Not Good with Rejection

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Hell hath no fury like a Queen of Almerac scorned.

"I'm not going to be ignored, Dan!"
Alexandra "Alex" Forrest, Fatal Attraction

A character who has a crush on another character or is already with another character does not take rejection or being dumped well. It is their Berserk Button or Tearjerker button.

Turns out Love Makes You Crazy and Love Makes You Evil especially if that love goes unrequited.

May or may not be because of a character being arrogant and considering it a blow to their Pride to be turned down.

Sometimes a character may not have any feelings at all towards the person who rejected them but they may still get pissed off and torment the character as a result of the rejection, maybe even becoming The Rival. May or may not result in Attempted Rape, Blackmail, Self-Harm, or even worse. May occur in a Villainous Crush or We Can Rule Together scenario.

Mild cases of this are often a prerequisite to Ladykiller in Love scenario, when The Casanova falls in love because the woman rejected all his advances, leaving him baffled and disoriented by the new experience.

Stalkers are usually unsympathetic whereas this can be sympathetic; the one who cannot handle rejection may just commit Seppuku or join the Legion of Lost Souls whereas a Stalker With a Crush will continue pursuing in ways harmful to the supposed beloved. Sometimes the person who doesn't like rejection will not take cheating well either.

Sometimes the rejected character will try to make the object of their affection take back the rejection or love them, by force. Sometimes the character may be so delusional that they misconstrue their loved ones actions as being rejection.

A character could have an attachment to the person who rejected them that is platonic, familial, antagonistic, sexual, or romantic in nature.

See also Crazy Jealous Guy, Clingy Jealous Girl, Spurned into Suicide, Please Don't Leave Me, Desperately Craves Affection, If I Can't Have You..., and Murder the Hypotenuse.

Compare Woman Scorned, Psycho Ex-Girlfriend. Compare/Contrast Mad Love where the rejected person doesn't always mind being rejected and continues to pursue the object of their affection anyway.

A subversion of this can be when the subject doesn't take well to being turned down initially, but later eases up and becomes a Dogged Nice Girl.

Sometimes if the rejected character has their limits they'll eventually give up on their love for the person who rejected them.

If the rejected character is sympathetic this could result in Love Hurts and makes them a Hopeless Suitor. Could also result in revealing the Hidden Depths of a character. This trope could also enforce a characters Stepford Snarker or Stepford Smiler qualities.

Could be Played for Laughs with the rejected character sitting in a Corner of Woe, releasing Ocular Gushers, or Giving Up the Ghost. Can also be played for Melodrama with the character coming across as excluding Wangst.

The rejected character may also believe that they are Entitled to Have You.

The character may be angry at rejection but not from a person in regards to having their affections, but in regards to claiming something for themselves that they character who rejected them owns.

There's a fundamental difference in character & story, depending on whether the rejected party:

NOTE: There are characters that take multiple routes.

Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Light Novels 
  • In The Rising Of The Shield Hero Motoyasu's death resulted due to him not wanting to chose one of his two female friends over the other. Both girls responded by stabbing him to death while arguing over who would go to heaven with him.
  • The Familiar of Zero: Louise and Kirche for Saito initially would resort to beating him up partly due to him not picking which one of them he liked better over the other. Also, when Saito's interest in her wavered Siesta would seduce Saito knowing that Louise would beat him up presumably so she could take care of him afterwards.
  • Kyo Kara Maoh!:
    • Wolfram goes Crazy Jealous Guy when Yuuri hints he might break off their engagement, when Yuuri shows annoyance towards his displays of affections, and at one point threatens to kill Yuuri so that he'd his forever. Luckily when Yuuri falls down a staircase Wolfram forgets about that course of action.
    • When Wolfram tries to break the engagement the two have in order to protect Yuuri from the other demons that looked down on their relationship, Yuuri doesn't take it that well and he declares to Wolfram that he's not allowed to break the engagement. Yuuri's character development shines here as he would repeatedly complain about being engaged to a guy in the past.

    Mythology and Legend 

    Newspaper Comics 
  • A now infamous series of strips in the Mickey Mouse newspaper comic had Mickey attempting to commit suicide after being rejected by Minnie.

