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Jerkass Woobie: Western Animation
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: Squidward Tentacles may be a Jerkass, but he's also the Only Sane Man amongst various idiots, his Neutral Evil boss, Mr. Krabs, and Sandy Cheeks. Sometimes Plankton can be this too, mainly post-movie.
    • Also Mrs. Puff. Woobie because she constantly has to put up with Spongebob and Patrick's incredible idiocy, to the point where she seems to be undergoing Sanity Slippage because of it. Jerkass because she deals with it by attempting to murder them.
  • Roger Smith from American Dad! is this and a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds. His Ax-Crazy behaviour is because his species releases a bile that kills them if they don't "let their evilness out". Made worse when it is revealed the reason he is trapped on Earth is that the others of his species wanted to get rid of him. In addition, there are moments where he really seems to care about his adoptive family. It is implied that Roger only acts that way because he was made to be evil, and not by choice, and if you stop to think about it, it's terrible being him.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender
    • Azula becomes this via Villainous Breakdown. As evil as she was in the series, the reveal of the reasons behind this and the showcasing of the full extent of her screwed-up mind caused many to pity her, including her foes, Zuko and Katara, in-show, and series creators, Mike and Bryan, outside of it. Her final scene can even qualify as a Tear Jerker.
      • It gets worse. In The Search, though being a Fan-Disliked Explanation, one can't help but pity her more. Her mental health is even worse than before, and she agrees to help Zuko find their mother. However, her suspisions about her mother not loving her all that much are confirmed, especially when she learns she has a half-sister, who is a much more playful, sweet, and well-adjusted child.
    • Zuko himself was also this in the first season, in which he was the chief villain (though his villainous objective got hijacked by Zhao in the end), but lost much of his villain status in the following two seasons and became a straighter example of The Woobie.
  • Tahno from the Sequel Series The Legend of Korra also counts. He's a smug Jerkass, but many fans have said they felt sorry for him after the scene in which he lost his bending to Amon.
    • Tarrlok is now one too. Beneath his exterior of a manipulative jerk, he was broken as the result of an abusive childhood, forced to bloodbend even though he didn't like inflicting pain on the animals who were on the receiving end, and witnessed his brother's Start of Darkness. He Used to Be a Sweet Kid.
    • Amon/Noatak is this as of the finale too. Him telling Tarrlok that he was to only thing he had left in the world and the single tear that Amon cries right before Tarrlok blows them both up is part of it, along with also suffering an abusive childhood like Tarrlok.
    • In the early half of book 2, Korra herself had entered this. As much as she means well, everyone she trusts betrays her somehow (Tenzin and Tonraq by locking her up in a compound for her entire childhood and lying about it, Unalaq by imprisoning her father, Mako by telling Raiko about her plans to take his military, Varrick by being a greedy warmonger, etc.) and everyone's trying to use her for something (even Tonraq, as much as he loves her, uses her to gather troops for his war on his brother), and her reaction is violent and often outright terrifying. So far, she's fired Tenzin as a teacher, kicked her father out of her adventuring party, threatened to kill people on three separate occasions (once by sticking a judge's head in Naga's mouth), plotted to get a nation's military sucked into a war that had nothing to do with them when the President wouldn't agree to send troops, and kicked over her boyfriend's desk in the middle of a police station... luckilly, she recieved some character development and moved into Iron Woobie territory.
    • Lin Bei Fong given what came out of her back story from season 1 and season 3 having been dumped by her former lover Tenzin because she didn't want children, while years before that her own younger sister Suyin scarred her face when Lin, in the early days of her career as a Metal Bending Police Officer, broke up a robbery Suyin was taking part in - although to be fair the scarring was an accident - and their mother, Chief Toph, responds by covering up the incident and sending Suyin away to live with her grandparents. Where are things in the present? Suyin is living happily ever after with a family of her own in a city she helped build after years of walking the Earth, while Tenzin is living it up with his much younger wife Pema and their four air bending kids, and Lin has only her job to keep her going at the end of the day. So while Lin definitely has some Jerkass tendencies it's hard not to feel sympathy for her since it appears that she's worked hard most of her life and has gotten nothing in return for her efforts while being forced to watch while everyone else she ever cared about go off and enjoy their happy endings.
  • Demona in Gargoyles, both very evil and very sympathetic all at once.
  • Moral Orel: this trope is arguably one of the main internal rules of character writing for this show. No one questions that many characters in this show are repulsive people who do and say repulsive things, which is more often than not used to portray the hypocrisy of religious fundamentalism. However, special attention is paid to make it clear to the audience that disgusting people have feelings too.
    • Given the events in "Help", Clay's breakdown in "Sacrifice" almost makes you pity him, even if you still hate him.
