[[quoteright:350:[[Film/TheDarkKnightSaga http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/batman_begins_350x434fixd.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Yeah you've ''hurt'' him, [[ItsPersonal deeply and personally]], but [[TheDeterminator he will STILL fight for justice]].]]

->''"You want to know how to write a good story? You take a group of interesting, likable, wonderful characters. And you turn their lives into Hell on Earth."''
-->-- '''Creator/ChrisClaremont'''

%% One quote is sufficient. Please place additional entries on the quotes tab.

Good guys are happy, right? GoodFeelsGood, and, as such, a hero should always feel spectacular, right?

Not always.

Sometimes, being TheChosenOne is ''[[ItSucksToBeTheChosenOne hard]]'', especially when it puts your life in danger, consumes all your free time, and makes you choose between [[ItsNotYouItsMyEnemies being alone]] or putting [[IHaveYourWife your loved ones in danger]].

Heroic powers can have a [[SuperPoweredEvilSide terrifying will of their own]], be [[PowerIncontinence hard to control]], or demand that a [[PowerAtAPrice price be paid]]. If the Hurting Hero JumpedAtTheCall, they'll probably wish they had [[BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor Been Careful What They Wished For]] and think IJustWantToBeNormal.

Heroes are also not immune to personal tragedy, and the memory of [[MyGreatestFailure certain events]] and people can haunt them like everyone else. A DarkAndTroubledPast can make them [[BadDreams not even find peace in their sleep]]. [[IronWoobie The audience will love them for it]], in that twisted and tender way they love TheWoobie.

Different heroes handle this different ways. Some get [[AntiHero dark and broody]], some {{dr|owningMySorrows}}ink, some [[BeardOfSorrow cease to care how they look]], some [[ObfuscatingStupidity play the idiot]], and some [[StepfordSmiler force a smile]] and [[SadClown crack bad jokes]], because if the whole world [[BecomingTheMask thinks you're happy, that many people can't be wrong]]. [[BrokenHero Can they]]?

Sometimes, the pressure gets too great, leading to anything from a HeroicBSOD to a full-on FallenHero FaceHeelTurn. Some heroes go DontYouDarePityMe, others are glad for a little comfort.

Still, heroes are heroes. They can and will rise above their weakness and pain and [[WorldOfCardboardSpeech call for everyone and the villain to come and see what they can do]]. And [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome they'll do it]], thus [[EarnYourHappyEnding earning their happy ending]]. Eventually.

Compare BeingGoodSucks. May cause a villain or bystander to express SympathyForTheHero.


[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'': Ichigo Kurosaki believed for a long time he was responsible for his mother's death. As a result, he takes it hard whenever he fails to protect others or save the day. This eventually came to a head when he was manipulated by a villain who stole all his powers and left him utterly unable to protect anyone, including himself. He was reduced to tears.
* In ''Manga/FistOfTheNorthStar'', being a good guy SUCKS. The world is such a [[CrapsackWorld cruel, dark place]] that the only ones who truly enjoy their lot are the rotten ones, while the heroes must fight their own despair as well as the bad guys. Part of the reasons so many {{Manly|Tears}} and TenderTears are shed in the series.
* Edward Elric from ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'' is constantly burdened with guilt over pressuring Alphonse to help him with his efforts to bring their mother back through human transmutation, and causing the subsequent loss of Al's entire body (and the loss of his own arm and leg). He also feels anger at his father's abandonment and holds him responsible for his mother's death.
** For that matter, Alphonse is wracked with guilt about his brother losing his arm [[PowerAtAPrice to save Al's life]].
*** To say nothing of the fact that during both brothers' times seeing [[BlatantLies The Truth about alchemy]], he got a bunch of [[MindRape wonderful images flash through his eyes]] (Yes, this is why they were ''screaming'' after it happened). And it happened to Edward ''twice'', since he used the Human Transmutation circle again to escape Gluttony's stomach.
** Roy Mustang, Riza Hawkeye, and Alex Louis Armstrong are all wandering around with buckets of guilt over the parts they played in the war in Ishval, where they were ordered to massacre innocent people. On top of this, Roy and Riza have sizeable doses of LoveHurts.
* Van of ''Anime/GunXSword'' exemplifies the broody AntiHero version: he's one of the gloomiest heroes you'll ever see. It's implied that at one point, he dealt with his pain through drinking (hence the nickname "Hangover Van"); he also seems to use [[InUniverseCatharsis violence]] to cope with it.
* ''Franchise/{{Gundam}}'':
** This is somewhat the point of ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam''. Amuro is a massive ball of {{Wangst}}, but he still manages to basically single-handedly win the One Year War for the Federation and proceeds to kick more evil asses in the next few [[Anime/MobileSuitZetaGundam following]] [[Anime/MobileSuitGundamZZ major]] [[Anime/MobileSuitGundamCharsCounterattack conflicts]].
** Setsuna from ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundam00 Gundam 00]]'' is also of this trope. He pretends to be TheStoic but inside, he's a huge ball of pain and self-hate for [[spoiler:[[MyGreatestFailure coldly killing his parents because Ali says so]] and later when his best friend Lockon Stratos pulls a HeroicSacrifice and dies because Setsuna arrives to a battle too late]]. And if that wouldn't be enough, TheMovie undoes two seasons' worth of CharacterDevelopment by revealing that [[spoiler:after Setsuna turns into an Innovator, he can no longer find his place among ordinary humans and is thus purposely distancing himself from them - even going as far as playing the ignorant at Feldt's timid approaches]].
*** It could be easier to say that an overwhelming majority of the 00 cast is this trope.
* All three Manga/{{Magic Knight|Rayearth}}s were this at the end of the first series of "Rayearth" and the beginning of the second. They hated how [[spoiler: they killed the very person they sought to save, and having Zagato's blood on their hands as well made them even more depressed.]]
* The ''Mazinger'' series:
** ''Anime/MazingerZ'': Before the beginning of the show, Kouji had lost both their parents. The first episode the maid that his grandfather had hired got murdered in cold blood in their own home, and later his grandfather died in his arms. Throughout the whole series alot of people -several of them close to him- gets hurt and dies cause the war between Dr. Hell and him (Prof. Yumi gets hurt by an angry mob, making Sayaka nearly quit, [[spoiler:Minerva dies, Prof. Morimori dies, Erika gets killed, he has to fight and kill a girl his brother had fallen in with...]]). Later in ''Anime/GreatMazinger'' he finds that [[spoiler:his father has been alive all along]] only for [[spoiler:losing him definitely shortly after.]] And in ''Anime/UFORoboGrendizer'', when finally it seems life will be peaceful from now on, he gets involved in a ''third'' war. The saddest part is when you realize his AnnoyingYoungerSibling, Shiro, has it worse than him.
** ''Anime/GreatMazinger'': Tetsuya lost his parents when he was a little child. On the surface he looks like a [[HotBlooded hot-tempered]], arrogant {{Jerkass}}, but that is nothing but a cover to hide that he is plagued with neuroses and insecurities, and he is deadly frightened of being abandoned again.
** ''Anime/UFORoboGrendizer'': Duke Fleed. Oh, my God, Where we begin? Before the beginning of the series, the [[AlienInvasion Vegan The Empire Alliance]] killed his whole family [[spoiler:or so he thought]], murdered most of his planet's population and turned the whole planet into a radioactive wasteland, forcing him to run away. A while later he has found a new homeworld where starting a new life and his wounds are beginning to heal when the Vegan Empire strikes Earth and he gets forced to fight despite of he hates war. Throughout the series he sees dying many people, some of them by loving him and refusing harming him. Later he finds out that the [[{{Robeast}} Saucer Beasts]] that he has annihilated are powered with [[spoiler:brains of Fleedian inhabitants, some of them friends of his.] Have we mentioned that he's dying via a radiation-inflicted wound he suffered during his escape and knows his days are numbered? And at the end of the show his fiancee (and BigBad's daughter) reappears to beg him forgivennes by her father's actions and talk him into get married with her -so they can end up with the war without further bloodshed and rebuilding his homeworld-, but after he accepts she gets killed?
* Kenzo Tenma from ''Manga/{{Monster}}''. He saved the life of a murderer, and decided to take responsibility for it.
* ''Manga/{{Naruto}}''. Which he [[StepfordSmiler hides behind a smile]] and an [[SadClown upbeat cheerful attitude]]. In one chapter, [[JerkassHasAPoint Sai comments on this to Sakura]]: "Even I can tell that Naruto's suffering, because of his promise to bring Sasuke back and his feelings for you. [[BrutalHonesty Both you and Sasuke cause him pain]]."
