-> I need your help. I thought I could - [[IWorkAlone I thought I ]]''[[IWorkAlone needed]]'' [[IWorkAlone to do this alone - a "back to basics" approach]]. I was ''wrong''. No ''one'' person can do this alone. No Man's Land is too big... too... ''dark''. The only way to bring light back to Gotham is [[ThePowerOfFriendship working together]]. [[TrueCompanions All of us]].
-->-- '''Batman''', ''[[Comicbook/BatmanNoMansLand No Man's Land]]''

He's {{badass}}. He has cool clothes. He's a little less idealistic than the hero. He makes a grand entrance. And does it in half the time the hero does. Why's he a loner? Generally it turns out to be some kind of betrayal, or maybe he lost friends or family and now he just wants to be alone.

Unfortunately, he'll win battles but never win the war. If he's lucky, he might not get killed by TheDragon. He's also obnoxiously condescending because all LonersAreFreaks, and, if written badly, has only an InformedAbility.

The Ineffectual Loner does not understand ThePowerOfFriendship, or just isn't concerned. The problem is this attitude makes someone pretty single-minded, and he's afraid to trust anyone as an ally or they'd be a [[ItsNotYouItsMyEnemies liability]]/distraction. He's also extremely susceptible (if not outright gullible) to villains who know how to think this way. He may catch on eventually, but he'll be a tool (in several senses of the word) for a bit.

An Ineffectual Loner usually starts to catch on to their role the first time they get their ass handed to them, and [[BigDamnHeroes the other heroes bail him out]]. This is often a [[SchmuckBait tempting trap]] laid by the villain, who knows the loner has no friends to warn him about the obvious danger.

[[AllLovingHero A forgiving lead hero]] will usually be sympathetic to his intentions, even if other characters regarded him as an annoyance. Indeed, sometimes there's a specific character who does that intently -- sometimes [[WhiteMagicianGirl a little too much]].

In short, an isolationist kind of GrumpyBear. If he's lucky, he'll be [[LonerTurnedFriend upgraded]] to [[TheRival Rival]] or SixthRanger. If not, he gets served as a testimonial to going against the series {{Aesop}}. Some writers take the middle ground to be more fair, but that usually results in conveniently being PutOnABus until the writers need them again.

On the SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism, these characters only appear in idealistic stories or when the main cast isn't a team. In a cynical story they might be the [[AntiHero main character]].

A subtrope of TheStoic. See also LonersAreFreaks, InTheEndYouAreOnYourOwn, TheComplainerIsAlwaysWrong. Contrast TheAloner, who is a Loner by (apocalyptic) force rather than choice.

----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* Played with in ''GaoGaiGar''. [[TheStoic Soldato-J]] doesn't fight alone, but he doesn't have the same kind of camaraderie with his partners that [[TheHero Guy]] and [[KidHero Mamoru]] have with [[TrueCompanions theirs]]. Despite this, he's actually better at his job than Guy is, at least at first, and makes his entrance by curbstomping a trio of {{Robeast}}s moments after they'd beaten Guy to a pulp. He goes on to be Guy's [[TheRival rival]] for the rest of the series before [[NotQuiteDead apparently]] going out in a blaze of glory at the end of the tv series. FINAL plays this a bit straighter; while he remains as badass as he's ever been, J is also completely unable to do anything against the Sol Masters until the heroes show up (to be fair, [[JustifiedTrope he was outnumbered eleven to one]]), and can't even challenge his own EvilCounterpart until he teams up with Renais and gains a new SuperMode / CombinationAttack with her.
* Fakir in ''Anime/PrincessTutu'' certainly starts off this way. As soon as the main heroine figures out he's [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold not really that bad of a guy]] she tries to convince him to team up with her, but it takes until near the end of the season until he finally does, and even then it's reluctantly. In the second season he doesn't mind quite as much, but he still maintains a bad habit of trying to do things on his own.
