The Resenter

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
He looks upset.
"Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die."
Malachy McCourt
"His resentment boiled up behind his eyes like sinus pain. All this bloody hero worship, or whatever it was. All for Naismith. For Naismith, and not for me... never for me..."

So you've got your hero. The Call to Adventure has found them. By birth, supernatural aid, or just plain luck, he's the Only One to be granted everything needed to save the world: Cursed with Awesome powers, a suit of Plot Armor in their exact size, the plucky supporting cast... basically he's caught the Hero Ball and is running with it as far as he can.

But... hiding in the shadows there's someone with a problem. He might be the villain of the piece, but he's just as likely to be working on the same side as the heroes. Really, this is something that goes deeper than good and evil, love and hate.

It's resentment.

Maybe he's the Determinator, sick of seeing fate grant the hero the world on a silver platter... everything that the resenter has spent toiling his whole life to achieve. Maybe he's the Ineffectual Loner, sick of seeing the Power of Friendship defeat brilliantly thought-out plans time and time again. Maybe he's the Internal Affairs guy, hating how the Cowboy Cop gets away with breaking the rules time and time again. Maybe it's the hard-working family man, cursing the apparently easy life of the Rich Idiot With No Day Job. Maybe he discovered, after striving to his utmost to win a competition, that it had been a Secret Test of Character and his effort had only ensured his loss. Maybe he was Refused by the Call after all his effort.

In any case, there's one thing they certainly agree on: Whoever it is that chooses The Chosen One has clearly chosen the wrong one. The grapes are just out of reach, and that makes them all the more sour.

One of the key traits of many a Beta Test Baddie. If the resentment is seen as truly justified, the character has been made Unintentionally Sympathetic.

Compare The Rival, Rival Turned Evil. If the resentment is over a girl, see Two Guys and a Girl.

Contrast Sour Supporter, who just thinks The Hero's insane. See Bastard Bastard for (Half)-Sibling Rivalry.

May turn into an Arch Nemesis, unless of course the hero doesn't notice. Which is likely to piss them off even more. Or they may redeem themselves somehow, which is odd if you think about it.

See also Driven by Envy.

Examples of The Resenter include:

