“I don’t ever want to wake up alone again! I’m tired of being alone. Being alone is cold. Being alone is... lonely.”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/inanimate objects) 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 to immortality can often develop this trait. 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.
— Holo, Spice and Wolf
open/close all folders
Anime & 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 Mazinger saga: Tetsuya Tsurugi is arrogant, prideful and loud to annoying extremes. This is justified, since he is an orphan, and he thinks people only value him because of his skill in piloting Great Mazinger. At the end of the series, when Kouji Kabuto returns, he gets incredibly jealous because he thinks everyone will replace him with Kouji and will forget him. And then he would be alone again, and he... can not stand the thought of it.
Tetsuya: All the battles I have fought so far… I have fought them to prove to the world that I exist!
- 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.
- Most of the cast of Neon Genesis Evangelion have abandonment issues. One of the series' overhanging themes is that people are afraid of being alone but they are also afraid of being hurt by others. Shinji and Asuka are especially prone to this behavior and serve as the series' crowning examples. According to supplementary material, the reason that Asuka returned to the real world alongside Shinji at the end of End of Evangelion was because he needed her above all, even if they had hurt each other.
- 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 adaptation of Persona 3 follows suit with the protagonist as well, although it doesn't become obvious until the 2nd movie.
- The main character in Othello is so afraid of being left without friends that she'd 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 Selena who got kidnapped and mutilated by said Sorcerers through experiments, had her Parental Substitute Jajuka forcibly taken away right before said experiments, and nobody came to save her.
- In Shakugan no Shana, Shana fought for years with only the bodiless Alastor for company. She meets Yuji and gradually falls in love with him. At one point, she fights a monster by herself. Yuji shows up right as she wins. Shana cries against him and says it now hurts whenever she's alone.
- Haruka from Kotoura-san is highly introverted, but even she admits this about herself towards Manabe in Episode 1.
Haruka: "There's nothing else I can do! I don't like being alone, either! I don't want to hurt people, or get hurt! But what I hate the most is... is when... the people I care about leave me!"
- The main characters of Yugami-kun ni wa Tomodachi ga Inai play with this trope.
- Chihiro is a more downplayed example. Because her family moved around a lot growing up, she's never had any close friends and even went through a period where she wouldn't associate with others because she knew she'd have to move away soon. At the start of the series, her family's moved into a town where they'll stay for years to come and this causes her to want to make friends again. She even says that having nobody to speak to at her new school could cause her psychological damage, but this is Played for Laughs.
- Conversely, Yugami, who sits beside her in class, averts this trope as he has no qualms with being isolated by his peers and is astonishingly optimistic.
- Ryou of Gourmet Girl Graffiti doesn't really recognize she is this in the beginning, thinking her food no longer taste as good was a problem of her cooking skills rather than this trope. She only noticed that in episode 4, when her cousin skipped her weekend visits ans Ryou found her cooking turning bland again.
- Issei Hyoudou of High School DXD, most obviously when he can't sleep properly without someone else in the bed. Despite his usual bedmates being his stonking hot King Rias Gremory and hopelessly lovestruck Asia Argento, and his status as a Lovable Sex Maniac, this isn't sexual. Past experiences and deeply-buried but crushing self-worth issues mean waking up alone and thinking he'd dreamed all the girls around him is a terrifying thought he never completely gets over.
- Lucy from Fairy Tail grew up without friends, was neglected by her father, and lost her mother at a young age. She had nobody to talk to throughout most of her childhood except her Celestial spirit Aquarius who treated her poorly most of the time. One reason why she puts up with the crazy wizards at her guild is because they're the closest friends she's ever had.
- This is the main reason Kanna from Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid used to pull the pranks on her parents, as they purportedly have a hands-off approach to parenting and believed in leaving Kanna to her own devices. Thing is, she went too far and they banished her from their presence. When her only means of companionship in their world, Tohru, supposedly died, she was elated when she found out that she had indeed survived and followed her to the human world to try to bring her back. Unsuccessful in this endeavor, powerless and effectively homeless, Kobayashi invites her into her home to live together. This earns Kobayashi a place in her heart.
- This has been a part of the personalities of Superman and Supergirl for decades:
- In the Pre-Crisis universe Clark felt very alone when he was Superboy because he could never play with kids his own age, there was no one like him, and no one could relate to him. Before graduating, his foster parents died, and he felt even more isolated and a bigger outcast. When he met his cousin Kara he felt incredibly happy because he had a family again, someone he could feel connected to.
