Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds

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Never break this cutie as he may break you back.
"Evil is just a word. Under the skin, it's simple pain."
Eleanor Lamb, Bioshock 2

This is a character who wants to destroy everything and everyone in the story, and is suddenly in a position to do so (on a small or large scale); but in contrast to the Ax Crazy Omnicidal Maniac, he/she has some plausible, outright tragic reason to do so, so much so that, in some cases, the characters outright sympathize with him/her (whether or not the audience does too is out of the equation here), all the while accepting that he/she must be stopped. Sometimes, the character is even portrayed as likeable, just...not with the right mindset.

The essential element is that he/she has been pushed beyond all reason. This may or may not make him/her The Woobie, but either way he/she is portrayed as having a crappy existence. This is a character who, by definition, is constantly beaten up, kicked around, and lives an all-around miserable life. Should he/she lose everything and everyone he/she trusts (be it through betrayal or in other cruel ways), and then just so happens upon the instrument of revenge against the cruel, heartless world that brought him/her so much pain, one need not be a genius to figure out unto whom shall his/her vengeful, bloodshot eyes cast his/her hateful gaze upon. Think of this person as a Jerkass Woobie, only with the jerkassery replaced by insanity (though many characters do fulfill both tropes).

This trope is less about the Sliding Scale of Villain Threat and more about how much a character has been broken—physically, mentally, and emotionally—before he/she finally snaps and blames the whole world for all the crap he/she has been through. Of course, they must crack and pose a sudden threat of some sort, to the characters and/or the setting. And some of them do get their finger on the nuke trigger. In a few extreme cases, they are the button.

Not to be confused with Mike Nelson, Destroyer of Worlds, where a bumbling but otherwise nice person accidentally destroys actual worlds, leading to What the Hell, Hero? and Nice Job Breaking It, Hero moments.

This trope is more closely related to Break the Cutie, Freudian Excuse, Bullying a Dragon, Who's Laughing Now?, and Then Let Me Be Evil. May have emerged as a deconstruction of the Cosmic Plaything.

Not the same as Put Them All Out of My Misery, which is the trope for characters who rationalize their destructive behavior by insisting that society, or the earth, must be somehow cleansed or punished for some past injustice, making it the inverse of this trope. Motive Rant, Cry for the Devil, and Straw Man Has a Point are more typical of that trope. For characters, especially villains somewhere in between this trope and that one, see Jerkass Woobie. Also note that overlaps between the two tropes are not impossible.

May overlap with Death Seeker, if they want to die, but intend to make sure that everyone else goes first. Also, be careful about applying this label to someone who did have a breaking past, and yet let the "destroyer" part override the "woobie" one and crossed the Moral Event Horizon: that's certainly a huge Draco in Leather Pants in the making.

And just to be clear, a character does not have to literally destroy worlds to fit this trope.

For actual world-destroying tropes, see Why You Should Destroy the Planet Earth.

There are several unmarked spoilers ahead! You have been warned.

Examples of Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds include:

Anime and Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Fruits Basket: whether or not one can excuse his or her actions, Akito counts. Despite beating the living daylights out of several Zodiac members for the majority of their childhood(s) and emotionally abusing just about everyone, Tohru can't help but feel sorry for him or her. One, she learned just how badly Akito herself was emotionally abused, and how her upbringing influenced her outlook on life. The psychological abuse heaped onto her by her mother and Evil Matriarch extraordinaire, Ren, led to a pathological fear of abandonment, driving her to do anything to make sure no one will leave her. Being told that no one loves you, everyone will abandon you, and no one even respects you, and having your boyfriend sleep with Ren to spite you for sleeping with another man (which you partly did to get back at said boyfriend, and partly to stop said man from abandoning you) will do that to you.
  • Depending on how you view his character, Alucard of Hellsing may qualify as this. If you look through the axe-craziness, he seems like quite the Death Seeker. Then there's his Dark and Troubled Past...
  • Dr. Hell from Mazinger Z. Everyone (including his parents. In particular his mother 'repeatedly' complained she never wanted having him, and hit him for any reason) abused him and mistreated him during his childhood and teenhood years until his mind finally snapped out, and he decided one day he would purge the world off idiots, and everybody would have to bow down to him. He was still dreaming of doing just that several decades later when he finally found the means to do so as exploring the ruins of an ancient, lost civilization.
  • Tetsuo from Akira, so very much so.
  • Madam Red from Black Butler becomes "Jack the Ripper" to get back at prostitutes for giving up what she could never have, with the help of Grell Sutcliff, of course.
  • Vincent from the Cowboy Bebop movie, having gone self-destructively homicidal from psychosis and the inability to separate his hallucinations from reality after becoming an unwilling participant in a Super Soldier program that caused him to permanently hallucinate. His Leitmotif "is it real?" just hammers it home.
  • Lucy from Elfen Lied. Oh, she might as well be this trope incarnate. Several characters think that it's her natural instinct to eradicate humanity, but given her past, her experiences alone would be enough to make her what she is.
    • She truly believes that she doing all those atrocities out of instinct, so if we look at the nurture aspect, we come to the conclusion that she Mind Raped herself (with a little help from nearly everyone around her and an inner voice/alternate personality that wants to eradicate all life) into believing that she was, in her own words, "born to wipe out mankind". Heartbreaking can't even begin to describe it.
  • Mantid from Spider Riders is more than qualified for this trope—he loses the love of his life in war; it's implied that he lost many friends the same way; now this is just a theory, but it may be that he lost his spider partner as well, which makes sense because we never get to see it. With all that, it's no wonder the guy went off the deep end.
  • Shinji Ikari turns into this during End Of Evangelion. After spending the entire series watching/hearing most of the friends he made die in the most horrifying ways, then having to accept that his father never loved him and was never going to, then having to decide to continue piloting the EVA for the world's sake, and then having to kill the only person who showed genuine love for him for his father's sake, maybe it was a mistake to let him decide what will happen to mankind.

"Nobody understands me. Everyone just die."

  • Code Geass either subverts or zigzags this, depending on how one views it, at the end. Lelouch, having lost everything, including Nunnally (apparently) and the trust of the Black Knights, abandons all reason and decides that he'll go down finishing his quest to recreate the world. He acted like an even worse Emperor than his father, from Geassing his soldiers into complete obedience and using them as cannon fodder, to ordering assassinations, not to mention blowing up Mt. Fuji, depleting most of Japan's sakuradite supply, and quite possibly causing an even greater state of decay over Japan, in order to center the world's hatred around him and die a villain's death at the hands of Suzaku, disguised as Zero. It's been noted that Lelouch knew that there were alternatives to Schneidel's scheme, which makes it sound like a destructive and self-serving excuse to die, which would make it a zigzagged trope.
  • At the end of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha As, Hayate Yagami became one, though it required a massive Break the Cutie moment created by other parties to push her past the "the-world-has-hurt-me-so-much-it-deserves-to-die" breaking point, and when she regained her senses, she chastised her Artifact of Doom for thinking that that's what she really wanted and put a stop to things.
    • The Book of Darkness is another example. Her life cycle has three phases: charging up in dormancy, gaining full awareness and control for a few minutes, and then dishing out an Earthshattering Kaboom, which returns her to stage one. Prior to her current appearance, she has been forced to serve a cruel master who abused her children. Bonus points for the fact that there is literally nothing that can be done to stop the cycle.
  • Trigun features Legato Bluesummers, The Dragon to Millions Knives. He's got a sympathetic backstory as a nameless sex slave and, like Knives, has let his own pain drive him into becoming an Omnicidal Maniac. Problem is, he's an utter, sadistic psycho with a murder habit, who likes to torture the lead, reducing any sympathy factor for him both in-universe and out.
  • Hao/Zeke Asakura in the Shaman King manga. Not so much in the anime, since he turns his Ax Crazy factor Up to Eleven during the finale, which, sadly, is a Gecko Ending.
  • Hiroko "Hiro-chan" Kaizuka from Narutaru is an intelligent, modest young girl who is broken by abuse from both unbelievably sadistic bullies and overly demanding, repressive parents. Eventually, she, along with her Shadow Dragon, Oni, attempts to make everything she doesn't like disappear...by way of going on a horrific, murderous rampage.
    • A similar thing happens to the main character, Shiina, but with someone else doing the destroying, right at the end of the manga.
  • Elaine and Diana, the two unbelievably powerful psychic sisters, in Genocyber, who both go through some truly nightmarish crap before transforming into the eponymous Anthropomorphic Personification of destruction, Genocyber. Then they proceed to wipe out Hong Kong, then every single city in the world, then the only post-apocalyptic city that remains. Or maybe not...
  • Gaara in Naruto started out as this, basically being the male equivalent of Lucy. He's lucky Naruto is a Warrior Therapist. For that matter, any jinchuriki (such as Naruto and Gaara themselves) is prone to be so.
    • The Nine-Tailed Demon Fox's escape plan is to turn Naruto into one of these.
    • In Part II, Sasuke Uchiha becomes this.
  • Takano Miyo from Higurashi no Naku Koro ni...Ironically, though, she's aiming at the wrong target in order to become a god. Guess Tokyo's a little too big to take down single-handedly.
  • Yuuhi from The Lucifer and Biscuit Hammer, with one heck of a Freudian Excuse to match: his father, a detective, was killed by his colleague. After the funeral, his mom simply left, and his grandfather literally beat into him the idea "Make no enemies - they'll stab you in the front; make no friends - they'll stab you in the back." Sami's reasoning is that she wants to own the world by destroying it so that it doesn't go on without her when she dies.
  • Valgaav from The Slayers TRY. A tormented half-demon dragon who believes that all cosmic forces in his world are caught in an endless, senseless war that only causes suffering, and wants to erase everything from existence to end this.
  • Black WarGreymon from Digimon Adventure 02 wanted to destroy the Digital World because he thought that, that was the only way for him to understand his purpose in his artificial life and soothe his pain.
  • Darcia from Wolf's Rain, who, after the loss of his lover, Hamona, turns insane and decides to ruin the paradise the protagonists are trying to create. In a sense, he doesn't want to destroy the current world, as the Earth is dying anyway, but prevent the next.
  • Rau Le Creuset from Mobile Suit Gundam SEED is Sunrise's reigning king of this trope. He's a dying man at 28 years old, born with telomeres of the thirty-something Al Da Flaga, his genetic "father". He's in constant pain that can only be subdued by drug dosages that double twice over the course of the series. His dealings with people, hatred of his flawed body and the people who ensured that he was born that way, his emotional pain over his Parental Abandonment, and being a clone and thus seeing himself with no "identity" of his own eventually became a bitterness towards humanity in general. He descends into full Nietzsche Wannabe territory, convinced that Humans Are the Real Monsters who only inflict pain and suffering on others, not least of all himself. Aware that his own existence cannot be considered human and is more or less the personification of mankind's sins, he took it upon himself to be the Judge, Jury, and Executioner of humanity, and in a very literal bid to make the pain stop, he tried to Kill All Humans, and nearly succeeded.
    • By the time he sentenced all of humanity to annihilation, he was more or less reveling in the fact that his view was "vindicated" by the actions of Murata Azrael, who had just tried to wipe out all Coordinators with a nuclear missile array, and Patrick Zala, who was preparing to annihilate all life on earth with GENESIS. A life or two was meaningless at this point.
    • And an example from its sequel is Stella—she stomps through city and wilderness alike in a giant robot, slaughtering innocent bystanders by the thousands because she's driven by a childlike, irrational terror of death, and has been told that if she doesn't fight, scary things will kill her and everyone she cares about. The fact that she's just being used by Neo and Djibril, who are deliberately playing on her fear and pain, makes this all the sadder.
  • At the end of Fushigi Yuugi, Tamahome unintentionally has a Psychic Link to Nakago's mind revealing his past when he was a young boy, his entire tribe was wiped out, he witnessed his mother being gang-raped, and accidentally killed both his mother and her rapists with his awakened power, only to be sent to the Emperor of Kutou, who raped him repeatedly. As a result, he wants revenge on existence itself for giving him such a horrible life.
  • Russia of Axis Powers Hetalia is more of a Woobie Conquerer of Worlds, insisting that "all will become one with Russia". This trope is also played totally straight with him during the Bloody Sunday strip, in which he snaps and starts to mow down his own people on the grounds that, basically, "they're not really Russians if they don't love me".
  • Lucia of Rave Master has been portrayed as virtually a Jerkass extraordinaire, contradicting any even mildly humane moment shortly afterward. Until the ending, that is, when he starts crying while fighting Haru because, as it turns out, the universe literally exists to screw him over. He even lists all the massive wrongs done to him that no one ever did anything about, or even commended rather than tried to stop.
    • Though he looks a little crazier than he actually is in that image. It applies to him much better when he's a child.
  • Diva from Blood Plus may count, although the "Destroyer of Worlds" part only comes about simply because she exists. Chevaliers may love their 'queens' but it seems that Amshel loves power more. Diva went along out of embitterment with the world due to her imprisonment as a child. All that could've been avoided had Nathan simply abducted her and made her a star singer without the whole Take Over the World thing and "make everyone into Chiropterans" aspect of Amshel's and James' agenda. She pretty much drops the Woobie part after what she does to Saya's little brother, however.
  • Yuca from Immortal Rain doesn't know how old he is. All he knows is that, whenever he dies, he's reborn long after everyone he knew before died, while still retaining the memories of each of his previous lives. Over and over again, throughout what seems to be the course of human history. By the point we meet him, he wants to wipe out all humanity just so he can finally die and be able to stay dead.
  • Shinobu Sensui of Yu Yu Hakusho began as a heroic spirit detective, but had a mental breakdown after discovering humans torturing demons, throwing his life's work of protecting humans into question -- one that isn't helped by his subscription to Black and White Morality. His mind, now fractured into seven split personalities, embarked on a plan to destroy humanity as a way of ending the confusion and guilt, along with a Suicidal Cosmic Temper Tantrum over his terminal illness.
  • Tsubaki of Mirai Nikki was imprisoned as a sex slave by a cult her whole life before receiving her Diary, and now participates in the Diary game with the stated goal of destroying the world.
    • Yuno wants to keep the universe in an eternal time loop, forever replaying the Diary game, as this is the only way she believes she can stay with Yukiteru. She wants this so desperately because Yuki is probably one of the only kind people in her life, and pretty much her sole reason for living.
  • Tima of Osamu Tezukas Metropolis exemplifies this trope perfectly. After getting shot and realizing that she's a robot, she takes control of immeasurably powerful technology and orders the extinction of humanity.
  • Crona of Soul Eater has the 'destroy everything' part, by way of 'hir' reasoning that everything that s/he fears/threatens hir should be destroyed (for much of the series, s/he understands no other way of 'dealing' with it). Given that Medusa did and still does possibly intend to turn Crona into an Eldritch Abomination in the style of madness incarnate Asura, s/he could feasibly go all the way on this one. Until Our Heroes inevitably Defeat Means Friendship hir, of course.
  • Izayoi Aki from Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's epitomizes this trope for episodes 40 and 41. After watching her friend and mentor Divine plunge to his horrifying death, while the only place she'd ever really felt at home in collapses in flames around her, she wakes up from a coma where she pretty much relived every single horrible moment of her life all at once to the face of Yuusei, who she already feels conflicted about - and her parents, of all people. Destroying the world from there, though, yes, seems like Disproportionate Retribution, is not that much of a stretch.
    • Aporia, ZONE, Antinomy, and Paradox, especially Aporia, too.
  • Chizuru Honda from Bokurano, after snapping due to her Complete Monster love interest and teacher's behavior towards her.
    • And now, in the manga, Jun Ushiro. HOLY GODDAMNED SHIT, USHIRO. What makes it worse is that it's not his world that he's messing with.
  • The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya: After going through nearly 15 and a half thousand of the same 2 weeks, Yuki gains emotions and becomes this. Except that she doesn't destroy the world. She steals Haruhi's powers and RetCons reality for 1 year, according to the novels, and 3 years and 5 months, according to The Movie. And she succeeds. And she's stopped by the protagonists. And, for a point in time, there's 4 Kyons and 3 Mikurus.
  • Homoura from Saiyuki: sure, he wants to bring an end to everything in existance, but he's so sweet and vulnerable, and so many undeservedly terrible things have happened to him. His two henchmen fit this trope, too!
  • The eponymous Big Bad from Noein is this. It is revealed that he is a possible future of the male lead, who, upon losing his true love in a car crash, started desperately searching the time streams for a way to save her. Unfortunately, he found the multiverse to be full of pain and suffering, and decided to destroy everything and start it over from scratch.
  • Yomi from Ga-Rei Zero. She was not exactly powerless before she become a rampaging monstrosity, but events conspire to bring her down from her height and kick her mercilessly while she's down.
  • Brandon Heat, or, more accurately, Beyond the Grave, from Gungrave. A nigh-unkillable, unstoppable killing machine capable of destroying armies of super-powered zombies single-handedly with more firepower than some developed nations, by the time he becomes Beyond the Grave, he has forsaken the love of his life because he thought that she deserved better than to be with a ruthless hitman, watched his boss, who was the father he never had, marry her, and been killed by his best friend (he got better) and resurrected by the daughter of his former lover to protect her. He does this by killing all of his friends, including his best friend and his mentor.
  • Yami Atem from Yu-Gi-Oh! becomes this for a bit in the Doma saga after he loses Yugi - especially during his duel with Haga. Oh, silly Haga, didn't you know that pretending to destroy the soul of a highly protective and emotionally unstable (not to mention once-Axe Crazy) ancient spirit's partner was just asking for a one-way ticket down extreme-pain-and-death lane?
    • Thief King Bakura might count, given that he became what he was later because he survived and witnessed the gruesome killing of all the people in his village. Granted, they seemed to be a village of thieves, but still, he was an innocent child before this happened.
  • It is very possible to see Bernkastel from Umineko no Naku Koro ni as this, considering that she is an amalgamation of all of the Rikas who died in Higurashi no Naku Koro ni. Given the fact that all of these Rikas experienced several hundred years worth of A Fate Worse Than Death, it is unsurprising that their embodiment has some serious mental damage.
  • Bleach Filler Villain Shusuke Amagai infiltrated Soul Society in order to set about the downfall of the Kasumioji clan, as well as obtain the power and opportunity to kill Captain-Commander Yamamoto, all because Old Man Yama killed his father and it had something to do with the Dangerous Forbidden Weapons being developed by the Kasumioji. He thought that Yamamoto was just covering his own ends for being involved with the Bakkoto project. Turns out, it was Central 46, not Yamamoto, which refused to bring them down, and in fact, Shusuke's dad went to conduct a covert op for Yamamoto to take them down and ended up being overtaken by the Bakkoto.
  • Video Girl Mai becomes this in Video Girl Ai, after ending up as a Sex Slave to a boy without a pure heart and going mad as a result.
  • Broly from Dragonball Z is heavily implied to be this in the Eighth movie. The movie heavily implies that his destructive nature, even by Saiyan standards, as well as his overall insanity was the direct result of life-threatening factors from his birth, such as his nearly dying from a stab wound commissioned by King Vegeta simply because he feared his power level, and then having to witness Frieza destroy his home planet. Then his father places a slave crown on Broly and uses him to destroy several planets for his plan to get revenge on Vegeta for what his father attempted to do to Broly and himself.
  • In Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Kaname Madoka has been this for a few Alternate Timeline timelines. She's The Woobie in pretty much all of them, because of nearly every event in the course of the show, but in any timeline where she survives Walpurgis Night as a Magical Girl (i.e. all of them so far where she hasn't died during it), she's fated to become an extremely powerful witch, and either has to be Mercy Killed by Homura or simply goes on to destroy the world whilst Homura goes back in time to try and fix things (again). In the final episode, she becomes this yet again but sacrifices herself in the process.
    • This was actually invoked by Homura in the third timeline. The two of them have beaten Walpurgis Night, but their Soul Gems are almost completely darkened. Homura's resigned herself to the two becoming witches and destroying the world. Madoka disagrees.
  • Alois Trancy, pretty much. He's an Ax Crazy Creepy Child with a Dark and Troubled Past who only wants someone to love him in place of his dead brother (and likes to gauge out his servants' eyes.)
  • In Dog Days, the castle-crushing demon prophesized to kill our heroes is really a baby earth spirit, stabbed with an evil sword and forced to eat his mother and then kill everyone around him, until all he wants is death.
  • People under the influence of the Kisenian Flower in Sailor Moon become this. The Kisenian Flower specifically targets people with weak hearts, feeds off their negative energy, then destroys the planet they reside on and waits on the fragments until they find another willing host.
    • Also invoked by Wiseman, who mind rapes and forces a Plot-Relevant Age-Up on Chibi-Usa to make her believe she has been abandoned by everyone who loved her, thus making her The Dragon and his most loyal follower—as Black Lady. t works for a while, but she's freed mfrom this and reverts to her original self.
  • Choji Suitengu, the Big Bad of Speed Grapher. His ultimate goal is to die after destroying the corrupted culture of greed that Japan had become, as they forced him and his sister into a living hell.
  • Guts, the Byronic Hero of Berserk. He doesn't exactly want to destroy the world...but he is willing to walk a path of destruction to get to where he wants to be, and he doesn't care who the hell gets in his way. Some say that Guts' quest to destroying the Godhand is suicidal and his seething hatred for the Apostles is just as horrific, and there might have been some truth to that before he got a call back to what was most important to him: protecting the woman that he loves, Casca. That's right. These two were unfortunate enough to have gone through the worse shit imaginable, and it will all end with both of them spending an eternity in hell thanks to their former friend making an epic Face Heel Turn. The only way to spare he and his lover of this horrible fate in the smallest way possible? Kill the Legions of Hell by himself!
  • Kanto from Soil New Town has had a rough life his dentist drugged and raped him as a child which caused him to feel so ashamed and, well, soiled that he cut himself; it got worse when the dentist reconnected with him in high school and, as proof of his twisted "pure" love, gave him the video of his assault. The shame intensified to the point where he couldn't stand to watch cats in heat and tried to burn down the resident homeless crazy cat lady's shelter (fortunately, he didn't succed). Things seemed to get a little better when he met a nice girl, but just as he was about to have his first consensual sexual encounter, she disappeared from between his legs. No wonder he wants to destroy the world by enlisting the dentist's roughly three dozen unwitting current victims plus a victim by proxy (her rapists were also the dentist's victims) to cause enough anomalies to break reality.
  • Both Celestin and Morgan Le-Fay from Ah! My Goddess The Movie.
  • Teru Mikami of Death Note was viciously bullied throughout his childhood so that when Light needs a new Dragon it's no surprise when Mikami gleefully accepts the titular Artifact of Doom and the duty to "eliminate evil." However, when Mikami gets a hold of the Death Note he takes it even farther than Light killing off people with criminal records and the lazy. (Light thinks it's "It's too early" to do that sort of thing.)
  • The Cut Man Brothers of Mega Man NT Warrior.
  • Black Mage Zeref from Fairy Tail. Whatever spurred him to go and earn the reputation he has is a mystery, but he's so unbelievably miserable in the present that you just want to hug him. For the love of God, though, do not hug him!
  • ToyMajin of the Fresh Pretty Cure movie is pretty much what happens if Lotso got ahold of a ton of power. He was tossed away by his previous human owner and he was filled so much bitter anger, he decided to steal away all toys, then use them to power himself, many of them filled with that same anger. When he captures Usapyon, Love's precious toy bunny doll, it breaks the Cure, making her think that she had the same hatred and drives her to try to make amends... only to find out she never hated her at all. Thanks to the children's love for their toys, Love's able to get ToyMajin to see the error of his ways and sees his true self... a teddy bear. Which she promptly gives to another kid who promises to take care of him.
  • Scar from Fullmetal Alchemist is one of the few survivors of a brutal genocide which killed almost all his loved ones. As revenge against the government who massacred his people, he becomes a Serial Killer who exclusively targets state alchemists. Fortunately, in both versions of the anime, he gets better.


Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • Madelyne Pryor learned that she was a clone of Jean Grey and was abandoned by her husband, Scott Summers (who fell in love with her because of her obvious similarity to Jean, though neither knew she was a clone at the time, assuming it to just be mere coincidence that they looked exactly alike), when he reunited with Jean, after Jean literally returned from the dead. Then Maddie's infant son was kidnapped and she was left for dead. She has a daydream where she's ripped apart to build the woman her husband actually wants and then is offered revenge. Thinking that it's just a dream, she accepts, which, naturally, leaves her possessed by a demon and willing to sacrifice her baby (who she finally has the power to find) to allow the demons of Limbo to take over the Earth.
  • The Scarlet Witch undergoes a fluctuating life where the good (a family with The Avengers, marriage to her One True Wuv, having her longed-for kids) is outweighed by the bad (her father is a supervillain, her husband gets mindwiped and divorces her, her kids aren't real), along with a number of possessions, kidnappings, and multiple forced amnesia inflicted by her most trusted friends. Then she rewrites the universe. Then she does it AGAIN.
  • Green Lantern villain Atrocitus. His entire space sector was wiped out by the Manhunters, and the massacre is enough to drive his anger to the point where it gives birth to the Red Lanterns. Not even the other characters realize just how painful seeing the massacre was until they visit his dead home world. "The Manhunters came and we... We did nothing to deserve this. We...we did nothing.
    • "He loved something once... life."
    • He even shares a brief moment of empathy with Saint Walker. Saint Walker admits that he, too, was once filled with rage after losing his entire family to random accidents during a pilgrimage. Only a brief moment, since Atrocitus points out one crucial difference: Saint Walker had no one to blame for their deaths, while Atrocitus can and does blame the Manhunters' creators, the Guardians.
    • All of the Red Lanterns are like this to one extent or another, since Atrocitus specifically looks for rage "driven by loss" when recruiting. Earth's representative, Dex-Starr, for example, is a housecat who witnessed the brutal murder of his beloved owner, then was put in a sack and tossed off a bridge. One was a woman whose husband was killed by the Sinestro Corps, she was imprisoned on Ranx and was repeatedly raped by the various Corps members.
    • The Rage Entity Butcher's chosen host before it was sealed by Atrocitus was a man whose daughter was recently murdered.
    • And before it was retconned that he was possessed all along, Hal Jordan became this while he was Parallax. During that time, the other heroes tried to show to him that they could understand his loss and his pain, and convince him to turn back from the path he had chosen as they stood against him to protect the universe.
  • There was a Marvel What If comic from the late 80s or early 90s that ended with a giant Korvac sitting on Earth in a state of bottomless despair, holding the Ultimate Nullifier. He thinks of everything that ever was, is, and will be, and presses the button.
  • The Joker in the Emperor Joker storyline. He decided that any universe where not only his tragic past (whatever that was) could happen, but a guy like the one he became could be left alive and allowed run rampant...well, a universe like that didn't deserve to exist.
  • In the last story arc in Captain Atom, Nathaniel Adam creates his own universe where he gets to control everything and create an ideal life for himself, one in which he never became Captain Atom. Being human, he then governs that universe so badly that he loses control of it to his own dark side, who forces him to relive his childhood in which his father left his fall-down drunk of a mother who proceeded to kill herself and his older sister, who had raised him. Finally, Cap is forced to destroy his own universe to stop his evil side. An unusual example in several respects: first, Cap is a hero; second, he succeeds in destroying his universe; and third, it had, by that point, become so monstrously horrible that destroying it was the right thing to do.
  • Caliginous in Hero Squared has decided that life is nothing but pain, misery, cruelty, and death, and should be ended in preferably the most all-encompassing fashion possible. Her arch-nemesis, Captain Valor, just sees her as an evil megalomaniac, but his alternative self, Milo, manages to recognize that, beneath it all, she's a broken, lonely, psychologically tormented, and suffering woman.
  • A Marvel What If? shows us an alternate universe where Tony Stark fires satellite lasers at the Hulk during World War Hulk, killing every superhero present except for the Hulk. The Skrulls see the Hulk as their prophet and launch their attack early, killing most of the other heroes and conquer most of the planet within two months. The Hulk is recruited into the resistance, makes great progress, and becomes a symbol of hope and inspiration. Then the Skrulls hit the heroes with a bioweapon, killing them all—once again, except the Hulk. The Hulk, now utterly bitter and filled with nothing but rage, summons the Silver Surfer to have him call Galactus to destroy the earth and the whole Skrull population with it. Once this is done, the Hulk becomes the new Herald of Galactus, the World Breaker, and goes on to destroy countless other worlds by feeding them to his new master.
  • Scarecrow, anyone? Victim of a Prank Date, bullying throughout his entire school years, absentee parents, and an abusive grandmother with trained crows to attack him for the slightest mistake, no wonder the poor kid became obsessed with fear.
    • It Got Worse in Blackest Night. Due to being exposed to too much of his own fear gas, he can't even feel fear (or, really, any other emotion) anymore, except when facing Batman. Yeah, it means the Black Lanterns don't consider him a priority target and he brought it upon himself, but it's still a raw deal.
  • Superboy Prime could count. Yeah, he's skimmed over the Moral Event Horizon and many believe that he's completely irredeemable, but just look at how he got this way. Right after he learned that he was a counterpart to his childhood hero, his (and supposedly our) universe was wiped out and removed from history (it's better now). Afterwards, everyone just forgot about him, while he was isolated in a pocket universe - only to be used by Alexander Luthor Jr.. And now that he's back in our reality, he's completely aware that everyone hates him. He's one Jerkass Woobie Destroyer of Worlds.
  • Mario in Universal War One.
  • Joey Finklebarr, in Freak Force, is a boy who wakes up with super-strength and invulnerability. Once picked upon, he proceeds to murder his schoolmates and his abusive father. He is all but unstoppable, but gets talked down by Savage Dragon on the brink of total nihilism.


Fan Works[edit | hide]

  • In Team 8, The possibility of Naruto becoming one of these is discussed. Itachi is attempting to break Kurenai's mind with his Dojutsu by making her live and relive the killing of herself and her team by a mob. She breaks it by forcing the illusion to faithfully recreate Naruto's likely reaction if he were to see Hinata killed: releasing the Kyuubi of his own will and letting it destroy the village.
  • The Firefly fanfic Forward has Inducer One-One-Nine, who is a type of psychic that is capable of Mind Manipulation. One-One-Nine is also a nine-year-old girl named Kathryn Wade, who was driven to insanity by her experiences at the Academy, to the point that in her fear of being recaptured she took control of an entire town and turned them into her personal killing horde, and later wiped out an entire space station with nearly a thousand people on board.
  • Friendship Is Witchcraft:
    • Fluttershy, of all ponies. A Devil in Plain Sight and leader of the Religion of Evil, she also suffered from a very Abusive Parent that left her with issues. (It involved being found by robot wolves as a child. Who were built by her father. So he could murder them while leaving a disturbing message about love. With that message causing her to be viciously attacked by insects.)
    • When Sweetie Belle gets upset at her sister, she threatens that if she can't be loved, she will make the world fear her and her (robotic) wrath instead. (Rarity mocks it, and Sweetie Belle storms off in a huff instead.)
  • In the Death Note fic Constant Temptation Light is Ret Conned into being one. He is given the Backstory that his father and role model growing up turned out to be a Dirty Cop and raging homophobe who arranged the deaths of all Light's past Love Interests. Light figured out that his father was behind the deaths and blamed himself for it because he wasn't able to protect them. Light came to the conclusion that there was no justice in this world but no one should suffer as he did, he wished there was some way he could protect everyone... and then Light found the Death Note...
  • Touhou fans love interpreting members of the massive cast as some form of this trope:
    • Touhou Tonari has Yuyuko Saigyouji not able to control her powers over death while she was alive, which caused her to commit suicide.
    • Touhou Ibunshu has Remilia, Flandre, Mokou and even Yukari as varying flavours of "death to everyone" due to a long life (or unlife, in the case of the former two) of despair.
    • Subverted in Imperfect Metamorphosis with Rin Satsuki, who despite suffering so much pain and abuse from nearly everyone around her since childhood she still doesn't want to hurt anyone, and her first action in the story is simply to discover why she had to suffer. It's everyone else who thinks she's this trope.


