I don't like loud noises. And people making a fuss. And I especially don't like people celebrating because they know a piece of private information about me. Plus the whole thing is a scam - birthdays were invented by Hallmark to sell cards.This character hates their birthday. And there's usually always a reason for it. Whether something traumatic happened or they just don't like getting older, they see no reason to celebrate. Sometimes Truth in Television when a person's birthday falls on a holiday (e.g. Valentine's Day) or the day when something bad occurred. And some people simply don't like the feeling of getting old, especially if their life is not on the right track. Compare Crappy Holidays, which includes people who hate holidays, and The Grinch, someone who specifically hates Christmas.
—Ron Swanson, Parks and Recreation
Examples:Anime and Manga
- Meia Gisborn from Vandread. Episode 21 is entirely devoted to the rest of the crew's efforts to lure her into attending the birthday party they throw for her, which she skillfully evades (like in all her previous years on Nirvana). Needless to say, said episode gives her a great deal of characterization beside that.
- Ciel Phantomhive from Black Butler. His tenth birthday was the day his house burned down with both parents inside. And he was kidnapped, and taken off to be a slave to a cult. By his thirteenth birthday, he doesn't even acknowledge them unless made to.
- Mukuro from YuYu Hakusho because of her tragic backstory and an abusive parent. Revealed to be so because her adopted father made a special note to molest her on all of her birthdays.
- Yuuto from Omamori Himari hates his birthday, because that's also the day both of his parents died.
- Misfortunes happen to Kankichi Ryotsu in Kochikame. His birthday is on March 3 which is Girls' Day in Japan.
- In Don Rosa's "The Sign of the Triple Distelfink", Donald Duck's Born Lucky cousin Gladstone Gander tries to sequester himself in his house on his birthday every year because his birthday is the one day of the year his extraordinary good luck turns bad.
- The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy story "Time Waits For No Mandy" (Cartoon Network Block Party #56) has Mandy hating birthdays because she's self-proclaimed ageist. Grim conjures up Father Time himself, and Mandy cajoles him into going on vacation so time will stand still and she won't have any more birthdays.
- In the Death Note fic Lies On Light Yagami isn't too fond of birthdays as he explains the holiday to Ryuk:
Light: It's a human ritual, kind of like Christmas, only everyone gives you stuff you don't really want or need and you have to eat cake.
- Bella from Twilight. She just hates the attention and how it reminds her that she still ages while Edward doesn't.
- The main character of Its My Fucking Birthday by Merill Markoe. A high school art teacher with narcissistic parents is trying to track her life’s progress. It takes place over seven years — seven birthdays she doesn't like.
- To Ma in Room, her twenty-sixth birthday is a painful reminder of how many years she has been imprisoned by Old Nick.
- Lord Ivan Vorpatril of the Vorkosigan Saga was born a few hours after his father was killed in a skirmish during Vordarian's Pretendership. As a result of this, his mother made the central event of his birthday celebration if he was anywhere near the capital on that date going to to the spot where Lord Padma Vorpatril was shot so they could hold a memorial service for the father Ivan never met. This tradition only came to an end when Ivan was thirty-five.
- The Big Bang Theory:
- Sheldon has some mental scars from past birthdays relating to his general aversion to socialization.
- Leonard is pretty apathetic as far as birthdays go because his mother didn't like the concept and his family never celebrated anyone's bithday, but he appreciates the gesture when his friends plan a surprise party for him.
- Jim from According to Jim hates his birthday as a result of having been Caught with Your Pants Down on his 13th birthday.
- Mad About You: Paul always has terrible birthdays. The following dialog occurs while they get ready for his birthday dinner.
Jamie: What happened?
Paul: No, no, no, I'm just practicing.
Jamie: Fine. You're gonna fall in a well. Are you happy now?
Paul: You know, I fell in a well.
Jamie: You did not.
Paul: Birthday, 15. Amish country.
Jamie: You fell in a well?
Paul: While making a wish.
Jamie: Okay? My God.
Paul: No, no, no, this is the beauty—this is the beauty of the thing. See, I know it's gonna suck. I know there's some disaster coming and still I continue to have birthdays.
Jamie: Maybe this one will be better.