    • Joe is also an example. When we're introduced to him, he's a violent, sociopathic homophobe, but the episode "Dumb" makes it clear that he's terrified of growing old and weak like his elderly father, and it's implied that he feels insecure for not having a mother. Even Orel feels sorry for him.
    • Orel's little half-brother, Shapey. It's only when he says his first real sentence, articulating how he equates feeling thirsty for his mother's breast milk with feeling lonely, that it's made very clear that he's more than a spoiled, loud, pushy, sometimes violent brat, and there were already implications that parental neglect was a huge factor in why he was so mentally and socially stunted for a seven-year-old.
    • Ms. Sculptham, Orel's teacher who is unenthusiastic about her job and refuses to "teach" outside of school hours. She also takes advantage of Doughy's crush on her so he'll buy her expensive gifts. Then we find out she was raped by Mr. Creepler, the ice cream man who was obsessed with Doughy, which led to her performing an abortion on herself. And she fantasizes about him.
  • The Riddler in The Batman, whose abusive father, unfair boss, and treacherous girlfriend all drove him to a life of crime, and in the end, he was denied revenge on any of them.
    • Poison Ivy of the same series, though it's far more apparent in the comic spin-off The Batman Strikes (which explores her character in more depth).
  • In Batman Beyond, Willie Watt becomes this: he was bullied in school, picked on especially by the resident Jerk Jock and the gym teachers, and his own father is just as harsh on him. He has no friends, and the Alpha Bitch only took him out to the prom to piss off the Jerk Jock who bullies him. So he steals his dad's giant construction robot called the Golem to act out revenge. After being arrested and sent to juvenhile hall, he undergoes a Training from Hell and gets Psychic Powers from the accident with the Golem, pretends he's the ghost of a dead student, and attacks the people who wronged him, even trying to steal a kiss from the Alpha Bitch with his psychokinetic abilities, until Batman arrives. In the end, he's defeated by tricked into knocking himself out with a tree sent flying by his own powers. As he lay unconscious, all everyone present could do is give him pity. It's later revealed that he was sent back to juvenile hall, where no one will visit him, not even his father, out of fear.
  • Batman: The Animated Series
    • Harley Quinn. First off, despite working with The Joker, it's a rare day that in this 'verse that she comes anywhere near true villainy herself (not that she's not dangerous per-se). Second, her boyfriend's the Joker. Think about it. The closest she gets to a Villain Song is this lovely number, which is her playing her own Masochism Tango relationship for laughs. Which makes perfect sense given... well, you know...
    • Mary Dahl, aka "Baby Doll", was an actress who had a genetic disorder which prevented her from aging normally, and hence, leaving her stuck playing the same troublesome tot well into adulthood. All her attempts at breaking out in other roles backfired because nobody would accept her as anything but Baby Doll. It drove her so mad that she abducted her former costars to reenact the show, particularly one episode in which a costar supposedly humiliated her, and she was going to get back at them. Her Villainous Breakdown in the end is one of the most heartbreaking moments in the DCAU.
    • Mr. Freeze started as a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds who would do everything to help his terminally-ill wife. Though by the time of "Cold Comfort", he has become merciless, bent upon destroying everything and everyone held dear to the people of Gotham City, because of his wife leaving him and his body having deteriorated entirely except for his head. He does go back to the former personality by the time of Batman Beyond.
    • And then there is Clayface. Unlike his peers, he's genuinely a jerk and little more. Yet the Body Horror he routinely suffers seem to be way to harsh.
  • In Transformers, a large part of Starscream's appeal is that he's both a horribly abused character and a narcissistic asshole. The ratio of him being beaten with his own dislodged arm should be equal to the times he backstabs someone else.
  • Dr. Venture from The Venture Bros.. He's an amoral Jerkass and arguably a Villain Protagonist, but his backstory and general patheticness make it hard not to feel bad for him.
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy:
    • In Big Picture Show, the viewer learns that Eddy has been physically abused by his own brother for his entire life and his jerkass personality was a desperate cry for acceptance and his way to mask his inferiority complex. The other kids found out his secret, much to their horror. Thankfully, they helped him by standing up to his brother, but the damage had already been done. When his brother is defeated, Eddy's mask cracks and he admits that he had been lying about everything his brother did because he believed that he would be "cool" if he did, only to find out that it just made him more hated. This also allowed him, and the other Eds, to finally be accepted by the other kids.
    • May Kanker has shades of this, mainly in the Valentine's Day special.
