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Sometimes a Badass
falls head over heels in love. Usually, the lucky one is a sweet girl who may be just a little naive (perhaps a Nice Girl
, a Yamato Nadeshiko
, Proper Lady
, an Ojou
, or a Defrosting Ice Queen
Since Love Hurts
, their hearts are often broken, sometimes because their love interest outright rejects them, sometimes because they fall upon an unknown type 4 love triangle
, and the object of their affections falls in love or is already in a relationship with another, who may or may not be the Romantic False Lead
or worse dead, or some other tragic event happens that denies the badass the affections of the love interest. Occasionally, after this direct or indirect rejection, the badass will fall victim to Heroic BSOD
and Break the Badass
But the worst case scenario by far is when their love interest is killed off
. Hell befalls the person who pulled that trigger...
The trope does not only apply to love interests, but also to friends and family members. See also You Killed My Father
and Dead Sidekick
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Anime and Manga
- Kenshiro is heartbroken when Yuria fails to recognize him when he faces Shin in Fist of the North Star. Subverted, in that it wasn't Yuria at all, it was a doll that looked like her...
- Happens with alarming frequency to Joe Asakura in Gatchaman / Battle of the Planets.
- In Pokémon the most notable example is when Ash's Grovyle fell in love but was rejected; he had a Heroic BSOD just after. From Bad to Worse, as he evolved into Sceptile immediately afterward, and the shock of rejection made him unable to use his attacks!
- The Team Rocket trio's Meowth in "Go West, Young Meowth". (Note that he's not usually particularly badass, but he did wear a Badass Longcoat in that episode.) Meowzy rejected him even before she hooked up with the Persian Meowth had just fought.
- Mewtwo wins here by being both the most strongest character by far, and the angstiest by even farther. He can switch between telekinetically throwing the strongest pokemon around like rag dolls and whining about clones not being accepted by people in the blink of an eye.
- Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann:
- Gendo Ikari only became the Magnificent Bastard after his beloved wife Yui was absorbed into Unit-01 and for all intents and purposes "died." Maybe intentionally.
- All the women Black Jack’s even come close to loving at this point have been already married, enveloped in their careers or more or less turned into a man.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! has Yami, after Yugi's soul is taken in the second half of season 4 (Atlantis/Doma arc)
- Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds has Jack Atlas falling in love with Carly, which leads to problems when she is killed and revived as a Dark Signer, one of the people Jack is meant to fight against. And then she dies in his arms. And gets better..
- Seiji from Midori Days.
- Harima Kenji from School Rumble.
- Guts from Berserk fits this big time. The romance that he had with Casca was cut tragically short by Griffith's actions during the Eclipse, which served to drive her completely insane. Casca's unfortunate condition has completely deprived Guts of the affection he wants from her so badly. And even worse, ever since his personal Beast almost got him to rape her, she wants nothing to do with him anymore, which only further frustrates him. Still, this might change if the quest to Elfhelm is successful. In the meantime, all that Guts really has left to hang onto are the memories from the old days.
- Terry Bogard from the Fatal Fury anime.
- Shogo Kawada from Battle Royale.
- The first time we actually get to see Jigen have a life, and she turns out to be a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing using Jigen to get rid of Lupin. Jigen gets over it pretty quickly though.
- Shizuo Heiwajima of Durarara!! learned the hard way that schoolboy crushes and uncontrollable rage disorders do not mix◊. In his words, "I screwed up."
- Suzaku Kururugi of Code Geass after Euphemia’s death.
- A different kind of badass, but Lelouch after Shirley is killed.
- Spike from Cowboy Bebop is pretty much a perfect example of this trope. He loses his love Julia, spends a large part of the series searching for her in vain, and is finally reunited with her in the finale... just in time for her to be shot. This leads to an epic Storming The Castle moment which results in an uncertain fate for Spike, with a pretty large chance that he's dead.
- Kenshin in the first OVA. Especially the fact that he inadvertently killed Tomoe.
- Kazuma Yagami of Kaze No Stigma.
