Examples of JerkassWoobie in {{Literature}}.
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* ''Literature/HarryPotter'' has ''many'' of these: Snape, Dudley, Draco, etc. Some would argue that, at their worst, Harry and Ron themselves fit too. But ask about this [[InternetBackdraft and it'll be like asking for your own death]].
** Dudley Dursley is a FatBastard, a SpoiledBrat whose parents spoil him even more. Dumbledore points out that his spoiled attitude is purely caused by the way said parents treated him, and pities the way he's been traumatized as well as raised into believing that he is entitled to treat others badly. Also, despite bullying Harry for their entire childhood, after he [[spoiler:gets attacked by dementors, he's forced to see himself for how he really is. He reforms and tries to make it up to his cousin, and the two continue to visit each other as adults.]]
** Draco Malfoy is classist, spoiled, egotistical, and a supporter of FantasticRacism, and an extreme coward. However, once again, many argue that it's simply caused by indoctrination and his upbringing. [[spoiler: When he joins the Death Eaters to kill Dumbledore, he suffers a mental breakdown at the first-row sight of what the Death Eaters will do, the knowledge that he's not talented enough, and Voldemort's threat of killing his parents if he fails. Even though he never supports Harry, in the final battle, he stops fighting for the Dark Lord.]]
** And Severus Snape, the champion of this trope in the Harry Potter universe. He is cruel and rude, bullies and torments not only Harry, but plenty of other characters, and has threatened animal abuse (though, to be fair, this seems fairly common in the wizarding world). However, [[AbusiveParents his parents weren't exactly the best]] (it's all but stated that Tobias was abusive, while Eileen was neglectful) and he lived a lonely childhood where [[spoiler:his only friend was Lily Evans, who he grew to love. At school, he was bullied by his rival James Potter and his friends, and at some point, a very stupid trick by Sirius Black nearly led to him being killed, with only James' timely intervention saving him. He joined the Death Eaters, thus committing the grave mistake of embracing FantasticRacism. However, one day, while being hung upside down by James in front of the many students, he pressed Lily's BerserkButton to the core, [[KickTheMoralityPet via calling her "mudblood"]]; she was so upset after having been patient with him for ''years'' that she cut off all ties to him, and as he refused to leave the Dark Arts behind, he lost her friendship forever, and thus he watched her get married to his biggest rival -- because James learned his lesson and grew into a decent guy. His working for Lord Voldemort directly led to her death... and having seen how his actions had cost him his only friend, he spent the rest of his life grieving for her and protecting her son, who (he thinks) happened to look ''just'' like James, and whom he '''still''' horribly and very undeservedly abused -- only to discover that he was about to be killed in the end, eventually. He had to live for years as a spy, bitter and alone, forced to kill the mentor he respected and cared for, and then was murdered himself]].
** Petunia Dursley, Harry's nasty aunt who does everything she can to put down her sister Lily, Harry's mother, in front of him. [[spoiler: It turns out that she wanted to go to Hogwarts so badly that she actually wrote to Dumbledore begging to be allowed to go along with Lily, only to be rejected. She claims to have spent her childhood as TheUnfavorite compared to Lily because of Lily's magical talents. Small wonder she did everything she could to convince herself that magic was rotten and she was really better off without it.]]
* Greg Heffley from ''Literature/DiaryOfAWimpyKid''. Greg is lazy, self-centered and a mild example of a SmallNameBigEgo...but he suffers from MiddleChildSyndrome, gets picked on by bullies at school and Rodrick at home, and Rowley's parents consider him to be a bad influence on their son. It's really easy to see why he's prone to {{Jerkass}} moments.
* TheEmperor in ''Literature/RomanceOfTheThreeKingdoms''. He keeps moaning and groaning until you just want to slap him in his exalted face a few times.
* [[spoiler:David]], the SixthRanger of ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}''. He ended up [[spoiler:going SixthRangerTraitor and betraying the team]] but his entire life was torn apart through no fault of his own and the [[AndIMustScream horrifying fate]] the Animorphs subjected him to was worse than death.
