->'''Tevye''': I know, I know. We are Your chosen people. But once in a while can't You choose someone else?
-->--''Theatre/FiddlerOnTheRoof''


So you're TheChosenOne. The MessianicArchetype. The one foretold by prophecy, that everyone has been waiting for. Secret knowledge and power awaits! The world will change, and it's all because of you, baby.

[[ButWaitTheresMore But wait!]] TheChosenOne does not have it easy, oh no. Far from it. There are rules to be followed and intense training to undergo, and danger lurks around [[EverythingTryingToKillYou every corner]]. The BigBad and TheDragon are out there, actively searching for you, trying to hunt you down before you grow too powerful. In fact, [[DoomedHometown if they haven't already tracked down]] [[TheCallKnowsWhereYouLive and killed everyone you ever knew]], [[YouCantGoHomeAgain you may have to leave it forever behind anyways]] to fulfill your destiny.

And sometimes your destiny isn't all that it's cracked up to be either. A MessianicArchetype must always remember that NoGoodDeedGoesUnpunished. A hero may find himself with a WoundThatWillNotHeal, discover that his unique power has a [[PowerAtAPrice ''terrible'' price]] [[PowerIncontinence (Especially if he can't control it!)]], a SadisticChoice presented by the villains, or he may even be called upon [[HeroicSacrifice to make the ultimate sacrifice]]. Even if he survives, he may end up with [[BrokenAce serious mental issues relating to his work]]. The list goes on and on. Simply put, it ''sucks'' to be the Chosen One. Often presented as a deconstruction of the standard MessianicArchetype[=/=]ChosenOne tropes.

Named for [[http://basicinstructions.net/basic-instructions/2010/4/28/how-to-fulfill-the-prophecy.html this]] BasicInstructions strip. Strongly related to BeingGoodSucks, and often leads to IJustWantToBeNormal, or even RefusalOfTheCall. More positive works and reconstructions might use this to allow a Chosen One to ''[[EarnYourHappyEnding earn]]'' [[EarnYourHappyEnding a happy ending]], but this is relatively rare. When others can see how much being the chosen one sucks, they may express SympathyForTheHero.
----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* In ''Manga/FistOfTheNorthStar'', being a good guy SUCKS. The world is such a 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. In particular, being the chosen heir of Hokuto Shinken dooms you to a life of hardship, and in Kenshiro's time, there are THREE men, including him, worthy of succession.
* ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' shows this in Shinji Ikari, who pretty much hates his role as the savior of Tokyo 3 throughout the series. The few times he does get a little bit cocky about it, he is swiftly and cruelly brought back down to earth.
* The magical girls of ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'' are not happy. They have traded their freedom for a lifetime of fighting witches for a single wish, which may not even be worth it anymore. Fighting the witches systematically tears apart their social lives. And if a puella magi dies in the witch's other world, her body never appears in the real world. They're missing. Forever.
** To add insult to the injury, [[spoiler: anyone who becomes a MagicalGirl is already dead by the time they make the contract. To be precise, a walking EmptyShell unless they have their [[SoulJar Soul Gems]] with them at least 100 meters.]]
*** ''And'' [[spoiler: it turns out that the [[MonsterOfTheWeek Witches]] they were fighting this whole time? [[AndThenJohnWasAZombie They used to be magical girls just like them.]] Turns out that to accept a contract and become a magical girl, you're also ''damning'' yourself to become an EldritchAbomination and be killed by another girl later--there's no way around it, it is ''inevitable'', unless you die in battle first. Thus, any magical girl killed in action and proclaimed missing is ''lucky.'']]
*** There's also the fact that Kyuubey mentions that [[spoiler: a puella magi's potential strength comes from her hardships (hence why [[GenkiGirl Madoka's]] potential baffled him). In practice this means you're taking a BrokenBird, granting them one wish, and ''then'' making them suffer horribly.]]
* ''FushigiYuugi''. If you're the priestess, sure everyone bows down to you, you get to make any wishes you want, and you have a harem of bishounen at your beck and call. But, you have to use your wishes for the good of others (not yourself, with the possible exception of a wish to get home safely). Everyone expects you to know what you're doing, when you don't. You can't have sex or even a relationship with any member of your bishie harem as long as you're the priestess (because SexIsEvil and will [[CaptainObvious destroy]] your VirginPower, and LoveMakesYouStupid, or at least distracted and biased.) And worst of all, you are a VirginSacrifice to be FedToTheBeast; the very god who grants your wishes [[AndIMustScream will devour your soul]] unless you can pass the SecretTestOfCharacter. Only the most GenreSavvy should even ''attempt'' this role!
* ''Manga/KagerouNostalgia'' sucks for everyone, including our reincarnated heroes. So far they haven't actually managed to save anyone, while losing their leader and sufferring betrayal from one of their own.
* Chikane of ''KannazukiNoMiko'' was tired of her and her beloved being caught in a continual reincarnation loop, so she decided to subvert it and set up a BatmanGambit to make sure it never happens again. Sure, they get reincarnated again, but [[KyoshiroToTowaNoSora it's not as bad as before.]]