- In Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Homura was originally a Moe Moe Shrinking Violet with no friends. Then she met Madoka, who showed her kindness and became her Only Friend. So, when Madoka ultimately ended up dying to defeat Walpurgis, Homura became a Magical Girl to turn back time and protect her. The more times she is forced to turn back time, the more determined she becomes that Madoka not die this time, and the more badass she is.
- Issei Hyoudou in High School D×D when it's revealed that his heart was still broken when his ex-girlfriend killed him on his first date with her back in volume 1. It took him 6 months (9 volumes in Real Life) to even be able to move on and confess to Rias.
- D-Boy in Tekkaman Blade essentialy slowly become this throughout the story, after losing his whole family member and friends, losing his little sister, experienced getting called as a monster, and losing his family for the second time because he had to kill them all, and the moment that breaks him was when he discovered that he actualy can save all of them, had he know how to. At the end of the series, he decided that his old self is dead and killed the last surviving member of his family who has become the leader of the Radam at that point. The end of the series shown him unable to talk or move. Thankfully, he got better in the sequel.
- Gundam multiverse loves this, with Disposable Woman and The Lost Lenore at play. The trend was originated long ago since Matilda Ajan and Lalah Sune's deaths in the original Mobile Suit Gundam
- Bruce Wayne/Batman, often. Like in The Dark Knight.
- Wolverine. Love tends to go badly for him.
- Hamato Yoshi of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in various continuities, including the second animated series.
- Marv of Sin City. His only starring role in a full length story starts with him discovering the first woman to ever sleep with him has been murdered. Seeing how he normally responds to violence against women and violence against friends.... you get the idea.
- Spider-Man lost Gwen Stacy to the Green Goblin. It's one of the most iconic moments in his history but damn, poor Peter. Meanwhile, in stories set in the future/Alternate Universes/What Ifs, it’s common for his most famous love interest, Mary Jane Watson, to die or disappear. (Just see the page image with Spidey doing a Cradle Of Loneliness on Mary Jane's headstone.)
- Cyclops from X-Men has lost Jean twice. He's often Mis-blamed for her loss the second time around.
- Spawn. He made a Deal with the Devil just so he could go back to earth to see his wife Wanda again, and what does he get to see? Wanda - happily married to his best friend in life and with a daughter. Ouch.
Film - Animation
- Sgt. Calhoun from Wreck It Ralph. She's programmed to have the "the most tragic backstory ever": Her fiancé was eaten by a bug at their wedding, which she then kills. Since the bugs become what they eat, Sgt. Calhoun had to kill a bug hybrid of her fiancé.
Film - Live Action
- Mina Harker, in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, turns into one of these after she revives her old romance with The Mole only to have him show his True Colors and take off.
- James Bond in Quantum Of Solace, following on from the events of Casino Royale, as well as (presumably) in Diamonds Are Forever, following Tracy's death in On Her Majesty's Secret Service.
- Mad Max, full stop.
- Darth Vader is revealed to be this trope. Sure he was pretty badass in the Clone Wars as Anakin Skywalker, but as soon as his wife died, well, The Empire Strikes Back and A New Hope can testify to just how more threatening he became.
- The titular character from The Outlaw Josey Wales starts out as this, though he later evolves into a Bruiser with a Soft Center, as well as the Team Dad.
- In Zombieland, it's revealed Buck, Tallahassee's beloved puppy was actually his beloved son that he lost during the Zombie Apocalypse. This at least explains why he takes particular pleasure in killing zombies.
- At the beginning of The Dark Knight Rises, we see that Bruce Wayne has been grieving over the loss of Rachel Dawes for eight years.
- Steve Rogers in Marvel Cinematic Universe when he wakes up seventy years after World War II had ended and realizes that Agent Peggy Carter who he promised to go dancing with is either dead or has likely moved on in her life without him.
Steve: " I had a date."
- Also, Peggy herself was heartbroken and in tears when she and Steve had their final conversation with him going down on the Valkyrie aircraft in his Heroic Sacrifice.
- Bill in the Kill Bill movies. As quoted in Vol. II before their fight as to why the bride was targeted in the first place.
The Bride: " You "overreacted"? Is that your explanation?"
