Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has Fitz. In addition to the Running Gag that has him getting knocked out all the time, he's almost always the one who's held hostage, trapped (unarmed) in the middle of a siege, inadvertently helping out the Villain of the Week, or some combination of all the above. Added to that is the fact that seemingly nearly every guy they meet feels compelled to hit on his Love Interest (who is herself Oblivious to Love, while he simply Cannot Spit It Out). Whether all this is played for laughs or drama generally depends on the overall tone of the episode.
Tristan tends to serve this purpose on All Creatures Great and Small. It's usually his own fault, but this just makes the times when he's genuinely trying (to take out a girlfriend, for example, or to do his job) more painful, as we count the seconds to the inevitable catastrophe. Fortunately he bounces, and never seems to suffer lasting damage.
In Almost Live!, John Kiester got saddled with it, because Ross Schaffer's comedy persona was an obnoxious, smug Eighties yuppie, and they wanted "the anti-Ross" to act as a foil. When Schaffer left the show, and Keister became the host, he still suffered a bit from it, now mixed with some Only Sane Man.
Deputy Ben Healy in American Gothic. Anytime his conscience looks to be getting the better of him, Lucas Buck will subject him to a cruel and elaborate joke to get him to keep his mouth shut.
Anne is constantly belittled and she gets abandoned in Mexico.
Buster Bluth, especially in the episodes after he got his hand bitten off and replaced with a hook. Well, he is a monster.
Tobias. Over the course of the show he is run over by a car on several separate occasions, has his hair plugs reject his body (resulting in a near fatal condition), and to add insult to injuries, his wife constantly attempts to have an affair.
Tommy Merlyn on Arrow. The poor guy was just a lightning rod for bad luck and every time something good happened, something horrible was waiting around the corner to beat him down again. Before the series started, he saw his mother murdered and was neglected by his father, who simply abandoned him for two years. As an adult, he loses his best friend for five years, loses his fortune after his father cuts him off and then tries to make him close down a clinic that his mother cared about, he finds out Oliver and his father are both murderers, his relationship with Laurel falls apart because he can't keep Oliver's secret and she still has feelings for him and he gets beaten up and nearly murdered by Huntress. And then he dies saving Laurel by being impaled and crushed by concrete.
In Auction Kings, Jon and Cindy. Jon typically gets teased for being the new guy, while Cindy hurts seemingly whenever she tries using an old toy.
Delenn's lackey who was in love with her named Lennier. Unrequited love is a bitch.
Marcus Cole deserves an Honorable Mention, what with having to do incredible amounts of risky dirty work that he can't even talk about for most of Season 3, and (yet again) his unrequited love for Ivanova...]]
Zathras. That poor guy. His immortal line from "War Without End" about sums it up: "Zathras is used to being beast of burden to other peoples needs. Very sad life. Probably have very sad death, but at least there is symmetry." Or "But only Zathras have no one to talk to. No one manages poor Zathras, you see. So Zathras talks to dirt. Sometimes talks to walls, or talks to ceilings. But dirt is closer. Dirt is used to everyone walking on it. Just like Zathras, but we've come to like it. It is our role. It is our destiny in the universe. So, you see, sometimes dirt has insects in it. And Zathras likes insects. Not so good for conversation, but much protein for diet."
Chief Tyrol. The list is frighteningly long, so we'll just run down the list: Finds out his girlfriend is a Cylon. Girlfriend gets shot by co-worker. Girlfriend's clone has baby with someone else. Loses everyone he loves. Mercy-kills Socinus. Almost executed, multiple times. Freaky dreams. Accidentally hurts people. Almost Thrown Out the Airlock. Populist leanings are inevitably doomed. Married to fan-hated Cally, the co-worker who shot his Cylon girlfriend. Enough for you? Did we mention he's a Cylon? And when Cally finds out, she nearly goes insane and attacks him. Then she gets Thrown Out The Airlock by another person who recently found out that she's a Cylon. And he thinks she committed suicide. Then, in a fit of drunken emotions, loses the commander's good will and forfeits his post, finds out he's not the father of his child. Gets played by his old girlfriend, who manipulates his feelings into springing her from the ship's brig, leading to her almost destroying the ship. Poor bastard.
If there is one hapless character who just sort of happens to be the butt of all the jokes, it's undoubtedly Gaius Baltar, especially in the first season when he's still trying to get used to seeing Number Six everywhere (and, in one episode, is surprised that everyone else can see her, and Hilarity Ensues). Whether or not he deserves it depends on which side of the Face Heel Revolving Door he is that episode.
Stuart Bloom. Everything he says is depressing. His idea of being "cocky" is to claim that he's "unobjectionable". He can be stood up by a stray cat.
LEONARD. The show has gone out of it's way, particularly in later seasons, to make his life MORE AND MORE miserable... and it's always Played for Laughs, regardless of Leonard's progressively damaged psyche.
Sheldon is often on the receiving end of a lot of humiliation and punishment, not that he doesn't bring it on himself, though.
Howard is often made fun of by Sheldon and everyone else (sometimes, even Penny) for his lack of a doctoral degree, his relationship with his mother and his Casanova Wannabe status. He was also the Butt Monkey to the other astronauts when he was in the space.
Raj's inability to speak around women occasionally makes him this, as he has to whisper his comments to Howard, who pretends he said something completely different.
Alex. Only natural since she has to be Sheldon's assistant. So she's brilliant scientist, but her errands for him include bying presents for his girlfriend and similar.
Vila from Blake's 7 an old-school comic relief character, given relatively little in the way of consistent development or opportunities for sympathy. He always gets disproportionate punishment for his cowardly and hedonistic nature, and Avon insults him daily (by the fourth season, so does almost everyone else). The one heroically Vila-centric episode came about because the actor's young daughter told him, "Daddy, you're stupid!" while watching the show. She is usually the victims of KerAvon's caustic putdowns.
Vila: I can't go out there. I'm very susceptible to low temperatures. I've got a weak chest!
Avon: The rest of you's not very impressive either.
Dr Sweets on Bones, every episode involves someone mocking his last name, demeaning his subject of expertise (psychology) and conclusions despite the fact that he is usually right, or just plain treating him like some doormat.
Eric became Butt Monkey in the later seasons after he Took a Level in Dumbass. In one episode he gets struck by lightning. While indoors.
Shawn in the earlier seasons. Pretty much every misfortune, big and small, that can possibly befall a kid and still be appropriate to be shown on a family sitcom happened to him. However, he alternated between this and The Woobie, as some of his problems (such as Parental Abandonment) would have verged into Dude, Not Funny! had they been Played for Laughs.
After five seasons you can count all the good things that happen to Jesse Pinkman on one hand.
Walter White, on the other hand, is a clear Deconstruction. It's implied that everything he's doing stems, in part, from his feeling that he's been a Butt Monkey throughout his entire life, and that he's out to make his mark and get revenge on the world that mistreated him. To an extent he may be right, but it also ignores the fact that a great deal of his misfortunes were a direct consequence of his own poor decisions and flaws, particularly his Pride.
Xander introduced the term, with his line "I'm sick of being everybody's butt monkey." in the Dracula episode. The term first appeared on TV in BtVS, but was heard "on the street" well before that.
Andrew also frequently abused in the seventh season, though really no more than he deserved.
Harmony gets this occasionally as well on the evil side of the fence, but never more than in Angel's episode "Harm's Way".
Cordelia frequently gets this treatment in the Sunnydale High episodes, almost as much as Xander. Perhaps even more so, seeing as everyone, including Xander, makes sarcastic quips at her expense.
Buffy: Cordelia, your mouth is moving. Words are coming out. This is never good.
Cordelia: Why are these terrible things always happening to me?
Xander: *cough* Karma! *cough*
Spike, after his badasserysoftened a bit, started being humiliated constantly - hated by Buffy, distrusted by the rest of the main cast, and mocked at every turn. This was justified, given that he spent the majority of it insulting everybody back and telling them that he was going to kill them all as soon as he got the chip that prevented him from harming humans out. Also, when he was wheelchair bound, Angelus persistently kept making fun of him and taunting him. Later it was later revealed that he was not as wheelchair-bound as he seemed.
Early on, Jonathan became the show's go-to victim for anything non-lethal. As bad as high school was for everyone else at Sunnydale, Jonathan just got screwed.
In Mexico, Margarito Perez from La Caravana is a textbook example, to the grade the catchphrase used against him became synonymous of Epic Fail.
Cases of the 1st Department, Vita Srsen is an outsider in the team and their resident butt monkey. He is usually assigned to find related cases in the archives or he helps Major Plisek with computer systems but he dreams of leading investigation of a homicide case. Martin Prazak and especially prankster Petr Andel make fun of him on a regular basis. For instance, Andel gave Srsen's phone number to homeless guys and told them to call him because he would rent them a cheap flat.
Detective Kevin Ryan in Castle seems to be a low-level version of this; he'll be the one who has to stop drunken rock stars from peeing into hotel lobby plant pots while his partner (successfully) chats up the pretty concierge he wasn't getting anywhere with, will be left with an entire room of files to pack up after everyone ditches him to follow a lead, will sit down to finally drink a cup of coffee before being dragged out by everyone before he can...