Paul: Oh, no, no, it will suck. It's just that I just don't know what form the disaster will take and therein lies the fascination.
- Ron Swanson from Parks and Recreation hates birthdays so much that he has gone to great lengths to keep anyone from finding out, including having it redacted from all government documents.
"I don't like loud noises. And people making a fuss. And I especially don't like people celebrating because they know a piece of private information about me. Plus the whole thing is a scam - birthdays were invented by Hallmark to sell cards."
- Subverted at the end of the episode, when Leslie manages to actually give Ron a birthday present to his liking, which is having a nice, quiet evening to himself while eating meat, drinking Scotch, and watching movies of train explosions.
- Subverted in a later episode where he confesses to Leslie that she managed to find a birthday activity he would actually like A long and twisting mystery scavenger hunt inspired by the one she made for Ben for their anniversary.
- An episode of Hey Dad..! revolves around Betty refusing to reveal her birthday, and even going to the length of claiming that she doesn't have a birthday. It eventually turns out that she once knew a dying child who wasn't going to live to see his next birthday, so she gave him hers.
- On Star Trek: The Next Generation, Worf doesn't look forward to his birthday as he doesn't like to be surprised, and knows that his shipmates always want to throw him a surprise party.
- Ally McBeal: Ally was unable to appreciate her friends' plans for her birthday parties and couldn't civilly accept their birthday wishes. She hated getting older without a husband in sight, feeling that her biological clock is ticking. When she dated her big love Larry, he seemed to forget about her day, which unsurprisingly upset her even more.
- Snow White/Mary Margaret in Once Upon a Time. What was supposed to be her most special birthday of all, when she would be given the crown that marked her as the future queen at a ball held in her honor, instead ended up being the funeral for her mother, who had been poisoned by Cora.
- In the Charmed episode "Dead Man Dating", a man gets annoyed by his mother throwing him a birthday party and walks out on it, only to get murdered. After his death is avenged and he's ready to go to the afterlife, he admits how foolish he was, and tells Piper to always cherish her birthday, because each one might be her last.
- Emily Owens, M.D.: Emily's torturer Cassandra blabs (on purpose) that she and Emily both celebrate their birthday on the same day. Cassandra loves all the attention, but Emily honestly keeps repeating she's not a birthday type. She's insecure and dislikes being in the focus.
- In one episode of Community, the quintessential cool guy Jeff Winger gets depressed because of his age (about which he had been lying to his friends) and celebrates his birthday by not telling anyone, drinking scotch and taking anti-aging pills he got from a shady Asian business.
- In season 4 episode of Sex and the City, Carrie tries to get people together for Charlotte's "thirty-faux" birthday. Charlotte doesn't want to turn 36 because she feels she's getting old. She feels especially insecure because she longs for a healthy relationship and a child and she's not even close.
- Episode "The One where They All Turn Thirty" from Friends shows the entire gang having a hard time dealing with their thirtieth birthdays, which is mostly shown in flashbacks.
- The episode takes place on Rachel's birthday who is the youngest. She feels old and gets immensely depressed. It gets worse when Chandler's birthday card says "grandma" and she realizes she would like to get married and have a baby pretty soon.
- Monica comes home completely wasted because she felt nervous about turning thirty. Chandler is throwing her a formal party with her parents. Monica overreacts and makes a huge scene.
- Joey freaks out at his birthday, pleading with God that they had a deal to not let him get old.
- Chandler says his thirtieth birthday wasn't that great either, because Joey got upset at Chandler's birthday party, fearing that everyone was getting 'so old' and that it was not fair to their gang.
- Ross bought a red sports car, claiming he's a sports car enthusiast, despite the fact he didn't know what the horse power is. Ross's car gets locked in by two cars. He spends his birthday trying to get out. His joy is completely spoilt when an unattractive old man in the very same red car greets him and Ross gets dejected.
- Phoebe was pretty ok with turning thirty. That is until her twin sister Ursula tells her they are in fact thirty-one. Suddenly Phoebe's plan of stuff she wanted to accomplish fell apart.