Film[edit | hide]

  • Milton (Stephen Root) in Office Space. After enduring bureaucratic neglect, managerial indifference, and stapler deprivation, he walks into the Initech office complex, finds and steals an envelope full of embezzled cash, and burns the place down.
    • In all fairness, if anyone listened to his mumbling, he did warn them.
    • A deleted scene also shows Bill Lumberg dying in the fire, making Milton a murderer.
  • Harvey Dent in The Dark Knight Saga.
  • Carrie is certainly a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds, even if she doesn't quite want to destroy worlds...just most of her high school. Her rampage luckily ends before she gets the chance to do anything more.
    • Spoofed in the zany teen comedy Zapped!, in which science nerd Barney Springboro is similarly degraded at a prom when the Alpha Bitch throws a watermelon at his head, almost knocking him out and causing almost everyone in attendance to laugh at him. Barney avenges himself by using his telekinetic powers to blow open the gymnasium doors and summon a hurricane-like wind that strips everyone except Barney's prom date and his best friend down to their underwear. Woobie, Nudifier of Worlds, perhaps?
  • J.D. (Christian Slater) in Heathers. For starters, his father is a sociopathic bastard who doesn't care for him (when asked if he even likes his father, he responds that he "[hasn't] given the matter much thought"), and his mother killed herself in front of his eyes to get away from her husband. His entire life was spent moving around from town to town and school to school wherever his father's demolition job took him, where, it is implied, he saw the same scenario of clique groups bullying other students at every high school he's attended. He starts out by murdering Jerk Jocks and Alpha Bitches and making their deaths appear as suicides (also implied as something he's done before), but he ultimately resorts to trying to blow up the entire school. He explains his intentions are such because he believes that nobody loves him, and that "the only place different social types can genuinely get along with each other is in heaven", somehow seeing the school as a representation of society itself.
  • Bartleby in Dogma: he eventually snaps, realizing that God always favored man above angels like himself, gives up hope that "He" will never forgive him and Loki for their menial transgressions, and so decides to kill everything.
  • Norman Bates in the Psycho series is practically the Trope Codifier.
  • Davy Jones from Pirates of the Caribbean doesn't seem to want to destroy everything - just everything that crosses his path. He's like this because his one true love, the goddess Calypso, betrayed him (presumably for another man, though it's never elaborated on) centuries ago. Jones' agony was unbearable, so he cut out his own heart to end it. When that failed, he adopted a different tactic - finding relief by sharing his pain with everyone he meets.
  • Oswald Cobblepot in Batman Returns: disfigured since birth, his aristocratic parents attempted to drown him in the sewers. He was found by a traveling circus, and was raised in the freak show as "The Penguin". While the public views him with sympathy, he has become a warped sociopath, plotting to murder all the first born sons of Gotham City. When the goddamn Batman foils him, he straps rockets to his hundreds (thousands?) of pet penguins, intending to use them in a suicide bombing to kill all of Gotham, which, as the only setting we see, is extremely Omnicidal Maniac in context. And yet, you still can't help but pity him at his death.
  • Jean Grey in X Men the Last Stand.
  • Kim Jong Il from Team America: World Police. He's plotting the destruction of society as we know it, but deep down, he's just "a rittre ronery" (read: little lonely).
  • Francis Dolarhyde: actually lampshaded by Will Graham; he says that he feels a lot of sympathy for the child he once was, but thinks someone should put a bullet in the adult Francis' brain.
  • Seymour Parrish (Robin Williams) in One Hour Photo. He starts out sympathetic, if a little deranged, then you find out what made him crazy.
  • Hiroki Sawada—or Noah's Ark in the Detective Conan Non-Serial Movie Phantom of Baker Street. A Child Prodigy who was already beyond what the Japanese elementary school can handle, which sparked arguments among his parents, culminating in his mother taking him to the US. When she died soon after, he was adequately homeschooled and adopted by his father's employer, Joe Schneider, which quickly made him a Lonely Rich Kid, who also exploit his intelligence...Schneider's own fear of In the Blood, though, drove him to suicide, leaving a digitalized form of himself behind, who caused a Holodeck Malfunction on Schneider's VR game launch, taking 50 kids as hostages...
  • Lee Woo-Jin in Oldboy. Sure, he is the king of Disproportionate Retribution and a manipulative, sadistic, ruthless, evil man, but still, many viewers will say that his flashback to his sister's suicide is the most heartwrenching scene in the movie.
  • Grace in Dogville. Made all the more ambiguous by the discussion just before the ending, where it suddenly becomes very clear that she's only a child.
  • In a perfect example of Break the Cutie, Alessa Gillespie from Silent Hill was burned alive by the cult she was a member of, but survived by her own power and remained wrapped in bandages for 30 years, unable to move anything but her eyes (and her lips, but only enough to kind of smile, but not enough to form words). She does the only logical thing and splits her soul into 3 parts so she can kill everyone in the cult (excluding Rose, her good half, Sharon, and her mother).
  • In Toy Story 2, Stinky Pete, the prospector, spent his whole life on a dime store shelf, watching every other toy be bought by kids. This agonizing experience caused him to become bitter and willing to manipulate or outright force his "friends" Woody, Jessie, and Bullseye into going along with what he wants, whether they like it or not. Ironically, when he winds up being taken home at last by a little girl who defaces all her toys by drawing on them with crayons, he considers this the worst fate imaginable.
    • Big Baby in Toy Story 3 is also this. He's pretty much the scariest villian ever- until this:

(Looking at tag saying "My heart belongs to Daisy") *sob* Mama?

    • Lotso in the same movie also has a Woobie-ish backstory, but it's made pretty clear by his actions both prior to and during the movie that he abandoned the 'Woobie' part long ago.
  • King Kong.
  • In Stephen King's The Shining (1997), Jack Torrance is portrayed sympathetically. His turn to Ax Craziness is tragic AND terrifying.
  • May is a particularly heartbreaking-cum-vicious example.
  • The infant(s) of Its Alive, whose homicidal rampage turns out to be birth trauma and separation anxiety, and who longs only to be reunited with his family.
  • Sadako in Ring and her counterpart, Samara, in the US remake, The Ring, considering that both were mistreated and murdered.
  • Asami in Audition. Complete Monster though she may have been, she endured a horrific childhood.
  • Eli in Let the Right One In, a vampire who is trapped not just physically in a twelve year old body but apparently emotionally as well, forced to kill to survive, whose only friend is an equally screwed up boy.
    • Also, Abby in Let Me In, the remake of Let the Right One In.
  • Bill Foster in Falling Down goes on a rampage of terror after his wife left him and would not allow him to see their daughter. He is fired from his job in the defense industry due to post-Cold War budget cuts and is generally just pissed off with the state of the world and takes his anger out on every issue, whether minor (foreign shopkeepers, high prices, poor fast-food service) or major (racism, social class, unemployment). While he is overly violent, he is representative of the everyday man pushed too far by the world.
  • Loki in Thor. He wanted to prove that he was just as good as Thor, and then found out that he was a Frost Giant, after being raised around Asgardians who hate Frost Giants. He's also Laufey's son. He believes that he never really had a chance because Odin would never want a Frost Giant on the throne. He was passed over in favour of Thor a lot during their childhood. He takes a more literal turn in the film's climax when he tries to use the power of the Bifrost to destroy Jotunheim.
    • In the subsequent The Avengers, Loki has become the main villain and attempts to subjugate the entire population of Earth.
  • Oddly enough, Michael Myers is one of these in the Halloween remakes. Rather than Michael being the Complete Monster he was in the original films, director Rob Zombie attempted to portray him in a much more sympathetic light in the remakes.
  • Dr. Tolian Soran in Star Trek Generations. Literally.
  • The female half of the Big Bad Duumvirate in The World Is Not Enough. Being abandoned to be repeatedly raped by terrorists by your own father, and at the advice of the Big Good no less, certainly won't do wonders for your sanity.
  • Caesar in Rise of the Planet of the Apes. He decides to lead a primate uprising partly because he believes that the man who raised him doesn't love him anymore.
  • In Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, Anakin Skywalker's final transformation into Darth Vadar is shown to be caused by losing everything and everyone he cares for, albeit due to his own actions.
  • Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
  • Andrew in Chronicle.


Literature[edit | hide]

  • Francis Dolarhyde from Red Dragon. Sure, he murders whole families and rapes their corpses, but good lord, he had an awful childhood. It gets to the point where you know he's a Complete Monster, and you want him to be caught, but you still kinda hope he gets out of the whole mess all right.
  • The title character from the Balzac classic Cousin Bette could easily been seen as a female analogue to Heathcliff: childhood abuse, poverty and abandonment by the one man she ever loved (who probably never returned her feelings to begin with) drove her to a monomaniacal obsession with revenge, from which no-one in her path is safe.
  • Ineluki the Storm King, the Big Bad of Tad Williams' Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn. It is said that he was the brightest light the Sithi had ever known and, had things been different, he might have led them out of their exile and into a new golden age. Instead, he went down dark paths, sacrificing his family, his soul, and ultimately, his life to defend his people against the depredations of humanity. Even after death, his hatred sustained him, turning him into a dark spirit that seeks now to return everything to Unbeing in revenge for his suffering. In the end, this turns out to be the key to his defeat.
  • Frankenstein's Monster (in the original novel, that is). All of his rage against man, and against Victor Frankenstein in particular, would be gone if just one person bothered to look past his macabre appearance and associate with him. But Humans Are the Real Monsters, so... The 1994 movie based on the novel did manage to get that part right, with the motivations of the monster laid bare.
  • Gollum in The Lord of the Rings. After centuries of misery and torment, he nearly destroys the quest (dooming Middle Earth to tyranny) because of a Heel Face Door Slam. Ironically, Frodo more literally embodies this trope, because he knowingly claims the ring after suffering months of psychological torment because of it. Fortunately, the quest would have failed without his attempt to prevent it. Bilbo, Frodo, and even Sam taking pity on Gollum was necessary for the Ring's destruction; and expressly choosing not to attack and kill him on four separate occasions, even on the slopes of Mount Doom...

Frodo: But do you remember Gandalf's words: "Even Gollum may have something yet to do?" But for him, Sam, I could not have destroyed the Ring. The Quest would have been in vain, even at the bitter end. So let us forgive him! For the Quest is achieved and now all is over. I am glad you are here with me. Here at the end of all things, Sam.