Anime and Manga

  • Seto Kaiba in Yu-Gi-Oh!. Aside from disliking Yugi for having dethroned him as dueling king, he also likely resents the idea that Yugi (or rather Yami Yugi) wins against opponents Because Destiny Says So, while Kaiba's own hard work against said opponents isn't worth squat.
    • Upon accepting that Yami Yugi is real, Kaiba is entirely resentful of Yugi for this. Until he's watching the end of series duel between the Pharaoh (Yami) and little Yugi. And watches Yugi be a genius. By way of defeating the Three Egyptian God Cards through Rules Lawyering. Seriously, who thought that making Slifer automatically attack every new monster was A GOOD IDEA?!
    • Kaiba himself attracts one resenter after another in anime Filler Arcs. There's foster brother Noah, who hates him for stealing what Noah feels was rightfully his, and the Big 5 who resent the way Kaiba discarded them after all the work they did helping seize control of the company. Finally there's Kaiba's Evil Counterpart, Siegfried von Schroeder, who resents the fact that KaibaCorp was able to sign a deal with Maximillion Pegasus and Industrial Illusions first, thusly putting Siegfried out of business.
  • Dragonball Z's Vegeta, who seems to be the inspiration for Kaiba. "I'm a prince, you're the son of a lowly fighter!"
    • Vegeta's resentment is born of his pure, unadulterated arrogance. Sorry, "pride". But then, if you were constantly being upstaged by Goku then ou might be a little resentful too. Truly, Krillin is a saint for his patience.
  • Aoba towards Kou in Cross Game.
  • Mello in Death Note is this to Near, since Near continually edged ahead of him at their mutual School for Scheming. His overriding motivation throughout is to prove himself superior to Near.
  • Ranban from Space Pirate Mito villainous motivation comes from being imprisoned because his body never settled on a gender, which drove him insane enough to get revenge by blowing up the entire royal family (which he was part of)'s planet. Only Mito escaped, and he continued to pursue her, mostly because he resented the fact that she could rule the galaxy while he was denied this right, despite the fact they were practically twins, except for the gender thing.
  • Katsuhiko Jinnai from El Hazard is constantly number 2 in everything, right after Makoto Mizuhara (he gets lower grades, is second in races during gym, and is right behind him in lunch line, presumably among others). So Jinnai declares them lifelong rivals, much to Makoto's confusion, and joins the villains in the other world.
    • Actually, in the original OAV series at least, Jinnai was pretty much a villain-in-the-making to begin with. He truly hated Makoto for always managing to best him, but he signed up with Queen Diva and the Bugrom because he liked the sound of their mission to conquer the world, not because of his hate for Makoto.
      • And in the TV series Makoto is far more laid back and doesn't really participate in anything other than his science experiments making Jinnai's jealousy all the more irrational, and hilarious.
  • In Gundam Seed, Sai is this after Flay sleeps with Kira. He gets over it midway through the series. Le Creuset is this to Kira, La Flaga, and everyone on the planet.
  • In an odd twist, the Badass Normal Genki Girl giving The Call in Psycho Staff is also rather resentful that the Refuser, a powerful esper, would rather study for uni exams then help win an interplanetary war. She also despises an evil genius who thinks that she can beat her with a super suit ("You're both amateur fighters!").
  • In Naruto...well Naruto himself fits this trope actually, at least for the first half of the first series. He spent the early part of the series jealous of the attention and praise Sasuke received.
    • After which it reversed and he calmed down and viewed him as an equal, while Sasuke started to freak because Naruto had become his equal, or better. Apparently he became the resenter because the Superpower Lottery wasn't enough anymore.
    • Danzo was this to Sarutobi, the Third Hokage, since he always resented how the latter would give without hesitation his life for his comrades, and because of this he becomes Hokage.
  • Sugimoto in The Twelve Kingdoms, who as the series continues starts to take her belief that The Chosen One was chosen incorrectly to annoying heights.
  • In the Scramble For The Throne arc of Kinnikuman, Super Phoenix is bitter that a buffoon like Suguru has so much wealth and fame, while he grew up in poverty and obscurity.
  • Ultra Magnus in Transformers: Robots in Disguise, who feels that as the strongest warrior on Cybertron, he was more deserving of the Matrix than Optimus Prime.
  • Kurumi in Kimi ni Todoke.
  • Furuichi in Xam'd: Lost Memories. His jealousy and bit of inferiority complex is gradually shown that he is envious that Akiyuki has everything he wants (being The Chosen One, the love interest Haru, etc), and he becomes a Rival Turned Evil out of that resentment. It does not end well for him.
  • Ryoga of Ranma ½ blaims Ranma for almost everything bad about his life. The main reasons why he's resentful are: (1) Ranma always beats him in their fights. Always. Even if Ranma loses, he always challenges Ryoga to a rematch and beats him in the end. (2) Ranma's curse turns him into a hot girl, while Ryoga gets turned into a little, black piglet, all because of an accident involving the two of them. (3) Ranma's engaged to Akane and gets all her attention, while Ryoga is stuck in the friend zone.
  • Future GPX Cyber Formula has Naoki Shinjyo and Karl Lichter von Randoll. The former becomes extremely resentful of Hayato after he wins the English GP and the latter not only is resentful of Hayato's later success, but also of his relationship with Asuka, whom Randoll never stands a chance with, and in 11, he resents Schumacher for messing up with his pace. Both of them get over it as the series progresses.
  • In the original Mobile Suit Gundam Kai Shiden and especially Hayato Kobayashi resent Amuro Ray for his talent and the fact that he is key to the survival of the crew; from their perspective he is given far too many privileges because of this. It gets to the point where they desert the ship in a rage because Amuro wasn't executed for, wait for it, deserting. Kai gets over it.
  • In Rurouni Kenshin, Yumi Komagata is revealed to have been this toward the fighters in the Jupon Gatana. Because Makoto Shishio, her lover and their employer, always respected strength and good fighting ability, their skills made her feel useless by comparison. This prompts her self-sacrifice during Shishio's fight with Kenshin, in an effort to be somehow useful to him in a battle.
  • Envy is this in Fullmetal Alchemist. It resents the entire human race for their ability to live full lives despite their limitations, something that it is literally incapable of doing.
  • Two cases occur in Berserk that also overlap with Green-Eyed Monster.
    • Between insane Casca and her caretaker Farnese, Farnese feels resentment toward Casca because she often causes Guts trouble out of her current fear toward him. Despite this, Guts still goes out of his way for her and is, in fact, still deeply in love with Casca and is striving to find a cure for her insanity. However, Farnese has feelings for Guts, and although she knows that it is highly unlikely that he will ever reciprocate her affection, she at least wants his merit in the group as a witch in training. Guts does see Farnese as person of worth to his group... but beyond that, he doesn't see her as anymore than Casca's caregiver.
    • Young Sonia resents Princess Charlotte and the relationship that she has with Griffith as his fiance (and his Meal Ticket), seeing her as nothing more than a useless duck who has no real use beyond being the key to the throne of Midland, while Sonia sees herself as being a much more useful kite since she is gifted with clairvoyance and knows that Griffith is beyond this world.