* Nao Yuuki from ''Anime/MaiHime'' is mostly this, but not because she's ineffective. Rather, she's utterly disinterested in the battles the other [=HiME=] are involved in, preferring her own path of preying on creeps she lures to her via the internet. And when she works with the others to stop the [[spoiler:Sears Foundation's invasion of Fuka Academy]], she's just as effective there. However, almost immediately afterwards, she's [[spoiler:framed for attacking another [=HiME=] and loses her eye in the ensuing battle]], causing her naturally distrustful personality to blow into full on paranoia, leading her to take out her feelings of revenge on everyone she almost trusted until the events of the GrandFinale.
** Natsuki Kuga from the same series is a by the numbers case of this. Pretty much every solo action we see her undertake onscreen doesn't work, or blows up in her face. Her attempt to dissuade any Hime from showing up to Fuuka in the first episode really sets the stage for this. From there, there's her plan to deal with the [[spoiler:panty thief orphan]], her discovering and attacking [[spoiler:Alyssa Searrs]], and her attempts to deal with [[spoiler: the seemingly traitorous Nao]]. Ironically, this all leads up to her final confrontation with [[spoiler:Shizuru]], which she only wins because she acknowledges that she's not alone in the world, and thus [[spoiler:super-powers up Duran to the same level as Shizuru's Kiyohime]], allowing her to carry out her plan: [[spoiler:eliminate Shizuru (and by extension, herself) in order to give Mai a clear shot at ending the entire Festival, thus sacrificing herself for the good of others.]] Quite the full circle of CharacterDevelopment. Her special in the 25th episode even has her acknowledging the power of [[PowerOfFriendship friendship]] and [[PowerOfLove love]].
-->"The feelings Shizuru had for me and the feelings Mai and Tate had for each other made me realize people can't live alone. It might seem obvious to anyone else, but it was an important truth I discovered only recently."
* ''Anime/YuGiOhGX'': Former IdiotHero Judai chooses to fully embrace this role right before his token female love interest feels like making her move. No one said CharacterDevelopment was easy.
** He has every reason to stay away from other people though: He is a magnet for megalomaniacs who plot world domination and evil supernatural beings and holds both a SuperpoweredEvilSide and Season 3's main villain within his body. And after the hell he went through for three whole years, who can blame him for being a little more mopey than before?
** Or, more precisely, he has accepted that he can't go running around without a brain in his head, because he has the power of Good Darkness, and actually needs to start thinking before he acts. He spent most of the season trying to get his friends into positions where they'd be able to achieve the goals they wanted, as well as making up his own mind on his future: helping others instead of being a selfish brat.
* Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune from ''Franchise/SailorMoon'' have a consistently condescending view of many of the other characters, despite being surprisingly useless when combating actual [[TheDragon Dragons]] or {{Big Bad}}s.
* Caren in ''Manga/MermaidMelodyPichiPichiPitch''. GoodIsDumb eventually gets her.
* Jung Freud from ''{{Gunbuster}}'' is introduced early on as TheRival hot "foreign" mecha pilot. She hangs around the edges of the main two characters, never quite getting to be the big heroine, or to save the day. To her credit, she gives up her seat in ''Buster Machine'', to allow the classic pair to team for the final mission. She is left behind near the climax, not even allowed to make the HeroicSacrifice made by the two leads.
* Asuka Langley Soryuu from ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' is introduced in a manner very similar to Jung Freud (same director, same company). This is soon subverted; instead of fading into the background after her first (slight) comeuppance, she is promoted to [[LoveInterests love interest]] (a ''much'' more dangerous position in a [[StudioGainax Gainax]] giant robot story) and then to central cast member. She still suffers like most {{Ineffectual Loner}}s - it's just longer in coming and much nastier when it happens.
** Don't be the IneffectualLoner in a [[StudioGainax Gainax]] story, or [[spoiler: giant robot crow mecha will ''eat you alive''.]]
** [[spoiler: Or an ancient apocalyptic force will cause you to turn all of humanity into a vat of orange primoridal ooze.]] Let's face it, Shinji's also an ineffectual loner despite being the main character. He beats more Angels than Rei or Asuka, but just gets more traumatized each time.