- Pre-Crisis Supergirl faced almost the same hardships after arriving on Earth. Fortunately Kara already had a blood relative she could talk to, but she spent several months living in an orphanage until she was adopted. She hated the place because she felt utterly alone and friendless in a strange land.
- In Superboy #80 both cousins talk about this◊.
Superman: Many years ago, when I lived in Smallville as Superboy, I could never play with kids my own age for fear of giving away my identity! Oh, how I longed for a human playmate who was super, like myself!
Supergirl: I know how you feel! I, too, dare not play with anyone my own age!
- In Many Happy Returns, Superman tells Linda he feels very alone because -even though he's greatest and most loved hero in the world-, he has no social life.
- Superman feeling alone and without friends plays out in modern stories such like Kingdom Come -in where he had lost his parents, wife, cousin and friends-, and Superman: Secret Origin -in where he didn't dare play with anyone for fear of hurting them-.
- In Batgirl (2009), Kara and her friend Stephanie Brown -the then-current Batgirl- watch a cheesy movie. Most of audience laughs out loud when Dracula cries out he is alone, but both girls cannot laugh about it. They know what being alone is like, and they don't find it funny at all.
- Post-Flashpoint Supergirl was a lonely, angry teenager. Her family and friends were dead, she could not bring herself to trust her cousin, she didn't manage to make friends or fit in with humans. Her issues of alienation, grief and anger got worse until she flew off the handle.
- Transformers: More than Meets the Eye. Spotlight: Hoist reveals that the title character's greatest fear is being left completely alone. This fear stems from a traumatic accident from before the war.
- 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?"
- A Crown of Stars: At the beginning of the fic Asuka declares that she is alone and she needs nobody. Her older self swiftly replies that both know that that is a lie: She hates being alone but is too afraid and wrecked to try anymore.
- Advice and Trust: Asuka, obviously. The difference here is that she's actually explicit about showing it to Shinji (and, eventually, Rei) after they become a couple. Unlike in canon, she isn't alone anymore thanks to having Shinji, and she is extremely protective of that as a result.
- When Gendo has Shinji and Asuka detained for insubordination after the fight with Bardiel, Asuka is starting to panic as the forced isolation sets in...until she hears Shinji knocking a familiar beat against the wall in the cell next to hers. It immediately pulls her out of the spiral and helps her get through the whole thing.
- The Child of Love: Before meeting Shinji Asuka was alone and she said herself she was right with that. But after hooking up with Shinji she can not lie to herself anymore and she admits she hates it.
Asuka:"I was alone! ALONE! I was fine with that! But...now...I don't want to be alone anymore...it hurts! Being alone was nothing but pain!"
- England in many Hetalia fanfics, including (but not limited to) Family Ties and What a Brother, What a Bother. This takes his canonical loneliness and wish to be closer to some people (such as America) to a logical conclusion- that he hates perceived abandonment from anyone and truly hates that he's pushed everyone he cares about away.
- Gentaro in Horseshoes and Hand Grenades after being resurrected from death. He was brainwashed by Ophiuchus to believe that his friends deliberately left him to die, but Tears to Shed states that he doesn't like being trapped in his loneliness. This is proven in Tears-6 as he states that he would like servants to talk to (but will insist that it is not friendship).
- In the Star Trek: The Original Series Kid Fic Insontis, McCoy is forced to leave baby!Kirk alone for twenty minutes due to a medical incident. He returns to find him sobbing in a corner.
- Tsuruya in Kyon: Big Damn Hero is portrayed that way. Having lived all her life as a Lonely Rich Yakuza Princess and just recently finding not only friends but True Companions she reacts strongly to anything which may threaten them or her relationship with them. This comes to a head in when she (almost desperately) seeks for a way to make amends for something that Haruhi will later admit it was just her own bottled up jealousy getting the better of her.
- The One I Love Is: The three Children suffered of this in the original series, but it greatly increases cause the events of the fic. Rei no longer wants to be alone, and Shinji and Asuka (who was good pretending otherwise) hate it now. The former tells he was used to be alone before, but after being in a Love Triangle he can not stand it. And the latter sobs to Shinji she is sick of being alone during a "The Reason You Suck" Speech to herself.
