Created By: SonicLover on August 14, 2010 Last Edited By: SonicLover on August 15, 2010
Troped

Wheelchair Woobie

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Trope
If there are no objections, this will launch on Monday morning under the current title!

An easy way to mark someone as The Woobie is to confine them to a wheelchair. (Crutches or other similarly visible impediments are common, too, but wheelchairs are the most common.) Often their Woobie status is tied to how they ended up in the thing in the first place.

The [Trope Name] is Added Alliterative Appeal, obviously.

Examples

Video Games
  • Acro from the second Ace Attorney game. He lost his brother to an accident that should have been just an innocent prank!

Webcomics
  • Tavros Nitram from Homestuck, whose misfortunes are too plentiful to name here.
Community Feedback Replies: 22
  • August 10, 2010
    SeanMurrayI
    Man, who was that one kid on Malcolm In The Middle?
  • August 10, 2010
    SweetMadness
    This seems kind of narrow to be tropable. How about expanding to any noticeable disability, and renaming it to Handicapped Woobie?
  • August 10, 2010
    randomsurfer
    On Arrested Development Maeby tries to Invoke this trope with her false identity of wheelchair-bound, dying Surely.

    @Sean Murray I: Stevie.
  • August 10, 2010
    PAL25E
    Although she functions quite well despite the wheelchair, would Oracle of Batman/DC Comics fame apply here?
  • August 10, 2010
    RainyDayNinja
    Subverted in season 3 of The Guild, in which one of the members of the "Axis of Anarchy" is a hot blond in a wheelchair, who turns out to be a total b-word and exploits her condition to manipulate people.
  • August 10, 2010
    SweetMadness
    I wouldn't really count Oracle as this because the character isn't a Woobie in and of herself.
  • August 10, 2010
    Taelor
  • August 11, 2010
    Koveras
    Hayate Yagami from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's, though she gets better by the third season. Also qualified for Woobie Destroyer Of Worlds by the end of A's.
  • August 11, 2010
    Bisected8
    Acro might be a subversion since even though he's a Nice Guy, he's also the murderer and his position as a woobie makes it hard for Pheonix to question him.
  • August 11, 2010
    arromdee
    Diana in Sakura Wars V.
  • August 12, 2010
    SonicLover
    What were the Three Rules Of Three again? I've definitely got enough examples with the discussion here... what about the others?
  • August 12, 2010
    Mischlings
    Three examples, three people agree on the name, three days on YKTTW. Also, I think that changing the name might be a good idea. Handicapped Woobie seems like a good one, as the wheelchair part might be too narrow.
  • August 12, 2010
    johnnye
    • Artie from Glee drifts into this on occasion.

    This kind of character seems to be rather prone to Dont You Dare Pity Me, which is probably understandable if you're getting constant sympathy for a condition you're used to dealing with.
  • August 12, 2010
    SonicLover
    Why is this too narrow? We seem to be getting plenty of examples as-is. Besides, changing it to Handicapped Woobie would kill the Added Alliterative Appeal.
  • August 13, 2010
    berr
    While I like the title, my only concern is that it orphans non-wheelchair bound Handicapped Woobies into an untropable Hammerspace of non-Wheelchair bound Handicapped Woobies.

    This begs the question of whether this trope actually exists except as an offscreen stereotype, however.

    Usually from what I've seen, a Wheelchair bound person is depicted as a Handicapped Badass or a Genius Cripple.

    Wheelchair Woobie may be sufficiently non-specific if the description makes clear that "examples need not be limited to Wheelchair-bound individuals." And use Handicapped Woobie as a redirect.

    Or maybe, put "Examples (non-Wheelchair-bound)" in a separate section.
  • August 13, 2010
    berr
    We may want to be careful in applying examples to this trope. Don't we have a trope already for handicapped peoples' disdain for being "pitied" or looked down upon? That is a common complaint and -- Ah yes: Dont You Dare Pity Me. People will add in stuff like Professor X and claim he's a Woobie because he is handicapped, reinforcing the stereotype.
  • August 13, 2010
    randomsurfer
  • August 13, 2010
    Starry-Eyed
    Ramon from Mar Adentro is an extreme example in that he is quadraplegic and confined to his bed for most of the film, becoming a Wheelchair Woobie only towards the end.
  • August 13, 2010
    helterskelter
    I agree that there needs to be a distinct line between people feeling bad for them, and people who are supposed to feel bad for them.
  • August 14, 2010
    Pumpkingrrl
    When Snoop Dogg hosted Saturday Night Live, he played a mediocre, wheelchair-bound rapper who continually wins battles by reminding the audience that he's in a wheelchair - until he goes up against a blind rapper.
  • August 14, 2010
    randomsurfer
    On South Park Timmy - in a wheelchair, and who can only say his own name - is protective of his status as the Wheelchair Woobie when he meets Jimmy - a boy with an unnamed disease which withered his legs, making him walk with two forarm crutches, but who does inspirational Stand Up Comedy. Timmy even tries to kill Jimmy.
  • August 15, 2010
    prinzenick
    Didnt the original Transformers cartoon have one wheelchair woobie?
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