    • Really, all three of the Kankers could fall into this. Yes, they are temperamental, possessive, rude and unhygienic, but there have been moments that show they DO care for each other. They have barely any physical traits in common and it's heavily implied their mother Really Gets Around and they have three different Dads who aren't around anymore, so as such they latched on to the Eds because that's all they know how to do. Notably, after spending most of the series violently pursuing, the Movie shows them actually doing their best to protect the Eds from the wrath of the rest of the Cul-de-sac; it can be inferred that dubious ways of going about it, they do genuinely have feelings for the Eds.
    • Eddy before The Reveal can be considered this. While he is a vain, cowardly, money-obsessed asshole who constantly tries to scam kids out of their hard earned money and abuses his only two friends, there is also the fact that the scams almost never work, the main targets aren't very innocent themselves, not to mention always going too far on their payback for said scams (sometimes when Eddy hasn't even done anything), but also his two friends are Ed, who is Lethally Stupid, and Edd, who never ceases to tell Eddy that all his plans are flawed, (usually with good reason) as being very melodramatic and Super OCD. Not to mention that his parents are hinted to be neglectful and his school teachers will give him detentions for things he didn't do. It's hard not to feel bad for him sometimes.
  • Hercules from the new 3D Garfield cartoon The Garfield Show is a mean Chihuahua with a spiked collar who is one of the bully dogs in the neighborhood, but he's just lonely and wants a friend, which is why he stole Pookie in one episode.
  • Metalocalypse:
    • William Murderface is this. He's rude, swears, objectifies women, pees on things, doesn't bathe, and is an all-around asshole. His parents were killed by chainsaw in a murder-suicide in front of him while he was a baby, and he just wants someone to pay attention to him. It's made explicit that this hatred for everyone around him pales before his hatred of himself.
  • Hey Arnold!'s Helga Pataki. She may be violent, rude, and Tsundere-ish, but every scene set in her house is a testament to how messed up her life is. Absent-minded mother? Check. Corrupt Corporate Executive father who treats her more or less like a piece of furniture? Check. Being The Unfavorite to her Stepford Smiler sister? Check. It's fortunate that the one person she latches onto as her savior, Arnold, is (usually) kind and patient enough to see through her facade and gives her the hope that she can change one day.
  • Oscar Proud from The Proud Family. Yes he may deserve some of the things that happen to him, but he is always emotionally abused by Suga Mama, humiliated by his rival Wizard Kelly, and is sometimes beaten up by his wife and mother.
  • Rugrats: Angelica Pickles could be seen as this. Although she spends most of her time mistreating her baby cousin and his friends, there are episodes that show that she does care about them. Also, her mother concentrates more on her job than her own family, and her father spends most of his time doting on her, which causes her to grow up spoiled. Also, she has very few friends outside of Suzie, whom she treats as a rival, but does ultimately see her as one of her only friends.
  • Ren Hoek from The Ren & Stimpy Show. He often acts like an abusive asshole towards his friend Stimpy, but he does have his rare moments where he treats Stimpy with kindness, and if he's feeling upset, he usually goes to Stimpy for comfort. He's also just as much of a Chew Toy as Stimpy. It's just that Ren is so psychologically screwed up that he doesn't know how to act any other way and you can't help but feel sorry for him. It's also implied that while he does appreciate Stimpy for always sticking by his side and being his friend, he's still pretty lonely. His abrasive personality has the unfortunate effect of driving away potential friends. Let alone the fact that the first thing he felt in life was "UNSPEAKABLE PAIN!" (a slap on the butt by a midwife).
  • Teen Titans:
    • Raven. She does become nicer to her teammates in the later seasons, though, particularly Season 5, which takes place after the season in which the problem that caused her to be so messed up is dealt with.
    • The traitor, Terra. Poor, poor Terra...She does a Heel-Face Turn though. It's a stark contrast to the Anviliciously unsympathetic bitch from the original comics.
  • The Fairly Oddparents:
    • Timmy Turner. Yes, he can be an insensitive jerk at times, but when you consider what his parents and babysitter are like, it's kind of understandable why he would act in such a way, and it makes you want to hug the poor guy. He has a villainous Sadist Teacher(who, despite his ineptitude, would be a more nurturing parent than Timmy's own), is constantly belittled for his appearance, is constantly beat up and bullied at school, and he was shown with explicit detail how the world would be far better off without him, which was reality essentially giving him a "Reason You Suck" Speech. Oh, and the episode "Bad Heir Day" has him injured several times while trying to find Poof.
    • Remy Buxaplenty, too. He's a spoiled rotten Jerkass... who suffers even worse parental neglect than Timmy, almost to the point of Parental Abandonment. The reason Remy even has a fairy godparent in the first place is because he has Woobie traits. Even Timmy ends up feeling sorry for him.