* Usagi of ''Anime/SailorMoon'' considered her being Sailor Moon this, especially during the latter half of the first season and the first half of ''R''. When she finds out she's the long lost Moon Princess, Princess Serenity, it's just after finding out her crush had just been possibly killed and was just kidnapped by the enemy. By the time the first season reaches its end, she makes a dying wish to be normal again and she gets it... only to lose it when new foes appear.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Optimus Prime in IDW's run of ComicBook/{{The Transformers|IDW}} has a bad case of this. The first true matrix bearer in millions of years, he often laments the burden he carries and the responsability he feels he has in the war that devastated their world. Add that when the Matrix of Leadership joined with him - it hurt. He interpreted it as the Matrix warning him of the burden he was accepting.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fanfiction]]
* Defied in HarryPotterAndTheMethodsOfRationality
-->'''Harry:''' "A lot of children have to grow up too early, though, not just me; and most children like that would probably trade places with me in five seconds. I'm not going to pity myself, Professor [=McGonagall=], not when there are people out there in real trouble and I'm not one of them."
* In ''FanFic/TheSuccessors'', Princess Aurora is frustrated that she her sister were chosen to rule [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic Equestria]] due to the [[ComesGreatResponsibility enormous responsibility]] it brings, and the burden it puts on her to keep the nation together.
-->'''Aurora''': "I'm worried that Equestria won't accept us as leaders. I'm worried some other noble will call us inept or inadequate, and try to seize power for him or herself. There's…there's just such a huge burden on my shoulders now. It's like nothing I've ever had to deal with before."
* Takato from the ''FanFic/TamersForeverSeries'' can ''strongly'' attest to this. At first he's happy in his role as the [=OmniTamer=], but soon comes to realise that [[spoiler: being the vessel of Chaos]] [[BlessedWithSuck comes at a terrible cost.]]
* In ''Fanfic/PerfectionIsOverrated'', Midori laments having to send Mai, Natsuki and Nao back in time to ensure that the greatest tragedies in their lives happen in order to avert a TemporalParadox without any help, understanding how difficult it is. She wonders why the fate of the world rests solely in the hands of the Himes, who are not the ideal people for the job, but later wonders if they were chosen ''because'' they were imperfect.
* ''A Protector's Pride'': Ichigo is not amused that the fate of the world is always in his hands.
--> "Saving Rukia, killing Kariya, stopping Aizen. (sighs) When does it all end? I'm tired of always being the hero."
* ''Fanfic/WithStringsAttached''. Ya think, with a title like that?
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film - Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/ThePrinceOfEgypt'': Moses really wished that God choose someone else to "free his people", as he watches his home Egypt crumble by the 10 plagues, and he has stand against his adopted brother.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film - Live Action]]
* ''Franchise/StarWars'':
** Anakin Skywalker is the chosen one destined to bring balance to the force. Unfortunately, he gets corrupted to the dark side, spends half of the series as [[BigBad Palpatine's]] [[TheDragon Dragon]], and in the end [[spoiler: only saves everything by killing himself with Palpatine.]]
** The [[Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse Expanded Universe]] doesn't have it much better. Jacen Solo, in order to prevent a dark man from rising to the throne and plunging the galaxy into war, has to turn to the dark side, torture his cousin and padawan into a Sith apprentice and assassin, and lose [[ThanatosGambit not only his life]] but [[FateWorseThanDeath his very soul]] and [[ZeroApprovalGambit the approval of everyone close to him]].
** And then the Dark Man ([[spoiler: Darth Krayt]]) [[SenselessSacrifice rises to the throne and plunges the galaxy into war anyways]].
** Moral: Being a Skywalker or a Solo really sucks.
* Dorothy in ''Film/TheWizardOfOz''. She's a scared young girl who just wants to get home, and the task of saving Oz ends up falling on her just so the Wizard doesn't have to do it himself. [[note]]This is not just a ''Literature/{{Wicked}}''-influenced comment: even if you still read the Witch of the West as pure villain, it seems awfully manipulative of the Wizard to use a farm girl to dispose of her.[[/note]]
** In [[Literature/LandOfOz the books]], she gets over it later when she's able to go between Oz and Kansas as she pleases, and even more so when she is brought to Oz for good. Em and Henry are put up with a nice farm in Munchkin Country while Dorothy becomes Ozma's champion, heir, and [[LesYay possibly girlfriend]].
* ''Film/MontyPythonsLifeOfBrian''
* ''{{Dogma}}''. For Bethany, being [[AllThereIsToKnowAboutTheCryingGame Jesus Christ's ultimate descendant]] requires that you (a) contract a condition that leaves you barren (b) have your husband leave you (c) hang around with two [[JayAndSilentBob stoners]] who want to get into your pants, and ultimately (d) [[spoiler: become a single mom as a result of immaculate conception]].
