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Break The Cutie: Live-Action Films

  • Jailbait (2013). Doe-eyed talented and aspiring Classical Cellist and achieving student Anna Nix (Sara Malakul Lane)is charged with involuntary homicide (manslaughter) as she accidentally kills her grotesque step-father who sexually abuses her. She is sent to a maximum security juvinel prison where every party of her being: innocent pure body, mind, soul, virginity, is violated and corrupted by beastly carnal predatory peers and authorities. For example, In order for her to survive the predatory pack like hunting ground that is a maximum prison sentence, Anna is forced to prostitute her body to the wolf like Warden Frank. He ironically has a daughter as we can see from photographs and he appears as a concerned fatherly reformer who just wants her to share her amazing musical therapeutic talent. He just happens to encourage young Anna to pollute her pristine virgin lungs with smog like Methathemines)and offers her favors such as early parole for sexual favors. Anna's mind is corrupted as she continues to abuse heavy drugs such as heroin and she hallucinates of her dead abusive step-father suffers the humiliation of withdraw, threatens suicide, attempts suicide, and is frequently sent to the "hole" (solitary confinement when she initially refuses Warden Frank's advancements). Anna's once pristine child-like corporal body temple is desecrated as the possessive leader of the gang she is forced to side with leaves her with a permanent token of her affections by cleaving a scar, which Anna is forever to carry as well as gang tattoo. Anna's body is further harmed through as she learns to fight contrary to her gentle nature, or is attacked by guards, self inflicted cutting, and pock marked with heroin needle scars. Anna's soul is scared as her useless mother initially blames Anna and suffers from Stockholm syndrome as she loved her abusive step father. Ignorant adult caregivers and guards unjustly dismiss her as willfully destroying her once promising prospects, as opposed to kicking a sweaty ogre like fat grunt off her clean body.Anna's music sooths the battered spirits of the girls during the talent show however Frank soon ruins the touching moment by again sexually assaulting her. However despite all these unholy desecration to her entire being we are seen at the end Anna's courageous ability to overcome and retain her healing humanity, despite her: Spirit, body such as her organs (lungs, kidneys (heroin), SKIN), Bones (from multiple beatings), Virginity, her mind polluted and plundered by vicious survivalist hedonistic inmates. Anna still retains a uncorrupted humanity. As the film closes she is seen preforming beautifully infront of an audience indicating she realized her initial dream of becoming a cellist. regardless of the gang leader's permanent mark of immortal love. A GASH scar under her eye! Oh she also witnesses the horrible death of another fellow CHILD who was being nursed in rehab something a young teenager should never have to experience.

  • What Adam tries to do to Ivan in Adams Apples.
  • Max is a victim of this in The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl.
  • Alien: Newt. Before the colony was taken over by aliens, she was apparently a perfectly normal first grader. After spending a few weeks fighting for her life against a ravenous, chitinous swarm of parasites, however, she is too scared to even sleep on top of her bed ( which is probably a good thing, since the movie's Corrupt Corporate Executive decides it's a good idea to unleash a few face huggers in her room to get rid of Ripley).
  • What happens to Robert at the beginning of A Life Less Ordinary.
  • All About Lily Chou-Chou does this to every single main character.
  • Anne Frank The Whole Story: Since this movie goes into the concentration camp, unlike the black and white Anne Frank movie, this trope is played big time. Anne's breaking point is very clearly shown: Anne tries to wake up her sister Margot, only to push her off the bed and kill her by accident. Anne looks up at the sky, defeated, and allows herself to die, since she thinks everyone in her family is dead. We learn later, however, that this was not the case.
  • In Another Time, Another Place, Janie is a lonely farmer's wife who finds some escape from the crushing boredom of hard labour and her loveless marriage by starting an affair with Luigi, one of the Italian POWs who has been billeted on her and her husband's farm. Unfortunately, one of the prisoners from the local camp commits a rape whilst Janie and Luigi take an opportunity to have one last Roll in the Hay before they part forever. This results in Janie having to confess her adultery to the military to provide Luigi with an alibi, but it turns out he'll go to jail anyway as he is guilty of "association with a civilian female". This leaves Janie alone, even more miserable than she was before and with any hope she might have escaped her stultifying life in her village thoroughly crushed. Naturally, Else, the rape victim, doesn't come out of it too well either.
  • The village children being left behind in Apocalypto.
  • George from The Artist gets crushed by his refusal to transition to talkies, in a somewhat uncommon gender-reversal of this.
  • Su-mi comes conveniently pre-broken in A Tale of Two Sisters. Also, Su-yeon, if you believe her ghost really was there at all.
  • In Atonement Robbie Turner has the best evening of his life: He confessed his feelings to the woman he loves, she reciprocrates them, they have passionate sex in a library and when he finds the boys safe that were searched by a whole party, he feels like the hero of the day. So why's everyone looking so serious?.