    • Denzel Crocker. Yes, he's an insane lunatic who Would Hurt a Child to accomplish his means, but as we know from "The Secret Origin of Denzel Crocker", he was driven to it by circumstances that were in no way his fault, and he has gone through his whole life ridiculed by everyone including his own mother for trying to spread the truth.
  • The show Invader Zim tended to blur the line between protagonist and antagonist - making both characters (Zim and Dib) hilarious, adorable Woobies with jerkass/sociopathic tendencies.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door:
    • The Delightful Children from Down the Lane are extremely Creepy Children who are bent on the destruction of the Kids Next Door Organization and the supremacy of adults over children. They seem completely unsympathetic until you consider who they actually are and what happened to them. They used to be Sector Z but they were captured by Father himself, whose delightfulization device went haywire and delightfulized them permanently, to the point that it's impossible to turn them back (any attempts are just temporary). To think that such honorable members of the KND have been turned into such monsters is very unsettling. Which leads to major Fridge Horror when you think about their parents...
    • Also, Father himself, after Operation: Z.E.R.O. (and minor moments in "I.T." and "C.A.K.E.D.-F.I.V.E.").
  • The Boondocks:
    • Uncle Ruckus. The guy is an over-the-top racist, but he's also a lonely old man who has no family and virtually only one friend. He seems to genuinely hate himself for being black and tries all he can to hide it with delusions like Irish ancestry and re-vitiligo. And if the events of the first season's finale are interpreted, even God hates his guts. Being a walking cultural paradox does absolutely no favors for him. He also had a terrible childhood. His dad and grandma hated him and treated him like crap, his dad kicked him out of the house when he was a kid, while dragging him into objects that damaged his face, and onto a bear trap. His mom's internalized racism leads her to constantly wear a blonde wig and contacts. She told Ruckus that he was adopted and had "re-vitiligo" so he can feel better about himself.
    • Uncle Ruckus's father arguably would also qualify, due to the constant racism and abuse that he suffered from outside his home, which he took out on Uncle Ruckus to prepare him for a harsh world.
  • Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz from Phineas and Ferb. He wants to take over THE ENTIRE TRI-STATE AREA, but his backstories makes one wonder whether it's because he's truly evil, or if he's just a confused individual. For example, when he was younger, he used up the allowance he had saved up for a year to get his mother a teddy bear, which she immediately handed to his younger brother, Roger. As a matter of fact, when he makes a Least-likely-inator, he mentions in passing that one of the things he could do with it is 'make my father love me'.
  • Many members of the Total Drama Island cast (Heather, Duncan, Courtney, Alejandro, etc.) qualify.
  • Generator Rex: Breach gets this status in her titular episode. Sure, she's an evil, possessive kidnapper, but when her pocket dimension is being trashed by Rex and the Creepy Girl, they're essentially tearing her mind apart. Regardless of the situation, you had to feel sorry for Breach there.
  • Gwen's Evil Counterpart, Charmcaster, in Ben 10, who is evil because she was raised and trained by an emotionally abusive uncle.
    • In the third series, Ultimate Alien, in which it's revealed that, all along, she just wanted power to free her home dimension from an evil tyrant that had enslaved it and murdered her father. At one point, a magical chasm tries tricking her into jumping into it by casting an illusion of her father's voice, at which point, tears flow down her face and she says "...Daddy." At that point, her woobiedom is secured.
    • Things went further downhill as the show has progressed, with her being put through such soul-crushing pain that she's become more of a Broken Bird than ever, and a very large portion of the fandom is hoping and praying for a happy ending for her by the time it's all through.
  • Adventure Time:
    • The Ice King.
    Ice King: (Unconscious, floating through a cosmic dreamscape) Why do people not like me? Is it because I'm a magic-user? Or is my beard too shaggy? [Sigh] I try so hard to be a good husband for girls. What's wrong with me?
    The Cosmic Owl: Hoooo! You're a sociopath.
    • Then, there's the episode, "The Eyes", which turns out to be his attempt to learn how Finn and Jake are able to be happy. It ends with him falling asleep with Finn and Jake curled up in his arms, only to utter one last line before the episode fades to black: "I'm... still not happy."
    • Holly Jolly Secrets shows that the Ice King was once a normal guy that was driven insane by his crown and the loss of his fiancee, whom he called "His Princess". This makes you realize that he's been a Woobie since episode one.
    • All the enemies from Guardians of the Sunshine wanted was sunlight... and to kill Beemo for imprisoning them inside him for so long.
    • The Earl of Lemongrab. He's a jerk, (and really annoying) but he's absolutely pathetic, in his social awkwardness, Mommy Issues, constant anxiety, Friendless Background, and perpetual unhappiness. For some people, it's impossible to watch an episode with Lemongrab in it and not want to give him a hug or say something nice to him.