Comic Books

  • Some continuities depict this as a primary motivation for Lex Luthor's hatred of Superman (apart from the whole "thwarting of his evil" thing): that this otherworldy alien creature, in possession of massive power, but without the intelligence to use it correctly, is able to lord over humanity as the Beloved Favorite Son of Metropolis, rendering all the accomplishments of self-made Badass Normals like himself moot. Without Superman, Lex would rule the world, and he constantly blames Superman for "forcing" Lex to spend his time thinking up ways to kill Supes rather than stopping global warming or curing cancer. (Though as Superman has pointed out, if Lex were interested in saving the world, he would have done it already.)
    • One strip based in the DCAU demonstrates his resentment perfectly, with a young Lex Luthor planning the future center of his business empire and declaring it will be the tallest building in Metropolis and everyone will look up to him. And then shows the present of him standing in the tallest building in Metropolis - looking at Superman flying overhead.
    • Darius Dax, the Lex Luthor analogue in Supreme, makes the resentment an explicit part of his origin: a child genius who feels that he is constantly overlooked because of this hick that stumbled over a power-giving meteor one day. This comes directly from Silver Age Lex Luthor's resentment of Superboy. Child genius overlooked by a super-powered hick. In his zeal to outdo Superboy, he created an accident and Superboy's attempt to fix it caused Lex Luthor to go bald.
    • Generations where Joel Kent, the son of Superman loses his powers in the womb, and grows up with a sister who didn't. They tried to keep it all from him to avert this but fellow resenter Lex Luthor told Joel and began manipulating his resentment from an early age for his own purposes. (Nevermind Lex was ultimately responsible for Joel's plight in the first place.)
    • In Action Comics #900, Lex Luthor discovers Superman and Clark Kent are one and the same. This gives yet another reason to resent Superman: Lex had to grow up with an abusive drunkard for a father while Superman, an alien, grew up with loving parents.

Luthor: I was happy to be rid of what I had for a father! But you... You got them! You're not human! You don't deserve to be Clark Kent!

  • The Batman story The Long Halloween, portrays DA Harvey Dent's feelings toward Bruce Wayne after the latter is acquitted of murder as resentment: that someone as dedicated to doing justice and right as Harvey must see his family live on the edge of poverty, while the Rich Idiot With No Day Job can live a life of ease, buying anything, even a Not Guilty verdict.
  • Rayek in Elf Quest, in almost every flavor of the trope at some point in the story or another. Since the story unerringly paints the Wolfriders as heroes, Rayek's situation is drawn in a rather unsympathetic light no matter what it is.
  • Guy Gardner in Green Lantern, though perhaps this was justified, considering he only lost out because the other candidate was closer to the one handing out the Hero Ball. He does get over this though... eventually.
  • The initial antagonism between Spider-Man and the Human Torch was because they both resented one another. Peter was jealous of Johnny's fame and public status while Johnny was jealous of Peter's relationship with his Aunt May and his status as a Chick Magnet.
  • Veronica Cale. Veronica's hatred and jealousy of Wonder Woman was so powerful that she did everything she could to ruin her during Greg Rucka's run on the comic. She ran a smear campaign against Diana, helped turn an innocent acquaintance of Diana's into the next Silver Swan, and released Doctor Psycho in an attempt to turn a crowd of people against Diana. In 52 this trait was eventually dropped and she became a more typical Mad Scientist since working on the Horsemen of Apokolips project had driven her (more) insane.
  • Doctor Doom, for his Arch Enemy Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four. The reasons for his blinding hatred of Reed are numerous, twisted, personal, and all-around complex deluded batshit insane, but what has kept it running for two in-universe (and five real-life) decades is a constant dose of this trope. Reed has everything Doom doesn't quite have — a family, loyal friends, public acknowledgement, admiration from people who aren't brainwashed subjects of his own dictatorship, good looks (which Doom once had, and actually blames Richards for their destruction), acknowledgment as a hero, and most important of all, a handful more IQ points, which he has used to defeat Doom and foil his plans time and time again. In short, Doom cannot stand the fact that Reed is always just one teensy bit better than him at everything.
  • In Gotham Central, Lieutenant Ron "The Probe" Probson greatly resents the fact that Captain Maggie Sawyer received the position of head of First Shift of the Major Crimes Unit instead of him. Also, though he never comes right out and says it, there is the implication that he really dislikes her because of her sexuality and that the only reason keeps quiet on that account is because he fears being slapped with a discrimination lawsuit. Over the course of the series the two characters bicker constantly, attempt to deny each other credit for work they have done and fight over responsibility and authority. However, they also develop a growing mutual respect, and in the climax of the "Soft Targets" storyline Ron decides to perform a morally questionable action so that Captain Sawyer can "stay clean." For the first time he calls her "Maggie."
  • Prior to his Face Heel Turn, Hunter Zolomon appears to have been this toward Wally West, albeit low-key. To be more specific, Hunter disliked being stuck with a desk job at the Keystone City Police Department as opposed to being able to run around like Wally could (due to having a limp from a gunshot to the knee when he was in the FBI). He also believed strongly that tragedy makes better heroes, but that Wally failed to appreciate this view because unlike Barry Allen and Hunter himself, Wally had never known personal tragedy. Following his transformation into Zoom, he became determined that Wally should see things his way, even if it meant attempting to kill Wally's Love Interest in front of him.
    • There's also the earlier case of Barry's previously-unknown Evil Twin Malcolm Thawne, better known as the super-villain Cobalt Blue. Separated from his real family at birth to cover up the attending doctor's accidental killing of another couple's child on the same night, Malcolm grew up with the second couple, a pair of con artists who treated him horribly, the abuse exacerbated by their knowledge that he wasn't really theirs—something he wouldn't learn until years later. After finding out the truth of his parentage, Malcolm also learned that Barry was the Flash, and hated him both for having the good childhood Malcolm got cheated out of and for gaining powers Malcolm (believed he) should have rightfully received.