** Right before the Chunin Exams finals, he even admitted to [[TheConfidant Hinata]] that the smile is a mask, and later on, [[spoiler: Pain put him on the ropes by breaking him down with words, getting him to second-guess his own actions]].
** While attempting to [[spoiler: gain complete control of the Kyuubi, it was revealed that despite finally achieving his dream of being respected and loved in Konoha, Naruto still had deep-seated issues from his childhood holding him back both from defeating the Kyuubi and embracing his new-found fame]].
* Shinji Ikari of ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' crosses the DespairEventHorizon at the end of the series and for most of TheMovie... then [[spoiler: he ends up saving humanity and undoing everything [[AncientConspiracy SEELE]] attempted to do]]. [[MindScrew Probably]].
* ''Franchise/PrettyCure''
** Yuri Tsukikage/Cure Moonlight of ''Anime/HeartcatchPrettyCure''. On becoming a Precure, she immediately develops the mindset of "I'll shoulder all the burdens so no one has to suffer", carrying all those loneliness with a smile, which instead backfired when it cost the life of her fairy Cologne, and then she was utterly trounced by Prof. Sabaku and Dark Precure, losing her Precure powers and most of her cheeriness as a result. When she regains her power and spirit, she ends up discovering that [[spoiler:Sabaku is her DisappearedDad, Dark Precure is her 'sister', said dad was killed by Dune protecting her. If not for Tsubomi reminding her what's at stake, she would have given in to hatred and despair. But in the end, she prevailed without giving in to all her misfortunes.]]
** The mantle of hurt has been passed down to Kenzaki Makoto/Cure Sword of ''Anime/DokiDokiPrecure''. This is also the installment that gives us not one but ''two'' different characters who are nicknamed [[FanNickname Cure Batman]], but neither of them fit this archetype.
%%** Cure Heart, AKA, The Protagonist of the series, seems to be well on her way to becoming one of these.
* ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'': Due to the [[SubvertedKidsShow unexpectedly brutal consequences]] of being a MagicalGirl in this universe, this happens to most of the characters; with the possible exception of Kyouko, who had some traumatic experiences but largely avoided wallowing in angst over them (partly by becoming kind of a selfish asshole).
** [[spoiler:Homura]], who was never particularly happy to begin with, repeatedly and consistently fails to [[spoiler:save Madoka]], even as somehow succeeding gradually becomes the only thing that matters to her. This really takes its toll on her, [[NotSoStoic though she tries to hide it]]. In TheMovie, [[spoiler:seemingly through the powers of love and angst, she takes over the entire universe using the powers she accidentally gave Madoka, in a questionable attempt to "save" Madoka and make her happy. Despite accomplishing her goal at last, Homura becomes ''more'' depressed and emotionally closed-off, because she feels like she's turned herself into Madoka's immortal enemy.]]
** Mami and Sayaka too. Mami regrets not saving her family with her wish, and Sayaka [[spoiler:has a complete breakdown over her own weaknesses and some of the unpleasant details of the magical girl contract]].
** Madoka herself [[spoiler:subverts the trope by wishing to save all magical girls from becoming destructive hate-monsters, making herself happy and lessening the tragedy for everyone else]].
* Chise from ''Manga/{{Saikano}}'' is another spectacular StepfordSmiler, though [[{{Yandere}} how much of a heroine she is is up for debates]].
* Sailor Venus / Minako Aino from [[Manga/SailorMoon any]] [[Anime/SailorMoon version]] [[Series/PrettyGuardianSailorMoon of]] ''Franchise/SailorMoon'' is the only senshi whose DarkAndTroubledPast are a direct result of having her mission to save the world and protect the princess given to her, and she doesn't even get a set of TrueCompanions to help her along, unlike Sailors Moon, Mercury, Mars, and Jupiter, until a year after her awakening. Even after getting integrated into the team, she still has emotional issues that stem from having to put her hopes and dreams in the backburner to aid Sailor Moon, only to watch her get all the glory. An episode in the [=SuperS=] season of the first anime has Venus confront a shadow version of herself, who tries to convince her to throw off the mantle by reminding her of how much she suffers in the name of the greater good, only to receive no appreciation for it.
* ''Anime/ScienceNinjaTeamGatchaman'': Ken "G1 The Eagle" Washio ([[DubNameChange or Mark]]) lost his father when he was a little child. Later he [[spoiler:finds out that his father is alive only to see how he was KilledOffForReal]] shortly after. At the ending of the series, Joe [[spoiler:commits a HeroicSacrifice to save them.]] At the next series his mentor and surrogate father [[spoiler:gets killed.]] All of that trauma slowly wore his sanity off, and although at the beginning he was the prototypical TheHero and TheLeader with NervesOfSteel, for the final series he had become so violent, uncontrollable and impulsive like TheLancer.
* Ken Kaneki from ''Manga/TokyoGhoul'' warns the audience in the first chapter that his story will be a tragedy. He has a pathological need to shoulder all the burdens and responsibility himself, hiding his worries behind [[StepfordSmiler a smile]], and pushing away those that attempt to help him. Much of the series is spent on his struggle with his powers and nature as a HalfHumanHybrid, shifting from one extreme to another and pretty much unable to find balance in his life. In the end, [[spoiler: he becomes suicidal and makes a failed attempt at SuicideByCop]]. In the sequel, Haise Sasaki is an AmnesiacHero as a result of repressed memories and suffers from a heaping dose of ChronicHeroSyndrome. He's even ''more'' of a StepfordSmiler than before, and struggles with feelings of self-doubt and constant fear of his past coming back to haunt him.
* Vash The Stampede of ''Manga/{{Trigun}}'', especially later in the series. And let's not even get ''started'' on the manga, where he's a StepfordSmiler of epic proportion and has a few {{Heroic BSOD}}s and fits of UnstoppableRage (not to mention the scenes of epic alcoholism). Meryl is shocked when [[spoiler: she gets engulfed in his memories during one of his most spectacular {{Heroic BSOD}}s]] and realizes he's just a ball of pain.
* Judai by Season 4 of ''Anime/YuGiOhGX''
** Arguably Yami Yugi, particularly in the anime filler Season 4 of ''Anime/YuGiOh'' (what is it with ''Yu-Gi-Oh!'' and Season 4?), when even after he recovers some of his drive, he is still vulnerable to a bit of mind control from Dartz. The rest of the time he tends to put on a strong front or attempt to take responsibility for pretty much everyone.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'' is one in the comics and most adaptations, especially from the 80s onwards. The pain comes from seeing his parents murdered right in front of him when he was merely a boy, because the family decided to cut through an alley at young Bruce's insistence and ran into mugger Joe Chill.
* Franchise/SpiderMan is infamous amongst comic book fans for [[DeusAngstMachina the sheer amount of angstworthy drama dumped on Peter Parker]]. Some writers seem to think that the biggest appeal of Spider-Man is that things constantly go wrong for him. As a result, we get countless stories of Peter suffering humiliation, lack of money, sickly aunt, girl trouble and just all around unpleasantness, to the point that reading the stories can actually get a little depressing. Note that after John Romita Sr started working on the title with Creator/StanLee, the book became much LighterAndSofter than it had been recently, a move which led most fans to label it as the golden age of Spider-Man.
* Comicbook/{{Supergirl}}:
** Being one of the most powerful beings in the planet will not protect you from emotional pain, heartache or will bring your loved ones back.
** Pre-Crisis Supergirl's parents sent her to Earth because Argo City was dying. She lost her parents, her home and was dumped by her cousin into an orphanage that she hated. Her Supergirl duties interfered with her personal life to the point that [[Comicbook/{{Supergirl 1972}} she couldn't keep a steady boyfriend]] and had to quit a job. Often she felt torn because she wanted to live like a normal woman but her vast powers entailed great responsibilities. [[Comicbook/{{Supergirl 1982}} At one point]] she met an OldFlame and realized what she still felt something for him [[Comicbook/YoungLove two weeks before his demise]]. And then she fought a dimension-eating EldritchAbomination [[Comicbook/CrisisOnInfiniteEarths to save her beloved cousin and the whole Multiverse]], and got killed (although to be fair, [[Comicbook/{{Convergence}} her death has been undone]]).
** Creator/PeterDavid's Linda Danvers was a troubled teen who was manipulated by her boyfriend into joining a cult and committing crimes. Said boyfriend attempted to sacrifice her to draw a demon into the world. She survived and became a hero to redeem herself. Unfortunately, every time she starts being happy, something happens that puts her through the wringer again.
** Post-Crisis Supergirl lived through Krypton's destruction. However she lost her home again when her parents sent her to Earth to save her life, before (apparently) dying. She met them again, but one of her enemies murdered them and blew up the world where the last Kryptonians settled in (hence, she has lost her parents twice and her home three times).
