History Main / MiseryBuildsCharacter

15th Jun '18 4:05:32 AM thecarolinabull01
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* AnAesop that appears in several episodes of ''Series/TheGeorgeLopezShow'' that deal with George's childhood. Yeah he grew up poor, abused, neglected, suffered from learning disabilities and was left with a lot of issues. However, George gained a lot of lessons from it which he applies throughout the series. It gave him the nerve to ask Angie out, he has proven more responsible than many of the other adults, and he's a lot better off than Ernie or his half-brother, who had good parents.
-->'''George:''' ''[to Benny]'' I'm anything but a wuss. If you weren't so tough on me, I'd be the type of person who just sat back and let somebody destroy my clubs. Instead, I'm the type of person who breaks into their car and takes this. ''[pulls Benny's steering wheel out of a bag, smiling the entire time]''
12th Jun '18 12:48:47 PM ironballs16
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--->'''Calvin's Dad''': Consuming less fuel is better for the environment and saves money.\\

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--->'''Calvin's Dad''': Consuming less fuel is better for the environment and it saves money.\\
12th Jun '18 12:47:45 PM ironballs16
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** Another strip subverts it by Calvin asking why he has to do something and expecting this response... only for his father to give him a reasonable explanation that leaves Calvin in StunnedSilence. [[spoiler: Then ''double''-subverted when his dad adds "And it builds character", prompting Calvin to go IKnewIt]]

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** [[https://www.gocomics.com/calvinandhobbes/1995/11/28 Another strip strip]] subverts it by when Calvin asking asks why he has to do something they can't turn up the thermostat.
--->'''Calvin's Dad''': Consuming less fuel is better for the environment
and expecting this response... only for his father to give him a reasonable explanation that leaves Calvin in StunnedSilence. [[spoiler: Then ''double''-subverted when his dad adds "And it saves money.\\
'''Calvin''': Oh.\\
'''Calvin's Dad''': [[{{Troll}} ...and being cold
builds character", prompting Calvin to go IKnewIt]]character]].\\
'''Calvin''': '''IKnewIt'''
12th Jun '18 12:45:35 PM ironballs16
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** Another strip subverts it by Calvin asking why he has to do something and expecting this response... only for his father to give him a reasonable explanation that leaves Calvin in StunnedSilence. [[spoiler: Then ''double''-subverted when his dad adds "And it builds character", prompting Calvin to go IKnewIt]]
10th Jun '18 5:49:26 PM vifetoile
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* Downplayed and inverted (focusing on the ''lack'' of misery) in the ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'' episode "Puhoy." Finn finds a portal to a 'verse made entirely of pillows. Everything comes easily there to him; monsters are easy, the GirlOfTheWeek easily falls in love with him. Nothing is a challenge. After an entire ''lifetime'' there, Finn returns to his own world and, when Jake asks [[YearInsideHourOutside what happened]], says "Eh." Even if it was AllJustADream, the fact that it was all soft and comfortable made it not even worth remembering. (That episode also shows a little bump in Finn and Flame Princess' relationship, which is invigorating ''because'' it's not always easy).
10th Jun '18 9:54:18 AM Jubileus57
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* This is the basic working principle behind Carillon in ''VideoGame/SunlessSkies'' — you go there to have the flaws removed from your soul by suffering various horrible punishments. The facility is run by devils and to some degree acts like a purgatory for willing patients.
3rd Jun '18 2:25:03 AM StFan
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[[folder:Audio Play]]

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[[folder:Audio Play]]Plays]]



* ''Comicbook/{{Daredevil}}'': In a crossover with ThePunisher, Matt ends up on a team with Frank's new sidekick, Rachel, who comes from a similar history of loss. Bonding over how they've lost loved ones, Rachel says that no one else knows such drive without tragedy. Daredevil... [[http://scans-daily.dreamwidth.org/3742685.html#cutid1 let's just say he roundly rejects that line of thinking.]]

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* ''Comicbook/{{Daredevil}}'': ''ComicBook/{{Daredevil}}'': In a crossover with ThePunisher, Matt ends up on a team with Frank's new sidekick, Rachel, who comes from a similar history of loss. Bonding over how they've lost loved ones, Rachel says that no one else knows such drive without tragedy. Daredevil... [[http://scans-daily.dreamwidth.org/3742685.html#cutid1 let's just say he roundly rejects that line of thinking.]]



