlife.
  • Red She-Hulk was recently revealed to be Betty Ross Banner. One of Hulk's wives finally doesn't stay dead, and this happens. Damn, his life sucks.



  • Tanis and Kitiara have this kind of relationship in Dragonlance, and feelings definitely linger on both sides (though in Kitiara's case, those feelings aren't much deeper than "lust and amusement"). From a technical stance, Kit's less "psycho" than "amoral and ambitious", but she still fits the trope.
    • Given how Kitiara becomes insanely jealous after hearing that Tanis is traveling with his ex-girlfriend Laurana (especially after hearing how incredibly beautiful Laurana is) and how this jealousy causes Kit to become obsessed with Laurana to the point of relentlessly stalking the elfmaid and trying to give her a Fate Worse Than Death, Kitiara definitely fits as a "psycho."
  • Lanfear from The Wheel of Time series. A somewhat unusual example since The Chosen One she used to date has been dead for several millenia, so her stalking's a Reincarnation Romance.
  • Senna of Everworld is a Manipulative Bastard witch who is Christopher's ex-girlfriend, and is David's current girlfriend for most of the series, and his ex-girlfriend at the very end.
  • Raffles - Jacques Saillard in "An Old Flame".
  • Nately's whore in Catch-22 becomes insanely homicidal after she's told that Nately has been killed.
  • "Hell hath no fury like a Woman Scorned" probably explains the trope.

Live Action TV

  • Fox Mulder had two of these—all right, so the first one was mostly just annoying, but the second one turned out to be working for the Government Conspiracy and having some kind of weirdly ambiguous relationship with the Smoking Man.
  • It's becoming increasingly easy to read The Master from Doctor Who as the Doctor's ex from hell. They were at school together, used to be best friends, and the Master is utterly obsessed with being the centre of the Doctor's attention. His two appearances in the revived series have both involved him doing horrific things to the Doctor's favourite species - in the End of Time, he went so far as to turn every human on Earth (except Wilf and Donna) into a copy of himself.
    • The likely explanation for the behavior of the so-called "Virgin Queen" in The Shakespeare Code.
  • For a few episodes Blair Waldorf on Gossip Girl becomes this to Chuck. Most people thought it was fair enough, since he was giving his new girlfriend incredibly expensive watches, crediting her with making him a better man and treating her like a queen, when he'd whored Blair out to his uncle and then slept with her greatest enemy.
  • Another Whoniverse example: John Hart, Jack's ex-"partner" who shows up in the second season premiere of Torchwood. He reappears in the finale, holding Grey, Jack's long-lost brother, hostage and tearing Cardiff apart for no apparent reason but to get Jack's attention. It turns out to be a subversion, as Grey is the one in charge and has a bomb fused to John's wrist, forcing him to obey when he'd rather be anywhere else.
    • Jack's bad luck with men continues in Torchwood: Miracle Day, when his boyfriend Angelo's Catholic Gayngst leads him to do terrible, terrible things.
  • How I Met Your Mother parodies this in "The Platinum Rule" when Barney assumes Wendy the Waitress is this but she is actually taking their break-up really well.
  • iCarly: Lewbert's ex-girlfriend Marta Trundel in iFind Lewbert's Lost Love.
  • Oz. Unit Manager Tim McManus forms a brief liaison with prison guard Claire Howell. When he tries to break off the relationship she assaults him in his office (to the delight of watching inmates), then charges him with sexual harassment when he tries to fire her. Howell's later actions definitely cast her in the role of a villain—she assaults (and in one case murders) inmates, as well as using them for her own sexual gratification whether they want it or not.
  • 24. Two characters, Jack and Tony, dating the same person, Nina.
  • Davina from Material Girl (TV series) its revealed at the end of the series that most of her attepts to hurt Ali were in fact directed at Marco, Ali just got in the way.
  • Virginia from Sunset Beach. She even tried to have her ex's current girlfriend impregnated by another guy using a turkey-baster! in a memorable scene.
  • Havoc and Sakura in Renegade.
  • The Vampire Diaries has Katherine, ex-girlfriend of both Salvatore brothers. Though ensuring her own survival comes before anything else, screwing with them and current love interest Elena definitely seems to be her next highest priority.
  • Mandy from Secret Girlfriend, to an extreme degree.
  • Rose from Two and A Half Men both fits and subverts this. Although becoming friends with Charlie, she does manage to drive away his love interests and refuses to give up. Plus, every main character has called her crazy at some point. She's also pretty civil in her stalking, despite it being creepy.
  • After Dexter finally cut it off with Lila in Dexter, she nearly killed him and his girlfriend's children.
  • Niles's ex-wife Maris from Frasier probably qualifies, although more subtly: when she begs for him to come back to her, and he rejects her on the grounds that she has treated him like dirt all his life, she goes into a Tranquil Fury and proceeds to utterly screw Niles out of every cent he has with a team of Amoral Attorneys, just for the sake of revenge (she was filthy rich already).
  • In Zoey 101, we have Chase's short-lived girlfriend, Rebecca. Admittedly, she was psycho while she and Chase were still dating; she demanded Zoey no longer have any contact with Chase, and that Chase stop being friends with Zoey. It was the reason they broke up. Rebecca, of course, took this to mean Zoey was the reason they broke up, and in a later episode ends up blackmailing her into doing all sorts of embarassing things.
  • In one episode of Boy Meets World, Shawn becomes the target of three of these who band together to sabotage his latest relationship because they think he is leading her on like he led them on.
  • Gabe of The Office is a psycho ex boyfriend. He becomes one after Erin breaks up with him. He follows Andy, (whom Erin really likes) to the men's room and threatens him and follows Erin into the ladies room and pleads for her to take him back.