** Alloran. He committed genocide on an innocent species in his attempt to stop the Yeerks from advancing further into the universe. He killed thousands of defenseless Yeerks. [[WellIntentionedExtremist He believed that everything he did was necessary if he wanted to win the war]]. And Alloran paid for all of his sins. It was made clear by just about every character that it was better to be dead than a Controller. When Alloran killed the Hork-Bajir, he prevented the Yeerks from being able to take over their bodies. Alloran himself was imprisoned for years, and forced to eat people, including his former student.
* Senna Wales from the ''Literature/{{Everworld}}'' series. Once you read her [[VillainEpisode POV book]] and learn about her FreudianExcuse, it's very hard not to pity her. [[BaseBreaker For most]].
* Erik, ''Literature/ThePhantomOfTheOpera''. MadArtist, unrepentant murderer, StalkerWithACrush extraordinaire...yet almost everyone gets just a little misty-eyed over what happens to him at the end. Gaston Leroux even [[LampshadeHanging points out]] that being born with an absolutely brilliant mind and a deformity which prevented him from using it in any constructive manner was a pretty raw deal for "poor, unhappy Erik".
* [[TheScrooge Ebenezer Scrooge]] of ''Literature/AChristmasCarol'' is one of these. He's initially seen as a gruff, penny-pinching old man who doesn't care about people, content to live alone in the truest sense of the word. However, as we see his past, we come to understand that his father hated him when his mother died giving birth to him, and stuffed him in a boarding school, not even bringing him home when school was out of session. He watched the other children go home to their families as he stayed there alone. The only one who truly ever loved him was his sister, Fan. Without learning how to put love before reason, he continually put off his marriage to the woman he loved until he could amass enough wealth to ensure that they would be financially safe. She leaves him. Also, Fan dies. To make matters worse, all of these tragedies had strong ties to Christmas, often happening on Christmas or Christmas Eve, justifying his disdain for that time of the year. Needless to say, all of this causes him to become a bitter man - the one we see at the opening of the story. Scrooge even gets to see his fiancée with her husband and children, seeing what he lost when he didn't fight to keep her.
* ''Literature/LAConfidential'': Bud White is, well, a thug with all the strength and self-control of a rabid rhino. But his backstory is nothing short of heartbreaking and he gets surprisingly many [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming genuinely touching]] scenes.
* Elphaba in the novel ''Literature/{{Wicked}}''. From her ''conception'' onwards, her life's been one big TraumaCongaLine. Her mom was a drugged up mess who dropped her knickers for anyone. Her legal father was a religious nut, and lavished affection on Nessarose, who grew up to be even crazier and more dangerous. Sure, she gets something of a break when she heads to Shiz, but Glinda's more absorbed with social climbing than anything. Sure, there's Fieryo, but he's no prize - using her for sex while neglecting his wife and kids. Oz itself is a CrapsackWorld tearing itself to bits over religious fervor and political unrest, the Wizard is a MagnificentBastard by any definition, and the Animals make lovely targets for every side to vent their frustrations on. Elphaba chooses to side with the Animals, as she knows all too well what a raw deal they're getting. Yet, she ends up completely alone. What allies don't stab her in the back to save their butts end up dead. By the third act, she is completely around the bend nuts. She ''knows'' that Dorothy is a political pawn in the Wizard's scheme and has zero clues about what's really going on. She's convinced that the Scarecrow is her dead lover reincarnated (the musical plays this straight). She still sends out her armies of Crows, Wolves, and Bees to destroy them, and still tries to bully a clueless farmgirl over a pair of enchanted shoes that she knows might not even work...by the time the water hits her, it's almost a relief.
* Every single character in ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'', save for a handful. The author has a brutal tendency to spend anywhere from a chapter to a book showing you what a vain and selfish bastard everybody but the currently-narrating character is, only to switch the narration to one of the abovementioned bastard's perspectives and suddenly make you want to [[GroinAttack punch yourself in the balls]] for having ever been so unempathic to such a tragically real human being, but they should probably still get over it already before their confused pride [[KillEmAll kills everyone]].
** To name a few: Jaime Lannister, who consistently does horrible things to protect his family, but [[NeverLiveItDown who is widely despised]] for the ''best'' thing he ever did; Tyrion Lannister, who has even worse publicity than his brother, and responds by [[SnarkKnight acting like a jerk despite having good intentions]]; Arya Stark, a bitter girl with increasingly sociopathic tendencies [[spoiler:following the murder of her family]]; Sandor Clegane, a ruthless killer who turns out to be a conflicted [[TheWoobie Woobie]]; Daenerys Targaryen, a ruthless warlord whose brother put her through hell; Theon Greyjoy, whose [[spoiler:treason]] and {{Jerkass}} tendencies arise from [[WellDoneSonGuy a need for acceptance]] and who has recently undergone [[spoiler:ColdBloodedTorture]]...yep, the list goes on.
