That was the last time I saw Richard. He died later that night. I couldn't save him. I couldn't save him. Richard was right about real strength, though. It is on the inside. And I know I'll find it. Just not tonight. Tonight I know what it is to be human. Tonight my super skin is still invulnerable, but my Richard is never coming back, and my heart is broken into a million pieces.A badass falls head over heels in love and has their heart broken, sometimes because their love interest outright rejects them, sometimes because the object of their affections falls in love elsewhere or is already in a relationship with another, or some other tragic event happens that denies the badass the affections of their love interest. The worst case scenario by far is when their love interest is Stuffed into the Fridge, killed off just to spite the badass. See also You Killed My Father and Dead Sidekick. Occasionally, after the rejection, the badass will fall victim to Heroic B.S.O.D. and Break the Badass.
open/close all folders
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...
- In Pokémon the most notable example is when Ash's Grovyle fell in love but was rejected; he had a Heroic B.S.O.D. 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 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:
- Simon, after he sees Kamina kiss Yoko. He snaps out of it thanks to blunt impact from Kamina. Though he winds up becoming this again after Nia's death.
- Yoko herself, due to Kamina dying shortly afterwards. Much later, history repeats itself with Kittan, but at least she has a little forewarning there. The ending of the show implies that she became so scared of romance as a result, she stayed single for the rest of her days.
- 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! 5D's 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, though it's played for laughs. He's so badass that girls are terrified of him, leading to him getting rejected over and over.
- 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.
- Lupin III (Red Jacket): The first time we actually get to see Jigen have a life, 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."
- Code Geass:
- Suzaku Kururugi 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.
- In Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Homura was originally a 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
- If so, parodied in Gundam Build Fighters by Butt Monkey Rainer Cziommer, who only want to take down Fellini for stealing his woman.
- A platonic version is revealed in Gundam Build Fighters Try with original protagonist Sei Iori. The Build Burning Gundam Sekai uses was meant for Reiji so he and Sei could continue their amazing adventures together. However, Reiji never came back, so he hid the Build Burning in a Dom, then sealed it (along with his happy memories of Reiji, as it was put) in the trophy they won. Seeing Sekai blazing through in action with the Build Burning kicked him out of his funk and asked China to give Yuuma a spare Build Burning and give his blessing to Sekai to keep using Build Burning.
- Bleach: Captain-class Uryuu is considered a novice by his Retired Badass father Ryuuken, whose Refusal of the Call has alienated his idealistic son. It's heavily implied that Ryuuken is trying to protect Uryuu's life from dangerous family secrets. Uryuu mysteriously survived the Quincy King's instigation of The Purge which wiped out all other "impure" Quincies, including his mother, grandmother and father's cousin. Both the loss and continued threat to Uryuu has dictated Ryuuken's behaviour ever since.
- A platonic version of it, but Mana/Cure Heart of Doki Doki Pretty Cure is pretty torn up when Regina suffers from Brainwashed and Crazy. It takes Cure Ace showing up, snatching away her Transformation Trinket and getting her to remember what she's fighting for to get her head back into the game.
- Ironically, Minako Aino/Mina aka Sailor V aka Sailor Venus, the embodiment of love, in the original anime and manga continuities of Sailor Moon. In the manga, she has to kill her own love interest, with the knowledge that she'll never be successful in love because she will always put her duty first. In the anime, she fell in love with a guy in England only to realize that he was instead in love with her older sister figure, who also loved him.
- Kurumi in School-Live! is the most effective in killing zombies in their group but she remains affected by the death of the upperclassman she had a crush on, who she was forced to kill after he became a zombie.
- Shin Mazinger Zero: Badass Humongous Mecha Ace Pilot Kouji Kabuto was completely heartbroken and devastated when he saw Sayaka getting murdered in a Time Loop.
