Created By: Angewomon on July 16, 2011 Last Edited By: Angewomon on July 20, 2011
Troped

Woobie Species

Sometimes, an entire species or race of people need a hug.

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Trope
The Woobie is an individual who suffers. This trope is The Woobie on a wider scale, applying to an entire group. In particular, woobieness happens to be a trait of an entire species (alien or otherwise) or fantastic race. The reasons for this can vary. Maybe they are endangered. Maybe they are misunderstood or discriminated against. Whatever the reason, the audience and/or characters in-universe feel sorry for them. As with many tropes of this nature, Your Mileage May Vary.

Do We Have This One?? Needs More Examples. Up for Grabs when it comes to editing, not launching...at least for now.

Examples:

Anime And Manga

Film
  • The Ewoks from Star Wars.
  • The Na'vi from Avatar exist to make us feel sorry for the plight of indigenous peoples.
  • In Titan A.E., humans could be seen as this, as Earth was destroyed by the Drej, making humans galactic drifters.
  • The alien "prawns" from District 9 are another racism-related example combined with What Measure Is a Non-Cute?.

Literature
  • Many aliens in Animorphs apply.
    • The Yeerks are the misunderstood variety...for the most part. They are basically blind, sentient slugs who only take hosts to compensate for their biology. Only those in power and those seeking power can be said to be really evil, as most of them are either swept up in the propaganda or afraid to challenge superiors.
    • The Taxxons suffer from terrible Horror Hunger.
    • The Hork-Bajir were nearly wiped out in an attempt to deprive the Yeerks of hosts.
    • Gedds seem to be inferior to many species in just about every way. And they are the basic Yeerk host.
  • The House elves in Harry Potter.
  • In David Brin's Uplift saga, humans themselves are presented as a Woobie Species. Most aliens despise or hate them as an upstart rogue species that never had a proper upbringing, but even in-universe a few view them as The Woobie.
  • In A. E. Van Vogt's Slan, the titular species, hated and hunted by ordinary humanity, bore a striking resemblance to the smart kids who get picked on at school, the primary demographic of most science fiction of the time.

Live-Action TV

Video Games
  • The Demi-humans in Chrono Cross are discriminated against and exploited by humans.
  • The Spathi from Ur-Quan Masters. They are pantophobics and are born in such numbers that they receive no attention from their parents. They had a chance to have a protective bubble put around their planet, but due to a mix-up, they are now Reluctant Warriors for an alien dictatorship.
    • Also from Star Control we have the Utwig, who are horribly depressed because they accidentally broke their Ultron, which is the most important MacGuffin (or Magic Feather, Your Mileage May Vary depending on your interpretation) in the history of their society. Of course, there is a quest where you can fix it.
    • The ultimate woobies in the Star Control franchise, of course, are The Ur-Quan.
  • Dragon Age's elves have not had it easy, that's for sure. Their original homeland was invaded by the Tevinter Imperium, and they were enslaved. They were freed after they helped Andraste overthrow the Imperium and established a new homeland. This was invaded by the Chantry (which was founded by Andraste's followers) because they didn't help stop the blight that was going on at that point, and are now either second class citizens living in walled off alienages in the cities, or in the forests, where they try to reclaim their heritage, and even then are often seen as troublemakers.
  • The Mudokons in the Oddworld saga. The utter woobieness of the main character as he tries, in his hapless way, to free his fellow woobies from a lifetime of slavery is the main appeal of these games.
  • Gorons and Zoras from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Ganondorf starves the Gorons when their leader refuses to hand over the Goron's ruby, and later tries to feed them all to a dragon in the fire temple as a warning to those who would defy Ganondorf's rule. Also, the Zoras are frozen under ice after Ganondorf takes over; they get better, but in real life this is the kind of thing that would kill you.