In Central Park West, Rachel Dennis (the fashion editor for a fashion magazine called Communique) suffers the brunt of almost every humiliating incident - if something bad happens, it's usually to her. Even though she tries many plans during the series, almost all of them backfire on her (and leave her worse off than before). From the time she's introduced, she gets hit with a divorce settlement, gets thrown out of her hotel because she can't pay her bills, is scared that she'll be deported because she doesn't have a valid passport, gets rejected twice by lead character Peter Fairchild (even after she openly admits her feelings for him), her co-workers belittle and insult her, she gets fired shortly after she assumes control of Communique during a staff shake-up and the new editor humiliates her when she's gone by producing better material. And that's just the first season - she then goes on to humiliate herself (by getting covered in mud) to get her job back, and then disappears into the background because of the plot.
Due to the rotating panel format, Chelsea Lately has a regular selection of Butt Monkeys to choose from. It's usually either Jo Koy or Loni Love that get the most abuse from Chelsea.
On the villain side of things, there's FULCRUM's sauve agent Vincent Smith. He was, in direct order blown up, shot, poisoned, shot again, beaten up by Stephen, run over by Chuck, knocked out by Sarah, then finally blown up by an air strike. It's all due to just horrible luck.
Josh, Jules' younger boyfriend in Cougar Town, is a perfect example. It's galling that he falls for her with all the abuse she and her friends put him through (for no apparent reason), and when she eventually breaks up with him, everyone joins in on the mockery and cruelty.
Spencer Reid in Criminal Minds isn't abused by his friends (they do treat him like a younger brother, but he's not abused), but he is abused by the writers, so much so that whenever another character is the victim, fans rate the trouble on how close this is to a "Reid Trauma". Reid's been kidnapped, beaten, drugged, held at gunpoint, forced to dig his own grave, and poisoned by anthrax, just to name a few.
The one time that he was present at an issue but wasn't the one that got the trauma? He got to listen while one of his coworkers was dragged into a nearby room and beaten because she took the fall so that the cult they were being held hostage in wouldn't know he was with the FBI.
While it's obviously a much smaller issue than everything listed above, no-one ever seems to want to hear any of his interesting facts. Poor guy.
Oh yeah, what about Kevin Lynch, played by the original Butt Monkey, Xander? He's one who got accidently seen in the buff—by Rossi!
Nick Stokes from CSI: Crime Scene Investigation got buried by a madman, got molested by his babysitter, had a stalker, was accused of murder when his prostitute girlfriend was killed, and is one of the few people who ever cries on the show.
Ryan Wolfe has become the Butt Monkey of CSI: Miami. He's frequently shown at the crime scene making the wrong conclusions (which another character quickly points out), if anyone's evidence turns out not to be what was expected, it's his, other characters make fun of his wardrobe...basically, everyone except Horatio treats him with total contempt.
Don't forget when he got shot in the eye with a nail gun. Yeouch.
Essentially the entire premise of Curb Your Enthusiasm seems to be that horrible things are funny when they happen to Larry David.
Jon Stewart is frequently tormented by correspondents and guests alike on The Daily Show, from jabs about his height to insinuations that the departure of previous host Craig Kilborn was the worst thing to ever happen to the show.
Recently there was John Oliver's particularly brutal criticism of Jon Stewart's hosting the Oscars.
John Oliver: You know the only thing you'd be good at hosting, Jon? The funeral of fun. No, you're right, I take that back. You know who'd be better at that? Hugh Jackman. The guy's amazing!
Let's not forget the line "...the George W. Bush of comedy" Oliver said to Stewart in the same bit.
Killed by a deorbiting toilet seat on her lunch break of the first day of a job she hates at a temp agency.
Finds out that since she never made anything of her life, she is now doomed to serve as a Grim Reaper, helping to ferry souls to their individual afterlives.
Has to find somewhere to live, as she can't live with her mother.
Ends up working at the same office, under her "new" name.
Is called "Toilet Seat" by everyone but the supervisor of the reapers, who affectionately calls her "peanut".
And that's just the first episode or two...
Also, Mason, who is ridiculed by his colleagues, shot at, run over and hurt in various other ways, and once had a stash of drugs dissolve in his anal tract. Oh, and he died drilling a hole in his head.
E.B. Farnum from Deadwood is the camp's resident Butt Monkey, who constantly suffers physical and verbal abuse and degradation from just about everyone, even his hotel guests. At one point, one of the villains spits in his face twice and tells Farnum that he will kill him if he wipes it off, so Farnum has to walk around with spit and mucus on his face for a while. After justifiably being frozen in terror for hours.
Richardson is usually the victim of Farnum's impotent rage
Everyone (even the husbands) on Desperate Housewives gets this treatment at one point or another during the show, but Tom Scavo takes the cake. Practically every idea he comes up with seldom ever lasts in the long-run (such as his pizzeria which was successful for, oh, two or three seasons at most). Then his lovechild with a former one-night stand turns out to be borderline-sociopathic and he ends up having to send her to live with her grandparents. Then the Flanderization for both him and his wife kicked in full-force in season five, and the two got caught in a seemingly endless loop of arguing over every little thing that would've led most married couples to divorce in real life.
On the female side, you have Bree who among other things: had her husband murdered, had one child turn into a sociopath bent on his mother's destruction (though he ultimately gets redeemed), stalked by a psychopath who tried to kill her therapist, lost the grandson she was raising as her own third child to her daughter (the child's biomom) who then decided to raise him in an ultra-liberal form just to spite conservative Bree, the loss of said (grand)child causing her marriage to her second husband to collapse, and nearly being killed by said second-husband's psychotic mother not once but twice.
And then there's season six: Getting caught up in an extramarital affair over a miscommunication with her husband, having her loved killed in a bizarre plane crash, and her husband being paralyzed as a result of said affair/plane crash is the least of her worries by the time we reach the last few episodes: Her attempts to make her first husband's lovechild feel welcome ultimately result in said lovechild blackmailing her, and her husband leaving her over giving in to said blackmail.
Adric: He just never seemed to be particularly well liked by the other characters, if someone was going to get captured or injured in a story, it was usually Adric, and he was eventually killed while trapped aboard a runaway space freighter. The Butt Monkey status even seems to extend to actor Matthew Waterhouse who was kept in the dark about his character's demise until Peter Davison (the Doctor) had some pity and told him that he would be out of a job once the production had concluded. Poor Waterhouse doesn't even get much respect on the DVD commentaries where the other actors will often interrupt him and tease him.
After his character was killed in the final episode of "Earthshock", Matthew Waterhouse was given a thankless cameo as a mirage in the following story just so producer John Nathan Turner could put Waterhouse's name as a teaser in the television listing. Since his character had apparently died, the expectation was that viewers would tune in to see his miraculous survival. Waterhouse's glum performance in the 15-seconds he was on screen makes it evident that he had no enthusiasm for the job.
Jamie McCrimmon is this to an even bigger extent. Sometimes (just sometimes), the Second Doctor.
Turlough, who was constantly getting captured/locked up or otherwise abused, predominantly because the writers at the time had no real clue what to do with a male companion who was meant to be both intelligent and technically apt. He at least partially brought it on himself through being a devious and treacherous coward.
Fitz, of the Doctor Who Expanded UniverseEighth Doctor Adventures, is a reconstruction of this trope. His friends all constantly make fun of him for the fact he's Book Dumb and a Lovable Sex Maniac. The Doctor, who kind of doesn't know any better, makes quite a habit of telling him to his face he's not the brightest bulb in the chandelier. Despite the fact he's just a normal human Action Survivor, he suffers about as much as the Doctor does, which is settingthebarreallyhigh. But his friends only mock him affectionately (or in the Doctor's case insult him with no malice intended); even grumpy-to-the-bone Compassion trusts him and is almost content to tolerate him. It almost seems like some of his fellow companions like him because, for one thing, they do genuinely like him, and for another, they enjoy picking on him. And since he's had such a hard life, learned to take a rather sensible attitude to all the crazy, scary shit that goes on, and isn't an emotionally-stunted stoic like the Doctor, he eventually takes up the role of Team Mom.
The Doctor even lampshades this in the episode 'The Doctor's Wife', after accidentally vapourising an Ood. He casually says 'Another Ood I failed to save' in a mildly regretful tone.
The Eighth Doctor. He keeps getting tortured, losing his memory, and his shirt. He has his companion and great-grandson get killed by the Daleks and finally dies due to his race becoming so terrible a woman would rather die then be saved by him.
Josh Nichols gets taken advantage of by Drake quite a lot and is the butt of many jokes, and on some occasions Megan will say that he has a huge head- when in actuality there's nothing wrong with his head at all. In one episode, he's literally assaulted in the streets several times. He has been arrested several times, in fact.
His dad, Walter, is an even bigger one.
To a lesser extent, Craig and Eric.
Janine Butcher in EastEnders, after her return in December 2008 devolved dramatically from her previous Magnificent Bitch status, ended up as a janitor for Ronnie's club, her Evil Plan to take control of it blew up in her face and she lost her job, she got kicked out of the house she was sharing with her aunt, Pat and then had to go an live in a shabby flat. Eventually things started looking up for her when she took over her father's business but Pat just couldn't stand seeing her do well and smashed a picture of her father over her head. Then Libby Wicks threw a tub of paint over her. Somehow she eventually lost the business, was savagely beaten by Stacey Slater of all people (in the middle of the square with everyone watching!), the man she loved left her for Stacey Slater, her suicide attempt failed and her loving grandmother died. Then she finally got the break she deserved when she inherited her grandmothers millions. She could have just left Walford and lived the life of a millionairess somewhere else but no, she still lives in her pokey flat for some reason and these days just goes around the square trying to talk down to people but generally getting her ass handed to her.