** One who bucks the trend is Cersei Lannister: at first, you can picture her as being quite the LoveToHate, Jerkass Woobie who really couldn't help but turn out the way she is thanks to the [[DysfunctionJunction family background]], not to mention the cultural tendency to shove women aside ratcheting up her problems. That is, until you really get inside her head via a few [=POVs=]. [[spoiler: From then on, you just want to [[HateSink strangle her]]: she's all [[TheMillstone incompetent]], {{Jerkass}}, SmugSnake, hold the Woobie. No amount of FreudianExcuse is enough to offset her complete adherence to the Stupid in StupidEvil.]]
* VillainProtagonist Lucrezia Borgia from ''Literature/MirrorMirror'' is a rare example of this as the BigBad. She's a [[AndYourLittleDogToo child-killing]], [[RichBitch vain]], [[AnythingThatMoves promiscuous]], [[ManipulativeBastard manipulative]], and [[ILied inconstant]] jerk, yet between her character exposition and [[FreudianExcuse messed-up backstory]] (plus the SelfInflictedHell she puts herself through), she's not entirely unsympathetic.
* ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings''
** Gollum is a vengeful, AxCrazy creature who's done more than his fair share of awful things both under and independent of [[ArtifactOfDoom the Ring's]] influence, but ultimately, he's presented as a broken, pitiable figure rather than an object of hate or fear.
** Oddly enough, the orcs and the ringwraiths have occasional moments of pity given them. Or as Gandalf says, "I pity even his slaves..."
*** In [[Literature/TheSilmarillion The Silmarillion]] it is claimed the Orcs really hate [[GodOfEvil Melkor]] and serve him out of fear.
* The fat kid from ''Literature/AmericanGods'' is an arrogant prick to anyone who doesn't think that he's the way to the future, but in the middle of nowhere, no reception, and nobody to talk to, he breaks down completely. Later, it's revealed that he's being manipulated by Mr World, who considers him utterly expendable.
* Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov, protagonist of [[Creator/FyodorDostoevsky Dostoevsky's]] ''Literature/CrimeAndPunishment''. He's malnourished and lives in squallor -- but mostly because of his sense of self-aggrandizement, because he won't "lower himself" to getting a job. He spends most of the novel bedridden with a fever--brought on by his guilt over the double-murder he commits in Part 1 and his anxiety over getting caught, and which he keeps exacerbating by getting up and wandering through the streets of Petersbug. His best friend, his sister, and his mother all try to help and support him, but he petulantly tells them to get lost and leave him alone. He even sadistically taunts the HookerWithAHeartOfGold, even after [[spoiler: she follows him to Siberia to support and be near him after he confesses to the murders.]]
* ''Outcast of Literature/{{Redwall}}'''s Veil Sixclaw was a CreepyChild in infancy and progressed to attempted murder by the time he hit puberty. However, with his life, you can hardly blame him; his mother suffered DeathByChildbirth, his father never even bothered to name him, then he was dropped by the side of the road and forgotten about in a battle and picked up by the Abbeydwellers. Being mice, they were naturally creeped out by adopting an AlwaysChaoticEvil [[CarnivoreConfusion ferret]], but they took it a bit far, [[TheUnfavorite constantly treating him like a criminal even when he hasn't done anything]] and saddling him with the name "Veil" in the first place (it's an anagram of "evil" and "vile").
* Vera from Creator/VCAndrews's ''My Sweet Audrina''. She's a ManipulativeBastard who constantly belittles and schemes against her half-sister Audrina, tries to steal Audrina's boyfriend/husband away from her ([[TheVamp when she's not chasing after other guys]], that is), and crosses the MoralEventHorizon at least ''twice'' by [[spoiler:being heavily implied to be the one who pushed Audrina down the stairs, nearly killing her, and being revealed to be the one who set up Audrina to be raped by a pack of boys while walking home from school on her birthday, which so [[BreakTheCutie horribly traumatized]] Audrina that her father had to deliberately invoke TraumaInducedAmnesia for her to even be remotely happy again]]. And yet, the heavy implications that her being like this is mainly due to her adoptive father [[ParentalFavoritism constantly ignoring her in favor of his daughter Audrina]] and spanking her when she desperately tried everything she could think of to gain his love, plus her being [[IllGirl very prone to injury]], garners her enough Woobie points for the audience, along with Audrina herself, to constantly swing between hating her and feeling sorry for her.
