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[[quoteright:316:[[WesternAnimation/KungFuPanda http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/used_to_be_a_sweet_child2.png]]]]

->''"They were kids that I once knew, they were kids that I once knew, now they're all dead hearts to you..."''
-->-- '''Stars''', "Dead Hearts"

%% One quote is sufficient. Please place additional entries on the quotes tab.

This applies when a villain or other dark and troubled/troubling character was not so as a child: the trope name also tends to appear as a StockPhrase in these cases. Works, and audiences, may vary considerably as to what point they consider a character to be past the adolescent stage here, but post-adolescents in general need not apply.

Aversions will usually be notable here, given expectations that ChildrenAreInnocent, or that there's at least some AmbiguousInnocence even when KidsAreCruel, so people will tend to assume a StartOfDarkness ''must'' have happened, and that there ''will'' be a FreudianExcuse that will explain (if not excuse) all. By extension, this trope frequently applies through {{subver|tedTrope}}sion, {{inver|tedTrope}}sion etc. where an EnfantTerrible, CreepyChild, or AxCrazy junior [[DevilInPlainSight initially manages to get past everyone's radar but is actually a little horror from the start]]. ("And he ''seemed'' like such a nice kid"). Often, it is not clear which a character fits under, which in turn often leads to a FlameWar, especially if the character is also a DracoInLeatherPants.

Generally, the trope tends to be reserved for villains near the BigBad end of the villain spectrum, but can also be played for WhatMeasureIsAMook. Also, while this is most commonly a [[{{Villains}} villain trope]], it can apply to characters who are not so much aligned with evil as {{troubled|ButCute}}, [[GrumpyBear bitter]] and [[BrokenBird twisted]], [[KnightInSourArmour cynical]], {{jerk|ass}}y, {{despair|EventHorizon}}ing, [[TheStoic lacking]] in {{emotion|lessGirl}}s or differently sane. Or an AntiHero. Or just going through [[TeensAreMonsters puberty]]. (In the latter case, expect the parents to invoke the trope name.)

When played straight, this trope tends towards RousseauWasRight, though if other villains and darksiders in the same work do not fall under this trope, Rousseau may have only a partial victory, and the trope is sometimes used as the exception that proves the rule in HobbesWasRight or HumansAreTheRealMonsters scenarios. Also frequently used, straight or otherwise, to make more or less {{anvilicious}} points about free will, destiny, individual responsibility, or the moral version of FailureIsTheOnlyOption.

Handled well, this trope can really add depth and complexity: handled badly, especially by combination with a poorly executed FreudianExcuse, it tends to cause BadassDecay and VillainDecay.

Often related to FromNobodyToNightmare, though the character may be of some prominence from an early age, or even from birth. This subset of the trope can be heart-breaking, as when a long-awaited ChosenOne turns bad. Also often the precursor to BreakTheCutie and WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds. In these cases, expect it to be PlayedForDrama with extra TearJerker moments. It's also often invoked to make the audience CryForTheDevil. If they weren't just a sweet kid, but a KidHero, they may be a dark version of KidHeroAllGrownUp.

Sometimes, the "used to be nice" stage may be revealed only retrospectively, often by a third party, and the villain himself/herself may treat the "sweet kid" stage as an OldShame that [[SlaveToPR undermines]] their VillainCred. This last one may be PlayedForLaughs, as the villain furiously denies their PetTheDog past, often complete with stomping on cutesy childhood toys and memorabilia. Or it may be PlayedForDrama in an IKnowYoureInThereSomewhereFight with the good guys.

Compare to ShesAllGrownUp, in which the character may have been a sweet kid, but is now a very attractive woman. Compare UsedToBeMoreSocial in which the character used to be a social butterfly, but has become introverted and withdrawn. Contrast ReformedBully, a character who was mean and/or smug while young, but is a much nicer person now.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''LightNovel/AccelWorld'' has [[CreepyChild Nomi]], a.k.a Dusk Taker. [[spoiler:In the last two episodes of the anime, it's revealed that his mentor, who introduced him to Brain Burst, used and abused him to the point of breaking. When he's defeated, and the Brain Burst (and his memories of it) erased, he reverts back to being a cute boy.]]
* Believe it or not, [[spoiler:Queen Nakia]] from ''Manga/AnatoliaStory'' fits in perfectly. [[spoiler:The homesick and scared teenage girl who was [[ArrangedMarriage forced to marry]] [[WifeHusbandry an much older man]] as a part of an alliance between the Hitites and the Babylonian]] in the backstory... well, [[spoiler:she grew into a massive ManipulativeBitch and HotWitch, who is also the BigBad of the story.]]
* ''WebComic/AxisPowersHetalia:''
** Resident PsychopathicManchild Russia, who was just [[http://community.livejournal.com/ramudaderuta/22835.html adorable]] and ''sane'' (and [[http://hetalia.livejournal.com/11185680.html oh-so-woobie]]) as a child. Then came [[http://aph.starry-sky.com/russ.html this]] and [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_Revolution_%281917%29 this]], and I don't think [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_Union this]] did him any favors.
** There's also his sister, resident {{Yandere}} Belarus. We see her in her, Russia's and Ukraine's backstory as a cute little girl who clings to her brother and pouts to her older sister. And then, we see her now, as a [[{{Yandere}} scary]] strange girl in a frilly ElegantGothicLolita dress...
** America from England's perspective, who used to be a sweet boy and just adored England. Then, we all know [[UsefulNotes/TheAmericanRevolution what]] [[ShesAllGrownUp happened]] [[TearJerker next.]]
** England too, apparently. The youngest we've seen him was in the ''Passing Through The Year 1000'' strip, when he happily agreed to let France pretend to have conquered him. From there he became a very unhappy child, then a "juvenile delinquent" who's hobby was piracy, and eventually settling into the {{Tsundere}} we know and love now.
* The first line in the ''LightNovel/{{Baccano}}'' novel set in 1705 is from [[ManipulativeBastard Huey Laforet's]] mother, talking about how innocent he was. [[{{Immortality}} A couple of hundred years]] since, he's become a MadScientist who sees all humans ([[AbusiveParents including his own children]]) as "raw materials."
* Surprisingly, ''Guts''' from ''{{Manga/Berserk}}'' was actually a sweet and innocent kid. The downfall started when he was three and his foster mother Sys died of the plague, leaving him to be raised by his sadistic and hateful foster father Gambino. Even after being trained for war and serving on the front lines, he was still a pretty innocent kid, until the night after his first battle when Gambino [[spoiler:sold him to another soldier for three silver coins, a soldier who [[PaedoHunt liked little boys in the wrong way]], resulting in a traumatic rape despite Guts' best efforts to fight the man off. The following day when Guts coldly murdered the man was the point of no return. When he was finally forced to kill Gambino in self-defense and was driven out of the camp by a mob intent on killing him, he became bitter, hateful and cut off from other people.]]
* There was a time when Ichiko Sakura, the protagonist of ''Manga/BinboGamiGa'', was an adorable, cuddly little kid. Then [[spoiler:one of her "friends" just had to badmouth her in front of their mutual love interest, driving the little kid over the edge and giving said "friend" a beatdown]]. That little incident, combined with the [[ParentalNeglect lack of parental attention throughout most of her childhood]] ([[spoiler:although it is ultimately revealed that her parents never intended to work away at the expense of spending time with her]]), unless her butler and surrogate father figure Kikunoshin Suwano counts, molded Ichiko into the BitchInSheepsClothing she has become when the series first started. Fortunately, the genuine kindness in her [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold has never been fully extinguished]], and interactions with the few people willing to put up with her snobby, higher-than-thou attitude, such as Suwano, next-seat crush Keita, best friend Ranmaru, and even her SitcomArchnemesis, misfortune goddess Momiji, helped [[CharacterDevelopment improve her personality]] into a girl who's more than willing to put herself on the line for the people she genuinely cares for.
* ''Manga/BlackButler'':
** Ciel Phantomhive. He's a cynical, callous, and very driven 12-year-old (or 13, depending on how far you are in the series), is a ChessMaster and [[WiseBeyondTheirYears Wise Beyond His Years]]. He has no qualms about getting involved in dangerous missions and will command his badass butler Sebastian to kill someone without a second thought. He has also been shown slapping and insulting individuals for being too comfortable with touching or speaking to him. The only individual he appears to genuinely care for is his fiancee, Elizabeth Middleford, although he does seem to view her as a bit of a distraction and a nuisance, at times. In the anime, he appears downright cruel at times, although in the manga, he is simply just icy and elitist. It's eventually revealed that he was a happy, loving, carefree child before his tenth birthday. Then his parents were murdered, the mansion set on fire, and he was kidnapped by a fanatical cult. He was locked in a cage with other children his age, was implied to be raped, was force fed all his meals, and eventually was to be a child sacrifice until he accidentally called upon the demon Sebastian in his desperation to live.
** Alois Trancy in the second season. He was shown to be cute and innocent as a child but then his foster family died in front of him, from unknown supernatural means, including his adoptive brother and only friend, and then he [[spoiler:was horrifyingly raped and abused by his master, Lord Trancy, alongside other boys.]] A few years later he's shown to be creepily AxCrazy.
* Sofia Irininskaya Pavlovena aka Balalaika from ''Manga/BlackLagoon'' [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agWy-7XANJ8 used to be]] a pretty, young and seemingly friendly girl who wore her hair in GirlishPigtails and whose dream was to do her family proud in the Olympics as a sharpshooter. That is...until the [[WarIsHell Afghanistan War]].
** Revy had a horrible childhood where she was beaten up by corrupt cops for doing nothing wrong and then raped by one who threw her in jail. She then murdered her abusive father for not caring about what had happened to her. Her past turned her from an optimistic, religious child to a [[BrokenBird spiteful]], gun-crazy, [[FaithHeelTurn God-hating]], [[HiredGun gun-for-hire]] with an occasional tendency to go on psychotic rampages.
* In ''Manga/Brave10'', Little Anastasia is ''adorable''. She turns out real cold when she becomes an adult, courtesy of the [[DarkAndTroubledPast boatload of trauma that follows]].
* ''Anime/CodeGeass'':
** Mao was a sweet, innocent little boy until [[spoiler:[[JerkAssWoobie C.C.]] gave him his Geass power]]. After [[spoiler:[[WhatAnIdiot she abandoned him in the hope of making him not rely on her]]]] it ultimately [[BreakTheCutie broke him completely]] and [[UnhappyMedium drove him insane]], so he turned into a PsychopathicManchild with no grip on reality who {{Mind Rape}}s the local AllLovingHero and the KnightInShiningArmor and kidnaps the IllGirl... To say that his opponent, the IllGirl's DarkMessiah, was ''pissed off'' at him, is an understatement.
** This is a prominent theme in ''Code Geass'', while some characters like Rolo are proven to always have been killing machines since childhood (and often, like in Rolo's case, thanks to the brutal training and brainwashing coming from the [[spoiler:Geass Cult]]), loads of characters started out like sweet kids even up to the Emperor but also including, C.C., Suzaku, possibly Cornelia and Clovis, Karen and Lelouch Lamperouge.
* Simply one person: Doctor Jizabel. If you've read ''Manga/CountCain'', [[spoiler:especially volume 7 and more especially the Misericorde chapters]] you know he's a perfect example.
* [[spoiler:Faye Valentine]] of ''Anime/CowboyBebop'' actually used to be a very sweet idealistic child from what could be told from the lost tape found from a time capsule. It is a very [[TearJerker sad]] comparison to how they are as an adult.
* ''Manga/ACruelGodReigns'': Jeremy, Jeremy, Jeremy... At the very beginning of the series, he is sweet to the point of being ridiculous, but after he is physically and sexually abused by his stepfather for 6 months, he finally snaps and kills him via [[spoiler:VehicularSabotage]]. Actually, it is Jeremy's sweetness that causes his TraumaCongaLine in the first place; he refuses to seek help because [[spoiler:it would mean ruining his mother's happy marriage]]. Although more of a ConflictBall with FilleFatale problems than evil, he never really snapped back. Arguably, Jeremy still is a sweet kid- he just has some issues he needs to work through.
* ''Manga/DeadmanWonderland'':
** Before the earthquake, Minatsuki Takami aka Hummingbird appeared to be a sweet adorable child. Then after her [[ParentalAbandonment mother grabbed a pot of flowers and left her to die,]] her more sadistic tendencies began to arise.
** Also applies to [[spoiler:Genkaku]] of all people, when it revealed that he was once a kind forgiving buddhist priest who was constantly bullied and beaten and once fed an injured cat. It was until the earthquake that he lost his sanity.
