The Woobie, or Tormented Beauty, is a character who keeps getting the short end of the stick. No matter what they do or how hard they try, the universe will continue torturing them. Their defining feature is angst. How the tormented beauty reacts to suffering varies. Some will quietly stand on top of buildings contemplating the horizon, others go crazy while other become bitter and uncaring.
Either way, the Woobie will trigger the need to make things better in some of the more nurturing fans... and the desire to make things worse in others.
Anime and MangaEdit
- The Elric brothers. They went through so much and at such a young age. Who didn't want to give them a great big hug?
- Shinji freakin' Ikari. If crossing the Despair Event Horizon at fourteen doesn't count as pure, unconcentrated woobie-ness, then I don't know what does. Also, the crap he gets from the Fan Dumb makes him even more of a woobie in this troper's eyes.
- He's so badass that it's easy to forget, but behind all his cunning and gadgets Batman is a woobie who can't get over the trauma of having lost his parents. To make it even worse, his vendetta against Gotham City's underground makes it impossible for him to form a lasting relationship with anyone.
- Maggie Gyllenhaal has pretty much been typecast as an Iron Woobie. She can definitely withstand the slings and arrows, but you still want to give her a big hug for having to endure them.
Live Action TVEdit
- Fights over which one of the Winchesters is more of a woobie are common in fandom.
- Was brought up by John Winchester, a man too obsessed with avenging his wife to realize that he was turning his son into a soldier.
- Went to hell.
- Never met his mother.
- All the people he loves keep dying, often because of him.
- Smallville's Lex was a prime example of this. Orphan? Check. Arsehole dad? Check. Constantly betrayed by the women he loves? Check. Lied to by his closest friend? Check. Marooned on a desert island and mind fucked to hell? Check. Is it any wonder that he turned evil?
- Logan Echols from Veronic Mars. Starts out the series as a huge asshole. Then his life just starts to suck, and somehow that makes him nicer. His father beats him and drove his mother to suicide, and he's been falesly accused of murder twice. Oh yeah, and his girlfriend was murdered too. And he was accused of it. Cue in several scenes of him breaking down crying and they sucessfully turn the most hated character into the most loved character.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer has a lot of Woobies.
- Angel. He's constantly been tormented by his vampiric past for about 100 years or so, starving and miserable and living on the streets, knowing all the horrible things he's ever done.
- Harry Dresden of the Dresden Files. Just . . . so much over the course of the books. Just the latest and greatest are risking going over to the Dark Side to save his daughter, losing both said daughter and her mother . . . again, and frigging dying.
- Sonic the Hedgehog has this so often that it gets me horny at the notion of it.
- Tikal. Give it up to this poor, abused, brutalized, trapped, hidden little sweetheart. She's a princess too, and bares her midriff. And then she wasn't even seen with Chaos in his two brief re-appearances... (the second could be blamed on time travel, the first though?) Someone give her a big snuggle.
- Fiona Fox. DON'T TELL ME SHE'S A ROTTEN BITCH! Don't you realize the shit she's been through? And after the Scourge arc, her "evil" is probably just going through the motions of nefariousness. "As long as you think pleasant thoughts, they will shine out of you like moonbeams." I'm certain she has a good side, and it's unfortunate Sally ended up punching her in the gut instead of forgiving her. Plus, she's another midriff-exposed.
- Nicole, and the endless suffering and prejudice she undergoes as an AI having to run a city. Her hips and bare feet help.
- Tiara and Honey are more of meta-Woobies from being unused, but still count and are highly attractive nonetheless.
- Mina Mongoose. Abusive boyfriend? Check. Lost her parents? Check. A frequent damsel in distress? Check. Other traumatizing experiences? Check. And it's clear Tails's intervention by the time of 25 Years Later is a case of a Cinderella story.
- The Nostalgia Critic, anyone? Hell, even in Kickassia where he became Drunk With Power his... broken-ness shined through in the latter half of the series
- Honestly? Tim from Marble Hornets. Entry 66 singlehandedly brought me to tears and gave me the world's biggest crush on this poor, poor dude.
- "Phineas and Ferb"-Candace is often popularly called a Woobie, because 1. She can't seem to bust her brothers 2. She frets over her boyfriend and 3. She is tormented by her boyfriend's evil sister and even her own Mom, who thinks she's crazy. The villain, Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz is also one, since his rough childhood is usually the reason behind his latest scheme.
- "Teen Titans"-Ok, if you don't feel sorry for Robin, whose obsession with the main villain, Slade, resulted in him betraying his team twice; or Raven, whose emotions control her powers and who is basically the seal for her demon father Trigon, then you can never feel sorry for anything.
- And then there's Terra...
- "Ed Edd n Eddy"-The Eds constantly get beaten up (usually by Kevin or Sarah, Eddy once angered Rolf and felt his wrath), and their scams often fail. The Kankers always capture them, snd you know what: In a way they're kind of Woobies as well cuz all THREE of them are literally alone. Granted, Marie is really the only one who COULD get a man, but still...
- "Fairly OddParents"-Dr. Denzel Crocker. He's lonely and single, people think he's crazy.......
- Then there is Zuko from Avatar the Last Airbender
- Perhaps the very first Woobie in Western animation, Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh. Although his bad times are scarcely witnessed and his downtrodden appearance and personality are often groundless, the effect on the viewer is still the same.
- "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic." - Fluttershy, oh GOD, Fluttershy... With her incredibly shy, pushover, hope-I-didn't-offend-you demeanor, hushed, soft-spoken voice, numerous fears and squeaky whines, this meek mare is THE WOOBIE TO RULE THEM ALL. Who wouldn't want to find her shivering and crying out in a rainstorm, take her inside, wrap her up in the warmest comforter you could find, cheer her up, feed her clam chowder until her belly button pops out and then sing her to sleep with her own lullaby?
- No mention of Kitty Kattswell yet? Who doesn't want to hold her close after all she's been through?