- Izuru Kamukura from Dangan Ronpa 3 maintains a completely bored and apathetic expression for most of his appearances, finding the world to be dull...until the Big Bad murders his Love Interest Chiaki via a very extensive Cold-Blooded Torture. Walking in and finding her barely-alive body and then watching her pass away pushes him to tears for the first and only time in the franchise, and sets him on his eventual path to a Heel–Face Turn. Years later he's shown to still carry around Chiaki's hairpin.
- Kyosuke Munakata doesn't fair much better, either. Between learning his girlfriend was The Mole after discovering her dead body, and then losing his best friend without ever getting the chance to make up with him, after The End of the World as We Know It, leaves him a broken man at the end of the series, setting off to wander in loneliness.
- 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: 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.)
- Supergirl: In Young Love, Dick Malverne, Pre-Crisis Supergirl's childhood crush died after confessing he loved her and he knew her Secret Identity all along, leaving her heart-broken.
That was the last time I saw Richard. He died later that night. I couldn't save him. I couldn't save him. Richard was right about real strength, though. It is on the inside. And I know I'll find it. Just not tonight. Tonight I know what it is to be human. Tonight my super skin is still invulnerable, but my Richard is never coming back, and my heart is broken into a million pieces.
- Cyclops from X-Men has lost Jean twice. He's often Misblamed for her loss the second time around.
- Spawn: The titular main character 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.
- In Thousand Shinji, Asuka's death broke Shinji down completely, up to the point of losing hope for first time in his life.
- Children of an Elder God: Misato was pretty heart-broken and hurt after her boyfriend Kaji's death.
- Ghosts of Evangelion: After Asuka's death, Shinji is so heart-broken than he loses his will to live.
- In The Second Try, when Unit-02 blew itself up during the Final Battle, Shinji believed that Asuka was dead. He was so heart-broken that he almost ended humanity again.
- In Neon Genesis Evangelion: Genocide:
- Shinji was heartbroken when Asuka was in a coma and he couldn't do anything to help her.
- And later on, when Asuka was dying, he was completely broken. When he realized that she couldn’t answer when he talked to her, he felt his heart breaking.
And in that silence, Shinji felt his own heart falling apart.
- Last Child of Krypton:
- After the battle against Zeruel, when Shinji was supposedly killed-in-action, Asuka fell apart.
- In the rewrite, when Shinji was mortally wounded, she was so grief-stricken that she ran out of their apartment and wandered for several hours.
- Shinji doesn't show it outwardly in Once More with Feeling, but he’s traumatized because he abandoned his life’s love when she needed him the most, and he let her die.
- In a Kung Fu Panda fic The Vow, Lord Shen becomes this when he's banished from home for his crime of massacring pandas while his parents and Lady Lianne, his fiancée, act in an outwardly cold way while doing that (in reality, they're sad at having to do it). Viewing it to be an unjust response to his efforts to prevent his fate, Shen swears to conquer China and have his revenge. Later, near the end of the story, Shen suffers a Villainous B.S.O.D. after he releases his newlywed wife Lianne out of love and ponders on how far he has fallen. It doesn't prevent him from engaging in his final confrontation with Po in the same way as in canon though. However, he survives, returns to Lianne and resigns to live with her.
- In the Jackie Chan Adventures fic The Ultimate Evil, Lo Pei is revealed to have lost his wife to childbirth and raised his son and daughter by himself under Shendu's rule. He stirred up the rebellion against Shendu only after the Fire Demon forcibly took his beloved daughter Lo Mei as bride. While Pei successfully imprisoned Shendu, he couldn't save Mei in time to stop her from committing suicide.
- Cullen gives the very strong impression of being this in All This Sh*t is Twice as Weird, when Dorian is the Bearer of Bad News that the Inquisitors, among others, have fallen into a Fade rift. He can't afford to grieve too openly, because he still has to lead the troops and doesn't want to shatter morale, but it's clear to Dorian (and the reader) that he's completely devastated.
Film - Animation
- Manolo in The Book of Life, when it looked like Maria dies after saving him from a snake bite.
- 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
- The primary motivation for Max Rockatansky's adventures from the Mad Max series. After losing his family to a bunch of bandits and later avenging their deaths at the end of the first film, Max became such an empty shell of a man he simply traveled around with no real direction.