* Teru Mikami of ''Manga/DeathNote'' was a really sweet kid who would always defend the weak and was a BullyHunter. As he got older, the fact that most people seemed to tolerate bullying gave him an intense sense of BlackAndWhiteMorality which was strengthened when some of his bullies ended up being killed in an accident. Once he got his hands on the titular ArtifactOfDoom, he ended up as the [[AxCrazy craziest]] person in a series filled with some fairly unstable people.
** To a degree, also Misa Amane. Had her parents not been killed by a burglar when she was a little girl, she would've possibly grown into the same beautiful and popular IdolSinger she was in canon... but ''without'' the AxCrazy {{Yandere}}ness.
** [[VillainProtagonist Light Yagami]]. Nice, normal family, top of his class, popular with other students... and he's killed God knows how many people by the end of the second episode.
*** Light and Misa were distinctly ''never'' normal; they have emotional impairments of some kind. It's possible Misa developed her psychopathic tendencies somewhere between her parents' deaths and meeting Rem, given she's had actual trauma and a showbiz career to mess with her head, but Light is pretty...empty.
*** Or not--the fact that he dropped tennis because it was pointless and several other moments indicate that, even if he was always broken inside, it had been getting worse before he found the titular ArtifactOfDoom.
*** When Light [[spoiler:temporarily forgets about the Death Note]], he returns to being a nice, morally sound person. In other words, he was just a '''REALLY''' bad case of WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity.
* Ken Ichijouji from ''Anime/DigimonAdventure02''. He got better.
** This trope tends to recur throughout the manga adaptations of ''Franchise/{{Digimon}}''. ''Manga/DigimonVTamer01'' had [[WellIntentionedExtremist Neo]] [[JerkAss Saiba]], and ''Digimon Next'' had [[HeroKiller Shou]] [[BlackKnight Kahara]]. [[spoiler:They also got better at the end.]]
** Kiriha Aonuma from ''Anime/DigimonXrosWars'' is shown to be gentle as a child in his back story. His father [[spoiler:critiques that Kiriha must learn to be stronger, which leads to him being a JerkAss. He gets better as well.]]
* Lucy from ''Manga/ElfenLied'', who started out as a [[ShrinkingViolet kind-hearted but shy]] little girl, but through enough [[KidsAreCruel torment]], [[AllOfTheOtherReindeer crippling loneliness]], and [[DarkMagicalGirl a psychotic inner voice]] became an AxCrazy mass murderer bent on [[KillAllHumans killing all humans]].
* Prince Emilio from ''Anime/{{Endride}}'' used to be pretty happy kid who earnestly admired his ParentalSubstitute King Delzaine, until he overheard that Delzaine had killed his real father, prompting a long, {{revenge}}-fueled [[TroubledButCute emo phase]] that the other heroes struggled to pull him out of.
* Tabitha [[spoiler:aka Princess Charlotte]] of ''LightNovel/TheFamiliarOfZero''. Before her [[spoiler:mother went mad to save her from an assassination attempt from her EvilUncle]], Tabitha was a CheerfulChild. Now she's TheStoic and very quiet.
* ''Manga/FairyTail'':
** [[SocialDarwinist Laxus]] [[PsychoElectro Dreyar]] was once a cheerful young boy who idolized [[BigGood Makarov]], his grandfather and guildmaster of the title guild. Due to the influence of his father [[ObviouslyEvil Ivan]], and his [[{{Pride}} growing resentment at his accomplishments being compared to Makarov's]], he grows more and more bitter until he finally tries to take over the guild by force and remake it in his own image, the final part of his plan being to beat Makarov in combat. [[spoiler:He never gets the chance to fight Makarov, his plan being thwarted by the guild as a whole and Natsu and Gajeel team up to defeat him.]] Later averted when [[spoiler:he returns after being expelled from the guild, as a much kinder and less prideful person.]]
** [[VoluntaryShapeshifting Mirajane]] [[TeamMom Strauss]] is an inversion. She's very sweet and caring now, but in her younger days she was a BrattyHalfPint who was [[HotBlooded always picking fights]] and [[JerkAss constantly insulting]] [[TheBigGuy Erza]]. The change was so jarring that Gildarts (who only visits the guild once every couple of years) didn't even recognize her at first and had to be told that it was her. [[spoiler:The change was the result of Lisanna's (supposed) death. When visiting Edolas, Team Natsu finds that Mirajane's Edolas counterpart is ''exactly'' like her, rather than her opposite, because in that reality, their Lisanna (really the Earth Land Lisanna) never died]].
** [[spoiler:Zeref. A young, brilliant student at the Mildia Magic Academy, the death of his younger brother Natsu drove him to delve into forbidden magic in order to find out a way to revive him. Everything went downhill from there, and by the present day, he's an [[TheAgeless almost complete immortal]] who is [[DeathSeeker desperate to die]], after having been constantly rejected by humanity and watching his life's works be misused for evil. Eventually, it becomes too much and he seeks to [[OmnicidalManiac wipe out the human race]] for their sins, and/or finally die when they figure out a way to kill him.]] [[XanatosGambit Either way, he gets what he wants]]]]. When it becomes clear that ''nothing'' will ever kill him, he reveals that his threat was a case of ExactWords: [[spoiler:He wants to use a ResetButton spell to relive his life from the beginning with all of his previous memories intact, which would allow him him to alter history so radically that the present world, and everyone in it, will be RetGone.]]
** [[BrainwashedAndCrazy Jellal]] [[BrokenAce Fernandez]] was the [[{{Determinator}} irrepressibly kind]] leader of a small band of kids enslaved in the Tower of Heaven, until [[ChildhoodFriendRomance Erza]] was taken away and tortured in another friend's place. When he tried to rescue her, he got caught and was tortured in her place...and when he couldn't take any more of ''that,'' another mage took control of his personality and life. For ''[[FridgeHorror eight years]].'' "Jellal" became a psychotic cult leader determined to resurrect Zeref, brainwashing most of his friends in turn and exiling Erza when she didn't go along with him. [[spoiler: Team Natsu stops him, of course, but after his UnexplainedRecovery and LaserGuidedAmnesia, he becomes his kind and noble old self again -- only to be [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone utterly horrified]] by his former actions. Jellal still hasn't forgiven himself, despite the confession of his brainwasher that none of it was his doing.]]
* ''Manga/FistOfTheNorthStar'': There was a little boy who loved his adoptive father, a martial arts master. Then his father decided to take in some students and teach them his art. The boy felt left out, especially when his father refused to teach him. The boy pushed and begged until his father decided to teach him as well... and that little boy grew up to be Jagi. The story doesn't have a happy ending.
** There was a tiny baby, abandoned by his parents and adopted by another martial arts master. Though trials were difficult, and the regiment strict, never once did the little boy feel that it was a burden, being driven by nothing more than his love for his adoptive father. Then came the time, when he became 15, to inherit his master's style after a final trial and become an adult. The little boy's name was [[spoiler:Souther]], and neither does this story have a happy ending. [[FreudianExcuse Well]], {{al|asPoorVillain}}most [[DeathEqualsRedemption had]].
** There also was a young boy, left orphaned with his younger brother, who knew that crying will not make things better, and instead aspired to become stronger along with his brother. As the two get adopted by a martial arts master, the two finally learn to become stronger and this young child aspires to greater glory in his quest for strength. This boy grew up to be [[spoiler:[[WellIntentionedExtremist Raoh]]]], but [[LoveRedeems his story does have a happier ending.]]
* In ''Anime/{{Free}}'', the backstory shows Rin Matsuoka as a CheerfulChild. [[spoiler:The death of his father]] and training overseas, however, changed him into a deeply wounded JerkAss. Lampshaded in-story, where [[TheProtagonist Haruka]] chides him for not smiling like he used to.
* Wrath in ''Anime/FullmetalAlchemist'' is introduced as a young WildChild before being revealed to be a homonculus. Envy feeds him red stones which makes him do a HeelFaceTurn into a full EnfanteTerrible. In the end he's mellowed down but is solemn and depressed, especially after [[spoiler:the death of his mother Izumi, who he had finally accepted as his mother]].
* In ''LightNovel/FullMetalPanic'', one side story focusing on Sousuke and Kalinin's backstory showed that Sousuke was this. During his childhood, when he was rescued by Kalinin and they spent time together, Kalinin was shown to love Sousuke and grow so attached to "that sweet and gentle boy" to the point where he really wanted to adopt him as his own. Then they got separated, and the next time they meet, they met as enemies, with Sousuke becoming the NietzscheWannabe [[TheStoic Stoic]] that we know today.
* Yuno Gasai from ''Manga/FutureDiary'' wasn't always such a [[AxCrazy psycho]] [[{{Yandere}} girl]]. When [[spoiler:Yukiteru and Minene go three years to the past]] it turns out that despite her abuse, she still was hopeful and idealistic.
--> ''' [[spoiler:1st World]] Yuno''': When did I become so twisted?
* The titular character of ''Manga/GabrielDropOut'', was originally a sweet and idealistic young angel, who wanted to help as many people as she could. But a mere few minutes into the first episode, she has turned into an uncaring JerkAss GamerChick, who scoffs at her old values. Though she claims she was always like this deep down, she just couldn't express herself and had to delude her self into thinking she wasn't back in heaven. Whether or not that's true, is up in the air.
* ''Franchise/{{Gundam}}'':
** ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamSEED Gundam SEED]]'': Compare the Athrun in the flashbacks, who believed that Earth and ZAFT would never go to war, with the bitter, cynical soldier we all know and love. Also, it seems that the entire universe is bent on turning main character Kira into one of these. He gets it back mostly.
** ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamSEEDDestiny Gundam SEED Destiny]]'': Shinn Asuka was a nice kid who loved his family, and especially his little sister. Then they all died. In front of him. Goodbye CheerfulChild, hello [[TheBerserker Berserker]]. His friend Rey Za Burrell is also an example; flashbacks show him as a AdorablyPrecociousChild with a love of the piano, and nothing like the UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans WellIntentionedExtremist and ManipulativeBastard he is today.
** See [[http://mangapark.me/manga/kidou-senshi-gundam-c-d-a-wakaki-suisei-no-shouzou/s2/v1/c2/20 the sweet-looking schoolgirl]] stepping out of that Mobile Suit? That's Haman Khan of ''[[Anime/MobileSuitZetaGundam Zeta Gundam]]'' and ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamZZ Gundam ZZ]]''. [[ManipulativeBastard Yes]], [[MisanthropeSupreme THAT]] Haman [[DarkActionGirl Khan]]. If the Tomino-penned sidematerials are to be believed, she was once a cheerful, sweet-natured GenkiGirl with a starry-eyed CelebCrush on the Red Comet. [[BreakTheCutie Then her father died and Char left, so she got put in charge of Axis]]...
** ''[[Anime/MobileFighterGGundam G Gundam's]]'' Domon Kasshu was a pretty cute kid when he was ten years old before training with a guy who taught him that martial artists [[DefeatMeansFriendship communicate with their fists]] and suffering familial tragedy... [[MemeticMutation with the help of KYOJI!]]
** ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamAGE Gundam AGE]]'' is basically about how Flit Asuno turned from an idealist KidHero who wants to save humanity into a genocidal crusader who wants to exterminate every man, woman, and child on the other side. There are several flashbacks to the idealistic boy he used to be. [[spoiler:He's pulled out of it at the ''very'' end, when he's in his sixties]].
* Clair Leonelli of ''Anime/HeatGuyJ''. He used to be a cute chibi with a very demure personality. After years of abuse from his dad, he eventually went insane, [[spoiler:[[TheDogBitesBack killed his father]]]], and became [[TheHero Daisuke Aurora's]] [[KickTheDog puppy-kicking]] arch-nemesis. [[spoiler: He does get a HeelFaceTurn, however.]]
** A straighter and more striking example is [[spoiler: Shun Aurora, Daisuke's KnightTemplarBigBrother]]. Some amount of the trauma he went through as a child that turned him into [[TheManBehindTheMan what he is in the series proper]] came about as a result of ''his attempts to protect [[spoiler: Daisuke]] when they were both kids.''
* Alucard, Integra, and Seras of ''Manga/{{Hellsing}}''.
* The main character Jae Hyuk of the manwha ''Manhwa/ImmortalRegis'' started out as a sweet OrdinaryHighSchoolStudent devoted to caring for his [[IllGirl Ill Boy]] little brother. Then both of them got dragged into another dimension full of swords and sorcery and monsters. Jae Hyuk is forced into the role of TheHero while his little brother [[spoiler:eventually becomes the host of the BigBad]]. Over the course of the series Jae Hyuk becomes more and more jaded and bitter about having his old life ripped away from him (being turned into an undead abomination didn't help either). In the sequel series ''Cavalier of the Abyss'' which takes place years later, Jae Hyuk has become the new king of the other world. The first thing we see him do is ruthlessly order ThePurge of a village of suspected rebels -- men, women, and children alike are all put to the sword. He also chops off the arm of a soldier who questioned his orders. He's not so sweet anymore.
* ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure''
** Jotaro Kujo. First we see him in past as an little boy playing with mom and as an model student, and on the next page he's in a cell, terrorizing fellow prisoners and telling his mother to shut up.
*** Subverted later on in the manga when Alessi uses his stand to de-age Jotaro to about seven years, and Jotaro was ''still'' capable of pounding Alessi pretty seriously, and ''still'' had his not-accepting-any-nonsense mentality which, given the way Alessi's stand works (its victims don't remember anything from the years they lose), Jotaro must have had even then. Then again, it takes time for the memory loss to kick in, so who knows?
** [[AntiVillain Diego Brando]] was shown to be a really nice kid in his childhood. That is until his mother died from being overworked by the unfair farm owner they were working for. That combined with the knowledge that his father had abandoned him drove him to become ruthlessly ambitious to prove that he's above people like his father by any means necessary.
*** Subverted with his original universe counterpart Dio Brando though, who despite having a similar abused childhood is noted by Speedwagon to be someone who's [[TheSociopath completely evil by nature.]]
* [[spoiler:Reinhard von Lohengramm]] invokes and subverts this from Anime/LegendOfGalacticHeroes. Flashbacks show that as a child he was perfectly-content to live an ordinary life with his elder sister and best friend. [[spoiler:And then said elder sister is forced to become a member of Emperor Frederick IV's harem]] leading [[spoiler:Reinhard]] to grow obsessed with obtaining the power to save his sister and become Emperor himself to gain revenge against the Goldenbaum Dynasty and their supporters. He succeeds and actually institutes proto-constitutional reforms in the empire making it a better place to live for its people compared to the [[TheAlliance Free Planets Alliance]], but in the course of doing so he makes Machiavellian decisions such as but not limited to: turning a blind eye to rebel nobles launching a strategic nuclear attack on a frontier planet and killing four million people, as well as executing rebel nobles and their male relatives aged 10 and above before exiling their remaining relatives to the frontier. However his reforms '''DO''' subvert the trope to an extent, as while he is certainly feared by his enemies, he is respected and even ''devoted'' by the majority of his subjects, and it's implied that his new dynasty would preside over a new golden age for Humanity.
* ''Manga/LitchiHikariClub'': Tamiya at the very least, and he still is to an extent.
* Lampshaded in ''Anime/LuckyStar'', when Konata and Kagami talk about how when criminals are arrested in real life and people who knew them are interviewed, they will always say things to the effect of, "he wasn't a bad kid." Kagami then says that if Konata ever gets caught, she'll tell the media that she had "always figured she'd do something like that".
* Alviss of ''Manga/{{MAR}}''.
* [[spoiler:Ilulu]] from ''Manga/MissKobayashisDragonMaid'' was friends with human children when she was younger (which is unheard of for dragons, ''especially'' chaos dragons), but the death of her parents at the hands of humans and being taught to despise humans afterwards turned her into an AxCrazy monster. [[spoiler:She gets better thanks to Kobayashi.]]
* [[spoiler:Roberto, TheDragon]] from ''Manga/{{Monster}}'', is retrospectively revealed to have been a sweet kid [[spoiler:(gave up his cup of hot chocolate to give it to a sick friend, liked to collect bugs but would always let them go because he couldn't bring himself to kill them)]]. Then the OrphanageOfFear really got to him - and as for the later character he shows in the story proper, let's just say "wouldn't hurt a fly" is not the phrase that leaps to mind.
** Averted with Johan Liebert, the series' BigBad. Sure, he has suffered the Kinderkeim 511 cruel methods of raising, but he was evil before that. He had the evilness none of those children would have achieved.
** Peter Capek is another example. Once an ordinary kid, now a MindRape-inflicting fiend.
*** Even played with with Peter Capek, as [[spoiler:his semi-ForgottenChildhoodFriend, who grew up to be a normal dentist, attempts to kill him for what he's become at one point. His friend is shot dead before he can get a shot off, and seeing his now-remembered friend's death effects Peter for the rest of his life (a few more days).]]
* Enchu of ''Manga/MuhyoAndRoji'' used to be quite nice and hard-working in comparison to [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold Muhyo]], and especially cared for his sick mother, hoping to become an Executor and support her. Losing his mother to her illness and his chance at getting the position resulted in him [[FaceHeelTurn turning]] [[LoveMakesYouEvil evil]]. [[spoiler:After realizing the truth, that Teeki killed his mother in order to take advantage of his potential he reverts to his former personality, continuing his Magical Law studies even while incarcerated]].
* Michio Yuki from Creator/OsamuTezuka's ''Manga/{{MW}}'' is a sweet-natured, rather shy kid till the age of nine when he gets, in short order, taken hostage, [[spoiler:molested]], and exposed to potentially lethal neurotoxins that fuck up his mind terribly. After that, he goes "a bit" off the rails.
** Osamu Tezuka loved this trope. Most incarnations of {{R|eusedCharacterDesign}}ock have a similar story. Perhaps the most heartbreaking example is Adolf Kaufman, one of the three title characters of ''Manga/{{Adolf}}''. As a child he befriends a young jewish boy and resists his Nazi father's hateful ways, but he's soon shipped off to a Nazi training school and it all goes downhill from there...
* Miharu Rokujou from ''Manga/NabariNoOu''.
* ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' has done this repeatedly with major characters:
** Gaara, despite his [[SealedEvilInACan great power]], just wanted to have friends. However, after [[DespairEventHorizon one horror too many]], he snapped and became an AxCrazy [[DarkMagicalGirl Dark Magical Boy]] with OmnicidalManiac tendencies. He got better after the main character beat some sense back into him again.
** Sasuke used to be a genuinely likable, out-going child. Then his brother Itachi [[BreakTheCutie broke his mind]] repeatedly and [[FreakOut other]] [[RoaringRampageofRevenge shit]] [[JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope happened]]. He is currently TheDragon of the BigBad, and things won't get any better anytime soon. Sasuke went through this twice. Even after the MindRape and trauma he was an asocial, aloof boy but not too off. It's during the Chunin Exams, especially just after them, where he began going off the handles. [[spoiler: Fortunately, he gets better in Part 2 thanks to Itachi and the Four Hokages.]] In a filler WhatIf arc where Naruto's parents are alive and the Uchiha massacre never happene, Sasuke's personality is exactly the same as in the main continuity. Instead of being spiteful because he wants revenge on his clan, he's spiteful because his [[WellDoneSonGuy father doesn't pay attention to him]]. He ends up with a InferioritySuperiorityComplex and is jealous of Naruto's relationship with his father.
** As a child, Nagato looked like he could be a MessianicArchetype. Then...''things'' hit the fan, he renamed himself [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast "Pain"]] and decided it was better to be a DarkMessiah.
** Orochimaru was one of the Legendary Sannin, and he showed great promise as the next Hokage. He was a kind and helpful orphan, but then he got the idea that he could either bring his dead parents back or extend his own lifespan enough to meet them again when they got reincarnated, if he got more powerful. And he started [[EvilutionaryBiologist doing questionable experiments]], and became a demon.
** Itachi himself was an adorable boy who genuinely loved his brother and his village. After shit hits the fan, he seems like the biggest JerkAss in history, until we find out why he is how he is. He had [[WarIsHell watched countless people die in a bloody world war]], and it gets worse after that.[[note]][[NiceJobBreakingItHero Nice job breaking your precious brother, kid:]] now he's worse than he has ever been, and it's '''YOUR''' fault. [[spoiler: Sure, you eventually help him get better, but still.]] [[DracoInLeatherPants Good thing the fangirls favor you]].[[/note]]
** Sasori. [[http://quizilla.teennick.com/user_images/A/AK/AKA/AKATSUKIFREAK123/1249860145_5341_full.jpeg LOOK at this boy!]]. His parents died when he was very young and his grandmother kept lying to him that they were away on a mission. He grew so alone from the lack of love from his mother and father that--when Chiyo taught him the art of puppets--his first two creations were that of his Mom and Dad. But they could never replace the kindness, love, and affection that ''human parents'' could provide, which lead to the development of his twisted views on immortality, the sanctity of life, and how it was so fleeting and needed to be preserved... Cold, emotionless, stoic, and impatient with wasting time. Gee, thanks Sand Village!
** [[spoiler:The Kyuubi, erm, Kurama of all people...the other Bijuu too. We see them all as young beasts with the Sage of Six Paths shortly before his death, and Kurama is ''tearing up'' at the imminent loss of the man. It turns out that countless years of being treated as monsters led them to become what they are, but they've now found a human they can believe in: Naruto.]]
** Konan. She used to be a sweet little girl, then [[BreakTheCutie things]] happened.
** And as of chapter 582, if his flashback is to be believed, [[spoiler:Kabuto.]]
** And now it seems that [[spoiler:the BigBad is this trope as well. Chapter 599 is a montage of Obito Uchiha as a kid, leading up to his HeroicSacrifice and supposed death. It then cuts to the present where Tobi's mask has shattered to reveal himself as Obito]].
** Even [[spoiler:the real Madara Uchiha]] qualifies. [[spoiler:We see in a flashback that, while being a bit of a loner, he was a dreamer whose sincerest desires were to protect his brother and put an end to the clan wars.]]
** On a heroic example, Boruto. In ''Anime/TheLastNarutoTheMovie'' he is a happy, friendly toddler who loves and respects his father [[spoiler:Naruto]]. By the time he is an academy student he has become resentful of his father due to his job [[spoiler:as hokage]] keeping him away from his family. He still loves [[spoiler:Naruto]] but acts like a jerk towards him and calls him out often. Boruto also suffers from being quite a bit overconfident and cocky when it comes to being a ChildProdigy and due to his HeroicLineage.
** Pretty much any villain in this series whose childhood we get to see ends up being this, it's one of the themes of the series - people aren't born evil, the ninja system makes them that way.
** Furthermore, every single of these former sweet kid have direct parallels with Naruto - in short, they are essentially what will happen if Naruto snapped.
* Adam Blade from ''Manga/{{NEEDLESS}}'', who is, to put it mildly, a violent ComedicLolicon AntiHero. Even his foster-father wonders just what had gone wrong in the process. [[spoiler:This is actually a plot point that is currently on-going in the manga.]]
* Shinji and Asuka from ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'', and practically [[DysfunctionJunction the entire cast]]. Rei in particular seemed to be downright ''cheerful'' until her first clone met its demise.
* ''Manga/OnePiece'' has [[spoiler: Big Mom's [[DaddysLittleVillain Mommy's Little Villainess]], Charlotte Pudding]]. The flashback from chapter 862 shows that [[spoiler: save for her ThirdEye, Pudding used to be a normal little girl. Then, all the verbal and physical abuse coming from [[AbusiveParent Big Mom]], [[BigBrotherBully her older siblings]] and [[KidsAreCruel other kids]] piled up... [[CreepyChild and she snapped]]. Now she's one hell of a JerkAss and a willing accomplice in Big Mom's schemes.]]
** Even more so, [[spoiler: '''Big Mom herself''. 866 and 867 are dedicated to her early years, showing her as a genuinely sweet gigantic child who already was a PersonOfMassDestruction at age ''five'', and had no control of either her SuperStrength and [[BigEater voracious appetite]]. Around 60 years later, she's a ''far'' more ruthless, [[TheCaligula batshit]] [[AxCrazy insane]] [[GodSaveUsFromTheQueen Queen]].]]
** This is also invoked in regards to [[spoiler: Boa "Pirate Queen" Hancock. A flashback shows her as a cute, even rather sweet cabin girl from a Kuja ship.... Then she and her sisters were kidnapped, branded, force-fed Devil Fruits, and totally traumatized - which is the big reason she's such an aloof, bitchy, cold LadyOfWar in the present.]]
* Raven/Gilbert Nightray of ''Manga/PandoraHearts'' was absolutely adorable as a child. Following his BreakTheCutie event he became a brooding, serious man with major issues. He can still act sweet without meaning to sometimes, though.
** Oz could count as this, too. [[spoiler:Even when you consider the fact that he used to be this innocent little stuffed rabbit who was turned into a Chain of destruction against his will.]]
* Tetsunosuke and Suzu of ''Manga/PeacemakerKurogane''.
* A ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'' manga called ''Manga/HowIBecameAPokemonCard'' has a chapter on a boy. He's a sweet boy who takes in an injured Persian who ran away from a group that keeps "precious" Pokemon to stare at all day. Who's this boy? The infamous {{Yakuza}} boss, Giovanni.
* ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'':
** {{T|heRival}}rip from ''Anime/{{Pokemon}} Best Wishes'' shows HUGE signs of this. The only flashback the audience has of him is when he meets the Champion, Alder. Back then, he was an [[{{Moe}} adorable]], [[CheerfulChild hyperactive kid]] that wanted to become a Pokemon Trainer so he could battle the Champion one day. Fast forward into the present time when Ash first meets him. He's a trainer now, but the happy go lucky personality [[{{Kuudere}} is gone.]] [[BreakTheCutie Something happened]] [[BrokenBird in that time period]] [[SillyRabbitIdealismIsforKids to make him change so drastically.]]
** Mewtwo [[spoiler:was actually born emotionally well adjusted; looking at the ''[[Radio/PokemonTheBirthOfMewtwo Birth Of Mewtwo]]'' radio drama and animated short, it's somewhat of a surprise to see him happily smiling and having a cheerful outlook on life. Then he loses his first friend. And then, of course, he meets the humans who created him and finds out that they just see him as a guinea pig. These experiences turn him into a vengeful WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds in ''Anime/PokemonTheFirstMovie''. He calms down at the end of the film, and by the end of ''Anime/PokemonMewtwoReturns'', while he's no longer the happy youngster he was, he's certainly nicer than he was during his first few months in the outside world.]]
** Several episodes into ''Sun and Moon'', we are treated to an EarlyBirdCameo picture of [[http://www.serebii.net/anime/pictures/sunmoon/951/DP162.jpg Lillie's stoic brother Gladion as a little boy.]] The same picture also has a young Lillie holding a Lillipup with no problem, indicating something happened to make her so afraid to touch Pokemon in the present day ([[TraumaInducedAmnesia which she doesn't remember]]).
* ''Anime/PokemonOrigins'' suggests this with [[spoiler:Giovanni]]. During Red's gym battle with him, [[spoiler:Giovanni]] realizes how Red's attitude and respect for his Pokemon not only reminded him of his own days as a fresh-faced Trainer before [[spoiler:becoming the leader of Team Rocket]], but also how it reignited his passion for battling Pokemon for reasons other than business.
* ''Manga/ProjectARMS'': Most of the Egrigori experimental children were like this, before whatever processes they were put through were completed. The Keiths mostly became bloodthirsty psychopaths who had no problem killing anyone they had to and [[spoiler:Alice developed a dark side to her previously sweet personality after being shot and taken over by an AI]]. The fact that the kids were treated terribly and given almost no positive human contact could explain a lot ([[spoiler:Keith Green genuinely grew to love Katsumi because she was the first person who was nice to him.]])
* Though not exactly ''sweet'', Fushimi of ''Anime/ProjectK'' was far more mellow and... well, ''sane'' during his middle school years. It wasn't until after joining HOMRA and slowing becoming a GreenEyedMonster that he made the leap from lonely introverted kid who clung to his best friend into a full on JerkAss StalkerWithACrush. LoveMakesYouCrazy indeed.
* ''Manga/{{Psyren}}'' BigBad Amagi Miroku 'Grigori #06' is an extremely homicidal MagnificentBastard who decided to KillAllHumans except those with PsychicPowers who are willing to help with the plan, after spending most of his childhood and adolescence as a government test subject. However, several years into being a test subject, while his twin #07 was nonresponsive and #05 had already defaulted to hate, #06 was still the sweetest kid. The fact that he held onto the hope of living as a human being the longest seems to have enhanced the virulence of his hatred once he gave up.
* ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica''
** While the primary cast is made of kids by most definition, Sakura Kyouko used to be a sweet, good UsefulNotes/JapaneseChristian girl who only wanted to help her father in spreading the word of his God. [[spoiler:Unfortunately, when Minister Sakura figured out that Kyouko used magic to bring people to his church, he snapped, killed his family, and then committed suicide. Only Kyouko survived.]] No wonder she's such a misanthropic JerkAss.
** Also, Homura [[spoiler:used to be {{Adorkable}}, clumsy and sweet]], but [[spoiler: fighting the scheme of an EldritchAbomination in a GroundhogDayLoop and repeteadly losing her beloved Madoka]] warped her into a cold, lonely AntiHero [[spoiler: that, in ''The Rebellion Story'', would end up as a [[GodOfEvil goddess of evil]].]]
** And of course, there are [[spoiler:the Witches]]. Although we don't get backstories for all of them, the few who are explained universally fit this trope. [[spoiler:Charlotte, the Witch who decapitates Mami, used to be a bubbly child named Nagisa who was obsessed with cheese. Octavia von Seckendorf used to be Sayaka, easily the most idealistic of the protagonists. And in the timelines where she becomes a Witch, Madoka becomes Kriemhild Gretchen, a monster that Cthulhu would check for under his crypt before going to sleep]].
* Lucia, from ''Manga/RaveMaster''. He goes from being a sweet little 6 year old who hides behind his mom when he sees a stranger to being a psycho-killer at the age of 16. He's [[DracoInLeatherPants somewhat forgiven for that]] because he spent the ten year gap between those two points [[FreudianExcuse locked in prison for no good reason after having to watch his mother get shot down.]]
* Nanami of ''Anime/RevolutionaryGirlUtena''. Also, in episode 9 there is a back-story to Saionji's childhood depicting the origins of Saionji's current controlling, depressed {{Jerkass}} personality; when he was younger, he was more easygoing and kinder.
** And there's an even bigger case in the general backstory. Oh, [[spoiler:Prince Dios]] alias [[spoiler:Akio Ohtori]], ''how low you have fallen''. [[spoiler: From a literal KnightInShiningArmor to the BigBad? '''Woooooow'''.]]
** Nanami's brother Touga plays with the trope. On one hand, Nanami's childhood memories of him paint him as a much kinder big brother than he is in the series' present. On the other, the flashback he shares with Saionji portrays his pre-teen self as something much closer to a CreepyChild; [[spoiler: he casually plays with little Utena's hair, has virtually no reaction to her situation (contrasting with kid!Saionji), and already shows signs of becoming the ManipulativeBastard he is as a teenager.]] Later, it's strongly suggested that [[spoiler: even his past kind behaviour towards Nanami was an act, as he claims that he never really loved her and only pretended to care because his father wanted him to.]] Finally, [[WordOfGod Word of Enokido]] is that [[spoiler: Touga ''really'' was a sweet kid a very long time ago, but changed drastically soon after he and Nanami were sent to the Kiryuus.]]
* In ''Franchise/SailorMoon'', Hotaru Tomoe (Sailor Saturn) is shown as a cheerful child with adoring parents--until the accident that kills her mother, wounds Hotaru fatally, [[spoiler:makes her father either "rebuild" her and puts himself willingly under the orders of the BigBad ([[Manga/SailorMoon manga]]) or sign a desperate DealWithTheDevil to save her life ([[Anime/SailorMoon anime]])]], and sets the catalyst for the S season going. Even though Hotaru remains kind and sweet, she becomes withdrawn and is considered creepy by nearly everyone save for Chibi-Usa and the Inner girls because of her illness, healing powers, and dark aura. When [[spoiler:she's reborn and raised by her father (anime) or the Outers (late anime and manga)]], she's a cheerful sprite again except for when her older, wiser personality slips through.
* Sakurako [[spoiler:aka Youya]] from ''Manga/SakuraGari'' was a sweet and adorable child, right until she witnessed the death of her mother under some [[DrivenToSuicide very screwed up circumstances]] [[spoiler:which turn out to be even more screwed up than they appear]]. She then became a seriously CreepyChild, [[spoiler:eventually revealed to be a total {{Yandere}}.]]
* [[spoiler:Sakuya Ookuchi]] from ''Manga/SensualPhrase'' once was a kind boy who lived alone with his BrokenBird mother. We meet him, however, as [[spoiler:a massively screwed-up BastardBoyfriend.]]
* Chouji Suitengu, back then known as [[spoiler:Ueno Takeshi]] from ''Anime/SpeedGrapher'' was a pretty sweet kid, who loved playing games with his little sister. Then his parents were murdered for not being able to pay their debt to the Roppongi Club. Suitengu was sold off as a child soldier, almost killed during his final mission, and then turned into a Frankenstein stitch job. Nowadays, he's a textbook example of FourEyesZeroSoul.
* Barnaby Brooks, Jr. from ''Anime/TigerAndBunny'' was a joyous, trusting child constantly showered with love and care courtesy of his very affectionate parents. But [[spoiler:they were murdered right in front of his eyes when he was just four years old,]] resulting in Barnaby becoming cold, cynical, consumed by the desire for revenge and reluctant to trust anyone; up to the point where he has avoided close relationships with other people for ''20 years''. Subverted towards endgame in that he regains traces of his original personality upon befriending the show's IdiotHero, Kotetsu.
* In ''Manga/TokyoGhoul'', this seems to be the standard.
** The Kirishima siblings are revealed in flashbacks to have started out as cheerful, happy children. In contrast to Touka, Ayato was leery of humans from an early age while she readily embraced them. The loss of their parents, and betrayal by [[HumansAreBastards an elderly neighbor]] drove the siblings onto the streets where they would be forced to grow up fighting for their lives. Both became bitter and violent, though [[BigGood Yoshimura's]] intervention allowed Touka to slowly begin rebuilding her life by the time she's introduced. Ayato refused this help and instead run away, ending up as one of the commanders of the organization, Aogiri.
** Similarly, Nishiki Nishio started out unhappy about having to eat humans and eager to live a normal life. Then a human betrayed his [[PromotionToParent sister]], and got her killed. He decided he would never trust anyone again, and became a territorial jerk that tried his best to keep his emotional distance. [[LoveRedeems Not that]] [[StarCrossedLovers it worked in]] [[InterspeciesRomance the long run....]]
** As a child, Kurona and Nashiro were very cheerful and sanguine until they witnessed the brutal murder of their parents at the hands of a ghoul. The trauma caused by their deaths has caused them to become cold, distant and relatively nihilistic. They decided to become ghouls because they considered being human and living in the current " twisted world" to be the cause for their misfortunes in life.
** Kishou Arima, of all people. [[spoiler: A flashback to his childhood at a TykeBomb factory shows him seemingly crushing a butterfly in his hand. [[BaitAndSwitch Later]], it's shown that he actually caught it and secretly released it out a window while smiling happily. Rather than an emotionless killing machine, he was actually a gentle child raised as a weapon and came to hate himself because he could only "take" from others]].
* [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast Millions Knives]], the BigBad of ''Manga/{{Trigun}}''. Anime him... kinda, but the psycho tendencies were there even before he flipped out and became a full-blown CreepyChild. Manga Knives... had [[GoMadFromTheRevelation something much better]] to flip out over, and before that, just ''listen'' to the kid.
--->'''[[KillAllHumans Knives]]:''' There's no difference between [[RousseauWasRight people's hearts]] and ours, so if we try, [[WideEyedIdealist I'm sure everyone can understand each other]].
** This attitude did not survive contact with ForScience! Look at your big sister's preserved vivisected corpse, and the records of how [[HumansAreBastards the only people you've ever known]] [[StrappedToAnOperatingTable experimented her to death]] before she was a year old! See the [[BodyHorror lovely metastasized cancers]] from all the scans!
** It's obvious Vash was a cute kid, [[spoiler:who briefly believed HumansAreBastards after finding out about his and Knives' sister, but snapped out of it thanks to Rem]], but flashbacks reveal Wolfwood was as well...[[YoungerThanTheyLook more recently than you might think]]. And Livio, despite already being [[SplitPersonality psychotic]] at the time, too.
** Manga Legato gets a dubious entry, because while there is ''nothing'' innocent about his flashback (he was a kept catamite who was discovered in a plan to kill everyone he'd ever known and was therefore being raped to death when Knives turned up and coincidentally sliced up everyone but him, because he subconsciously used his psychic powers in self-defense), it's practically impossible not to [[TearJerker get choked up]] at the look on his face when he realizes Knives is going to allow him to live and follow, and he admits he has no name.
* Rinne Berlinetta from ''Anime/VividStrike'' was originally a shy little orphan who was fortunate enough to be adopted by a kindly rich family and slowly started to break out of her shell (even growing especially close to her adoptive grandfather). Then she spent several months being bullied by some girls at school, culminating in them [[spoiler: destroying a precious family heirloom and beating her unconscious. Because of this, [[NeverGotToSayGoodbye she was unable to be there when her grandfather unexpectedly died]], [[NoHoldsBarredBeatdown and she beat the bullies half to death the next day]].]] By the present day, she is a cold martial artist who often leaves her opponents in tears and -in the words of her ChildhoodFriend Fuka- has "the look of somebody who despised the weak."