  • Asami comes conveniently pre-broken in Audition.
  • Manech in A Very Long Engagement, hard.
  • Batman: Poor Alicia.
  • Batman Returns: Poor Selina.
  • One of the more odd examples. Bernie, who is well loved by the community, is beaten down by Marjorie until he finally snaps.
  • The Big Red One: Near the end of the film, Griff discovers a furnace full of burnt human remains at Falkenau concentration camps. While hesitant to shoot people at the beginning of the film, upon discovering a live German soldier hiding in another oven, Griff shoots the German dead, and then shoot his corpse repeatedly until he runs out of ammo. Sarge investigates, and upon discovering the situation immediately gives Griff more ammo to continue shooting.
  • In Bitter Moon Oscar intentionally breaks Mimi who was a pretty and nice enough girl who wants to be a dancer.
  • Poor Elizabeth Short from The Black Dahlia. She went to Hollywood hoping to become a movie star. She actually got auditions but she was such a bad actress she never got a part and the only film she ever made was porn. Oh and then she gets brutally murdered.
  • Nina, the protagonist of Black Swan, spirals through this from beginning to end. This is from the director of Requiem for a Dream.
  • Pretty much everyone in Blindness, but most of all the women who become violently gang-raped.
  • Blood Diamond: Standard procedure for the RUF in regards to making Child Soldiers.
  • Blue Is The Warmest Color: Poor Adele after the break-up and three years after at least until she leaves the gallery at the end of the film where she gets her closure.
  • The Boat That Rocked: Elenore's horrible treatment of Simon, especially considering how ecstatic he had been about the marriage.
  • Twist in Boy Called Twist becomes dangerously close to ending up a criminal on the streets.
  • Happened to Lionel years before Braindead began when his father died in a swimming accident. Turns out that was a lie made up by his mother. The real moment came when Lionel witnessed Vera drowning both his father and mistress in the bathtub.
  • Kitten in Breakfast on Pluto.
  • Breaking Away: What happens to Dave at his race with the Italian team; they cheat by crippling his bike and causing him to crash.
  • Chen and Lucy in Broken Blossoms.
  • Byzantium: The Captain plucks a young Clara from her job picking cockles on the beach, carries her off to a brothel and makes her a whore, turning her into the flawed human being she is now. He also rapes a 16 year old Eleanor to infect her with syphillis and subject her to the same slow, agonising death he faced due to her mother's actions.
  • Dana from The Cabin in the Woods. As to be expected.
  • Paul from Cáca Milis is friendly and a little juvenile, in a cute way. He's very proud of having memorised the entire train route; even Catherine seems a bit impressed. Then she pretends he got it wrong, confusing and distressing Paul. He's noticeably less jolly after that point.
  • Casino Royale:
    • Bond in the chair with no bottom. Bond being heartbroken after Vesper's death, and that causes Bond's depression and weariness seen in most of Quantum of Solace.
    • Vesper as well. She has to play along with everything to steal Bond's money and rescue her kidnapped/dead boyfriend.
  • In Cedar Rapids when Tim finds out that Roger Lemke, his idol, was a sexual deviant that even Joan couldn't keep up with and that he bribed the ASMI president for each of his Two-Diamond awards. Tim also has to do the same to save his company. He redeems himself later on.
  • Cell211: Juan and later, Elena. To the very worst.
  • Jasmine from China Blue.
  • Chunhyang's imprisonment and torture.
  • Any character with a shred of innocence in City of Life and Death. Xiaojiang Ms. Jiang May, all the girls raped (this is the Rape of Nanking, after all).
  • The Tenor Boy and Georgina in The Cook, the Thief, his Wife, and her Lover.
  • This almost happens to Beau in Country Strong but he ends up better in the long run, even after the painful loss of Kelly
  • The Craft: An example where the cutie breaks you in the end.
  • Kate (with shades of Break the Haughty) and Mandy in Creep.
  • They come pre-broken in The Crucible, as In-ho quickly discovers.
  • Crush: Oh Scott.
  • Chan's last ten or so minutes on screen in Curse of the Golden Flower result in her literally running screaming into the night.
  • Gunther's arc in The Damned from sensitive violinist to prospective SS recruit.
  • Westlake had just proposed to marry his girlfriend in Darkman. It seems like she was going to say 'yes' too.
  • Yoshimi from Dark Water comes pre-broken, having suffered a mental breakdown several years prior to the events of the film. Her not-so-pleasant childhood doesn't help matters.
  • In Daybreakers, the Big Bad's cute daughter awaits cruel treatment and eventually death.
  • Losing her family in a car accident does this to Sarah in The Descent. Then the events in the cave break her some more.
  • Poor, poor Margot in Dial M for Murder. She's almost strangled, then convicted of murder and sentenced to death, then discovers her husband (for whom she had started to renew her love) was the one trying to kill her. By the end, she's surprised at how calm she is over all this, and Mark assures her she'll soon have "the most wonderful breakdown."