Websites

Western Animation

Real Life
  • Endangered species.
Community Feedback Replies: 23
  • July 16, 2011
    fluffything
    I can't help but think that this is essentially What Measure Is A Non Human But More Specific.
  • July 16, 2011
    Angewomon
    Can it be a Sub Trope? *grins hopefully*

    Plus, I think What Measure Is A Non Human just covers whether or not the nonhuman could be viewed at the same level as humans, not whether or not they are woobies. And who's to say humans themselves couldn't fall under this if they suffered a horrible fate in a story? In fact, I think I'll add Titan A.E. as an example to help with that.
  • July 16, 2011
    EmbracingShadows
    ^ This troper agrees. Incidentally, the Diclonii from Elfen Lied deserve special mention.
  • July 16, 2011
    fluffything
    I don't think we need anymore Subtropes or Snow-clones for woobies.
  • July 16, 2011
    Angewomon
    ^ I think that remains to be seen. If people can come up with a lot of examples for it, then I don't see any reason why it couldn't be a legit trope. Plus, this is my first ever YKTTW. I'll be sad if it doesn't work.
  • July 17, 2011
    JonnyB
    Ewoks were meant to be this, I think.
  • July 17, 2011
    pjnick300
    The Spathi from Ur-quam define this trope.

    They are a race that is terrified of absolutely everything.

    They are born in such numbers that they recieve no attention from parents (An allied Spathi tells the tale of the ONE time his mother called him by name, to answer the door)

    They were once given a chance to be put into a protective bubble around their entire planet, which, due to the aforementioned cowardice, they would have loved. But due to a mixup, they are now forced to be soldeirs for an all powerful alien dictatorship.
  • July 17, 2011
    Kelfeth
    House elves in Harry Potter, the Beast-Men in Thundercats.
  • July 17, 2011
    Xtifr
  • July 17, 2011
    Acebrock
    • Dragon Age's elves have not had it easy, that's for sure. Their original homeland was invaded by the Tevinter Imperium, and they were enslaved. They were freed after they helped Andraste overthrow the Imperium and established a new homeland. This was invaded by the Chantry (which was founded by Andraste's followers) because they didn't help stop the blight that was going on at that point, and are now either second class citizens living in walled off alienages in the cities, or in the forests, where they try to reclaim their heritage, and even then are often seen as troublemakers.
  • July 18, 2011
    Xtifr
    Two more literature examples

    • In David Brin's Uplift saga, humans themselves are presented as a Woobie Species. Most aliens despise or hate them as an upstart rogue species that never had a proper upbringing, but even in-universe a few view them as The Woobie.
    • In A. E. Van Vogt's Slan, the titular species, hated and hunted by ordinary humanity, bore a striking resemblance to the smart kids who get picked on at school, the primary demographic of most science fiction of the time.
  • July 19, 2011
    Xtifr
    In video games:
    • The Mudokons in the Oddworld saga. The utter woobieness of the main character as he tries, in his hapless way, to free his fellow woobies from a lifetime of slavery is the main appeal of these games.
  • July 19, 2011
    spikebrennan
    • Websites:
    [[SCP Foundation]]: SCP-955
  • July 19, 2011
    neoYTPism
    Gorons and Zoras from The Legend Of Zelda Ocarina Of Time. Ganondorf starves the Gorons when their leader refuses to hand over the Goron's ruby, and later tries to feed them all to a dragon in the fire temple as a warning to those who would defy Ganondorf's rule. Also, the Zoras are frozen under ice after Ganondorf takes over; they get better, but in real life this is the kind of thing that would kill you.
  • July 19, 2011
    EddieValiantJr
    • The Cute People from Adventure Time. They're evil, bloodthirsty little maniacs, but no one can be afraid of them because they're just so adowwable...!!
  • July 19, 2011
    GuesssWho
    ^Er, that's not what a woobie is. You're thinking Fluffy The Terrible.

    Does it have to be a fantasy trope? Cultures and countries work too.
  • July 20, 2011
    AFP
  • July 20, 2011
    Angewomon
    @Guess Who-I guess it doesn't have to strictly be a fantasy trope, but including cultures and countries makes the title sound a little awkward...

  • July 20, 2011
    EmbracingShadows
    Arguably, the fish men from One Piece are the Woobie Destroyer Of Worlds variant, having suffered from human bigotry all their lives. A significant portion of them want revenge.
  • July 20, 2011
    neoYTPism
    As pointed out either presently or formerly in The Lion King's page, the hyenas are arguably a Jerkass Woobie species.
  • July 20, 2011
    neoYTPism
    Also, this has 5 hats now, so unless you have some uncertainty about the definition and/or title, it's probably ready for launching.
  • July 20, 2011
    neoYTPism
    Would I have your permission to launch it?
  • July 20, 2011
    Angewomon
    Well, you already did it, so...:P

    I'm just new and not confident.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=20eygt4bea3rcikuz6ua7hsd