The Ace Attorney series may as well be renamed Turnabout Butt Monkeys:
Protagonist status almost guarantees a character will be this. To wit:
Phoenix Wright himself. After all, everyone in the game seems to go out of their way to make his life a living hell. It's certainly more subtle, however... It's easy to not realize how far it extended until the third game came, and with it the chance to play as Edgeworth: suddenly witnesses are much more forthcoming, investigators more respectful, and judges less sarcastic. Phoenix notes he has enough bad karma as a reason for why he won't steal something. (At least when not preparing for a trial.)
Phoenix: Nobody loves me.
Maya, who gets arrested, trapped, or kidnapped at least once per game. Not to mention accused of murder at least once per game.
Edgeworth, who sympathizes with Phoenix a little bit when he realizes how hard it is to gather clues as a defense attorney and if you screw up during a testimony at one point, Edgeworth gets mocked and he wonders to himself if there is a kick me sign on the defense's bench. He still gets treated better than Phoenix, however... While it's not so bad initially (the Judge, at least, seems to respect him regardless), it gets much worse in Ace Attorney Investigations, when he gets the spotlight to himself. In the first case, a dead body is found in his office and some files were stolen. The second case, he is accused of murder by a flight attendant and gets whipped by Franziska a lot. In the third case, he's knocked out by a Proto Badger and wakes up tied to a pole. He then finds a dead body and is insulted multiple times by the agent leading the case. The fourth case (a flashback) his first trial ever is delayed because the prosecutor and the suspect are murdered. The lead detective on the case continually calls him 'kid', Little Kay Faraday knocks him down then uses his cravat as a tissue, the defense attorney he was set to face continually laughs in his face, and he gets whipped by Franziska a lot. He solves the case, but the murderer escapes. The fifth case, he meets the Steel Samurai and the Pink Princess, but they're played by Larry Butz and Wendy Oldbag. And he gets whipped by Franziska a lot. Oh, and his Steel Samurai fanboyism is lampshaded. Mercilessly.
Apollo Justice somehow manages to get even less respect than Pheonix ever did. Every character seems to go out of their way to mock him in some manner whever possible. Even his own mother! To be fair, his mother took on a different persona (due to an accident that made her lose her memory) so she had no clue that she was talking directly to her son until she regains her memories at the end of the game. Even you, the player, can essentially mock him: present the Fish to him when you get the chance in the DLC case of Dual Destinies.
The minor characters don't get spared either:
Detective Dick Gumshoe, especially in the second game, where he gets his pay docked several times for goofing up, and near the end of the final case gets in a car accident while trying to rush some crucial evidence to the courthouse. He is also frequently on the business end of perfectionist Franziska von Karma's whippings. He also gets accused of murder twice over in Ace Attorney Investigations.
His love interest, Maggey Byrde (introduced in Justice for All) has a perpetual streak of bad luck, which culminated in her being accused of murder on three separate occasions. Byrde lampshades this a lot too, and considering her nameis a pun on the magpie bird, known to bring bad luck, she's practically the female version of Larry. When she was six months old, she apparently fell off the balcony of her 9th floor apartment...
And then there's Larry Butz, Phoenix and Edgeworth's old school friend and Unlucky Everydude to the extreme, who can never seem to hold a steady job or a girlfriend throughout the course of three games. He seems to be a danger magnet, and everybody in his circle often discredits the things he says, to the point where Phoenix and friends invented their own saying about him: "When something smells, it's usually the Butz." He's perhaps the only witness to be called an idiot in court.
Not even inanimate objects are completely safe. The Kurain Sacred Urn, most valued object of Kurain Village (Maya's hometown), gets broken a lot. Pearl accidentally hits it with a ball in the second game, and scrambles the writing on its front as she glues it back together (from "AMI" to "I AM"). Adrian Andrews drops it on the floor and spills paint on the pieces in the third game, though she at least gets the writing back into proper order. And at the very end of the third game, we see a picture showing a very young Mia and Maya Fey... reassembling the pot, revealing it's been broken quite a bit before.
Winston Payne, despite having spent seven years undefeated, also seems to get the short end of the stick too often - he's so meek and inarticulate that he's always the default Warm-Up Boss - once being defeated in court by a lawyer who was suffering from amnesia after being struck in the head. Ouch. After losing to Mia Fey, he pretty much lost all his dignity. He's usually seen as "that other prosecutor" in side-cases. When about to get a guilty verdict? Phoenix barges in and says he needs the defendant for another case. When he finally does get a guilty verdict? The judge rules that the defense was so lousy that they need a retrial, in which the prosecution fails, though at least it wasn't Payne this time. And not only does Edgeworth not recognize him, upon hearing the name he believes that he's part of the custodial staff.
Steven Heck's "friend" Wen Shu in Alpha Protocol. When you first meet the two of them, Heck is subjecting Wen to Cold-Blooded Torture to force him to reveal the location of Heck's car keys. Later, if Heck likes you, he will frame Wen as the one who tried to assassinate Taiwanese President Ronald Sung in order to cover your escape. The end credits reveal that the Taiwanese government eventually executed Wen for his role in the attack.
Miou in A Profile is mercilessly teased by both Masayuki and Kaine, who constantly point out how normal she is.
Wyzen from Asura's Wrath is both this in and even out of universe. He's stated to be the overall weakest of the eight gaurdian generals, yet he's the most bombastic, and is the only one who calls his attacks in traditional anime style. He's even made fun of for thinking getting bigger means he's stronger. In real life, theirs even a facbook picture on the official Asura's Wrath facebook page of a wyzen diet, making fun of his over weight frame.