- 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 (2006), as well as (presumably) in Diamonds Are Forever, following Tracy's death in On Her Majesty's Secret Service.
- He's also this in Licence to Kill, after reliving the ending to Majesty's when he finds Felix Leiter badly mauled and his (Felix's) wife murdered.
- By the end of Pacific Rim, Hercules Hansen has outlived his son, his wife, his best friend, and his entire family. The last twenty minutes are obviously pure torture for Herc as he watches his only child make a Heroic Sacrifice that had originally been planned for him, not the 21-year-old Chuck.
- 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, A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back can testify to just how more threatening he became.
- While the betrayal of his former Padawan is probably already sufficient to qualify, in the Expanded Universe poor Obi-Wan Kenobi goes through this no fewer than three times! Siri Tachi and Satine Kryze die in front of him and Taria Damsin is stricken with a fatal illness.
- Han Solo starts off the Sequel Trilogy with 32 years of cynical and resigned sorrow that his son, Ben, fell to the Dark Side whilst under Luke Skywalker's tutelage and it ruptured his marriage to Leia. His return to smuggling is primarily so he can leave his past behind him, despite being a hero to the Rebellion and New Republic.
- 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 Captain America: The First Avenger 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."
- 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.
Davy Jones: 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!
- Ash Williams, early in Evil Dead 2, has to kill his demonically possessed girlfriend. Twice.
- In The Suicide Theory, Steve is emotionally wrecked after the hit-and-run death of his wife Annie.
- Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 after Peeta has been hijacked into hating her. She takes the loss of his love so hard that she almost begins to hate him for not loving her anymore. Still stays very badass though.
- In Persuasion, Captain Wentworth introduces Anne and the Musgroves to his friend Captain Benwick—a gloomy man who is heartbroken over the death of his fiancee before their marriage, and a great lover of romantic poetry. Though we don't see it, Wentworth and Captain Harville assure the others that Benwick in battle is a fierce opponent.
- Animorphs has quite a few, most prominently Tobias, after Rachel's death, and Aldrea, once her consciousness returned to a body only to find that Dak had been killed years before. Elfangor as well fits, though to a somewhat lesser extent, because of his loss of Loren.
- 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 badass-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 McBain'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 Badass 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.
- The Heroes of Olympus: Annabeth when her boyfriend Percy is kidnapped. Her few scenes show how distraught she is, knowing that even if he is still alive, his memory has probably been erased. Thankfully this only lasts for the first book, the second book reveals he's alive and still remembers her and they reunite in the third book. The same thing goes for Nico who was in love with his friend Percy who couldn't return his love.
- Vampire Hunter Aeneas in Midnight World, after losing his wife. It took him more than 2 months to recover from Heroic B.S.O.D., and 2 years to start a new romance... which caused a new heartbreak.
- A Song of Ice and Fire: Robert Baratheon. After Lyanna died, Robert gained "200 stones", became an alcoholic, and generally lost his will to live.
Robert: I was never so alive as when I was winning this throne, or so dead as now that I've won it.
- Harry Potter:
- Albus Dumbledore, who many decades ago had to defeat and help imprison the love of his young life, Grindelwald. Also, Severus Snape, whose Heel–Face Turn and subsequent badassery were driven by the death of his childhood best friend, Lily. He was by no means a perfect person, but his drive to try and fight against his former friends in her memory is admirable .
- 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 Catching 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.
- In Mockingjay, the trope applies to Katniss herself after losing Peeta's love.
- Luke Skywalker in the later part of the Star Wars Legends series; he's hit really hard when he loses his wife to, as he ultimately discovers, his own nephew.
Live Action TV
- On NCIS, Gibbs has been this since before the series started, although it isn't until season 3 that we learn that his first wife and their 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 die 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.
- The Series 9 episode "Heaven Sent" is all about this trope as the Doctor spends literally an eternity in a sustained state of grief over the death of Clara Oswald, his companion, leading to a universe-endangering Sanity Slippage.