  • In a similar vein to Lemongrab, Benson from Regular Show is most definitely this. Despite his Hair-Trigger Temper and harsh nature towards Mordecai and Rigby (although the latter is the one that causes problems), he can't live without the park he works at. The reason for his yelling is because his dad forced him to do it at the dinner table by asking "Pass the salt!".
  • Blinky Bill:
    • Daisy Dingo. Most of her jerkishness seems to come from her upbringing. However, she seems to be the second least cruel Dingo (after Shifty). This is ex;pored more toward the end of the first season, with Daisy allying herself more with Shifty than the others.
  • Lucius Heinous VII on Jimmy Two-Shoes, occassionally. He's a Card-Carrying Villain who has kicked the dog countless times, but the few flashbacks we get of his childhood bring out sympathy for him.
  • The Simpsons:
    • Homer Simpson. He is self-absorbed, abusive to Bart, has a very short temper, and often "borrows" from Flanders. However, he has attempted suicide numerous times, was molested by a panda, his family left him in The Simpsons Movie because of his jerkass tendencies, and all of his innocent buffoonery (and alcoholism) is actually an expression of his deep-seated self-destructive tendencies.
    • Bart, despite being a Bratty Half-Pint, also qualifies in plenty of episodes. For example, he abused by his father (on a regular basis) and sister ("On a Clear Day, I Can't See My Sister"), was once resented by his mother ("Marge Be Not Proud"), had a mean kindergarten teacher ("Lisa's Sax") was nearly being held back ("Bart Gets An F"), trapped in a well ("Radio Bart"), nearly killed by Mr. Burns ("The Curse Of The Flying Hellfish"), Groundskeeper Willie ("Girly Edition") and Sideshow Bob (on a semi-regular basis) and harassed by the whole town several times ("Bart's Girlfriend", "Miracle on Evergreen Terrace", "The Boys of Bummer"). He also had to watch his dog in a wheelchair, and lost his dog multiple times. One of which he was nearly killed by his dog. With all this crap, it's a wonder he didn't commit suicide (he almost did in "The Boys of Bummer").
    • Milhouse Van Houten. On one hand, he can be a Casanova Wannabe who acts spiteful when Bart abandons him for a new girl, and is relentless in his attempts for Lisa to love him. However, his parents divorced in the 8th season, he is relentlessly mocked, and he is often thrown under the bus by Lisa. That kid just can't catch a break.
    • Charles Montgomery Burns (Mr. Burns for short), on occasion. The episode, "Monty Can't Buy Me Love" has him trying to do good things for people to gain everyone's respect. In the episode C.E.Doh, it's revealed that Burns' entire family and friends died out while he worked at the nuclear plant. You've got to feel some sympathy for the man after that, regardless of how evil he is.
    • The current incarnation of Nelson Muntz. True, he can be (and often is) a violent brute who finds amusement in others' misfortune. However, he does have a soft side. Take the episode "Lisa's Date with Density": although he doesn't appear to return Lisa's feelings for him until the end, he was willing to go along with her attempts to bring out the nice guy in him throughout the whole episode (he even wore clothes he felt uncomfortable in just to make her happy), and he reveals at the end this was because she was the first person to think he had a softer, more sensitive side. He continues to show signs of harboring some romantic feelings for her afterwards, such as begging God to not let "his" Lisa get hurt in "The Great Simpsina". It's not just Lisa, either- he befriends a blind kid in "Stealing First Base" and acts surprisingly polite and grateful to Marge for taking him into her house in "Sleeping with the Enemy". And yet his life is pretty terrible, even by Springfield standards: his father left him for a pack of cigarettes, his mother's constantly dating someone undesirable (and has been implied to have a job as a stripper), and he's dirt-poor. He doesn't even get the girl in the end, as revealed in "Holidays of Future Passed": Milhouse is the one who ends up married to Lisa.
    • Lisa is an insufferable Soapbox Sadie who takes on pet causes for no good reason (though often, but not always, her reasons are good: in the movie she single-handedly delays the eco-catastrophy that the lake becomes) and isn't ashamed to admit she thinks she's better than everyone else in Springfield. She's also completely alone, with a family that doesn't even try to help her or share her interests, and her friends (on the occasion that she has any) aren't much better either.
    • Frank Grimes is a very divisive character. On one hand, he had miserable childhood, worked hard for little rewards or pay, and had to work with Homer, a lazy, stupid employee who had no understanding of sacrifice. On the other hand, Grimes' response to this was to lash out at Homer and try to ruin him, and this was after Homer tried to make it up to Grimes. When his attempt to make Homer look stupid fail, he snaps and kills himself. Even his funeral was overshadowed by Homer's stupidity.