Rufus the Gargoyle in A Vampyre Story. A significant amount of progress is made just by ruining his day. Over the course of the game you threaten him with a mace, get a bird to crap over his head, reduce him to a disembodied head (mocking him once you've reached this point is optional but entertaining), plug his nose, and turn him into a golem. This last one annoys him on multiple levels, because he's forced to do your bidding, and the body you use is rather portly. It's not as though he wasn't asking for it, though-he's kind of a jerk and refuses to help out voluntarily. He doesn't make the greatest impression on Mona and Froderick, so the constant torment starts out as "if he won't help willingly we'll take what we need by force", but by the time you're finished with him it's become "Hey, we have another problem. Let's see if we can solve it by pissing off Rufus."
Kazooie, one-half of the eponymous duo from Banjo-Kazooie series, is Butt Monkey in avian form — especially in the first game, but still so in the second. Not only is she subject to quite a bit of slapstick, but she always seems to learn her moves in the most humiliating fashion. To be fair, she does give the universe plenty of grief in return.
There's also Roysten, Banjo's long-suffering goldfish. He was tossed on the barbeque at the fake ending of the first game. Then in Banjo-Tooie, he was blasted along with Banjo's house and poor Bottles in the opening cinema, subsequently buried under a huge rock, and found himself as part of Bottles' charcoaled dinner at the end of the same game.
They also gave us Gobi the Camel, whom you first meet in his eponymous level. You have to Ground Pound his back several times, forcing him to cough up his precious water. After several rounds of this abuse, he runs away to another level... where you have to seek him out and do the exact same thing. After suffering much abuse at the hands of Kazooie's beak, he gets annoyed and vows to go to the "lava world." There's no lava world in Banjo-Kazooie. But he shows up in the sequel, trapped in a cage. You have to set him free, for once helping him. After he finally makes it to Hailfire Peaks, his "lava world," you get to abuse him with the Bill Drill again. Fun times!
Also arguably Clanker, a mechanical whale (who looks more like a giant shark with a blowhole). In the first game, he appears in his level, "Clanker's Cavern," a sewer where he serves as a garbage grinder for the villain, Gruntilda. He also has a terrible toothache. Later, in Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, he appears in the nostalgic wonderland, Banjoland. Now torn to pieces, his torso, head, and jaw are all located in different places...but he's still alive. His eyes also end up the target of some baddies in one of the missions in Banjoland.
Enzo from Bayonetta, who frequently has his car trashed and is usually in the wrong place at the wrong time. Namely in the middle of Bayonetta fighting a load of angels.
Enzo: Ahhhh!! Damn it! Who did that!? I just bought the damn thing!
Bang Shishigami of BlazBlue spent Calamity Trigger being the local stress toy - if you can name a character, they've likely beaten him up for whatever reason. The only exception, of course, is Hakumen, who commended his undying spirit. He Took a Level in Badass in Continuum Shift, and has shrugged off this role in the main story. Gag reels, however...
Speaking of gag reels, both Ragna and Makoto get the short end of the stick more often than not in them. While Makoto was unambiguously safe in Lambda's CS gag reel (if you could call it that) and Bang and Tager's CP gag reels (with Carl's CS gag reel as a 'maybe'), her endurance and sanity have been pushed to their breaking point on numerous occasions, with her tail as a casualty in one such instance. As for Ragna, name a gag reel where he isn't beaten up, scared off with a ghost joke, or outright humiliated. For bonus points, Carl's CS gag reel notwithstanding, both of them get to drown in two separate orgies of violence, deal with a casting debacle, swap bodies with Jin and each other, job to Platinum's Magical Girl squad, and sample Noel's cooking.
Add Tager, too. He usually has to deal with the lunacy of the rest of the cast (especiallyKokonoe), and gag reels dial it up further still. The "Bloodedge Curse" also applies here - pair him with Ragna or Makoto in a gag reel and he will suffer with them. And say what you will about them, but they never had to literally inhale Arakune's goo (see Arakune's Help Me!! episode).
A good chunk of the humour present in the series is played at Noel's expense. Which doesn't help her abysmal self-esteem at all.
The Claptraps from the Borderlands series were Scrappies in the first game due to their annoying voices, obnoxious personalities, and sidequests requiring you to rescue them for much-needed inventory space upgrades. The developers responded by making Claptrap the Butt Monkey of the Borderlands universe in the second game. In-universe, nobody except for Angel likes Claptrap. Handsome Jack apparently hates them so much he had all of them except for the one the player interacts with destroyed, rendering him the Last of His Kind. He's frequently subjected to slapstick violence and torture, by both villains and heroes (including the Player Character). At one point he attempts to throw himself a birthday party only for nobody to show up, and he frequently talks to himself about how lonely he is. Ironically this resulted in him being Rescued from the Scrappy Heap, since while he's still annoying, players tend to view him as The Woobie.
Pete from Bully is one of the weakest kids in school. Despite trying his best to help out, his only two friends bully him relentlessly, he gets refused entry to all the cliques bar the Nerds for "being too nerdy" but is "too weird" to join the Nerds, and the headmaster has never even heard of him. At the end though, he gets promoted to head boy after a recommendation from Jimmy.