  • "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" by Miranda Lambert, of course.
  • "Before He Cheats" by Carrie Underwood, particularly with the double standard - imagine the same situation, genders reversed; how much vandalism do you see the cuckolded guy getting away with? While the singer's violent response in celebrated in the music and implied to be without other consequence.
  • Also arguably, the Dixie Chicks' "Goodbye Earl." Though Earl was hardly any sort of hero (especially with what he did to Wanda), I wouldn't want to be those girls' next boyfriend.
  • "Psycho Ex" by Andy Prieboy.
  • Pretty much Avril Lavigne's musical persona.


Video Games

  • Jolene to Linebeck in The Legend of Zelda Phantom Hourglass.
  • Catalina is one of these to Claude, the protagonist of Grand Theft Auto III.
    • And also to Carl Johnson, although he never actually wanted to be her boyfriend.
  • Shel Jelavan is this to Zayne Carrick in Knights of the Old Republic. However, she's sort of sympathetic, and they do genuinely patch things up once the collossal misunderstanding is resolved.
  • Adele from Arc Rise Fantasia has a definite air of this about her. She was only ever a girlfriend in her own mind (and hopes), but evidently that was enough to trigger a violent murderous storm of Yandere.

Web Animation

Web Comics

"Haha! Sub-par snacks! FEEL MY WRATH!"

Web Original

  • Annabelle Wynters in Under the Van Gogh. And that's putting it nicely.
  • Shannon in Echo Chamber's Trope Of The Week series has an entire episode dedicated to her psycho ex nature. She stalks him, threatens other girls he's seen with (Dana in particular), and seems to believe they are still dating. But the kicker? She forced him to propose to her. Oh, and she regularly cheats on him. Hooray for the Double Standard.
    • One could take the above spoiler as Tom proposes to her, but then gets cold feet and runs off. He takes Shannon back and now they have sex every so often.
  • The Questport Chronicles: The Lord of Angels and Demons is a male example. He erases one woman's memory after she dumps him, and then destroys the only book that tells how to restore her memories.
  • This NSFW music video about a young woman who feels compelled to post pictures of her ex's dick on the internet -- and elsewhere.

Western Animation

  • Several times for Robert Freeman (Grandad) in The Boondocks, but thankfully not for repeating characters.
  • Terra for Beast Boy in the Animated Adaptation of Teen Titans.
    • Hell, Terra period. She was much worse in the comics! When she had the Titans (aside from Nightwing) captured, Gar pleaded with her, only to have her not only laugh in his face but sneer that kissing him "made her want to puke." Even better is that she was actively boinking Deathstroke (who was actually afraid of her). Poor Gar still can't fully acknowledge she was a traitor all along.
      • Comics Terra doesn't really apply to this trope since she was psycho before Changeling met her and any romance between the two of them was all an act on her part. Animated Terra however fits the trope to a T. She was pretty much on the neutral side of things, agreeing to sell the Titans out (well four of the five) as a favor to Slade for helping her control her powers, but not exactly on the evil side until Beast Boy told her she had no friends which turned her over the dark side completely until her Heel Face Turn three episodes later.
  • Goliath and Demona of Gargoyles, with emphasis on the "psycho"
    • This is a case where feelings do still linger on both sides, but both characters recognize that they're now too different to ever be an item again (trying to kill each other almost every time you meet will do that to you). Doesn't stop the shippers.
  • Prof. Farnsworth and Mom in Futurama.
    • Notably, her insanity was there when they were dating. He just had a change of heart and couldn't stay with a megalomaniac.
  • Like it or not, Trixie Tang briefly became this to Timmy after he wished they were the only two people on earth.
  • Blackarachnia from Transformers Animated is actually this to Optimus Prime, after he and Sentinel accidentally leave her behind on a spider-infested planet.
  • 6teen's Lydia was Jonsey's ex; somehow she became a Stalker with a Crush to Wyatt.
    • She thinks they are twin brothers. That should tell you she'll a little cracked.
  • Dave the Barbarian's Ex, the Evil Princess Irmoplotz.
  • Lola on The Looney Tunes Show. Bugs meets her on a blind date, decides that she's not right for him afterwards at least partially due to her being a Stalker with a Crush on him, and Lola goes from being distraught about it to believing that she's still involved with Bugs to the point where she has Bugs (unwillingly) at the altar with her. Bugs is thankfully saved from the And Now You Must Marry Me situation she has put him in by her invocation of Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace on the grounds that she has decided that she loves Pepe le Pew.

Real Life

  • After astronaut Lisa Nowak's boyfriend, William Oefelein, broke it off with her for Colleen Shipman, Lisa Nowak then stalked Shipman for two months after which she drove from Houston, Texas to Orlando, Florida on February 4–5, 2007 to attempt to kidnap Shipman. Early police reports further indicate that she was wearing a diaper when driving to prevent the need for bathroom breaks.
  • Simultaneously subverted and inverted in this story going around about Azura Lakin, a woman who slashed her ex-boyfriend's throat with a broken beer bottle, killing him, but isn't going to be charged with homicide because she did it as a response to his choking her, attempting to re-enter the apartment that she and her sister pushed him out of after he choked her, and moving towards her as if to choke her again.
  1. The same person that said he never sleeps with the same woman twice.