* Neo should've [[BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor been more careful for what he wished to know]] about ''Franchise/TheMatrix''. He gets his computer hacked, he's chased about [[spoiler: and [[BodyHorror violated]] by Agents.]] Shortly being forcefully and painfully ejected from the Matrix, he learns the truth about the Matrix and [[HeroicBSOD completely loses it]] for a bit. He gets a little fun when learning how to bend the rules of virtual reality, but when [[spoiler: Agent Smith and others put them to the ultimate test, he's bludgeoned silly before being shot.]] Even after getting EnlightenmentSuperpowers, he realizes they have a limit. [[LeaveTheTwoLovebirdsAlone He can hardly get a moment's peace with his girlfriend because of all the hero worship he gets]]. His purpose eludes him until he realizes that Smith, [[spoiler: a fatalistic abomination, must kill him to save everyone in and out of the Matrix.]] He learned, literally, that you YouCantFightFate, but you can trick it.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* ''Literature/HarryPotter''. He gets to be a wizard! Yay! Unfortunately for him, he doesn't get to be a ''normal'' wizard. As "the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord", the fight against Voldemort systematically gets him ostracized by his school and society, makes him face traumatic tasks pretty much every year, and [[spoiler: kills his godfather, his grandfather-substitute, one of his favorite teachers, his future brother-in-law, several of his classmates and his pet owl. Oh, and [[HeroicSacrifice himself]], almost.]]
* ''Literature/TheNeverEndingStory''
* ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings''
** Though it only sucks for Frodo. Things turn out pretty well for Aragorn - ''after'' he spends some sixty-seven years WanderingTheEarth separated from his lady love.
* ''Literature/TheSilmarillion''
** Turin as well is the TheChosenOne. He is prophesied to be the one to finally kill Morgath in the final battle, however most readers would probably conclude that it isn't worth it. The quick summary of everything bad that happened to him was(in some close semblance of order) his father and all his fathers friends marched off to a war in which almost all died, and he never saw or heard from his father again, his sister and many of the people he knew who were still there died in a plague, he got sent away from his mother to a kingdom with no humans and never sees his mother again, he banishes himself from said kingdom, he gets a band of friends/subordinates who all die, he accidentally kills his best friend, he gets his new home city-state sacked and his love raped and killed, he marries and gets pregnant his new sister he doesn't know about, who he thinks dies just after he found out she was his sister, following which he kills himself in despair after possibly going insane and talking to his sword. And that isn't even going into what happened to the ''rest'' of his family.
* In ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'', the Dragon Reborn is the ChosenOne, destined to wield massive power and battle [[BigBad the Dark One]] in the Last Battle. Unfortunately, he's doomed to go insane and destroy the world, too. A lot of people aren't exactly looking forward to his appearance. He'd be perfectly happy to go home and not fulfill his destiny, except [[YouCantFightFate the pattern of fate is literally woven around him, so there's no escape.]] And lots of people think he's a fake and want to kill him, or think he's real and want to kill him, or at least control him. And that's just ''the good guys'', we haven't even gotten to the actual villains of the series, who include his past incarnation's PsychoExGirlfriend and a dozen other extremely powerful sorcerers who hate his guts. Being the ChosenOne really, really sucks.
** Specifically, he's fated to die in the Last Battle. He goes from struggling to find a way around that destiny to realizing he's done so many terrible things that he doesn't deserve to, or want to. Being the Chosen One involves some miserable realpolitik.
* [[ChroniclesOfThomasCovenant Thomas Covenant]] - who actually felt and acted this way long before things actually started to suck for him.
* ''Literature/TheBible'': Let's see: Job is a literal CosmicPlaything, Abraham is asked to kill his own son, Moses never actually lives to see the promised land, and then there's Jesus... In fact one possible interpretation of Literature/TheBible is that the meaning of life is DiedHappilyEverAfter.
** "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done." is a quote from an actual prayer of Jesus (Luke 22:42). One interpretation believes Jesus felt dying impaled as a criminal and a blasphemer was a heavy load to bear and an affront to God. The gospel states in the next few verses that God sent an angel to comfort him. So really, even God knew ItSucksToBeTheChosenOne and tried to make it a little easier on him. Another interpretation believes that Jesus simply understands that being in human form and slated to die a gruesome death is ''just going to suck'', despite being God himself. But his HeroicWillpower is quite strong, as noted in "(Dad's) will be done," not his own.
** Knowledge of this trope is why Moses did his best to talk his way out of becoming TheLeader of the Chosen People, burbling excuses as fast as they occur to him - "but I don't speak Hebrew", "but they won't believe me", "but Pharaoh won't listen" - until he's ''this'' close to getting smited. But he sure was right about Pharaoh, after all he'd grown up with the guy.
** The Virgin Mary has to watch [[{{Jesus}} her Son]] be humiliated and killed... and there's not a damned thing she can do about it.