  • The eponymous Sterling Archer: an abusive, womanizing, and egotistical secret agent barely tolerated by all those around him... but every indication points that it was a terrible childhood that made him what he is.
  • Harry Osborn in The Spectacular Spider-Man is the one who always cries Never My Fault, snubs his old friends when he is In with the In Crowd, and, in the series, manipulates Gwen into staying with him when he knows that she wants to break up, yet from the very first episode, we see that his father is abusive, criticizes everything he does, and he's The Unfavorite to his best friend, Peter Parker. To compound it, his mother is the The Voiceless and Harry is a "Well Done, Son" Guy. It becomes even worse when he realizes that his girlfriend has been after his best friend and he overhears them talking about how they want to break up.
  • Jackal from Tinga Tinga Tales. He kicks other animals out of their homes and steals food from cubs, but then the animals make him a honey addict, and he only gets to taste one drop, and he starts whimpering for it for the rest of his life. Poor guy will never get his moon-honey and he's become so obsessed with it, he's become a total Cloud Cuckoolander.
  • Aladdin: The Series: Mozenrath. While he is undeniably one of the darker villains the series had to offer, he was raised by a man so ruthless that even Jafar feared him, and the source of his power is making his body decay, putting him at death's door at a very young age. He also works hard for all that he has and all that he seeks to obtain, but is always defeated by someone who "had his Genie handed to him on a silver platter."
  • Brandy & Mr. Whiskers: Brandy Herrington. Many characters in the show dislike her for her bitchiness, but she's struggling to adjust to her environment and she must really miss her family.
  • Dan Vs.: Dan. He's a Jerkass who hates everything. The 'Woobie' part of Jerkass Woobie comes from the fact that everything seems to hate him back and tends to strike first. He also has a real soft spot for animals: He became enraged when he found out a restaurant was going to cook rabbits and even lobsters, and of course there was his Crowning Moment of Heartwarming when he rescued Mr. Mumbles from the animal shelter.
    • His childhood. Most of the horrible stuff that happened to him is merely implied, mainly concerning his parents' neglect and abuse. In "Summer Camp", we actually get to see a terrible thing that happened to Dan when he was a kid. He got bullied, only to be told by the camp director he wouldn't do anything about it because they won the spirit stick and can do whatever they want. The camp director later decides to lock up and starve all the bullied kids including Dan for sticking up for themselves. Dan also remembers this moment fondly, simply because he ended up getting revenge on him and the bullies and met his friend, Chris there.
  • The Urpney army in The Dreamstone. It consists of obnoxious, slovenly idiots who assist Zordrak in sending nightmares to the Land Of Dreams. However they aren't very good at it... at all. Their attempts in stealing the Dreamstones nearly always end in relentless torture. It doesn't help that all in all they act as Villain Protagonists of the show and a lot of time is spent displaying them as rather normal acting beings that have all the malice of a fly.
  • Eric Cartman of South Park at times. He's a pretty big Jerkass and he does deserve punishment for a lot of things. However, there's a few scenes where one feels bad for him like in 1% one by one, all his favorite toys are destroyed. The kicker is that his Polly Prissy Pants doll turns out to be the one who killed off his other toys and asks Cartman to kill her. He, with tears in his eyes, complies. And this is all a result of his insane, schizophrenic mind, which just makes you feel worse for him.
    • This is even more evident in earlier seasons, where he's more of a typical obnoxious bully and implied to be the result of teasing from the entire class (Clyde at one point just barely avoided the same fate after Kyle and Stan berated him mercilessly in Cartman's place).
  • Velma Dinkley in Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated. She's a Control Freak to Shaggy, snarky and nearly came to blows with Scooby over Shaggy. But when Shaggy chooses his friendship with Scooby, Velma bursts into tears. And now she has the burden of sharing responsibility for the dissolution of Mystery Incorporated. She's all alone now, save for her parents.
  • Daffy Duck in The Looney Tunes Show. He's a Jerkass, but doesn't seem to know any better and is very pathetic.
  • Family Guy:
    • Glenn Quagmire. He's a Casanova Wannabe who became that way when the woman he truly loved (Cheryl Tiegs) broke up with him note , has a sister who lets herself be abused by her boyfriend (whom Brian first mistook for one of Quagmire's dates who was Too Kinky to Torture), has a female cousin who is suffering from cancer and has to get chemo (which has her mistaken for a boy), and grew up without a father (until he came back years later and revealed that he was getting a sex change operation). And there have been times where Quagmire actually cares about things other than his own libido (i.e., helping out at a soup kitchen as implied on the epic "The Reason You Suck" Speech on "Jerome Is The New Black," his illegitimate baby daughter note  whom he gives up for adoption after realizing that he's not father material on "Quagmire's Baby," the pet cat that Peter killed on "Episode 420," and his father — especially when Brian had sex with him following his sex change operation — on "Quagmire's Dad.")