  • Galadan Wolflord from The Fionavar Tapestry turned rather genocidal towards mortals after one stole his girlfriend - but when said mortal wound up getting her killed, he went crazy and decided that the only way to end his pain was to destroy the universe. The only time in the trilogy he shows genuine emotion is when he finds some of the heroes apparently "desecrating" his shrine to her, and at the very end, when the heroes spare him and he realizes that there is some good in the world - and in himself.
  • Dragonlance: Raistlin Majere has a life that progressively increases in Suck, until he decides that he's going to take vengeance by becoming a GOD. And he does it, too. Of course, after he finds out that his godhood will destroy all of creation, leaving only himself in an empty universe, he...does exactly the same thing.
    • More specifically, that was an alternate-future Raistlin who was pretty much totally insane at that point. When main-timeline Raistlin realizes the consequences of his actions, he does repent and sacrifices himself to save both the world and (to him, more importantly) his own soul.
    • Raistlin is an ambiguous case, however, because his loneliness and isolation are entirely his own fault. Throughout his life, he was offered love and friendship by several people, but he drove them away with his own pride and bitterness.
  • In Malazan Book of the Fallen by Steven Erikson, the Crippled God is in constant pain after being forcibly summoned and having subsequently crashed into the planet like a meteor. The Crippled God now tries to share his pain with everyone else. Several characters have speculated on whether or not his followers' twisted faith won't let him heal or is it that his pain twists the followers' minds (even more). He's also poisoning the goddess of the Earth, pushing him into full on Omnicidal Maniac territory, as he spreads chaos and death across the known world.
  • In Alan Dean Foster's Humanx Commonwealth series, Flinx's "sister" Mahnahmi is given this treatment in a big way. Considering how messed up she is and what she's suffered in her life, it's hardly surprising that she's become nihilistic, but for some reason, she insists on taking Flinx and everything he loves with her, even while he's busy saving the galaxy.
  • The Lazar from the Death Gate Cycle have this as their hat - they are undead beings caught forever in a state of hellish agony between life and death, and the only way they can have any release at all is by delivering others into the same torment. The only real exceptions are Jonathon (who's a straight Woobie mixed with Messianic Archetype) and, ironically, Kleitus, leader of most of the Lazar. He was enough of a Magnificent Bastard in life to keep his head following reanimation (though, admittedly, he's a bit more Ax Crazy now), and plans to use the other Lazar as his tools to purge the universe of sentient life, so he'll be left ruling an empire of the dead.
  • The Chandrian, specifically Lanre, in The Name of the Wind; Lanre went insane when his love died, and, in the unsuccessful attempt to bring her back, made himself immortal. With suicide now not an option, he decided to kill the rest of the world instead. He's definitely sympathetic in the Backstory, the only question is if he can maintain it as Haliax in the modern era.
  • In Richard Tierney's Cthulhu Mythos novel The Drums of Chaos, Jesus is a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds. His sacrificial death on the cross is intended to open a gateway for the Great Old Ones to come to destroy the world and end everyone's suffering. One of the two heroes of the novel, John Taggart, also used to be a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds, but changed his mind. Since the world of the Cthulhu Mythos is a Crapsack World, especially in Tierney's version, where it crosses over with George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, it is not clear who is in the right, so it is very much an example of Grey and Gray Morality.
  • While most of the villains in Sword of Truth are Complete Monsters or Omnicidal Maniacs, Nicci is more of this trope. The sixth book, Faith of the Fallen, is mostly devoted to showcasing her mindset and point of view.
  • Inverted (and literal) in Death Star with Tenn Graneet, the station's chief gunner. Rather than someone who commits evil acts because of his painful past, he is a somewhat naive Just Following Orders commander who believed that the Empire would never fire the Death Star at full power at an inhabited planet. When he realizes that they would and he carried out that order, he becomes so full of self-loathing that you start to really pity him. Eventually, during the Rebel attack at Yavin, he stalls for a few critical seconds, allowing Luke to blow up the Death Star before the Death Star could blow up Yavin IV.
    • Qwi Xux, one of the chief engineers for the Death Star's superlasers, not to mention the creator of the Sun Crusher, also qualifies big time, probably even moreso than the aforementioned chief gunner: she was taken from her village as a little girl and placed in a high-risks and genuinely horrific mathematics/science course with other students, where their lives literally depended on whether they got the answers right or wrong, not to mention those of their village (basically, if one of the students gets even one answer wrong, the student in question will be forced to watch as their home village is blown away via aerial bombardment and executed shortly thereafter). She was the sole graduate, not to mention the sole survivor of that course, which was also headed by Imperial Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin, and it was because of this that she felt driven, to the extent of borderline psychotic obsession, to solve any problem whenever the Empire declares that it wants a solution, often feeling not responsible if it turned out to be a failure in faux-naivete.
    • There's also the Grand Admiral Osvald Teshik. Because of a failure in regards to rescuing Coh Veshiv from the Rebel privateer Far Orbit, or any reason to begin with, as he implies that Palpatine did this to him for absolutely no reason whatsoever, he ends up being nearly killed in a battle that Palpatine ensured that he would not win, and that he turned into a cyborg with 3/4s of his body removed, and the near-death experience, not to mention the abuse by various Imperial personnel for his cyborg status, left him extremely cold and nihilistic up until he was saved by a construction worker, and he ends up explaining the battle to the Rebels and the impact it had when he is to be executed for war crimes, having been resigned to his fate, before emitting a mechanical, almost pitiful laugh upon his death.
  • Several in Mercedes Lackey's Heralds of Valdemar series, including Tylendel and Lavan Firestorm. Vanyel and Talia both come very close to this trope, but are saved by the support of their friends, Companions, and Mindlink Mates.
  • Isabella Sordeno from Mindy Mackay's Peacebreakers seems to fit the bill. After being manipulated, abused, and operated on while conscious, she snaps and loses her mind, developing into a strategic mastermind and almost singlehandedly conquers a country while exploiting and manipulating everyone around her For the Evulz. Eventually, as her malevolence snowballs, her reckless strike against an old enemy ends up breaking the world.
  • Trashcan Man in The Stand plays a role quite similar to Gollum in The Lord of the Rings, which makes sense, seeing how the latter was a big inspiration for the former. He actually destroys the entire Evil Realm of Las Vegas, turning nearby states into radiation zones to prove his loyalty to Flagg by bringing him the Big Fire to destroy the people of Boulder. This only occurs because Flagg promised him protection from the voices in his head of the people in his hometown who used to tease him for his insanity and Pyromaniac. When one of Flagg's minions use the same language to insult Trash, he snaps and blows up an airfield, and flees into the desert with a price on his head.
    • Funny thing, the other guy wasn't even insulting him, he was only making a rude joke of sorts and involuntarily triggered his Berserk Button.
  • Luke from Percy Jackson and The Olympians.
  • Dear god, Aeglyss, the halfbreed from The Godless World Trilogy. After a lifetime of ostracisation and failed attempts at social interaction, he's so damaged that his very presence is contaminating the planet and poisoning the Shared. By the end, he's diseased, physically ruined, and ready to die, and tries to take the world that's rejected him along for the ride. It's not even deliberate: after failing to enslave the world, he just doesn't care enough about it to try and stop the destruction he's begun.
  • Elphaba. Yes, she went completely mental towards the end. But oh God, when you read about her life...
  • Carrie from the book of the same name by Stephen King. She was the Butt Monkey for her entire school life, and at home, her mother beat her, verbally abused her, and locked her in a small closet for up to a day at a time. And she weathered all of it. When she found out that she had telekinetic powers, she exercised them to make them stronger, but not to get revenge. She never even contemplates revenge. But finally, one last, cruel prank goes too far, and the poor girl snaps, taking out of all of her pain and misery on the town around her.
  • Q Squared, the Star Trek Novel by Peter David, features Jack Crusher in an alternate reality, a good but unhappy man who is targeted by the godlike Trelane, who drives Jack murderously...and suicidally...insane
  • Persephone in Ravirn releases the Necessity virus that would have destroyed the entire multiverse without Ravirn's intervention in hopes of breaking Hades' hold on her. It's later implied that she would have done the same again when Hades is one of the few candidates to replace Necessity and gain absolute power, except that she trusted Ravirn to stop him instead.
  • The Bane (real name Pearlpelt) from The Underland Chronicles. His father was a Complete Monster who killed his other children so Pearlpelt could have more milk and grow stronger. His parents killed each other in a fight, and he saw his mother lying dead with her innards spilled over the ground. To make matters worse, almost all the humans shun him because he's the Bane, and many of his fellow rats honor him and want him to be their king. Eventually, he goes completely off the deep end, becoming an Evil Albino and a great Hitler allegory.
  • Ari from the Maximum Ride books. He was born a sweet, innocent child, but he grew up in the shadow of his half-sister, Max. He was turned into a Wolf Man by scientists, and was subject to constant genetic enhancements afterward, eventually becoming a hideous freak. In the end, though, he gets a Heel Face Turn--but too late.
  • Ghwerig the troll from The Elenium. In reality, he is maddened by the loss of Bhelliom and devotes most of the rest of his life to searching for it, and even though he eventually finds it, he is killed by Sparhawk and Kurik.
  • Doesn't seem like it at first, but Petyr Baelish from A Song of Ice and Fire. He was born as one of the poorest nobles, if not the poorest noble, in the realm, then separated from his family at a young age to live with another family in much, much better standing—basically, throwing in his face what he will never have. He's small, weak, and looked down on by everybody. Nobody even calls him by his real name. Then, just to make things worse, he falls in love with one of the daughters, who he isn't allowed to marry because of his birth. He nearly gets himself killed fighting for her and, after he loses, she completely ignores him. Hard not to feel sorry for him...until he becomes a puppeteer in the royal court, ruins his first love's family and kidnaps her teenage daughter, kills people off at his convenience, and starts a frickin' civil war.
    • Catelyn Tully, who turns into a homicidal, undead, noose-happy outlaw leader after witnessing the brutal massacre of her son, herself and companions at a wedding feast.
  • Barty Crouch Jr.. He's a "Well Done, Son" Guy with a father who never cared about him whatsoever, who loved his wife and work far, far more than his own son. He's also incredibly brilliant, one of the few characters to get twelve Outstanding OWLs in the series (not even Hermione got twelve Outstandings), probably got all Outstandings on his NEWTs, too, possibly just to please his father. After failing to receive the love and approval of his father, he joined the very faction his father despised, finding approval and a father-figure in Voldemort. Crouch was then sent to prison with little consideration by his father, who proclaimed that he had no son. He's well aware that his father saved him from Azkaban and eternal Mind Rape via Dementors because his mother begged him to save their son. She herself was dying. The only parent who loved him gave up her life for him and died, and by this point, Crouch was already halfway to madness. It's strongly implied that being under the Imperius Curse for too long has the same effect as Mind Rape, and he was under one for thirteen solid years thanks to his own unloving father. It's no wonder he stayed very loyal to Voldemort and helped with his ploy to get Harry killed and killed his own father.
    • Also, Merope. What she did to Tom Riddle Sr. was absolutely disgusting, but she was abused through most of her life by her father and brother, who were basically the wizard equivalent of white trash.
      • Likewise, her son Voldemort, although to a far lesser extent, is a very dark interpretation of the trope. Evidence from the book suggests that it's not so much that Voldemort doesn't see the value of love and hope as it is that he is completely incapable of experiencing or expressing them, as his sanity and capability of feeling these emotions were destroyed when he was conceived via Love potion. Dumbledore even speculates that Voldemort's sociopathic tendencies might have been mitigated altogether had Merlope actually raised him as her child instead of leaving him at an orphanage.
  • Maud in Catherynne M Valente's The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, whose life as a hero and a great queen in Fairyland was cut short when she was sent back to the real world and her abusive family, so she sought revenge after being pulled back to Fairyland by her friend.
  • The eponymous character of Skulduggery Pleasant was this after his family was killed. The books always implied that he went a bit off the rails, but in Death Bringer, we find out that it went a tad further than just Unstoppable Rage. He's Lord Vile.
  • The novelization for Disney's Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs paints Queen Grimhilde as an extremely dark Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds instead of an unrepentent Complete Monster (Try thinking along the lines of Kefka being a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds). For starters, the novel gives her the Freudian Excuse that she was emotionally abused by her father, a mirror maker, who refused to acknowledge that she was beautiful since she was a child, leading her to be insecure in regards to her beauty. When she did marry Snow White's father, the king, she actually did genuinely care for Snow White as if she were her own daughter. Unfortunately, her father's witch cousins ended up giving her a gift (the magic mirror) that also housed her father's spirit, and it is heavily implied that it was thanks to her father's haunting influence that she started to go insane by the movie.
  • Ender in Ender's Game is a great and very literal example.
  • Elric of Melniboné just can't get a break. Every time he kills it makes him stronger and it also makes him hate himself more. On top of that every girl he loves (each of whom wants to wrap him in the proverbial blanket and feed him the proverbial soup) dies, which usually leads to him needing to wreak revenge on someone. And kill them with his sword and take their soul, and then hate himself. It's a vicious woobie cycle.
  • In Death series: Holiday In Death and Portrait In Death have killers who could be considered this. Those killers suffered losses that was the end of the world for them. They turned to murder because for them, it's the only way to unleash the pain. Those killers are also implied to have been born with untreated mental disorders. Perhaps they are unsympathetic, but it can be agreed that they are pathetic.


Live-Action TV[edit | hide]

  • Adam Monroe on Heroes his path of destruction fueled by his heartbreak over Yaeko.
  • Dr. K in Power Rangers RPM. She unleashed a sentient computer virus that almost certainly nuked the planet, and is confirmed to have wiped out all of civilization outside of one city. Her motive? Escape from the top-secret government think-tank she had been trapped in all her life. In her defense, the guards caught her before she could set up a firewall. So she unintentionally killed most of humanity in an attempt to escape unjust imprisonment. And since the firewall was intended to keep the virus from escaping from the computer network in the first place, some consider it the indirect fault of the guards who kept her from installing it, thus guaranteeing spread of the virus.
    • When Tenaya 7 invades her lab, she mocks her, saying, "You pride yourself on how smart you are, don't you? But you still royally messed up, didn't you?"—after which the usually cool Dr. K completely loses it and angrily starts firing her sound cannon in random directions. After the flashback ends, she appears emotionally exhausted, most likely because of the guilt she faced for her mistakes, thus cementing her status on this page.
  • Several episodes of the new Doctor Who series have shown how easily the Doctor could become one of these due to all he's endured throughout the centuries, in particular, his treatment of the eponymous villains in "The Family of Blood". It's also heavily implied that the end of the Time War, in which he personally killed billions and almost annihilated two ancient civilisations, was the result of his despair over all the destruction the war had caused.
    • When he finished off the last of the Racnoss was another indication of how the Doctor is standing at the edge of a slippery slope. Spider monsters or no, he was still killing babies and finishing up on making that species extinct.
      • The events of "Turn Left" show that the Doctor is borderline suicidal. When he destroyed the Racnoss, Donna was standing there, and was the only thing that convinced him to leave. In "Turn Left", she wasn't there, and he ended up dying with them.
    • In the episode "Dalek", the eponymous creature suffers several existential crises in a row, from being (it believes) the Last Of Its Kind to being part human thanks to the method of its healing. Ultimately, it is Driven to Suicide over the pain of emotions it never even knew existed.
    • River Song, after the events of "Closing Time".
    • The Master in the new series.
  • Willow, in the sixth season finale of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Her Roaring Rampage of Revenge over the death of Tara ended with a magical overload that briefly attuned her to the thoughts and feelings of everyone else on the planet. Overwhelmed by the world's collective pain, she decided that "your suffering has to end" and turned her newfound power towards bringing about The End of the World as We Know It. She was finally stopped by the The Power of Love. Heck, Dark Willow was the trope image for a while.
  • In Legend of the Seeker, Nicci is even more of this trope than in the books, as her Knight Templar tendencies are downplayed and more emphasis is put on her desire to destroy the world.
  • Played with in Stargate SG-1 episode Absolute Power with Daniel Jackson, the show's typical Woobie of various other types. In the episode, Daniel is trying to sensitively obtain information about the Goa'uld from a small child, who touches his head in an apparently hostile act, as it renders him unconscious. When he awakens, he proceeds to have all of the needed knowledge revealed to him and proceeds to build the weapon that would apparently defend the Earth, but at the cost of having become at least a Jerkass Woobie if not outright evil. He fantasizes about very violent things until, finally, his goal is met. He then proceeds to take over the most powerful weapon in the world from his Supervillain Lair and destroy Moscow before waking up and realizing that having absolute power to defeat the Goa'uld in one fell swoop is not such a good idea after all. He wakes up to discover that it was All Just a Dream, but during the episode, it was implied that Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds is actually simply a part of his subconscious, with or without special knowledge. Not surprising, really.
  • Dexter has the Trinity Killer. Notable in that this trope is used to make the character more disturbing, rather than more human (the usual utilization of this trope).
  • Warehouse 13 had a textbook example in H.G. Wells. It started out with her daughter being murdered, who proceeded to hunt the killers down and cause them more pain than she felt. Then, after being turned into a statue for a century (while still awake the whole time), she found today's world even more lacking, and decided to explode the Yellowstone supervolcano to start an ice age. In a twist similar to the Buffy the Vampire Slayer example above, Ho Yay saved the day.
  • The Greeed from Kamen Rider OOO are monsters whose MO is consuming the world and are generally causing massive pain to everyone. Then we find out why they're doing it. Their 10th Core Medal was destroyed, leaving them sentient, but even if they get all 9 of their remaining Cores, they have a void inside them that can never be filled due to the destruction of the 10th. They've been that way literally since they've become sentient, they're only trying to consume the world to fill a void inside them that they were born with. If that hunger is enough to drive them to the extremes they go to, then they definately qualify.
  • Lucifer in Supernatural sees himself as this and it isn't without some justification. He was a loyal servant to God, who felt that he has been cast aside for a species that did not deserve such love. He has tried to regain his prestige in God's eyes, but has been irrevocably cast as a monster. As such, that is what he has become.
    • As of the season 6 finale, Castiel is a straighter example. Abandoned by God, at war with his brothers, betrayed by his allies, and, worst of all, rejected by his Nakama, Dean and Sam, not to mention hopped up on the souls of millions of monsters from Purgatory, he has declared A God Am I and demanded that they bow down and worship him. This cannot end well.
  • Walter White in Breaking Bad could be interpreted as this. He is an extremely intelligent and skilled man, but has to settle for working in a job far below his skill level. Also, he just found out that he has terminal cancer and is afraid that his death will leave his family in position of extreme poverty. He decides to use his skill in chemistry to manufacture crystal meth and sell it to support his family.
  • Many unsubs from Criminal Minds and its spin-off, Suspect Behavior:
    • Veronica Day, who manipulated her boyfriends into killing their parents because someone killed her birth mother before she had a chance to tell her who she was, and if she couldn't have a happy family, then no one could. And on top of that, she was caught because everyone thought she killed her mother. She was freed on a technicality but redeemed herself by confessing to one of her victims.
    • A mother who goes on a shooting rampage on her child's birthday/death day, who has a special grudge against "heroes" because not only was her child's injury and death ignored due to a police officer being killed in the same incident (they were caught up in a car chase), her own husband was a workaholic paramedic who didn't even take time off for his own son's birthday, eventually divorced her, and seemed too quick to get over his son's death (he hadn't, he just didn't show it as much as she did).
    • A father whose son was a Serial Killer, and blamed his "rotten genes" for what happened, kills any young man who happens to have the same glasses as his son, but shifts targets to the father of one of the victims who has been harassing him for years eventually, hoping for a Suicide by Cop. He also attempts to Mercy Kill his very ill wife, but is unsuccessful.
    • Another father who, after the death of his wife, planned to murder-suicide himself and his three sons by sneaking pipe bombs into their backpacks and sending them off to school, a field trip, and the hospital where their mom died.
    • A young woman who, as a teenager, was repeatedly raped and beaten by her father and brother, and when her doctors finally managed to convince her to go to the police with it, she found her mother already at the station denying everything. She snapped and began believing that all women should suffer what she did (and, presumably, what she wanted to do to her mother), recruiting her weak-willed, toadyish husband to do the actual raping part.
    • A woman who abducts other women, injects them with a paralyzing drug that will eventually kill them, and plays with them like dolls...because she walked in on her Complete Monster, pedophilic, psychiatrist father giving away her favorite toys (given to her to keep her quiet while he was abusing her) to his latest patient/victim.
    • A comic book artist Forced to Watch as his pregnant fiancée was raped to death in front of him by a street gang. The trauma causes him to have episodes where he blacks out...during which time he, without knowing it, becomes a crazy skilled Vigilante Man, butchering members of the gang with katanas.
  • The final perp on Law and Order: Criminal Intent turns out to be a woman who runs an internet company (basically a sweeter, female Mark Zuckerberg Expy) who, tipped off to a break-in at her headquarters, returns to confront the offending party and finds that he has killed her boyfriend. He runs at her and she retaliates with a scissors to the neck. She actually breaks down into Tender Tears when confronted with the evidence, and it is clearly intended that our sympathy should be with her.
  • In Fringe, Walternate. His son was kidnapped. His world is in the process of tearing itself to pieces, and millions of his fellow human beings have been killed. He's also waging a shadow war on our universe, since he thinks that it's the only way his can survive.
    • Interestingly, in the alternate reality where Peter died as a boy (an Observer did not save him), Walternate is better than Peter initially assumes him to be.
  • Tate Langdon. He's mentally damaged, neglected by his parents, and clearly depressed...and also a seemingly sweet boyfriend. And he cries so prettily! On the other hand, he's a mass-murdering, stalking ghost.
  • Richard Harrow in Boardwalk Empire. Also, Jimmy is revealed to be one in season 2.
  • Holtz in Angel. He was a vampire hunter whose family was brutally murdered by Angelus and Darla to torture him. Except for his daughter, whom they turned into a vampire so Holtz would have to kill her himself. His guilt and rage caused him to abandon reason for vengeance and pursue Angel to the twenty-first century and manipulate people for his own ends.
  • Cassidy Casablancas He was molested, belitted, picked on by his family, and abandoned by his mother. It causes him to go crazy and a blow up a Bus Full of Innocents