John Gage on Emergency!. He never had any luck with his dates, his ideas always went wrong, and he got,the most severe physical injuries. He got hit by a car,sick from a monkey flu and bit by a rattlesnake at various points.
ER's Dr. Mark Green, who within 8 seasons on the show, experienced his wife leaving him for another man, his friend Susan leaving him before they get a chance to explore their feelings for each other, mishandling a routine delivery resulting in the death of the patient and a malpractice suit, being brutally beaten and another malpractice suit for a case that he did not mishandle, the death of both parents within months of each other, and finally a brain tumor that he battled for a year and half before it finally killed him. And did I mention that during that he was grappling with his bratty teenage daughter, whose recklessness nearly killed his other daughter and trying to support his second wife through her own malpractice suit? Yeesh.
Dr. Simon Tam on Firefly. The other characters frequently point out how much he doesn't fit in and he's the only one who gets pranks played on him. In "Bushwhacked," Jayne tells Simon that Mal wants him to get suited up to treat survivors on an abandoned ship they found. Cue Simon showing up, uncalled for, in a spacesuit he put on incorrectly, with everyone staring at him as if he'd grown a third eye.
An even meaner prank was played on him in the pilot by Mal, who told him that Kaylee had died when she had actually completely recovered from the bullet wound Simon had been treating her for. Note that Mal had earlier threatened to space him if Kaylee didn't make it.
Chris from Everybody Hates Chris. The title should already give you a clue about how the show treats him.
Murray, the incompetent "manager" of Flight of the Conchords. The Conchords number "Cheer Up, Murray" practically lampshades this, as the list of things that are supposed to cheer him up includes "You've got a wife... but she comes and goes" and "You've got all of your limbs" before the song just puts him down again: "Some people don't return your calls, they don't return your calls/ And some people call you Gingerballs, they call you Gingerballs..."
Ross on Friends, beginning with his three divorces, nervous breakdown, and job loss, he was also to be humiliated by the writers in front of women again and again and again. No matter what situation he is in, his so-called friends will not have much of a problem with reminding him how many times he has been divorced or how much of a failure he is. Sometimes he brings it on himself, but even just feeling a bit good and smug about himself is enough for them to forcefully bring him down.
Chandler, while not normally suffering as directly as Ross was also a Butt Monkey of sorts. He is the one character who is constantly belittled behind his back and sometimes to his face, usually by Rachel and Phoebe. In one episode Rachel even admits that she often wants to punch Chandler — and she doesn't know why. This is always played for humour. One episode actually has Phoebe and Rachel discussing a guy who they think is Monica's soul mate. While Chandler is RIGHT THERE. Rachel even says "It's a shame they never had a chance to meet". Of course, this is played for laughs.
Another Butt Monkey is the minor character Sophie. Rachel's boss, Joanna, verbally abuses her every single time she appears. Sophie is delighted when Joanna dies, but that scene is her last appearance on the show.
Theon Greyjoy of Game of Thrones. Its not just that he's grown up as a hostage of the Stark family to keep his once-rebellious father in line. When he goes home at the behest of Robb Stark to secure an alliance between the Starks and Greyjoys, he gets scorned right off the docks when he first arrives. Instead of a royal welcome, the only two people who are there are an old man who is entirely unimpressed by Theon, and a flirty young woman who he manages to feel up and then discovers was his sister. Things get progressively worse for Theon as he gets snubbed by his own father multiple times until he accepts his place as a Greyjoy and works with his father to conquer the North, including the very Starks that raised him. He gets a single small ship and is ordered to harass small fishing villages, gets disrespected by his own crew, and when he invades Winterfell, Bran Stark, a young crippled boy, drives Theon to total exasperation by refusing to yield. And he can't even execute a man right, as it takes four swipes with his sword and a bunch of kicking to get Ser Rodrick's head severed, and this is before he gets made a complete fool of by Osha who sleeps with him just so she can slip out of the castle with the Stark boys, Hodor, and the two direwolves. That's right: Theon managed to turn a flawless, audacious conquest into a massiveHumiliation Conga... which continues over the next few episodes, beginning with his attempt to save face: it results in him being manipulated by his right-hand man into killing two children and making it look as they were the Stark boys. Not only does it fail to get him any respect whatsoever, but it also gives his sister the opportunity to drop a barrage of insults in his lap and tell him that all of his successes are for nothing because he won't be able to maintain any of them for long- especially since his father refused to send him any reinforcements. After being driven half-insane over the next few days by the horn-blowing of the Stark bannermen marching on Winterfell he tries to rally his men to go down fighting, even delivering an impressive Rousing Speech to that end, and for a moment it looks as though he's finally earned their respect... And then he gets knocked out by his own treacherous right-hand man and left to face to the approaching army while his own men retreat. He's then captured and mercilessly tortured, only to be rescued by a man claiming to be sent by his sister, only to be re-imprisoned and tortured even more heinously by him. After enduring more heinous torture, Theon is taken off his wooden cross by two women, who start to seduce him, only to reveal that it was nothing more than an excuse by his new captor to torture him even further by appearing to castrate him.
Lancel Lannister even more so. He's sent on a Snipe Hunt by King Robert, mocked by the same for his alliterative name, and things go downhill from there.
Tyrion: Lancel, tell my friend Bronn to please kill you if anything should happen to me.
Lancel: Please kill me if anything should happen to Lord Tyrion.
Aaron on Ghost Adventures.
Rachel Berry from Glee is actually such a Butt Monkey that even within a club full of Butt Monkeys, she still gets frequently insulted and snarked at for laughs over how irritating her fellow glee club members find her.
Sandy could also qualify for this trope toward the beginning of the series.
Gossip Girls Chuck Bass. His father hated him, his BFF Nate is a hot candidate for Worst Friend Ever, his adoptive sister Serena verbally abuses and sabotages him except for when she needs his help, his uncle wants his company so bad that he didn't particularly mind when Chuck was wobbling on the edge of a building after his father's faked death, and now most recently the not-so-dead-mommy storyline. The only two people who don't treat him like crap are Lily, who still tends to forget that he exists most of the time, and Blair.
Chuck has it bad but Dan Humphrey takes the cake on this one. He is constantly looked down upon and mistreated for being from a lower income family, his relationship with Serena falls apart, he is often manipulated by other characters, he's often at the centre of scandals he had no involvement with and Chuck and Blair seem to have made it their life's work to ensure he never has a happy moment. And what has he done to earn this? Aside from being one of the few decent, likeable and honest characters on the show (although a lot of fans dispute this), not a damn thing. Chuck is so horrible to him that it makes Chuck's moment of suffering seem a little karmic.
Then again, given that Dan turned out to be the Creator's Pet and the show's ultimate bastard due to his having been Gossip Girl all along...
Ted, whose unchecked radiation powers give his wife cancer before killing her, force him to go on the run after he's accused of being a terrorist, imprisoned by The Company and eventually getting killed by Sylar.
Niki, who develops Multiple-Personality Disorder as a response to her powers manifesting. The product of an abusive home, she is forced into a job stripping to pay back the money she owes a gangster, commits herself to an asylum (where she is, naturally, hassled by the evil redneck guards) after she realizes just how much control her alter ego has, indirectly causes the death of her husband D.L. and is generally manipulated by The Company, the gangster who runs it and her alter ego up until the point where she is Stuffed In The Fridge.
Maya, whose power to poison people from a distance cannot be focused at all. After killing most of her family and friends at her brother's wedding, she flees to a church to become a nun, kills everyone in the church and then lives the harrowing life of an illegal immigrant trying to get to America and the one scientist she thinks can cure her. She has the misfortune to cross paths with Sylar, indirectly causes her own brother's death when he realizes what she fails to regarding Sylar being dangerous. And then she gets in a relationship with Mohinder, who puts her in a cocoon in his lab as he's turning into a spider.
Matt, whose telepathic powers lead him to discover his wife has been cheating on him with his former partner. Over the course of the first season, Matt is also mistakenly , kidnapped, manipulated by Eden's power, suspended from his job, thrown out a window by Jessica, and SHOT WITH HIS OWN BULLETS.
Somewhat subverted in the second season when he rebuilds his life, gets a new job as a detective in New York City, adopts Molly, and learns the extent of his powers but he still gets his ass kicked on multiple occasions.
Back in full force in Chapter Three, where Matt is forcibly teleported around the world, left for dead and he finds out that he is destined to get married in the future but that his wife will die.
Back with a vengeance in Chapter Four, when Matt is illegally arrested, framed as a terrorist on national television, finds out that he has a son and that, oh yes, he really IS a dead-beat dad like he was afraid of becoming. He's also blackmailed into saving the Big Bad's life. Also, he's Blessed with Suck in that he also gains the power to draw the future... but it doesn't do him a lick of good. And in a final crowning blow, the future where his true soul mate dies is averted... but only because said soul mate (Daphne, his girlfriend) is killed from complications due to multiple gunshot wounds she received while trying to save him.
And taken to its final logical conclusion in Chapter Five, where Matt tries to imprison Big Bad Sylar's mind inside his own body... only to have Sylar prove to be better at using Matt's powers than Matt is, with Sylar proving capable of making Matt see things within one episode and taking total control of Matt's actions within two episodes.