** To make the trio complete, Rei is also rather ineffectual whenever she fights alone.
* Gary in ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'' until the Johto arc, and the first two video game generation rivals, are prime examples. They don't understand ThePowerOfFriendship and can't learn to love and respect their Pokémon. Butt kicking results.
** Actually, it was never implied Gary wasn't close to his Pokemon, merely that he just wasn't as idealistic about the bond as Ash was. But then again, who is?
** Also in the anime; Charizard, Sceptile, Buizel, and Croagunk. However, they've all proven at some point that they do care for their trainers...it just took a while to open up.
* In part 1, Uchiha Sasuke from ''{{Naruto}}'' starts out as TheRival, but quickly descends to IneffectualLoner. He is introduced as a grim and solitary prodigy at the Ninja Academy with a special inherited power that should make him all but invincible. Other characters admire and are intimidated by his skill, while women [[{{Fangirl}} swoon]] over his [[{{Bishonen}} good looks]]. He then goes on to get bailed out of every major fight by Naruto. With the start of [[{{Timeskip}} part 2]], however, he has become something of a subversion - now that he really has split himself off from the protagonist he has become one of the most powerful ninja in the series, not through the power of friendship but through [[ConservationOfNinjutsu fighting alone]].
** He heads back towards being a straight example from about [[spoiler:his fight with Itachi]] onwards, as he only got out of that because [[spoiler:the fight was thrown]], he goes back to being bailed out by his ''new'' team in his next fight[[spoiler: though he fought Danzo alone, it was mainly thanks to Karin continually supplying him information through the fight that he won]], and it generally seems as if he's never going to achieve anything he aims for.
** Except then he promptly [[spoiler: ditches his team, and gets ''another'' [[NewPowersAsThePlotDemands power upgrade.]]]] As with just about every other trope, Sasuke keeps us guessing on this one.
** Though literally every single fight [[spoiler: Itachi]] takes part in goes exactly as planned, his ultimate goal fails completely due to his belief that he was the only one who needed to suffer the burden of [[spoiler: the Uchiha Clan's darkness.]] Later on, he admits to Naruto that if he had been willing to share the pain and let others help him, especially [[spoiler: Sasuke]], things would have worked out much better than they did.
* The X-Laws from ''Manga/ShamanKing'' are an entire ''team'' of ineffectual loners.
* Gareki from ''Manga/{{Karneval}}'' fits the first paragraph to a T, although he's a main character and too {{Badass}} to fail (so far; being rational and aware of his lacking strength next to a Circus fighter helps too). Also, he's a Type A {{Tsundere}}, which goes along charmingly with the personality trait ({{Badass}}; it's kept him from being Ineffectual thusfar).
* ''Franchise/{{Digimon}}'' generally has at least one of these per season, or at least an otherwise main character who decides for no apparent reason that they need to be a Loner. In the first season, Matt/Yamato can't be bothered by anyone but his younger brother, so he gets the Crest of Friendship to ''force'' him to be more powerful by working with others. Rika/Ruki in ''Anime/DigimonTamers'': in the beginning of the season she sees Digimon as soulless fighting machines, treats ''her own Digimon partner'' as such, and ''actively tries to destroy'' the Digimon belonging to the main character. She lightens up later, thanks to her mother and digimon partner.
** A lot of the loners are this way because of their BrokenBird origins.
* Angel Salvia from ''Manga/WeddingPeach'' is this at first. Because of the nature of their powers and the enemies they fight, the four Love Angels aren't able to use the full power of the Saint Something Four until they all work together. Also, the part that made me think of this trope was where Salvia kept cutting a snow demon in her angry desire to get revenge, and even though cutting it was making the demon grow more each time, she wouldn't stop cutting it until Peach made her stop. Making that a rather literal example because her method (which she wanted to do by herself) was worse than just ineffectual, it was making the enemy stronger!