In Command & Conquer: Generals, the GLA workers. While the rest of the GLA faction are an army of Middle Eastern Terrorists Without a Cause and probably one of the most evil factions to ever appear in a Command and Conquer game, their builder units are probably the most down-trodden and pathetic schmucks in all of gaming. Just listen to their unit quotes.
Another Command and ConquerButt Monkey, this time from Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3: the Soviet Hammer tank in the tutorials. Due to him often asking stupid questions and getting on the nerves of the other two instructor tanks, they take painful pot-shots at him. Although it does lead to a Funny Background Event where he slinks off and comes back as one of the huge Apocalypse Tanks, causing the Japanese Tsunami tank (his main bully) to do a Double Take. The Soviet faction in general counts for a lot of the game as well, although to a lesser extent: they underwent a lot of Villain Decay/Badass Decay.
The Prinnies are a species of Butt Monkey penguins in Disgaea. They get forced to do every last bit of the gruntwork for their masters, they explode if you throw them (and this is often a valid combat tactic), and their masters often torment them for amusement; the opening of Disgaea 2 shows a character throwing a knife at one. And no matter how much damage they take, they're valued so poorly that healing (or resurrecting) them only costs one Hell.
Somewhat justified, seeing as Prinnies are the souls of murderers, thieves, etc.; doing the grunt work is how they atone for their sins. The Celestia Prinnies seem to have it a bit easier, as well. But still, Etna and company could go a little easier...
Even when they get their own spinoff game, Prinny: Can I Really Be the Hero?, the Prinnies are still Butt Monkeys. In "Prinny: Can I Really Be the Hero?" Etna thinks nothing of sacrificing the lives of 1,000 Prinnies toward the task of bringing her a rare dessert.
In addition, there's Tink, the "Dirty Frog" from Disgaea 2. Originally a handsome servant, he was cursed and turned into a lecherous frog. The Dark Court issued a subpoena against him, with his very existence being an unpardonable crime. (sure, Felonies are actually a good thing to have in the game, but still...) One of the endings has him mobbed by a crowd, and his best attack has him going suicidal...only no one cares.
Axel is a series wide example. In his first appearance, he gets beaten up by Adell and company because of a misunderstanding and ends up having the press mistake him as being dead as a result, which only hurts his attempts at regaining fame even further. While he finally does get his fame back at the end of the game (After getting beaten up again), he's back to being a nobody by the time the third game rolls around. In the fourth game, it yet again seems like things are going his way, having become the warden of the Hades prison facility, but some scheming from Fenrich ends up getting him beaten up and overthrown in short order. Then he temporarily gets to be the president of the Netherworld, only to lose that position as well...after getting beaten up yet again.
And in the first game there's Vyers, who is quickly recognized by Laharl as recurring comic relief boss unceremoniously dubbed "Mid-Boss" by the prince, his party, everyone Vyers meets, and the game itself before becoming the butt of most of the team's jokes whenever he shows up. This is subverted in the end, however, as all of his foppish, bumbling behavior turns out to be a mask of Obfuscating Stupidity. He starts to drop the act as the endgame approaches, and in subsequent games has almost shed it entirely (save for the vanity). By the time Disgaea 4 comes around, he's reassumed his former identity and all the badassery that comes with it: Laharl's father, King Krichevskoy.
Alain, a Kirkwall mage in Dragon Age II, is a pretty benign mage who always ends up in the wrong place at the wrong time. In Act I, he joins a group of runaway mages who end up resorting to blood magic to protect themselves, causing him to desert them just as Hawke and companions go in after them. He turns himself in to the Kirkwall Circle, only to learn it's a lot nastier than the one he's from. In Act III, he is shown working with a group of mages and templars conspiring against Meredith, but refuses to kill their hostage when Hawke confronts the conspirators.
Partially because he's a statuette loving Man Child, but also because he's the only party member you can't kick out, and is often referenced by other characters; it's hard for Leliana to pick on Sten for being a softie when you both left them to die at Lothering. You bastard.
Actually you can kick him out, but the option comes very near the end of the game. And letting Loghain survive and join the Gray Wardens is pretty much the pinnacle of Alistair abuse. You Bastard.
Helion just can't seem to maintain her dignity in Eien no Aselia. She's shy and rather ditzy, so everyone else likes to tease her.
The Fantasy Quest games delight in heaping punishment on the long-suffering Indian, Runs-With-Scissors.
In the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII, main character Cloud fits this to a T. Wanted to join SOLDIER? Nope, stuck in the Shin-Ra regulars. Captured and tortured by Hojo for years after his hometown is destroyed by his former idol and his mother burns to death in front of him. Upon escaping, witnesses his best friend Zack getting set upon and killed by the aforementioned Shin-Ra regulars. All of them. His mind then shatters and he constructs a persona based on Zack and other SOLDIER members to cope. Is convinced to dress up like a woman to infiltrate the home of a pimp to save his childhood crush, and is the one picked to entertain the pimp for the night. Oh, not to mention the fact that the potentiallove interest gets skewered like a mini hot dog on a toothpick in front of our hapless hero by the former idol, the original One-Winged-Angel himself. Once he recovers from that, he tries to stop Sephiroth, but insteads gets totally Mind-Raped by Sephiroth into handing over the Black Materia, the key to the destruction of the world, then gets chucked into the Lifestream. Once he recovers from that, he does okay... until Advent Children, where it's revealed that he's contracted the lethal disease Geostigma, is suffering from a combination of depression and PTSD, and one of the children he's taking care of with the aforementioned childhood crush has the disease as well, causing him to question his ability to get anything right and leave to, well, in all probability to die alone somewhere. At this point he just can't fathom anything going his way. You can see it in the relieved look he has in the movie's happy ending that he's really, really amazed that everything turned out okay. In short, the poor bastard is a walking Diabolus ex Machina magnet. If something can go wrong, it will go wrong for Cloud.
Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light has Yunita... poor Yunita. Brandt and Jusqua first find her about to be killed by monsters as the Sole Survivor of Aire's retainer. Then Aire thoroughly berates her for not rescuing her quickly enough. When the party splits, Brandt ditches Yunita in Guera out of his own inferiority complex, and the next time the player finds her is when Jusqua goes to Urbeth—she's one of the vagabonds in the town square, having been conned out of the very clothes on her back and feeling like a worthless failure. And then Jusqua runs off during the night! After that, fortunately, she gets herself out of her funk and things improve for her.
Galen "Starkiller" Marek of The Force Unleashed. Father dies before his eyes as a child, taken by his father's murderer and raised to be a Jedi killer, enduring an abusive upbringing. Receives no kind words from his surrogate father whatsoever and after one of his greatest achievements, said surrogate father literally stabs him in the back for one little slip up, beats him up and almost kills him, saving him only that he might continue his work. After finally turning against him, Starkiller's ultimate fate is either Heroic Sacrifice or being horribly disfigured and enslaved for the rest of his life as punishment for one moment of weakness where he tried to get revenge.
Apparently, the trailer for the sequel shows that Starkiller's still alive, unmangled, and can dual-wield blue lightsabers. Redemption Equals Death has been apparently averted.
Played straight. Starkiller's still dead (and still the Butt Monkey); he's just been cloned.
Played with in Freelancer. Main character, Edison Trent was a pitty mechanic who believed naive stories of making a fortune on alien artifacts. He actually managed to broke deal that would make him rich. But guess what? The Freeport 7 station he was aboard when sealing the deal gets destroyed even with his ship. He and few refugees (one of them his trade partner) is taken to distant planet in different House state. He then took a few police helping missions to pass the time before his trade partner gets better and pay him his money. And those few easy mercenary mission ends up in government conspiracy that eventualy turns up to be alien invasion. During his journey, Took a Level in Badass, saved Colonies (If the Sol is really destroyed, then basically saved whole human race) and destroyed more ships than elite dogfighting Ace Von Claussen. But was also declared as renegade and terorrist, being shot at by every House except Bretonia, many times being pointed by gun wielding guy, punched to stomach by stun batton, then slaped to wake up, and was also target of several jokes by his companions. Oh, and yes, whole game he wants nothing but a good drink and his money. He never gets any of it. But he definetly made up for his butt monkey role with quite a lot of Big Damn Heroes moments.
The Ship Captain in God of War, who has been eaten alive by the hydra for captaining the ship Kratos was on; dropped into the hydra's gullet by Kratos, who only wanted the key he was wearing; been stabbed, used as a human ladder, and flung into the River Styx by Kratos; and resurrected as a spirit warrior promptly killed by Kratos. As he's trivial to the plot, reappears frequently, and all his misfortunes are caused by Kratos, he's also a borderline Recurring Extra.
In a nice shout-out, his appearance in God of War II was solely to have him scream, "Oh no, not you again!"
Roman Bellic of Grand Theft Auto 4, protagonist Niko Bellic's hapless cousin. A loser through and through, at one point he gets kidnapped, shot in the stomach when he can't stop screaming, healed in a filthy basement, and has to ask Niko to buy him some adult diapers.
Also Lazlo from the radio. All the time, he'll reminisce about his (not so glorious, in fact, really crappy) Glory Days.
Maurice Chavez, the ex-clown speech radio host from Vice City counts too. He can't seem to get a single sane guest on his show, and his life is regularly threatened by the guests he does get.
Radio DJ Lazarus "Lazlow" Jones is the quintessential Butt Monkey of the Grand Theft Auto series. Chronologically, he starts out as the much-abused assistant DJ to Jerk Jock Cousin Eddie, who routinely insulted and belittled him. Flash forward to the mid 80's, he manages to replace Eddie as his channel's DJ, only to be forced to flee Vice City due to the events of the game. In the early 90's, he manages to become the new host of a San Andreas talk show after the previous host was murdered by a drugged out film star, only to again be forced to flee for his life during the Grovestreet Riots. Finally, in the late 90's, he gets a job as the host of one of Liberty City's talk shows, only to get bombarded by the psychopaths, morons and general crackpots of the city. Things finally start looking up for him in the 2000's, where, due to a deal with Donald Love, his talk show becomes the sole radio talk show in the city, and he becomes very successful, albiet still having to deal with Liberty City's more... eccentric personalities. By the time of Grand Theft Auto IV, however, he's lost his job, his money, his family and his home, and is forced to work as a freelance street corner reporter just to get by. As you might expect, the whole experience has left him quite bitter. By Grand Theft Auto V, he moved to Los Santos, and started working on 'normal' talk radio again. He also becomes presenter of the reality show Fame or Shame, and is constantly mocked by the judges and polls made by the program. He gets chased by main protagonists Michael and Trevor after they find him simulating sex with Michael's daughter Tracy, and is later forced to take off his pants and dance while being videotaped. Later in the game, we find Tracy begging Lazlow to be allowed to reappear in Fame or Shame; he says he will do so if she gives him a blow job. Michael enters and, outraged by what he's just heard as well as Lazlow's previous actions in the mission Fame or Shame, attacks him, forcibly piercing his nose, ear and brow, then tattooing a penis on his chest or back (player's choice). Finally, Michael cuts off his pony tail.