- Most of the cast of Buffy could sometimes or often be described as a heartbroken Badass including Buffy, Angel, Spike (especially in Season 3, when Drusilla breaks up with him), 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 (in the pilot), Jessica (also in the pilot), and Castiel (most notably after the season 7 premiere), respectively. Which is why each end up on crusades against those who killed them. Sadly, said crusades are what indirectly led to the deaths of the latter two.
- Castiel after the season 9 finale, when Metatron kills Dean just to hurt Cas and then gloats about it. His face as he listens...
- 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 dragged 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 staunchly refuses to return or even acknowledge any feeling she might have for him. He ends up sacrificing his life to save hers. She goes on to say "All love is unrequited."She then leaves the station altogether to grieve. May be that both of them did this to the other, in the end.
- Ivanova again: her lover Talia Winters was Mind Raped 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. However, in a later episode she confesses to Delenn in confidence, that she believes she loved her.
- 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).
- Mac Taylor on CSI NY spends most of the series as this, after losing his wife on 9/11...he does find love again near the end, though.
- Athos in The Musketeers is the stoic leader but his heart was very much broken by his wife Milady whom he ordered her execution for killing his brother.
- Game of Thrones:
- Jorah Mormont. To quote from The Simpsons: "if you look closely you can pinpoint the exact moment his heart breaks in two" after he returns from battle and Daenerys almost immediately asks after Daario Naharis.
- Robb and Jon both suffer this after their lovers die before their eyes.
- In the beginning of the pilot episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Sisko's wife Jennifer is killed at Wolf 359. It takes him a two-year time-skip and an encounter with the Prophets to start getting over it.
- In the sixth-season finale, Jadzia Dax is murdered, and Worf is incapable of getting over it until he gets a chance to avenge her.
- Mulder and Scully from The X-Files are both good examples of this. Over the course of the series, Scully loses her father, her sister (who took a bullet intended for her), her daughter (whom she only knew about for a couple of days), and her son, not to mention nearly losing her partner multiple times. Mulder loses his sister (a primary driving force in his adult life), his father, his mother, and his son. For both of these characters, the deaths of their loved only make them more determined to fight against the people seeking to tear them apart.
- 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...
- It's given less attention than Liara, but one of the biggest reasons Kaidan and Ashley reacted so badly to Shepard's return was because they had been led to believe that they endured two years of heartbreak for nothing, since they were completely unaware of the Lazarus Project.
- Poor Female Shepard - two of her three possible love interests in Mass Effect 2 will wind up dead or break up with her, the only exception being 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).
- In Halo 4, Master Chief displays far more emotion as he and Cortana say their goodbyes than at any other point in the series. Halo 5: Guardians shows just how hard it hit him; Chief's introduction is him looking into the port in his helmet Cortana would have been plugged into, while his hands are visibly shaking.
- 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 X4. 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.
"This isn't happening! There's no reason for me to go on! What...what am I FIGHTING FOOOOOOOOOOOOOR?!
- And later he gets to break the heart of two other girls...Geez...
- Johnny Vincent of Bully. For some inexplicable reason, he's head over heels for Lola, even as he disparages her.
- 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.
- Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War: Captain Bartlett, about fifteen years ago in his backstory, hence his alternate callsign of "Heartbreak One". 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.
- The King of Fighters: 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.
- Yoshiki Kishinuma from Corpse Party becomes heartbroken and often suicidal in any bad end where Ayumi dies.
- 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 had taken 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, with whom Paul (as he was then known) was infatuated. The cutscene that shows his heart being broken is not very sympathetic towards him in the slightest.
- Layton too. He lost the love of his life twice.
- In Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Trials & 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 I, at some point of their life. Ezio and Altaïr 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. Altaïr has to suffer this twice. And then he lost his best friend and youngest son as well.
- 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, especially from Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty onward, with the addition of Fortune. However, the most iconic of this is Raiden, who after losing his lover (due to combination of PTSD and another guy's presence) and baby (the baby is 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.