Bill: "I didn't say I was going to explain myself. I said I was going to tell you the truth. But if that's too cryptic, let's get literal. I'm a killer. A murdering bastard, you know that. And there are consequences to breaking the heart of a murdering bastard. You experienced some of them."
- Davy Jones of the Pirates Of The Caribbean films is an unkillable, badass scourge of the seas. All because his love, Calypso, stood him up.
: Ten years, I devoted to the duty you charged me! Ten years, I looked after those who died at sea! And finally, when we could be together again... You! Weren't! There!
- F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby: Jay Gatsby, a genius from a humble background who, after returning from WWI to find his teenage crush married to a wealthier and hunkier man, turns himself into the richest and most popular playboy-gangster around. But of course, all he ever wanted was her.
- Since Stephen King's The Dark Tower contains pretty much every other Bad Ass-related trope, it's not entirely surprising that they've got this one as well. Most of Wizard And Glass is spent exploring Roland's Heartbroken Badass past.
- King Arthur novels:
- Older Than Steam: Sir Pelleas in Le Morte d'Arthur. Sir Gawain promises to help him win the heart of Ettarde, who finds him weak and doesn't return his feelings. Upon meeting her, Sir Gawain forgets his vow to Pelleas and ends up falling in love with her. Some time later, Pelleas comes across the two sleeping together and he struggles with himself whether to kill them. He decides against it and goes off, heartbroken. Soon he finds love with Nimue, and Ettarde is heartbroken.
- In Idylls Of The King, it's also implied that Pelleas subsequently becomes the Red Knight of the North, who ends up horribly mutilating a peasant, among other things.
- Surprisingly, Nick Chopper in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. He's by far the best fighter in the party, and positively deadly with the axe when Baum still had death as part of Oz. Still, the whole reason he wants a heart? He wants to return to his girlfriend and be a proper husband for her. When he does find her again? It doesn't end well for Nick. One of his live-action counterparts had equally bad luck.
- In J.R. Ward's third entry in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, Lover Awakened, Tohrment falls victim to this once he learns his most cherished wife, Weslie, and their unborn child, were viciously murdered.
- In Ed Mc Bain's 87th Precinct novel Lady, Lady I Did It! Bert Kling is completely broken by murder of his girlfriend Claire Townsend. It turns him not only to mere Heartbroken Bad Ass, but to real Bad Cop/Incompetent Cop. Despite his recovery from this, McBain made him constantly heartbroken because of he is repeatedly kicked, cheated and betrayed by his girlfriends and wives.
- Vampire Hunter Aeneas in Midnight World, after losing his wife. It took him more than 2 months to recover from Heroic BSOD, and 2 years to start a new romance... which caused a new heartbreak.
- Harry Potter:
- Albus Dumbledore, who many decades ago had to defeat and help imprison the love of his young life, Grindlewald. Also, Severus Snape, whose Heel Face Turn and subsequent badassery were driven by the death of his childhood best friend, Lily..
- The supplementary website, Pottermore, has also revealed that Professor McGonagall is one. She abandoned her Muggle fiancé because she couldn't part with the Wizarding World; something that her mother had done before her.
- The Dresden Files: What Murphy has become in Ghost Story following Harry's death. A rare genderswapped version.
- This happens often to Harry, Susan being the cause on at least on occasion.
- Herald Vanyel in the Heralds of Valdemar series. The love of his life commits suicide shortly after the near-fatal accident that turned Vanyel into a mage. He goes on to become one of the most powerful Herald-Mages adepts ever to live, yet to a large extent lives most of his life in mourning.
- Ripred, from The Underland Chronicles is revealed to be this in the final book. His entire family drowned in an attack and he was unable to save them, which made him suicidal (for a while). In particular, the loss of his young daughter Silksharp seems to have carried over into his "tender" and protective attitude towards Gregor's sister Lizzie.
- In Cathing Fire Katniss believes that Peeta will be able to make good use of this trope in the rebellion if she dies in the Quarter Quell and he lives.
Live Action TV
- On NCIS, Gibbs has been this since before the series started, although it wasn't until season 3 that we learn that his first wife and daughter were killed. By season 10, he has still never really recovered and admits it.