* ''Manga/KatekyoHitmanReborn'' has Hibari Kyoya, the ostentatious head of the Disciplinary Committee (Although he is only ever seen with one of its members at any given time), doesn't like groups. He hates groups, and people who group, to the point of beating them senseless with the only warning being a derogatory "I'll Bite You to Death." He's considered invincible by his peers in the manga (most of whom are afraid of getting on his bad side), and has only lost one battle total due to a cheap trick pulled by the resident ManipulativeBastard Rokudo Mukuro. Despite this completely ridiculous winning streak, when it comes to the appearance of the BigBad, he doesn't even try to pull a stunt, leaving it to the hero. (He is also the reference image for this page.)
* Kai Hiwatari, from ''Anime/{{Beyblade}}'' is this massively all the way through season 1 ("There's no Kai in team!", anyone?), is less obnoxiously so in V-Force (re. goes off to fight wind Weasel thing alone), reverts back to season 1 persona in G-Rev. And never beats Tyson. Bless.
** Partially subverted at the end of G-Rev, when he scares to death, defeats and drives into madness the apparently invincible [[PersonOfMassDestruction Brooklyn]] through [[TheDeterminator determination alone]].
* Played straight, subverted as part of CharacterDevelopment, and then sort of zig-zagged with Piccolo from ''Anime/DragonBallZ''. He ''always'' lives alone, constantly training himself mentally and physically. Even when he starts getting some concept of ThePowerOfFriendship, he still prefers to do things his own way. Often times being the only one who can even remotely stand up to the BigBad of the arc, up until around the time Cell finishes up becoming Perfect, but the only finishing blow he gets against a serious fighter requires a HeroicSacrifice by his then-WorthyOpponent. The zig-zag comes around because, even though he (eventually) openly admits that some threats are simply too big to fight alone, the only time he's shown spending any time with anyone else is when they're in the middle of training to combat said big threat.
* George Schyuter of ''MuhyoAndRoji'', quoted above, has a FreudianExcuse that because his assistants ended up dying so often, he attracted a bad reputation and decided to avoid causing or being blamed for others' deaths by practicing Magical Law alone with a spescial sword and envoy. He initially obstructs Muhyo and Roji's efforts to deal with Vector by threatening to revoke their licenses if they interfere, before setting out to deal with him alone. This doesn't go very well, and he ends up being forced to pull a YouShallNotPass in order to buy time for Roji to wake up Muhyo, who proceeds to finish the fight with Vector.
* Jean-Pierre Polnareff from ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure'' started out like this, as he was mainly driven by vengeance against J. Geil, the man with two right hands who killed his sister. He insists to do it alone when the gang arrives in India, upon knowing that he is there. He grows out of this after [[spoiler:J. Geil and Hol Horse kill Avdol, and Kakyoin helps him track down J. Geil and give him the thrashing of his life]], and afterwards, ''he'' 's the one who's preaching about working together in order to defeat Dio.
* Barnaby Brooks Jr. from ''Anime/TigerAndBunny'' begins the series as one of these. While he has a public front as being very friendly and charming, in reality he's entirely too wrapped up in seeking revenge to form any sort of relationship with other people. It takes [[AllLovingHero Kotetsu]] thirteen episodes [[spoiler:[[TakingTheBullet and a flamebolt to the chest]]]] to drag him out of it.
* In ''SaintBeast'', Kira's loner behaviour is largely due to FantasticRacism, but never became good with people even after meeting angels who accepted him. However, the heroes aren't the kind of angels to leave him alone and his aloof behaviour ''never'' helps him.
* ''Franchise/{{Gundam}}''
** Captain, Zero, and Bakunetsumaru start out this way in ''SDGundamForce''. Captain shrugs off Shute's companionship at first because he has to mantain TheMasquerade, but rethinks this when he realizes that the Soul Drive runs on the PowerOfFriendship. Similarly, both Zero and Bakunetsumaru when they first appear are disdainful of the Gundam Force, but come to recognize them as warriors of worth, and decide to help them protect Neotopia as they would their own nations. [[DrillSergeantNasty Gunbike]] actually lampshades this trope;
-->"I know you, the proud, cocky type who likes to do things on his own, and gets the rest of his squad in trouble!"