* In ''Anime/YuGiOh'', Seto Kaiba was once like this; just ask Mokuba. Their [[EvilMentor stepfather Gozaburo's]] harsh, strict, and at times cruel methods to mold him into a successor was the biggest factor towards him becoming an arrogant and selfish {{Jerkass}} with a win-at-all-costs attitude. In fact, when Seto finally lost in Battle City, the extent to which he had changed is what finally made Mokuba too disgusted with him to continue pandering to him.
* ''Anime/YuGiOhGX'''s Kaiser Ryo. As shown in a flashback, he ''used'' to be a sweet, idealistic kid. Somewhere along the line, he became the [[TheStoic stoic]], cold, AloofBigBrother of season 1. It's even more jarring after he [[FreakOut freaks out]] and becomes [[BloodKnight Hell]] [[BrokenAce Kaiser]].
* ''Manga/ZettaiKarenChildren'': Kyousuke Hyoubu is a WellIntentionedExtremist who uses terrorist methods and has a ScrewTheRulesIHaveSupernaturalPowers attitude, but as a child he used to be a kind-hearted and polite WideEyedIdealist who actually ''wanted'' to use his powers to help ordinary people.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Franchise/{{Batman}}. He's not evil, but he became dark and bitter after his parents were murdered.
* ComicBook/{{Huntress}}, Helena Bertinelli, started out as a sweet, adorable little girl who, granted, had been born into a mafia family, but had not a bad thought for anyone. Then, when she was eight years old, her family was murdered in front of her at dinner. Then the Gotham police sent her a "condolence" card that read "Many Happy Returns!" Then she was taken to Sicily to be raised by her cousins, who turned out to be mafia assassins. They raised her to believe that the mafia were good-guy Robin-Hood types, and to believe in omerta, and to avenge her family, and, to that end, they trained her as an assassin. Then they were arrested by the Italian government as part of a crackdown on organized crime, and she was sent to boarding school in Switzerland, where she learned the truth about the mob. After an upbringing like that, it's hardly a surprise that she became a borderline-sociopath vigilante killer.
* [[ComicBook/IllyanaRasputin Magik]] was Colossus' sweet kid sister. Then... stuff happened, and she is now the franchise's main DesignatedHero / VillainProtagonist / NominalHero / AntiHero, DependingOnTheWriter. Regardless of that, she's ''always'' her team's TokenEvilTeammate and a SociopathicHero
* ''ComicBook/{{Iznogoud}}'': Amazingly, Iznogoud. ''Iznogoud's Childhood'' reveals that he actually once was an adorable, good tempered, sweet kid who got along pretty well with Haround and Dilat.
* ComicBook/TheJoker, DependingOnTheWriter, and to the extent that he gets a childhood backstory at all (and which may or may not be true), and possibly Batman himself, when given a DarkerAndEdgier interpretation.
* Chris Genovese/Red Mist/The Motherfucker from ''Comicbook/KickAss.'' Volume 3 reveals that as a child, [[spoiler:he used to be a fan of ''Franchise/XMen'' to the point where he would dress up as Wolverine on a daily basis]].
* ''ComicBook/TheMightyThor'': Depending on a whole lot of things ''Loki'' might have been one of these after getting over the abusive blood relatives and before the adoptive ones and fate itself turned out to be jerks too and he stepped on his path of darkness. We can't really tell for certain because all stories of his childhood are plagued by {{unreliable narrator}}s. Generally if Thor or Loki himself tell about those times then he was a sweet kid, if anybody else then he was always evil apparently. But the theory got more believable when he was reborn as a child and turned out to be... a nice kid albeit also very rebellious and mischievous [[AllTheOtherReindeer with serious problems fitting in]].
* According to the ''ComicBook/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicIDW'' comics, King Sombra was one before his mother revealed his true nature to him and he was corrupted by the power she gave him, leading to him conquering the very ponies that he had lived most of his life around.
* Herr Starr, a BigBad [[note]]It's hard to pin down just ''one'' BigBad in ''ComicBook/{{Preacher}}''; candidates for the title include ''{{God}}''[[/note]] from ''ComicBook/{{Preacher}}'' was this, until a bully-induced trauma that cost him an eye, his hair, and a good chunk of his humanity, before he'd even hit puberty.
* There are a couple of Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse webstrips set between the original and prequel trilogy. They cameo [[ManipulativeBastard Ysanne Isard]], BigBad of the ComicBook/XWingSeries, as a little girl. She idolized her [[http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Armand_Isard father]], Director of Imperial Intelligence, back then, although her innocence was in doubt even then, since he brought her to see his work, which involved hunting down and killing Jedi. As she grew up she was groomed to be a field operative, and started cultivating connections, which worried her father to the point that he sent her on a suicide mission. She survived, came back, trumped up a treason charge, executed her father, and took his place.
* ''Franchise/{{Superman}}'':
** In certain versions, ComicBook/LexLuthor used to be a sweet, extremely intelligent kid - and in some cases, a friend of Clark or ComicBook/{{Superboy}}. What exactly happened [[DependingOnTheWriter depends on the writer]].
** ComicBook/{{Supergirl}} enemy Blackstarr used to be a cheerful, sweet little girl named Rachel Berkowitz... and then the Third Reich happened. She was forcefully taken from her parents and dumped in a concentration camp. [[ComicBook/Supergirl1982 Forty years later she's twisted and full of hatred and bitterness]].
* ''[[ComicBook/{{Thanos}} THANOS]]'', of all beings. In his youth, he had a loving father and many friends despite his strange appearance. He was also a FriendToAllLivingThings, and sickened when he was first made to dissect something. Then he learned that the cave creatures he had befriended killed and ate his Eternal friends, causing him to be blamed for it. There was also that little matter of the crush he had on a vicious friend ([[spoiler: Death]]) who manipulated him into doing things that lead him to become evil.
* The Creator/GarthEnnis penned tale "The Tyger" shows a snippet of the childhood of Frank Castle before the days ''Comicbook/ThePunisherMAX''. He's a quiet, thoughtful young man who does well at school and is quite close to a girl his age. Events of the one-shot however show that Frank was surrounded by the refuse left by mobsters from an early age, and it left its mark.
* Surprisingly, ''[[Comicbook/{{Venom}} THE VENOM SYMBIOTE]]'' is this. All it initially wanted was [[IJustWantToBeLoved to be bonded with Peter]]. Unfortunately, Peter's rejection and Eddie's hatred [[TeachHimAnger taught it anger]] and it hasn't really looked back since, though it has had it's anger purged so it's much more mellowed out.
* ComicBook/{{X 23}}: The entire plot of ''The Killing Dream'', the first arc of her solo series, revolves around [[spoiler:an apparition that ''may'' be the [[ComicBook/CaptainUniverse Enigma Force]]]] showing Laura that she wasn't born an emotionless killing machine, but that the Facility ''consciously destroyed her innocence''. That she is inherently a good person despite the evil she's done is critical in helping her throw off the demon attempting to recruit her to his service. ''ComicBook/InnocenceLost'' actually ''shows'' what was done to her, as well as small glimpses of the sweet and innocent child she was before the Facility tried to break her. Much of Laura's life after escaping the facility is spent trying to repair the damage that was done to her.
** Xander Rice is first introduced in ''Innocence Lost'' as a wide-eyed toddler whom Martin Sutter has to tell his father won't be coming home. He grows up with such deep-seated loathing of {{Wolverine}} as a result, that [[RevengeByProxy he takes it all out on Laura just because she's Logan's clone]]. And then he doesn't so much [[JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope jump off the slippery slope]] as he does take it with a rocket-powered toboggan and keep going.
** In subsequent books, even ''Kimura'', of all people, is revealed to have been the product of an abusive upbringing and didn't used to be the AxCrazy psychopath Laura was introduced to by the Facility.
* ComicBook/{{Magneto}} from ''ComicBook/XMen''. Had the Holocaust not happened...
* ComicBook/{{Wolverine}} was once a gentle, sickly little boy named James who wanted only to play with his friends Dog and Rose and his puppy. This ended the day that Dog propositioned Rose, causing James to report him to his father. This set off a chain of events that led to Dog and his father storming James' home and slaughtering his family, which in turn caused his mutant powers to manifest themselves. Everything has been downhill for him ever since.
* ''ComicBook/TheTransformersMoreThanMeetsTheEye'':
** It's revealed that ''Megatron'' was originally someone who wrote poetry and abhorred violence. That all changed the day he was caught in a bar brawl and got incarcerated, then was badly beaten by Whirl, causing him to embrace violence as a means of changing the system and leading to the entire Cybertonian Civil War.
** Whirl himself was originally a watchmaker until he was captured by the Senate, who had tried to recruit him based on his combat abilities. They tortured him by subjecting him to Empurata, a form of punishment that ''removed his entire face'' to be replaced with [[CyberCyclops an expressionless single mechanical eye]] and replaced his hands with pincers so he could never perform the delicate task of watchmaking again. This lead to him becoming the HeroicComedicSociopath he is in the present time.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* ''[[Fanfic/JusticeLeagueOfEquestria Mare of Steel]]''; Princess Celestia mentions that [[PrinceCharmless Prince Blueblood]] used to be much more respectful when he was younger. [[spoiler: This is a plot point, as it turns out that [[BigBad General Zod]] replaced Blueblood several years prior to the story's beginning]].
* The whole point of ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/2775417/1/Of-Ramen-and-Wooden-Skates Of Ramen and Wooden Skates]]'' is showing Orochimaru from the perspective of someone outside his team who knew him before his StartOfDarkness.
* Unsurprisingly, Frieza's [[StartOfDarkness backstory]] in ''FanFic/SaviorOfDemons'' shows that he was, as a child, not the psychotic killer he is at present. However, [[ZigZaggedTrope there are a few hints]] that he was [[AmbiguousInnocence manipulative and self-interested,]] as when he lied to his father about going with Kooler to see the Saiyans. He was not an EnfanteTerrible from the very start, though.
* In ''Fanfic/TheSwarmOfWar'', Alena (the new Queen of Blades) was taken into the Swarm when she was ''five''.
* As flashbacks in the ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' fanfic ''FanFic/TheTwilightChild'' show, the main character was an almost painfully [[CheerfulChild cheerful foal]], a far cry from the emotionally broken teenager she's become when we first see her.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/JackieChanAdventures''/''WesternAnimation/{{WITCH}}'' crossover fic ''Fanfic/{{Kage}}'', Miranda is a distrustful and jerkish shapeshifter teenager who hates Elyon and Phobos vehemently, and who's main concern is her own survival. However, it's revealed that when she was five years old and more innocent, her parents were burned [[ForcedToWatch right in front of her]] by [[KnightTemplar Kur]] after she [[YouSaidYouWouldLetThemGo tried in vain to save them by revealing herself]]. Afterwards she was recruited by Phobos, becoming cynical about trust and embittered at those she regards responsible for her parents' death, including Elyon.
* ''FanFic/YinAndYangSeries'': Nikolai Kezanstav. He met and befriended an alien while young, but as he grew up, be began to desire his best friend's technology more and more. He eventually ends up enslaving the alien with mind control.
* ''FanFic/HarmonyTheory'' has Charisma, TheDreaded BloodKnight and TheDragon to one of the stories {{big bad}}s, who is revealed to originally have been a sweet filly who liked to dance around and had a loving family, until her "talent glyph" appeared and basically marked her as a natural born killer and drove her to [[spoiler: murder her own brother]], leading to her being disowned by her family and leading her down the path she chose.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* The titular character of ''Disney/{{Bolt}}'' is a dog who has been raised since puppyhood to believe the ShowWithinAShow he works on is real life. Unfortunately, the EnforcedMethodActing has caused Bolt to become overly serious and paranoid. He won't even play with his favorite toys anymore because he believes he has to on guard and protect his owner Penny 24/7.
* ''WesternAnimation/EightCrazyNights'': Davey was a teen basketball star and liked by practically everyone. Upon learning that [[spoiler:his parents died in a car accident on the way to one of his games]], he grew up to be an alcoholic jerk.
* ''Disney/{{Frozen}}'':
** [[AnIcePerson Elsa]] used to be a happy child, in addition to being a CoolBigSis to [[CheerfulChild Anna]]. Then, after an incident where she accidentally hit Anna in the forehead with her ice magic while trying to save her from falling, she was told to hide her powers from the world, especially from Anna (whose memory was [[LaserGuidedAmnesia altered by the trolls to erase her knowledge of Elsa's powers]]). Afterwards, Elsa avoided any interaction with Anna, becoming more of an [[AloofBigBrother Aloof Big Sister]], remaining mostly in her room while brooding over her powers. By present day, she had become [[EmotionlessGirl emotionally distant]] from everyone. [[spoiler:However, she refrains from crossing the MoralEventHorizon, and even returns to being a good sister to Anna by the film's end.]]