- Leon Vance's wife Jackie, and Ziva's father, Eli, both died in the tenth season episode "Shabbat Shalom". Each are handling the loss in their own ways, but it's clear that it is going to take a long time to begin to heal.
- In Smallville, whenever Clark's Temporary Love Interest dies. He really should stay away from anyone not protected by canon.
- It still works for long term ones, although they are invariably Not Quite Dead.
- The Doctor from Doctor Who can fall into this. His longevity and lifestyle means that he manages to out live most of his friends, family and loved ones. Although he rarely breaks down visibly, many an episode has ended with him standing in the TARDIS, alone, the pain clearly on his face.
- Most of the cast of Buffy the Vampire Slayer could sometimes or often be described as a heartbroken Bad Ass, including Buffy, Angel, Spike, Willow, Anya, and Giles. Some of them suffered Bad Ass Decay as a result, especially Spike and Angel.
- Mr. Wyndam-Pryce. He was heartbroken before he Took a Level in Badass, but every appearance of his in Angel's fourth season just SCREAMS Heartbroken Badass.
- In Angel's fifth season, he finally gets together with his love interest Fred, only for her to be killed off the next episode.
- The main character in Boys Before Flowers, has Jun Pyo collapsing to the floor in his Armani suit after his love interest told him to take a hike.
- Dollhouse: Echo, after Paul becomes brain dead, and later after he is shot.
- On The Vampire Diaries, Damon has been in love with Katherine for over a century. It really didn't go well.
- Rebekah becomes this when her brother basically disowns her and she learns the love of her life has moved on after 90 years.
- Sayid Jarrah of Lost, particularly in the episode 'Sundown'.
- John, Sam and Dean Winchester on Supernatural after the deaths of Mary, Jessica and Castiel respectively. Which is why each end up on crusades against those who killed them. Which is what indirectly led to the deaths of the latter two.
- Chuck Bass falling for Blair Waldorf on Gossip Girl.
- Wyatt Cain from Tin Man — like his metallic counterpart in the literature section, he's arguably the best fighter in the party (though Glitch can be pretty scary if he sets his half a mind to doing so), but he's pretty much a broken man at the start, having endured eight years of being Forced To Watch a holographic playback of his wife and son being tortured and drug away by the Sorceress's Mooks.
- Jen in Power Rangers Time Force seeing her boyfriend being killed before her very eyes, causing her to become The Stoic and disapproving of Wes who physically resembles Alex.
- Babylon 5:
- Lennier loves Ambassador Delenn, who does not return his affection and goes on to marry somebody else (the human Captain Sheridan). He's devastated.
- Marcus Cole falls in love with Susan Ivanova, who not only doesn't love him back, but is also lesbian. He ends up sacrificing his life to save hers. She goes on to say "All love is unrequited."
- Ivanova herself may be another example; her lover Talia Winters was Mind Rapeed by the Psy Corps and had her entire personality erased, turning her into somebody who totally hated Ivanova. But due to the Moral Guardian standards and practices of television companies, the writers couldn't outright say they were lovers, much less tell us how serious their relationship was, so we can't know whether Ivanova was really heartbroken.
- Gentaro Kisaragi a.k.a. Kamen Rider Fourze after the events of Movie Wars MEGAMAX.
- 24: Jack Bauer becomes this very often: the most notable cases being the second season (after his wife died at the end of season one), the fourth season (when Audrey breaks up with him after he's forced to sacrifice the life of her husband whom she also has feelings for) and the eighth and final one (after Renee Walker is killed).
- The classic case is Cyrano de Bergerac; the titular big nosed master swordsman helps his rival and best friend get the girl.
- In The Phantom of the Opera, the Phantom, Erik, was one of these. One of the main examples comes at the end of Act I.
- Miss Saigon: Given that three years after being forced to abandon her in war-torn Vietnam, Chris is still having nightmares about Kim, he counts as this. His troubled marriage and Kim dying in his arms at the end of the show cinches it.