** Hosea is chosen by God to speak to the Israelites, who have descended into [[WretchedHive corruption and idolatry]]. Part of this entails [[MyGirlIsASlut marrying a prostitute]] who runs away from him and has to be bought back from some other dude (as an object lesson from {{God}} to His people), and giving a WorldOfCardboardSpeech to people who just won't listen.
** Then there's Jeremiah, whose namesake book, besides being a collection of his messages, chronicles the hardships a prophet of God has to go through. He has been jeered on, humiliated, imprisoned, and disrespected throughout his career. As much as he wanted to vent his frustrations at God for giving him so sordid a task, ultimately he decides to man up and carry on, because somebody ''had'' to warn the Jews against moral decadence.
* [[MichaelMoorcock The Eternal Champion.]]
* Garion in the ''Literature/{{Belgariad}}'' complains about this so often, "Why me" is practically his catchphrase. It's even lampshaded multiple times. Ironically, the Prophecy driving the whole ChosenOne business sets out to make sure that its instruments get rewarded, and so Garion picks up a kingship, a loving wife, and BabiesEverAfter. The "why me" part is mainly adolescent angst, which his friends tell him repeatedly to get over.
** Actually, I thought eventually Belgarion gave the best response every to this. After hte umpteenth response, he says, "Can you think of anyone else you'd rather give this to you?" or "Can you think of anyone else who could do a better job?" I forget which, exactly.
* The real name of Alfred Montbank in ''Literature/TheDeathGateCycle'' is Coren, which is Sartan for 'Chosen' or 'To Choose'. The day he emerges from suspended animation and realizes that every other member of his community died while he was asleep - that he was chosen to live when everyone else was not - he comes to hate that name very, very much.
** Slightly subverted in that pretty much every family has one child named Coren to invoke [[MeaningfulName Meaningful Name]]. Alfred stresses about it because of [[SurvivorGuilt Survivor Guilt]] and the fear of being the wrong person to fulfill the destiny he was chosen for.
* Tahniya Dogoro in Literature/ThePathToWar. Being the chosen one left her isolated, emotionally stunted and with more than a few ''serious'' regrets due to the things she did to "prove herself." She doesn't take well to being called 'Chosen One' either, refused an elaborate home and angrily rebuffed the idea of her sister's twins being given names themed after her own. It's a wonder she never says [[IJustWantToBeNormal "I just want to be normal."]]
* Life has gotten progressively worse for each successive generation of Ohmsfords and Leahs in the ''Literature/{{Shannara}}'' series. Bonus points to Walker Boh, of ''Literature/TheHeritageOfShannara'' who's attempted RefusalOfTheCall totally destroys his life and sees him railroaded into serving as the chosen one.
* Gregor in Literature/TheUnderlandChronicles has a bad case of this. He's fated to fulfill several prophecies which make the series go from [[DarkerAndEdgier mildly darker]] than standard HighFantasy to bad. ''[[DownerEnding Really]]'' bad.
* The [[RoyallyScrewedUp [=DeMarian=]]] [[GodEmperor royal line]] in TalesOfTheBranionRealm. Roughly half the monarchs in its history have gone insane, died young, committed suicide, been assassinated or [[RefusalOfTheCall switched religions]]. Also the fate of some of their supporters.
* In ''HeraldsOfValdemar'', Vanyel Ashkevron summed this trope up very nicely when he said "A glorious destiny will get you a glorious funeral". Of course, despite having a glorious destiny, he didn't get a glorious funeral, or ''any'' funeral for that matter. There wasn't enough left of him to bury.
* This is without a doubt the belief of Literature/{{Discworld}}'s most inept wizard, Rincewind.
* Basically all the novels in MichaelMoorcock's Eternal Champion series (including what is probably its most famous incarnation, ''TheElricSaga'') feature this trope prominently.
* {{Animorphs}}: Congratulations, [[RecruitTeenagersWithAttitude plucky pre-teens]]! You've been given the ability to shape shift into any animal! Sounds like fun, right? Just make sure you don't accidentally get trapped as a bird or caterpillar or something. Oh, and you have to fight alien invaders, but you can't tell anybody, not even your parents or the cops, because they might actually be under alien control. So enjoy risking life and limb fighting an increasingly violent guerrilla war as your innocence is shattered and you question your every moral.
** By the end of it, every one of the animorphs- [[KilledOffForReal at least those who got out alive]]- were hardened soldiers up to their neck in PTSD. ''Yay''.
** The alien who gave them the morphing powers and the knowledge of the invasion felt bad about saddling them with this burden, but he believed that humanity deserved a fighting chance and knew from past experience that human children could accomplish a lot. Said alien was also chosen [[spoiler:by the same godlike being who chose the Animorphs to be his gamepieces in a cosmic chess game with an EldritchAbomination]]. The alien was forced to abandon a happy and peaceful life, spent the rest of it in a war, and suffered an excruciating death. All so that he would be in the right place and time to meet the future Animorphs.