** The tie-in novel, ''Literature/AFrozenHeart'' revealed [[spoiler:Prince Hans used to be the NiceGuy he pretended to be. However, his father, [[GreaterScopeVillain the king of the Southern Isles]], despised having a son show any soft side, and to counter this he had all of his older and more violent sons bully Hans in numerous ways. His fear of returning home and [[WellDoneSonGuy an obsession with getting his father to finally respect him]] brought out the worst in him]].
* ''WesternAnimation/TheIncredibles'': As an adolescent, Syndrome aka Buddy Pine was an adoring fan of Mr. Incredible until he was seemingly brushed away by his idol.
* Tai Lung of ''WesternAnimation/KungFuPanda'' was such a cute kid in the flashback sequences that [[DracoInLeatherPants he got a lot more sympathy from audiences]] [[EnsembleDarkhorse than the filmmakers expected.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/MonstersUniversity'': Randall Boggs and Mike were friends in college. Randall himself was a very introverted {{Adorkable}} nerd who got encouragement from Mike and frequently helped Mike study, even letting him have first pick of the beds in their dorm. When Mike gets into a conflict with Sulley, then a JerkJock, Randall plays the rational friend and tells him to let it go. As the film goes on, Randall goes to the popular kids, and slowly loses his nice demeanor, blowing off Mike, who needed his help, and later helping to humiliate Mike's fraternity. By the end of the film Randall let rivalry, and implicitly ambition, get in his way [[spoiler:and when Sulley accidentally ruined his chance of victory at the Scare games, swears to never be beaten by him again.]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/ToyStory3'', Chuckles said of a young Lotso "He used to be such a good toy." That is, until their owner Daisy accidentally forgot about them while on a picnic. After a grueling journey, Lotso returns with Chuckles and Big Baby to see Daisy with another Lotso-Hugging Bear and becomes cold and bitter, convincing the others that Daisy never loved them.
* ''Disney/{{Zootopia}}'':
** Played straight with Nick Wilde, who was an earnest and idealistic kid hoping to fit in no matter what, until [[spoiler: the local Junior Ranger Scout troop he was eager to join [[FantasticRacism attacked and muzzled him simply for being a fox]].]] The traumatic experience convinced him to [[SafetyInIndifference never show anybody that they get to him]] and to [[ThenLetMeBeEvil embrace the stereotype]] of foxes as [[CunningLikeAFox shifty and untrustworthy]].
** Inverted with Gideon Grey, a vicious fox childhood bully who had [[WouldHitAGirl no qualms about beating up Judy Hopps and clawing her left cheek]] during the AMinorKidroduction. Later, [[spoiler: during Judy's TenMinuteRetirement in the third act]], she discovers that her parents have formed a partnership with Gideon Grey, who thanks to fifteen years of CharacterDevelopment is now [[ReformedBully a much kinder mammal]] and a [[SupremeChef extremely successful pastry chef]]. In fact, the first thing he does upon meeting Judy for the first time in years is to apologize for how he treated her in his youth.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Chaz, from ''Film/{{Airheads}}'', used to be called 'Chester' and play D&D.
* Red Skull from the infamous ''Film/CaptainAmerica1990'' movie. Before the SuperSoldier experiment -- nice kid playing on piano. After the experiment -- [[ThoseWackyNazis crazy nazi]] with SuperStrength who wants to [[TakeOverTheWorld rule the world]]. How much this applies in this case is debatable. The experiment used on him is supposed to magnify the subject's personality, which would indicate that he was already evil, he just had it dialed UpToEleven.
* The titular Kane from ''Film/CitizenKane''.
* Franchise/{{Godzilla}} Junior is a subversion. On the one hand, he did [[Film/GodzillaVsMechagodzillaII start out as a bubbly, friendly]] and docile baby mutated Godzillasaurus. On the other hand, while he's not downright malevolent as a teenager, he is still a Godzilla and will [[BerserkButton utterly thrash you if you dare harm humanity]]. ([[spoiler:Too bad that didn't work too well [[Film/GodzillaVsDestoroyah against Destoroyah]].]]) ''Film/GodzillaFinalWars'' even originally was going to show (and the final cut even heavily implies) that incarnation of Godzilla ''is'' Junior. While still not a villain, this incarnation is definitely playing at GoodIsNotSoft at absolute best.
* The live-action movie of ''Film/HowTheGrinchStoleChristmas'' does this to [[AlternateCharacterInterpretation the Grinch]], complete with a FreudianExcuse.
* ''Film/{{Maleficent}}'' does this for both the title character and King Stefan, [[spoiler: the latter of whom is the BigBad.]] Yes, the self-proclaimed "[[CardCarryingVillain Mistress of All Evil]]" was once a friendly, loving girl, who was in love with a human - but their love was destroyed by political feuds between their kingdoms. [[spoiler: In the end, Maleficent does a HeelFaceTurn.]]
* Subverted, or possibly entirely inverted, with Eddie from ''Film/TheRockyHorrorPictureShow'', if we are to believe his dodgy scientist uncle, Dr. [[TheVonTropeFamily von]] [[ThoseWackyNazis Scott]]: "From the day he vas born, he vas trouble/he vas the thorn/in his Mutter's side".
* Dark Alessa in ''{{Film/Silent Hill}}'' is [[spoiler:the dark side of a child who she states was a "a good little girl" prior to being burned by a cult and turning her psychic vengeance onto the people of the town]].
* ''Franchise/StarWars'': Anakin Skywalker. Innocent bright eyed mother's boy who builds robot buddies turned into well... Darth Vader.
** Shown mostly in the novelization, but Boba Fett turned from a sweet kid who idolized his father into a bounty hunter who had to be reminded to curb his penchant for disintegrations.
* Judging from the flashback, Loki from ''Film/{{Thor}}'' had a good relationship with Thor and his father and had a penchant for mischief before the jealousy settled in. Loki was much the same in original Norse Mythology, sans the jealousy issues. Thor and Loki were frequently involved in mischievious pranks, and nobody thought too much of Loki's shenanigans until one of them got Baldr, the incredibly popular god of beauty, killed.
* Erik in ''Film/XMenFirstClass'' until, well, the Holocaust and the death of his mother. And Raven, who is still rather innocent for the majority of the film and is absolutely horrified when she sees [[spoiler:Charles get shot]], yet that doesn't stop her from [[spoiler: going over to the dark side]].
* ''Film/BeautyAndTheBeast2017'' gives this backstory to the Beast. Belle learns from Mrs. Potts that the Prince was a sweet, innocent little boy until his mother died, leaving him in the hands of his cruel father, who shaped him into the selfish, arrogant {{Prince Charmless}} whom the Enchantress eventually cursed.
* ''Film/TragedyGirls'' completely averts it with our two {{Villain Protagonist}}s. Despite having loving parents and stable, happy upbringings, they've ''always'' been psychopaths.

* From ''[[Literature/AuntDimity Aunt Dimity Down Under]]'': The expat Americans Angelo and Renee Velesuonno knew BrokenBird Bree Pym since she was ten years old, and Angelo [[LampshadeHanging hangs this lampshade]] when they meet Lori and Cameron for dinner in Ohakune, New Zealand. His description of Bree: "Nice kid, good manners and sharp as a tack." The Velesuonnos go on to say they were shocked at the recent changes in her appearance, particularly the choppy haircut.
* In Jonathan Carroll's novel ''Bones of the Moon'', the main character's husband comments that the boy who lived in the apartment above them, dubbed "The Axe Boy", was always such a good boy before he was arrested for chopping up his mother and sister.
--> "He seemed like a good kid, didn't he Cullen? 'Axe Boy'? Jesus, what a thing to call someone!"
--> "Danny, our young friend 'Axe Boy' Alvin Willians chopped his mother and sister into pieces exactly one floor above our apartment. A good boy he is not."
* Carrie White, from ''Literature/{{Carrie}}'' is described this way in an [[ScrapbookStory interview]] with a woman who met her during their childhood. She specifically points out the dramatic difference between the girl she knew and the tortured soul who appeared on the cover of a news magazine [[spoiler: after massacring several teenagers and turning a city into a ghost town]] and wonders what Carrie's mother could have done to her to mess her up so badly.
* In Creator/JohnCWright's ''[[Literature/ChroniclesOfChaos Titans of Chaos]]'', Amelia thinks that the maenad she is working out how to shoot was once a sweet little baby. She braces herself by defying AMillionIsAStatistic.
* The long-awaited giant children in ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfThomasCovenant'' are this, until [[spoiler:they get possessed and AxCrazy]].
** Also, from the new chronicles, Roger Covenant. Probably.
* The general response to Sefalet with regards to her left-hand mouth in ''Literature/DirgeForPresterJohn''.
* Lorelei of [[http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Literature/Eludoran Eludoran]] before her StartOfDarkness. Pendarynn and Sheriden also qualify.
* The Indian Prince's boy from Creator/RaymondEFeist's ''Literature/FaerieTale'', who we are told was once a nice boy.
* Franchise/HarryPotter:
** Subverted in two ways with Sirius Black: he's [[spoiler:been a pretty nice guy all along and he was also an immature, arrogant, bullying rebel as a teenager, averting the cliche that all good people are flawless angels as children.]]
** [[spoiler:Snape seemed to have been about as good as a kid raised in an abusive and poor household could be expected. And while he eventually did a HeelFaceTurn to Dumbledore in his twenties, there was a period of time when he served Voldemort and remained bitter enough that many people believed he still was evil into his thirties.]]
** And Peter Pettigrew must have been at least a good and moral person, for the Marauders to both be friends with him and to trust him with their lives as adults.
** Quirinus Quirrell was apparently a very gifted wizard who, like any true Ravenclaw, loved to learn and study. However, years of abject bullying by his peers drove him to try and become a great wizard to show them all and be remembered. [[spoiler:However, before he could do so, he happened to meet Voldemort on a trip to Albania...]]
** Averted with Voldemort. Tom Riddle was rotten to the core even as a small child.
* The protagonist of Vernon Scannel's poem [[http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/incendiary/ "Incendiary"]]
* Francis Dolarhyde, aka the Tooth Fairy, from [[SilenceOfTheLambs ''Red Dragon'']]. Played for one of the more selective instances of CryForTheDevil in the first film version, ''Film/{{Manhunter}}'':
-->'''Jack Crawford''': You feel sorry for him.\\
'''Will Graham:''' As a child, my heart bleeds for him. Someone took a little boy and turned him into a monster. But as an adult... as an adult, he's irredeemable. He butchers whole families to fulfill some sick fantasy. As an adult, I think someone should blow the sick fuck out of his socks.
* In ''Literature/MoreThanThis'', Regine the [[ScaryBlackMan Scary Black Girl]] tells Seth she used to be a nice person, before her mother married an abusive man.
* The short story [[Literature/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians "The Diary of Luke Castellan"]] shows this off with the titular Luke, a villain-turned-hero who used to be a very sweet kid. Or, as in this chapter of history, a sweet teenager. He's brave, protective, caring towards his little adopted family, to the point that he [[NotSoDifferent closely resembles the later hero of the series, Percy]].
* In ''Literature/{{Radiance}}, Severin didn't grow up to be evil, but she was estranged from her father, tough as nails, and not particularly affectionate towards anyone who isn't her boyfriend. Her father's personal video reels show that when she was a child, she was an adorable DaddysGirl who loved to play and run around her father's sets.
* In Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'', the Stark Kids, before they were all {{br|eakTheCutie}}oken and put on their JadeColoredGlasses. An example that is easily missed are Catelyn Stark's memories of [[MagnificentBastard Petyr Baelish]] as a mischievous, bold and sweet-natured little boy, who believed in all the songs and started out as idealistic as [[WideEyedIdealist Sansa]].
* The Children of Chrysalis in ''Literature/StarTrekTheEugenicsWars'' started as cute, precocious, intelligent and good natured kids. Then in the real world they grew up as despots, warlords or just plain insane.
* The Mord-Sith from Literature/TheSwordOfTruth series. Every year, six of the kindest, sweetest girls in the entire country are chosen to be trained as {{Torture Technician}}s. The kinder they are, the better.
* In ''Literature/{{Torn}}'' by Cat Clarke, it's revealed that [[AssholeVictim Tara]] used to be an extremely sweet, kind young girl [[FreudianExcuse until]] [[spoiler:when they were younger, Alice, then Tara's best friend, grew irritated with how she and Tara were the least popular girls in school and purposefully started to avoid her in an attempt to join in more with other kids. Of course, it backfired horribly.]]