- The Second Try: This was a big part of Shinji and Asuka's personalities in the original series: they hated being hurt by other people but they also hated loneliness. At the same time, it was one of the hindrances to their relationship. Now they have finally got over their fear to each other, their fear to loneliness has intensified, and spending any lapse of time not knowing what has happened to each other drives them crazy.
- Megan in Falling In Deeper fits this trope to a T. She not only hates being alone but also seems to have a phobia of it. Then she gets sent to a solitary confinement...
- Two examples in Thousand Shinji:
- Shinji's greatest desire was finding someone cared for him. He didn't want to be alone ever again.
In the end, all I really wanted was someone warm at my side at night. Is that such a terrible thing to wish for? To not be lonely like this, to know that when you go to sleep there will be someone who loves you waiting to smile at you in the morning?
- Asuka hates loneliness. So what if her relationship with Shinji is warping her and slowly turning her into a monster? It's better than being alone.
But damn it, it was better to be loved as monster than alone as a human.
- Shinji's greatest desire was finding someone cared for him. He didn't want to be alone ever again.
- Neon Genesis Evangelion: Genocide gives several examples:
- While Shinji is keeping watch over a comatose Asuka, he thinks he’s alone and he hates it.
- Asuka has been alone since she was three, and she hates it. In chapter 8 she tells Shinji about it:
"I don't want to be alone! I don't want to be afraid! I don't want to feel like this! I don't want to be weak! I don't want to cry! I don't want to be hurt!"
Films — Animated
- Rise of the Guardians: Jack Frost and Pitch Black. The former's been alone for 300 years, the latter for even longer.
Films — Live-Action
- 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:
Travis: 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.
- 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.
- Harry Dresden shows signs of this; though he is quite happy to spend long stretches of time in solitude, one of his greatest fears is that all the people he cares about will someday be gone and he will 'die alone'
- 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.
- Red Dwarf:
- An episode 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.
- Sherlock: Ironically, even though Sherlock never knew what it was like to have friends, when he met John, he didn't want to be alone again. As in, he didn't want to be abandoned by him, and even if he didn't, he didn't want him to get killed. John is this, too. Before he met Sherlock, he was so alone, and-yeah.
- Friends: It's hinted Chandler is this. When Joey moves out he's openly distressed and quickly finds a new roommate despite admitting he can afford his apartment by himself. He also worries that all the other friends will get married and leave him behind, begging to be allowed to come over for holidays when this happens. This probably stems from his unorthodox and neglectful parents, who divorced when he was a child and sent him to boarding school, so the friends were the first stability he'd ever known.
Chandler: You'll see, you guys are all gonna go off and get married, and I'm gonna end up alone. Will you promise me something? When you're married, will you invite me over for holidays?
- Doctor Who has this as one of the primary character traits of the Doctor, right back from the very first days — the First Doctor has a Heroic B.S.O.D. in "The Massacre" when he thinks his companions have all left him to continue wandering the cosmos alone. While the degree to which the Doctor hates being alone — and the reasoning why — fluctuates between incarnations (some mourn the loss of a Morality Chain, others find solo travel pointless and boring, others get insecure without constant attention, etc.), the stories where the Doctor has no official companion invariably go Darker and Edgier and show the Doctor performing much more morally questionable actions — "The Deadly Assassin" (Fourth), "The Waters of Mars" (Tenth), and "Heaven Sent"/"Hell Bent" (Twelfth) are particularly extreme examples.
- Star Trek: Voyager: It's revealed that Seven of Nine is absolutely terrified of being alone. Despite being assimilated by the Borg, they still acted as a single unit and were always together, but she forms a true significant bond with the Starfleet crew after they released her from the collective and show genuine respect for her. However, when the crew is required to go into stasis for a month and task Seven to take charge of the ship, she nearly loses her mind and hallucinates her greatest fears coming after her.
- The Walking Dead: Michonne discovers that she's no longer capable of working alone anymore because she formed a strong bond with Rick and his friends while surviving the zombie apocalypse together.
- The Fall Out Boy song "7 Minutes in Heaven (Atavan Halen)" is about this. The chorus is:
I'm sitting out dances on the wall/Trying to forget anything that isn't you/I'm not going home alone/'cause I don't do too well on my own
- 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 R.E.M. song "World Leader Pretend" is about struggling with a self-imposed isolation/loneliness.