** Despite ''being'' TheHero, Garrod Ran has this problem at the start of ''Anime/AfterWarGundamX''. Having lived most of his life as a lone salvager / thief with an inherent distrust of adults, there's a lot of friction when he joins the ''Freeden'', leading to his TenMinuteRetirement and even ''more'' problems when his inherent mistrust causes him to draw a gun on Ennil El.
* Hikigaya Hachiman from ''YahariOreNoSeishunLoveComeWaMachigatteiru'' prefers to be left alone, but after his teacher forced him to join a club that helps other students with their problems he has situations where helps people alone [[spoiler:(even if almost the entire school hates him for it later on)]]
* [=MakoPi=]/Cure Sword of ''Anime/DokiDokiPrettyCure'' was this, preferring not to get involve in Mana's growing Pretty Cure team so she can handle her own revenge for letting her home get destroyed. It isn't until all four Cures are trapped in [=MakoPi's=] world and seeing how big Mana's Balls of Steel are in mocking one of the QuirkyMiniBossSquad while powerless, she lets it drop.
* The first chapters of ''Manga/SeraphOfTheEnd'' are essentially about beating ThePowerOfFriendship into [[TheHero Yuu]], who's afraid to get close to others after watching all of his loved ones be slaughtered (and ''that'' was after already going through the defrosting process once, due to a [[AbusiveParents bitter relationship with his parents]] before the incident). In fact, his commander makes 'making friends at school' a ''requirement'' before the kid can officially join the squad he wants to be a part of, knowing that an IneffectualLoner will only get himself killed.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comics]]
* ThePunisher and {{Blade}}, whenever they showed up alongside ''Comicbook/SpiderMan'' or other more idealistic [[SuperHero superheroes]]. (Note that, in their own series, their values were more [[SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism "realistic"]] than those they considered naive.)
* During the [[Comicbook/BatmanNoMansLand No Man's Land]] storyline, Franchise/{{Batman}} became this by cutting himself from [[BadassFamily all his allies]] and forbidding them to help. Finally, he realized this approach was counterproductive and recalled them all.
** It's [[AesopAmnesia a cycle he regularly goes through]]. Attempt to drive away all the people he cares about, go [[DarkerAndEdgier darker and grimmer]] than usual, then realize/give in to the fact that he needs them.
--->'''Batman''': I want to thank you all for coming on such short notice... and... Before we get into ''why'' you're here, I wanted to say... well, I just... I... I ''know'' that I'm not an ''easy person'' to know. That's all.
*** Short version: Batman is [[InformedLoner ineffectual at]] ''[[InformedLoner being]]'' [[InformedLoner a loner]].
* The titular [[ComicBook/TheSandman Sandman]] gives off the impression that he's quite the loner, but he's often got a lover or a raven to keep him company.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* Elizabeth Bathory in ''Literature/CountAndCountess''.
* Rafael in ''Literature/GivesLight'', but he gets better.
* Arnie, in ''Literature/DrFranklinsIsland'', is more independent and contrary than his two companions, and insists on his own plans. But he usually has to go with what Miranda says anyway, since she's usually right and he needs that. His plans do not actually work out so well, anyway.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|Reimagined}}'': By the end of the series, [[spoiler:Galen Tyrol]] has become this. But really, [[spoiler:after discovering that he was a Cylon and never really picking whether he was going to identify as a human or a Cylon]], then later finding out [[spoiler:his half-Cylon son wasn't actually half-Cylon or his at all]], then also [[spoiler:that his wife was actually killed by a fellow Cylon]], can you blame him for being disillusioned?
* The Doctor in ''Series/{{Doctor Who}}''. Especially in the New Series, the Doctor likes to get in this mode [[HeartbrokenBadass after losing a companion]]. For example, the Tenth Doctor after [[spoiler:he had to [[VictoryGuidedAmnesia wipe Donna's memory]] after she became the Doctor-Donna.]] Another example is the Eleventh Doctor [[spoiler: [[AchillesInHisTent when Amy and Rory are sent back in time]].]]
* Dr. Foreman on ''Series/{{House}}''. He's quit and gone to work for other hospitals, and attempted to run a drug trial, but pretty much always gets kicked back to working under House.