Fan Works

  • Ephrem Broadbank in the Future Imperfect era of Undocumented Features. A stupidly-rich businessman living in the Zeta Cygni Dyson Sphere, he cannot believe that Gryphon and the other immortal heroes of the story are as good and heroic as they appear, and expends a great deal of time and energy on deliberately trying to make their lives harder -- to the point that all three of his daughters were conceived solely so that Gryphon's children would have their own nemeses as they grew up.


  • Rotti Largo from Repo! The Genetic Opera has a lot of this—first his love married someone else causing him to kill her, then his children grew up to be astoundingly psychotic failures, then he became terminally ill. Poor guy. It would make anyone turn into a bastard, though Rotti saves time by being one from the start.
  • This is Jeannie's entire motivation in Ferris Bueller's Day Off.
  • The Godfather Part II: Fredo Corleone to his younger brother Michael, when Michael becomes the Don.
  • In Amadeus, Salieri is jealous of the vulgar Mozart's gifted talent with music.
  • Megamind. So much. The titular alien is this, with his rival, Metro Man (a more human-looking alien), being the object of his envy. To summarize: they arrived on Earth at the same time. Megamind was en route for a mansion, but Metro's shuttle knocked him off-course, bouncing Megs into a prison and landing "the good life" for himself instead. Years later, Metro was beloved by his shool while Megs was ostracized, leading Megs to become a supervillain since everyone hated him anyway.
    • He is also jealous that Metro Man always gets the girl. (After all, who would date a blue alien supervillain?) It's implied he had a thing for Roxanne even prior to the movie. And let's not even mention that thing with Bernard...
    • Then when Metro Man dies (fakes his death) and Megamind is challenged to be The Hero for once, and he ignores the call... yeah, major resentment there.
  • Loki in the new Thor movie combines this with being The Unfavorite to make his very own villainous motivation. Probably.