* In ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'', it becomes increasingly clear that Bran Stark was chosen for something by the supernatural powers up North. To actually get him there, destiny has robbed him of his ability to walk (and with it his dreams of knighthood), his home, his family, and likely his very humanity.
* In ''Literature/{{Murderess}}'', the protagonist Lu definitely thinks so, enough to help Hallwad, a boy she meets on the Myles Mountains about halfway to the Refugee Camp, resuce his sister and even [[spoiler:simply stop her journey in the middle]] to [[spoiler:move in]] with Cleareye Fullmoonnight, a Moondaughter she meets in the Myles Forest after crossing the mountains. Her TricksterMentor ‘Hat Lad’ calls her out on this, emphasising in no uncertain terms how incredibly important her mission is.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* In the ten years of ''Series/{{Smallville}}'', Clark never seemed to be happy even for a moment regarding his [[{{Franchise/Superman}} destiny]].
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'':
** Buffy would be an obvious example, especially in season one. As early as the first episode she knows how much it sucks to be the Slayer: kicked out of school, losing friends, going out behind her mother's back, etc.
** By season seven, however, she and Faith conclude that being hot chicks with superpowers does take the edge off it.
* Ben in ''Series/{{Carnivale}}'' is an avatar of Light, but he doesn't really like or trust most of the people around him (and vice versa). Also not helping him is the fact that his healing touch power has to be offset by other things/people dying.
* ''Series/{{Heroes}}'' has multiple Chosen Ones across the series and none of them are happy about getting superpowers. Well, except one, but he got over it after some laser-guided DeusAngstMachina. Joy.
* In ''Series/TheSarahConnorChronicles'', John Connor definitely seems to fit this - he and his family are constantly in danger, and he has intermittent bouts of IJustWantToBeNormal, plus at least one possible suicide attempt.
* Chloe, from ''TheNineLivesOfChloeKing'' is a good example. Like Buffy, she just wants to be normal.
* Allie, from Steven Spielberg's ''Series/{{Taken}}'', who just wants to be a normal little girl.
* Arthur clearly feels this way in Series/{{Merlin}}, and is constantly telling Merlin that he has no idea what it feels like. While he does have good reason to take this viewpoint, (and to be fair the trope does apply to him), it applies to Merlin [[HurtingHero much,]] [[IronWoobie much]] more.
* Both Joy AND Nina from ''Series/HouseOfAnubis'' both discover this.
** Joy was kidnapped and kept locked up as prisoner in her own house because she was thought to be the Chosen One in season 1, and as a result lost her [[IJustWantToBeNormal normal life]] almost completely.
*** For Nina, the ACTUAL Chosen One, she and her friends were cursed, her grandmother was nearly killed off, she started hearing voices, saw ghosts, and was almost taken to the afterlife with an evil spirit, all because of her identity as the Chosen One.
* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'':
** Those who are capable of being angelic vessels can expect to be hijacked, leaving everyone they love, if they consent to possession by an angel. If they are possessed by a powerful angel, they will be left an empty damaged husk unless the angel bothers to heal them (which they generally aren't inclined to do).
** Being a prophet seems to involve upsetting visions of the future and, in Kevin Tran's case, a lot of unwanted attention from angels, demons and Leviathan.
-->'''Dean:''' I don't know, man, what can I say? You've been chosen. And it sucks. Believe me.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* The song "Superman (It's Not Easy)" by Five For Fighting.
* The eponymous song from Music/BlackSabbath is about a guy who gets chosen...to go to Hell!
* "Rosetta Stoned" from Music/{{Tool}} briefly touches on this issue, though given the entire song is a drug-induced stream-of-consciousness train of thought it's obviously not the focus of it.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Mythology and Religion]]
* In ClassicalMythology, a number of heroes have less than idyllic lives. Odysseus ends up taking over 10 years to travel back home. After being driven insane, Heracles kills his own family and as TheAtoner the guy chosen to choose the twelve tasks is doing a UriahGambit.
* Many, many from Literature/TheBible.
** Most notably, Jesus Christ, who begs God "let this cup pass (him) by", basically saying he doesn't want to be a martyr, but will be if required.
* As TheChosenOne of CelticMythology, Cu Chulainn was prophetized to die very early in life. He JumpedAtTheCall anyway, deciding that being immortalized after death was worth the short life.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Yuna from VideoGame/FinalFantasyX. She very subtle about it yet goes on thinking it's the right thing to do.
** Tidus for that matter is too. [[spoiler: Especially when he finds out ''permanently'' killing Sin means he dies too.]] He however is extremely subtle to the point that only the player (even then you have pay attention to his behaviour) is aware of it.
** But, At least in the [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyX2 sequel]] he gets revived and gets a happy ending with Yuna.
* A lot of games in the Franchise/TalesSeries fit this trope. Even when it's played straight in that it's not ''entirely'' a bad thing, there's ''still'' a catch:
** Colette in ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia''. Chosen at birth [[spoiler:for her genetic compatibility with the BigBad's dead big sister]], she goes through one painful transformation after another, in between [[DistressedDamsel kidnappings]] which are also connected to her status. [[spoiler:Not to mention the psychological trauma and self-esteem issues that come from knowing [[HarmfulToMinors since about age six]] that she'd one day be expected to make a HeroicSacrifice to save the world.]]