  • Helen at the beginning of Diary of a Mad Black Woman.
  • This happens to Lisa, Karo's best friend, at the end of Die Welle.
  • The cuties in District9 would probably be Christopher and his son who, while maybe not as dramatically abused in the film as Wikus, probably had to endure a lot more hardship. Tania may also qualify, given that she ends up traumatized by her father's lies and her husband's disappearance and frightened phone calls.
  • Marilyn in The Divide on so many levels. Everybody else gets Maddened Into Misanthropy or just plain dies.
  • Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story: "You are not a pirate."
  • Don't be Afraid of the Dark: Poor, poor Sally.
  • Amy Adam's character Sister James undergoes a mild form of this is in Doubt when she has to accept the possibility that a priest at their school molested a young boy.
  • This eventually leads to killing the cutie in Drag Me to Hell.
  • The Duchess. Dear God...
  • In Due Date after getting his arm broken, Peter absolutely snaps on Ethan and tears him a new one on so many levels.
  • Basically, Elizabeth, with Elizabeth being the operative cutie.
  • El Mariachi starts off as an innocent, cheerful young musician looking for work. The events of the movie turn him into the cynical, vengeance-driven vigilante we see in Desperado.
  • When Mieke reads Scotty's e-mail in Eurotrip, she seems genuinely upset and hurt.
  • Evil Ed.
    • Evil Ed does this to Nick in the end.
  • Jeanie in Flashdance. Alex barely manages to bring her back to sanity.
  • Seth from The Fly.
  • Private Leonard Lawrence, a.k.a. Gomer Pyle, in Full Metal Jacket is put through utter hell during the first half of the movie. Overweight and mentally slow, Pyle quickly draws the wrath of the original Drill Sergeant Nasty, who reserves the worst of his abuse and invective for him. Eventually Pyle gets paired up with Joker, with whose help he starts to show some improvement. But then Hartman finds a jelly doughnut in his foot locker and decides to punish the entire platoon, resulting in the other members getting pissed and deciding to take it out on Pyle in the infamous "blanket party" scene.note  Pyle is never quite the same after this incident, and though he soon develops into a model Marine and an expert rifleman, he starts undergoing a psychotic breakdown in which he withdraws from the others and talks to his M-14. The first half ends with Pyle snapping out, murdering Hartman and then committing suicide in a nightmarish scene.
  • In Galaxy Quest, Sarris forces Jason to do this to the alien leader Mathesar by admitting that the Show Within a Show is fiction.
  • Glorious39: Anne is the victim of gaslighting, her family are completely corrupt, her boyfriend is murdered, two of her friends apparently commit suicide, and then her family lock her in a small room and sedate her, possibly for years.
  • Michael of The Godfather goes from being the one person in his family that could possibly go legit into a cold-blooded Mafioso who can lie to his wife's face and feel no remorse.
  • Parodied in The Great Muppet Caper in which Miss Piggy humorously lampshaded" What am I a glutton for punishment?!"
  • Roxanne accidentally revealing to her daughter there is no Tooth Fairy in Grown Ups.
  • Several characters in The Grudge, but most notably Allison.
  • Jamie Lloyd from the Halloween series. Her parents died when she was young, she was constantly bullied due to being the niece of an undying mute thing who shows up and almost kills her before briefly imbuing her with some of his evil in Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, prompting paranoid citizens to regard her as some kind of devil child.
    • After all that her Evil Uncle shows up again the next year, kills much all her loved ones and after being captured he's sprung from prison by a fanatical cult which abducts her as well.
    • The Curse apparently has Michael rape and impregnate her while she is held captive. Though she escapes and gets the baby to safety, Michael still kills her via tractor harrows.
  • Annie and Laurie in the director's cut of Halloween II (2009).
  • Sullivan from Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn is easily the friendliest and most laid-back of Hastati Squad. As of Part 4, he's seen the Covenant massacre the rest of the academy, his roommate has been killed, and he's been nailed in the leg with a needle round.
  • Openly defied in Happy Go Lucky.
  • The whole plot of Heaven And Earth, especially in the first half of the movie.
  • Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer: Poor Becky had a horrible childhood.
  • Hick is this for Luli from beginning to almost the end which ends, if not a high note at least a hopeful one.
  • In the original version of The Hitcher John succeeds.
  • Hornets' Nest: And nothing is better for that than watching their parents getting massacred by the SS.
  • Despite living with her stern grandmother and having an alcoholic father, Lewellen of Hounddog still has a relatively normal life. She adores Elvis Presley and finds enjoyment in the simplest of things. Then, her father's girlfriend (who is actually her biological aunt on her mother's side), who was like a mother to Lewellen, leaves, causing Lewellen to believe she herself needs to take over the "mother" role of sorts. THEN her father is in a horrible accident, leaving him brain damaged and retarded. You must be thinking by this point that her life can't get any worse than this, right? Wrong. Finally, she's talked into dancing nude for a much older male in exchange for Elvis tickets, in which she is horribly raped by said male, leaving her so traumatized she's sick to the point of being bedridden.