** Arguably, Dr. House himself, at least in recent seasons where the focus has been shifting from him getting away with crazy stunts to stick it to the man to him getting away with crazy stunts to distract from his crippling emotional issues, while failing in any actual attempt to resolve them.
* Eric Myers, the Quantum Ranger of ''Series/PowerRangersTimeForce'' consistently thought himself superior to the other Rangers (and, on paper, he ''was'') and never actually joined the team in any real sense. He only actively works with the others in the finale, and then it's only by giving his powers to the Red Ranger, Wes, when he is incapacitated. (In ''Time Force'''s counterpart ''Series/MiraiSentaiTimeranger'', the equivalent character, Naoto Takizawa, actually experiences RedemptionEqualsDeath).
** Will, the Black Ranger of ''Series/PowerRangersOperationOverdrive'' also starts out this way, going to ridiculous extremes to keep the team from helping out. He learns his lesson early into the series, at the end of the third episode ("The Underwater World")... [[AesopAmnesia and spends the rest of the season acting on his own in many episodes with everyone's blessing and being quite successful at it]].
* Avon of ''Series/BlakesSeven''. He starts off with no choice in the matter, stuck on a spaceship and on the run from the Federation... but he somehow keeps finding reasons to ''not'' leave the ship and Blake, whom he professes to [[CannotStandThemCannotLiveWithoutThem despise]]. After [[spoiler:losing Blake]] he should have been free to go, but instead spends the remaining two years in command of the crew and ''[[spoiler:looking for Blake.]]''
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'':
** Buffy falls into this, at least once a season, before coming back to her friends for support.
** The Slayers before Buffy would usually fall into this which tended to get them killed. Averting this trope is often lampshaded as the reason for Buffy's survival and success.
* ''Series/TheAdventuresOfBriscoCountyJr'': Lord Bowler was an IneffectualLoner in the early episodes, before entering into a profitable partnership with the protagonist. He then evolved into a BadassLongcoat.
* In ''Series/{{Survivors}}'' (2008), Greg claims to want to survive on his own. He tolerates Abby's presence, who turns out to be a TeamMom and gathers a crew of seven. Despite mentioning leaving the group a few times, 12 episodes later, he's still there.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Toys]]
* Kopaka starts out like this in ''{{Bionicle}}''. It doesn't last long, though because Destiny [[BecauseDestinySaysSo has other ideas]]. He's still TheStoic, but he's not as opposed to teamwork as he once was.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamOrigins'' is an exploration of this trope, as Batman realizes he ''needs'' Jim Gordon.
* ''VideoGame/{{Wild ARMS 3}}'': One of the best examples of this trope is Jet, not just because he is the Ineffectual Loner to a tee, but because Virginia calls him on it -- asking him what he'd managed to accomplish on his lonesome. Considering that the four of them managed to save the world three times, and save villages and towns many times more than that, together, she has a point.
* Subverted in ''VideoGame/ValkyriaChronicles''. Through Nils Daerden and Marina Wulfstan, who actually get stat bonuses for being alone and penalties for being with others. In short, they actually DO work better alone. The latter is also considered by many to be the best sniper in the game.
* Subverted in ''FinalFantasyTactics'' with the character Delita, who exhibits the philosophy and behavior of the IneffectualLoner, but proves not to be ineffectual at all. This can be attributed to the title's uncharacteristically (for Final Fantasy) heavy emphasis on the [[SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism "cynical" end of the scale']] -- TheHero Ramza would be MessianicArchetype if he could, but in Ivalice, it just doesn't work that way.
** But it could also be considered to be played straight anyways; [[spoiler:for all his effectiveness, Delita never really gets what he was looking for and ends up alone and unhappy, while Ramza gets what he was looking for and lives his life free, with his sister.]]
* Squall Leonhart is a hero version in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII'', and he never wanted to be the hero anyway.
* The trope is borne out normally in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIX'', where Amarant is the IneffectualLoner, and Zidane tries to teach him ThePowerOfFriendship, or at least of discretion.