** Post-Flashpoint Supergirl lost her planet and her parents and was stranded in a strange, alien world. She was persecuted by villains and fell for someone who turned out to be an evil ManipulativeBastard who broke her heart. She lost her only friend, and [[Comicbook/RedDaughterOfKrypton joined a group of questionable anti-heroes]] only because she needed to belong with ''someone''. After a while she got over her issues, but then her cousin-- the only famly she had left-- died.
* If one put all the angst all of the mutants in ''Comicbook/{{X-Men}}'' have suffered, you'd probably have a worthy opponent for the angst caused by the Holocaust. [[FantasticRacism Which has happened]] ''[[UngratefulBastard multiple]]'' times [[HumansAreTheRealMonsters to mutants]] in the Franchise/MarvelUniverse. At least a dozen if one counts alternate timelines. Not to mention the mutants who were in the actual Holocaust.
* The last couple of writers on ''Comicbook/{{Daredevil}}'' (Bendis and Brubaker) have seemingly competed to see just how much pain they can put Matt Murdock through. Just in the last two runs, he's gone though a mental breakdown over the death of his longtime girlfriend Karen Page, his secret identity was blown and he was sent to a high security prison (filled mostly with crims he'd put away) for obstruction of justice, his wife was driven insane by a supervillain and committed to a mental hospital and his best friend was stabbed and assumed to be killed.
** Mark Steven Johnson adopts the same tradition for [[Film/{{Daredevil}} the movie]]. Matt Murdock's superhero lifestyle is depicted as being a thankless and torturous affair.
* Since leaving the BPRD, ComicBook/{{Hellboy}}'s life has become more and more like this.
* [[Comicbook/IronMan Tony Stark]], whose difficulty coping with the heinous crap in his life is actually a major character trait, what with the chronic depression and [[DrowningMySorrows alcoholism]] and SurvivorGuilt, etc. Rather exacerbated by his [[WellIntentionedExtremist actions]] in the Comicbook/CivilWar arc and its [[PyrrhicVictory aftermath]]; in current canon, most other superheroes (and quite a lot of [[BrokenBase fandom]]) openly revile him.
* The life of [[Comicbook/{{Transmetropolitan}} Spider Jerusalem]] is one of pain.
-->'''Spider''': A man in my delicate condition can't be expected to face the world without [[HighTimesFuture medication.]]
* Comicbook/{{Empowered}}. Let's see, constant mockery and humiliation (much of which comes from her own teammates), a somewhat embarrassing track record that it seems she'll never live down down though she's getting better, an inability to hold a steady job... That's the small stuff. The ''big'' stuff includes a fellow superheroine and one of Emp's few friends sacrificing herself to save Emp (survivor's guilt, ahoy!) and watching her father die right in front of her on the kitchen floor when she was a little girl.
* Comicbook/DoctorStrange, [[DependingOnTheWriter sometimes]]. He may enjoy the perks of being Sorcerer Supreme, but he is also responsible for every innocent life in the universe -- expect a good wallow in guilt after a major disaster, even if it's something he never could have foreseen or prevented.
* ComicBook/BlackCanary becomes this whenever she pairs with ComicBook/GreenArrow. Every. Single. God. Damn. Time. Their first pairing? Kidnapped by drug lords in a botched sting operation and physically tortured so badly she loses her fertility and her powers (which would eventually be restored). Rejoins Ollie after he gets resurrected? Her adopted daughter is kidnapped and Ollie himself makes her believe she's dead. Despite that, she still marries him - and proceeds to be reduced to a DistressedDamsel whose Canary Cry accidentally causes an innocent bystander's hearing loss. And then Ollie leaving to form a second Justice League team somehow devastates her so much that she breaks up the primary team that she the leader of. Suffice it to say, there are likely a lot of ComicBook/BirdsOfPrey fans who really ''really'' don't like seeing Dinah and Ollie together.
** She kept this ''in'' Birds of Prey, what with being held hostage by Savant and stuff like that.
* IDW Transformers series Optimus Prime. During the Stormbringer arc, his internal monologue notes that millions of years of war have started to get to him, and he's worried that the Autobots have [[JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope become as bad as the Decepticons]]. During All Hail Megatron, Sideswipe gives a speech about this, which inspires Prime to declare the Autobots will no longer follow this darker path and resolves to become the idealised leader he is supposed to be.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* [[http://www.fimfiction.net/user/kalash93 Kalash93]] loves this trope. It shows up in [[http://www.fimfiction.net/story/106068/1/relax/intimacy Relax]] and [[http://www.fimfiction.net/story/81159/1/racer-and-the-geek/predawn Racer And The Geek,]] among others.
* ''Fanfic/ACrownOfStars'': After the canon events where Shinji and Asuka endured parental abandonment and abuse since they were four, were forced to combat alien monsters, got constantly beaten and mind-raped, actually ''died'' and outlived the end of the world... they had to survive in a devastated world ruled by warlords kept them alive because they had an use for them. While they worked for two wannabe dictators Asuka was sexually harassed every day, both got more wounds and scars... when the story begins they have overthrown a dictator, and they are helping to topple another and rebuild their world.
-->''“Asuka, both of our parents practically dumped us by the side of the road before we were four. Both of us have actually died in combat with alien monsters before we were fifteen. We outlived the end of the world, and then some. Why should anything in our lives be easy, even the good things?”''
* ''Fanfic/AdviceAndTrust'': In chapter 1 Asuka and Shinji have a long conversation where they talk about how they were abandoned by their fathers after their mothers' deaths when they were three -and never got an explanation or apology-, they spent their whole childhood feeling lonely with no friends, nobody understood their pain or cared about it, they still have constant nightmares about it... after reaching each other out and bonding they feel more confident about winning the war against a bunch of giant alien monsters, but they still see their family and friends getting hurt constantly.
* ''Fanfic/TheChildOfLove'': In case that losing their mothers, being ditched by their fathers before being four and fighting giant otherworldly monsters was not traumatic enough, Asuka has sex with Shinji and gets pregnant. Now they have to patch their relationship up –even if they are barely capable to have a civil conversation- and learn to be parents –even if they are mind-broken teenagers-. And even if they get together Asuka still may die when she delivers Teri because [[spoiler:Gendo is using her to create a new life-form, and giving birth that life-form may kill Asuka.]]
* ''Fanfic/ChildrenOfAnElderGod'': Shinji, Asuka and their fellow pilots saved mankind. In order to achieve that goal they risked their lives, their souls and their ''sanity'' every time they got into their giant robots, and gradually stopped being humans. And they had already endured their mothers' loss and their fathers abandonment, but in the process of saving their world they saw many people dying, including their families and most their friends.
* ''Fanfic/DoingItRightThisTime'': When Shinji was four he saw her mother’s body dissolving. His father abandoned him shortly after. When Asuka was four, her mother went crazy, stopped acknowledging her and killed herself. Her father –who cheated on his wife without caring about Asuka hearing him and his lover- remarried and abandoned her shortly after. Rei was ordered living in a dump and taking a cocktail of feeling-numbing drugs. The three of them were forced to fight giant Eldritch Abominations despite of being kids. And then the world ended and they died. And now they have been reborn in the past and have to go through it once more.
* ''Manga/{{Evangelion 303}}'': Let's see: [[TheHero Shinji]] [[ConvenientlyAnOrphan lost his mother when he was a little kid]], [[ParentalNeglect his father never was around and their relationship is barely existent]], he did not really care for his own life until he met [[HeroesWantRedheads Asuka]], and the woman that he loves is constantly hurt, falling apart and self-destructing; Asuka constantly feels that her world is collapsing, [[spoiler:lost her best friend and blames herself for her demise,]] and sees herself like a wrecked failure that only knows hurting people; Rei got brain damage during a plane crash that rendered her [[EmotionlessGirl emotionless]] and is conflicted about the person that she loves; Kaworu tries to help everyone but he never is sure of being doing it right; Saburo broke up with his boyfriend because he got neglected and jealous, he rued it, and now wants to Kaworu back, but Kaworu does NOT want him back; Misato often is hurting because her soldiers are hurt or falling apart...
* ''Fanfic/GhostsOfEvangelion'': Shinji and Asuka saved the world, but they got hurt physically, emotionally and psychologically, and their scars never fade. Even in their forties they still have nightmares and suffer from PTDS.
* ''Fanfic/{{HERZ}}'': Shinji and Asuka had suffered terribly due to their mothers’ deaths, their fathers’ abandonment, being turned into child soldiers and forced to pilot giant robots to fight alien monsters… now they are adults and are more emotionally stable, but they are still forced to fight, some psychological scars still endure and Asuka still has nightmares about the past.