  • The House of Yes does this with relish. Leslie visits her fiance's family for Thanksgiving, only to be bullied by his mother and twin sister. Then his younger brother tries to sleep with her and reveals that her fiance and twin sister have been romantically involved in the past. She goes downstairs to see for herself, only to witness the brother and sister reenacting the JFK assassination before having sex on the couch. She runs back upstairs and in a moment of weakness, has sex with her fiance's younger brother. And no, she wasn't broken then. She ends up breaking when the twins sister shoots and kills her fiance.
  • Lindsay and Jenny in The Human Centipede.
  • The Hunt:
    • This entire movie is devoted to the breakage of Lucas. He begins as a likable, enthusiastic kindergarten teacher, but slowly degrades as gossip fans the flames. He is beaten, rejected and held in contempt.
    • This extends to Marcus, his son.
  • In the Made-for-TV Movie, Intensity, Edgler Vess takes pleasure in specifically putting all of his efforts into "breaking" any victim whom he happens to kidnap.
  • Intolerance:
    • The Dear One. She and her father have to move away after cutbacks and a strike at the mill. She marries The Boy, who repents of his criminal ways for her, but he's framed, arrested, and jailed, leaving her to raise her child alone. The Moral Guardians choose to seize the child and give it to an orphanage. The Musketeer of the Slums (a gangster/pimp) takes advantage of the couple's struggle to get the child back and tries to rape her; he's shot dead by The Friendless One but the Boy is convicted of the crime and sentenced to hang...
    • The Friendless One is a broken cutie herself. After her boyfriend dies in the aforementioned mill strike, she too heads for the city...and becomes a prostitute via the Musketeer of the Slums, who abuses her.
  • Jennifer's rapists do this to her in the worst possible way in I Spit on Your Grave.
  • George goes through a lot of turmoil, in Its A Wonderful Life
  • An extreme version happens with Kinsa in Jason X, perhaps the most realistic depiction of how someone would react when trapped in a confined space with a mass murderer. After the deaths of her boyfriend and many others, she goes completely nuts and locks herself in the ship's only shuttle. Then she launches the shuttle without undocking it, killing herself and screwing up their only means of escape.
  • Jennifers Body: Poor, poor Needy.
  • Most of the characters in Ju-on, but particularly Rika, Izumi and Chiharu.
  • Attempted in Kickass2 by Brooke against Mindy whom she thinks is innocent and fragile. It works for that evening.
  • Marcello in La Dolce Vita. By the end, the poor guy has just given up, but Steiner killing both his own kids and himself is really what sealed it.
  • The Lair of the White Worm features a young British virgin woman being stalked by a Lesbian Vampire who wants to sacrifice her to an Eldritch Abomination. She remains pretty strong until the end where the aforementioned vampire turns into a naked snake woman with a strap-on and tries to take her virginity for her god. She gets saved in time but is a sobbing wreck soon after.
  • The Last Exorcism: Poor, poor Nell.
  • Alice from Last of the Mohicans goes through a movie like this. All her scenes exist to show the gradual breakdown of her innocence, so no dialogue is needed to explain why she jumps off a cliff in the end.
  • The Burtons in The Last Wave.
  • Edith in La Vie en Rose. Oh God...
  • Lawrence of Arabia is essentially three and a half hours of this trope. The man you see at the film's end is a somber, quiet facsimile of the man we see at the start of the film after all the crap he goes through.
  • The Ledge: Poor, poor Shana at the end of the film.
  • Elle from Legally Blonde, though she usually bounces back.
  • Qing, who starts Legend Of The Black Scorpion as a hopeful young bride-to-be and is slowly broken by the corruption around her. Then she's poisoned.
  • All of the Ludlow family in Legends of the Fall but hoooooo boy, Tristan. (Played by Brad Pitt in the film. Brad Pitt counts as a cutie, right?) Early on Col. Ludlow, the father, moves his entire family to Montana to get as far from the government as possible, sickened by what he considers constant betrayal after betrayal of Native Americans, with whom he has developed respect and close personal relationships from his time in the military. Tristan adopts everything he is able about Native American culture, even given a tribal name for cutting a claw from a grizzly bear at the age of 12. It all starts to fall apart when younger brother Samuel decides to sign up for service in WWI. Tristan and older brother Alfred also decide to sign up to keep an eye on Samuel, all against their father's wishes. Tristan has already abandoned his unit to be by the side of an injured Alfred in a WWI field hospital when he hears word that Samuel is about to embark on a certain suicide mission. Tristan rushes to try to stop him, but fails and ends up holding his brother in the middle of the battlefield while Samuel dies from injuries sustained by machine gun and mustard gas. To the absolute horror of the other soldiers, Tristan arrives back at the field camp the next morning, decorated with tribal warpaint of mud and blood and with strings of fresh German scalps hung around his neck. Things go downhill from there.