While it depends on the situation, Sakazaki Yuuya of Hatoful Boyfriend sometimes qualifies. In the second game he keeps pulling Big Damn Heroes moments that help but don't manage to resolve things, so he's constantly upstaged and never appreciated. In both games he loves his brother Sakuya, but Sakuya disdains him strongly. For all the work he does and all the times he's injured, no one much appreciates him. It's worse in the first drama CD, where Sakuya outright attacks him - Yuuya never fights back - is unsympathetic to injures Sakuya caused, and arranges for the Deadly Doctor to cut pieces off of Yuuya in "payment" for things Sakuya wants. Of course, he's Yuuya and never seems to mind.
Good lord, Norman Jayden. While he doesn't reach the Woobie status of Ethan Mars, "winning" a fight means getting his ass kicked and living, he suffers constant abuse at the hands of Rabid Cop "partner" Blake (and to a lesser extent, Da Chief), struggles with an addiction to ARI and triptocaine, and his happiest endings involve either him solving the case only to get hit with hallucinations due to Cybernetics Eat Your Soul, or failing to solve the case, throwing his hands up, and quitting the FBI entirely.
In the Jak and Daxter games, Daxter often finds himself at the receiving end of a misfortune, such as being sprayed with gunky water, riding a missile or being chasedby a spider. He lampshades this in the second game after having a totem poll collapse on him.
Daxter: It's a curse, isn't it!?
[[Jez]] from Chuck Rock II: Son of Chuck. The unfortunate Jez, an obese caveman, has no function save to be the Butt Monkey. He is trodden on by the rampaging dino in Stone Age Suburbs; gets chewed up and spit out by the ti-tular boss in Dippy the Dinosaur; catches fire, panics, and falls into the ti-tular hazard in Lively Lava; and plummets along with an an avalanche in fruit mountain.
Ellis in Left 4 Dead 2 gets the worst end of the stick just from the opening cinematic! He gets grabbed and pounded to the ground by a Charger, has a Jockey leap onto his back and winds up slamming Ellis into a car, gets ambushed by a Spitter when he is hiding with Rochelle, and gets caught by a Smoker while he's trying to run to an elevator to safety. Ellis isn't any safer in the actual game either. Compared to the other survivors, Ellis has the most painful screams when being attacked by the infected. Valve also revealed concept art of the Jockey doing, you guessed it, riding Ellis.
Louis in Left 4 Dead. In the opening, he is almost attacked by a Witch due to shining a light on her and gets tackled by a Hunter. Despite the fact he hates everything, Francis doesn't hate the fact of letting Louis die by either the zombies or special infected.
"Glasses Guy" in most of Live Powerful Pro Baseball (MLB Power Pro) games gets this treatment from everyone, including the player. The player himself is also a Butt Monkey, sometimes so much that it's played to death.
Shepard can be one of these, if you give him (or her)both the Colonist and Sole Survivor backstory. One results in their entire colony, and then every one of their fellow soldiers die on Shepards first backstory mission!
Conrad Verner as well, especially if he survives to Mass Effect 2 and you play a renegade.
She's also a chew toy for Paragon Shepard. Using all Charm responses in the first game results in her coming off (in the words of Admiral Hackett) "like a babbling idiot" when her report airs. The Paragon responses in the second game result in Shepard ever-so-politely tearing her a new one.
Shepard:(if Shepard saved the Council) The Alliance lost eight cruisers. Shenyang. Emden. Jakarta. Cairo. Seoul. Cape Town. Warsaw. Madrid. And yes, I remember them all. Everyone in the Fifth Fleet is a hero. The Alliance owes them all medals. The Council owes them a lot more than that. And so do you.
As of the third game, the entire batarian race is paying for their Kick the Dog moments with interest - and pain. First, the Alpha Relay in one of their systems is destroyed, releasing enough energy to wipe out the entire system and every batarian in it - a little over three hundred thousand of them. Which is nothing compared to the casualties they suffered when the Reapers popped into the galaxy right on their doorstep and flattened every single one of their defences in hours, toppling their entire government and and their homeworld. It later comes to light that an ancient piece of technology they stole out from under the salarians was a dead Reaper, which indoctrinated most of their higher-ups and their best scientists just in time for the invasion. When they join the rest of the galaxy in fighting the Reapers out of sheer desperation, the other races are a little slow to forget all the slavery, piracy and terrorism, with one joke commenting that Alliance medics will be sure to use medi-gel to patch up any wounded batarians, once they finish using it on any wounded humans, asari, krogan, turians, quarians, volus, vorcha and geth (who, being robots, don't even use medi-gel). They do, however, make sure to pre-emptively "honour" the many, many, many casualties the batarians are certain to take.
Volus characters tend to be the butt of many jokes, as well. You get many opportunities to threaten volus at various points. There's even one point where the Paragon option is to knock one over. And then there's the skycar lot volus in the Citadel DLC.
Metal Gear Solid has Johnny Sasaki, whose Grandfather was also a Butt Monkey. In the first MGS he had diarrhea, and in MGS4 he joins the new Foxhound to fight Liquid Ocelot. When Snake sees him, he is astounded that Johnny's been able to survive for 10 years (Snake confused him for a rookie). The 2007 TGS video has him farting and trying to take a crap in a barrel, when a guy sees him and starts chasing him while his pants are down. Butt Monkey indeed.