* ''Fanfic/HigherLearning'': Although Kaoru's lessons helped the three pilots to try to get over their past pains and open up, they still endured plenty trauma throughout the War. In particular, Asuka was so broken after getting mind-raped that she clung to Shinji because she thought he was the only thing that she had left.
* ''Fanfic/LastChildOfKrypton'': Shinji's mother died when he was four and his father abandoned him. As he grew up he found out he had powers he could use to help other people. Throughout the history he fights {{Eldritch Abomination}}s to protect his new family. He gets punched, burnt, blasted to the Moon… he sees his family and friends getting hurt…
* ''Fanfic/OnceMoreWithFeeling'':
** After his mother's passing and his father abandoning him, Shinji was raised by people did not care about him for ten years. Then he fought a War against giant space aliens where he and everyone he cared about were hurt, abused and manipulated until he was broken enough to wish for the end of mankind. And now he has to go through it again, burdened with the weight of his massive guit as he tries to not let anyone down this time.
** During an argument with Asuka related to a school trip, Misato ponders how badly Asuka was betrayed and hurt in the past by everyone and even so she still fights giant aliens that threaten mankind.
* ''Fanfic/TheOneILoveIs'': Shinji, Asuka and Rei's went through the traumatic experiences they endured in canon, but their traumas got worse because they became a LoveTriangle, and Shinji could not stand that Asuka and Rei got hurt. Still they fought to save the world and made their best.
* In the ''Manga/DeathNote'' fanfic ''Fanfic/StoryOfTheCentury'' L is implied to be an [[AntiHero anti-heroic]] [[UnscrupulousHero variety of]] this. This combined with his "HeWhoFightsMonsters" and {{Determinator}} tendencies in spite of it eventually push him into TragicHero territory by the end of the story.
* ''Fanfic/SOE2LoneHeirOfKrypton'': When she was a child Asuka's mother got crazy, stopped recognizing her daughter and hang herself together with the doll she thought was her daughter. Her husband never loved Asuka and after his wife's death he got married to his lover and refused taking care of Asuka. Asuka spent the next ten years training to be the best at everything, thinking would nobody give a damn about her otherwise. When she discovered she had incredible powers she got thrilled but soon she found out they were a burden. She had to fight criminals and super-powerful beings besides the giant alien monsters she was trained to beat, she was often hurt and even mind-raped, her family and friends were constantly targeted by crazies and loonies, and everybody looked up to her and expected her being a pinnacle of morality and heroism.
* In ''FanFic/MegaManDefenderOfTheHumanRace'', Mega Man is this from episode 6 to episode 12, as his doubts over himself and his abilities grow.
* In ''Fanfic/KitsuneNoKenFistOfTheFox'', Naruto goes through some very deep self-hatred because of his past as a member of the [[TheDreaded Kyuushingai]] and the death and destruction the group caused for 365 days, two years earlier.
* In ''Fanfic/ThousandShinji'', during their bonding talks, Shinji tells Asuka how he fell apart after his father abandoned him in the wake of his mother's death, and even though he's tried to get over it, he's still full of pain... and so Rei and Misato are, and he knows she's also in pain. And even so, they're trying to save mankind.
* Shinji and Asuka in ''Fanfic/TheSecondTry'' had got over their problems and insecurities, matured and [[spoiler:became parents…]] and then they were thrown back to the past without previous warning and [[spoiler:without their daughter.]] They spend most of time frightened, worried and pained because [[spoiler:Aki]] was all that mattered to them.
-->"You don't... you can't understand what it's like – how painful it is to assume... just to think that it hadn't been real... that it never happened," he eventually breathed with a low voice, his fists firmly clenched at his sides as all the once-joyful memories were repeated in his mind. "Not... not after we were forced to leave all that mattered to us behind."
* In the beginning of ''Fanfic/NeonGenesisEvangelionGenocide'' Shinji, Asuka and Rei have endured a great deal of trauma they're still recovering from: parental abandonment, loneliness issues, post-traumatic distress...
* Pretty much every character in the ''TabletopGame/Warhammer40000'' fanfic ''Fanfic/SecretWar'' is this. But by far the worst off is the main character Attelus Kaltos who is pretty much the epitome of this trope. He suffers from severe PTSD from surviving in the ruins of his home city during a chaos invasion. And [[spoiler: having to resort to [[IamAHumanitarian cannibalism]] to survive, not just that but the death of his mother, too.]] Driving him to becoming an elite mercenary assassin and abandoning his dream of becoming a [[BadassBookworm a scholar of Imperial history.]] But this all eclipsed at the end of Secret War end when he's [[spoiler:[[UnwittingPawn indirectly]] responsible for the Exterminatus of a hive world and the billions of [[SurvivorGuilt people living on it.]]]]


* Bruce Wayne in ''Film/TheDarkKnightSaga''. Very, very much.
* In {{Spaghetti Western}}s, heroes hurt in more ways than one. Generally they are near-invincible gunslingers who are nonetheless subject to the most horrible of tortures. The titular character in ''Django'' embodies this, his invincibility almost becoming a curse to him because he is trapped in a cycle of violence he cannot get out of.
** The best-known one of those, [[Creator/ClintEastwood the Man with no Name]] from the Film/DollarsTrilogy, only escapes extreme hurt in ''Film/ForAFewDollarsMore'', being brutally beaten in ''Film/AFistfulOfDollars'' and forced to wander in a desert in ''Film/TheGoodTheBadAndTheUgly''.
** Subverted or turned UpToEleven in Corbucci's own ''The Great Silence'', where the hero is [[spoiler:killed brutally in the final fight, not that he's really happy at any point in the film]].
*** In ''Companeros'' however, one hero is a cheery Mexican rebel who hurts plenty when [[spoiler:he is tortured by having his belly clawed open by a rat in a basket]].
* John [=McClane=] from ''Franchise/DieHard''.
* Martin Riggs from ''Film/{{Lethal Weapon}}'' spends most of the movie suicidally depressed after the death of his wife.
* Optimus Prime in ''Film/{{Transformers}}''. See Western Animation for more detail.
* Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse:
** The introduction of [[Comicbook/CaptainAmerica Steve Rogers]] in ''Film/{{The Avengers|2012}}'' shows him beating a punching bag until it bursts while remembering the war and his... vacation.
** ''Film/IronMan3'' has Tony suffering from PTSD-like symptoms following his near-death experience in ''The Avengers'' and is obsessed with keeping his loved ones safe to the point where he has upgraded his armor 40 times since ''The Avengers''.
** Film/{{Thor}} has to watch as his little brother goes insane and becomes a megalomaniac, and then he is personally tasked with bringing that little brother to justice. Then he is kept away from his sweetheart by the long, draining intergalactic war his brother's actions kick-started. Then he watches [[spoiler: his mother]] die right in front of him, as he is seconds too late to save her. Then [[spoiler: his father]] becomes suicidal due to the grief of his recent loss, forcing him to [[spoiler: commit treason]] in order to preserve his homeworld's safety. And ''then'' [[spoiler:his brother apparently]] bleeds to death in his arms. It's no small wonder that the poor guy needs a break by the end of ''Film/ThorTheDarkWorld''.
* ''Film/XMenDaysOfFuturePast'': The younger Charles Xavier has completely fallen apart at the seams, haunted by the hardships he had suffered during the Cuban Missile Crisis and losing most of his students and staff to the UsefulNotes/VietnamWar.
* Franchise/DCExtendedUniverse:
** Franchise/{{Superman}} is put through the wringer in both ''Film/ManOfSteel'' and ''Film/BatmanVSupermanDawnOfJustice''. First, he has to endure being ostracized because of his powers, but when the Kryptonian invasion starts, Superman is forced to fight members of his own species [[spoiler:and has to kill General Zod to save an innocent family]]. Things get worse in the sequel, as Superman has to deal with skeptics who are afraid of his power and want him to answer to the government.
** Franchise/{{Batman}} is in mourning for his deceased sidekick Robin, who was killed by the Joker.

* Fitz from the ''[[Literature/RealmOfTheElderlings Farseer]]'' and ''Tawny Man'' trilogies by Creator/RobinHobb. Dear God, the pain that man has to suffer. The fact that he has to suffer BecauseDestinySaysSo doesn't exactly help.
** Just to illustrate, seers within the series state that the world is in a stagnating cycle, akin to a wheel driving a rut in the ground, endlessly. To kick things up, bring a little more life into the universe, the wheel's got to be kicked out of that rut. The easiest way to do that? Stick a pebble in its path, so that when the wheel crashes into it with enough force, it'll bounce out of the rut and into a new path. That's the metaphor. Now, guess who gets to be that pebble?