* Mayella Ewell from ''Literature/ToKillAMockingbird''. She willfully accuses a black man of raping her. She knows damn well that this could easily lead to his imprisonment and execution. She is not sorry. And yet --! She harbored an unrequited crush on Tom Robinson, the only man who was ever nice to her, and amidst being [[PromotionToParent Promoted to Parent]] around her uncontrollable siblings, she tried to keep a patch of flowers alive in her sad little yard. And it's implied that her father sexually abuses her -- no ''wonder'' she acts out.
* Anne Rice's ''[[Literature/TheVampireChronicles Vampire Chronicles]]'' has some of these. Lestat de Lioncourt is definitely one of these. He's not called the Brat Prince for nothing,. The guy started off as the youngest son of a broke aristocratic family (how does that happen), his mother was sickly and dying (prior to become a vampire), his older brothers and father hated him for wanting to be a free spirit, he was kidnapped by Magnus to be turned into a vampire, only to be abandoned by his maker (granted, he did get a large fortune of treasure), and almost all of his fledglings abandon him. But then again, the one women he loved ended up with stigmata (she was a nun) and he was a pawn for a megalomaniac wannabe goddess, and, to top it all off, even when he isn't being a jerk, his fledglings still look down on him, but then again, he is reckless.
** Well, he gets better. At least one of his fledglings, Louis, actually does love him. ''A lot''. Though he himself is not quite sure why, apparently.
* Davy Prentiss, Jr. in ''The Ask and the Answer''. He starts off as a total asshole to Todd, but eventually, [[spoiler: right before Mayor Prentiss shoots him]], shows Todd in his Noise that he thought of them as brothers. He also comes right out and says that Todd is his best friend.
* ''Literature/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians'': Clarisse [=LaRue=] has this trope going for her. Granted, she's a bully and is very nasty, but being Ares' favorite daughter isn't easy, especially when you are clearly scared to death of your dad.
* Inquisitor Sand dan Glokta of ''Literature/TheFirstLaw''. Once a famous soldier, now a crippled loner who tortures people for a living. Still an incredibly sympathetic character; the reader sees a lot of his bitterness and self-loathing as the novels go on.
* Novinha from the ''Literature/SpeakerForTheDead'', so, so much. When she was orphaned as a child, her parents were celebrated as martyrs, but she just missed her mom and dad. This drove a wedge between her and the community. She [[DefrostingIceQueen learned to love again]] as Pipo and Libo became like family to her, but after Pipo died, she became more of a mess than ever before. During her life, she suffers abuse and the loss of many loved ones. She also hides important information from people in a misguided attempt to protect them, [[spoiler:chooses to marry someone she doesn't love, cheats on him]], neglects her children, blames people for things beyond their control, and in other ways behaves as if she's trying to drive away the very people she's afraid of losing.
** Marcao, posthumously, from the same book. He's an abusive drunk whose kids prayed for him to die and were pleased when he did. Then, at his Speaking, Ender describes how the community bullied and rejected him as a child, so that the closest thing he had to a friend was Novinha, who couldn't stand him, and reveals that [[spoiler:he knew about Novinha's cheating and took every new child (all biologically Libo's, Marcao was infertile) as proof that she still didn't think he was good enough for her]]. You feel really bad for him until you remember the obvious fear and hatred with which his kids viewed him.
* The [[WickedWitch Ilse Witch]] in ''Literature/TheVoyageOfTheJerleShannara'' lost her parents at an early age and was raised by The Morgawr to be his BastardUnderstudy. She's convinced that Walker, TheHero's {{Mentor}}, is the one who arranged for the deaths of her parents and her younger brother Bek, and wants to pay him back for this (the real culprit was [[TheUntwist The Morgawr]]). She's more or less a lost, scared DarkMagicalGirl, who has no idea about what's really going on around her, and is being played for a fool by one of the few people she [[EvilMentor sort-of trusts]]. She's also a [[{{Jerkass}} nasty]], [[ItsAllAboutMe selfish]] bitch, prone to {{Bad Boss}}ing those who [[YouHaveFailedMe fail or rebel against her]], and who is so caught up in her own angst that she's [[MoralMyopia overlooking the damage she inflicts on those around her]]. Her transition into TheAtoner is ''the'' key part of her story arc.