[[folder:Fan Fic]]

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[[folder:Comic Strips]]
* As the trope image shows, in ''ComicStrip/CalvinAndHobbes'', Calvin's dad would often invoke this phrase whenever Calvin (or his mom) complained about their current activity. Bill Watterson stated in the tenth-anniversary book that he took this trait directly from his own father.
** In an arc where [[JerkJock Moe]] successfully pressures Calvin to play baseball at recess, Calvin's dad has the idea to help him practice, because "it builds character." He hits a grounder to Calvin, and it bounces up into his face, leaving him with a nosebleed and a desire to never play baseball again.
--->'''Calvin''': All by charagder id drippig out by node!
** The actual TropeNamer phrase came from somewhat of a parody of this - Calvin finds his father's glasses, and uses the phrase in an impression of his father [[ActuallyPrettyFunny funny enough that his mom was falling out of her chair with laughter]].
--->'''Calvin's Dad''': OK, the voice was a little funny, but that's still one darn sarcastic kid we're raising.
** One strip points out that the concept of building character itself is a turnoff for Calvin. After being forced outside by his father, he and Hobbes wind up busy catching fireflies by the time he calls him back inside. After being lectured about how this experience has benefited him (despite ''not'' being a miserable one), he later grumbles that nothing ruins the fun in something like being told that it builds character.
** Humorously subverted in [[http://www.gocomics.com/calvinandhobbes/1987/08/19 this strip]]. The man who firmly believes that Misery Builds Character [[RageBreakingPoint can only be pushed so far]].
* In ''ComicStrip/{{Peanuts}}'':
** Charlie Brown declares that he already has enough character, thank you very much.
** In another Lucy assures him, "We ''learn'' from our mistakes," and he bellows plaintively, "THAT MAKES ME THE SMARTEST PERSON IN THE WORLD!"
** At one point, after Snoopy's doghouse burned down rather tragically, Charlie Brown went to Lucy's booth for some counseling on why these tragedies occurred, to which she gave the rather philosophically pat answer that adversity helps prepare us for what lies ahead in life. For what are we being prepared, then? "More adversity. Five cents, please."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Fic]]Works]]




* In the Kirby fanfiction, "Avalanche Stories: Bronto Burt's Story", Bronto Burt moved on and wins the Avalanche competition pretty much to Kirby despite Burt losing to the pink puffball and "came back strong".

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\n* In the Kirby fanfiction, "Avalanche ''Kirby'' fanfiction ''Avalanche Stories: Bronto Burt's Story", Story'', Bronto Burt moved on and wins the Avalanche competition pretty much to Kirby despite Burt losing to the pink puffball and "came back strong".



[[folder:Film]]

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[[folder:Film]][[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]



-->'''God''': Triumph is born out of struggle, faith is the alchemist. If you want pictures like these, you'll need to use some dark colors.

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-->'''God''': -->'''God:''' Triumph is born out of struggle, faith is the alchemist. If you want pictures like these, you'll need to use some dark colors.



-->'''Professor Thomas''': The government cut the electricity.\\
'''Sylvia''': Why?\\
'''Professor Thomas''': To build national character!
* Part of V's reasoning in ''Film/VForVendetta'' behind [[spoiler:[[WhatTheHellHero kidnapping Evie, locking her in a fake government prison, and torturing her in the ways he was subjected to]] - he was grooming her to take over for him after he was gone.]]
* ''Film/{{Whiplash}}'': Fletcher’s “Good Job” speech can be summed up as 'humiliation and self-loathing drive self-improvement, while undeserved praise breeds complacency and mediocrity'. This becomes [[DeconstructedTrope deconstructed]] as Fletcher's regimen does improve his students proficiency as musicians, [[TookALevelInJerkass but turns them into cutthroat jerks at best,]] and renders them [[SanitySlippage psychologically broken]] at worst.