* All of the Literature/{{Animorphs}}.
* [[Literature/TheDresdenFiles Harry Dresden]]. A lot. Also a SadClown.
** In ''Summer Knight'', Martha Liberty votes for him because she realizes how much he is hurting -- while he disclaims his (physical) wounds as minor. When Aurora offers him surcease, he realizes for the first time how badly he was hurting -- and refuses, since it would mean giving up.
* ''Literature/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians'': Percy himself, as part of his ItSucksToBeTheChosenOne package.
* [[Literature/HeraldsOfValdemar Vanyel Ashkevron]].
--> "Savil, am I whining?"
--> "After all you've been through, sometimes you deserve a little whine."
** It's actually something Creator/MercedesLackey seeks to instill in a lot of her protagonists. She lampshades it once, saying her formula is to make the readers like the hero, then dump a mountain on them.
* In Nick Kyme's ''TabletopGame/Warhammer40000'' Salamanders novel ''Literature/{{Salamander|s}}'', Tsu'gan is deeply grieved by the captain's death and his own failure. [[spoiler:Iagon actually uses it to foment his ambition: fighting at the head of the company would assuage his hurt. And let's just say it all ends up in more hurting for Tsu'gan.]]
** Fugis confesses to [[DespairEventHorizon having lost faith]] at the same time; Dak'ir thinks how Tsu'gan resorts to fury and Fugis to despair.
* Literature/HarryPotter, who at seventeen years old has bested the Dark Lord at least ''eight times''. And ''survives'', unlike [[DoomMagnet most of the people he loves]].
-->'''Hermione''': Now that Malfoy's a prefect, he could make life really difficult for you.
-->'''Harry''': Really? Gee, [[DeadpanSnarker I wonder]] what it would be like to have a difficult life!
* [[Literature/ChroniclesOfThomasCovenant Thomas Covenant]] definitely qualifies. The series begins with him losing two fingers to leprosy, his wife leaving him, and ''[[TraumaCongaLine the town preparing to re-zone his home just to run him out.]]'' Then [[FromBadToWorse it gets worse]].
* Kvothe in ''Literature/TheNameOfTheWind'' lost his entire troupe - the people he lived with, and 90% of the people he knew and loved - when he was twelve. [[FromBadToWorse Life doesn't treat him much better after that.]]
* Dear god, [[spoiler: Rand Al'Thor]], the ''Dragon Reborn'' is the Patron Saint of this trope. To start out, he has access to the [[BlessedWithSuck tainted male half of magic]], everyone else with access to male magic in the last 3000 years went mad, [[{{Squick}} rotted alive]], and [[PersonOfMassDestruction killed everyone in his vicinity]]. He's fated to destroy the world in saving it. He's responsible for taking the fight to ''Satan Himself'', whose elite followers consider the current crop of Aes Sedai (wizards and witches) to be children ''at best''. Then he discovers that ''his predecessor was literally reborn as a backseat driver in his '''mind.'' '''That predecessor is himself only somewhat sane, can't be revealed because it would be assumed that the current Dragon is going insane, has suicidal tendencies, tries to grab the magic out of the current Dragon's hands with regularity, and was well known for killing his entire family as he went insane, realizing for a single moment what he'd done, and committing suicide so dramatically that it made a '''''volcano'''''. The current Dragon is barely more than a teenager from a tiny farm village in the middle of nowhere. He seems fated to be a martyr for humanity. ''Everyone and their mother'' works against him - and most aren't even evil, merely selfish, superstitious, foolish, set in their ways, and determined to control this ''kid'' who is ''clearly'' not in charge of saving the world. His ancestral people have pledged to him - and some of their [[AmazonBrigade warrioresses]] act as his bodyguards, and he's lived his entire life expecting to protect women with his strength. That in particular scars him so much that he keeps a list of all of the women who have died where you could even hypothetically lay the blame at his feet. He was captured by Aes Sedai and tortured ruthlessly. Alanna once connected her mind to his, and spent the next month crying in the pain of it. Nynaeve, the limit-breaking healer, once looked at his mind and realized that there was nothing she could have done for him [[spoiler: if not for Lews Therin's heroic sacrifice]]. To top it all off, nobody believes him, everyone thinks they know better than him, and as he's trying to save the world, the world is trying its hardest not be saved. He once quipped that the pressure of that alone should be enough to drive him insane, never mind Saidin.
* Leia in ''Literature/SplinterOfTheMindsEye'' is clearly traumatized and mostly covering it by being sour and irritable. It's for good reason; like her brother, she can not show her pain after it's inflicted, but she went through a ''lot'' in ''Film/ANewHope''.
* Luke, in ''Literature/LukeSkywalkerAndTheShadowsOfMindor''. Even before the villain puts him through MindRape, he shows signs of depression and strain, and after all he ''is'' the one active Jedi in the entire galaxy and trying to negotiate what that means, what he should do. But he keeps going. ''After'' that, he seems to be suffering PTSD, with constant flashbacks, heavy depressive nihilism, loss of faith... but he ''still'' keeps going, and his compassion and empathy [[AllLovingHero never run dry]].
* HonorHarrington during the novel ''Flag in Exile'' has been forced out of active duty with the Royal Manticoran Navy and essentially run out of the Manticore system by political enemies due to her getting vengeance for the murder of her lover. She's trying to pull herself together on her adopted second home of Grayson, but is continually harassed by conservative elements outraged of the idea of a foreign woman (emphasis on the ''woman'') having political power, and those close to her note her depression.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* This is a trait of many a primary Franchise/KamenRider give the abuse typically heaped on them through the story. It also happens with secondary and tertiary riders too, but that's where the hero part gets ambigious.
** Shinji Kido/''Series/KamenRiderRyuki'' was tricked, beaten half to death and shown the worst of humanity more times than he can count. His story is basically a repeated cycle of shock, HeroicBSOD and recovery. Yet, he would keep on fighting.
** Haruto Soma/''Series/KamenRiderWizard'' is the StepfordSmiler variety. He lost his parents at the age of 10, is the [[SurvivorGuilt lone survivor]] of dark magic ritual, had to fight through onslaught of ParanoiaFuel inducing monsters, and was manipulated into another dark magic ritual that would [[UpToEleven kill several milions of people]]. Also, his guilt materialized into one of [[LostLenore his beloved]], who came to kill him.
** Kouta Kazuraba/''Series/KamenRiderGaim'' killed his best friend by accident, was nearly murdered by another friend of his numerous times, had his faith shattered and would always come back anyway. He shares the vicious cycle with Kido after all.
** Emu Hojo/''Series/KamenRiderExAid'' was mistreated by his supposed colleague, manipulated, nearly killed and had his view of the world turned against him more than once. He soldiers on believing for better tomorrows anyway, having the advantage over Kido or Kouta by actually getting people to understand (or at least) tolerate him.
* In ''Series/{{Smallville}}'', [[Franchise/{{Superman}} Clark Kent]]. It doesn't help that he is a DoomMagnet and [[ItsAllMyFault he blames himself]] for [[PunctuatedForEmphasis Every. Single. Thing.]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6z8EPJyb1U that befalls his friends and family.]] Like [[spoiler:Jonathan's death, ComicBook/{{Brainiac}}'s attack on Chloe and Lana, Lex turning evil]], etc.
** [[PlatonicLifePartners Chloe Sullivan]] on a slightly lesser level than Clark. In season eight when her life is painfully falling apart, partially due to her own mishandling of the situation. She also fits the StepfordSmiler and BadDreams parts (she had a nightmare in which she saw Clark bloodily ripped into two, one of the most graphic scenes in the series).
* Um, Series/{{Buffy|the Vampire Slayer}}, anyone? Her life sucks beyond all reasonable measure, she goes through multiple HeroicBSOD, outright depression at points, yet she always manages to keep fighting.
** Series/{{Angel}} as well. He constantly fights against his vampiric side, can never be perfectly happy for fear of losing his soul, and must deal with over a century of the most vile sins conceivable he committed while soulless.
* Doctor K and Dillon from ''Series/PowerRangersRPM''. TheWoobie MikeNelsonDestroyerOfWorlds and the amnesiac PhlebotinumRebel, respectively.