*** Zelos has most of Colette's psychological issues, compounded by ParentalAbandonment [[spoiler:- his father, the previous ChosenOne of his world, committed suicide, and his mother was murdered in front of his eyes when he was about eight. Her last words to him were "You should never have been born"]], after which he decided that being the Chosen One was the only reason his life had value at all. [[spoiler:And then the reveal comes that Martel isn't a real goddess...is it any wonder he's a DeathSeeker unless [[MessianicArchetype Lloyd]] can convince him he's worthwhile?]]
** Shirley in ''VideoGame/TalesOfLegendia''. Has no friends, spends most of the game getting kidnapped, her first friend [[TakingTheBullet takes the bullet for her]], and then she turns out to be [[spoiler: a kind of DarkMessiah, is brainwashed by the entire ocean and almost commits genocide on land-dwelling humans.]]
** In ''VideoGame/TalesOfEternia'', Reid is a chosen one in that he can bear Fibril... but he's not the only one who can do so. Ras, [[BigBad Shizel]], and Meredy (albeit not [[GameplayAndStorySegregation integrated into the gameplay]] or [[InformedAbility fully explained in text]]) can, too. Unfortunately? Nereid's Fibril can ''make you possessed by Nereid himself'', and invoking Seyfert's Fibril before undergoing all of the trials? [[DangerousForbiddenTechnique You die]].
** Estelle is the Child of the Full Moon in ''VideoGame/TalesOfVesperia''. Must be neat to have powerful healing artes, right? Well, Phaeroh wants her dead and views her as a poison to the world, and using her powers on an Entelixea will cause them to go crazy and eventually kill them. Even ''if'' she can turn them into spirits.
** Veigue didn't know how to control his Ice Force in ''VideoGame/TalesOfRebirth'' when he was "chosen" to gain its powers. So during an outburst of yelling "CLAAAAIIIIRRRREEE!", he froze her. (This actually became somewhat of a running gag; a Tales DVD shows him shouting, "CLAAAAIIIRRRREEEE!" and covering the screen in ice; and several fans were disappointed this wasn't integrated into ''VideoGame/TalesOfGraces''.)
** So you're a reincarnation of a heavenly being in ''VideoGame/TalesOfInnocence''? Your past life is ''literally'' going to come back to haunt you.
** ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss'' has Luke fon Fabre [[spoiler:(both original and [[CloningBlues replica]] models)]], who is informed that he is a chosen hero BecauseDestinySaysSo, but not what the consequences of his actions will be. [[spoiler:Because of his ignorance, he destroys a city and starts a war, all in accordance with the ancient prophecy that controls the world, and he has to deal with the consequences for the rest of the game.]]
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII''. So you're a Pulse l'Cie? Congratulations - the government of Cocoon hates you. [[BecauseDestinySaysSo You have to fulfill your Focus]], or else you'll be turned into a Cie'th, BodyHorror personified, and will be unable to think of anything but your task...or you might even turn into a living tombstone. And your reward should you complete that Focus? Immortality...''as a [[TakenForGranite crystalline statue]]''. Unless, that is, the fal'Cie need you, in which case you can be continuously de-crystallized and crystallized ''again'' to complete whatever Focuses they want you to do...Focuses which are ''never'' fully explained to you. [[SarcasmMode Have fun]].
** Especially for poor Fang and Vanille, who were given a rather terrible Focus. It was so bad, Vanille couldn't even bring herself to do it!
* The Trow from ''TheBardsTale'' have a few songs about how much it sucks to be the chosen one. And considering the situations in which they sing them[[labelnote:One]]when you find a dead chosen one and loot his armor[[/labelnote]][[labelnote:Two]]when you find a prison full of Chosen Ones[[/labelnote]], it's appropriate.
** Though played around with for the Bard himself -- he is also a Chosen One, yet despite the repeated insistence of the Trow Band he actually ends up in the position to fulfil the prophecy, not die and get riches [[spoiler: or alternatively stop a demon princess from ravaging the world and end up no worse off than he was at the start of the story]], thanks to having more combat competence than farmboys and having the power of the save function on his side.
* Ted in ''SuikodenI'' preceded everyone in the above trope. He acquires the [[{{Macguffin}} Soul Eater Rune]], is forced to runaway from the witch Windy for the next 300 years, gets his rune stolen from him [[SuikodenIV 150 years after]] he fled from his village, and commands the Soul Eater to ''[[FateWorseThanDeath eat his soul]]'' just so that he won't [[BrainwashedAndCrazy accidentally command the soul to return the Rune back to him.]]