Music[edit | hide]

  • The subject of Everything Burns by Anastacia & Ben Moody. The song could probably describe ninety percent of the people on this page. Heck, rule of thumb, if you can't use this song as the character's theme song, don't put them here.
  • The plot of Marilyn Manson's concept album Antichrist Superstar.
  • The Last Man from Fireaxe's 4-hour metal epic Food for the Gods. The narrator laments the nature of man and how all we ever do is suffer. He then uses an unnamed Doomsday Device to destroy the entire human race and all life on Earth. Then things start going bad.
  • Upon discovering that his sister has died before he could find her again, Moira's Elefseus finally snaps from a lifetime of trauma and goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against everything that ever played a part in his suffering, up to and including fate itself.
  • The female protagonist of Carrie Underwood 's "Blown Away". She apparently has supernatural powers and uses them to create a destructive tornado to kill her father in his sleep who was described as a "mean old mister" that apparently killed her mother.


Mythology[edit | hide]

  • In Norse Mythology, Loki rarely had it good. He started off as a slightly more happy-go-lucky (for whatever that's worth in Norse myths) trickster god. He ensured that Asgard's wall would be built for free, and aided Thor in one of his journeys. Hell, in some versions, Thor even says that Loki is "an evil man, but a good companion". Sure, he caused a great deal of trouble, but at the same time, he's typically regarded as a permanent outsider (in small part, one might argue, due to his half-giant heritage, never mind that a lot of other gods are half giant), gets threatened, and, at one point, gets his lips sewn shut by some bastard dwarves while all the other gods look on and laugh. Arguably, this would piss a lot of people off. And then, long story short, he murders Baldur, is punished horribly, and then causes Ragnarok, never repenting for his deeds.
    • This actually gets worse when one realizes that there are TWO versions of the story leading to Ragnarok, and in the other, Loki never killed Baldur at all. He was punished instead for getting drunk at a party and insulting the other guests. For this crime, he was imprisoned and forced to watch as one of his sons is transformed against his will into a wolf which then tore out the entrails of his twin brother, the entrails that were then in turn used to bind Loki into place to suffer eternal torment. That's right: unending agony while bound in the remnants of your murdered son. Yeah. All that for a bit of snark. It's really no wonder that when he gets out, he decides to join the Jotun to end the world.
    • Of the children he fathered, two are (literally) thrown completely out of Asgard by Odin (Hel and Jormungandr, both for being ugly), while one gets chained to an island for the rest of time (Fenris) for being big, strong, and scary... and, essentially, for being a child of Loki (because, you know, you can't trust Loki's kids). The fact that all of these kids come back and help their father destroy Asgard at Gotterdammerung is perhaps understandable. (Fenris is usually told as being imprisoned precisely because the Asgard knew of his important role in Ragnarok, but then it gets into Self-Fulfilling Prophecy territory.)
  • Some of the monsters from Classical Mythology, especially the ones that used to be humans but were turned into monsters as punishment for some crime. Perhaps the most obvious example is the Gorgon Medusa and her sisters. Medusa got turned into a monster for the "crime" of getting raped. That's right, Poseidon raped her in Athena's temple. Athena got pissed that sex had occurred in one of her sacred places, but couldn't do anything to Poseidon, so she took out her anger on Medusa by turning her and her sisters into Gorgons.


Professional Wrestling[edit | hide]

  • The Big Show, in a storyline in which he got fired by WWE General Manager John Laurinaitis for making fun of Laurinaitis's voice. Even though he pleaded and cried in front of the entire world, no one seemed to show him sympathy or come to his defense. When he managed to return to WWE with an "ironclad contract," he used this opportunity to vent his rage on seemingly everyone else in the locker room. And when you weigh well over 400 pounds, who's going to stop you?
  • Edge, after he was placed in a Hell in a Cell Match with Undertaker in which he believed he would surely die. Resigned to the fact that he was going to Hell, he decided to make a living Hell for those who had double-crossed him or wouldn't help him before he went.
  • After Kane found Undertaker in a coma in the spring of 2010, he embarked on a months-long rampage directed at every person who could possibly be a suspect in incapacitating his half-brother. It was actually a subversion, though, as Kane himself had been the one who'd attacked Undertaker, and he was accusing everyone else in order to deflect suspicion away from himself.


Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

  • Promethean: The Created has a "black hat" group, the Centimani. They embrace Flux, the antithesis to the Azoth that fuels Prometheans. Their powers are the same as those of Pandorans, the natural predators of their kind. Most other Prometheans consider them monstrous (not the least of which because many Centimani hunt other Prometheans to feed their Pandorans). But the gameline makes a point of pointing something out: Prometheans are the embodiment of Blessed with Suck. Any given Promethean is constantly, day-in-day-out, hammered with terrible trials. Being nigh-indestructible is no barrier against the Despair Event Horizon. Most Centimani are less born to evil than dragged to it by the heels.
    • Specific example: Eve, from Pandora's Book. She was created haphazardly by a selfish Frankenstein who told her to her face that she was just there so he could reach the New Dawn. Then she saw him torn to pieces in front of her, leaving her with apparently no purpose. Other Prometheans taught her that, that wasn't the case, but when she tried to make a new Promethean herself, it failed, spawning Pandorans. Her second attempt worked, but her creation ran off after a few days. Finally, she gave in, creating new Pandorans intentionally so that she'd have something to cling to. Her quote is even, "At least I'm not alone anymore."
      • It's worth noting, however, that she ate her former throngmates. Even the sourcebook admits that it's hard to consider her redeemable given that.
    • From the sample adventure in Magnum Opus, Los Tempestrad. He came to himself in a Hispanic gang's lair, and ended up being a hitman for them for years, and was systematically abused - after all, he was nothing but a puppet, a cheap weapon to be used as Ocho, the gang's leader (and his self-proclaimed creator), saw fit. Then one day, for the first time, he met another Promethean, who took him away from the gang and explained that humans can't create their kind. Unfortunately for him, said Promethean was the manipulative Botherud member Ice Blue, who promptly indoctrinated him in her order's teachings and used him exactly the same way the gang did. His reaction to hearing about Lighthouse, a Promethean messiah supposedly made by a human, is understandable - confused fury, because he loses either way. (If Lighthouse wasn't made by a human, then every other Promethean in Boston is being tricked exactly the way Los Tempestrad was; if a human did make Lighthouse, then Ice Blue has lied to him since they met.) Los Tempestrad is a violent sociopath, but he never had a chance from the day he got off the slab.
  • A close reading of the fallen Primordials from Exalted reveals them to be this.
    • First up: The Yozis. While they seem pretty evil at first glance (and in the Ebon Dragon's case, the second, third, fourth, and thereon), it's not hard to realize that they are, one and all, thoroughly miserable. The fact that each one was built with an actual mental disorder in mind really doesn't help their self-image.
      • Despite not being the First of the Primordials, the Primordial that was to be Malfeas made himself king because he had the guts to be one. His glorious passion inspired and guided his fellow Primordials, when their mutually incomparable power would have made Asskicking Equals Authority futile. Upon his defeat, the cosmic passion that gave him power and meaning turned toxic. Now, it enslaves Malfeas and randomly subjects him to holocaustic Mania and abyssal Depression. In between these peaks (or torn and stretched out on both peaks at once), his infinite furor is guided by perfect self-hatred, causing him to ceaselessly destroy himself. Bipolar Disorder, among clinically recognized mental disorders, is most likely to end with suicide.
      • Cecelyne's grandeur is driven by her inadequacy. To fulfill that barren emptiness, she puts on an air of cosmic pomp and importance and cares for her subjects mercilessly and ruthlessly. Her overcompensation (a common pattern seen in those with pathologically Narcissistic Personality) ultimately makes her an empty shell—an infinitely hollow desert, who feels that her value only comes from dominating and being wanted by others. Her powers center around fulfilling others' desires and demanding obedience, but they cannot actually help their user.
      • She Who Lives In Her Name is an Obsessive-Compulsive control freak, and she may seem like the least sympathetic...until you understand that she's also Autistic and literally can't understand that what she is doing is wrong.
      • As Adrian, she was a literal protector of Creation in that her presence separated Creation and the Wyld. She was selfless and compassionate to an extreme—she literally gave her own body for her children's safety. She really loved Creation! Gods' betrayal broke her heart to such a painful degree that she is no longer capable of caring about anything, even herself. Her heart was broken so badly that she never put it together again—Adorjan is a victim of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, no longer able to express attention in any way other than violence.
      • The Shadow of All Things may have been a Jerkass, but he was a sort of Devil's Advocate—he gave meaning to the world by being its enemy. Now his "virtue" is hollow and the Ebon Dragon displays an extreme form of Antisocial Personality; the only thing he can care about anymore is the suffering he inflicts on others. In the setting of Exalted, Ebon Dragon is one of the extreme few who should be considered a Complete Monster, utterly undeserving of sympathy...but, still, the fact that he can't even recognize that he has fallen this low is something to pity.
      • Other Yozis are pathetic beings in the sense that their current condition inspires sympathy. Kimbery, who once gave herself as life-water and life-blood for Creation, is so terrified of rejection that she destroys whoever approaches her—Borderline Personality. Oramus, the First Primordial, bravely began to fight Pure Chaos and now he, through no fault of his own, is stuck inside his own wings, utterly unable to comprehend the world outside—Schizophrenia. Isidoros, the strongest thing in the universe and all time, lost faith in his own power and withers in perfect, destructive nihilism—Paranoid Personality. Sacheverell was once a visionary who foresaw the ideal future for Creation; now he does nothing but sleep, refusing to feel anything—Dissociative Disorder. The most comprehensible Yozi, Szoreny, has lost control of his ability to mold his personality based on who's talking to him into the ideal Foil, leading to his inability to think straight beyond the short term—Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder. The fact that every Yozi was struck with a diagnosable mental disorder, turned up to a divine degree, sort of justifies their desire to make everything literal Hell.
    • Then...we have the Neverborn. Hoo boy. Though not much is known about the Neverborn individually, one can gander at the origin of their morbid hatred—as authors of reality, the Primordials never bothered to put together a scenario where they might die. Without reality being designed to handle their death, the Neverborn could not truly die... but they were still killed and murdered, stuck in a limbo between life and death. The pain of dying has lingered with them for five thousand years. What brought this miserable fate? They were pursing their own happiness in Creation, like every other living thing, before the Primordial War. Even with the most saintly soul, this is more than enough justification for their destructive cause.
  • In Warhammer 40000, the Horus Heresy was a galaxy-spanning civil war between the loyal followers of the God-Emperor and the traitorous followers of Chaos, shattering the Imperium (from which it still hasn't fully recovered even ten thousand years later) and ultimately dooming the galaxy to a slow, painful death. And yet all of those who rebelled had very legitimate reasons at first, often falling into this trope:
    • Lorgar genuinely, deeply loved the Emperor, and wanted to have him venerated throughout the galaxy. The Emperor brought the banhammer down on that as soon as he knew about it, as despite basically being a Physical God he wanted a society of Flat Earth Atheists (due to Chaos being fed by worship). Distraught and suddenly having nowhere to direct his devotion, Lorgar eventually discovered the Chaos gods, who had no problem whatsoever with worship and obeisance. Cue Religion of Evil.
    • Magnus the Red actually tried to warn the Emperor about the rebellion, yet not only was he not believed, but because he used sorcery to learn and transmit the information he was declared a criminal. The Space Wolves were sent to apprehend him, resulting in the destruction of his homeworld and forcing him to side with Horus, and after the rebellion's defeat other events ensued which turned most of his legion into mindless automata.
    • Angron first met the Emperor when he was having a Last Stand against impossible odds, even for a Primarch. The Emperor offered to save him, but Angron refused, wanting to die with his soldiers... only for the Emperor to teleport him away anyway, leaving his soldiers to die without him. Angron became even more of a Blood Knight after this, and even while fighting wars for him he retained his hatred of the Emperor for many years, jumping at the first opportunity to betray him.
    • Horus himself was shown a vision of two possible futures of the Imperium, both of them horrible. Choosing what he thinks is the less horrible one, Horus attempts to overthrow the Emperor in order to fulfill it, but of course things don't quite go as planned.


Theatre[edit | hide]

  • Erik from Phantom of the Opera
  • The titular character of Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, after being sent to a penal colony for fifteen years on a trumped-up charge, returned home to find that his wife had poisoned herself ( though contrary to what Mrs. Lovett would have him believe, she's still alive) and his daughter was adopted by the man responsible for his suffering, and, failing in his big attempt at revenge, finally goes Ax Crazy and becomes this at the end of Act One.
  • And, of course, the theatrical version of Wicked.
  • Seymour Krelborn, the protagonist of Little Shop of Horrors.
    • From the same musical, Audrey applies even moreso. Not because she contributed more to the destruction of the world, but because she's even more of a Woobie. Her dying words made humanity's salvation impossible - entirely by accident.