    • Peter Griffin himself too at times. Sure he's a Jerkass but you could say he doesn't deserve some of the crap he goes through.
    • Almost everybody counts at one point. Brian's a narcissist and, according to the fans, the "Liberal Douche", but he has to deal with idiots on a constant basis (and on the Very Special Episode, he reveals to Stewie that he's suicidal).
    • Lois can be almost as bad as Peter, but dealing with a Jerkass husband and a Jerkass father may have turned her into a jerk. A joke from "No Country Club for Old Men" even implies she's bulimic.
    • Stewie too, especially in later seasons. He started out evil and can still be mean sometimes, but considering he's suffered abuse from his parents and the fact that Brian is closest thing he has to an actual friend, it's hard not to feel sorry for him.
      • At the end of "The Simpsons Guy" Stewie tries to show Bart how cool he is by capturing all his enemies, but Bart is less than amused. When Stewie returns home, he says nothing's wrong but runs up to his room and starts copying Bart's chalkboard gag while crying. And then there's the episode where Brian dies (temporarily). Poor guy...
  • Tom of Tom and Jerry is a mean cat that gets put through a lot of pain which is sometimes deserved and his own fault and sometimes happens because he's a huge Butt Monkey.
  • Danny the fox from Forest Friends. Especially in the episode Big Brother Blues. He has a huge ego and often plays mean practical jokes, but his classmates sometimes treat him like trash. In Big Brother Blues, he has to babysit his little brother Didoo and they have a sand castle building contest. Didoo doesn't like Danny babysitting him and builds a sand castle with Jeff, causing Danny to break down in tears. It's hard not to feel sorry for Danny several times.
  • Cat from CatDog. He gets beaten up on a regular basis by the greasers, and always gets hurt because of Dog running around and bumping to what ever is in his path, and he suffers the repercussions of whatever Dog does.
  • Bender from Futurama. He's a sociopath of the highest order, goes beyond megalomania, has a laundry list of felonies, and is constantly abusing his own friends. He also was born without a backup unit, only saved because Hermes took pity on him as a baby, is constantly abused by The Professor (being sent on deadly missions), and who's son can not remember him, because Bender and his son decided to have the latter's memory card replaced in order for him to go to bending school.
    • Zapp Brannigan. Yes, he's extremely corrupt, egotistical, and perverted, but he's also a complete and utter failure, yet who is expected by the people of Earth to be a godlike figure, and the only girl he may have actually ever cared about despises him.
  • Jammet from Capitol Critters. He's a smartass, extremely irritable and obnoxious jerk who is a notorious Deadpan Snarker but in the episode If Loving You Is Wrong, he falls in love with a female hamster who happens to be a girl's pet. Eventually, they break up and Jammet cries in his mother's arms. It's hard not to feel for Jammet in that episode.
  • Harchi the hyena from Oscars Oasis. Sure, he bullies Oscar just like Popy and Buck but the episode Lost reveals he suffers from separation anxiety. He's also really good at looking like a kicked puppy when he's sad.
  • Toad as portrayed in Wolverine and the X-Men is one of these, perhaps based on the fact that his incarnation in X-Men: Evolution was one of the show's woobie-characters. On the one hand, his mutations mean he has a deformed, frog-like appearance (webbed hands, gangly limbs, green skin), an Overly-Long Tongue, and the ability to hork up gouts of sticky slime. On the other hand, he's an evil little toad of a person who willingly signed up with a mutant supremacist group so he'd be able to commit havoc without fear of punishment; it's implied in his first appearance that Toad is recurrently caught vandalising or mugging people and never gets punished because the Brotherhood always busts him out again. When Quicksilver declares the Brotherhood have decided Toad isn't worth saving any more and so they're kicking him out and leaving him in the MRD Facility, one simultaneously understands where Quicksilver's coming from and feels pity for Toad — it's the look on his face and the quiet way he asks if they're really dumping him.
  • Murdoc of Gorillaz had a bit of this in his pre-teen days. His father forced him to participate in embarrassing talent contests for money. His brother broke his nose twice for using his (the brother's) record player without permission. Murdoc claims to have hit puberty at eight and lost his virginity at nine, and while he's an Unreliable Narrator at best, he'd also probably have no problem with mentioning something like that for pure shock value, so it's horribly possible that he's not lying. However, he was a thoroughly horrible child, just as he's a thoroughly horrible adult.
  • Superjail! operates on a cast full of Jerkass characters, although some seem to also exhibit this (or at least in some minds):
    • The Warden is an egotistical (generally) empathy-lacking Psychopathic Manchild , but his horrific childhood past and issues with his father seem to earn him pitiable points from fans.