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-->'''Professor Thomas''': Thomas:''' The government cut the electricity.\\
'''Sylvia''': '''Sylvia:''' Why?\\
'''Professor Thomas''': Thomas:''' To build national character!
* Part of V's reasoning in ''Film/VForVendetta'' behind [[spoiler:[[WhatTheHellHero kidnapping Evie, locking her in a fake government prison, and torturing her in the ways he was subjected to]] - -- he was grooming her to take over for him after he was gone.]]
* ''Film/{{Whiplash}}'': Fletcher’s “Good Job” Fletcher's "Good Job" speech can be summed up as 'humiliation and self-loathing drive self-improvement, while undeserved praise breeds complacency and mediocrity'. This becomes [[DeconstructedTrope deconstructed]] as Fletcher's regimen does improve his students proficiency as musicians, [[TookALevelInJerkass but turns them into cutthroat jerks at best,]] and renders them [[SanitySlippage psychologically broken]] at worst.



-->''"Suffering is food for the soul. NOW SUFFER!"''

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-->''"Suffering -->'''Evilene:''' Suffering is food for the soul. NOW SUFFER!"''SUFFER!






[[folder:Live Action TV]]

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[[folder:Live Action [[folder:Live-Action TV]]



[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* As the trope image shows, in ''ComicStrip/CalvinAndHobbes'', Calvin's dad would often invoke this phrase whenever Calvin (or his mom) complained about their current activity. Bill Watterson stated in the tenth-anniversary book that he took this trait directly from his own father.
** In an arc where [[JerkJock Moe]] successfully pressures Calvin to play baseball at recess, Calvin's dad has the idea to help him practice, because "it builds character." He hits a grounder to Calvin, and it bounces up into his face, leaving him with a nosebleed and a desire to never play baseball again.
--->'''Calvin''': All by charagder id drippig out by node!
** The actual TropeNamer phrase came from somewhat of a parody of this - Calvin finds his father's glasses, and uses the phrase in an impression of his father [[ActuallyPrettyFunny funny enough that his mom was falling out of her chair with laughter]].
--->'''Calvin's Dad''': OK, the voice was a little funny, but that's still one darn sarcastic kid we're raising.
** One strip points out that the concept of building character itself is a turnoff for Calvin. After being forced outside by his father, he and Hobbes wind up busy catching fireflies by the time he calls him back inside. After being lectured about how this experience has benefited him (despite ''not'' being a miserable one), he later grumbles that nothing ruins the fun in something like being told that it builds character.
** Humorously subverted in [[http://www.gocomics.com/calvinandhobbes/1987/08/19 this strip]]. The man who firmly believes that Misery Builds Character [[RageBreakingPoint can only be pushed so far]].
* In ''ComicStrip/{{Peanuts}}'':
** Charlie Brown declares that he already has enough character, thank you very much.
** In another Lucy assures him, "We ''learn'' from our mistakes," and he bellows plaintively, "THAT MAKES ME THE SMARTEST PERSON IN THE WORLD!"
** At one point, after Snoopy's doghouse burned down rather tragically, Charlie Brown went to Lucy's booth for some counseling on why these tragedies occurred, to which she gave the rather philosophically pat answer that adversity helps prepare us for what lies ahead in life. For what are we being prepared, then? "More adversity. Five cents, please."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]

to:

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* As the trope image shows, in ''ComicStrip/CalvinAndHobbes'', Calvin's dad would often invoke this phrase whenever Calvin (or his mom) complained about their current activity. Bill Watterson stated in the tenth-anniversary book that he took this trait directly from his own father.
** In an arc where [[JerkJock Moe]] successfully pressures Calvin to play baseball at recess, Calvin's dad has the idea to help him practice, because "it builds character." He hits a grounder to Calvin, and it bounces up into his face, leaving him with a nosebleed and a desire to never play baseball again.
--->'''Calvin''': All by charagder id drippig out by node!
** The actual TropeNamer phrase came from somewhat of a parody of this - Calvin finds his father's glasses, and uses the phrase in an impression of his father [[ActuallyPrettyFunny funny enough that his mom was falling out of her chair with laughter]].
--->'''Calvin's Dad''': OK, the voice was a little funny, but that's still one darn sarcastic kid we're raising.
** One strip points out that the concept of building character itself is a turnoff for Calvin. After being forced outside by his father, he and Hobbes wind up busy catching fireflies by the time he calls him back inside. After being lectured about how this experience has benefited him (despite ''not'' being a miserable one), he later grumbles that nothing ruins the fun in something like being told that it builds character.
** Humorously subverted in [[http://www.gocomics.com/calvinandhobbes/1987/08/19 this strip]]. The man who firmly believes that Misery Builds Character [[RageBreakingPoint can only be pushed so far]].
* In ''ComicStrip/{{Peanuts}}'':
** Charlie Brown declares that he already has enough character, thank you very much.
** In another Lucy assures him, "We ''learn'' from our mistakes," and he bellows plaintively, "THAT MAKES ME THE SMARTEST PERSON IN THE WORLD!"
** At one point, after Snoopy's doghouse burned down rather tragically, Charlie Brown went to Lucy's booth for some counseling on why these tragedies occurred, to which she gave the rather philosophically pat answer that adversity helps prepare us for what lies ahead in life. For what are we being prepared, then? "More adversity. Five cents, please."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Professional
[[folder:Pro Wrestling]]