* Brandt of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyThe4HeroesOfLight'' tries this, ditching Yunita so he can turn himself into a badass lone hero after feeling inferior to [[TheAce Krinjh]]. It lasts exactly until he reaches Arbor, whereupon the town's defenses turn him into a plant. (Fortunately, the little white cat following him was really Aire, who found a way to turn him back... after a few steps.)
* Neku, main character of the video game ''VideoGame/TheWorldEndsWithYou''. He wants to find his way out of the Game by himself, however, the rules of the game make this extremely difficult if not impossible.
* L'Arc Bright Lagoon, main character of ''VideoGame/ArcRiseFantasia''. He begins this way, but on his journey as 'Child of Eesa' he embraces the Power of Friendship.
* ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'''s Fujiwara no Mokou fits perfectly into this type. Shortly after she killed somebody and then tasted the [[ImmortalityInducer elixir of eternal life]], she spent the rest of her life in a form of solitude at a bamboo forest because she couldn't fit into society because she [[WhyWontYouDie couldn't die]]. Nowadays she spends her time taking on her rival's assassins and saving people's lives.
* In ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiIIINocturne'', that guy who wants a make a world where people can't interact with each other cause he doesn't believe in relying on people sure relies on you a lot for emotional support and dungeon crawling.
** [[spoiler: Actually, it was because of that, which is why he conceived of such a philosophy, as he was tired of being so dependent on the hero.]]
* Arlin, the loner swordsman from ''VideoGame/AtelierIrisEternalMana'', leaves the party midgame to go hunting down his EvilCounterpart and BigBad Mull on his own because the party doesn't make a quick progress in finding him. It doesn't go well. [[spoiler:He's turned in a stone by his nemesis, and he can't be cured until you beat the game once.]]
* Solo in the ''MegaManStarForce'' games, thanks to his FreudianExcuse, believes wholeheartedly that only weak people form groups and develop friendships. He maintains this belief despite a huge number of inconvenient facts, such as his homeland of Mu being destroyed because nobody trusted anyone else, or the way TheHero uses ThePowerOfFriendship to kick him around like a soccer ball on a regular basis.
* ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'': [[spoiler: Garrus Vakarian]] starts out this way, causing trouble to the gangs of Omega. [[spoiler:He worked with a team of 11 other people up until the gangs joined forces. The only reason Garrus is alone when you first meet him is because the rest of his team was killed. He's quite happy to join Shepard and, outside of a burning hatred for the man who sold out his team, is not bitter about the concept of teamwork.]]
* Knuckles from ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog'' started out as one due being constrained in a solitary duty to guard the Master Emerald in Angel Island. After forging a friendship with Sonic and Tails, he seems to grow out of his shell.
** Blaze in the ''VideoGame/SonicRushSeries'' also started as one. She rejects the help of Sonic and his friends in believing that she must find all of the Sol Emeralds by herself. At the end of the game, she begins to learn ThePowerOfFriendship and accepts the heroes as her friends.
** Shadow plays this straighter than the two above. He doesn't put a lot of value on teamwork and of the like when getting things done. It also doesn't help that he doesn't seem very fond of anyone's presence that much.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* One of Yuuto's two big flaws in ''EienNoAselia'' is his inability to accept or ask for help. While he's competent and probably the strongest person on his side, he's just not good enough to do everything by himself. This does not just apply to fighting or being a general, however, as raising Kaori was far more difficult than it needed to be thanks to his stubborn refusal to accept any help after their parents died.
* Subversion: In ''[[FateStayNight Fate/Stay Night]]'', the Archer character is the Ineffectual Loner; this is a subversion as he is [[spoiler:actually the disillusioned future self of a MessianicArchetype who realized at the end of his life that trying to save everyone was an impossible goal. Plus he's far from ineffectual.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'': Vaarsuvius, the elven wizard, is normally a functional, if [[InsufferableGenius condescending]] team player. In the fourth story arc, however, when the party has been split, [[AmbiguousGender he/she]] grows fed up with his/her half's inaction and eventually abandons them. A DealWithTheDevil, several BreakTheHaughty moments, and a NoHoldsBarredBeatdown later, Vaarsuvius ''finally'' understands that [[VictoriousLoser a person doesn't need to win to be a valuable contributor]] and rejoins the rest of the party.