* Brukeval from Jean Auel's ''Literature/EarthsChildren'' - a hybrid of Cro-Magnon and Neandertal who hates himself and the Neanders because of the way his looks have gotten him treated, and both loves and hates Ayla.
* Thero from Lynn Flewelling's Literature/{{Nightrunner}}, who is an unbelievably power obsessed prick of a wizard apprentice in the beginning, always snickering about his rival Seregil's bad luck when it comes to magic. Plus, he probably has a stick in his arse. And he has an affair with his master's mistress. And then you gradually notice that a good deal of this attitude is to cover his inferior complex to Seregil, who was a former (unsuccessfull) appentice of his own master, Nysander, who still loves Seregil like a son. Thero himself wants this kind of attention and kindness from Nysander (although Nysander remarks that he probably wouldn't know what to do with it) and covers his frustration up with arrogance. Seregil often enough provokes him. And then we start seeing Thero as a JerkassWithAHeartOfGold...and then [[FromBadToWorse ''Stalking Darkness'' kicked in.]] You can't help but pitying the guy.
* Blanche Dubois in ''Theatre/AStreetcarNamedDesire''. She's very harsh towards Stanley (who she sees as a 'Polack' and an 'ape'), and she isn't particularly nice in general, but once you find out about her past, it's very hard not to feel sorry for her... and she's raped by her sister's husband and, in the original play, her sister doesn't do a thing about it after the rape, like, say, leave Stanley or confront Stanley about the rape. Or the fact that she ends up becoming flat out insane and sent to a mental institution.
* Merrin Meredith from ''Literature/SeptimusHeap''. After having been nurtured and mistreated in his entire youth by [=DomDaniel=], you'd hardly expect him to be a nice person in most of the books.
* The gods in the ''Literature/BookOfSwords'' are quite possibly the ''ne plus ultra'' of JerkassGods, but you can't help but feel at least a little bit bad for them at the end, when they are [[spoiler:dying]].
* In ''Literature/ThePerksOfBeingAWallflower'' [[spoiler: Charlie's aunt was raped as a young girl, which led to her having serious psychological issues, which is why she herself molested Charlie.]]
** Brad, the star football jock, is in an secret relationship with Patrick, an openly gay boy. Brad's father, an abusive homophobic man, finds out, and beats Brad. Brad however, gets in a fight with Patrick when the latter calls him out for ignoring him. Later, when Patrick and Charlie are at a location where men go to hook up, Charlie sees Brad with another person.
* Reed Brennan from the ''Literature/{{Private}}'' books. Reed constantly criticizes everyone at her school for being ruthless and ambitious, but she herself acts the same way, even taking delight in hurting people she doesn't like. However, she's been stalked, harrassed, and near-murdered by more than a few people. She comes from a dysfunctional family, she's one of the few scholarship students at her school, [[spoiler: she is very well cursed (thus bringing bad luck to everyone else), and is the product of an affair her mother had with her best friend's father]].
* Tien in the Literature/VorkosiganSaga. He was incredibly insensitive to his wife Ekatrin. But he was himself burdened by genetic flaws and the Barrayaran prejudice that went with it.
** Plus he is a source of AdultFear. Few readers can imagine being a real villain; plenty can imagine being a failure as a spouse.
* By the end, [[Literature/TalesOfKolmar Marik of Gundar]], even in-story. Lanen hates him but doesn't think he deserved [[spoiler: to be stabbed, kept on the painful edge of death until he consented to SharingABody with the Demonlord, and then absorbed into its molten stone body.]] Though once that had finished he seemed less distressed.
* ''Literature/TheCuriousIncidentOfTheDogInTheNightTime'': Christopher Boone is often prone to pushing his own selfish needs onto someone else, detests being touched even by his own parents, hits people, and generally has a condescending view towards many people. However, many of his problems stem from his autism, and it's implied he has few friends outside of his teacher. His father, despite supportive of him [[spoiler: turns out to have lied about his mother dying.]]