* Jack Harkness from ''Series/{{Torchwood}}''. Just... In ''Children of Earth'' alone, [[spoiler:first we learn he has a daughter and a grandson; while the grandson thinks Jack is his uncle, the daughter just really doesn't want anything to do with Jack. Then he gets blown up and feels it, comes back to life screaming with all of his skin still burned off, gets drowned and trapped in concrete, is thrown off a cliff while in the concrete, has his daughter and grandson taken hostage, and learns that he is partially responsible for the latest alien threat because he once surrendered 12 children to them. Then, just when it looks like he might be able to stand up to the alien threat, Ianto (his lover) is killed because of his [[IdiotBall very bad plan]] and dies in his arms, something Jack blames himself for. Then, to finally save the world from the alien threat, he has to ''kill his grandson in front of his screaming daughter''.]]
** In the previous season, the main villain is [[spoiler:Jack's brother]], who was captured because of Jack and forced to watch torture until he went insane. He ends up [[spoiler:killing Tosh and Owen]] and [[spoiler:burying Jack alive for almost ''2000 years'']].
* In ''Series/DoctorWho'', most of the Doctor's incarnations have something to be sad about, but in particular from Nine onwards, after the Last Great Time War in which he basically got the entire race of Daleks and Time Lords killed.
** The Tenth Doctor, especially. "Born from war" is an apt description, and the guy sometimes comes across as just one big moving mass of pain. Hell, he can make grown men and women burst into tears just [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uz_1HQY32LA by talking about his home planet]].
-->'''Doctor:''' [[LastWords I don't want to go.]]
** The Doctor always suffers after losing his companions. Some leave, others get left behind, and some die. He always takes it hard, especially the latter, blaming himself for it and preferring to travel alone for awhile. After Amy and Rory [[spoiler:are sent back in time by a Weeping Angel and die of old age]] and River [[spoiler:refuses to travel with him permanently]],the Eleventh Doctor retires and swears off traveling through time and space, settling in Victorian London and refusing to even notice strange things. Then comes Clara [[spoiler:Oswin Oswald]], only to [[spoiler:die before the end of the episode]]...
** The Twelfth Doctor would ''seem'' to have less reason to hurt, as by the time he's "born" [[spoiler: Gallifrey has been saved, not destroyed]] so that burden of guilt has been lifted from his shoulders. But his days in the Last Great Time War still hang heavy on his hearts, to the point that he has a more pronounced aversion to the military than usual in Series 8 and a ''heartwrenching'' monologue on the topic of war in "The Zygon Inversion". And loss? ''Loss?'' A key theme in Series 9 is his struggle to move on from losing people, especially loved ones, which feeds into his ChronicHeroSyndrome to sometimes bitter ends. As he is a CreepyGood fellow with NoSocialSkills, he has only one companion in his first two series, and when they are separated by [[spoiler: her death, a Senseless Sacrifice inspired by wanting to be a hero like him]], the final stretch of the season follows his temporary transformation into a WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds because ''he can't take the pain anymore''. It's so bad that the only thing that fully brings him back to his best self is [[spoiler: Mind Rape]]. A monologue from the penultimate episode of this season, "Heaven Sent", can be found on the Quotes page for this trope.
* [[Series/{{Supernatural}} Sam and Dean Winchester]], anyone? They always keep fighting (if sometimes for selfish reasons), even when they would rather just [[IJustWantToBeNormal give up]] or [[DeathSeeker rest]].
* Quite a few of the crew of the not-so-good ship ''Film/{{Serenity}}'' have been put through one form of hell or another in their lives. [[TheCaptain Malcolm Reynolds]] suffers under the weight of the [[TheChainsOfCommanding chains of command]] and still bears quite a bit of pain from the end of the Unification War, and both Simon and River Tam have gone through horrifically traumatic experiences; Simon giving up everything he had to save his sister, and River having suffered three years of [[MindRape mind-shattering]] [[PlayingWithSyringes experimentation]] that left her insane and with uncontrolled PsychicPowers.
* Olivia from ''Series/{{Fringe}}'' has had her life described by another character as "something of a nightmare." [[spoiler: And that's before she gets trapped in a parallel universe, tortured by light deprivation, brainwashed into thinking she's another Olivia, narrowly escapes having her brain cut out, and finally manages to get herself back home... only to find out that the other Olivia has been living her life and even dating Peter, the man she loves.]] Her life sucks.
* ''Series/{{Merlin|2008}}'':
** Poor Merlin. Not only is he stuck looking after Prince Arthur (and never receiving any kind of recognition for his service), but he also has to actively hide the fact that he's magic, even when it costs him his friends, his love, and even [[spoiler: his long-lost father]].
** Arthur also qualifies. He's under extreme pressure from his father to live up to his duty as the next king of Camelot, he's in love with a girl who is just a servant (and who still carries a torch for one of his knights) and now his newly discovered half-sister is trying to kill him.
* In ''Series/{{Leverage}}'', at least three members of the FiveManBand qualify.
** Team {{leader}} Nathan Ford's son died because of his [[CorruptCorporateExecutive greedy boss]]. This led to divorce, [[TheAlcoholic alcoholism]], job loss--and, eventually, his bringing together a group of [[ConMan Con Artists]] to [[WeHelpTheHelpless help the helpless]]. However, Nate is still haunted by his demons, even after bringing his boss to justice.
** Before he joined the team, Eliot Spencer was a mercenary/assassin who did things so terrible that he can't bring himself to discuss them, even with his closest friends. He doesn't see himself as TheAtoner, because he believes his sins are unforgivable.
** Parker's foster parents (at least her father) were so {{abusive|Parents}} that she blew up their house, possibly while they were still inside. She then spent the rest of her childhood and young adulthood learning how to be the world's greatest thief. All this might explain why she's a {{Cloudcuckoolander}} with an AmbiguousDisorder (possibly UsefulNotes/AspergerSyndrome) who has trouble relating to people, although her teammates are helping her with that.
* In ''Series/TwentyFour'', Jack Bauer is a tragic hero who has everything in his life taken away from him. He tries to sacrifice himself for the United States with a nuclear bomb in season 2. His life goes even more downhill from there.
* Mac Taylor in ''Series/{{CSINY}}'' ,who spent a lot of his series struggling with the loss of his wife on 9/11 and basically retreated into his work to forget the pain.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Good lord, everything in the world of ''VideoGame/Mother3'' tries it's damn hardest to make Lucas into this. He's a sensitive, coddlied mama's boy who ends up [[spoiler: watching his Mother die violently before his eyes]], then bears the Guilt of [[spoiler: [[ILetGwenStacyDie believing he let his brother go to his death.]]]] These events alone cause him to remain in a stagnant form of grieving for most of the game. 3 years later, his home has been industrialized and all the villagers who were once nice and friendly to him, consider him an outcast and a disgrace to his village for not giving into the Industrialism that now plagues the islands; he even lives mostly alone because his Father spends all his time away from the house [[spoiler: [[ParentalAbandonment searching for his missing brother and neglecting Lucas.]]]] And all of this is before [B]his adventure has even started yet.[/B] He then constantly has to fight against the Twisted, Mechanized and Bloodthirsty Wildlife that he once was friends with, as well as constantly have an army of soldiers out to get him and his friends, the same army [[spoiler: who inadvertantly killed his Mother to begin with.]] He later has to live with the knowledge that [[spoiler: his home was all a lie, everyone brainwashed themselves with fake memories and personalities to prevent the world from completely ending, the Islands being the last habitable place on the entire planet]], and now Lucas is the only one who has the power to redeem the world at this point. Then he has to fight the Masked Man for the final needle, [[spoiler: the Masked Man turning out to be his missing brother all along, who was brainwashed and mechanized for the past 3 years and has no memory of being Lucas's brother, relentlessly trying to kill him.]] And in the end, [[spoiler: Lucas's Brother finally remembers who he is and then kills himself as atonement for what he's done, then dies in Lucas's arms.]] And yet, despite everything that happens to Lucas, he still goes on and does what's right, and makes the world a better place with the love in his heart.
* VideoGame/PlanescapeTorment has that name for a reason.
* Raiden becomes this ''so'' hard in ''VideoGame/MortalKombat9''. [[spoiler:His actions slowly keep making things worse for Earthrealm, the heroes die one by one under his watch, and the Elder Gods seem to be pulling a major TheGodsMustBeLazy trip. By the end of the game, his actions narrowly prevented Armageddon from happening, but at the cost of practically all of Earthrealm's champions. Even Liu Kang, Raiden's favored champion, is dead (although unintentionally) by his own hand, after having first turned on him for the tragedies he so far caused. He carries the guilt of his actions throughout the entire game and you can tell it takes its toll.]] By the game's ending, he's emotionally and physically exhausted. And TheStinger at the end just makes it even worse. Seriously, the guy probably needs a hug badly when all's said and done. [[spoiler: And his job is not going to be any easier [[VideoGame/MortalKombatX for the next quarter-century.]]]]