    Tabletop Games 

    Theatre 
  • A Streetcar Named Desire
    • Stanley makes it clear to his wife Stella that he absolutely will not tolerate it she ever rejects or leaves him.
    • Blanche, when Mitch rejects her, starts to exhibit even more Sanity Slippage.
    • Blanche confesses to Mitch that once she was married to a young man, Allan Grey, whom she later discovered in a sexual encounter with an older man. Grey later committed suicide when Blanche rejected him by telling him she was disgusted with him.
  • Medea: The original Woman Scorned, she killed her husband Jason's new fiancée after being dumped for her. This wasn't an attempt to win him back, however, but pure and simple revenge, particularly when she also put her children by Jason to the sword just to make him suffer all the more.
  • A Piece of My Heart: Postwar Maryjo follows Clint cross-country from Colorado to Vermont after he breaks up with her.
  • In Tanzder Vampire Herbert tries to seduce Alfred, but the latter makes it clear that he doesn't return his affections by trying to run away from him. Anyway this doesn't stop Herbert, who gets even more clingy, aggressive and tries to bite the vampire-hunting Tenor Boy.

    Visual Novels 
  • Lucan from Planets is a Nice Guy, but he has a crippling fear of rejection. If Marin rejects him after he reveals that he unintentionally brainwashed his Unwanted Harem of fangirls into loving him, Lucan responds by intentionally brainwashing Marin into loving him.
  • Tsukihime's Arcueid is a pretty extreme example in the route that leads to Ciel's True Ending.
    • Unfortunately, one of his other love interests (Akiha) turns out to be even worse; in Kohaku's route, this trait (with a touch of Demonic Possession) reaches the point where she takes over as the Big Bad.
  • Fate/stay night has Shinji Matou. Despite his extremely off-putting personality, he is (somehow) noted to be rather popular with the girls at his school. Except for Rin Tohsaka, who repeatedly turns him down whenever he flirts with her, eventually giving up all subtlety and saying "I have zero interest in you whatsoever". In "Unlimited Blade Works", when he eventually gets Rin at his mercy, he decides to punish her for rejecting him by raping her. Fortunately, he is stopped before he's able to do much.
  • Backstory of Umineko: When They Cry in a nutshell, at least as Beatrice tells it - man summons witch, man falls in love with witch, witch doesn't love him, man traps witch on island, witch dies-ish, man can no longer see witch, man decides to kill entire family in order to revive witch (this part is not actually true, because he's been dead for almost two years before the series begins) and spends most of his time screaming at the sky.
    • Of course, the reason the "witch" rejected Kinzo in the first place was because she was Kinzo's daughter that he had with his secret mistress, Beatrice Castiglioni, who died in childbirth. She grew to look so much like her mother that Kinzo deluded himself into thinking she was her mother's reincarnation, leading to him raping her and making her pregnant.
  • DRAMAtical Murder: The bad endings typically involve Aoba or his love interest becoming Yandere and resorting to extreme and graphic measures to keep the other with them forever. Special mention goes to Clear, who cuts off Aoba's limbs to keep him with him, and Mink, who kills him to be able to keep his severed head as a keepsake.
  • In Lucky Dog 1, Giulio is revealed to be a necrophiliac in his route which apparently makes his job as a Professional Killer all the more enjoyable once he's finished killing his targets. After spending some time with Gian though, he can eventually decide living human companionship is preferable in the good ending, and presumably stops defiling corpses after bloodshed. In one of his bad endings in the spin-off Gian Carlo's Lucky Happy Life however, he crosses the Moral Event Horizon when he decides the only way he can keep Gian with him (who has just refused his love) is by murdering him and then loving his corpse instead.