  • The Harry Potter series has a minor example in Ron Weasley who, although one of Harry's closest friends, becomes increasingly angry with his Butt Monkey status, in comparison to Harry's fame, vault full of gold, and the yearly chance to shine as the Chosen One, eventually coming to a head in Deathly Hallows.
    • Ron is also resentful for being the youngest son in such a large family of talented children, so that any of his accomplishments become standard expectations (Getting into Gryffindor, becoming a prefect, joining the Quidditch team, etc.) but this isn't focused on as much in the series, except for a few moments.
    • Don't forget Snape, who was in love with Lily Potter and always resented James Potter's good looks and charm. With Harry looking so much like his father, Snape unfairly transfers his resentment onto him.
    • It's also implied that Petunia's reactionary attitude toward the revelation that Lily was a witch was partly out of envy, and this contributed to their falling out.
    • Draco Malfoy wants to hang out with the famous Harry Potter at the start, but gets rejected because he takes about five seconds to prove he's a haughty, mean little twit. He spends most of the rest of the series tormenting Harry over all the unwanted fame and attention he's getting and failing to match him in things like Quidditch. Presumably, he did other things as well when we weren't seeing him, but still, way to spend your energy on someone you supposedly don't care about.
  • Older Than Feudalism biblical examples:
    • The Old Testament tells us that this is the motive for Cain's murder of Abel... of course when God Himself tells you you're The Unfavorite, maybe a little jealousy is justified.
    • In the New Testament, the older brother in Christ's parable of the Prodigal Son is understandably resentful when his father not only welcomes back his ne'er-do-well younger brother, but also throws a huge party in his honor.
  • East of Eden, based on the Cain and Abel story, extends this over two generations.
  • The title character from Cousin Bette towards her wealthy relatives.
  • An aversion is found in Christopher Moore's Lamb with young John the Baptist. When Joshua and Biff meet John (Josh's some number of cousin some number of times removed), he's convinced he's the Messiah and has taken to aggressively baptizing younger kids. When Biff and Josh tell him that Josh (Jesus) is the Messiah, and that he's actually mostly raised the dead, John wants to be absolutely sure... and is then grateful to have that load off his shoulders. He wants to help Josh, though, so he keeps baptizing people.
  • Friedrich Nietzsche argued in his work The Genealogy of Morals that ressentiment, the essential reassignment of the pain that accompanies a sense of inferiority onto an external scapegoat, is the central effective force for the creation of identities, moral frameworks and value systems. Most particularly, Judaism and Christianity are presented as the creation of the weak who resent how the strong are able to lord over them, and thus create a system of morals to "invert" the natural order.
  • Vorkosigan Saga: Mark Pierre Vorkosigan's background as a clone commissioned, biosculpted, trained, and tortured into an effective copy of Aral Vorkosigan's son pretty much insures this attitude at least as an undertone toward the little twerp in question for all that Miles seeks to claim him as a sibling. Admittedly, he has gotten a lot better.
  • In Ben Counter's Warhammer 40,000 Horus Heresy novel Galaxy In Flames, Lucius is envious of how easily Tarvitz assumes command of the betrayed Emperor's Children, which motivates his betraying them to Horus.
    • In James Swallow's The Flight Of the Eisenstein, Grulgor resents Garro, claiming that he thinks himself above the rest of them because he came from Terra, and that is why he will not join a lodge. A major factor in his willingness to join Horus.
  • In James Swallow's Warhammer 40,000 Deus Sanguinius, believing Rafen to be dead, Sachiel admits to himself how much he resented him, from his quiet strength to his contempt for Sachiel to the way he won the respect of his men.
    • In Red Fury, the Flesh Tearers resent the Blood Angels, assuming out of hand that they are proud and will lord it over the other Chapters derived from Sanguinius because they came from the First Founding. Seth, their Chapter Master, tells them he intends to exploit the Blood Angels' weakness and wishes to take their position on Baal. He openly declares their chapter should be dissolved. After their battle with the Bloodfiends, and Dante's saving his life, Seth declares that these events came about so that they will remember that they are brothers not cousins.
  • In the Ciaphas Cain novel The Traitor's Hand, Tomas Beije profoundly dislikes his old classmate Cain, who is not particularly pious, is decidedly slack on discipline in his regiment, appears to spend a significant amount of time away from his official duties as a commissar... and happens to be regarded as one of the Imperium's greatest heroes. His efforts to discredit Cain eventually backfire spectacularly.
  • Several of the Forsaken in The Wheel of Time series were originally good guys who switched sides because they couldn't compare to The Chosen One leading humanity's forces. Especially notable is Demandred, who was Always Second Best, in every single way, up to and including height. Sammael and Be'lal were also notable resenters, though their hatred for Lews Therin was said to pale beside Demandred's, even though they had more direct reason.
    • See also Mazrim Taim, who fulfills exactly the same role towards Rand that Demandred did towards Lews Therin Telamon, to the extent that it was a popular fan theory that the two were one and the same, until it was Jossed.
  • This is basically Sir Apropos of Nothing's defining character trait. Eventually comes to a head when he beats the shit out of the Designated Hero and hijacks the entire plot.
  • Broud towards Ayla in The Clan of the Cave Bear.
  • In John C. Wright's The Golden Age, The Phoenix Exultant, and The Golden Transcendence, the defining trait of the Nevernexters, and the cacophiles: with the invention of personal immortality, they will never inherit their parents' wealth, and they openly base their entire program on resenting that.
  • Ser Illvin dy Arbanos in Paladin of Souls is widely presumed to be this, being the bastard half-brother Ahrys dy Lutiz, March of a critical border fortress and son of a great statesman. However, aside from traces of irritation over his brother's Chick Magnet status ("You could duck, try it sometimes"), Illvin's main feeling toward Ahrys is filial affection leavened with pity for what amounted to a fatherless upbringing.
  • In Tolkien's The Children of Hurin, both Gwindor and Brandir resent the hero Turin for stealing their loves and undercutting their authority, but while Gwindor stays a loyal friend, Brandir ends up taking his resentment too far and gets killed by Turin.
    • Brandir maybe was resentful, but he only spoke the truth: He informed Turin that he is a Doom Magnet: a curse on his own lineage and those that help him. Turin killed him and later found out he spoke the truth, then asked his sword Gurthang to kill him, the sword does it to forget Brandir’s blood, because his death was unjust.
  • The protagonist in Robert Locke's "G-r-r-r...!" is driven by an overwhelming resentment of another monk.

