Hurt/Comfort Fic

"And nothing makes us identify - feel with - another person as immediately as empathy for their pain. It's instinctive. It's the root for the highest of human virtues - compassion - and the lowest of human evils - sadism. In HC, one can shade into another and it's okay because no real people are being hurt during the filming of this fanfic."

A Fan Fic about comforting one who is hurt. Usually based on either Break The Stoic or Break the Cutie, often to the point of Woobiefication: a regular character is damaged, either emotionally or physically, and another character (usually the character's partner, love interest, a teammate, or a Mary Sue) must comfort them. This comfort can become...intense. Alternatively, the author can create a Sympathetic Sue to get damaged so the author's favorite canon character can comfort him/her. A story can take place after specific episodes or installments of canon, or else the writer creates a new predicament.

Conversely, the above methods are often used by fanfiction authors as a way to pair up two characters that would otherwise be at each others' throats or have nothing to do with one another. Maybe the characters don't know each other too well, or maybe they wouldn't get along well under normal circumstances, but once they see that poor kid bleeding on their doorstep there isn't much alternative to taking them in and nurturing them back to health....

Often used as part of Shipping. Sometimes, Ron the Death Eater is responsible for the "hurt" part and Draco in Leather Pants is responsible for the "comfort" part. (In fact, the derivation implied by those Trope Namers is quite common, typically with Hermione on the receiving end.) At other times, the characters stick to canonical roles (if not canonical characterization). In cases of physical hurt, it may be accidental or deliberately inflicted, but almost always there's some reason given why the injured cannot be taken to get medical attention (at least at first), which would involve them being cared for by mere strangers (with medical training) rather than someone who cares.

Fanwriters love this device because it gives the characters a situation which they both must struggle to overcome, without having a lot of other characters or outside obstacles intruding. These types of fanfics will often be either sweet and fluffy or dramatized scenes in which the injured character lays out their entire tragic past for their rescuer to sympathize with (since Most Fanfic Writers Are Girls, part of this might appeal to women's tendency to value emotion and vulnerability), and more often than not transforms the characters' relationship from strained to romantic in ways that would not always fit with canon.

Can be done well, if the affliction is realistic and the story is well-written. Done especially often in medical show fandoms and buddy shows.

Often effective when combined with the Morality Pet, but ineffective when combined with Wimpification. Compare After Action Patch Up.

Common setups:


  • The Naruto/One Piece fic "Fly Free" is built up around a lot of things, but the cornerstone is Robin playing the role of a comforting adult to a lot of the messed up kids in Konoha... and beyond.
  • A ship manifesto "Horatio Hornblower/Archie Kennedy (Hornblower)" by tanacawyr argues that Horatio Hornblower and his Heterosexual Life Partner Archie Kennedy from Horatio Hornblower are an ideal Fandom for shippers who like their Fan Fic Slashed and enjoy Hurt/Comfort fics. The series has got it all, in the author's opinion: "Beauty, war, danger, drama, fits (Archie's epileptic seizures), hysteria, (almost) canon sexual abuse, swashbuckling adventure, explosions, loyalty, delicious dialogue, devotion, tender midnight confessions, hurt and comfort by the bucketloads." The episode "The Duchess and the Devil" has Horatio sitting by Archie's bedside as Archie catapults himself up in a nightmare, and Horatio gives him a drink of water. Horatio is terrified that he might not be able to save his Archie's life. There's intense hurt/comfort like that in canon. Now, it's no wonder that fans like to elaborate on this subject matter.
  • The Littlest Pet Shop (2012) story "The Times They Are A-Changin'" identifies itself as one of these, but this tragic tale of the pets' relationships deteriorating when Blythe abandons them and Penny's owners move away also has strong Dark Fic elements.
  • The Family Guy fanfic, "Payback from a Pipe" acts as an epilogue to the episode "Quagmire's Dad." When Stewie finds out about what Quagmire did to Brian, he hunts him down, beats the crap out of him, tells him off about everything that's wrong with him and what he did to Brian, and lastly forces Quagmire to apologize to Brian for attacking him earlier.
  • The Attack on Titan fanfiction, Passionate Pragmatism has a lot of this (which is somewhat to be expected, considering the nature of the series and all the awful things that happen to the characters). In it, Erwin is filled with guilt for everything he's done while Hange tries to convince him that he's a good person.
  • The Super Mario fanfic "A Sick Day",where Luigi catches a cold.Hilarity Ensues as Mario (and a friend) nurse him back to health.
    • From the same author,there's "Helpless",in which Mario's allergies get the best of him.
  • A lot of Captain America: The Winter Soldier fanfic focuses on Bucky coping with the psychological trauma of seventy years of brainwashing and memory erasure from HYDRA, usually with Steve as the main comforter. miles to go before i sleep is one such example.
  • A lot of Maleficent fanfic is about this, as the movie itself is about Maleficent being hurt and comforted. Some fanfic focuses more than the movie on the relationship with Diaval, like for example "Aftermath"
  • While the first story, First Contact, in the Golden Age series has minor shades of this, the second story, The Great Escape, is this in spades.
  • The Light Within Us Black Bulet fanfic has some moments of this.
  • Maleficent fanfic Your Servant Mistress has this in spades, as Maleficent really, really needs some comforting. (Though in that fic, Diaval also needs comforting.)
  • You can't throw a stone in the Fire Emblem fandom without finding hurt/comfort fic. Ike x Soren, any Avatar ship or story involving the future kids, Lyn-centric fic in general or Eliwood post-Dragon's Gate are especially popular.
  • Underneath the layers of religious conversation and fight scenes, Angel of the Bat is mostly a story about Cassandra Cain trying to overcome her own self-hate and struggle to view herself as a complete person worthy of love, as opposed to a weapon. She ends up finding that comfort through her newfound faith and her family. Also, Stephanie Brown's entire sublot is focused on trying to overcome the pain of Batman attempting to make her an Unperson, and is only resolved when he acknowledges his fault.
  • The London Syndicate is listed as one, and has its moments.