* The title character in ScoutCrossing is a post HeroicBSOD loner who was a former "Legend about town" along with his deceased brother.
* Ever the JerkAss, ever the ConMan, Nenshe from RumorsOfWar is an off-again, mostly-on-again IneffectualLoner.
* Antimony from ''Webcomic/GunnerkriggCourt'' used to be self-sufficient. She's apt to become good pals with any beings from {{psychopomp}}s to the Minotaur to a {{trickster}} god, but didn't interact with living humans on her own initiative. Even Kat is her best friend only because she approached Annie first. From the chapter 19 or so she occasionally noticed the problem and tried to communicate. By 28 and 30 her failure to cooperate even with the teacher whose help she'd request when things gone wrong or fellow Mediums-in-training was an obvious crippling flaw.
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[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''Literature/DimensionHeroes'': Wyn from the web fiction serial is unwilling to join with the other Dimensional Guardians until he finds himself in over his head.
* ''RedVsBlue'': Agent Tex from is great at winning individual fights and battles, but when it comes to an overarching objective, she always falls short.
* Discussed between Blake and Yang in ''WebAnimation/{{RWBY}}''. When Yang asks Blake to stop running herself ragged in order to find Roman Torchwick, Blake cries "I'm the only one that can do this!", prompting Yang to shove Blake to prove that she was [[HeroicRROD in no condition]] to take Torchwick on by herself, and that she'd have to trust her team to help her fight Torchwick.

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[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Prince Zuko from ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender''.
** [[spoiler:Azula falls into this later during her VillainousBreakdown]]
* Depth Charge from ''{{Transformers}}: WesternAnimation/BeastWars'' is this trope, but with enough firepower to back up most of his attitude.
** Same goes for Blurr in ''TransformersArmada''.
** And Prowl from ''TransformersAnimated''. He's skilled enough, but often screws up due to a tendency to try to take on things that would require the entire team.
*** Prowl rises out of this for a few episodes early in the first season, seeming to have no problems working with Bulkhead... but seems to have a case of AesopAmnesia, probably brought on by having to put up with Bumblebee.
* ''WesternAnimation/DarkwingDuck'' starts off this way, with Darkwing spurning Launchpad's offers to team up, and disregarding Gosalyn's well-meant advice. By the end of the two-part pilot, he comes to accept the two as TrueCompanions, but the trope of rejecting assistance comes up again and again in the course of the show, in episodes like "Slime Okay, You're Okay" and "Jail Bird". The strongest manifestation was in the show's only other two-part episode, "Just Us Justice Ducks", where Darkwing's rejection of allies leads to his summary defeat, an {{Aesop}} about the importance of teamwork, and an immediate comedic subversion of the Aesop, after which the battle royale between the Justice Ducks and their collective raison d'etre, [[EvilCounterpart the Fearsome Five]], can proceed.
* Raphael of the Franchise/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles, during his AchillesInHisTent moments.
* Peppermint Fizz from the 2002 ''StrawberryShortcake'' series. She generally only shows up when the [[AnAesop lesson of the day]] is something the nicer characters don't need to learn (like "don't be a xenophobe"), and is usually depicted as looking down on the others.
* Cera in the first ''LandBeforeTime'' movie nearly got herself killed by a Sharptooth and went hungry so that she wouldn't have to ask for help from the others. Eventually, she joined the rest of the group in a somewhat touching scene one night. She's pretty integrated into the group immediately after that.
* Twilight Sparkle of ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' starts out as this. More interested in studying than spending time around anyone who isn't her {{Mentor}} Princess Celestia, she's less than thrilled when she's sent off with the none-too-subtle suggestion that she should meet new ponies and try making friends. Doesn't help that she thinks she's the [[OnlySaneMan Only Sane Pony]] around...
** This is also one of the main flaws of The Great And Powerful Trixie. She usually assumes that she doesn't ''need'' anypony else. She may be learning better, based on her actions in the comic book series.
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