And then we have Sylar, whose ability to literally NEED to know how everything works led to him turning from what might have been a brilliant genius into an attempted suicide case, followed by a psychopath who just can't lead a normal life even when he tries his damnedest.
Col. Klink in Hogan's Heroes. Constantly duped by Hogan and his men, threatened and intimidated by his superiors and held in contempt by his own men who lined up to volunteer when he was imprisoned and facing a firing squad. Admittedly he was a Nazi but...
Oddly enough, Klink's Butt Monkey status was deliberate on Werner Klemperer's part. Although when you consider that Klemperer was a German Jew who's family had to flee the Nazis before the war or risk getting killed, and that he took the role partly to take revenge by making Nazis look utterly ridiculous, this suddenly makes a lot more sense.
In House, you can't help wonder why, why Wilson is still House's friend. Every scenes between the two show sarcastic arguments and in later seasons crazy pranks, with House always having the last laugh. Poor Wilson is his most cherished victim because even though he always reads House's character, he's overall too nice to get back at him. Even the rest of the staff sometimes make fun of Wilson, and Cuddy often punishes him for covering House! They all get their share, however. If having House as a friend is already a pain, you see in every episodes what it's like to have him as a boss! (Especially Chase) Cuddy always had to deal with his antics, even more when they were dating.
Alfie on House of Anubis. In the span of three seasons, He has been pranked numerous times by his best friend, was locked in the cellar, nearly died from poisoning, de-aged/shrunk, was pushed around by his girlfriend, and would have died at the end of season 1 if Fabian didn't switch the elixir. Note that in season 3 these things don't happen to Alfie nearly as often, but sometimes it feels like he is the only character to go through these kinds things.
Eddie. Poor, poor Eddie. The gang treat him like a chew toy. In one episode he had a highly unusual streak of luck, and Mickey deliberately sabotaged it.
Freddie in iCarly. He has a hopelessly unrequited crush on Carly, which she exploits for all it's worth in order to get him to do things he doesn't agree with. The first time he actually goes against what Carly wants (to do something he really likes), she insults him then tells his mother about it. The main source of his buttmonkeyness lies in Sam who endlessly insults, harasses, physically abuses him, humiliates him in front of other people at school and on the webcast, breaks his possessions and causes him constant problems. And then there's his monstrously overprotective mother.
Pilot episode: Freddie doesn't have a single appearance in the episode that doesn't involve Sam insulting him, Freddie being reminded that Carly doesn't love him back (by both girls, Sam does this especially harshly) and being physically abused by Sam for making a simple mistake. Carly convinces Freddie to keep helping the girls, not by getting Sam to stop insulting him, but by manipulating Freddie through his crush on her. It doesn't get better.
It's finally goes downhill again in Season 4.
Freddie isn't the only one suffering this trope, Carly herself and her older brother Spencer also get this treatment from time to time, especially Spencer. In Carly's case, it's dealing with stuff such as trying to promote a crappy shoe line and suffering through a bitchy teacher taking her heartbreak-induced rage out on her students. It's enough to make Carly a woobie. In Spencer's case, hilarity often ensues, some incidents involving that bratty boy Chuck.
The guys of Impractical Jokers take turns being this, usually culminating in the humiliating punishment.
Roy from The IT Crowd. Essentially about half the show's comedy is seeing how much the writers can get Roy to suffer. This reaches ridiculous levels in the finale.
Richmond. Moreso than Roy, which is really saying something.
Deandra, or Sweet Dee, on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia is the Butt Monkey for her entire group of friends. They crash her car, ignore her and generally crap all over her. In a special where the gang invents an alternate story about how their ancestors cracked the liberty bell, they call Sweet Dee their Witch Slave and force her to wait on them, threatening her with calling her out on being a witch if she doesn't comply.
However, Dee's one-way love interest Rickety Cricket is even more of a Butt Monkey. Dee convinces him to leave the priesthood to be with her, then loses interest. Later, she and her friends recruit him to sell crack for them and he becomes a homeless crack addict. Eventually, they even end up conducting a manhunt for him, just for fun.
Charlie also counts, to an extent. He and Dee are generally the two who receive the most crap from the other members of the gang. It's heavily implied that he was molested as a child, the unpleasant jobs like cleaning the toilets are referred to as 'Charlie Work', both his legs are broken when Dennis runs him over with his car, and there is even an episode in which Dennis and Mac punch him repeatedly and ultimately break bottles and chairs over his head so they could enter him as an underground street fighter.
Basically nothing good ever happens to the entire cast. But hey, it's funny!
The Singaporean talkshow It's A Small World, about foreigners working in Singapore and learning Mandarin, has designated Hongkonger Douglas Kung as this from the get-go. It's worth noting at this point that Douglas is a director and martial arts coordinator, credited with directing Shaolin vs Evil Dead, now working with the very TV station that made this show. He's probably the most Genre Savvy of the lot, his Mandarin is little more than his Cantonese being hammered into shape, and he's very much a Man Child who's prioritised having a ball over anything else. It does bite him epically in the ass one time, when he has to taste wasabi as a forfeit, and does it while holding his nose. Try that sometime.
The writers of JAG obviously had the recurring character Ted Lindsey to fill this role.
Speaking of Den-O, the titular Rider puts the other two to shame as he is more of The Chew Toy.
Sharon from Kath and Kim gets treated like one of these, especially from Kim.
Andre from The League receives far more ridicule and taunting than any of his friends.
Chris Skelton from Life On Mars; his condition's improved slightly in Ashes to Ashes, in which he's acquired a steady girlfriend, learned to shoot straight, and stopped falling into goal nets, but he's still the go-to guy when it comes to fishing abandoned guns out of chemical toilets.
Off-island Locke on LOST. His flashbacks are one agony after another. He's abandoned by his teenage mother, raised in foster care, foster sister and mother die, bullied in high school, and then it gets bad. His biological parents team up to con him out of a kidney. He loses the love of his life. He's kicked out of his commune "family". Finally, his own father pushes him out an 8th-story window, paralyzing him. Crashing on the island is probably the best thing that ever happened to him. After he leaves the island, he's again in a wheelchair, everyone mocks him for being pathetic and lonely, he finds out his ex-girlfriend is dead, and he's unable to convince the Oceanic 6 to return. He's ready to hang himself when Ben arrives, talks him out of it, and then strangles him. But he gets better as soon as he's back on the island.
NOT!!! On return to the island, Locke turns out to be the biggest Unwitting PawnChew Toy of the universe. He's still dead, the Big Bad's using his body as a suit and everything he believed about the island led him to that end. The only good thing that can be said is that there is literally no possible way for things to get worse for the poor bastard.
But you're supposed to sympathize with all of them. Well it comes to purely gleeful buttmonkeys, there's no better example tha season 3's Mikhail, who gets severely and bloodily beaten in every episode that features him - and apparently killed in most of them. And the audience cheers every time.
There's also Ben Linus who is beaten up so many times that it's Lampshadedmore than once. Turns out that he got so tired of being the butt monkey that he killed Jacob because of it.
Then of course there is Jack. He gets thrust into a leadership role he never wanted, is forced to deal with psychological abuse from his parents, his father was an alcoholic who who never showed him approval or love, his relationships with Kate, Juliet and his wife collapse and the flashforward reveals that, upon leaving the island, he became a broken miserable alcoholic with a death wish.
Eko as well, particularly in season 3. As if being inside the Hatch when it explodes and barely making it out alive isn't enough, he gets dragged to a cave by a polar bear where he is slowly being killed by it (and is miraculously saved by Locke and Charlie). And it only gets worse from there. And that's without mentioning his crappychildhood.
Bud's sister Kelly isn't much better off. Whether it's going from being the most popular girl in school to being reduced to working as a waitress in a miserable run-down diner, having her potentially hit TV show destroyed by Executive Meddling, being fired from her job for refusing to wear a bikini in a TV ad, losing all her hair and growing a beard when she tries an experimental zit remedy, getting bitten by poisonous insects that either force her to tell the truth or drive her insane, being forced to take the Bundy dog's place in a dog food commercial, being rejected by a hot rich guy because of the expensive makeover that was meant to attract him, being tricked by Bud into babysitting a group of bratty children while he takes all the money for his date, getting electrocuted after accidentally stepping in a fountain while wearing Al's "shoe headlights", or suffering through consuming a series of bad-tasting diet drinks for a commercial and then being digitally replaced by the company president's daughter when the ad actually airs, Kelly is proof that the women of the family are just as apt to fall victim to the Bundy Curse.
Al. Period. To list the things that have happened to him would require its own website.
Major Frank Burns from M*A*S*H. Although he usually deserves it by virtue of being Frank, being accused of rape by a female superior officer who was trying to seduce him is a bit over the top.
Ironically, it was because of his Butt Monkey status that Frank Burns was written out: Larry Linville expressed his opinion that Frank Burns had been developed about as far as possible, and could never advance beyond the uptight, reactionary portrayal that had become so well-known.
Igor is this as well, taking constant abuse from people dissatisfied with the food, despite the fact that he only serves it and does not cook it.
Merlin, especially when "helping" Arthur with his training exercises.
Morgana Pendragon as well. Even before her Heel-Face Turn, the writers did not seem to like her.