  • In a nutshell, life for Olivia in Lemonade Mouth - almost to the point of Deus Angst Machina.
  • Lampshaded by Nelson in Lets Go to Prison.
  • Elizabeth in Little Sweetheart. She starts out the movie as a normal nine year old girl. By the end of the movie, she's been threatened with a gun, shot at, shot twice, involved in a blackmail scheme that included theft and breaking and entering, watched people have sex and everyone thinks she's dead.
  • Whole premise of The Lonely Lady.
  • In The Lost World Paula is teased with the possibility that her father might still be alive, then falls for Ed, only for her father's corpse to be found later and Ed to have a fiance.
  • Yu but to, an extent, Yoko as well in Love Exposure.
  • The Machinist. The whole film is about Christian Bale's character Trevor coming to terms with the guilt of having killed a young boy in a car accident and just driving away. The guilt causes him to lose weight massively, never leave the house, hallucinate, become paranoid and not sleep properly for a year.
  • Rose from The Magdalene Sisters. Crispina is already broken at this point.
    • Implied to have happened to Katy as well. She's basically been there so long that she has long since given up hope of ever getting out and willfully rats out Bernadette when she tries to escape the first time.
  • Stanley in Magnolia, for our sins.
  • The plot totally bends over to break Malena. It almost succeeds, specially when the other women beat her bloody purely for being prettier than them.
  • Jo in The Man Who Knew Too Much has a Heroic BSOD after Ben tells her about Hank's kidnapping not only out of Adult Fear, but also out of anger for Ben tricking her into swallowing a sedative beforehand, as an attempt to keep her nerves calm.
    • Look at her face during the Albert Hall sequence, and you can see a woman who's about to lose it, who knows that something terrible is about to happen and cannot do a thing about it...until she just snaps and screams.
    • Near the climax, she hears Hank whistle to "Qué Será, Será" while she plays on the piano. Becuase she knows he's nearby, but can't do anything to help him, except play.
  • Martha from Martha Marcy May Marlene.
  • The premise of Martyrs. With torture.
  • Max Manus himself, as well as Tallak when he is captured by the Germans.
  • May And how.
  • Amy from Megan Is Missing.
  • Memories of Matsuko: Smash the cutie, shatter the cutie, crush her into tiny little bits.
  • Million Dollar Baby: Poor, poor Danger Barch.
  • Moulin Rouge!. The movie starts out as a romance with Christian, an innocent, naive, carefree poet, moving to Paris to write about love (except he's never been in love) and falling for a beautiful courtesan at the Moulin Rouge. From there the film gets progressively darker as Christian experiences love, loss, and betrayal. After his lover, Satine, denies that she loves him in favor of another man and then dies of consumption, he is a heart-broken wreck, and the mini-epilogue shows him as a much sadder and more worldly man.
    • No, no, it's worse than that. She does deny that she loves him, but when he comes back for her in the finale of the bohemian play he's written for her, she reaffirms her love. The rich guy who tries to take her from Christian is defeated and humiliated. All great and wonderful... But then, as the curtains fall, she has a fatal attack of consumption. He wins everything and loses everything within a few minutes. That's how you break the cutie.
  • The Inherent in the System entrenched corruption in the classic 1939 film Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, along with a personal betrayal from a False Friend Corrupt Politician Senator Joseph Paine, gets very close to breaking Naïve Newcomer Jefferson Smith, but a smile from the President of the Senate inspires him to go on until he faints. So the trope would be Subverted in this case.
  • The entire Mystery Team goes through this, but most notably Jason.
  • Arguably happens to Nell between her sister, her mother, and the medical center scene.
  • Once Upon a Time in the West: Played with. It's straight for four minutes with Jill, in the second last scene, once she realizes that Harmonica will not stay with her, and that she will most likely live as a widow until her death... then inverted, after Cheyenne gives her some advice that takes a few minutes for her to fully comprehend, and then adhere.
  • Hiromasa from Onmyoji has horrible luck when it comes to his romantic relationships as both Sukehime and Himiko are both dead by the end of the films they appear in.
  • Betty in Opera. Depending on how you interpret the ending, Betty may indeed have been broken.
  • Orphan: Poor Max.
  • Both sisters get their share in The Other Boleyn Girl, first Mary, then Anne. Mostly Mary, who's completely heartbroken (hinting that Stafford is her rebound guy and that the King's rejection makes her feel so dejected she doesn't think she deserves any better than her former servant).
  • Pan's Labyrinth: Having fun yet, Ofelia?