Live Action TV

  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer had Faith, whose Face Heel Turn came largely as a result of resenting that, although she was the Slayer, the Chosen One, Buffy had the family and friends she never had, the role of leader, and all the respect and credit Faith deserved.
    • And that whole, them wanting her to at least stand trial for what was an accidential murder that she had no way of ever being found innocent.
  • Colonel John Casey made it clear from day one that he resented having to guard "that moron" Chuck. Strangely, he had a problem with is orders to kill Chuck upon completion of the Intersect. The series constantly played with the idea that he might Face Heel Turn. (He still might).
  • Vice-President John Hoynes on The West Wing. He was a lock for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination, until dark horse candidate Bartlet came out of nowhere and started winning primaries—with the help of a team that included Josh Lyman, formerly Hoynes's most trusted lieutenant. Worse, after Bartlet got the nomination, Hoynes was insulted by the offer of the VP slot, and accepted it largely on the understanding that it would be "his turn" next time (and that "next time" would come after only one term, because of Bartlet's MS). His resentment was routinely exacerbated by the fact that the VP is traditionally more or less a prop for the White House's agenda, so he's generally ignored unless Bartlet wants to wheel him out to lend moderate credence to his more radical policies, which Hoynes doesn't necessarily even support. (This last in particular has some Real Life parallels with John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson.)
  • It is implied at this, along with Sibling Rivalry was what came between Shawn Farrell and his brother Danny in The 4400. To be fair to Danny, Shawn kind of stole his girlfriend and their mother's attention, was basically a dick for the first season, and then got superpowers. This probably contributed to Danny's decision to take Promicin in the last season.
  • In Noah's Arc, this is a big part of Guy's motivation. He resents Alex for having a man like Trey and treating him the way that he does, so he goes out to get Trey for himself.


  • PDQ Bach's A Little Nightmare Music, features a mysterious playwright from another century, appearing to accuse Salieri of murderous resentment toward Mozart. Salieri does inadvertently kill Mozart, but only because the servant PDQ Bach bumps him as he tries to poison the mysterious playwright.

Professional Wrestling

  • One of the most widely used angles in any form of wrestling, typically between two faces where one is arguably more popular than the other, in a tag team, or within a family.
    • The epic feud between brothers Bret and Owen Hart, where Owen even called his rise towards main event status as him "leaping out of the shadow" of his more accomplished older brother. Even when Owen made his Face Heel Turn at the Royal Rumble in '94 after months of build-up and tension, he was unable to get the match he craved with Bret until Bret finally relented and they opened that year's Wrestlemania with one of the event's greatest ever matches, where Owen beat Bret cleanly, but was still overshadowed by Bret winning back the WWF Championship in the night's main event.
    • Resentment at Hulk Hogan's popularity, combined with his intense jealousy for Miss Elizabeth led to Macho Man Randy Savage become this ("OH YEAH, YOU'VE GOT JEALOUS EYES, HULK HOGAN!"). Bonus points for the two of them actually forming a tag team known as The Mega-Powers, and their Wrestlemania match was famously known as "The Mega-Powers EXPLODE!"
    • After Edge won the King of the Ring tournamanent in 2001, it eventually led to his tag team partner Christian turning on him and beating him down with his own trophy, as well as a one man Con-chair-to, the team's signature move.

Tabletop Games


  • This is a large part of Don John's motivation in Much Ado About Nothing. He's the heroic Don Pedro's bastard brother, and recently lost a battle to him. Don Pedro forgives him and John joins the former's party, but remains bitterly resentful. The other part of Don John's motivation is that, by his own admission, he's just a massive prick who enjoys doing dickish things.