Detective Randy Disher on Monk is definitely that series' Butt Monkey. When the show doesn't need comedy relief, Randy has been shown to be on the level of his friends, able to keep up with Monk himself at one point. When they believe they need a joke, however, which is most of the time, you can be assured he will be the butt of it, even if that means portraying him as someone literally Too Dumb to Live, let alone get a job as a police officer.
Beaker is the resident Butt Monkey of The Muppet Show, always the victim of the experiments of his "friend", Dr. Bunsen Honeydew.
Sesame Street, too, has its resident Butt Monkey in Bert, who is usually the butt of Ernie's antics. Also, Oscar the Grouch is treated this way occasionally.
The Muppet Show has Gonzo the Great, the hapless and luckless daredevil stunt artist. Not only do all of his stunts fail spectacularly but, especially in the first series, he was incredibly unpopular and was often the butt of many jokes backstage. His original design in series one was small, furry and wonky-looking which made him look very vulnerable and small; however, as he began to get even more enthusiasm, he evolved into his more upbeat and lively personality. However, he is still luckless and the butt of jokes, he is just much more oblivious to them.
Joel, and later Mike, from Mystery Science Theater 3000 usually ended up being the butt of most of the jokes made by robots Crow and Tom Servo. This didn't only happen in the host segments, sometimes the robots manage to include mockery of Joel/Mike in their movie riffing.
If it's possible for an inanimate object to be a Butt Monkey, Buster the dummy from MythBusters qualifies. (And if he doesn't, Tory from the build team comes close at times.)
Isn't Grant usually the guinea pig?
True, but Tori's the guy who's always hurting himself or getting hit in the nards. A male Dojikko, if you will, with overtones of The Chew Toy because so many of the series' fans find the nutshots and other misfortune hilarious.
Tony DiNozzo on NCIS tends to be the team's Butt Monkey, often justified in that he is a Jerk Jock with a very Hidden Heart of Gold. Sometimes McGee fills this role instead; either way, at least one of them is often the butt of an episode's Running Gag.
Jimmy Palmer has plenty of these moments as well.
Marty Deeks on NCIS: Los Angeles just loves this trope to bits. Though, Callen, Nell and Eric could fill this trope just as easily as well. It's even more hilarious in staged missions where the characters are under a different alias other than their main name.
Gareth in the original UK version of The Office is set up for pranks at his expense regularly by co-worker Tim, some of which can seem quite mean-spirited... However Tim often gets away with it because Gareth is depicted as being gormless and irritating, and often mean-spirited himself along with it, so you could say that Tim is simply giving him payback. Gareth still catches a break every now and then, though.
Dawn is also portrayed as such, at least later in the series where David Brent is constantly leaving her to clean up after him. She is much more sympathetic than Gareth though.
Toby in the US version of The Office. Pretty much anything he says is guaranteed to get an undeserved nasty and insulting response from Michael. And sometimes his just being there can provoke Michael.
Michael: Toby is from corporate, so he's not really a part of our family... also he's divorced, so he's not really a part of his family.
Even when he agrees with and/or helps Michael, he gets this.
Michael: NO, GOD! NO GOD, PLEASE NO! NO! NO! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO...
To a lesser extent, Phyllis also fulfills this role, having Michael constantly belittle and humiliate her. And let us not forget the time she got flashed by a pervert in the office parking lot and when Dwight drove her to a bad side of town to only leave her there without a phone, forcing her to walk miles back to the office.
Practically everyone at different times in One Foot in the Grave, with the exceptions of Margaret and Mr. Swainey. The show's entire raison d'être is little more than a demonstration of the permanent surreal sadism of the universe towards Victor, and to a (marginally) lesser extent Mrs. Warboys and Patrick.
Denzil from Only Fools and Horses, who is a perpetual victim of Del's schemes. As with every other Running Gag on the show, this is lampshaded no end, with Rodney frequently sympathising with his plight and Denzil himself trying hard to stop it happening. Trigger is arguably a subversion of the trope, because he's a victim of Del just as often but doesn't appear to realise he's being messed about, happily (though unwittingly) acting to his own detriment in the interests of "helping out a friend". Moreover, Trigger's sporadic attempts at trading usually result in Del somehow getting screwed over, so they're probably pretty even on that count.
Rodney, since Del both uses and teases him quite a lot.
Slater in the first chapter of Rock And Chips was one, being eternally victimised by Del and all his friends, hence giving him a good reason to join the police force after leaving school.
Grandad and Uncle Albert also qualifies.
Gary "Jerry/Larry" Gergich on Parks and Recreation seems to exist primarily to be abused by the rest of the cast. Part of the humor comes from the fact that he seems like a totally normal, likable guy, but he is quite clumsy and is often the perpetrator and the victim of countless office blunders. Additionally, he's treated as a Butt Monkey not only by the insensitive or thoughtless characters, but by everyone, even the "nice" characters. Even Chris manages to be mean to him, if only by obliviously forcing him into a leadership position where he can't perform.
Ron: A schlemiel is the guy who spills soup at a fancy party. A schlemazel is the guy he spills it on. Jerry is both the schlemiel and schlemazel of our office.
Occasionally has a bone thrown at him: He's been happily married for over 25 years to Christie Brinkley with three gorgeous daughters, and has the largest penis one doctor has ever seen.
Kyle, another government worker (though not in the Parks Department), is even more of a Butt Monkey. It's telling that in their only scene together to date, Jerry treated Kyle like everyone else usually treats Jerry (all because he thought a turkey burger was better than a regular beef burger).
In the episode with the Time Capsule, Leslie ensures Jerry's loserdom will be his legacy in the future:
Leslie: So enjoy watching it. Assuming you still have electricity. And sorry about the weird blank gap in the middle. A man named Jerry Gergich screwed up the recording somehow. He had one job to do.
Power Rangers RPM. Poor Ziggy. It seems that barely an episode can go by without the Green Ranger totally embarrassing himself in some way. Best reflected by his first ever morph. Previous rangers, whether they Jumped at the Call, were thrown in the cockpit or even stole their powers, always morphed with a fair amount of dignity and grace the first time. What's Ziggy's first line upon realising what he has become?
Ziggy: Woah! I'm a Power Ranger! I don't wanna be a Power Ranger! I do not want to be a Power Ranger!
He then proceeds to get kicked all over the place.
Toby Cavanaugh from Pretty Little Liars. Nothing good happens for the guy: being forced into a sexual relationship by Jenna, then being framed for a murder he didn't commit, falling off a staircase, blackmailed by A to learn the truth about his mother's death, almost getting arrested twice... the list goes on and on.
Post-season 1 Bellick in Prison Break. He was something of a Smug Snake in season 1, definitely not likeable. But the payback he gets is far worse than what he deserves. It is implied that he got raped by a prisoner at the end of season 2, was forced to drink water from a mud-puddle in season 3 and all such stuff, despite actually starting to become more likeable. In season 4 he seems to have regained a "good guy" status (and is on the team) and occasionally actually helps the plot.
Can't mention PB without touching on T-Bag...sure he deserved all the crap heaped on him,and if anything, showed himself to posses a rather preternatural ability to survive, but crikey the man took more than a fair few blows.
Or even better- Mahone. Starts out as Michael's only real mental rival with possibly the same condition/disorder as Michael. But he's a junkie. And a Government flunkie. They break his kids leg to force his compliance(he kills the agent responsible in a Crowning Moment of Awesome) He's shot. Then he's fired. Then arrested and imprisoned. And that's just season TWO! Season Three sees him trapped in prison, getting addicted to heroin to replace his ANTI PSYCHOTIC MEDS, getting OFF the heroin, escaping(barely) from the Panamanian prison. Season 4? Well to force him out of hiding the One World conspiracy has his wife and son attacked. His wife is made to watch their SEVEN YEAR OLD SON be slowly beaten to death.(The scene in the diner when he promises her revenge is award worthy, seriously, William Fichtner...god damn) Eventually though, he gets his revenge-he slowly tortures the guy who killed his son, to make the man APOLOGISE to Mahone's wife. Then he kills the guy. It's made even more awesome because the man is literally mid sentence, launching into a 'we're not so different, you and I' speech when Mahone kicks him off a jetty and into the ocean. Crowning Moment of Awesome indeed
Detective Carlton Lassiter in Psych. He's constantly being upstaged by a Deadpan Snarker Slacker who, despite having no formal police training or official standing with the department, effortlessly sweeps him aside in any investigation they become involved in, usually managing to charm the socks off everyone present in the process. Whatever leads he follows or moves he makes in those cases usually turn out wrong. And the Deadpan Snarker he loathes so intensely is usually proved right. None of the other characters seem particularly inclined to show him any respect whatsoever (which is something that, admittedly, is partly his own fault, given how abrasive and uptight he is), and any misfortunes or unhappy circumstances that occur, will usually occur to him.
To a lesser extent Gus, as part of his role as the Straight Man, usually finds himself taking this role when Shawn manipulates him into doing something he doesn't particularly wish to do.
In QI, Alan Davies, especially to start with. He was clearly placed on the show to serve as a foil for genius host Stephen Fry, making inane points and earning forfeits with practiced ignorance. As such, he is commonly on the receiving end of numerous traps, into which he glibly walks. Later seasons have shown that he can play well, though, if he wants to and the studio happens to be lenient.