* In ''VideoGame/CreepyCastle'', [[spoiler:Moth, [[HiddenDepths of all people]],]] have issues like [[spoiler:feeling he has to be a hero despite being unqualified for the job and trying to not let people get near him and avoiding them getting hurt]]. Due to this, he fall easily to [[spoiler:Possessor's [[MoreThanMindControl influence]]]] and ends up having to [[spoiler:face his shadow.]]
* Hawke of ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'' after [[spoiler: his/her mother's death]]. You get a few minutes of Hawke just sitting in his/her house in a deep, crushing depression. The rest of the game isn't much kinder to him/her either. This is upped when s/he returns in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition'', where after four years constantly on the run, his/her failure to stop the Mage-Templar War [[spoiler:and failing to kill Corypheus]], has clearly done irreparable damage to his/her self-esteem. [[spoiler:S/he also broke off his/her relationship with his/her love interest to protect them, leaving him/her even more alone than they already were before.]]
* Both ''VideoGame/{{Mega Man|Classic}}'' original and ''[[VideoGame/MegaManX X]]'', often wonder how long they're going to have to keep fighting.
** And Zero. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c42s2xQJXQ8 "What the am I fighting for????"]].
* The ''VideoGame/TalesSeries'' is very fond of this trope, especially in regards to TheChosenOne. Both [[VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia Colette, Zelos]] and [[VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss Luke]] get a ''lot'' of pain from their status as Chosen Ones.
* ''VideoGame/{{Tekken}}'' has many of these. Notably Jin Kazama and Kazuya Mishima but it could be argued that nearly all the characters are the hurting hero of there own backstory.
** Kazuya is a notable example that could be an example of one who eventually went full-on FallenHero FaceHeelTurn. He's [[UsedToBeASweetKid good as a kid]], but once Heihachi took over his training and eventually tossed him off a cliff for being 'too weak' for his standards, that's the last straw and Kazuya turns into the vengeful, [[DrunkWithPower power-hungry]] [[BaitTheDog villain/false hero]] that we all know these days. Being good just hurts so much when you're in a BigScrewedUpFamily.
* Gorath from ''VideoGame/BetrayalAtKrondor'' - as someone who's trying to protect and enlighten his AlwaysChaoticEvil race that doesn't know what's good for it.
* Garrus Vakarian as of ''VideoGame/MassEffect2''. His career as turian [[Comicbook/ThePunisher Punisher]] really hasn't gone well for him, and to top it off, his family thinks he's a slacker and has no idea of his saving the galaxy. Especially evident if you pursue his romance, in which he eventually tells Shepard (the one person in the galaxy that he trusts and respects the most) that the reason he's been so awkward and nervous about their relationship is that he so badly wants it to be the one thing in his life that finally goes right.
** Ashley and Kaidan, if they survive Virmire, is one of these in ''Mass Effect 2'', despite their small role, and in the beginning of ''[[VideoGame/MassEffect3 3]]''. [[spoiler: Literally, too, after Dr. Eva beats the crap out of them on Mars and they nearly die.]] A hefty dash of BrokenPedestal for Shepard combined with [[spoiler: Udina's betrayal]] will do that. Fortunately, they can overcome it.
** Shepard can also be played as this, and is definitely this if you choose the Colonist and/or Sole Survivor background where all of his/her family and friends were brutally murdered by slavers when [[DangerousSixteenthBirthday s/he was 16]] and where [[SoleSurvivor s/he was the only survivor of his/her last squad as s/he saw the rest of them suffer terrible deaths from thresher maws.]] Choosing the Colonist background will have the Consort describe Shepard as this, an IronWoobie, and a KnightInSourArmor. In the sequel, Shepard's reluctant cooperation with the terrorist organization Cerberus has made [[HeroWithBadPublicity his/her name dirt]] to the people in power and even to some of his/her closest friends, no matter how noble his/her intentions are which can be highlighted in dialogue with Liara in ''Lair of the Shadow Broker''.
*** Taken UpToEleven in ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', [[NotSoStoic when we really start to see the cracks.]] Throughout the game, [[SurvivorGuilt Shepard is having nightmares of all the people who have died to get him/her where s/he is.]] The squadmate [[SadisticChoice who died on Virmire]] is brought up in conversation [[spoiler: and you might even kill the one that lived if you haven't talked to them]]. Then s/he can lose either [[spoiler: Mordin or Wrex, or even both, depending on how the genophage cure plays out.]] Next comes [[spoiler: Tali or Legion]], [[MyGreatestFailure and then s/he loses the entire planet of]] [[spoiler: [[MyGreatestFailure Thessia, the asari homeworld.]]]] By the time the final battle rolls around, [[ShellShockedVeteran Shepard is a wreck]] and, [[TrueCompanions in conversations with Liara, Kaidan, or Garrus,]] [[TheWoobie shows a very insecure side.]]
*** It's very heavily implied throughout ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'' that Shepard has become a DeathSeeker. While s/he's still willing to fight the Reapers, it's implied that s/he would consider death a great relief.
** A spotlight comic reveals that, during his last stand on Omega, Garrus calls his father to admit he (Garrus) was wrong and as a final goodbye, knowing he will eventually be overwhelmed. His father brushes off the goodbyes and wants a tactical update on the situation (a flashback scene also reveals that Garrus learned to be a crack shot from his dad). Then Garrus sees the N7 armor in his scope and tells his dad that his odds just improved before hanging up. Given that Garrus officially joins the Turian military by [=ME3=] and even attains a high rank, it can be assumed his father is now proud.
* ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'':
** [[spoiler:Midna]] in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess'' turns out to be this, initially for [[spoiler:abandoning her people after Zant turned her into an imp]] and later for [[spoiler:being so selfish with Link and Zelda despite all the sacrifices they made to help her]].
** Link [[TheHero himself]], more than once. In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkToThePast'', he's already an orphan, immediately proceeds to lose his uncle/godfather, and is framed for the kidnapping of Zelda (arguably his only friend at that point) soon after. In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime'' he's already the "Boy Without A Fairy," so getting one means he's on his way, right? Yeah, on his way out of the only world he's ever known, blamed for the death of yet ''another'' father figure, while leaving behind his only remaining friend. Then he makes friends with Zelda, who needs his help to stop the evil Ganondorf. Sounds good -- [[BadFuture at first]]. One could argue ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask Majora's Mask]]'' (searching for "a lost friend" -- presumably [[WildMassGuessing Navi]] -- that he never finds) as well. Oh Link, you [[BlatantLies happy-go-lucky elf]], you.
*** The Hero of Time is a canon case, since the new anniversary book confirms [[spoiler: he's the Hero's Shade in ''Twilight Princess.'']] Regardless of what else he did with his life, he was never able to let go of his perceived duty as hero. [[spoiler: He did apparently learn to talk though, so there is that...]]
** Link and Zelda get it particularly bad in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaBreathOfTheWild''. Both put a great deal of effort into preparing for Calamity Ganon's return under a great deal of pressure from their families and others, only for Ganon to destroy Hyrule [[spoiler:because of Zelda's inability to awaken her RoyaltySuperPower in time; Link had to spend the next century in a HealingVat while Zelda let herself be SwallowedWhole to seal Ganon in Hyrule Castle]]. Other characters who have it hard include Prince Sidon, a sociable WarriorPrince who nonetheless has many moments of HeroicSelfDeprecation over what he views as pushiness and [[spoiler:still mourns his sister Mipha a century after her death]], and Chief Riju, the Gerudo leader who got her position at a [[AChildShallLeadThem young age]] after the untimely death of her mother and feels like an InadequateInheritor.
* [[Franchise/MetalGear Solid Snake]] is one of the best examples in gaming. It would take such a long time to explain all the crap this guy has gone through, you just need to play the games.
** As a summary of Solid Snake (let alone Big Boss/Naked Snake or Raiden)
*** ''Metal Gear'': He is forced to fight and kill his father figure who betrayed him.
*** ''Metal Gear 2'': He is forced to fight and kill his best friend (Grey Fox) as well as his father figure who has survived. And, after the flavor added by the Solid series, both fights are very much a case of both warriors acknowledging the necessity of the battle, but without any animosity. It also doesn't help that he finds out said father figure was actually his father...
*** ''Metal Gear Solid'': Snake is once again forced to fight and kill people who, for all intents and purposes, are pretty nice people and enemies he respects. He is also forced to fight with the knowledge that, if he succeeds, he will kill the brother he only learned about the previous morning. Oh, and one of the only men he trusts has betrayed him (and the cute doctor has poisoned him). And he once again has to fight against his best friend who has suffered immeasurably due to their previous battle. And, depending on the ending, he may have contributed to the death of his friend's daughter.