Video Games

  • Pictured: Kristoph Gavin became VERY angry when he found that Phoenix Wright had been chosen over him to represent a defendant. From Kristoph's point-of-view, it looked like said client had chosen Phoenix over himself because Phoenix had beat the client at poker and he hadn't. In actuality, the client wasn't paying attention to the results so much as how they played the game; he saw a ruthless streak in Kristoph's play that he deemed dangerous. He was right; Kristoph personally killed that defendant and had Wright disbarred.
    • Justice For All introduces Morgan Fey, who is very bitter that her younger sister had better spiritual powers than her and became the Kurain master, while she was shuffled off to one of the Branch families. So much in fact that she tries to get her sister's last daughter, Maya, arrested for murder and then murdered herself. Trials & Tribulations reveals that the entire Fey clan is full of Resenters, which is important for the backstory of the last case.
  • Sakura for Rin in the "Heaven's Feel" scenario of Fate/stay night. It doesn't become an issue... Except until the point where it ought to stop being an issue because she's already won.
  • Snowe from Suikoden IV fits this trope pretty well.
  • In The Godfather: The Game, Monk's resentment of player character Aldo comes from how his parentage means that he will never become a made man.
  • Albus, bitter that Barlowe has chosen Shanoa to use the Dominus glyph instead of him, serves as the main antagonist of Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia. Averted when it turns out that Albus acted like that because he was fully aware of what the Dominus glyphs would do to Shanoa, and refused to let her use them precisely because of that, in an attenpt to protect her. He just went about it in the worst possible manner.
    • Hugh Baldwin feels the same way about Nathan Graves in Castlevania: Circle of the Moon. And gets brainwashed because of it.
    • And then there's Ortega's jealousy of Cornell's mastery of his beastman abilities in Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness. Also the real deal.
    • Castlevania has a lot of these. It's a good thing Eric Lecarde didn't go further down this road in Judgment.
  • Ulala Serizawa in Persona 2 Eternal Punishment does an unintentional variant of this when Nyarlahothep takes advantages of her drunken state to get her to use the Joker Curse on Maya Amano, whom she resented for being more successful in life and in love than herself. It should be noted, however, the resentment was real, but ordinarily, she wouldn't have acted on it.
    • Junpei of Persona 3, who, struggling with feelings of inferiority, jumps at the call but gets repeatedly shown up by the protagonist.
    • Chie's "shadow" persona in Persona 4 has shades of this toward Yukiko. Yosuke's Social Link reveals that he was jealous of the Protagonist, though by the time we learn this he's largely gotten over it. In both cases, it's underneath a whole bunch Ho Yay.
  • In the last act of the Nintendo 64 game Aidyn Chronicles, Prince Sheridan after betraying his kingdom to the powers of Chaos snaps and reveals his long buried resentment of Aloran. He always hated how everyone in the castle—his father who is also Aloran's father as well, their combat instructor, the castle cook, Aloran's childhood friend Brenna (who always fawned over Aloran while snubbing Sheridan) -- favored Aloran over him. When Aloran tries to avoid him to deal with bigger problems Sheridan screams in frustration and forces a confrontation that gets him killed.
  • Oswald, who is understandably resentful of his younger half-brother Mickey after the latter stole the former's spotlight in more ways than one.
  • Dragon Age II has this in Carver, who is often overshadowed by his twin sister Bethany due to her being a mage, and by the elder Hawke sibling (the player character) due to either also being a mage or for being a more focused fighter. Player choices can let Carver overcome this, if he doesn't die.

Web Comics

  • In Tales of the Questor Rahan is revealed, at the eve of Quentyn's departure, to have tormented Quentyn so long out of resentment --- for his status as the Woobie, for seemingly skating off scot-free whenever he brings trouble down on the village, and for how he always lands on his feet.
  • Homestuck: Karkat, towards John, so much that he ends up getting a crush on him, in a weird troll romance sort of way.
  • In Prophecy of the Circle Yaren towards his former friend Jacind, for loosing to him in a contest determining which of them would become the leader of Oros, even though Jacind should technically have been disqualified before the final challenge.
  • Eerie Cuties has the school's Alpha Bitch Melissa who considers Layla her rival and goes to great length to cause break-up, and while Layla's boyfriend is "resident dreamboat" and Layla ignores her, she isn't interested in either this much when Layla isn't involved. It's one-sided to the point that the only evidence we have that Layla remembers Melissa exists at all (while not having specific reasons to be angry at her) appears much later - she gives the face to Layla's self-loathing. From hints on character of Melissa, it can be surmised that she can't stand Layla because she and her Girl Posse are always striving to achieve and maintain their status, while Layla got it "for free" via vampiric charisma and does not use it - nor even notice when people look up at her. Also, in an Imagine Spot Melissa thought that Layla must envy her style as well as popularity, which given how competitive she is on the other issue, probably points at another major challenge.
    • Melissa Hellrune, in turn, is disliked and sometimes backstabbed by a member of her own coven and Girl Posse - Cerise! Which in Magick Chicks becomes more visible, and is explained: once she was "the looker" of the trio and Melissa and Jacqui tagged along, but after the girls grew up a little, Melissa overshadowed her. Melissa also has a lot of attention from various greater powers, up to their goddess - granted, thinking anything of this sort is a "good thing" is exceedingly stupid, especially as some of the other "big fish" support genocide of the witches - but Cerise is not the brightest candle.

Web Original

  • This also seems to be the only thing driving Kismet forward in the Whateley Universe. She hates Fey because Fey gets everything. Fey is prettier. Fey is a better and more powerful wizard, even though Fey is younger. Every time she tries to one-up Fey, it fails. She's put her team into a Team Tactics course solely to show up Fey and Fey's team. If she wasn't such a Bad Boss, her team might even succeed at it.
    • Also, Sharisha/Tempest, who utterly hates Chaka for being pretty, smart, having awesome powers, a team full of real friends and having heaps of people wanting to date her, especially since Chaka used to be male. Sharisha, who is fat, plain, doesn't have many friends, isn't very good at using her powers and doesn't have anyone after her, hates that a boy (which is how she sees Chaka, who is very female) gets everything she doesn't.