- Kamen Rider Drive: Shinnosuke, the titular Rider, dislikes his birthday because it falls on Christmas Eve, which meant he's spent his whole life getting combined Christmas-birthday parties and presents. During the birthday depicted in the series, his Fair Cop partner Kiriko invites him out to dinner; he's happy at the prospect of a date, but is much less pleased when all their co-workers jump out and shout "Happy Birthday!"
- Garfield hates birthdays, mainly because they remind him of how old he is. (Considering the strip has been around for two or three regular cat lifespans, he may have a point.) When the actual party comes, however, he usually softens up.
- Pearls Before Swine: Larry the Crocodile is revealed to really hate his birthday. He tries some strange tricks like hiding from his birthday cake, and covering his ears and saying "Me can't hear you!" more than once when his name is called in the "Happy Birthday" song. He does these things because he thinks he won't grow a year older if he does them. He wants to think of himself as 26 years old, when he's apparently twice that age!
- in Katawa Shoujo, Hanako Ikezawa completely breaks down every year around her birthday. Its implied that this is because her birthday was when the fire that disfigured her body and killed her family happened, but the truth is, well, not quite so simple:
Hanako: Every birthday was the same. Everyone doing their best to pretend that I mattered. Everyone pretending everything was alright... for one day of the year. I didn't want to exist, but they wouldn't let me.
- Suicide for Hire: Arcturus seems not to like his birthday, trying to sneak out of the house to avoid his parents.
- In El Goonish Shive, Susan's birthday is on New Year's Day, and she reasons that celebration of her birth is pointless since her friends would be celebrating with or without her anyway.
- The only holiday The Nostalgia Critic enjoys is Christmas. He would rather not pay any attention to his birthday.
- Dr. Doofenshmirtz from Phineas and Ferb hates his birthday because his parents never showed up for his birth.
- Raven in the Teen Titans animated series. Of course, hers does mark The End of the World as We Know It.
- Due to the fear of the implications of growing up, Angelica behaves this way during her third or fourth birthday in a Rugrats episode, though in the end she regrets it when she realizes that, when growing up, she can eat candy with bigger teeth than the babies.
- Mac from Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends has a twist: due to his best friend Bloo giving him surprise birthdays on almost any day except the actual day of his birthday (with one exception) and, more importantly, horribly humiliating him for every single one, he's grown something of a hatred towards them.
- In Futurama, Mom hates "Mother's Day" (a day when all the robots her company built show their affection), since her true love, Professor Farnsworth, left her after an argument. It's not technically her birthday, but it serves the same purpose (being a celebration centered around her).
- Jackie Chan Adventures: Uncle makes it clear in one episode that he hates birthdays. He refuses to celebrate and when asked about it, he retorts "When I grow a year younger, then I'll celebrate!"
- The Mr. Men Show: Mr Grumpy doesn't like celebrating his birthday, he even sings about it.
- Grouchy Smurf in The Smurfs hates (among other things) his birthday, and in "The Secret Of Shadow Swamp" tries to escape celebrating it.
- An episode of Mike, Lu & Og has Og tell his mom that he doesn't want a birthday because his dad is always trying to take him hunting.
- Wyatt from 6teen revels he hates his birthday because his parents always throw theme parties and since he comes from a big family, all of the good themes were taken years ago. The recent themes were "Diseases we're glad we don't have," "The color brown (where everything, including the gifts and the food was brown)" and "Trailer park party."
- Soos from Gravity Falls, as they remind him of how his deadbeat father would always go on some pleasure trip instead of visiting Soos for his birthday, always promising he'd come next year. He moves past it when he finds out Dipper and Mabel risked their lives for a way to make things better for him.
- Ezra from Star Wars Rebels, who was born on the day the Empire was founded, later to be declared "Empire Day". His parents resistance against the Imperials lead to him losing his parents on his seventh birthday.
- By the time of Batman Beyond, the elderly Bruce Wayne hates birthdays because it reminds him of how he's well past his prime.
- The Crystal Gems of Steven Universe don't outright hate birthdays parties, but being The Ageless led to them seeing all the associated traditions to be incomprehensibly bizarre. Amethyst enjoys them anyway, but Garnet thinks they're too old for them and Pearl is confused and scared by Steven's attempts to be a funny birthday clown.
Pearl: I think this is why aging makes humans die!