* The ''Literature/{{GONE}}'' series:
** [[InsufferableGenius Astrid Ellison]] had to [[spoiler: See her little brother, the only member of her family left die.]] granted though, she's the one who [[spoiler: pushed him, ]] which might be why some readers were hesitant to mentally wrap her up in a blanket after she broke down in tears afterwards. Either way, there's no question she's been through a lot. Except the majority of which is self inflicted.
** [[TheAtoner Orc]] has a death count of 2 little girls- both under 10 who were completly innocent. These were however, both accidents, and plague him for the rest of the series. He spends a long time trying to put his wrongs right, and seems genuinely guilty for what he's done. Yet, he still on occasion uses violence.
** [[DarkChick Diana Ladris]]. She may have supposedly pushed her mother down the stairs and framed her father for it, she may have lied to every friend she had, she may have spied and betrayed every alliance she's been on for the sake of self preservation but the plot ''really'' makes her suffer for it, particularly in ''FEAR'' when she [[spoiler: is forced to give birth age 15 in a pitch black, smoldering hot mine. She is also being tortured down there, and it's implied that she's suffering from post partum depression. Quite understandably.]]
*** This is made worse by the fact that this happens just as she's trying to redeem herself morally and devote her life [[DeliverUsFromEvil to another person]], rather than just doing things for herself, as well as the fact she is [[spoiler: betrayed by Caine]] just as she starts to genuinely care about him. Whatever you think of her actions in the first two books, she has tried really hard ever since then to put things right. And she's been given nothing but pain for it.
** [[BigBad Caine Soren.]] Sure, he brought almost all of the pain he endured [[LaserGuidedKarma on himself,]] and made everyone else suffer with him, but considering that he went through ParentalAbandonment twice, life in a school which more resemmbled a military prison in North Korea, starvation, attempts on his life from his girlfriend, brother [[spoiler: and daughter]], [[spoiler: his girlfriend leaving him for his arch nemesis and brother]], and watching everything he ever wanted being handed over to a brother who never wanted it in the first place, his actions can come off as sympathetic almost as much as they do loathsome.
* Mary Bennet from ''Literature/PrideAndPrejudice'' is an insufferable know-it-all who never misses an opportunity to lecture her siblings on the finer points of morality and virtue. However, she is also the plainest of the 5 girls and the most overlooked, being TheUnfavorite to both of her parents and actively ignored by everyone around her. Also, despite her technically skilled but emotionally stunted musical talents, she is said to be constantly working to improve herself, while her more attractive siblings rest on their laurels.
* [[Literature/TheHungerGames Katniss Everdeen]]. Living in dire poverty, her father is dead, forced into an arena where the only way to survive is to kill everyone else not once, but twice, forced into being in love with someone who she barely knows, caught up in the middle of a war between EvilVersusEvil, and the leader of her side is trying to kill her and does [[spoiler: kill her little sister]], and she knows it. However, she has is often prickly and judgmental towards people and pushes them away.
** Katniss and Peeta's District 12 mentor, Haymitch Abernathy. Known as the town drunk, Haymitch is surly and often mean-tempered. He lost his entire family after refusing to be a sex slave to the Capitol, he watched his partner in the Hunger Games, Maysilee Donner, die. He is plagued with survivor's guilt to the point of having nightmares and sleeping with a knife, and had to watch as all his tributes, except for Katniss and Peeta die. He resorts to alcoholism to [[DrowningMySorrows drown his sorrows]]
* In ''Literature/DoctrineOfLabyrinths'', Felix Harrowgate constantly belittles Mildmay's speech impediment, [[MindRape mind rapes]] his own brother (and tries to do it again), beats an anonymous sex partner nearly to death during a rage blackout, and gloats over the Cabal's [[KillItWithFire burning]] of a harmless heretic. Still, he also saves his country from both a likely invasion and a coup backed by a [[BloodMagic blood wizard]], risks his own life to put tormented spirits to rest, and nearly gets himself killed during desperate attempts to save sometimes-ungrateful people from an insane Magitek [[AIIsACrapshoot robot]] and a weaponized [[spoiler: [[ClockPunk clock]]]], all of which keeps him out of the "villain" category. And his personal story definitely qualifies him for Woobie status-- [[HarmfulToMinors sold]] as a slave to a thief-keeper when he was a toddler, forced into prostitution by age eleven, seduced, tortured, raped, and mind-raped by an evil sorcerer, driven completely insane by the mind rape, [[ComeToGawk dragged]] through a gauntlet in one of Melusine's main plazas, [[FrameUp framed]] for numerous crimes he didn't commit, incarcerated in both a dungeon ([[spoiler: twice]]) and a BedlamHouse, abandoned by one lover, traumatized by [[spoiler: the murder of another lover]], [[spoiler: [[PersonaNonGrata exiled]]]], subjected to more rape and magical rape, pursued by malevolent ghosts that want to posess him, and [[spoiler: fired from one of the few jobs he can actually hold down]]. His life is one long HumiliationConga.