Ben on Reaper. If something nasty is going to happen to one of the trio of Sam, Sock, and Ben, it always heads straight for Ben.
Arnold Rimmer from Red Dwarf spends his entire life trying to live up to his parents' insane expectations. After legally divorcing them, he spends the rest of his life trying to become an officer in the Space Corps. And things don't go much better for him after his death.
One episode ends with a Reset Button and the crew realise that they'll have no memories of that episode's events and can do anything they want. Kryten chooses to insult Rimmer. The worst part about it was later on we find out the Reset Button didn't work and they do remember what happened.
And then he finds out that his real father was the unintelligent gardener nicknamed Dungo, making Arnold's life as a lowly technician on a spaceship a relative success.
Bill Schulz on Red Eye w/ Greg Gutfeld (Fox News' Daily Show-esque late-night talk show). Bill is Greg's "disgusting sidekick", Red Eye's New York Times Correspondent. He is constantly derided, especially when Greg introduces the panel and closes the show, to the point that he goes along with it.
"He smells of cat urine and broken dreams. I'm talking, of course, about my disgusting sidekick, Bill Schulz."
"Bill Schulz, you suck."
While it's easy to call Bill the show's Butt Monkey due to how often Greg goes after him (due to Greg portraying himself as a Comedic Sociopath), the show is more of a revolving door of Butt Monkeys. Bill is a Butt Monkey to Greg, Greg is a Butt Monkey to the show's Libertarian Ombudsman Andy, and Andy is often the target of Bill's ridicule, as well as Greg's. Then there's all the regular panelists who are often nice to Bill while poking fun at Greg (most notably the show's interplanetary correspondent; GWAR frontman Oderus Urungus).
Red's nephew Harold suffered through this role for the first several seasons of The Red Green Show.
Tommy Gavin on Rescue Me. Every. Single. Episode. By the end of the second season, his wife has left him, twice. The first time, she took the kids with her and didn't tell him where she went. The second time, it was because she blamed him for the death of their son. Said son was killed in front of him by a drunk driver. Another child is miscarried, and he has seen two people shot to death in front of him. He is constantly haunted by the ghosts of people close to him who have died.
Nakayama, particularly during the 24-hour live special. Cameraman Abe forcibly stays overnight at his house, then makes him pay for the pricey ingredients for Arino's lunch. On top of that, he is mocked for a minor error during the previous live special. The Fatal Fury Special is Nakyama's time in the spotlight for Nakayama. Admittedly, FFS is Nakayama's favorite game, but the episode allows him to show off while he gets Arino to the RyoSakazaki fight.
How about Watanabe? Seems like she can't go one episode without Arino poking fun at her weight, not that the way she acts helps her much in that regard.
Reviews on the Run host Tommy Tallarico frequently makes jokes at the expense of co-host Victor Lucas, implying he has a huge head when in fact his cranial proportions are quite normal.
Joh Ohara of Choujuu Sentai Liveman got more heartbreaks than anyone else in the season, which is REALLY saying something. He was also the one to get bitten by a dinosaur. He starts to lose this in time for the show to get much Darker and Edgier than it was before. He did get some breaks beforehand, however, such as being the only one whose rival and former friend in Volt performs a Heel Face Turn and lives.
Godehard Wolpers, producer on the German show Schmidteinander with Herbert Feuerstein, long-year editor-in-chief of the German MAD. Whenever something went wrong in the show, they used to shout: "Whose fault was it? 1 - 2 - 3 - WOLPERS!"
Ted, the lawyer on Scrubs, is so often the victim of abuse he was dubbed in one episode the hospital sadsack.
J.D. himself gets the Butt Monkey treatment often, usually in the form of the Janitor pulling some kind of prank on him.
It is even law that every intern is a Butt Monkey.
George on Seinfeld particularly in scenes involving his parents/childhood, although all the other characters routinely mock his character flaws and his elaborate schemes always end in the most humiliating way possible. Some episodes, like The Puffy Shirt seem designed to set him up for a fall.
Detective Ronnie Gardocki is largely treated like a red-headed stepson of the Strike Team, forced to run the other guy's errands, had his car shot up by gangsters, mocked for his lack of a sex life, and suffers great physical harm over the course of the series (disfigured, mauled by dogs, hit over the head with a large cross) and ultimately made to be the fall-guy for Vic Mackey's crimes, as so far as Vic refusing to let him flee town when he wanted to leave, as far as Vic basically telling Ronnie that he had put his life in Vic's hands and trust him, lest he fuck up Vic's own quest to get immunity/a job working with the Department of Homeland Security after getting run out of the LAPD.
Holland "Dutch" Wagenbach was "The Barn's" go-to target for derision and disrespect, despite probably being the best actual cop in the building. In the pilot episode (later confirmed on DVD commentary) it's shown that his own partner, Claudette Wyms, is responsible for a continuous wave of mean-spirited pranks pulled on him (including putting dog shit in his desk drawer) as part of a long-standing LAPD tradition to keep certain talented officers "humble". Dutch's relationship with Claudette is tense on a good day, due to Dutch having his various overtures of friendship and concern rebuked by his partner, who wouldn't even tell Dutch that she had a potentially fatal medical condition (lupus) until several years into their partnership. When Claudette gets promoted to Captain, Dutch is forcibly partnered up with Steve Billings, a lazy detective determined to spend his last years on the force doing as little work as possible and forcing Dutch to cover up his attempts to scam the department (most notably with a fake disability lawsuit). His relationship with series main character Vic Mackey is more complicated: while Vic acknowledges that Dutch is the precinct's best detective (and is terrified of him possibly uncovering the Strike Team's crimes), Vic generally goes back and forth from bullying Dutch for sport and feeding his ego, in order to manipulate Dutch to do his dirty work for him. Dutch's butt-monkey status also extends to his relationship with women; the few successful relationships he has are with women formerly involved with Vic, furthering the rivalry between the two men.
Dutch's personal life is even worse, especially since he's one of the few characters on the show whose private life has been revealed in graphic detail: spent his youth/teenage years being mercilessly bullied, raised by an emotionally distant father for whom Dutch became a police officer in order to try and gain his father's approval, failed marriage to an alcoholic who got knocked up by a guy she met while in rehab (which led to him becoming the Butt-Monkey of the Barn in the first place, when another detective revealed this to the other officers), and generally has crappy relationships with women in general as far as women seeing him mainly as a friend/mentor and not a love interest.
He also has an unhealthy obsession with serial killers and strangles a cat
Jerry the perpetual understudy from Slings and Arrows, who averages a hilarious injury every three or four episodes and inevitably gets parts snatched away from him as soon as he starts enjoying them.
Smallville's version of Jimmy Oslen becomes something of a snowballing butt monkey, especially once Lex the Woobie left the show after Season 7.
Apart from getting his share of the standard amount of grievous physical trauma experienced by most characters on the show, Jimmy's buttmonkeyness was evident early on by his being generally treated like dirt as the designated love interest for Chloe Sullivan, but ballooned in Season Eight, where his not-unfounded jealousy over Clark is the least of his problems, what with getting constantly and very obviously lied to by everyone and most especially by his fiancée. His joy at discovering that Clark is the Red-Blue Blurr is crushed through an elaborate deception by his closest friends, and his boss refuses to take him seriously. Things ratchet up several notches when his wedding gets literally crashed by Doomsday who just about eviscerates him. After being thus benched for a good chunk of the season (in which his wife oddly does not seem to spend much time visiting him in hospital), he becomes addicted to painkillers, discovers that Davis Bloom is a serial killer and when he tries to warn his friends nobody believes him, not even his wife. He gets repeatedly beaten, tortured and tied up, keeps getting lied to over and over again by Chloe, is dismissed as a crazy junkie by all his friends, even witnesses that Chloe apparently has romantic feelings for the guy he discovered is a killer, precipitating the total collapse of his marriage (which doesn't even rate more than a handwaved mention of their divorce). To top it all off, gets gratuitously murdered in the finale by the same guy he tried to warn everyone about. To add insult to injury, his funeral scene reveals that he wasn't even the "real" Jimmy Olsen from the comics that he had hitherto been presented as being, but rather a "Henry James Olson", evidently an older brother to the canonical "James Bartholomew Olsen".
Apparently it really sucks to be Jimmy Olsen, even when you're actually not.
Lana Lang is supposed to be The Woobie, but really comes off more like this. Of course, given many fans' opinions of her, this also makes her The Chew Toy.
Frank Spencer, the main character of the classic BBC sitcom Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em, is a likeable disaster magnet who has at one point rollerskated under a semi truck and hung off the side of an airplane.
In Sons of Anarchy Half Sack, as SAMCRO's probationer is the club's ''official Butt Monkey. After his death,he loses this spot to Chucky. And then there are the unofficial Butt Monkeys of the show, who are generally just plain unfortunate.