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • Fou-Lu from Breath of Fire IV. He's an immortal emperor who also happens to be a dragon. He's been hibernating for the past thousand years, during which time some not-nice people usurped his throne and plotted to have him killed when he awakens. He manages to escape the assassination attempts, mostly through turning into a large fire-breathing monster and schooling them all in the arts of pain and suffering, and then goes about trying to regain his throne. Along the way, he runs into (and is hidden by) a nice, friendly farm girl who wears a bell as jewelry, who promptly falls in love with him. He, of course, falls for her, too, though he's too much the stoic and quiet type to admit it. The Big Bads find out that she's been harboring the dragon-boy, take her captive, and drag her off to one of the more horrible fates imaginable. See, they have a superweapon, called the Carronade, that uses people with very close bonds to their target as ammunition, converting their pure soul (after a good amount of Cold-Blooded Torture, of course) into a foul and unspeakable city-destroying curse. So, the Emperor's walking through a forest on his way to his rightful palace to retake it, when he senses the powerful world-rending curse heading his way, and defends himself against it as best as he can. The last thing he sees before the force of the curse renders him unconscious is the farm girl's bell charm falling from the heavens to land in front of him. Cue insane cackling and his plans going from 'regain throne' to 'everybody dies'.
  • Fortune and Vamp from Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (with a little more emphais on the Woobie bit in the former case and the Destroyer bit in the latter). The former endured the deaths of everyone dear to her, and as such is a Resenter and Death Seeker who happens to cause a lot of carnage with her BFG. The latter was the victim of terrorism, having to resort to cannibalism in order to survive in the ruins and developing a troubling immortality in the process.
  • Selvaria from Valkyria Chronicles. Sure, she's a badass Dark Action Girl and one of the game's main antagonists, but then you learn about her past...and then Prince Maximillian, the one person she really cares about, orders her to use the 'Final Flame of the Valkyria' to destroy the Gallian army, which they both know will kill her in the process. She does.
  • Duminuss from Super Robot Wars Reversal, an artificial being (not sure of what she actually is, as she is only seen as a trippy eye glyph with a feminine/shota voice...and several Humongous Mechas) whose only wish is to know her purpose. Her creator shunned her, and then she killed it. Actually, her creator, Dark Brain, didn't die. He just implanted that memory into her for the lulz and left her. She shifts dimensions and invades the EXCELLENCE team labs searching for a time machine, to ask her creator for her purpose. She constructs 3 children, who are loyal and fight for her. Then Duminuss is destroyed, and her children kill themselves to bring her back. Then the heroes kill her again. She explodes, crying over how she'll die without ever knowing what was her true purpose. Unfortunately, Original Generation Gaiden threw this out of the window and made her an unrepentant Jerkass...
    • It's hinted that this isn't the same Duminuss, and Dark Brain created multiple ones to do his dirty work. If it wasn't messed up like R's was, it makes sense that it's not the same
  • Sirus, aka Dark Emperor Griffon, from Dark Cloud 2. Originally a member of the Moon Tribe (aka anthropomorphic bunny) who loved nothing more than the flowers in the palace gardens, he was accused of trespassing. Alexandra interceded for him and made him the Garden Keeper. But then invading armies searching for the Atlamillia utterly annihilated the kingdom, leaving it a blasted wasteland, and killed Alexandra. His grief was so great that he swore vengeance on all of mankind, and started systematically erasing it from existence via Time Travel, acquiring the MacGuffin for himself so he could reduce the world to nothingness. Regardless, the player and the protagonists are made to feel sorry for him by means of flashback scenes scattered throughout Moonflower Palace.
  • Yomiel in Ghost Trick. He was falsely accused of giving secrets to the enemy and scared into thinking that he had no hope of acquittal, so he stole a police officer's gun and broke out of the police station, taking a little girl hostage out of panic. A shard of the just-crashed Temsik meteorite penetrated his back, freezing his body at the moment of death and severing it from his soul. By the time he finally pulls himself together and returns home, his fiancée has killed herself because he's been officially reported as dead. Yomiel is forced to wander the world alone, unable to die but not truly alive, separated from the rest of humanity. The isolation nurtures a darkness in his heart, making him want revenge on those who put him in that position, but he still desires most to have some way to lead a human life. His only friend and companion over those ten long years was a cat...and while trying to manipulate Lynne into shooting his shell, Yomiel accidentally kills him. Even his victims feel sorry for him when they find out his story.
  • F.E.A.R.'s Alma is a dead straight example of this trope. Having been driven insane by her own psychic powers as a child, experimented on and locked up since she was eight years old, medicated into a coma and locked away in a shield vault for most of her life, forcibly impregnated and then having both of her children taken away, then killed once the project was terminated, all by her own father, and then repeatedly shot at by one of her own children while trying to embrace him, it's no surprise that the second she gets loose, people die. F.E.A.R. 2 continues her rampage as she tries to get revenge on everyone who ruined her life, and kills anyone who happens to get in her way.
    • Except for Becket, who she, um, "covets".
    • In The Point Man's defense, being embraced by Alma tends to be a death sentence.
  • Practically every villain of the Final Fantasy series from VII onward is either this or else Put Them All Out of My Misery, and arguably the villains from many of the previous games and spin-off lines.
    • Final Fantasy VII: Sephiroth, thanks to the revelation that he is the product of a Mad Scientist's experiment, compounded by the effect of falling into the Lifestream and being exposed to the voices of all souls not currently alive, warping his mind even more. His crossing of the Moral Event Horizon keeps him from truly being a Woobie, but then again, he is the premiere Draco in Leather Pants of the Final Fantasy series.
      • He's built up much more into this in the prequel, Crisis Core, where his two best friends turn out to be flawed prototypes, abandon Shinra, and are hunted down like animals. One goes insane and the other commits Suicide by Cop in fear of doing the same, and in a few months, Sephiroth loses the only people he could relate to and any pretense of trusting the organization that rules his life. So when Genesis and Hojo set him up for The Reveal about himself and Jenova starts messing with his head, he cracks because he's got nothing worth holding on for. Also, Crisis Core shows that prior to the Nibelheim incident, Sephiroth was a fairly decent and caring person.
      • A much more straight example of this trope is Dyne.
    • While Ultimecia may not be a future version of Rinoa, her own backstory is just as tragic. Due to being a Sorceress, she was persecuted her entire life because of the terrible actions of evil sorceresses in the past. Not only that, but thanks to history, she knows she is destined to die at the hands of a bunch of teenage mercenaries and all her plans are based on a desperate desire to escape her fate. Sadly, her actions in the past to achieve this goal caused the start of the persecution of Sorceresses in her own time. The story itself screws her over because of the subtle method of storytelling in the game, her backstory has to be pieced together from hints and comments by characters and plot events, making her seem like a Giant Space Flea From Nowhere.
    • Kuja in Final Fantasy IX and Seymour in Final Fantasy X are Put Them All Out of My Misery types, and thus their examples fall under that page. Seymour was waaaay too far gone to Take a Third Option, however.
    • Shuyin in the sequel fits, however. Given that he was literally subjected to a thousand years of non-stop Mind Rape until the start of the game, it's kinda understandable...
    • It's implied that this affects Kefka Palazzo in Dissidia Final Fantasy during his surprisingly touching final scene in which it is implied that the reason Kefka became an Ax Crazy Nietzsche Wannabe was because he's so damn insane, he thinks there's nothing worth living for except destruction. Terra herself says that he was destroying to try and fill his "broken heart".
      • Speaking of Dissidia, Chaos becomes one of these at the end. After destroying Cosmos, he realizes that he has no equal anymore (and possibly ends up horrified to remember that Cosmos was actually his artificial mother), and that the cycle of conflict is coming to a close. So he decides to destroy everything first.
        • On that note, while you don't find out why Garland betrayed Cornelia, his actions in Dissidia are said to be motivated by him pitying Chaos and Cid of the Lufaine. Also, One Man's Monologue depicts him lying paralyzed in the destroyed parallel world for several days and clearly shows that he felt bad about his time loop shenanigans in hindsight.
  • Sephiran/Lehran tries to call the judgment of a goddess down upon Tellius in Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, all because he thought that it would be the only way for him to finally be put out of his misery and that humanity was completely irredeemable after witnessing 850 years of slavery, tragedy, and war.
  • Zephiel from Fire Emblem 6 and 7 was a talented youth who did his best to win approval from his father, the king of Bern. But the harder he strove, the more distant his talentless father grew, and the fact that he was born from a loveless marriage didn't help either. The final straw came when the king poisoned his heir's drink, several years after a first assassination attempt failed. Zephiel's closest retainer, Murdoch, came up with the idea of faking his death to get him the heck out of there. However, the king opened the casket, causing Zephiel to finally snap and stab him. According to his half-sister, Guinevere, Zephiel never smiled again. Years later, he (now king of Bern) was stirring up quite a bit of trouble in neighbouring countries, trying to offer the land back to its rightful owners because Humans Are the Real Monsters. Needless to say, he had to be killed...with his crestfallen sister's help, no less.
  • Crimsoness casts one of these as the Player Character.
  • Durandal, an AI from the Marathon trilogy, was deliberately threatened by his creator in order to drive him to Rampancy (as part of an attempt to safely study the process), made to open and close doors for hundreds of years in order to stifle his creative development and slow his Rampancy, and was probably about to be experimented on more when he entered the "anger" stage of rampancy, secretly contacted hostile aliens and drew them to Tau Ceti to enslave or kill every single human on the colony or in the ship. Though he becomes less of a Woobie later, when he turns into a Badass Chessmaster.
    • Let's be fair to the bastard. He brought the Pfhor as a distraction so he could get loose. Once that was done, he started working on stopping them, freeing their slaves (admittedly, to work for him), and helping the Security Officer do that which he does so well. The extermination of those on Tau Ceti IV was not intentional.
  • The King of Planet FM from Mega Man Star Force. Everybody, including his family, wanted to kill him to overtake his throne. As a result, he stopped trusting people. He destroyed Planet AM and almost Earth, because he thought that the people there would want to kill him as well.
    • Jack and Queentia from Star Force 3 also fit this trope like a glove. They were once the prince and princess of a small, but prosperous country, which was attacked by neighbor nations for their advanced EM technology. And it just went downhill from there...
    • You could probably also say this for Burai/Rogue, also in the 3rd game. After the first time you fight him on your way to fight Jack Corvus, he may have shared his backstory, saying something along the lines of "Go ahead and save him. Later on he will betray you."
  • Strega of Persona 3 is a trio of this, all of them being artificially implanted with the powers of Persona by the Kirijo Group and forced to take drugs that shorten their lifespan in order to control their powers. The leader, Takaya, later embraces Nyx coming to destroy life, proclaiming that his fight against SEES is him fighting for his way of life.
  • Veigar from League of Legends fits this trope. A member of a notably short and cheerful race, he was driven insane from isolation while imprisoned in Noxus. He then spent years learning dark magic, and vowed to end conflict by bringing all nations to their knees.
  • The Shadow Hearts series has a few, but Masaji Kato from Covenant takes the cake. Having the woman you love being executed for treason? Bad, really bad. Managing to clone her, doing your best to make her clone remember everything so that you can finally be happy together, only to have to kill her again, and this time permanently, just as she starts to love you too? OUCH. No wonder he snapped after this and tried to create a new world by destroying the current one...Even the protagonists feel sympathy for him as the final battle starts.
  • Alessa Gillespie from Silent Hill is another textbook example. She was burned to the point of near death but kept alive in excruciating pain, force-fed experimental hallucinogenics, and forcibly impregnated with God. This was all done by her mother.
    • Claudia from the third game and Walter from the fourth fall under Put Them All Out of My Misery, however, since they wanted to rid the world of pain and suffering in general.
  • The Ur-Quan of Star Control. After spending thousands of years psychically enslaved by evil toads who force them to exterminate whole species of their friends, and finally clearing their minds only long enough to revolt by putting themselves through unspeakable agony, anyone would be in a bad mood. The nice ones want to forcibly subjugate all sentient life in the galaxy. The rest want to eliminate it altogether.
  • The main antagonist in Super Paper Mario, Count Bleck, who wanted to use the Chaos Heart to undo and redo all reality because he was heartbroken by his one true love. Except it actually turns out that the "redo" part is a lie. He's that messed up by the loss of his love.
  • Depending on how charitable you feel, the darker Forsaken from World of Warcraft fall into this trope: their penchant for obscenely lethal plagues, doomsday weapons, and tendency to respond to any threat violently are a direct result of having once been decent, devout humans and elves before having been infected by the Plague of Undeath, killed, resurrected into undeath, corrupted by the Lich King and forced to massacre friends and family, and finally breaking free of his control only to be rejected by their faith and persecuted and hunted down by any remaining friends, family, and acquaintances. No wonder so many of them snap with apocalyptic fury.
    • Sargeras, the creator of the Burning Legion, was so traumatized by the evil of some of the demons he fought against as the pantheon's chosen warrior that he decided that an universe where such things were allowed to happen was flawed, its attempts at Order pointless, and should be remade.
    • Despite the fact that he wants to destroy the world because he doesn't like how mortals are using magic, Malygos can count because, let's face it, his life sucked before he ultimately snapped. He was betrayed by his best friend, Neltharion (aka Deathwing, who had been corrupted by the Old Gods), who then went on to wipe out almost all the other blue dragons, coming very, very close to making Malygos the Last of His Kind. He later supposedly regained his sanity (after being exposed to some volatile magical energies from another planet).
      • Maly's prime consort Sindragosa could also qualify. One of the blue dragons murdered by Deathwing, she wasn't only enraged by his betrayal, but she assumed ALL Dragons (including her mate) had betrayed her when they wouldn't answer her cries for help returning to Dragonblight. She died very emotionally damaged. Mix in some Scourge corruption when the Lich King resurrected her to be his, umm... Dragon and she's angry enough to help extinguish all life on Azeroth.
  • Nessiah of Yggdra Union has spent the past thousand-odd years living in misery, unable to age or die, as a punishment for being a pacifist in Asgard's time of war. He has spent his life since then trying to get revenge or just free himself, and makes a nice mess of the mortal world he lives in, in doing so.
  • King Valentine in Odin Sphere throws a Suicidal Cosmic Temper Tantrum in the final book by using the Cauldron to turn Leventhan into a really pissed-off Sheng Long, which ends up destroying him along with pretty much the rest of existence. Granted, he got broken pretty hard before and during the story, beginning with being forced to kill his own daughter because she had an affair with the king of an enemy country, then dying horribly, along with most of his kingdom, after being betrayed by his own son, enduring endless torture in the netherworld, and escaping it only to be spitefully denied the complete destruction he was so desperately seeking, by the dude who started the whole thing by shagging his daughter, no less.
  • Vayne in Mana Khemia, after he discovered the truth and failed to take it well. Faced with the problem of honestly thinking that the best thing for the world would be if he were to disappear, while at the same time desperately not wanting to face the loneliness he lived with before coming to Al Revis, he decides to take the school and everybody in it with him.
  • Xion in Kingdom Hearts 358 Days Over 2, since her whole existence is pretty much a Trauma Conga Line.
  • In Xenogears, we don't know for sure how many times Fei and Elly reincarnated Themselves, but for 10,000 years, the scenario has been mostly the same: they find each other, fall in love, and when they seem to be about to have a little marital bliss, they die a horrible and painful death. If you had the painful experiment he was subject to in his childhood, Fei end up with a multiple personality disorder, with TWO of his personalities wanting to destroy the world: one is able to exist independently and jump from body to body, and the other one is a Person of Mass Destruction. And that's not all: Krelian, a friend of Fei in a previous life, is another woobie ready to destroy the world if it allows him to be "reunited with God". With that many Physical Gods and Magnificent Bastards on the same planet, you can guess that the Xenogears world is not the most pleasant place to be.
  • Elpizo from the Mega Man Zero series exhibits traits of this trope, being sentenced to death for discovering records about a past catastrophe in the ruined library he was ordered to examine. He escapes this fate, only to get lots of people killed while leading a failed assault on his former rulers; this drives him to obsession and megalomania, and he decides that he wants to re-enact the aforementioned catastrophe.
  • Kerrigan from Starcraft killed her mom (and a whole mess of other folks) by way of a psychic accident, watched a kitten die of cancer, was forced to choose between killing her mentally ill father or her sadistic headmaster (she just broke his gun) and decapitate a rebel leader (and steal his head), was experimented on, and was betrayed by her father figure. Then she got infested by a Horde of Alien Locusts. Is it any wonder that she's a little crazy? Look me in the eye and tell me you wouldn't be.
    • Ironically, the one who made her that way also qualifies. The Overmind was forcibly enslaved by the Dark Voice into trying to commit genocide against the protoss with the full knowledge that he and his zerg would be wiped out once they did their job. Kerrigan was meant to be the one hope they had of breaking the Dark Voice's hold.
  • The only reason Sonic the Hedgehog's Emerl doesn't end up as one of these is because Sonic shoots the dog before it can happen.
  • Ratchet, of the Ratchet and Clank series - he's a walking class 1 at the very least, though he manages to avoid wallowing in his existential angst and/or loneliness pretty well by keeping busy.
    • Alister Azimuth fits this even better, being effectively an older, more cynical, and more ruthless Ratchet. To the point that he very nearly destroys time itself in a misguided attempt to correct his own mistakes.
  • Ballos from Cave Story, who destroyed the very kingdom whose people he loved and helped out after being subjected to Cold-Blooded Torture by the king (and if the Wii version of his speech is of any indication, he may have brought the torture upon himself by recklessly allowing his power to grow), forcing Jenka to seal him within the floating island. In fact, when you reach him at the end of the Bonus Level of Hell, he begs you to kill him...or he shall kill YOU!
  • If there were any worthier candidate for the epitome of this trope, it would have to be Blaz Blue's Ragna the Bloodedge. Not only did he lose his home at the hands of Terumi, but he was also betrayed by his brother, Jin, who cut off his arm simply because Ragna didn't pay attention to him enough. In addition, his younger sister had been kidnapped, and he was left to die. Then, Rachel saves him from death by turning him into a half-vampire, causing him immense trauma and making his hair turn white. Then, later, we find out that his sister is the template for a series of robotic clones, two of which are playable characters in the game. One of them, Noel, is pretty much a grown-up Saya for the most part, while the other, Nu, is a crazy loli robot bitch who wants to fuse with Ragna to complete herself and form the Black Beast, which turned the world into a crapsack one already. He's already flat-out stated that he hates everything because of these events. You can't help but feel pity for him, unless you're a soulless bastard.
    • Jin's desire to kill Ragna (and thus the cutting off of his arm) is due to being the World's Antibody and part of his function as the Power of Order. He is meant to be the opposite to Ragna, who is the Destroyer of the World (by being the Black Beast). However, Ragna could instead become the Protector of the Azure.
    • Noel Vermillion eventually becomes one. She was nothing more than a clone of Ragna and Jin's dead/missing little sister, Saya. Since she looks like Saya, whom Jin despises, he's cruel to her. Noel understandably doesn't know why. She's ridiculously sensitive about her small breasts, and gets upset whenever anyone mistakes her as a boy (which is stupid in and of itself, since she's still visibly got breasts, hooray sexism). Making matters worse is that her best friend, Tsubaki, has been ordered to kill her as of the end of Calamity Trigger. Oh, and then Terumi gets ahold of her, mind-rapes her, and turns her into an unholy implement of destruction. All the hate and rage she kept pent up has now been amplified and directed towards the world itself. Yaaaay.
  • Labtech X is motivated to destroy Gaia Online by a bad case of the Cloning Blues and lack of approval from his creator/parent/original, Johnny Gambino.
  • Lambda in Tales of Graces, as well as Richard, thanks to More Than Mind Control.
  • Dr. Lantis of Star Ocean: The Second Story. He loses his daughter, his last surviving relative, and goes insane from grief and rage. Because of this, he wants everything gone.
  • Paraiba in Tales of Hearts, though on a smaller scale. After she absorbs Kohak's sadness spirune, she tries to flood a town.
  • Flandre Scarlet of Touhou. She may be completely bonkers with the power to blow up the world, but she is still a cute little girl who has never seen the light of the sun and probably never will. Many fans want to hug her, even though they know it will inevitably end in a shower of blood and gore.
  • Aribeth from Neverwinter Nights. She starts as a heroic paladin and your main ally, beloved by all and considered a national hero. Then the people of the city you and her worked your asses off to save force the government to execute her innocent lover for being an unwilling pawn in Desther's plans. And the government had no say in it, the townspeople literally formed a mob and forced Fenthick's execution. In the next chapter, Aribeth is so filled with despair that the Big Bad is able to manipulate it into hatred and rage, turning her against the titular city (and the player). Aribeth is especially pitiful when you face her in the finale, as, with her lover dead and feeling of betrayed by Neverwinter, you can tell that she feels she has nothing left to lose.
    • In Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer, there's Akachi the Betrayer, who, as punishment for defying the gods by trying to rescue his beloved's soul from the Wall of the Faithless, is turned into the Spirit-Eater curse, an Eldritch Abomination driven only by hunger and the instinct to possess bodies and devour spirits, always eating but never satiated.
    • Also in this category? The King of Shadows himself, the Big Bad of the Original Campaign. He started out as the greatest hero of the ancient realm of Illefarn. Then he volunteered for a horrifically painful ritual that turned him into a construct of pure magic, the Guardian, to make an effective deterrent to Netheril. Then the Netherese wizard Karsus tried to usurp Mystryl's place as god of magic and all hell broke loose. The Weave was interrupted and the Guardian faced destruction. He chose to continue his vigil over Illefarn by drawing power from the Shadow Weave. That's when he became the King of Shadows. Illefarn tried to destroy him and only succeeded in binding him outside the Material Plane.
  • Morinth of Mass Effect 2 claims to be this, stating that she never wished to be born an Ardat-Yakshi (the Asari equivalent of being a Sex Demon). Subverted in that it was ultimately her choice to succumb to her addiction to murder and her actions show that, in the end, she's a straight-up Complete Monster who wants to screw and kill the galaxy, in that order.
  • While Luca Blight of Suikoden II is a Complete Monster by any standard, his behaviour is a lot more understandable when you've absorbed the fact that he became that way after observing his mother being raped and murdered while his father stood by, cowering in fear.
    • More specifically, his mother was raped but not murdered as he was forced to watch, by mercenaries hired by Muse, the city-state his country was at war with, all the while expecting his father to ride in and saved the day, only to learn later that his father spent the entire time sitting on his throne, dithering. As an added bonus, his sister, Jillia, was the product of that rape, whom he loves and yet serves as a constant reminder of that day.
  • Suikoden III had this with Luc. In the first 2 games, he is a moody, Jerkass teenager who does not seem to have much motivation in participating in wars as his Parental Substitute more or less drops him off. 15 years later, he concocts a plan to destroy his True Wind Rune in a major case of crossing the Moral Event Horizon. The reason? Turns, out he was a defective clone of another rune bearer who wanted vessels to collect all 27 of them. Even worse is that his rune gives him visions of an apocalyptic wasteland. He thinks that if he destroys the rune, he'll effectively kill god and change fate. This has caused many fans to categorize him as a Well-Intentioned Extremist.
  • In the "worst" ending of BioShock (series) 2, Eleanor Lamb turns into one of these. She was almost laser-guided by her mother to become some kind of Utopia, although some fans thought that she would become an Eldritch Abomination or an otherwise unpleasant form of Life that would destroy Rapture and the Topside World. In the Bad Ending, Eleanor is influenced by Delta's murders, kills her mother in revenge, and, depending on how many of the NPCs and Little Sisters the player killed, will be allowed by Delta to absorb his mind and, we assume, his powers, or will do the same, only against Delta's will. Whether the case, she swears to punish the world, while watching a storm fall over the corpse-filled ocean.