[[folder:Theatre]]

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[[folder:Theatre]][[folder:Theater]]



[[folder: Video Games]]

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[[folder: Video [[folder:Video Games]]



* [[VideoGame/SilentHill3 Claudia Wolfe]] believes this to a [[UpToEleven frightening degree]], deeming pain and hatred to be the best nourishment for [[EldritchAbomination God]] during Her incubation process [[spoiler: [[FetusTerrible inside Heather]]]]. Since [[VillainHasAPoint happy people can be]] [[ObliviouslyEvil thoughtless]] and [[LackOfEmpathy cruel]], God [[InsaneTrollLogic logically]] [[ConverseError needs to witness as much suffering as possible to truly understand humanity's needs]]. WhatCouldPossiblyGoWrong.
* In ''Videogame/{{Bully}}'' the principal of Bullworth Academy thinks this, at one point Jimmy points out to him how the school is full of bullies, to which he cheerfully replies that "It builds character!".

to:

* [[VideoGame/SilentHill3 Claudia Wolfe]] ''VideoGame/SilentHill3'' believes this to a [[UpToEleven frightening degree]], deeming pain and hatred to be the best nourishment for [[EldritchAbomination God]] during Her incubation process [[spoiler: [[FetusTerrible inside Heather]]]]. Since [[VillainHasAPoint happy people can be]] [[ObliviouslyEvil thoughtless]] and [[LackOfEmpathy cruel]], God [[InsaneTrollLogic logically]] [[ConverseError needs to witness as much suffering as possible to truly understand humanity's needs]]. WhatCouldPossiblyGoWrong.
* In ''Videogame/{{Bully}}'' ''VideoGame/{{Bully}}'' the principal of Bullworth Academy thinks this, at one point Jimmy points out to him how the school is full of bullies, to which he cheerfully replies that "It builds character!".



[[folder:Webcomics]]

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[[folder:Webcomics]][[folder:Web Comics]]



* ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick''

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* ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'' ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'':



-->''"...[B]ein' a dwarf is about doin' yer duty, even if it makes ye miserable. ESPECIALLY if it makes ye miserable!"''

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-->''"...--->'''Durkon:''' ...[B]ein' a dwarf is about doin' yer duty, even if it makes ye miserable. ESPECIALLY if it makes ye miserable!"''miserable!



* In ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'', this basically became Zuko's personal life philosophy.
--> '''Zuko''': ''I don't need luck though, I don't want it. I've always had to struggle and fight and that's made me strong. It's made me who I am.''

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* In ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'', this ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'':
** This
basically became Zuko's personal life philosophy.
--> '''Zuko''': ''I --->'''Zuko:''' I don't need luck though, I don't want it. I've always had to struggle and fight and that's made me strong. It's made me who I am.''



---> '''Ozai''': ''You will learn respect, and '''suffering''' will be your teacher.''

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---> '''Ozai''': ''You --->'''Ozai:''' You will learn respect, and '''suffering''' will be your teacher.''



---> '''Zuko''': How can you possibly justify a duel with a '''child?'''
---> '''Ozai''': It was to teach you '''respect!'''
---> '''Zuko''': It was '''cruel!''' And it was '''wrong!'''

to:

---> '''Zuko''': --->'''Zuko:''' How can you possibly justify a duel with a '''child?'''
---> '''Ozai''':
'''child?'''\\
'''Ozai:'''
It was to teach you '''respect!'''
---> '''Zuko''':
'''respect!'''\\
'''Zuko:'''
It was '''cruel!''' And it was '''wrong!'''