  • Despite the demon not particularly interested in her specifically since the worst she ever is to it is an impediment in getting what it wants, there is no possible way that Ali makes it through the events of Paranormal Activity 2 unbroken.
  • Christine deliberately does this to Isabelle in Passion, causing her to become cute but psycho.
  • Penultimate example in The Passion of Joan of Arc.
  • Ji-won and Young-Su in Phone.
  • Benji in Pitch Perfect when he doesn't get into the Treblemakers and listens to their party and, surprisingly, Aubrey when she talks about her dad.
  • Parodied in the Police Academy series. Sgt. Laverne Hooks is a small, shy woman, seemingly completely unsuitable for her job as a cop, where she's supposed to act as an authority figure. The antagonists attempt to take advantage of this by driving her to a breaking point. Unfortunately, they invariably succeed, causing her to shout everyone to submission. She's always fine afterwards, though.
  • In Police Story, we get to see what happens when Jackie Chan's typical happy-go-lucky character who is nevertheless a fearsome martial artist gets pushed too far. Chan has said it's his favorite of his action films.
  • This is the plot of Precious. Just when you think Precious has taken a single step out of the muck, life sends her crashing down three whole flights. It gets so bad that the character's otherwise minor victory at the end emancipating herself from her mother is downright triumphant.
  • Primal Fear: Aaron appears to be this, until the film's twist.
  • Marion in Psycho. Her death comes AFTER a conversation with Norman convinces her to go back and turn in the money. It's also heavily implied that his mother's abuse did this to Norman, and made completely explicit in the sequels.
  • In the film Quills, the Abbé du Coulmier represents this trope rather well.
  • Repo! The Genetic Opera has Shilo. Given it's directed by the guy who did most of the Saw franchise, you just know she'll be broken by the end.
    • To wit: she started as an Ill Girl with a vaguely-defined blood disease. While visiting her mother Marni's tomb, she runs into Grave-Robber, who proceeds to call a whole platoon of heavily armed police down on them, then drags her into a cavern filled with the rotting corpses of repossessed victims. The stress makes her illness flare up and she collapses while surrounded by said cops, as well as the nightmarish Repo Man. When she wakes up, sick and weak in her bedroom, her father tells her it was all a bad dream, then yells at her for taking risks with her health. And that's just the beginning.
    • To whit more: Nathan, Shilo's father, has never allowed her to leave her room because of her blood disease. After she disoebeys him and has all those adventures the last troper mentioned, her idol-slash-godmother is brutally murdered. It's revealed that not only is Nathan responsible for Marni's death, but he's been poisoning Shilo to keep her from ever growing up and leaving him, and she's not sick after all. Then he dies. She walks away, throughly broken, covered in the blood of the only two people she's ever met. Aww... can I give you a hug, Shi?
  • All of them in Rabbit Proof Fence.
  • Ranger Rick: Carol was turned from a sweet little girl into a mentally-defunct science experiment, thanks to Dr. Steiner.
  • Reincarnation: Poor, poor Nagisa.
  • Repo Chick:
    • The reason the De La Chasses disinherited Pixxi to begin with.
    • Aguas and Arizona Gray conspire to do likewise, when they realize how good a repo'er Pixxi is.
    Arizona Gray: [Referring to Pixxi's repo skills] She's too good.
    Aguas: Hmmm?
    Arizona Gray: Yep. Look at her stats. Since yesterday, she has ripped five cars...
    Aguas: Fantastic!
    Arizona Gray: Four homes...
    Aguas: Terrific!
    Arizona Gray: Three planes... six shopping malls, and two places of worship.
    Aguas: You're saying that if she continues thus, her work will be the standard by which ours is judged?
    Arizona Gray: Exactly. We got us a live one, Aguas, filled with boundless energy — ambitious, sadistic, fast.
    Aguas: Better add sand to that gas tank.
    Arizona Gray: Check.
  • Sara Goldfarb from Requiem for a Dream. And for that matter, the other three protagonists. This is not a feel-good movie.
  • Rescue Dawn has this to some degree with Steve Zahn's character. Considering the fact that he's been a captive of the Viet Cong for years, his cutie has presumably already been broken, but seeing this largely loveable character descend into madness before beingsuddenly and brutally killed is heart-wrenching. The fact that it's Based on a True Story and it happened much the same way in real life doesn't make it any less of an Audience Sucker Punch.
  • The backstory to The Ring. Sadako was born to a psychic mother, and probably a sea god, her mother was run out of town after going on TV and screwing up due to all the negative psychic energy of the people in the audience. Her mother then threw herself into a volcano. Her stepfather trained to gain psychic powers by meditating under a waterfall until he got sick. Oh, and while she was visiting him at the sanatorium, she was raped. When the guy found out she had feminine testicular syndrome (i.e. she's a man with the body of a woman and a set of testicles) he beat her and dumped her into a well. To top it all of, she got smallpox.