Western Animation

  • In the Aladdin animated series, this is a key component of villain Mozenrath's psyche: anger that Aladdin has been granted massive magical power (through the luck of having met the Genie), and become heir to Agrabah (through his chance meeting with Jasmine), whereas Mozenrath has had to sacrifice so much (most notably the flesh of his right hand in exchange for a magical gauntlet) for power.
  • In The Simpsons episode "Homer's Enemy", Frank Grimes' main character trait is resentment of how Homer has done well for himself despite being, well, Homer Simpson, while he has worked hard all his life and gotten nowhere.
  • Tai Lung of Kung Fu Panda so much so, that the fact that his resentment seems so justified makes him Unintentionally Sympathetic.
    • Tigress as well. While it was assumed by all of the Furious Five that one of them would be given the Dragon Scroll, she seemed the most focused on such a goal, believing Oogway had been pointing at her—and when this proved not to be the case, she spent the rest of the movie resenting, belittling, even outright insulting Po every chance she got. Only after she got her ass handed to her by Tai Lung did she start to realize that, whether or not Po was right to be chosen, perhaps she didn't deserve the scroll after all. When Po manages to not only understand the symbolic value of the scroll and use its wisdom to defeat Tai Lung, she is convinced and is at peace with that to the point of growing much closer to the panda.
  • I.R. Baboon from I Am Weasel resents Weasel's fame and considers himself better, even though Weasel is a certified genius, whereas Baboon is... well, not.
  • Plankton of SpongeBob SquarePants has, as his main villanous motivation, the resentful Mr. Krabs's success (and, in turn, the community that made Mr. Krabs a success), especially in comparison to his own restaraunt (which Plankton regards as superior, hence his ongoing attempts to steal the Krabby Patty formula.
    • Also seems to be reversed at times. Krabs at the very least has a rather intense rivalry with Plankton and is obsessed with gloating his success in his face. Whenever Plankton seems to have even minor success that makes his own resentment fade, Krabs obsessively tries to destroy him, intent on having him back in his shadow.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender both subverts this and plays it straight: Though Prince Zuko would initially appear to be one of these characters, his dialogue would seem to reveal that almost all of his anger is directed inward at what he perceives to be his own failings, allowing him to be much more calm, once he makes the Heel Face Turn. However, though she hides it well, Azula's secret resentment of Zuko, and the love their mother felt for him and not for her (at least so she thinks, its really all in her mind. Her mother was more worried about her then scared), ends up contributing greatly to her Villainous Breakdown.
    • It's also worth noting that the person Zuko resents isn't any of the heroes - instead, he resents Azula for being a better villain than him, and for getting the approval (Ozai probably isn't capable of anything that could be called "love") of their father. Apparently, said father like to say that Azula was "born lucky," whereas Zuko was "lucky to be born." Ouch.
  • Danny Phantom has Vlad Masters. Despite being a billionaire celebrity and possessing half ghost powers, Vlad is resentful towards his best friend Jack because he was the one who married the love of his life. Not to mention fathering a son who is half-ghost, a person who in Vlad's eyes, should rightfully be his! Naturally, he spends most of the series trying to kill Jack.
    • In a nice bit of irony, in an Alternate Universe caused by Danny meddling in the past. He does marry Maddie but turns out to be a controlling husband who refuses to let her do ghost hunting related activities because it reminds him of Jack. Yes even when he gets what he want, he's still the resenter.
    • Tucker Foley, but to a lesser extent. Prior to obtaining his ghost powers, Danny was on equal grounds with Tucker. The two were best friends who shared everything. Then Danny gets all the awesome powers and Tucker is stuck being the Butt Monkey. One episode showed him acting on his resentment via a [unintentional] deadly wish that nearly had him kill Danny.
      • Indeed, seeing the monster his wish had created helps Tucker move past this trope.

Tucker: That's me?

  • Initially, Raven appears to be this character in regards to Terra on Teen Titans: angry that Terra has apparently managed to control her powers so easily, while Raven still must meditate constantly to keep hers in check. However, since it turns out that Terra got her control from working with Titans Arch Enemy Slade, the resentment was probably justified.
  • In the backstory to My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic, Princess Luna's resentment over her subjects always sleeping through the night, her time of reign, while frolicking and working during the day when her sister ruled, led to her becoming Night Mare Moon and bringing forth eternal night.
  • In ThunderCats (2011), Lion-O and Tygra are Resenters to each other. Lion-O resents Tygra for being the Always Someone Better and Compassionate Critic whom nearly everyone in their kingdom—even his own father—preferred over him. Tygra resents Lion-O for being The Chosen One of the Sword of Omens and apparently Cheetara. That second one is particularly galling for Tygra since he's nursed a crush on Cheetara since childhood. Lion-O and Tigra's mutual resentment fuels their Sibling Rivalry, though Lion-O still wholeheartedly trusts Tygra and doesn't believe that Tygra would ever betray him even after hearing a prophecy stating Tygra will do just that.