* In the season 2 episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'': "Dead Putting Society" Bart and Todd Flanders are neck-and-neck at a miniature golf competition and they have this conversation when they're tied at the final hole:
-->'''Bart''': This is pretty tense, isn't it, Todd.
-->'''Todd''': Yeah, my knees are shaking, I got butterflies in my stomach... But I guess this builds character.
-->'''Bart''': Who wants to build character? Let's quit!
-->'''Todd''': Okay.

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* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'':
**
In the season 2 episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'': "Dead Putting Society" Society", Bart and Todd Flanders are neck-and-neck at a miniature golf competition and they have this conversation when they're tied at the final hole:
-->'''Bart''': --->'''Bart:''' This is pretty tense, isn't it, Todd.
-->'''Todd''':
Todd.\\
'''Todd:'''
Yeah, my knees are shaking, I got butterflies in my stomach... But I guess this builds character.
-->'''Bart''':
character.\\
'''Bart:'''
Who wants to build character? Let's quit!
-->'''Todd''':
quit!\\
'''Todd:'''
Okay.



-->'''Johnny's Dad''': Johnny, my father made me use this ugly World War II backpack through middle school. The shame and embarrassment I felt from carrying that bag has followed me for the rest of my life. But it built character.

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-->'''Johnny's Dad''': Dad:''' Johnny, my father made me use this ugly World War II backpack through middle school. The shame and embarrassment I felt from carrying that bag has followed me for the rest of my life. But it built character.



2nd Apr '18 6:43:29 PM Demetrios
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** Humorously subverted in [[http://www.gocomics.com/calvinandhobbes/1987/08/19 this strip]]. The man who firmly believes that Misery Builds Character [[RageBreakingPoint can only be pushed so far]].
8th Mar '18 3:41:30 AM JackG
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* In ''Series/{{Westworld}}'', trauma often causes [[ArtificialHuman Hosts]] to deviate from programming in unintended ways, bringing them closer to self-awareness. They even wish to keep painful memories because they're all they have left. [[spoiler:[[TheChessmaster Ford]] comes to the conclusion that in order for the hosts to attain true consciousness, they had to have suffered enough first.]]

to:

* In ''Series/{{Westworld}}'', trauma often causes [[ArtificialHuman Hosts]] to deviate from programming in unintended ways, bringing them closer to self-awareness. They even wish to keep painful memories because they're all they have left. [[spoiler:[[TheChessmaster Ford]] comes to the conclusion that in order for the hosts to attain true consciousness, they had to have suffered enough first. Not so much because misery builds character, but because if the hosts were happy they would never have the incentive to change their circumstances.]]
6th Mar '18 2:25:45 PM DustSnitch
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-->-- '''The Apostle Paul in Romans 5:3-4 of Literature/TheBible, New International Version'''

to:

-->-- '''The Apostle Paul in '''St. Paul''', [[Literature/BookOfRomans Romans 5:3-4 of Literature/TheBible, New 5:3-4]] (New International Version'''
Version [[Literature/TheBible Bible]])



Before we go into the examples, please understand that, much like the biblical passage above [[note]]And the rest of Literature/TheBible, for that matter[[/note]] this trope is ''very'' subjective. While some people may subscribe to this idea, it generally holds that no one should have to go through any unpleasant, distasteful activities in the first place, which is to say no one should have to go through any kind of misery to begin with, especially since, for some people, misery just builds even more misery. Furthermore, trying to invoke this trope on another person, or group of people can (and sometimes does) backfire horribly, and in [[GoneHorriblyWrong both]] [[GoneHorriblyRight directions]].

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Before we go into the examples, please understand that, much like the biblical passage above [[note]]And the rest of Literature/TheBible, for that matter[[/note]] this trope is ''very'' subjective.divisive. While some people may subscribe to this idea, it generally holds that no one should have to go through any unpleasant, distasteful activities in the first place, which is to say no one should have to go through any kind of misery to begin with, especially since, for some people, misery just builds even more misery. Furthermore, trying to invoke this trope on another person, or group of people can (and sometimes does) backfire horribly, and in [[GoneHorriblyWrong both]] [[GoneHorriblyRight directions]].
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