"There is no Name for what I am. But, with your help, they will never see me coming...(Fade to Black)"

  • The King of Sorrow from Klonoa fits this trope perfectly. Long story short, he ends up being ignored by the entire world for basically representing an emotion that everyone hates. He goes mad and, as an act of vengeance, decides to unleash sorrow all across Lunatea, which, judging by the reactions, will cause quite a bit of destruction.
    • He outright says that he plans to destroy the world when you reach him in the Terminus of Tears and it's pretty clear that he's gone Ax Crazy.
  • Melissa Bergman/MB in Metroid: Other M. Her only crime initially was occasionally disagreeing with the other scientists on the Bottle Ship, but for that, they decided that she had to have her emotions removed from her. She saw this as betrayal by her beloved mother figure, and as a result, everyone got horribly mauled by monsters.
  • The 501st legion from Star Wars Battlefront. Even though they are the Emperor's elite troops, somehow, you can't help feeling sorry for the narrator (who's quite obviously a Shell-Shocked Veteran), even when you're slaughtering Rebels on Yavin 4.
  • Soma Cruz from Castlevania Dawn of Sorrow - kill Mina, and he is going to kill you in revenge and proceed to become this, requiring Julius Belmont, Yoko Belnades, and Alucard to stop him.
    • Speaking of Castlevania, Dracula can be considered as one too. He once fell in love with a human, and even had a son with her, and he was happy. Then some idiots accused her of being a witch and burned her. Dracula snapped.
    • This happened at least TWICE. One lead him to become Dracula in the first place, he was a devout man until she got killed, and went hog wild onto the Dark Side with the help of Death and the stolen power of another Vampire. After a while of this, he mellowed out and met a woman who might have even redeemed him...who then got killed by a bunch of witch hunters, causing him to REALLY loose it (Aulcard came from the second pairing, and takes it on himself to help shut down Daddy when he awakens)
  • The Masked Mage, from Seiken Densetsu 3. He was Belgar, the Oracle of Shadows. Contrary to what his title might imply, Belgar was a wise and righteous man who watched over the Holy City of Wendel in tandem with the Bishop of Light. The tragedy began when a sick girl showed up seeking his healing prowess. Feeling helpless upon realising that it was an incurable disease, he turned to The Dark Arts in search of a way; however, the girl passed on before he could find one. Belgar continued his research and subsequently started dabbling in necromancy. The dark arts gradually began tainting his soul and the Priest of Light had to exile him from Wendel. By the time Seiken Densetsu 3 begins, he had become the vengeful Masked Mage, one of the potential big bads. It's such a Tear Jerker when you play the prequel and see what a good man he actually was.
  • Jin Kazama shows some signs of this in Tekken 6.
  • You know that Future Luke? Turns out, he's not Luke, but Clive. He lost his parents thanks to a time-travel incident gone wrong, which interestingly also killed Professor Layton's girlfriend, and the person responsible is now the Prime Minster! Thanks to a nice old lady's fortune, he decides to build a Humongous Mecha to level London and rebuild it. Interestingly, Latyon actually prevented him as a kid from going back into the burning building on the day of the incident and, while he doesn't know why, got the Professor involved knowing full well he'd ruin his plans. As if he wasn't a fangirl magnet already...
  • Anders in Dragon Age 2 becomes this by the end of the game. After a time growing up in the Mages Circle—a life stuck in a tower, bound to do whatever the Chantry asked him to—he escaped from the Templars...seven times. On the last time, he joined the Grey Wardens to escape more permanently. It's all downhill for him after that, unfortunately. The Grey Wardens consider him a wuss and mock him enough that he leaves, and then he lets a wayward Spirit of Justice—once a friend of his—into his body. All of this isn't too bad, but it starts getting nasty when he goes to Kirkwall. The sheer dark magic of the place corrupts Justice into a Demon of Vengeance. By the time Dragon Age II begins, he's constantly fighting for control over the influence of Vengeance/Justice. After all of this, his brooding is pretty justified. (He gets added points for being the constantly-hunted leader of a Mages' Rights group.) In the final act, though, he can't fight Justice off anymore, and essentially performs a terrorist attack on the local branch of the Chantry. Talk about a Trauma Conga Line. Ultimately, his fate is left up to Hawke.
  • Oersted from Live a Live, Knight Chapter. His story begins when he wins a tournament to gain a princess' hand in marriage and, in doing so, earns the accolades of the people, only for her to be kidnapped by the Demon King the following night. What seems to be a standard Save The Princess plot is soon turned on its head as the hero, Hash, who last slew the Demon King, is killed when fighting against it with the rest of Oersted's party. Then, the Demon King seems to assault Oersted in the night, only for it to turn out to be the king, who had been made to look like it—a fact discovered only after Oersted kills him. Now treated as a demon by the townspeople, Oersted returns to the Demon King's castle to save the princess, the one person who might still believe in him, only to encounter his best friend, Straybow, who seemed to have died in battle with the Demon King along with Hash. Turns out, he had orchestrated everything to make Oersted an outcast out of jealousy of the latter's success. On top of that, after Oersted battles and kills his old friend, the princess appears, accuses Oersted for not trying to rescue her when he had been trying to do so all along, professes her love for Straybow, and kills herself. With no one in the world now who doesn't loathe him, Oersted snaps and declares that, if the people want to think of him as a demon, why, then that's exactly what he'll become...the Demon King Odio. He then proceeds to slaughter every last person in the kingdom and send several incarnations of himself across time to test the virtues of humanity, thus starting the game's events.
  • In Epic Mickey, the smaller Shadow Blot is revealed to be this. His motives are just like Oswald's: he wants to be famous and loved by the people in Real Life. If you use paint, after Mickey's climactic battle with it, he gives Mickey Mouse a big hug, leading Gus to marvel: "Huh? He's actually kind of... sweet."
  • As of Portal 2, GLaDOS becomes this. After all, she was originally a human, Caroline, forcibly uploaded into a mechanical shell, and, because she was (understandably) resistant to the orders of the people who did this, was also subjected to Mind Rape due to the cores they forced onto her, hearing voices all her life, and soon killed every living thing in the facility.
  • The novels for Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep paint Vanitas as such.
  • The real Overlord Zenon from Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories definitely is this trope. Overlord Zenon is the famous and well-known "God of All Overlords" for having slain about 1000 other Overlords, 99 on the day she fled to Veldime to reincarnate. She doesn't appear much, but when she does, she tries to kill everyone, because she's convinced that everyone is going to betray her. Understandable, since nearly all the demons in the Disgaea universe tend to be rather ambitious. "Everyone who has ever come close to me, has betrayed me..."
  • Many of the ghosts from the Fatal Frame series have really sad backstories, and the only real reason they're attacking people is because they've been driven violently insane by the Malice/Darkness/Curse/etc that came out of the story's resident Hell Gate.
  • Cyrus, as revealed in Pokemon Platinum, was motivated by a childhood full of emotional neglect (if not more) to destroy the universe so it could be recreated without emotion entirely, to end the suffering it caused.
  • Schala, from the Chrono games. In Trigger, she was abused and neglected by her mother, Queen Zeal, who went mad after discovering the power of Lavos. Schala was later caught in the Ocean Palace as it collapsed and never seen again...until Cross, when it was revealed that, since she had such a miserable life, she wished for none of it to ever happen. This let Lavos take over her soul, and turn into the Time Devourer, which threatened to destroy everything that ever existed. She finally gets a happy ending at the end of Cross, when Serge uses the Chrono Cross to free her from the Devourer and Ret-Gone Lavos out of existence once and for all.
  • The freaking MAN-AT-LEGS from Pikmin, believe it or not! Yep, that creepy mechanical spider that blasts your Pikmin to oblivion with a gun! How? According to its journal entry, the Man-at-Legs has no need for the gun since it has no natural enemies, leading to the rumor that the gun controls the creature! Let's look at it from the Man-at-Legs' point of view... imagine if you had a gun attached to you that killed everything around you that moved, and you were targeted by a giant swarm of insects for reasons beyond your control.
  • Pyrrha, the daughter of Fallen Hero Sophitia in Soul Calibur V starts out as an innocent, drifting Woobie with no home or family of her own; being kidnapped by Tira at a young age followed by the demise of her mother resulted in her spending the next seventeen years of her life searching aimlessly for somewhere to belong, regularly attacked and forced to kill or be killed due to Tira's manipulations to make her a suitable heir to Soul Edge. When she finally reunites with her long-lost brother Patroklos, however, things finally seem about to get better for her. Then Patroklos finds out Pyrrha is Malfested when she taps into her Super-Powered Evil Side to save him from the Big Bad, Nightmare. The still gentle and mostly-innocent but now utterly terrifying Pyrrha turns to Patroklos in concern to make sure he's OK only for Patroklos to point his sword at her in the midst of a Heroic BSOD, finally running away from her in horror. Pyrrha, heartbroken, decides she can never trust anyone but Tira and willingly takes up Soul Edge to escape being alone. The resulting character, Pyrrha Omega, is extremely violent and deadly compared to the frightened and naive Pyrrha, but she screams as much in pain as in rage while she fights, and doesn't seem so much to be possessed by Soul Edge as she is madly lashing out at everything, thinking the entire world is her enemy and desperately needing to do something, anything to escape her pain.
  • Iji has Iosa the Invincible. A maniacal Blood Knight even by her species high standards, her lust for carnage began when the Tasen Alpha Struck her home planet, killing every living thing on it except for her, afterwards desiring nothing more than exterminating every last Tasen in existence.
    • Iji herself can become one of these, depending on the players actions. Indeed, Iosa is portrayed as her Evil Counterpart because their histories (and possible subsequent actions) are almost identical.