* ''Literature/WarriorCats'': Tigerstar, big bad of the entire series, is seen in the prequel ''Bluestar's Prophecy'' as a sweet, innocent, adorable kit who loves his mother and grows into a well-meaning but aggressive apprentice thanks to his AxCrazy mentor. Same with [[PsychoForHire Scourge]], who in his backstory was an inquisitive, cute little kitten who had bad things happen to him, turning him into a crazy killer.
** Same for Brokenstar/kit; "Look! I'm a tree!"
** Also for Hawkfrost, shown in the Tigerstar and Sasha arc as a cute kit who loves his littermates, [[spoiler: and is broken-hearted when his brother Tadpole drowns]].
** [[BloodKnight Thistleclaw]] even qualifies, once promising his nursery denmates "I'll make sure the wind doesn't blow you away."
* Kevin from ''Literature/WeNeedToTalkAboutKevin'' was a full-on aversion of this trope from birth - or so his UnreliableNarrator mother claims.
* Thomas Cromwell in ''Literature/WolfHall'' is portrayed as being open and friendly in childhood, a stark contrast to the increasingly guarded man who ultimately presides over the KangarooCourt that executes Anne Boleyn and her five supposed lovers.
* Nikita of ''Literature/TheGirlFromTheMiraclesDistrict'' has several {{Happy Flashback}}s that show her as a cheerful, if... unusually-raised[[note]]Her mother is an assassin who's been training her since Nikita could walk[[/note]] child before her her father kidnapped and tortured her, turning her into an aloof, emotionless woman of the present day.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/{{Arrow}}'': Through Malcom Merlyn's flashbacks, we see that his son Tommy used to be a relatively innocent child who idolized his father before they began to drift apart, resulting in Tommy becoming a [[ReallyGetsAround notorious womanizer]] [[WellDoneSonGuy who began to resent his father]].
* ''Series/BeverlyHills90210'' character Valerie Malone, revealed during [[spoiler:the civil rape suit she files against Noah]] by Steve.
* The Salamanca twins from ''Series/BreakingBad'' were seen in a flashback to be normal, energetic kids who cared for each other. They grew up to be emotionless killing machines for the cartel.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'': When transformed back into a teenager ("Band Candy"), Principal Snyder was shown to be a relatively friendly dork and seemingly looked up to the Scoobies. He even liked Oz's Cool Hair!
* Notably averted on ''Series/{{Dexter}}''. Dexter is shown to have [[KickTheDog killed his neighbour's dog because it barked too loud]] as a child, and even at that time Harry seemed aware that Dexter was a psychopath.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'': The Master was apparently a sweet kid until he looked into the Vortex at age 8, and heard the drums. Then he slowly went batshit insane.
** Invoked by name in "The Rebel Flesh"/"The Almost People", except with reference to the sweet kid's artificial duplicate.
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'':
** According to Cersei in "Mhysa", Joffrey ''was'' a very happy baby when he was around her and showed no signs of his later sociopathic behavior until much later... but either she's leaving out the part in the books where he cut open a pregnant cat as a child or the incident was AdaptedOut.
** All audiences get to see is his worst side, but it's implied that Viserys had been a reasonably nice guy at one point before the hardship of his own and his sister's life broke him. In the books, Daenerys specifically points at the moment that Viserys was forced to part with their dead mother's crown for money to survive as the point where Viserys started to snap. This is in parallel to their father, who is known as the "Mad King" but was also reasonably sane as a younger man, up until an incident where he was betrayed and held hostage by one of his own vassals and locked in a tower for half a year.
* ''Series/HarryEnfieldAndChums''[='=]s Kevin was a well-behaved, if hyperactive, boy until he turned thirteen, at which point his hormones kicked in and turned him into the teenage horror we all know and love.
* ''Franchise/KamenRider'':
** In ''Series/KamenRiderDouble'''s [[TheMovie movie]], [[spoiler:BigBad Katsumi Daido[=/=]Kamen Rider Eternal is described this way by his mother. He's an unusual case since he ''died'' and was brought back to life by Mom's research, which may have had some effect. However, as the ''Eternal Returns'' {{prequel}} movie shows, the complete flip to evil happened when he and his fellow undead mercenaries tried to save Foundation X's psychic test subjects and failed after the HopeSpot.]]
** In ''Series/KamenRiderWizard'', the MonstersOfTheWeek, Phantoms, start off as "inner demons" which kill their hosts if they cross the DespairEventHorizon and take on their human form as a disguise. They're actually entirely different beings from their hosts, but to those not in on TheMasquerade, this trope seems to be in full effect. In particular, one episode had [[TheHero Haruto]] dealing with a young woman who doesn't understand her college friend's bizarre shift in attitude, and Haruto chooses to tell her that the friend went oversees to study film making rather than crush her with the painful truth. The biggest exception to this is [[spoiler:Gremlin, who was a SerialKiller ''before'' becoming a Phantom, and ends up becoming one of the most monstrous ''Kamen Rider'' enemies in a long time.]]
* ''Series/LawAndOrderSVU'' episode "Swing", Elliot Stabler's interaction with his mother highly suggests that he was a sweet kid with a dream to become an architect. His mother even suggested that he's [[TurnOutLikeHisFather turned out like his father]].
* [[MagnificentBastard Ben Linus]] from ''Series/{{Lost}}'' gets a story arc showing him as an innocent kid who was abused by his father. Also includes the MoralEventHorizon. Although Ben was sorta {{creepy|Child}} even as a kid.
-->'''Sawyer:''' (''to Sayid'') How are you doing?\\
'''Sayid:''' A twelve year-old Benjamin Linus just brought me a chicken salad sandwich. How do you think I'm doing?\\
'''Sawyer:''' Sweet kid, huh?
* ''Series/OnceUponATime'' Both Rumplestiltskin and Regina. Rumplestiltskin was a coward, but loved his son deeply. His efforts to protect his son were what turned him into a monster.
** It's taken even further with Regina. She was a genuinely good person who loved a stable boy. Her first interaction with Snow White is actually ''saving'' her, and she is later the one to tell her that "true love is the most powerful magic of all''. Then her mother murders that man she loves, an attempt to bring him back fails ([[spoiler:other characters deliberately sabotaged it to drive her over the edge]]), and decides revenge is all she has left.
*** It's turned back on Regina with Greg Mendell/Owen Flynn - being confronted with the fact that it's entirely due to her actions that he turned from a sweet and happy child into a magic-hating torturer drives her to an attempt at RedemptionEqualsDeath to stop his plan.
** Inverted with Queen Eva, Snow's mother. She used to be a spoiled brat who spitefully tripped Cora. But by the time she married and had Snow, she became a much kinder person and quick to lecture Snow's own bratty behaviour.
** Killian Jones was a good-hearted man who loved his brother and was a lieutenant of the navy, and even criticized a fellow soldier for sneaking alcohol into the ship. It was his ill-fated trip to Neverland, which led to his brother getting killed by poison, and his guilt and anger at the king who sent them there to retrieve the poison to use as a weapon, that drove Killian to being a selfish, hedonistic pirate who would later be known as Captain Hook.
* In ''Series/{{Popular}}'' Emory Dick notes his twin sisters Emily and Emma used to be nice, but after puberty they became burgeoning {{Alpha Bitch}}es. They show up in the episode wearing [[AgeInappropriateDress tight tops and skirts really short for their age]], and ask Nichole and Mary Cherry to train them on how to be the top girls in the junior high. They later even turn on Nicky and Mary, wearing dresses and [[PrettyInMink furs]] at a party [[DressesTheSame the same as what Nichole and Mary are wearing]].
* ''Series/{{Smallville}}'': [[CorruptCorporateExecutive Lex Luthor]] doesn't really count as in his case it's a FaceHeelTurn that happens during the show, but [[LongLostRelative his younger half-sister]] [[TheBaroness Tess Mercer]] does. Just compare the woman from the flashbacks in "Toxic" to the cold BrokenAce in the present day timeline.
* Debbie Pelt from ''Series/TrueBlood''. It's almost painful to watch a flashback that includes the sweet, well-intentioned girl you know will become a V-addicted nutcase.

* PlayedForLaughs in ''Joe's Garage'' by Music/FrankZappa. Joe's neighbors viewed him as this ("He used to cut my grass, he was a very nice boy."), until he discovered rock 'n roll.
* The song "Junge" by German band ''Music/DieArzte'':
-->And you were such a sweet child
* Used in Music/{{Lordi}}'s "The Kids Who Want To Play With The Dead", which is a blasting of the [[OldMediaAreEvil the old media's]] hatred of [[NewMediaAreEvil the new media]] and love of blaming them ("The must have been some dangerous toys, and the music sings of murderous ploys...")
* Music/AliceCooper, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSvnn4ky4d8 "No More Mr. Nice Guy"]]. First person, too.
** "I used to be such a sweet sweet thing till they got a hold of me..."
*** Although he's a pretty nice guy as an adult. The song's arguably about the way the media painted his character based on his stage appearance.
* Averted in [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvQxe_C3__A "Only a Lad"]] by Music/OingoBoingo.
* Music/TheDecemberists' song The Shankill Butchers:
-->They used to be just like me and you,
-->They used to be sweet little boys
-->But something went horribly askew
-->Now killing is their only source of joy
* The sweetest Girl by Nicki Minaj. "She used to be...(Yeah, she used to be the sweetest girl!) When a good girl gone she gone forever."
* Morrissey, "Used to be a Sweet Boy" and "The World is Full of Crashing Bores."

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* Even fans who watched Wrestling/{{N|ationalWrestlingAlliance}}WA Wildside had to look twice before they realized the obnoxious braggart out to retire Wrestling/BookerT, Luke Hawx, was once the sweet Altar Boy who hung out with Seth Delay, Wrestling/MattSydal and Wrestling/AJStyles. Hawx doesn't like them anymore either.
* The Norfolk Dolls of the FWA/WWA Academies started wrestling in their early teens and were [[KidAppealCharacter instant hits]] with the little girls in attendance. Melody would increasingly pattern herself after her manager, Sam Knee, going by such names as "Melody Knee" and "Sammi Baynze", also becoming quite TheBully in to wrestlers she was once like.[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/YuGiOh'''s monsters tend to have their own stories. In the case of the charmer monsters, Eria is hinted to grow up into Gishiki Ariel. It is unknown whether or not this was of her own free will or if she was brainwashed like other Gishiki monsters. However she went from sweet little girl into ruthless warlord.
** Her friend Gagagigo started his carrier as the little and cute Gigobyte and fights along with Eria. As the grown-up Gagagigo he eventuelly left her and someday he fought Freed the Brave Wanderer, ended up being trapped in another dimension. He met Marauding Captain and fought against Inpachi, who later appeared again as Blazing Inpachi; the Marauding Captain took the bullet, which inspired Gagagigo to do the same for one of the Captain's men during the war against Invader of Darkness. Later, in hope to defeat Invader of Darkness, he asked the MadScientist Kozaky to make him stronger who rebuild his body to the corrupted Giga Gagagigo. When he fought against Freed the Brave Wanderer again in his native dimension, he got an own attack reflected and lost. Obsessed to continue gaining strength to defeat his rivals, he continued his rampage and eventuelly transformed into Gogiga Gagagigo and truly lost his soul.
*** The following story (which is "written" ''many'' years after his transformation) inverts his dark development as he fought Freed the Brave Wanderer again, finally overpowering him, but Marauding Captain appeared and protected him, before Gogiga Gagagigo gave him the finishing blow. Instead of following his corrupted instincts, Gogigo Gagagigo understands Marauding Captain's actions, and forsakes his quest for power. Thus, he finally becomes the strong warrior of justice he once sought out to be, Gagagigo the Risen.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/BatenKaitos'', Geldoblame, the [[ZeroPercentApprovalRating reviled leader]] of the EvilEmpire, is shown in the prequel ''Origins'' as the assistant of the local ReasonableAuthorityFigure, and helps the heroes out on a number of occasions. Near the end, we see what caused his StartOfDarkness, and it ain't pretty: [[spoiler:said ReasonableAuthorityFigure turns out to be only acting as such, and informs Geldoblame that YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness. He doesn't take it well.]]
* An almost heroic example in ''VideoGame/{{Borderlands}}''. During the intro, you can see a rather brawny but cheerful child playing around with his puppy. Would you believe that child grows up the be the surly, hulking BloodKnight berserker mercenary known as Brick? [[spoiler: Or that the reason for this change is a RoaringRampageOfRevenge at the death of that puppy?]]
* Ayane of ''VideoGame/DeadOrAlive'', according to Dimensions, used to cheerfully play with her sister Kasumi all the time, before circumstances related to Kasumi being favored, then leaving the village to get revenge for her brother caused her to become embittered and hostile toward her.