    • The movie... didn't go quite so far. The entire second half of the paragraph is left out, and Sadako was thrown into the well by her stepfather, who was convinced she was evil. He was right. Most consider this Adaptation Distillation.
    • The prequel movie, Ring 0 Birthday, which shows Sadako's non-demonic side is a heartbreaking example of the trope. To list everything that was done to her (none of which was her fault, and none of which she really deserved,) resulting in that final snap that made her accept her dark half, would result in a summary of the entire film.
  • Abuse at the hands of Dodge and the other chimps at the primate facility do this to Caesar in Rise of the Planet of the Apes.
  • Janet and Columbia from The Rocky Horror Picture Show both fit this trope. Brad may as well.
  • The entire narration of Sarah's childhood in Sarahs Key.
  • Played hard with Upham. Saving Private Ryan goes through great lengths to point out how he is (almost to an adorable degree,) far more innocent and naive than his fellow squad members (which is justified considering he a not actually a ranger himself, but is rather on loan from Twenty-Ninth Infantry Division.) He is also notably the only member of the squad other than Miller who thinks that they should not execute Steamboat Willie, whom he vociferously defends, and is the only one to actually treat the German prisoner with some compassion and respect. Cut to him by the end of the film, where he has watched just about every friend he's made get brutally offed with extreme prejudice, and personally bears witness to Steamboat Willie (the very German he had defended earlier in the movie) kill Captain Miller, the very man who had shown the German mercy when his entire squad demanded blood, almost causing Reiben to desert because of it. When Upham once again takes Steamboat Willie prisoner, he executes him in cold blood, becoming the only character in the film Upham has killed.
  • Norman gets subjected to this very brutally in Fury (2014). Upham had it easy...
    • To elaborate... Norman starts as the New Meat and as a replacement in Sgt. Wardaddy's tank "Fury". During a patrol, he hesitates to fire on some German Child Soldier, whom then destroys the lieutenant's tank, horribly killing everyone inside. In an aftermath of a mission, Wardaddy forces Norman to kill a captured German soldier to get over his fear of killing, with the former helping by pulling the trigger. The tank platoon then captures a town and Norman becomes acquainted with a German woman. After having implied sex and intimacy with each other, she is killed the next morning by German artillery. Norman at this point lost all his innocence in the war and what is "right" as he had stated in the beginning, angrily gunning down German soldiers when he gets the chance. And it still gets worse, after forming close bonds with the rest of the squad inside "Fury", they are all killed in the final battle with Norman as the Sole Survivor. Norman starts out as new guy with ideas that the war is "right", comes about to become a willing killer, then leaves broken and devastated as he is medevaced out from the wreckage of "Fury".
  • Jenni from The Screaming Skull comes pre-broken, for your convenience.
  • Part of John Doe's plan for Mills in Se7en.
  • Alison is mutilated with wires, and possibly raped, before finally being killed in Séance.
  • Serenity: In this case, comes conveniently pre-broken. There are the R. Tam Sessions, and enough flashbacks to see her being broken.
  • Quite literally, in Short Circuit 2.
  • Holly from Shrooms. Possibly Tara.
  • The Silent House: Poor, poor Laura. She's later revealed to be a Broken Bird.
  • The sequence where Johnny Ride pretends to discover a would-be actress new to the city and tricks her into going so far into debt that he and Gloria can blackmail her into doing porn for them. Inevitably (by The Sinister Urge 's logic), Dirk kills her after seeing her pictures, and she ends up as just the latest "Jane Doe" the police have to deal with.
  • Eduardo from The Social Network.
  • The raison d'etre of Mrs Beuhler in So Young So Bad. She succeeds with Dolores.
  • Nearly happens to Nightbird in The Specials, but is mostly averted.
  • Spring Breakers:
    • Sweet, sweet Faith is just not cut out for the misadventures the girls get up to.
    • Cotty suffers this as well, after getting shot in the arm.
  • In Star Trek Into Darkness Carol Marcus finds out her father is a backstabbing warmonger, gets betrayed by Harrison, gets her leg snapped in half, and then watches as Harrison crushes her father's head with his bare hands.
  • Static: Ernie, after the death of his parents; Julia at the end (remember, she showed up in town to get away from career and personal problems).
  • Baby Doll from Sucker Punch. Oh boy does she ever.
  • The final sequence of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is a Break the Cutie for Toby and Johanna. The first gradually finds out just what Sweeney does and what Mrs. Lovett does with his victims, which is a complete shock to him, especially since he looks upon Mrs. Lovett as his mother. He has to hide in the sewers as Sweeney and Mrs. Lovett come looking for him, presumably to kill him too. After he witnessed Sweeney killing Mrs. Lovett by throwing her into the oven, he kills Sweeney himself. In the stage version, he is completely driven into insanity. The other is penned up in Fogg's Asylum by Judge Turpin, and God knows what he made her do before that. In the stage version, she is forced to kill Fogg after being rescued by Anthony. Afterwards (in both versions), she witnesses the murders of her mother and her adoptive father by her own father — though, granted, she didn't realise these were her parents. Then, Sweeney almost kills her, too.