- Any of the love interests from Mass Effect go through this in the timeskip between ME1 and ME2 (or even during, in Liara's case) after Shepard's death (s/he gets better). Shepard and Liara dealing with this trope is a significant aspect of the Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC if that relationship exists. And Liara takes this trope to its ultimate conclusion when she obliterates the Shadow Broker with extreme prejudice at the end of the DLC...
- Poor Female Shepard, two of her three possible love interests in Mass Effect 2 will wind up dead or break up with her (save for Garrus. Male Shepard has only slightly better luck, in that the deaths of all his love interests are preventable, but can easily become this as well.
- Kain Highwind from Final Fantasy IV; with Porom's "Cry" augment.
- Vincent Valentine from Final Fantasy VII.
- Also, Rude. His entire reason for being uncomfortable talking to people is because the girl he fell in love with was a terrorist who was only using him for information.
- Cloud Strife spends most of Advent Children beating himself up over not being able to save Aerith.
- Locke and Cyan from Final Fantasy VI (Fiancée killed by The Empire, wife and son poisoned by the same, respectively), Lulu from Final Fantasy X (boyfriend killed by the local Eldritch Abomination), Ashe from Final Fantasy XII (widowed by The Empire), in each case, the death of their loved one serves as their motivation to go after the Big Bad (Ashe comes pretty close to starting a genocide against the Empire).
- In Halo4 Master Chief displays more far emotion as he and Cortana say their goodbyes than at any other point in the series. The reveal trailer for the next main installment seems to show further just how hard it him; Chief is keeping Cortana's lifeless data crystal on a chain with his dog tags. Note that Chief didn't bother doing anything similar even for fellow Spartans that have fallen in battle.
- Flik from Suikoden I and II, after the death of Odessa.
- Kratos Aurion and Regal Bryant from Tales Of Symphonia, both of whom have unintentionally killed their lovers. Kratos had the added layer of thinking his son was dead, until he meets up with your party.
- Yuri Lowell from Tales Of Vesperia also has shades of this when faced with the possibility that he will likely have to kill Estelle for the greater good.
- Zero from Mega Man X. In this case, however, Iris, the girl he had feelings for, attacked him because he killed her brother The Colonel in a war and was forced to fight back in self-defense. Suffering from her injuries, she said all she wanted was to live happily with him before dying in his arms. Cue Zero's scream of grief.
- And later he gets to break the heart of two other girls...Geez...
- The Branstein family and anyone remotely related, plus Latooni and her adoptive brother and sister from Super Robot Wars Original Generation. And HOW!
- Johnny Vincent of Bully. For some inexplicable reason, he's head over heals for Lola, and even he admits what a slut she is.
- In Dragon Age: Origins, if the Warden romances Zevran and then dies fighting the Archdemon, the epilogue shows him becoming one of these.
- Elc from Arc The Lad II: after what happens to his first love, it is no wonder he chooses to side with internationally wanted terrorists
- The Xeno series has a lot of them: the most famous are Fei in Xenogears, watching his loved one getting killed repeatedly throught the centuries did not help his mental stability, Shion, Junior and Ziggy in Xenosaga. And, of course, thanks to a couple of Crazy Awesome scenes in the end of the third game, Allen, of all people, proves to be one of them.
- Heartbreak One, about fifteen years ago in his backstory. His Ex still likes him enough to spring him from jail, though.
- Flint from Mother 3 when his wife is murdered by a robotic dinosaur and his son goes missing. His single-minded quest to find the latter causes him to neglect his surviving child.
- Elisabeth Blanctorche. Spends most of the saga trying to stop the schemes of someone she called her brother (Ash Crimson), the only one who remained from her past... only to find out that he planed on sacrificing himself to stop an evil organization — to save *her*. Her reaction is something that most people would expect.
- Princess Kitana of Edenia. After her romantic relationship with Liu Kang was ported over from the movies, Mortal Kombat 4 had Kitana outright propose to him in his ending. Liu Kang reluctantly declines, as due to his status as Champion of Mortal Kombat, his place is in Earthrealm, not in Edenia by Kitana's side. Come Deadly Alliance, Shang Tsung gets a jump on him, and with the help of Quan Chi, ultimately kills Liu Kang. A grieving Kitana subsequently joins Raiden and several other Earthrealm warriors to combat the villainous duo, presumably to enact revenge. Kitana's ending in DA has the princess mourning over her beloved as she holds a silent funeral in his honor, wishing that he took her up on her offer to rule as King and Queen of Edenia.