    Web Comics 
  • The Swordmaster from Oglaf tries to use this as a means to make his pupil more badass in combat. It doesn't work the way he intended.
  • Diego from Gunnerkrigg Court towards Jeanne. It's heavily implied that he sent Jeanne on a mission he knew would result in her death when he realized that she would never love him like she loved her forest-bound boyfriend.
  • Ping from Megatokyo becomes violent when rejected, because her programmers forgot to test how she handles it in QA.
  • The Word Weary: Grace is visibly angry after Poor Trotmann rejects her offer for a date.
  • Eridan from Homestuck does not take Feferi, with whom he's in love, breaking off their moirallegiance, well at all. To the point that later in the story he actually kills her when she tries to stop him from joining forces with Jack. This is also his Despair Event Horizon as, ironically, he's known as the Prince of Hope.
  • Subverted in Something*Positive. Davan's late friend Scotty committed suicide after Donna broke up with him. But a later flashback reveals that Scotty had been suffering from depression for a while before that, and the breakup, along with Davan not calling him back, was just the last straw.
  • In Orange Marmalade, when a girl named Yoo Chae Rin is dumped by the vampire she considered to be her boyfriend, she declares the wish to see the entire vampire race wiped out. Of course, there is not much chance of a high school girl pulling genocide off, but she is able to reveal the main character's vampire heritage to the entire school during a huge vampire scare, putting her and her families' lives at risk.
  • Ménage à 3 plays with the trope in various ways:
    • The insanely desirable DiDi both inspires and suffers from the effect. Various guys that she broke up with are shown crying and drowning their sorrows, but it's only when she finally experiences an orgasm, with Kiley, that her own tendency to obsessive attachment kicks in. It takes Kiley insane amounts of effort to get away from her, and then, DiDi all but collapses in tears. She rather subverts the trope, though, by quickly shifting her attention to Gary, although she does claim to be doing so partly to take her mind off Kiley.
    • Yuki is an egomaniac with a huge sense of entitlement and violent tendencies. Zii flees in the night because she thinks that's the only way to end their relationship, and Yuki then pursues her with scary determination. Her subsequent fixation on Gary doesn't allow much for rejection either.
    • Some of the cast are usually casual about their relationships, but find specific break-ups unexpectedly hard to take: When Erik breaks up with Zii after discovering her in a lesbian orgy, Zii realizes her mistake and ends up crying into her pillow. When Matt's actions result in Kiley breaking up with him, perhaps for the first time in his life, Matt is deeply saddened over losing a girlfriend.

    Web Original 
  • Shannon from Echo Chamber in regards to Tom.
  • In Death Note: The Abridged Series (kpts4tv) Light towards L. He gleefully resumes his plan to kill L after coming to the erroneous conclusion that L is screwing Matsuda.
  • It only takes about five episodes of firm (but reasonably kind) rejection from Todd in the Shadows for The Nostalgia Chick to lose her marbles and start kidnapping him, trying to get him to love her.
  • Paul in Website/Chatoyant College followed Corrie to Chatoyant College because he's Not Good with Rejection. Some acquaintances of Corrie try to help by subjecting Paul to a magical restraining order. However, Corrie feels that magic should not be used to subvert someone's will so rescinds the order in Book 9. See If I Can't Have You....
  • The Overly Attached Girlfriend Meme, played by the YouTuber Laina. She was merely menacing in her videos... But when she makes cameo in others YouTubers videos, she becomes outright crazy, such as when Jimmy tries to break up with her. And then, she misundertood Shane Dawson and believed that he was having an orgy without her... That didn't end well.
  • The Joker of The Joker Blogs is this towards Harley. When Harley reveals she's getting married the Joker goes even crazier than usual, murders her fiance when they're at the alter, and attempts to force her to love him.
  • McJuggerNuggets:
    • Mrs. Ridgway isn't open to the possibility of rekindling her marriage with Jeffrrey, so what does he do? Throw his ex-wife's things out the door and crushes her computer with a log splitter. Also counts as Disproportionate Retribution. This part of his personality is again shown when he tries to win Mrs. Ridgway back by giving her flowers, but she rejects his approach, telling him, "IT'S OVER!", so he destroys her store.
    • Uncle Larry once dated Melissa during high school. While Larry broke up with Melissa, the latter did not take it so well and still holds the grudge to this day.
  • RWBY: During episode 11 of Volume 3 Blake's former partner (and implied lover) Adam, who has gone full yandere over her perceived betrayal of him, promises that he'll destroy everything she loves in retaliation. Not a second after saying this he decides to start with her and when Blake stands in Adam's way after he slices off Yang's arm he asks why she has to hurt him in a tone dripping with resentment.

    Real Life 
  • Vincent van Gogh: Among the numerous things Vincent did when he was rejected or to try to prevent rejection, he cut off his ear and held his hand over an open flame.
  • There are some stories in the news where someone violently lashes out at someone for turning them down. For example, there was a high school student who killed a girl because she turned down his invitation to go to the prom with him.
  • Elliot Rodger, a definitely unhinged youth in California, who went on a killing rage, citing his continual rejection by women and the fact he was still a virgin at 22 as his justification.

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