    • Alice is also not exactly meant to be the most sympathetic character, with the creators even calling her a sadistic bully and messed up. Even so, she shows a soft spot for children and has her own issues due to having been rejected by her old warden after she started her sex-change (in an attempt for them to be together, only to find out that he was a gay man). Her official profile also stated that she wants men to desire her and find her beautiful, although it's counterproductive as most are horribly put off by her brutality and she does not take that rejection very well.
    • The Mistress would seem to have even 'less sympathetic traits than the Warden, but suddenly being treated as lesser than Stingray and being screamed at by him was shown to reduce her to tears. That, and one must wonder what lead her to her own superiority complex if she's a counterpart to the Warden....
    • The Twins somewhat qualify after "The Trouble with Triples" showed that they're The Unfavourite and have abuse heaped on them by their elder siblings, are neglected and looked down on by their father in comparison, as well as being expected to conquer and rule worlds when they hate "real work" and just want to live their own lives (even if said lives consist of them just organizing death and destruction for fun and not some goal of conquering). Then when they do (inadvertantly) manage to impress their father, thanks to the Warden jumping into the fray, he decides to take them home and torture them.
  • Diaspro from Winx Club. Is she a Rich Bitch? Damned right! Does she cooperate with supervillains on a regular basis? Of course. The thing is that she doesn't see herself as having a choice in the matter. For one, she can no more see a scenario where she doesn't end up marrying Prince Sky than she can see one in which she spontaneously grows an extra set of limbs....despite the fact that a red-haired usurper who won't listen to reason and refuses to understand the volatile power politics that get in her way seems Hell-bent on disrupting everything for silly and self-serving reasons. Since said irritant is both insanely popular and a possessor of godlike abilities, Diaspro sees herself as being backed into a corner.
  • Mr. Noodman from Sanjay And Craig, at first his father tormenting him with snakes as a kid appears to simply come off as a Freudian Excuse for his treatment of the titular characters. But then comes the episode "Family Re-Noodman" where officially becomes a Jerkass Woobie after seeing that his father still torments him with snakes, and is made the laughing stock of his entire family.
  • Peter Venkman from The Real Ghostbusters could be seen as this; while he behaves as a womanizing, cocky jerk most of the time who's only in it for the money, he genuinely cares about his friends and the people he helps and has been shown to be willing to sacrifice himself for them. On top of that, his father is a con man who likes to embroil Peter into his schemes and use his son's fame for his own gain, he grew up in a bad neighborhood and it's hinted that his mother passed away when he was a child.
  • Ziggy from Trust Me I'm A Genie. In spades. He's an Anti-Hero genie, somewhere on the borderline of Benevolent Genie and a Jackass Genie due to his It's All About Me attitude. He's selfish, short-tempered, sarcastic, a loudmouth, sneaky, verbally abusive at times and often lies, cheats and steals to help his master Diego fulfill his final wish so he can finally be set free. The woobie part of him comes in when you realize how messed up his magic got from sand being trapped in his can. He tries so hard for the final wish to succeed that it always comes close only for Ziggy to experience a Yank the Dog's Chain because his magic is defective. There are times when he's actually broken down in tears over the failed final wish and in the final episode, he gets treated like garbage from the other genies because of all his failed wishes and when he says his goodbye to Diego in the final episode because his master's wish succeeds, he looks to be on the verge of tears. Possibly, because he's saying goodbye to his best (and possibly one of his only) friends in the whole world. On top of all this, Ziggy looks like an adorable and cuddly purple raccoon to contrast his mean personality.
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "Keep Calm and Flutter On", Discord of all characters becomes one when he realizes how much Fluttershy's friendship actually means to him. He had never known friendship until his Heel Realization
  • Pacifica Northwest from Gravity Falls may be a stuck-up Alpha Bitch, but in "The Golf War", she is shown to be pressured by her parents to meet their expectations and not lose the golf game, plus she doesn't understand the concept of sharing.
  • The title character of Bojack Horseman. He's a self-centered foul-mouthed alcoholic with a huge ego, and treats others like garbage. He's also a self-loathing Jaded Washout who is still stuck on his Glory Days, is desperately starved for any kind of companionship (as evidenced that he still hasn't kicked Todd out even after all this time, and is at best frenemies with his rival Mr. Peanutbutter). The revelation of his terrible childhood at the hooves of his Abusive Parents and his utterly broken relationship with his former best friend Herb (who rejects Bojack's attempt to make amends) definitely seals Bojack's status as "the jerk you can't help but feel utterly sorry for".
Web OriginalJerkass Woobie    

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