- Canonically speaking, though, she dies too. She's then revived by the Dragon King and forced into his servitude. Ultimately, it takes the efforts of Ermac and Liu Kang's ghost (his body had been revived by a Came Back Wrong Dark Raiden to be used as his enforcer) to save her and the majority of the fighters Raiden assembled.
- And if you were thinking that things would get better for the two in the reboot, guess again. Here, it goes in reverse. Their sexual chemistry was going smoothly until—after a long chain of events culminating in Raiden killing Motaro to save Johnny Cage, forcing Shao Kahn to empower Sindel (Kitana's mother, unwillingly serving the emperor) with Shang Tsung's soul)—Sindel kills most of Raiden's chosen warriors. Kitana is one of the few immediate survivors, but succumbs to her wounds and dies in Liu Kang's arms wishing that she and her lover could have met under different circumstances. This ultimately shakes Liu Kang's faith in his mentor Raiden, and eventually gets him killed as well when Raiden accidently fires him in self-defense when trying to stop him from facing down Shao Kahn at endgame. One would think that fate has it in for this couple.
- Professor Layton and the Lost Future reveals that Don Paolo's descent into evil started when Layton starting dating Claire, who Paolo was infatuated with. The cutscene that shows his heart being broken is not very sympathetic towards him in the slightest.
- In Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulations, this is Godot's motivation. He was driven to change his name and seek revenge against Phoenix upon learning that his girlfriend, Mia Fey, was murdered while he was comatose.
- In Assassin's Creed, at some point of their life. Ezio and Altair lose someone close to them and state how it felt like a part of them withered away. Ezio's situation was so bad that it became a repressed memory. Altair has to suffer this twice.
- Johnny Gat from Saints Row 2 after his girlfriend Aisha is murdered by the Ronin.
- Asura from Asura's Wrath, both when his wife is killed and his daughter is taken from him, and when The little girl that looked like his daughter is bombed to death with her village.
- In Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic's darker counterpart Shadow the Hedgehog lost his surrogate-sister Maria during a raid of his home on the Space Colony ARK. He spends about three games dwelling on it before deciding to let it go.
- Plenty of this in Metal Gear series, especialy from Metal Gear Solid 2 onward, with addition of Fortune. However, the most iconic of this is Raiden, who after lost his lover (due to combination of PTSD and another guy presence) and baby (the baby actually alive, but hidden through marriage with "another guy", so the Patriots can't use him), always angsts outside the battlefield, but making Gekkos his bitches when on the battlefield. In fact, his picture is once featured on Badass Angster main page.
- All the second generation characters in Fire Emblem Awakening, are this, due to coming from a Bad Future where their families, and possibly everyone else, are all dead. The eldest of these, Lucina, handles it by becoming a Screw Destiny Determinator.
- This has happened to Brooklyn from Gargoyles three times, two in the canon TV episodes and once in the canon comic book. He finally finds his true love on his Timedancer adventures, Katana, and starts a family by the time he gets to his home time period.
- It is hard to call him heartbroken when he merely had crushes on those others.
- Danny Phantom had one after he was put under a love song by Ember into believe he was completely in love with Sam(antha). Though she liked the attention, even though he was going into Stalker with a Crush territory, he was unable to focus on anything but her almost causing their death several times. To snap him out of it, she kisses Dash which causes him extreme heartbreak. However, he was able to deal with this by fighting Ember.
- Razer from Green Lantern is this after Atrocitus started a war that resulted in the death of his wife alongside many others. Kilowog also lost his family and home planet, but finds another alien and becomes a part of her family.
- Young Justice: Just as Artemis and Wally are reunited after her Reverse Mole mission with Kaldur, Wally dies saving the Earth. Artemis then takes on the Tigress name full time in order to cope with his death.