*** ''Metal Gear Solid 2'': Snake basically has to deal with the aftermath of helping the big bad of the series, has his name dragged through the mud, and has to continue to help the big bad in the hopes of finding a way to stop them.
*** ''Metal Gear Solid 4'': Snake finally learns the true story of his birth (and finishes off becoming an orphan) and has to live with the knowledge that he is becoming a biological WMD and that, even if he finds a cure, he will die of old age before the year is out. And he is CONSTANTLY reminded of how his body has failed him.
* ''VideoGame/InFamous'' [[spoiler:Cole [=McGrath=] in the good ending.]]
* ''VideoGame/ShadowTheHedgehog'' in both [[spoiler:the Cosmic Fall Hero ending, and the actual ending.]]
** Also in the [[VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog2006 2006 Sonic game]].
* [[VideoGame/{{Metroid}} Samus Aran]]. ''VideoGame/MetroidOtherM'' goes a long way towards showing just how ''utterly psychologically broken'' she is by the utter living hell that is her DoomMagnet life and quest for vengeance/justice. Post traumatic stress disorder in spades, dependency issues developing towards authority figures like Adam, survivor's guilt...
** Samus worked mainly alone in her missions and whatever job the Federation tasks her to do, she always does it by her own rules. She most likely repressed everything that happened in her life and working alone allows her to focus on her objectives. It isn't until she sees Adam again in ''Other M'' that her suppressed feelings start to resurface.
* Mickey freaking ''Mouse'' in ''Franchise/KingdomHearts''. He hides it like a pro, but his failure to save the [[VideoGame/KingdomHeartsBirthBySleep Birth by Sleep]] crew continues to haunt him, over a decade later.
* Alex Mercer in ''VideoGame/{{Prototype}}'' and James Heller in [[VideoGame/{{Prototype 2}} the sequel]].
* B.J. Blazkowicz in ''VideoGame/WolfensteinTheNewOrder''. Spending 14 years in a semi-comatose state only to awaken in a world conquered by Nazis, it's perfectly understandable he won't be smiling anytime soon.
* Litchi Faye-Ling from ''VideoGame/BlazBlue'' is very determined to do the right thing that is curing her friend Lotte Carmine who turned to Arakune, caused by her GuiltComplex. However, in process, she ended up getting corrupted the same way as Arakune, had to keep this information to herself only, and [[ForcedIntoEvil against her preference]], had to join a suspicious {{Troll}} and the worst father in the world, and left behind those other people she truly cared about as she has no other choice unless she wants the corruption catch up and ruin her forever. These facts have been hurting her so much, but even so, and despite everyone else calling her actions to be useless and lost cause, she is still determined to save him and do the right thing... [[StepfordSmiler while keeping a motherly smile on her face]].
* And from ''VideoGame/BlazBlue's'' spiritual predecessor, [[VideoGame/GuiltyGear Sol Badguy]] maintains his JerkassFacade to cover for this. He's torn between sheer rage at being used as a pawn by That Man, sorrow for his own part in creating [[PersonOfMassDestruction the Gears]], and as Overture showed us, [[HeartbrokenBadass heartbreak at having to kill his lover, Aria, twice over.]]
* [[VideoGame/SplinterCell Sam Fisher]] starting with ''Double Agent'', when he is told that his daughter has been killed by a drunk driver, the only person in his life who means anything to him. He ends up willingly going to jail as part of the mission to infiltrate a terrorist organization and has to perform questionable tasks for them. At the end of the game, he is put before a SadisticChoice whether to shoot his boss/friend/mentor or the BigBad (the latter would break his cover). The sequel reveals that [[spoiler:he chose to [[ShootTheDog maintain his cover]] and is on the run from the whole US government]], although he does learn that [[spoiler:his daughter is still alive]].
* ''VideoGame/StarCraft'': In Koprulu Sector, you're either one of these or one of the monsters. Both Jim Raynor and Zeratul tried to do the right thing, and the universe repay them with lots and lots of hurts. Tassadar had the fortune to die in a blaze of glory rather than seeing his world fall apart around him.
* ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'': By the end of ''{{VideoGame/Halo 4}}'' Master Chief has watched Cortana slowly go crazy and when he had expected to go out in a HeroicSacrifice, she one ups him to send him back home. Despite the helmet, he's obviously in deep pain and grief at the end of the game. ''VideoGame/Halo5Guardians'' follows that up by reopening all those wounds when he finds out [[spoiler: Cortana CameBackWrong and has become the main villain. He tries to withdraw emotionally but is still crushed when Cortana betrays him.]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Lexx from ''Webcomic/AlienDice''. He ''starts out'' [[DarkAndTroubledPast broken and hurting anyway]], but it continues to get worse as the series goes along. He tends to hide it, but private moments and internal conversations show how much he's afraid of what will happen to him next.
* Believe it or not, Webcomic/AxeCop. As Malachi Nicolle, the child who writes the comic, is growing up and maturing, it's becoming clearer that Axe Cop isn't really able to enjoy himself.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Himei of ''Literature/SailorNothing''.
-->''I'm a perfectly ordinary girl and I have an ordinary life... but I've also got [[MagicalGirl another life]]. And I hate it. I hate every minute of it.''
* All four main characters in ''WebAnimation/BrokenSaints'' are like this -- especially the men. Shandala has a DarkAndTroubledPast, but she doesn't let it haunt her everyday life until the plot gets going and bad shit goes down.
* Most of Team Kimba from the Literature/WhateleyUniverse. [[PersonOfMassDestruction Tennyo]] is regarded as a crazed menace even by most of the other supers at [[SuperheroSchool Whateley Academy]]. Generator was regularly beaten and verbally abused by her father before her powers emerged, and because of her diminutive size is often seen as an easy target by bullies - even after she's demonstrated the ability to defend herself effectively. Bladedancer has just had to separate herself from all her friends because of her prophetic dreams. And Phase... Poor Phase. He has become a mutant, been kicked out of his mutant-hating family, lost the wealth and protection that gave him, been tortured by a MadScientist, been turned into an intersexed mostly-female form, and been sent to Whateley Academy. But his last name (Goodkind) represents everything mutants hate and fear. People come out of the woodwork to attack him, either verbally or physically. sometimes both. And that isn't even counting [[spoiler: having nearly gone insane while being pummeled to the edge of death by an EldritchAbomination over Christmas vacation]].
* Nearly every major character in ''Literature/{{Worm}}'' qualifies as this trope to some extent, as superpowers in the setting mainly come from a TraumaticSuperpowerAwakening, which tends to shape their thinking and affect them for some time after the fact. Nearly everyone is dealing with some form of trauma or angst.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* There is an ever present yet dignified sadness in Creator/PeterCullen's performance of [[Franchise/{{Transformers}} Optimus Prime]], as if The Great War has affected him so deeply, that he is ''always'' crying deep inside. Cullen stated in interviews that he drew inspiration from his brother, a ShellShockedVeteran of UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar, who told him before the audition for Optimus "Don't be a tough hero; you are strong enough to be gentle."
** Most particularly, in his ''WesternAnimation/TransformersPrime'' incarnation.
*** It's significantly increased in his non G1 performances, possibly because the Film and Prime versions have Cybertron ruined by the war, whereas G1 still had the hope of things eventually getting back to normal (and indeed they eventually do in the finale). In G1, Prime would occasionally crack a few dry jokes, insult or taunt the cons, and hang out with the bots, watching TV or playing basketball. 2007 and beyond Prime is all business. He'll make heroic speeches and cheer people up, and is badass in battle, but is almost always all business. He also sounds older, not exactly old, but more like a general in his late 40s to 50s, though that's probably because Creator/PeterCullen is 20 years older.
* Goliath, if not the rest of his clan, perfectly embodies this trope on ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}''.
* ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'':
** Aang is the last of his people alive and under tremendous pressure to save the world.
** Zuko, as Aang's foil, suffers from his own version. Though a substantial amount of it is [[HonorBeforeReason self-inflicted]] and it takes a while for him to accept himself and his actions.
* Subverted in ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague'', when Orion thinks that Flash covers this trope, but is proven wrong:
-->'''Orion''': I understand you now. You play the clown to hide a warrior's sorrow.
-->'''Flash''': Dude, the bad guys went down, and nobody got hurt. You know what I call that? A really good day.
* In the opening two-part episode of ''WesternAnimation/BatmanBeyond'', Terry infers this when Bruce Wayne initially refuses to get directly involved to stop Powers' nerve-gas project:
--> '''Terry:''' [[DarkAndTroubledPast Something happened to you]], didn't it? And it wasn't just that you got old.