He also has a hidden cameo in MGS2. You can listen to him talking to himself in the bathroom, complaining about how getting knocked out and left lying in the prison floor gave him an even worse diarrhea. Poor guy.
Let's not forget Raiden in MGS2 and MGS4. He's double-crossed by his colonel (actually an AI designed to control the world), beaten up by Snake and Olga to use as bait for Ocelot and Solidus, groped by the President of the United States (who is then shocked to discover he is a man), subjected to torture and having to run around nude until Snake brings him his gear, and subjected to an experiment by the Patriots where they cut his head off and attach it to a robotic body. He's frequently mocked in MGS3, despite the game taking place years before he was born, with a Russian officer named Raikov who looks like Raiden, is gay for Colonel Volgin, and gets his clothes stolen by Naked Snake (later to be known as Big Boss) to use as a disguise, revealing that he wears a thong. Colonel Volgin himself later gropes Naked Snake, who is disguised as Raikov — and he is caught because, unlike Raikov, he doesn't get an erection from it! The fact that American and European audiences were not very receptive to the idea of an effete bishonen protagonist is probably the root of much of Raiden's (and his Russian body double's) suffering.
And then there's the short comedy series in MGS3 where Raiden tried to take the spot of Main Character from Snake by killing Big Boss... only to continuously fail so horribly, from beating up by Volgin (mistaking him for Raikov), raping by Volgin, slapping by The Boss, and getting a slight respect to Big Boss, only to be run over by Russian soldiers and the Metal Gear-like machine.
Don't forget Hal "Otacon" Emmerich. While he becomes much less of a butt monkey as the series progresses, he had to put up with a lot of crap in the original MGS, from pissing himself in fear of the Cyborg Ninja to having Sniper Wolf die. All that on top of the fact that his father commited suicide after his stepmom seduced him, causing his sister (with whom he was close) to bear a grudge against him for a long time...
On the villainous side of things, poor Metal Gear RAY. In MGS2, it's portrayed as a brand-new model that nonetheless gets trashed en masse by Raiden (until Cutscene Incompetence kicks in, of course). It comes back in MGS4 solely to get its ass handed to it by a long-obsolete and half-destroyed REX. It makes another appearance in Rising as a Warm-Up Boss and is cut to ribbons for its trouble. Poor, poor RAY.
Gary from ModNation Racers is usually heard/seen being picked on by his co-worker Biff, and let's not even start on his butterfly-sticker collection!
Monkey Island's Guybrush Threepwood is always a bit of a Butt Monkey, but in The Secret of Monkey Island and The Curse of Monkey Island this is overshadowed by his good nature and occasional heroism. In Escape from Monkey Island, on the other hand, he is constant running joke, either with his efforts falling flat and being made fun of for it, or being mocked by every other character in the game (a great deal of which seems to go over his head). And let's not even get started on his treatment in LeChuck's Revenge, which seemed determined to make him an unlikeable Jerk Ass as well as an (Iron) Butt Monkey.
Salsa from Mother 3 is a Butt Monkey in the figurative and literal sense — he's constantly administered electric shocks from Yokuba, the Pig Masks kick him around, and he generally goes through all sorts of abuse all in the name of saving his girlfriend. It's rather satisfying when Kumatora and Wess help him bust out of his situation.
Aribeth in Neverwinter Nights runs through a pretty horrific Trauma Conga Line over the course of the story. To date: lover unjustly executed, driven suicidally insane, redeemed only to face execution and the knowledge that her Second Love has utterly destroyed his position in the city trying to defend her, faced a pretty nasty Hannibal Lecture from Mephistopheles that induced another bout of suicidal depression, redeemed again only to face yet another Hannibal Lecture and bout of suicidal depression, and finally getting to get a new body and retire somewhere.
Quaver of the Overlord series. It gets particularly blatant in the early levels Overlord II, when he manages to lose an eye merely by inspecting the block of ice the Overlad arrived in. Also in the early levels, he gets knocked down a chasm when he tries to sing a ballad in the newly-crowned Overlord's honour.
Yosuke Hanamura from Persona 4. First he found out his love interest didn't love him, but he found this out AFTER she died! Also, if you follow his Social Link, he gets complains at his job from bitchy girls. And don't remind him of the countless times Chie kicked him in the groin, and the hot springs incident as well. Though its justified to some people, as Yosuke has the unfortunate tendency to stick his foot in his mouth quite often and is a bit of a Jerk Ass (ultimately good, but quite oblivious to it).
Every boys got their share of Butt Monkey-ness. Especially in the Camping Trip, where Yosuke and the protagonist tasted the terror that is "Mystery Food X" after expecting good results. Then at the night, Kanji Tatsumi is still teased by the boys about his... err... issues and spends the whole knocked out by the girls while trying to prove about his 'manliness'. The next day, all boys got kicked into a waterfall, which their Sadist Teacher puked to from above.
Then they all get much more laughable misfortunes in their visit to the Amagi Inn, from being tossed around with items for entering the bath at the wrong time (because the girls didn't remind them about the time shift), into stumbling upon two Gonks and being chased around...
From what we can see of Portal 2 from the trailers, the two robot characters in co-op mode seem suffer much humiliation at the hands of almost everything the enrichment facility has to offer.