** And actually pretty much every hero in the {{Suikoden}} series. Let's see:
*** Tir [=McDohl=] from ''SuikodenI'', [[spoiler:son of TheEmpire's [[FourStarBadass greatest general]], forced to run for his life from the EvilSorceress trying to steal the MacGuffin from him. In the process, he was recruited into the LaResistance and eventually became its leader... AFTER said leader DIED in front of him AFTER she has expressed that she might've liked him a lot as a friend. As you lead the Resistance to victory, your BattleButler [[YouShallNotPass died trying to protect you]], then the defeated generals pull off a MyGodWhatHaveIDone after pretty much crossing the MoralEventHorizon while under MoreThanMindControl, so you don't pretty much have a choice but to [[DefeatMeansFriendship recruit them]]. Then you will have to [[DuelToTheDeath kill your own father]] to protect your castle, and then you have to see your [[TheLancer best friend]] suffer a FateWorseThanDeath. And if you haven't recruited all OneHundredAndEight Stars of Destiny, then your BattleButler would be KilledOffForReal. Regardless of the status of his BattleButler afterwards, [[OverlyLongGag it left him so shell-shocked that he didn't even want to be there when]] TheRepublic [[OverlyLongGag was inaugurated, because he doesn't want the Soul Eater to take any more lives]]. Oh, and he had to deliberately avoid the young hot ninja chick that has been heavily crushing over him, just so she can avoid the fates of these people. If that doesn't suck, I don't know what does.]]
* Zanik from RuneScape is the goblin war god Bandos' Chosen Commander, the goblin who will lead all the goblins to victory in a huge war. There's just one catch: Zanik is of the Dorgeshuun, a group of pacifist cave goblins who renounced Bandos after he ordered them to partake in a battle they had no chance of winning for no reason. There's an entire quest series devoted to Zanik basically telling Bandos to fuck off.
* Similar to above, the Protagonist from ''VideoGame/DevilSurvivor''. For him, being TheChosenOne means being fated to fight a series of terrifyingly powerful demons in a contest for power that will make him a target of Heaven and the demons if he goes too far out of line... not to mention being personally responsible for the lives of everybody in the lockdown.
* The protagonist of ''VideoGame/{{Persona 3}}'' also has it pretty bad. After finding out about the Dark Hour, he/she joins a group dedicated to stopping it. [[spoiler: Only to find out that they were unwittingly played in order to bring about TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt. Also, thanks to being at the wrong place at the wrong time, the harbinger of this end turned out to be [[SealedInsideAPersonShapedCan locked inside of him/her]]. This results in him/her having to make a sadistic choice. The first option is to erase everyone's memories of the fact that the end of the world is coming, [[LetThemDieHappy but allowing all of them to live their last days happily]]. The other option is to keep everyone's memories intact allowing them to futilely fight against the coming end. This first leads to a NonstandardGameOver/[[DownerEnding Bad End]]. The protagonist only succeeds with the second option by performing a HeroicSacrifice that results in him/her becoming a BarrierMaiden.]]
* Isaac, the player character of the first ''VideoGame/GoldenSun'' game, is chosen directly by [[AGodAmI The Wise One]] to make the hard decision of whether Alchemy is restored to the world or not, [[GrayAndGrayMorality which isn't the black-and-white situation it initially seems to be]]. And the fate of his DisappearedDad hangs in the balance... and [[PlayerPunch Isaac is nearly forced to knowingly murder him himself]] to confirm a choice that he can't ever be sure was the right one.
** Ivan was given up by his family as an infant to ensure he would be in the correct place to join Isaac and Garet on their quest. He was raised by non-Adepts in Kalay, and was considered a CreepyChild for his powers. Ivan finds out about his destiny when his foster-father is held for ransom in the local WretchedHive and his foster-mother ''forbids him from helping'' so he will [[ContinueYourMissionDammit go fulfill the prophecy instead]] (if you rescue Hammet anyway, Layana yells at Ivan for disobeying her orders and jeopardizing the prophecy). When Ivan reaches Contigo in the second game, he learns that his birth mother died of a broken heart over giving him up, and his only blood relative refuses to get close to him because [[ContinueYourMissionDammit that prophecy's not fulfilled yet]].
** A stealth example: in ''The Lost Age'', there are certain dungeon inscriptions and books suggesting that Piers is the Mercury Adept destined to bring about the return of Alchemy to Weyard. Piers gets branded a criminal and permanently exiled from his homeland for this.
* Sometimes being TheChosenOne in an ''[[Franchise/TheElderScrolls Elder Scrolls]]'' game can really suck.
** The Nerevarine in ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind Morrowind]]'' definitely gets the cosmic short end of the stick. While all of the Chosen Ones in ''The Elder Scrolls'' series have to endure many hardships to accomplish their goals, none of the others get infected with a horrible mutating disease as part of their divine mission (though the Nerevarine is able to eventually remove the negative aspects of it). It also sucks because ''everyone'' around the Nerevarine is trying to manipulate him/her: the Emperor, the Tribunal, Azura, Dagoth Ur, ''everyone''. And in the end, the Nerevarine [[spoiler:saves Tamriel from the threat of Dagoth Ur, but at the same time unintentionally sets in motion Morrowind's destruction.]] It's also mentioned that the Nerevarine apparently vanished in Akavir. The Nerevarine's story ends with him/her an immortal mutated freak, most of his/her accomplishments rendered utterly moot, and vanishing off the face of Tamriel.