- 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.
- Ash Williams is a recovering Heartbroken Badass in Poker Night 2, happily engaged to a girl named Wendy. Unfortunately, he finds out she's a book needed to fend off a demonic invasion. Discouraged and embittered, he doesn't know how to turn her back into a woman or whether he wants to.
- Sol Badguy from the Guilty Gear games. Imagine your best friend transforms your lover (against her will) into a Humanoid Abomination who loses her memories, goes completely insane, and goes on to instigate a century of genocidal war against mankind - Japan is wiped off the map completely. Who has to put her down? You, of course, using the powers you gained from being transformed against your will as well. Five years later, you have to do the same to some pitiable clone of her who runs around like a dutiful child running errands for her "mother" and descends into an insane fit when she fails. You're at least 170 years old, Nigh Invulnerable and have (almost) nothing to live for beyond finding that asshole "friend" of yours and beating some answers out of him.
- In Azure Striker Gunvolt, Gunvolt's adoptive father, Asimov, reveals himself to be an Adept supremacist, and offers We Can Rule Together to Gunvolt and Joule. When Gunvolt refuses (for Joule's sake), Asimov shoots both of them dead. Getting shot, however, allowed Joule to gain full control of her powers, and she then uses it to merge with Gunvolt and save his life. Broken, Gunvolt deeply grieves for thinking he failed Joulenote , and in his rage, he chases after Asimov in revenge.
- The ending of the second game has it just as bad as well. Joule manages to get a physical form once again, namely the ill girl Mytyl (implied to be who Joule was based on anyway). However, the resulting hybrid loses her memories as both Mytyl and Joule, and Gunvolt leaves her in his rival Copen's (Mytyl's brother) care. Weeks later, Gunvolt has a chance meeting with "Mytyl". Seeing her happy for once ever since they first met, Gunvolt decides it's best to stay out of her new life, explicitly stated in his monologue to be for the sake of her happiness. This also applies to Copen, what with the revelation that his sister is an Adept all along, the race that he has made his sworn duty to eradicate. He pretends to have died in Eden so that he does not have to bring her into his crusade.
- In Yandere Simulator, if Yandere-chan kills someone in front of someone who loves them (either a sibling or lover), they will attack Yandere-chan at the maximum possible strength, regardless of their normal strength level.
- 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 in his Timedancer adventures, Katana, and starts a family by the time he gets to his home time period.
- 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.
- In Steven Universe, Pearl is still mourning Rose Quartz, which is a large part of her character arc and the driving force behind several of her more "iffy" actions.
- Finn from Adventure Time succumbs to this first after he is rejected by Princess Bubblegum, and then to a greater extent when Flame Princess dumps him. In both cases, he falls hard and takes quite a while to cheer up again.
- Vinnie becomes this in the 2006 revival of Biker Mice from Mars. In "Turf Wars", he finds out that his old girlfriend Harley is still alive, only to find out that she has sided with the Nomad Rats because she was horribly scarred during the Plutarkian invasion and believed that the Biker Mice abandoned her. To make things worse, after Harley finally comes to her senses, she supposedly dies after taking it upon herself to stop the regenerator from going critical and causing Olympus Mons to erupt.
- Supposedly T.E. Lawrence aka "Lawrence of Arabia" aka "Emir Dynamite" loved Janet Laurie who rejected him.
- Theodore Roosevelt was heartbroken over the death of his son in World War I. The sheer will that kept him in good health quickly faded. Death by Despair soon followed.
- And decades before that, his first wife died on the same day as his mother did. His late wife's use of "Teddy" as an Affectionate Nickname for him is why he hated hearing it from anyone else.
- An iconic picture taken after the Our Lady of the Angels School Fire shows tough and rugged firefighter Richard Scheidt openly weeping while holding the body of John Jajkowski in his arms◊. This image is credited as the poster image of major fire-safety reform.
- In 2012, a picture was taken at the scene of a fatal car accident, where a cop had broken down, and was praying in tears on the side of the road. The victims had been seven and nine years old.