Visual Novels[edit | hide]

  • The page image depicts Yamato from Inyouchuu. Yamato is a Halfbreed who spent much of his life as an outcast, traveling around Japan with Yayoi in order to find a cure for his demonic tendencies. Mikoto (the girl in the image) was one of the few people to actually treat him decently. In the third game, Mikoto allows herself to be impregnated by demons in a last ditch attempt to find a cure, and is killed by the untrusting villagers who want to kill him. Cue the page image.
  • Kohaku of Tsukihime has become so emotionally broken that she thinks of herself as a doll and has no idea how she really feels about anything. Oh, and she's plotting the deaths of Akiha and SHIKI, is implied or perhaps stated to be involved in Makihasa's death, and may view Shiki as a target as well, though she doesn't succeed there in any path. It's okay if everyone dies except Hisui, pretty much. Oh, and she's indirectly behind all the serial killing going on in the Far Side routes.
  • Sakura in Fate Stay Night eventually decides (with the help of the devil that is possessing her) that since her life sucks so much, she's just going to kill everyone she doesn't like, and then give birth to the devil. Well, the last part probably wasn't too high on the agenda but she didn't really care if it happened or not.
    • Surprisingly enough, Angra Mainyu also qualifies. He was originally just a man who was tortured to death by the people of his village to serve as a scapegoat for human evil, which technically fulfilled the requirements to become a Heroic Spirit. He justifiably hates humanity as a consequence.]]
    • Rider; in her backstory, she is Medusa.


Webcomics[edit | hide]

  • Before she mellowed out a bit, Galatea fit this trope in The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob. She explains her position thusly.
  • Back in 2000, the webcomic Fluble actually had a storyline about a space monstrosity named Woobie, who wanted to destroy the world because he felt unloved.
  • Darths and Droids seems to be casting Jengo Fett in this role.
  • Yonatan from Fake News Rumble. The only reason he's helping the Dark One with the destruction of worlds is because of his unrequited crush on his childhood friend, who sought power.
  • Sandra Eastlake from Zebra Girl. After trying for two years to come to terms with accidentally being transformed (through no fault of her own) into an obviously non-human demon who cannot eat or even taste food properly, type properly (her fingers are razor-sharp, foot-long claws), sound normal (her voice sounds like the modulated noise of a cat being strangled), interact within normal society, or even hold a normal job, surviving multiple attempts on her and her friends' lives, being rendered incapable of intimate contact due to her bodily fluids being acid, and becoming her town's very own urban monster legend, she is finally pushed over the edge by a wizard who goes out of his way to provoke her into becoming completely evil so that he can successfully poison her with an evil-killing toxin. When even that fails, he simply drags her to Hell while the whole town stands by and does nothing, because he happened to look more human than she does. She finally snaps when, after they both arrive in hell, he transforms into a demon and threatens to spend the rest of eternity torturing her. By that point, she literally has nothing left to lose.
    • And as icing on the cake, consider that the only reason said wizard even knew about her in the first place is because she contacted him to ask for help.
  • Sluggy Freelance's Oasis. All she wants is for her one true love to return her love, and until he does, she'll slaughter everything in her path. She knows that she was essentially brainwashed by Steve Hereti into loving Torg, but can't help it anyway. This, coupled with her not knowing exactly what the hell she is, is slowly driving her insane(er).
  • Kimiko of Dresden Codak, as shown in the Hob arc.
  • Trace Legacy from Twokinds. A few weeks after he settles down with his new wife, a Keidran thief shoots her with a poison arrow. In his grief, he throws himself into Black Magic research to try and resurrect her. The spell backfires, nearly killing him and destroying his sanity. He then sacks a Keidran village and takes over the Order, polymorphing his old boss into a Keidran so he can kill her without a fuss. The Goddess of Neutrality has to wipe his brain to keep him from committing genocide.
  • Tavor from Looking for Group. After losing his family and kingdom to invaders, he decides to take his pain out on the rest of the world by trying to erase the city representing its last hope from existence.
  • Redcloak from Order of the Stick, once you've read his backstory in Start of Darkness. Entire family and village, except his brother, massacred by the supposedly Lawful Good Sapphire Guard. Teamed up with Complete Monster Xykon, who took over Redcloak's own team and demoted him to number 2 after Redcloak himself turned him into a Lich. Forced to kill his brother by Xykon as a twisted loyalty test. Recently lost an eye to one of the Sapphire Guard and was forbidden by Xykon (again) from healing it. He remains in service to a potentially world-destroying evil plan which is the only part of his old life that remains.
    • Darth V also qualifies, having snapped after being unable to trance for months due to severe guilt, then having his/her family threatened with a horrible death. The fallout of his/her casting of "Familicide" on the dragon making these threats, killing everyone even remotely related to her, has indeed pushed this a lot closer to a literal "Destroyer of Worlds" example -- one of the Gates sealing away the Snarl was defended by a man with dragon blood, and his family.
  • Bob and George: pitying Spark Man was not wise.
  • Eridan Ampora from Homestuck. The first thing he does when he's introduced? Shoot a laser through a whale. Second? Have all of his romantic advances rejected when desperately pining for companionship. The last thing he does while alive? Kill his queen, kill his friend, knock out his rival, and doom his species to extinction.
  • The golem girls in Wapsi Square played this role once. They were tortured until their wills were completely broken, then they were turned into a weapon. They ended up rampaging and destroying most of the world. Since then, civilizations have been rebuilt, and they have had their free will returned.
  • Dugtrio in 151 Hidden Depths ends up destroying cities after being refused to join the Pokemon Police Force.


Web Original[edit | hide]


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • Satan from South Park, especially in The Movie. He often comes off as just a nice, friendly guy who tries to act tough, and all he really wants is to move up to live on Earth (even if that will doom humanity). Just listen to his so-called Villain Song, "Up There."
    • Also Butters in season 6. After the main boys snub him, he adopts the alter-ego "Professor Chaos", and plots to drown the world... with a garden hose.
  • Ezekiel Rage in Jonny Quest the Real Adventures, particularly in his first episode, where he is a delusionally tortured man bent on revenge for the loss of his family.
  • While Shen of Kung Fu Panda 2 isn't this in the actual film, information revealed in the supplementary material shows that he was originally intended to be one.
  • World from Fosters Home for Imaginary Friends, who literally destroyed his own world in rage when the gang tried to take Frankie back home, and is still the Woobie considering his depressing back story and the fact that all he really wanted was a friend who was willing to stay with him.
  • An incomplete Invader Zim episode involves a giant creature called Squishy, Hugger of Worlds, a childish titan whose planet hugs eventually destroy them. According to plot ideas, Squishy is constantly tormented by other races (including Zim's species) and hugs planets like a sad child clings to a blanket or teddy bear.
  • Nox, the hopelessly insane Big Bad of Wakfu. His true goals are, at first, ambiguous, and we are led to believe that he'll be more of a Card-Carrying Villain early on, but three quarters of the way through, we learn that he is trying to turn back time for some reason. Not until we see the bonus episode dedicated to his past do we realise his true intentions and motivations. From there on, he becomes less of an amusing Saturday morning cartoon villain and more of a deep, tragic character who you can't help but feel for, even as he literally commits acts of genocide. In fact, at this point, if Nox were to suddenly reappear without his mask and turn out to be even remotely handsome looking, he very much risks falling into Draco in Leather Pants territory. This doesn't happen, as his last appearance is...a shot of his armor in a pile of dust next to what is assumed to be his family's grave.
  • Blackarachnia from Transformers Animated. She really didn't want to be turned into a half-organic mutant, and only wants to be restored to her original form and re-accepted into Transformer society (namely, with the Decepticons; she no longer trusts the Autobots). However, the methods she resorts to are unethical and often dangerous, and her old friend Optimus knows that he has to stop her hurting anyone.
    • Wasp is another example. He was falsely accused of being a Decepticon spy, sent to Autobot prison, driven insane by his time there, and forcibly transformed into a Techno-organic by Blackarachnia. However, he is a homicidal maniac, a Decepticon, and wants revenge on Bumblebee, who didn't know that Wasp was framed
  • The Ice King of Adventure Time is a Sociopath, but mostly, he's just lonely. Just try not to feel bad for him when NEPTR chooses Finn over him.
    • The 2011 Christmas Episode of Adventure Time discusses his origin, further proving his status. "I want people to know...if I do things, if I do things that hurt anyone...please, please forgive me. Just watch over me until I can find my way out of this labyrinth in my brain and regain my sanity! And then maybe Betty, my princess...maybe you'll love me again."
    • Flame Princess is also one. She had her heart broken by Finn (Jake in disguise) after he changed his mind about Finn dating her since she's evil. He did this just after he sang a song telling how much Finn likes her. After this, she goes Yandere and goes on a rampage. She probably doesn't get many boyfriends due to her unpredictable personality and the way her dad seems to shelter her because of said personality.
  • Gargoyles has Demona. To be fair, a lot of it is her own doing, but that poor girl has suffered. Losing almost her entire family, being abandoned by everyone she loved and trusted, and being hunted for a thousand years by a family who is extremely fond of Disproportionate Retribution? That'll mess anyone up. The episode 'City of Stone' (from 4:10 onward) gives us a very good example of how badly Demona is broken.

The Sisters: You must give them the code.
Demona: (In a trance) I will have vengeance for the betrayal of my Clan... Vengeance for my pain.
The Sisters: But who betrayed your Clan? And who caused this pain?
Demona: (Getting agitated) The Vikings destroyed my Clan!
The Sisters: Who betrayed the castle to the Vikings? (Note: Demona did)
Demona: The Hunter hunted us down.
The Sisters: Who CREATED the Hunter? (Note: Demona did)
Demona: Canmore destroyed the last of us...
The Sisters: Who betrayed Macbeth to Canmore.(Note: Demona di-- oh, you get the idea)
(Pan to wide-eyed 'What have I done' look on Demona's face)
Goliath: Your thirst for vengeance has only created more sorrow. End the cycle, Demona... give us the code...
Demona: (Tears forming while saying slowly) The access code is...alone.

Terry: Freeze, you've got to get out of here. The building's about to collapse.
Freeze: Believe me, you're the only one who cares.

    • There are other villains besides Mr. Freeze who qualify for this trope: For instance, there was Calendar Girl, who was a former model for calendars, but constantly failed attempts at rectifying her "hideous appearance" left her with nothing else than a desire of vengeance against the people she perceived took away her beauty. She is later revealed to actually be a Gorgeous Gorgon, although she still firmly believes her appearance is repulsive despite this.
  • Weathervane/Paula Haze from Loonatics Unleashed. She was pretty much treated like trash by Misty Breeze. No wonder the poor girl snapped.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Hama. Kidnapped and imprisoned by the Fire Nation army as a teenager, prevented from bending her native element (water), it's no wonder she took her only chance of escape, by turning the guards into People Puppets by bending their body fluids. But then she snuck into the Fire Nation and started kidnapping innocent civilians with the same technique she used on the prison guards...
    • Possibly first-season Zuko—although he doesn't really accomplish much, he probably would destroy the world if he thought it would make his daddy love him. He gets better in the second season, becoming a straight-out Woobie.
    • How about Aang? He's not evil or villainous in any way, but it is scary when he gets upset and goes into the Avatar State.
  • The Legend of Korra gives us the head of the Equalists, Amon. In a rally against Benders he stated that his low class family was constantly extorted by a Fire Bender. And when his father confronted said Bender, both he and his wife were killed, and the bender "took Amon's face", which is why he wears his mask and intends to erase all Bending from the world. However, he could simply be lying.
    • Hiroshi Sato is a far less ambiguous example, having become an Equalist in order to avenge his dead wife, who perished due to firebenders. However, unlike Amon, who at least has visionary goals, Hiroshi Sato is pretty much reduced to a hateful wreck that just happens to be cleverly disguised.
  • Yivo from Futurama, always faced system incompatibilities when he tried to court the Futurama Universe. Philip J. Fry got him interested.
  • Plankton from SpongeBob SquarePants.
    • The Ugly Barnacle, who was "so ugly that everyone died".
    • What's especially weird about Plankton is that he only became this in hindsight. The movie, the canon end of the series, is where Plankton really goes into high gear, and before the movie, he wasn't exactly sympathetic. After the movie is when he becomes the Designated Villain, and gets more abuse than he deserves.
  • The Toad from Flushed Away. He was once Prince Charles' favorite pet. Then someone brought in a rat and flushed the Toad down the toilet so Charlie could focus all his attention on the replacement pet. This became his motivation for attempting to wipe out the Sewer-London. Seriously, we can't blame him for what he is now.
  • Scooby Doo on Zombie Island gives us Simone Lenoir and Lena Dupree, settlers who came to what would become the area around New Orleans two hundred years ago, presumably to escape religious persecution. Their commune, by sheer bad luck, fell under attack by merciless pirates, who fed everyone except them to alligators For the Evulz (because this is a kids' movie). Making a Deal With the Pagan Cat God for enough power for a Roaring Rampage of Revenge, they found that they had been cursed with immortality and the need to suck out souls to maintain it. It's quite jarring that, at the end of the film, they get the same punishment as their Complete Monster accomplice Jacques.
  • Doug from Ugly Americans
  • Michael 'Goob' Yagoobian in Meet the Robinsons.
  • Lucius Heinous the Seventh from Jimmy Two-Shoes.
  • The eponymous character of Megamind.
  • Princess Luna in My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic became Nightmare Moon and tried to cause eternal darkness because the ponies all rejected her beautiful night that she creates, much preferring Celestia's day. This doesn't seem so bad, except that Luna's special talent (signified by her cutie mark) is the night, and the series establishes on numerous occasions that very bad things happen when a pony's special talent is rejected; it's just in this case the one being rejected was a Physical Goddess.