** The Champion of Cyrodiil in ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion Oblivion]]'' doesn't have it much better. The Champion actually ''fails'' his/her mission to stop the Mehrunes Dagon's invasion and has to watch as the other Chosen One whom s/he has been helping and protecting throughout the main questline sacrifices himself to save the world. The Champion is later tapped to be the successor of the Daedric Prince of Madness Sheogorath, which entails leaving Cyrodiil behind and gradually going insane as mad gods are wont to do. YMMV on how bad it is being a god of madness.
* This is probably the most prominent trope in ''VideoGame/DarkSouls'' because ContinuingIsPainful. Sure, you're effectively immortal and will return to life after being killed, but all this means is that you will be dying repeatedly, each time horribly. You'll also watch as your friends and allies die and go hollow one by one.
* Ark from ''VideoGame/{{Terranigma}}''. It turns out that returning life to the surface world requires [[spoiler: the destruction of his own, himself included. The real kick to the balls is the implication that his past incarnations have been doing this since the dawn of time.]]
* Duran from ''AgarestSenki''. To the point he's a cynical DeathSeeker and DeadpanSnarker. Avoids being {{Wangst}} because he doesn't advertise it to the world and he's already resigned to his fate.
* Gabriel Belmont from ''VideGame/CastlevaniaLordsOfShadow''. Gabriel loses everything and everyone important to him in the course of fulfilling his God given destiny. [[spoiler:Even after becoming Dracula to spite God, God still considers him his chosen champion so he can't even find escape in death.]] To emphasize how much it sucks for him, he spends most of the sequel [[spoiler:trying to get his hands on the one weapon that can permanently kill him]] just so he can stop being the chosen one.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* {{MAG ISA}} -- [[http://mag-isa.thecomicseries.com/comics/pl/119152 Eman is the chosen one.]] Sucks to be him.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Sasha in GreekNinja is definitely not thrilled with her fate...
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'': Aang has enormous pressure put on him at the age of twelve. Because he was unable to handle the responsibility of being the Avatar and ran away, his entire race got wiped out, and the EvilOverlord terrorized the world for 100 years. In addition to that, he blames himself for [[spoiler: two more crushing defeats.]] Basically, his entire life was planned out for him, and even his closest friends and ''past lives'' take it for granted that he's going to [[spoiler: forsake his values and kill the Fire Lord. He doesn't, in the end, but still.]]
** It's SequelSeries ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'' shows that even for Korra, who JumpedAtTheCall, the challenges of being the Avatar can get to her.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'': Homer Simpson experiences this in the episode "Homer the Great". At first it's nice being the Chosen member of the Stonecutters, but then he gets bored with it due to the ''lack'' of any challenge - everyone constantly sucks up to him and lets him win whatever games they play.
* ''TheLifeAndTimesOfJuniperLee'': Juniper is chosen as her generation's Te Xuan Ze: the magical protector of the barrier between the human and monster world. At first its a job she takes in stride even though she has to occasionally ditch her friends and keep it a secret from them. But then comes the real rub; she can't leave her hometown ''ever'' as there is a barrier keeping her from leaving. The only way out is for her successor to take the reigns. And as Juniper is still a child, it'll be awhile before that happens. Say the least, she doesn't take this discovery well.
* ''AmericanDragonJakeLong'' has a dragon assigned to protect every country. And our hero is, uh...[[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin the American one.]] And it leads to getting chased by a dragon-crazy teacher, training taking most of his childhood, nearly getting killed multiple times, and [[spoiler: losing his Dragon-hunting girlfriend through a time change.]]
** One episode has him shifting the burden to his little sister, who is initially very eager to accept it. In ''one week'' she's a stressed out bundle of nerves because she's sleep deprived and falling behind in school. Jake, on the other hand, is having the time of his life as a normal kid.
* In the Imaginationland story, in WesternAnimation/SouthPark, Butters is the key to stop the evil characters. He doesn't care for the role.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Human sacrifices were (of course) chosen by their gods, and in many cultures saw it as quite an honor.
* Redvers Buller in command in South Africa in the Boer War and Elphinstone in Afghanistan in 1842. Both protested vociferously at being given a job they knew they were not competent to handle.
* Ambrose Burnside is famous for refusing command of the Union Army during the American Civil War, fearing he lacked the competence. The Battle of Fredericksburg proved him right.
* Tevye's quote above, although in jest, accurately depicts a real-life example of this trope. Jewish tradition says the Jews are the so-called "chosen people of God," but because of that separateness, the Jews have been subject to more persecution and ill treatment than just about any other surviving ethnic group. You could argue that Judaism is a real-life example.
[[/folder]]
----