#1 is Otto Delaney, who is imprisoned at the beginning of the show and has enough felonies racked up to stay there indefinitely, most of them assaults and/or killings on behalf of the club against other inmates. Then he, being the most vulnerable member of the club, gets blinded by enemies of the Sons in order to provoke them. His wife sleeps with another member of the MC. His wife gets killed by a competitor of hers. He is discovered while killing another inmate as retaliation for an attack on Jax, going to death row. As season four Anti-Villain Lincoln Potter points out: "I've never seen another criminal who has suffered that much for his organization." (and then he tells him that his wife slept with another member and her killer hasn't been taken out yet). By season five, he's basically gone insane since he doesn't care anymore what happens to him or his surroundings. After Tara convinced him to withdraw his testimony against the club, he opts to do so in an especially twisted way by killing an innocent nurse (thereby invalidating his testimony)... and later bites of his tongue when he is questioned for the ongoing investigation. However, the brother of the nurse he killed, a retired lawman, vows to make the remainder of his life as bad as possible and has blind and mute Otto repeatedly raped by other inmates. It says a lot that him finally getting the upper end and killing him, only to be shot moments later by the prison staff, is the most satisfying and relieving ending for him (and probably the audience as well).
#2 is Opie Winston, being out of prison at the beginning of the show after a five year-sentence (because his getaway driver abandoned him to the police), with his wife constantly trying to make him turn his back on the club. Then he is spotted during a hit, and an ATF agent uses this to pressure him to cooperate, framing him as a snitch. Some mistrustful members of the club think he is going to rat them out, planning a hit on him but accidentally killing his wife instead. As a consequence, he gets deeper into the club business but finds out that his brothers were responsible for her death. He remarries and finds out his new wife aborted his baby. His father is killed when he threatens to expose the machinations of another member. Finally, after the same member that killed his wife accidentally kills yet another significant other of his target, Otto gets beaten to death in prison as part of the retaliation for the attack.
Tony Soprano once told a story about a boy with a speech impediment he and his bully friends used to abuse in school (namely, made him sing silly songs and laughed their asses off). It took him quite a while to understand this wasn't the nicest thing to do. More recently, Artie Bucco serves as the resident Butt Monkey; he becomes increasingly pathetic to watch as the show progresses.
Also, Bobby Baccallieri, who, along with Vito, is constantly mocked due to his weight and his non-mobster-like niceness toward others. Even Tony, who isn't exactly a male model, can't seem to stop harping on how fat Bobby is - to his face, of course, as often as possible.
Adriana, once the feds get their meat-hooks in her.
Paul on Spin City, most memorably when he was sued for being shot in the head. (And the plaintiff was rewarded more than he asked for.)
Daniel Jackson is often getting killed, captured, kidnapped, or injured.
During his short run, Lt. Colonel Mitchell also seemed to get more than his fair share of beatings, so much so that the actor even described the character as the "whipping boy". This may have been a way of presenting his relative lack of experience in comparison to the older characters. And possibly a way to cheer up fans who didn't like seeing Jack replaced.
And amongst the supporting characters, there is Sergeant Siler. After the first few seasons, whenever he appears on screen, there's a good chance something bad (or at the very least, painful) happens to him.
In the series as a whole, the Malps get this treatment. Being robots this is to be expected. But throughout the series, malps have been shot, kidnapped, eroded, and even dropped off in space!
McKay: Well, there goes that MALP
Miles O'Brien from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine was the character of choice when the writers needed to put somebody through hell for an episode. This led to the "O'Brien Must Suffer" in-joke among the writers, who intentionally tried to inflict something truly awful on him at least once per season. If an alien attacks one crew member, it's almost always either O'Brien or Worf (although the latter is for a different reason).
Weyoun is a bit of one in the later seasons, since every character hates him so much.
On the original Star Trek, Chekov did more screaming-in-pain than the rest of the crew combined. He even got a torture scene in the episode "Mirror, Mirror". This was explained as a convenient way to show there was mortal peril. Apparently, Kirk, Spock and McCoy all being older, dignified men would have made it improper for them to scream, but Chekov is in his early twenties and still very boyish, so it's all right for him. Doesn't make it any easier on the poor guy, though. In a nice inversion, he's the only one who doesn't get hit with the aging disease in "The Deadly Years". He still ends up getting subjected to a thousand and one medical checks, though.
Chekov: Blood sample, Chekov! Marrow sample, Chekov! Skin sample, Chekov! If – if I live long enough, I'm going to run out of samples!
Sulu: You'll live.
Chekov: Oh yes, I'll live. But I won't enjoy it!
Sometimes Scotty, whenever he was left in charge of the Enterprise. He more than made up for it on several occasions, usually managing to outsmart the villain of the week.
Geordi from Star Trek: The Next Generation who gets pwned nearly as much as Worf (suffering from The Worf Effect). He's even hopeless with women. One particularly cruel episode had an alien taunt his blindness by moving his visor around, just because. The series seems to never let us go on the fact that he's blind (until the movies, well actually he gets taunted again in Generations, which may or may not have led him to go get cybernetic replacements by Star Trek: First Contact.). And apparently his mom disappears as some plot of the week. Worst yet is that nobody gives a damn about his mom afterwards. And to add insult to injury, in Voyager's "Timeless" he tries to stop Harry Kim and fails. Ouch. In one episode, he's heading on his merry way to Risa for some rest, relaxation and poontang. He gets kidnapped by Romulans and gets a Mind Rape from them. See here for further proof of his incredibly poor luck.
Next to Worf and Geordi, Deanna Troi filled this role many times. She was always being possessed by aliens, abused by aliens in crashed shuttles, abducted by aliens for political gambits, being nearly forced to marry an alien, having her psychic powers robbed by aliens, suffering nightmares at the hands of aliens, forced to listen to a virtual music box in her head for days by an alien, the list goes on. Her only real use on the show was to counsel the random crew member of the week and to tell Picard when she sensed weird things happening while on the bridge– apart from being this show's Ms. Fanservice, that is.
And when Troi actually said something useful, she was often ignored. In the second season episode, "Samaritan Snare," Geordi is beamed over to a disabled ship to help the apparently dim-witted aliens out. Troi walks onto the bridge, see Geordi on the ship through the viewscreen and tells Riker Geordi is in danger and needs to be beamed back immediately. Riker ignores her warning because those aliens are just so stupid and what harm can they do? Well, let's just say the main plot of the show is Riker's efforts to get Geordi back, which could have been avoided if he'd listened to the empath!
Fans were fond of observing that Ensign Harry Kim was killed and brought back to life with something approaching regularity. Seems even being a major character isn't enough for an Ensign to survive. Not to mention his terrible luck with women.
Subverted in the episode "Timeless", where everyone BUT Harry Kim (and Chakotay) dies. Until the end of the episode, when, of course, they both die.
In universe, one of the show's longest running gags among the crew, is Neelix's supposedly terrible cooking. Among the audience, his reputation was summed up by a game reviewer for Elite Force, saying that one of the best things about the game was the fact that, "you can shoot Neelix."
Star Trek: Enterprise: Most of the captains of Star Trek have their moments of buttmonkery, but ol Jonathan Archer is one of the worst of the lot. All he wants to do is peacefully explore the galaxy making friends of the many species across the galaxy in the ship his father built, but he continuously ends up putting himself and his ship in ludicrously dangerous situations both by chance and due to his Chronic Hero Syndrome, gets captured constantly, nearly gets killed or sentenced to death countless times, and if the plot requires somebody to get badly injured and/or beaten up by the Villain of the Week that episode, it's him, especially during the first season.
Almost as frequently, it's Malcolm Reed who is the designated victim, although he's more an accident prone victim of circumstances than a constant villain target. He seems like a Redshirt with Plot Armour, forever doomed to be injured or trapped in order to provide dramatic tension. This may also be a symptom of The Worf Effect, given that he is the ship's tactical officer and thus the one who should be most capable at looking out for his own well-being.
Boomer (David Morse) on St. Elsewhere was the ultimate Butt Monkey; losing his wife, having his son abducted, and even getting raped in prison. Kind of puts the "butt" in Butt Monkey. Poor Boomer.
Maddie from 'The Suite Life of Zack and Cody'. If there's something bad to happen, it WILL happen to her. If there's someone to blame for anything, it will be her. Especially when she's trying to keep London or the twins out of trouble. Or when trying to teach London or the twins a lesson.
It's usually played quite serious with Dean from Supernatural (in that he really doesn't like himself much either) but, bloody hell, in "Sin City"? Dean, sweetie, remembering an exorcism that will send a demon back to hell should really be one of your top priorities, you know?
Slightly justified at this point because it was still the early days and demons weren't necessarily any more important than other supernatural beings (except the Yellow Eyed Demon, and they were using the colt for that, not an exorcism.) Dean still is a serious Butt Monkey though.
In season 5, Sam seems to be turning into this. A Groin Attack and being forced to do a commercial for genital herpes, as well as getting chlamydia (from a 500-year-old witch, no less) all within episodes of each other.
Derek Hale. Shot, poisoned, apparently murdered, tortured, and beaten by way of setting the stakes and showing off the worst the baddies can offer. Nothing good happens to him. Even becoming an Alpha by Season One's end only makes his situation worse. Derek Hale can just can't have nice things.
Greenburg from the lacrosse team. He seems to be the bane of Coach Finstock's existence. Although between his status as The Ghost and the coach's...questionable mental state, it's not 100% certain that Greenburg really exists. And Word of God states he may not even exist.
In The Thick of It Glen Cullen is a pretty extreme example of this trope. He's regarded as an aging, irrelevant joke despite all his attempts to claim his 'experience' (read: age) has given him connections, sex-starved to the point where even his friends don't hesitate to point out "the last time you saw snatch was Basic Instinct" and scapegoated numerous times for the screw-ups of other people in the department. By the second series, it's become enough to give him a pitiable but quite hilarious mental breakdown.
