This is when a character just can't seem to bear the thought of being left alone under any circumstances. Whether it be from a Friendless Background
or a belief that Loners Are Freaks
, he or she may frequently want to be assured they are not alone
by others, such as by seeking out company the moment they realize they're by themselves. Ironically, these characters still tend to lack friends for some reason or feel the effects of solitude despite all their efforts not to. Since they are not usually isolated by choice, they will often hate Eating Lunch Alone
, will probably never use the phrase Leave Me Alone
(although saying Please Don't Leave Me
is certainly likely), and may even prefer walking Alone in a Crowd
rather than staying at home and being reminded they have no one to talk to or hang out with. In cases where the character does have either a Limited Social Circle
or only one friend
, expect them to cling to any of their friends (including pets/plants
) like a lifeline
in order to escape their feelings of desolation.
Characters who have experienced severe isolation, Parental Abandonment
, All of the Other Reindeer
, or one of the obvious downsides
can often develop into this. Shy characters
can fall victim to this as well. May lead to a case of Lonely Together
, if the character finds nobody but other lonely people for company. It also tends to be a common justification for I Just Want to Have Friends
. Contrast The Hermit
or any introvert
for that matter.
Definitely Truth in Television
since humans are social creatures by nature, although many of us share a similar desire for privacy as well. In fact, Go Mad from the Isolation
is a well-documented occurrence for people who have become truly isolated for an extended period. Otherwise, people who suffer too much from this may be diagnosed with dependent personality disorder
or separation anxiety disorder
Anime and Manga
- Holo from Spice And Wolf is characterized by an intense fear of loneliness due to the hundreds of years she spent in solitude while watching the humans around her grow old and die.
- The eponymous character from Naruto grew up deprived of any friends or much familial support, so he often tries drawing excessive attention to himself by causing all kinds of mischief to make people notice him. He is also quite close to Iruka because he was the only person who was friendly to him in Konohagakure (before making more friends).
- In Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne, Maron is introduced as a lonely girl who has been living by herself in an apartment while her parents have been working abroad for years. Although she tries to pretend to be strong and plucky, she is actually quite fragile inside and easily falls apart when she learns her parents have divorced after they unexpectedly contact her one day over the telephone. Also, while she does have a social circle of people who care for her, she is still absolutely terrified of feeling abandoned again (after her parents), and later entreats her love interest, Chiaki, not to leave her alone while she cries into his chest.
- In Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Mami reveals how lonely she feels having to work alone as a magical girl and becomes overjoyed upon hearing Madoka say she wants to become a magical girl and fight alongside her. So overjoyed, in fact, that it tragically leads to her own demise when she recklessly fights the witch Charlotte and then gets herself brutally killed.
- Pointing out all the people in Neon Genesis Evangelion who have abandonment issues would essentially involve pointing the reader towards the cast page. One of the series' overhanging themes is Schopenhauer's "Hedgehog's Dilemma": Humans naturally desire and seek companionship but are paradoxically also scared of letting anyone get too close to them, and tend to push people away subconsciously to preserve their own fragile egos from the 'harm' of getting emotionally involved. Shinji and Asuka are especially prone to this behaviour and serve as the series' crown examples.
- Bleach has the Espada of loneliness, Starrk.
- Akito Sohma from Fruits Basket fears being alone/abandoned so much that he rules the Zodiac by fear to keep them from leaving. The whole "being forced to live as a guy" thing probably doesn't help much, either.
- The anime adaptation of Persona 4 does this with the protagonist, of all people. It's heavily implied in episode 12, and pretty much confirmed in the True Ending episode.
- The main character in Othello is so afraid of being left without friends that she'll rather spend time with girls who only bully and take advantage of her due to her shy, non-confrontational nature.
- Ax Crazy Pyro Maniac Psycho for Hire Dilandau Albatou from The Vision Of Escaflowne suffers from an extreme pathological case of this, considering all the trauma he went through via the Sorcerers and the fact that he was originally Allen's younger sister who got kidnapped and mutilated by said Sorcerers through experiments, and nobody came to save her.
- In one Garfield storyline, which ran the week before Halloween in 1989, is unique among Garfield strips in that it is not meant to be humorous. It depicts Garfield awakening in a future in which the house is abandoned and he no longer exists. According to the author Jim Davis :
During a writing session for Halloween, I got the idea for this decidedly different series of strips. I wanted to scare people. And what do people fear most? Why, being alone. We carried out the concept to its logical conclusion and got a lot of responses from readers. Reaction ranged from 'Right on!' to 'This isn't a trend, is it?'
- In Frankenstein, the Creature at one point approaches and earnestly begs of his creator Victor Frankenstein, who had abandoned him out of disgust for his grotesque appearance, to create another monstrous being like himself (except female this time) because he can no longer bear his continued isolation and constant rejection by other humans at the mere sight of him.
- Christopher Boone from The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Nighttime is an inversion of this trope since he states several times in the novel that he prefers being alone. This is because he cannot relate well to other people, owing to his Asperger's syndrome.
- In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, there's a variation where Harry tells Dumbledore he's figured out that he can't just lock himself away and mourn Sirius, because Sirius would hate Harry to be alone.
- In Priest-Kings of Gor Vika of Treve, a slave of the Priest-Kings, hates being alone even though she must be alone most of the time. She's a chamber slave and cannot leave her chamber, where she is the slave of any man assigned the chamber as his temporary quarters.
- Tash Arranda shows signs of this early in Galaxy of Fear. She's bookish and likes some quiet, but becomes anxious when she's left alone. This is explicitly because she's an Alderaanian orphan and half believes that when people leave her, she's not going to see them again. As the series progresses she becomes more comfortable with it.
- Travis Bickle from Taxi Driver. While he eventually takes some measures to avoid his loneliness and become "a person like other people", he outright laments this fact in his narrative:
Loneliness has followed me my whole life. Everywhere. In bars, in cars, sidewalks, stores, everywhere. There's no escape. I'm God's lonely man.
- An episode of Red Dwarf saw the crew meeting alternate reality versions of themselves. The Cat, as expected, met a humanoid Dog who would get nervous anytime he was left alone.
- A lesser example is the main character Lister. It is explained that humans hate being alone and since Lister was the only known survivor of the accident that wiped out the crew, the ship's computer decided to bring back his bunkmate as a hologram.
- Perhaps Dean Winchester from Supernatural. His main fear is that everyone will eventually leave him, likely stemming from seeing his mother killed by a demon when Dean was a young child.
And the opening lines are:
I'm sleeping my way out of this one/With anyone who will lie down
- The Reba McEntire song "The Fear of Being Alone."
So don't say that word
Not the one we both heard too much
You may think you do but you don't
It's just the fear of being alone
- The Nostalgia Critic has got a bad case of it, even going so far as to think a care home where you're abused is better than spending your dying days isolated.
- The Lizzie Bennet Diaries: Lydia Bennet seems to have a touch of this, most obviously in Life of the Party, where she'd rather drive to her sister's house in LA (implied to take all night) than face being by herself.
- Rainbow Dash of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic hates being left alone.
- Pinkie Pie also doesn't take very well to being isolated at all.
- Twilight Sparkle plays with this, since she started out very aloof and uninterested in making friends for most of her life, when she finally learns to bond with others however, she likes what she finds, and while still liking occasional seclusion, she is often shown to have huge insecurities at the thought of losing her friends and being alone again.
- Cosmo on one episode of The Fairly Oddparents when he says that he hates being alone when Wanda ends up missing, but it turns out that he was the one who took Wanda so she wouldn't face Level 13 probation.
- T.J. Detweiler from Recess has been shown to hate being alone without his five best friends.