This is my world, and I am the World Leader Pretend.This is my life, and this is my time.I have been given the freedom to do as I see fit.It's high time I razed the walls that I've constructed.
- D's friend Frannie from Another Code is described as being like this. He comments that Ashley is like this as well. She denies it, but some of her behavior in the games suggests this is true.
- In The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, the Skull Kid is revealed to be characterized by this in his backstory (as recounted by Anju's grandmother) after he was forced to part with his good friends the Four Giants one day. Feeling lonesome and frustrated by his loss, he apparently took out his anger on the rest of Termina until he eventually got banished by the Four Giants for his behavior. Later on, however, he manages to find new friends in Tatl and Tael after meeting them on a particular rainy day, and also happily befriends Link at the end of the game, after he is finally rid of the effects of the Majora's Mask. Much to his delight, he also reaffirms his friendship with the Four Giants in the epilogue as well.
- Laharl from Disgaea has some huge abandonment issues that he deals with on a regular basis in series. It has been with him since his mother sacrificed her life to save him, because Laharl feels like she abandoned him. It is even lampshaded in Disgaea Infinite, where a Prinny servant states:
Prinny: You would be surprised to know how much Lord Laharl hates being alone, dood...
- Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends reveals Lu Lingqi, the daughter of Lu Bu, to be this, hinted to be the result of a past trauma. Her motivation to join the Ambition Mode campaign is particularly touching.
Lu Lingqi: I'll continue to fight until we live in a world where nobody is lonely!
- Red XIII of Final Fantasy VII has abandonment issues since he is psychologically the youngest of the group - not even adding the fact that he's the Last of His Kind, which is a cruel fate that a youngster such as he has to possibly face.
- All Yordles from League of Legends have this trait.
- In Fire Emblem Fates, Kana, the Avatar's child, has this trait. As with all the second generation characters, their parents had to hide their kids safely in a Pocket Dimension, to prevent monsters from killing them. Kana apparently was hit the hardest by this, as seen at the end of their recruitment chapter. The Avatar doesn't think Kana is ready for combat, and decides to leave him/her behind after giving them their dragonstone to control their ability to transform into a dragon. Kana then tearfully begs to join the party, saying they really want to go along with the Avatar, and that they hate continuing to wait while thinking the Avatar may never return. The Avatar apologizes, having had no idea that their child felt this way from the beginning. Kana then joins the party.
- Mass Effect: Implied to be the case with Commander Shepard since the soldier has gained allies who're his/her True Companions and the thought of them separating doesn't feel the same. Taken to a high point when the Clone Shepard envies the commander for having friends who care about their well-being while the clone will never know that joy.
- This is pretty much the Primal Fear of most protagonists in Silent Hill games. Which doesn't help since they're always exploring a desolate ghost town that have non-sentient creatures hiding around every corner with the urge to kill.
- Masumi from Family Project, up to the point of genuine codependency. This is one of the primary reasons she stayed with and briefly returns to her controlling and emotionally abusive ex-husband prior to the main story, and the self-stated reason she participates in the titular Family Project.
- 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.
- Strongly implied for Sparadrap in Noob. His attempts to get new people in the guild include players from enemy factions and more than one Non-Player Character. He misses people that have left the guild despite the fact that some of them have performed a Face–Heel Turn. The third novel has him admit to having his in-game pets keep him company when his guildmates happen to not be playing.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
- Rainbow Dash 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 Go Mad from the Isolation without his five best friends.
- The season 2 Big Bad of Wakfu Qilby the Traitor is secretly afraid of being alone. This is why he never actually finished off Yugo and the Dragons despite having many opportunities to do so and engaged in completely unnecessary schemes instead: deep down he really just wanted to convince them that he was right so they could be friends again.
- On Daria, Daria and Jane are an Only Friend example— Daria especially, since Jane is generally more willing to socialize. This is best seen in "See Jane Run" (Daria is clearly cracking after Jane starts hanging out with friends from the track team) and "Is It Fall Yet?" (where a temporary break-up in their friendship leaves both lost).
- Sheila the Thief from Dungeons & Dragons turns out to be this, specially in the episode that exposes the kids to what they fear the most. Sheila's biggest fear is to be alone, so she's dropped in a large desert where she's the only living being - by the time the spell is done, the poor girl is in a Troubled Fetal Position and crying her heart out.