About half the cast in Psychonauts are Butt Monkeys of some variety, but the standout is probably Raz's friend Dogen. Bullied by seemingly everyone at the camp (with the possible exception of Lili, though even she makes jokes at his expense), he's even menaced by the squirrels, and everything seems to terrify him. He gets constantly blown up in Coach Oleander's training course, and he's the first child at the camp to get Brainwashed - after being held hostage, of course, and tortured by a deranged dentist. Other, lesser Butt Monkeys of note include Elton, a shy, sweet kid who makes friends with the fish in the camp's lake - prompting the bullies to go fishing. He's generally the first to get kicked out of any mental world. The long-suffering Comically Serious Sasha also gets his fair share of abuse.
Don't forget Maloof. Not only is he bullied, but if you go to his MySpace page you discover that even the people comforting him ultimately decide he's a crybaby not worth consoling. However, in this case, The Dog Bites Back. By becoming a seven-year-old mob boss.
After being shoved out of the spotlight for two games by the Rabbids, Rayman became a good example in Rayman Raving Rabbids TV Party. No matter what he did, he couldn't get rid of his bunny-infested television, and his change into a sniveling wimp didn't help a thing. He was eventually run out of his own home by the Rabbids after suffering a Heroic BSOD.
Zorne Sepperin of RosenkreuzStilette, who is also a Woobie. Constantly desperately yearning for her adoptive daddy to someday accept her as his real daughter ever since Iris was born? Check. The fact that Iris killed himto make her suffer for having always hated her and refused to get along with her? Check. Having to put up with her easy defeat courtesy of Tia who was asking her to calm down and listen to her (and Grolla who was suggesting her to follow her friend Trau's example and therefore refrain from actually helping Iris cause as much mayhem and destruction as possible for fun)? Yeah, she's one unlucky girl.
But, in the sequel, Freudenstachel, she really Took a Level in Badass to make up for her unluckiness in the first game.
Pierce in Saints Row 2, in the first instance you see him, he involves a plan to break in to a casino down to the second. Cue Gat, "Hey, I really like the dream house ya built here, but why don't we just walk into the casino and shoot all the motherfuckers between us and the money?" After the mission cue News Reporter, "The leader of the 3rd Street Saints, Notorious criminal Johnny Gat, and an unknown accomplice (Pierce)" Butt Monkey thru and thru.
Saints Row: The Third is a little lighter on him, but he's still given his share of abuse. Taken Up to Eleven if the player decides to have an Eastern European Female boss; She is romantically obsessed with Pierce, and it doesn't help that she's a complete psychopath that has a murder record on her that runs into the thousands. Good luck telling her you're not interested, Pierce, old boy.
As a further point, the game's villain characters fly under Spanish flags, not Pirate ones, hence a Spanish-aligned Player Character will find it hard going to completing the main plot while maintaining a good standing with holy Spain. To English, French and Dutch-aligned pirates, Spanish stuff is 100% fair game, especially seeing as how they outnumber the previously mentioned three factions, occasionally all put together.
Soul Nomad & the World Eaters is chock full of Butt Monkeys. Gig, the evil force possessing the protagonist, takes glee in tormenting virtually every single party member the player meets. At first, the Hero's slightly ditzy friend Danette is his sole target, as Gig calls her by "stupid cow" instead of her name for literally the entire game, but the prospects open up as more of the less-serious story characters join... until the player meets Odie, who serves as Butt Monkey to not only Gig but virtually everyone else as well. He's so pathetic that he's a member of the Dio family, a lineage of the most powerful mages in recorded history... who flunked out of magic training.
Luigi of Super Mario Bros.. is occasionally a butt-monkey, when he's not a Recolor of Mario. He is often the butt of cross-dressing jokes, self-delusional about his own abilities if he's not being depicted as an outright coward. He is always being kidnapped by ghosts, as some kind of backlash to his own game Luigi's Mansion.
Nintendo seems to take a practically unholy glee in always ramping it up, too. In Super Smash Bros.. Brawl, he seems to have gone quite mad from the stress.
"You're Luigi? The world's most inept and least charismatic brother? Wow! Can you introduce me to Mario? Huh? Did we meet the other day? I totally forgot. You're not very memorable. I guess your brother got all the charisma in the family, huh!"
And of course, Princess Peach, who basically can't keep herself out of Bowser's clutches.
Bowser's been kicked around as well, which can be seen throughout the Mario RPGs. Super Mario RPG has his castle and a chunk of his minions being taken by the Smithy Gang, which leads to him joining forces with Mario. Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door had Bowser spend most of his screen time lagging behind Mario's party, where among other things, he goes through an entire level only to find a Peach poster in Koop's village, breaks into Rawk Hawk's training where pummels Rawk Hawk and finds a fake crystal star, and when he finally meets Mario in the final part of the game, he and Kammy are promptly beaten. The Mario and Luigi series has Bowser get stuck in a cannon and blasted off, get amnesia and become Popple's sidekick, become possessed by Cackletta, get blasted into the sky and smash into the screen in the process.
In the Super Smash Bros. series, Mario himself is this, though to a much more downplayed and lesser extent than his brother. In one cutscene (one that is actually important for unlocking Luigi) in Melee's Adventure Mode, Mario attempts to jump up onto the Mushroom Castle rooftop... only for Luigi to jump upon his brother's head and use it as a platform to jump higher, sending Mario falling down in one of the rare moments of the two brothers' roles being reversed. And it doesn't stop at Melee... the trailers and gameplay videos for Brawl and SSB4 have a habit of beating and humiliating Mario (getting cooked by Kirby, netted by the Villager, sent flying by the Wii Fit Trainer, etc.), and in Brawl's Subspace Emissary, he gets turned into a trophy far more times than any other character. It's both surprising and funny when you consider that Nintendo rarely, if ever, puts Mario through the same kind of Humiliation Conga in his own series.