* While Aphrodite from ''Literature/TheHouseOfNight'' is a gigantic bitch, you have to feel bad for her from having [[AbusiveParents abusive parents]]. It's also unfair how she's called a slut or hoe, even though she's only has been in two relationships. (And actually serious about the second one!)
** Not to mention her seizure-like visions, which don't seem to be very pleasant for her (if only because she constantly is forced to watch scenes of death and destruction) and cause her parents to bully her even more into using them to gain leverage and power. She also becomes more pitiable when it becomes more apparent that [[spoiler:she is having visions of something ''very'' horrific on the way and seems aware to some degree that Neferet is involved and can't be trusted. Oh, and Neferet covers her own ass by ruining Aphrodite's reputation even more than it already is, spreading the word that her visions are fake and telling Aphrodite that she has lost Nyx's favor (more or less the equivalent of a teacher telling a student "You did something so bad that God hates you now).]]
* Scott from ''Literature/ThePowerOfFive'', especially after the abuse he goes through at the hands of Susan Mortlake.
* Charlotte of ''Literature/TheRubyRedTrilogy'' isn't very nice, but you really do feel sorry for her after everything she's wanted is taken from her.
* Mehridia from the ''{{Persepolis}}'' graphic novel. While Marjane's childhood flashbacks suggest that Mehridia was an unpleasant little girl (i.e., eating Marjane's food, ignoring Marjane to play on the swings), it's difficult not to pity her. Mehridia was born in a destitute village, then adopted by the Satrapis and taken far from her family. While the Satrapis did feed and clothe her, they kept her out of school and [[DeliberateValuesDissonance exploited her as an underage maid]]. Marjane's mother tried unsuccessfully to teach the girl how to read, suggesting that Mehridia may have had learning disabilities that went untreated. When she developed a crush on a neighborhood boy, Marjane's father thwarted her efforts to woo him. The adolescent Mehridia we see is illiterate, sheltered, and lonely.
* Marvin the Paranoid Android from ''Franchise/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy'' is this, big time. He is [[TheEeyore manically depressed,]] SurroundedByIdiots, and his "brain the size of a planet" is ignored by the whole cast, who instead make him open doors and pick up papers. Not only that, but he's watched his only friend, a small rat, crawl into his knee cavity and die (he's afraid to this day that it's still in there); been left in a parking lot, all alone, for 576,000,003,579 years; left to die in a ship flying into a sun immediately afterwords; stuck walking in a circle for 1.5 billion years with no one to talk to but a living mattress who has the same conversation with him everyday due to it being so stupid; hooked up to a war computer and used as the target for bowling practice by the Krikkit robots; as well as being 37 times older than the universe itself thanks to TimeTravel and TheSlowPath, having all of his parts replaced over fifty times each, except for [[AndIMustScream the diodes that have been giving him pain all these years.]] [[spoiler: [[TearJerker He finally dies happily after reading God's Final Message to his creation.]] [[YankTheDogsChain Only to be brought back to life since his warranty hadn't expired yet.]]]] You can't help but want to hug the poor guy, even if you know he's just going to insult you anyway.
* Paaker, the antagonist in ''Literature/{{Uarda}}'' is an early and classic example. A better looking guy steals his girl, practically ''everybody'' thinks he's unworthy of his noble father and the only person who seems to like him at all is his mother.
* ''Literature/TheSecretGarden'': Colin and Mary both, pre-CharacterDevelopment.

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