    • The title character is the greatest Broken Cutie of all! Back when his name was Benjamin Barker, he is a simple barber with a beautiful wife and a bouncing baby girl, happy with his life, when the nasty Judge Turpin decides he wants the pretty woman and has Barker imprisoned for 15 YEARS far away from anyone he loves on completely trumped up charges. After all this, when he arrives in London as Mr. Todd, he has been completely broken down and twisted into an extremely (justifiably) bitter psychopathic killer.
    • Going on the concerts on YouTube: Anthony and Joahnna are caught by the police and probably sentenced to death for killing the asylum director, or if you're an optimist the pair of jail breakers is quickly eclipsed by a (very very) multiple homicide, which is initially pinned on Toby. Everyone remotely sympathetic is broken, tenderized, ground into tiny bits and burnt to ashes.
  • Nicole from The Sweet Hereafter, who was a budding country music prodigy before the accident, which left her paralyzed. Of course, she may already have been somewhat broken on account of the Parental Incest.
  • Sybil’s entire childhood.
  • It seems this trope happens to a fair number of women in action movies. A textbook example is Sarah Connor from The Terminator. Consider the hapless, adorable waitress she was in the first movie and compare her to the flat-out psychologically unhinged Action Mom of part two.
  • Tideland is an aversion. It features 8 year old Jeliza-Rose having horrible things happen to her. The difference from the norm is that, with a few rare exceptions, she remains a happy-go-lucky (although unquestionably not quite normal) kid. This was Terry Gilliam's reason for making the movie: Children Are Innocent, no matter what.
  • The epilogue states that due to the events of The Toolbox Murders, Laurie spent at least three years in a mental institution.
  • Claire from The Town.
  • Tracey comes pre-broken in The Tracey Fragments.
  • Jess from Triangle.
  • Annie from Trust.
  • The process is well underway by the beginning of Twin Peaks Fire Walk With Me.
  • Oliver and Dodge from Twist.
  • Poor, poor Alva from Vampire's Kiss. Peter is absolutely horrible to her even before he rapes her.
  • The Mark III Robot from Victim Of The Brain. Literally.
  • Played with in Watchmen, when the Comedian assaults and attempts to rape Sally (Silk Spectre).
  • Both the girls in We Are What We Are, but more so Iris.
  • Jill from When a Stranger Calls. Indeed, the ending of the remake implies that she's going to be psychologically damaged for a long time.
  • Astrid from White Oleander.
  • The Wind: Poor, poor Letty.
  • Carly from Wrong Turn. Lita in Bloodlines.
  • X-Men: First Class:
    • Charles Xavier. When the movie starts, he's a friendly, happy-go-lucky, idealistic Oxford grad whose only interests are protecting his adoptive sister, studying genetics, drinking yards of beer and picking up coeds. His initial reaction to meeting other mutants is a puppyish eagerness to find others like him, as well as a gung-ho enthusiasm to work with a superhuman team to fight evil. During the climax, he gets smacked around in a variety of ways, including telepathically experiencing Shaw's gruesome death at Magneto's hands, getting shot in the spine, and having the US government, his best friend, and his sister all turn against him. By the finale, his government is trying to hunt him down, his best friend is preparing for a war against humans, and he's crippled for life in a wheelchair. We know from future installments that he never quite abandons his ideals, but he's frighteningly subdued and obviously much more cautious about who knows his secrets.
      • And then comes X-Men: Days of Future Past, by which point even his attempts to set up a school for mutants has come crashing down around him due to the outbreak of the Vietnam War. It's heartbreaking to see just how much those events have broken him, to the point where he's taking a serum designed by Hank that suppresses his powers and restores the use of his legs just so he can sleep at night without feeling other people's pain.
    • Hank McCoy starts off as the Adorkable love interest for Raven. He then undergoes a Karmic Transformation after telling Raven that society would never accept them for the way they really looked.
    • Raven Darkholme starts off as an innocent Woman Child who turns into a villain by the end, after being harshly rejected by her love interest Hank, and being repulsed by both humanity's intolerance and by Charles' ideals.
    • Erik Lehnsherr as a child in the early scenes, where he is subjected to the harsh treatment of the concentration camps and is forced to watch his mother die simply because he couldn't move a coin in time.
  • Forget about survival horror. Dismiss any thoughts in your head of zombies, or teamwork, or social commentary. Watching Cillian Murphy snap in 28 Days Later is so much more entertaining. It's not so much a journey from innocence to adulthood as it is getting so far, far broke that you come out the other side.

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