Zelos Wilder of Tales of Symphonia. Although handsome, he is almost always shown to fail frequently at flirting with women, including his party members. He is light-hearted and tends to keep his worries in check, although he does become more important to the game's plot later on. Conversely, he is also "The Chosen One" of his planet, and his unique ability is charming female NPCs to receive gifts.
Raven of Tales of Vesperia throws "respect your elders" out the window, and gets the blunt end of many jokes, although many of the jokes are either made by, or played along with, himself.
Team Fortress 2 turns the BLU team into this through the Meet The Team videos. Every single episode revolves around the exploits of a single class on the RED team, and always ends with the BLU team receiving horrible beatdowns from the starring character. In particular is the BLU Heavy, who is always the one who gets the most pathetic or humiliating deaths (usually). To date, BLU Heavy has been headshot, gibbed by a single rocket (twice in the same video), splattered by running blindly into over a dozen sticky bombs, killed with two shots by a level 1 Sentry, stabbed to death, and batted in the balls by the Scout in a fight over a sandwich. Taken Up to Eleven in Meet the Pyro.
Less obvious is the BLU Soldier, who has usually been right next to BLU Heavy in all his worst deaths. BLU Soldier has died in every single video. He was ventilated by RED Heavy, headshot by Sniper, blown down by a Level 2 Sentry, decapitated by the RED Soldier, gibbed by the aforementioned sticky trap, stabbed by RED Spy, and flattened by a train while chasing RED Scout. In fact, BLU Soldier's deaths are sometimes more spectacular (but not always as funny) than BLU Heavy's. Apparently they're being set up as a Butt Monkey tag team.
Let's not forget the BLU Spy. RED Engineer's turret mows him down, RED Sniper impales him with his knife, RED Soldier smacks him with his shovel, he runs into the same sticky-bomb trap that RED Demoman set up, and BLU soldier, mistaking him for RED Spy, shoots him in the head.
Somewhat subverted in the Spy update, in which the RED Sniper gets stabbed by the BLU Spy.
In a game play example, we have the Pyro and Engineer, more specifically the players of said classes. The Pyro gets next to no screen time in any of the "meet the X" vids or even the trailer, is constantly whacked with the nerf bat whenever the class starts to become something better than mediocre, suffers from its after burn mechanic being on other classes but better (bleed does more damage AND is harder to treat), and is labeled with a W+M1 label that is very untrue (the class is ambush based) yet no one calls out classes in which W+M1 is more accurate (Heavy, Soldier). The Engineer suffers from being The Un Favourite from a development standpoint, and thus is grossly neglected when it comes to class updates. To date, Engineer is the only class to only have one Class Set update, while other classes like Soldier have three.
The Engineer's part as Butt Monkey is somewhat justified in that he's already very precariously balanced as it is, so extensive care has to be taken to make sure that any additions to the class don't break the game.
The Touhou series can be said to practically run on Butt Monkeys. First off, there's Cirno, even abused in the manual. Then there's Reisen Udongein Inaba, abused by her mistress with punishment times, forced to be a guinea pig and even her fellow rabbit Tewi plays pranks to frame her for it (not to mention being considered by a lot of fans to be "useless, only good for her sex appeal"). And then there's Hong Meiling AKA China, whose name is so hard to remember (due to the different ways the Kanji can be read in Japanese and Chinese), they turn it into her Fan Nickname, and even the residents of the Scarlet Devil Mansion (especially Sakuya, who regularly knifes her for sleeping on the job and allowing Marisa into the mansion to steal Patchy's books) treat her poorly.
That's only in fanon, though. Official works, such as Touhou Hisoutensoku (aka Touhou 12.3 aka Unthinkable Natural Law) seem to treat Meiling with a bit more dignity, even if her story mode involves her fighting a giant catfish.
Fanworks, however, show that even Sakuya could become a Butt Monkey for both Remilia and Flandre, and the same can be said for the other master-Battle Butler relationship (E.g: Yuyuko/Youmu). Likewise, there's also Alice Margatroid, who is turned into some sort of Moe character in the fanworks, practically Butt Monkey bait for her partner Marisa.
One of Cirno's shining moments of Butt Monkeyness is in the fangame Touhou Soccer 2. While bosses below her on the power/intelligence scale, (including stage 1 bosses) like Wriggle, or Rumianote too bad about Mystia there, though get fairly awesome, powerful special kicks, Cirno's combo with Letty Whiterock has her utterly failing to hit the ball with her infamous Icicle Fall -Easy- (which is mocked for having a safe spot directly in front of her), resulting in her getting horribly pummeled in the face by the ball and then dying.
One of the selling points of You Don't Know Jack: The Ride was the return of all five hosts from the series so far. They get competitive about it. In particular, everyone repeatedly screws Buzz (the host of YDKJ2) out of his hosting duties. By the time you've played every round of the game, he has only asked one trivia question.
Michiru in Grisaia No Kajitsu takes a fair amount of abuse, but also has her own role in the group and actually seeks out the ridicule she receives. However, by Grisaia No Rakuen her role in the group has largely been supplanted by Amane and she's not trying to be ridiculous for the sake of attention anymore, meaning she's mainly just used as the butt of jokes.