In "Spinners And Losers", the less sympathetic Ollie Reeder becomes a Butt Monkey, bullied left and right by Malcolm Tucker, sucking up to the various Smug Snakes, forced into embarrassing himself trying to rekindle a relationship he just broke off and then reduced to the status of cheese monitor while his ex-girlfriend and Arch-Enemy laugh at him.
Tommy from the sitcom Titus and in some episodes Titus himself.
The Tom Green Show had Glenn Humplik. To be Tom Green's butt monkey is not an enviable position.
Before that Branford Marsalis. Like in the Beyondo segment where Jay played a floating head that made predictions.
The Tony Randall Show had Mario Lanza (Zane Lasky). The Running Gag with the character was that Randall's character constantly insulted, belittled and hated him for no clear reason.
The presenters on Top Gear pass this around: Richard Hammond tends to suffer physical abuse and has become ever-so-slightly Woobiefied as a result; James May (aka "Captain Slow") has to deal with the ridicule of his co-presenters and their occasional (okay, frequent) attempts to sabotage his efforts; and Jeremy Clarkson seems completely unable to cope when he's out of his depth. However, since this so seldom happens, and since Clarkson is such a self-assured character most of the time, watching him suffer is highly entertaining.
Captain Jack Harkness of Torchwood, being unkillable, is repeatedly subjected to Fates Worse Than Death over the course of the show, especially in Children of Earth.
We see your Children of Earth and raise you one Miracle Day.
Corey and Trevor fulfil this role on Trailer Park Boys, constantly screwing up when they try to help the Boys commit their crimes, being tricked by the Boys into taking the fall when they're busted by the cops, and being insulted and humiliated despite their idolizing Ricky and Julian.
Leo Johnson on Twin Peaks was interesting because he was a terrifying and menacing figure all through the first season, but after his injury in the finale, he became a butt-monkey for everyone from his wife and her boyfriend to Windom Earle in the second season. It just never stopped! Certainly it was warranted, given his status as an abusive Jerkass for the first bit of his existence, but after a while you couldn't help but notice it was getting silly.
Jeremy Gilbert loses his parents, has a girlfriend who is openly jerkish to him die and is made to forget it, he has a teacher who dislikes him enough to keep a file on him, he meets a girl who has manipulating him for his family journal (She develops genuine feelings for him and then dies too), he is openly insulted, abused and even murdered by resident jerkass Damon (He got better), he is killed again at the end of the second season, and has to be sent away to avoid being murdered and is then betrayed and killed again by Katherine in Season four.
Caroline Forbes seems to be the go to girl for kidnappings, tortures, and general mistreatment.
Bonnie Bennett has a mother that abandoned her, loses her grandmother, nearly dies multiple times and seems to only be used when her friends need something from her before dying at the end of season four.
Matt Donovan has been abandoned by both parents, works a deadend job, fears being left behind when his friends leave for college, is often beaten up and insulted by other characters, has to put up endless bad luck and loses his best friend Jeremy in season four.
Logan Echolls from Veronica Mars. With all the crap that's happens to him before and during the events of the show, it's no wonder the dude's a Death Seeker.
Trina, Sinjin, sometimes Cat, and Tori to a certain extent. Lampshaded in "Tori Gets Stuck" where Jade complains about being cheated and humiliated. Sinjin tells her that it was something to get used to and Robbie nods in agreement.
Claudia Donovan spent most of her first episode of Warehouse 13 pointing a gun at Artie's head, but later on became a tool for physical comic relief, usually through messing with an artifact, and was revealed to be socially inept. They toned that down in season 2 though, as she gained more skill at and respect for her job. She remains socially inept, but that's justified by her backstory.
Trivette from Walker, Texas Ranger. Next to frequently kidnapped district attorney Cahill, he's the most hapless character in the show, being the butt of every joke and the victim of every attack by redneck thugs.
It should, however, be noted that Trivette is also quite a Deadpan Snarker and said rednecks thugs are usually very sorry afterwards.
In the second episode of the Walking with Monsters "documentary", the giant Mesothelae spider is something of a Butt Monkey. When it returns to its burrow after catching a lizard, the burrow is flooded. On its way to find another burrow, a giant dragonfly steals the dead lizard. It goes to get a drink, only to be scared off by a giant predatory amphibian. It finds a good number of other holes, but they're all occupied by other spiders. It gets chased off by a giant millipede. Finally, it finds a hole... which is struck by lightning once the spider's done building the web inside. The spider is roasted, and later eaten by another of the lizards.
And, in a meta example...the Mesothelae probably didn't even *exist*. It was based on Megarachne, which was found to be a eurypterid rather than a spider.
Celia Hodes on Weeds suffered more than any character on the show. She suffers breast cancer, falls in love with a religious man who cheats on her with her best friend, gets jailed all thanks to her own family and friends, and nearly gets shot by Nancy's employers once they discover her spying on them (Nancy saves her life by hitting her on the face with a gun, resulting in her losing a front tooth).
Then she gets addicted to cocaine.
Her husband, Dean, is also a butt monkey, usually in a more slapstick fashion then Celia, and rarely without the high points Celia experiences between her bouts of bad luck.
Your mileage will definitely vary as she is also a horribly abusive person who gave her daughter laxatives, shaved her husband's head, and destroyed Nancy's supply forcing her to work for U-Turn. The last straw is when she tries to blackmail Nancy who doesn't take to it kindly
Whose Line Is It Anyway?: They had Colin, who was constantly being made fun of for being bald. And Canadian. And having strange shirts. note Though in his defense, they were found and chosen by Whose Line's wardrobe staffer. He knew it, too, and even lampshaded it in an episode when Ryan and Drew's picking on each other went on a little too long.
Colin: I'll be your lightning rod of hate!
One episode had a game where Colin ended up doing a handstand and not being able to get all the way up, with him saying that his battery pack got wedged up his ass, and Drew thought it was the funniest thing in the world for some reason, topping it off by saying "I don't know why I find it so funny whenever you get hurt."
Ziggy Sobotka from The Wire acts like a clown to entertain his coworkers and is usually put in bad situations for it. Later he gets a moment in the end of the second season which puts him in jail, probably for a very long time
Lee Mack has become this on Would I Lie to You??; the producers play up the fact that he is a Bad Liar by giving him the stupidest lies possible, and he gets mocked a lot by the host's autocue jokes.
Joxer on Xena: Warrior Princess. Nearly every climactic scene involving "Joxer the Mighty" invariably has him getting knocked unconscious. No one hesitates to insult him, be it Xena, Gabrielle, Autolycus or even his murderous brother Jett. This is coupled with his affection for Gabrielle, who barely tolerates his existence. He's even reviled on fansites.
During the middle seasons of The X-Files, A.D. Skinner suffered a lot of abuse: being shot, framed for murdering a hooker, blackmailed, and poisoned with nanotechnology (this last was never really resolved). There was an episode where he has the crap kicked out of him by a woman. But some men would pay good money for that.
The woman in question was herself a one-episode Butt Monkey. She was knocked down by a mugger and left with a prominent bruise on her face, then hypnotized into believing that her boss was responsible, so she pepper sprayed him and then kicked the crap out of him, only to be mortified by her actions when the hypnosis wore off.
X-Play's Roger: The Stan Lee Experience uses Bob Kane as this due to his hatred for him.
Tony Lewis of The 10th Kingdom is a Butt Monkey for pretty much three-fourths of the miniseries, culminating when the seven years of bad luck he receives for breaking the Traveling mirror causes him to break the entire complement of the Dwarves' mirrors, compounding his bad luck by thirty times so that he ends up falling and breaking his back. After this, aside from continued snarkiness, he even Took a Level in Badass during the climax, sort of.
Rick Geddes on 15/Love was used and manipulated by Squib and Cody, disrespected and mocked by his nominal boss, President Bates, and insulted frequently by the coaches. At least he managed to score a hot girlfriend in the last season.
Increasingly, Lutz on 30 Rock. When Jack asks the writers what their parents tell people they do for a living, the others' answers are things like "surgeon". Lutz's response: "Died".
"Shut up, Lutz."
Jenna is also the butt of many jokes. Such the writers all acting like she is ugly when she clearly isn't.
Fez from That '70s Show, ever the effeminate, unlucky-with-the-ladies guy. Kelso also fills this role to some extent out of sheer stupidity.
In most Sketch Comedy, one of the actors fills in this role more often on the set. In the case of Saturday Night Live's early days, it was either a female cast member or one of the token black cast members (if any). These days for SNL, it's a crapshoot as to who gets buttmonkeyed (usually it'll be a cast member who's not very popular with the audience [like Chris Kattan whenever he plays Paul Begala on the "Hardball" sketches], but even that doesn't happen much).
Zoey 101: Stacey Dillsen. Few characters have been as humiliated as poor, sweet Stacey, treated by characters and writers alike a highly kickable nerd. Even her parents dumped her, leaving her at Pacific Coast Academy over spring break without as much as a phone call rather than picking her up for vacation as anticipated. She generally was treated as less-than by even otherwise nice kids, for no good reason. The writers seemed to have it in for her. although they did ultimately let her enjoy some happiness.
Van Kooten En De Bie: Mr. Foppe, a shy man who is always the target of De Vieze Man's pratical jokes. You automatically feel sorry for him, thus making him The Woobie too.