* The ''VideoGame/DeptHeaven'' series spends ''[[VideoGame/BlazeUnion a game]]'' showing us firsthand what a sweet person Gulcasa, the HeroAntagonist of ''VideoGame/YggdraUnion'', used to be before [[TraumaCongaLine his life caved in on him]] [[DiabolusExMachina just when it had started to go right]]. Granted, side materials and ''VideoGame/YggdraUnison'', the GaidenGame where he's one of the main characters, go to show that he's ''still'' an incredibly nice guy off the battlefield, but given that the SympatheticPOV is kept away from him for most of the main game, you'd never know it.
* Konnan of ''VideoGame/DragonFable'', who used to be Yulgar's apprentice and used to look up to heroes. [[HopelessBossFight Then]] [[FailureToSaveMurder Akriloth]] [[StartOfDarkness happened]].
* Inverted in ''VideoGame/DragonQuestV''; Harry is a vile, abusive spoiled brat as a boy, but years of hardship and suffering turn him into a kind, honorable and selfless young man.
* Played straight with Terry in ''VideoGame/DragonQuestMonsters'' and ''VideoGame/DragonQuestVI''. Life between the two was rather harsh between the two games (highlights include an evil king forcing his beloved sister into prostitution), turning him from an adorable heroic figure into a darker antihero.
* Porky Minch of ''VideoGame/EarthBound'' may not have ever been a "sweet kid" by any stretch of the imagination, but he was certainly a normal one. Throughout the course of the story, events slowly dragged him in and corrupted him, to the point where he became TheDragon to [[BigBad Giy]][[EldritchAbomination gas]], and may actually have been pulling [[WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity Giygas's]] strings by that point. When that fell through, he disappeared into time, [[VideoGame/MOTHER3 later resurfacing]] to invade and corrupt the Nowhere Islands, dismember and reassemble its wildlife, and slowly suck the soul out of Tazmily Village until everyone left for [[{{Egopolis}} his city]]. All of this was done ''[[ForTheEvulz out of sheer boredom]]'' and shows absolutely no remorse for anything, believing himself to be victimized and in the right.
** In the end, it's shown that Giygas and/or the Mani Mani Statue were playing on his desire to be liked, when he states one of his main motivations for destroying the world to be so that "...everyone who won't like me is gone."
* Back in ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'', Arthur Maxson was an {{Adorkable}} young boy who very clearly had a crush on his ActionGirl mentor, Sarah Lyons. By the events of ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 4}}'', Arthur is the Elder of the Eastern Brotherhood and has strayed far from the humanitarian policies Owyn and Sarah instilled into the Brotherhood while they were in charge - Arthur wants to destroy all feral Ghouls, Super Mutants, Synths and the Institute with extreme prejudice, and enforce the Brotherhood's control over the Commonwealth through military might.
** {{Inverted|Trope}} by [=MacCready=]. In ''3'', he was the infamously [[{{Jerkass}} mean and foul-mouthed brat]] who was in charge of Little Lamplight. By ''4'', [=MacCready=] has become a [[MrViceGuy deeply flawed but likeable]] young man who's [[GoshDangItToHeck cut down on the swearing]], deeply regrets being such a {{Jerkass}} in the past, and even [[spoiler:got married and had a kid, though that ended tragically.]]
** Shawn, if [[spoiler:his Synth replacement]] is anything to go off of, was a clever and intelligent boy who liked to work with his hands and invent things. [[spoiler:Sixty years later and he's the head of [[BigBad the Institute]] and will willingly trade in morality ForScience He shows courtesy to you, [[LukeYouAreMyFather his father/mother]], not out of any lost love for you but because he thinks that it's what a child should do for their parent.]]
* ''Franchise/FireEmblem'':
** Prince Julius from ''VideoGame/FireEmblemGenealogyOfTheHolyWar'', is hinted to have been a nice, perfectly normal IllBoy in a ChildhoodFriendRomance with Princess Ishtar, instead of TheAntiChrist [[TheHeavy Manfroy]] was hoping for. So, to resolve that, Manfroy gave him [[DemonicPossession the Loptyr tome]]... In fact, [[spoiler: if his sister Julia attacks him during the last battle, Julia lampshades the trope via a heartbreaking speech where she tells Julius that she remembers his former kindness, and angrily screams at Loptyr for changing him.]]
** King Zephiel, of ''VideoGame/FireEmblemTheBindingBlade'', was a WellIntentionedExtremist whose [[FreudianExcuse dealings with his father]] had destroyed his faith in humanity. In the prequel, ''VideoGame/FireEmblemTheBlazingBlade'', he's TheWisePrince who just wants [[WellDoneSonGuy his father's love]]. This is well-shown in his two ''Fire Emblem Cipher'' cards: [[https://vignette2.wikia.nocookie.net/fireemblem/images/3/37/B09-074N.png/revision/latest?cb=20170615022843 the first one]] has a young Zephiel happily playing with his younger sister, [[https://vignette2.wikia.nocookie.net/fireemblem/images/7/79/B09-073SR.png/revision/latest?cb=20170615022826 the second one]] has his older and embittered self attacking his enemies.
* ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoV'' has Tonya, a girl that Franklin grew up with in their childhood and had feelings for. When Tonya got older, she started abusing drugs and got a boyfriend that can't even show up for work and is under constant threat of losing his home because of how much crack he abuses. Franklin is completely turned off by her and even outright says that she used to be a sweet girl before she started doing drugs. Tonya implies she's going to quit using drugs, but it never takes and Franklin stops believing her.
* ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsBirthBySleep'' includes glimpses into the lives of several Organization members before they became [[TheSoulless Nobodies]]. Ienzo was a cute ChildProdigy who followed his elders around in an oversized labcoat, and Lea and Isa were best friends with them having the dynamic of a {{Keet}} and {{Kuudere}} flavored RedOniBlueOni. Isa is probably the worst, given how Saix is one of the most cruel Organization members.
** ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts3DDreamDropDistance'' has Lea and Ienzo regain a little of their childhood sweetness upon the return of their hearts... Isa however? The game reveals that [[spoiler:Isa / Saix has been slowly turning into another Xehanort vessel, which makes it unclear how much control he's had of his own actions.]]
* Cyrus of ''VideoGame/PokemonDiamondAndPearl'', according to an elderly couple in his hometown of Sunyshore City. Even they, however, had to admit that even from the beginning he was a [[GadgeteerGenius little]] [[{{Hikikomori}} bit]] [[MadScientist funny]]...
* The trope is almost said word-for-word by one of the characters in ''VideoGame/SoulNomadAndTheWorldEaters''[='s=] NewGamePlus, [[spoiler:[[VillainProtagonist right before you stab her]]]].
* ''Utterly'' [[InvertedTrope inverted]] by [[VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss Jade Curtiss]], who, [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold when you get to know him]], is actually a pretty nice guy. [[EnfanteTerrible Then we learn about him as a child]]...
** Alternatively, PlayedStraight by [[spoiler: [[BigBad Van Grants]], as Guy Cecil mentions remembering Van serving him on Hod and how he was like a big brother to him.]]
** Asch the Bloody also plays it straight as [[spoiler: when he was Luke fon Fabre he was definitely TheWisePrince and genuinely kind. But his experiences under Van and being replaced by a replica have left him a bitter, angry mess.]]
* Here's a fun one for you. In ''VideoGame/KingdomOfLoathing'', once you [[NewGamePlus Ascend]], you can gain access to a Temporal Rift and visit the past version of several Nearby Plains areas. One of them is Fernsworthy's Hut, the past version of Fernsworthy's Tower. Fernsworthy himself is still alive at this point, and is teaching an Ethics of Magic class. You know that cute schoolgirl who winks at you as you're leaving that scene? [[spoiler:If only [[BigBad the Naughty Sorceress]] had paid attention in that class...]]
* [[spoiler: Jack Marston]] in ''VideoGame/RedDeadRedemption''. As a kid, he is very kind and polite, and even dreams of becoming a writer. How does he end up? [[spoiler: The government betrays his father - both his father and his father figure die in the assault, and his dog and mother are shown to be deceased within 3 years. He becomes a depressed gunslinger, kills the (now-retired) corrupt federal agent that ordered the assault, and ends up just wandering around the wild west just when the old west was beginning to die out. There's a possibility that he eventually did become a successful writer, but only if an Easter egg in GTA V counts as canon.]]
* In ''VideoGame/NieR Replicant'', the eponymous protagonist is initially a kind, optimistic, and selfless 16 year old (though even then he was hiding severe issues, like the fact that he went into prostitution to pay for his sister's medicine and developed a fear of people touching his hair as a result of the sexual encounters with a rough customer). After [[spoiler:his sister is kidnapped by the BigBad]], his entire world falls apart. Cue the 5 year timeskip into the second half of the game, and you see he's become an irreparably damaged, murderous and bitter young adult.
* In ''VideoGame/ShadowrunReturns'' you're investigating your friend Sam's murder. You can find a photo of him and his twin sister Jessica as children. In the present, he was a drunken loser (who, in his own words, probably deserved whatever killed him) and his sister's become a cold, CorruptCorporateExecutive [[spoiler:who had Sam and several other innocents murdered because she wanted to bury their mother with the organs they'd had transplanted from her]].
* In ''VideoGame/{{Skullgirls}}'', [[CuteAndPsycho Peacock]] was a friendly, cartoon-loving child before being captured by slave traders and horribly mutilated by them. While Dr. Avian and the Anti-Skullgirls Labs [[{{Cyborg}} were able to repair her body]], her mind remained scarred, leaving her an AxCrazy BloodKnight using her love of cartoons as the basis for her attacks. [[spoiler:Her friend, [[BigBad Marie]], is also an example of this trope: she was captured by the same group of slave traders, sending her on a quest for revenge by tracking down and using the [[ArtifactOfDoom Skull Heart]]]].
** Meanwhile, Carol was an innocent, kindly teenager before being captured by Valentine and Lab 0, who transformed her into the horrific Painwheel. She's {{Brainwashed}} into tracking down the Skull Heart for Lab 0.
* ''VideoGame/SoulSeries'':
** Siegfried Schtauffen was a kind child and the son of a proud esteemed Knight of the Holy Empire, until his father went away on a mission and started hanging with the wrong crowd and formed a gang of bandits. One night, Siegfried and his gang raided a tired group of knights and murdered them all. To his horror, Siegfried realized that one of the knights he killed was his father and was driven insane. He eventually convinced himself that someone else had killed his father and heard of Soul Edge, the esteemed "Sword Of Salvation" seeking it out hoping to take down his father's killer. Soon after gaining Soul Edge, he becomes the new host for it, becoming the demon knight known as Nightmare.
** Ivy Valentine appears to fit the Trope; the [[http://images4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20100405004323/soulcalibur/images/b/bd/Adoptive_parents.jpg family portrait]] hanging in the Valentine Mansion on her SCIII stage seems to suggest it, as she looks to be about 11-12 years old, sports a cute (platinum) bob and has a hand placed lovingly on Earl Valentine's shoulder.
* Juri from ''StreetFighter'' is a sadistic hedonist who revels in bloodshed, but even if she doesn't make a big deal out of Shadoloo having killed her parents when she was younger, it obviously played ''some'' part in the twisted person she became. The OVA mentions that she was once a promising taekwondo fighter, and the UDON comics portray her as a somewhat reserved, innocent girl who is eager to please her parents; five months later, after her father has been executed on live TV, her own feelings of weakness transform into an obsession with becoming a pure embodiment of death.
* Jin Kazama from ''VideoGame/{{Tekken}}''. Jin was a kind, sweet, boy who has a lived a rather happy life with his mother Jun Kazama until he was told by his mother at the age of 15 that his father was Kazuya Mishima (who was dead at the time) and that something bad might happen to her and should anything go wrong, that he should go to his grandfather Heihachi, the head of the Mishima Zaibatsu. One night, an entity known as Ogre attacks their home and in the aftermath, Jun is missing. Respecting his mother's wishes, Jin goes to his grandfather Heihachi and asks him to train him to avenge his mother. At the age of 19, Jin enters the 3rd King of Iron Fist Tournament and makes it all the way to the final contestant, Ogre. After he defeats Ogre, he is then gunned down by Heihachi and his soldiers. Jin reawakens and becomes Devil Jin (thanks to the Devil Gene he inherited from his father) and smashes Heihachi through a wall and flies off into the night. Since then, he has nothing but hatred for his paternal side of the family and will do anything to be rid of them and his curse, even if it means putting the world in danger.
** Before Jin was his father, Kazuya, who used to be gentle in nature. After having endured his father Heihachi's abuse for years, he finally snaps when the old man tosses him down a ravine as part of a do-or-die trial to see if he was worthy of inheriting the Mishima Zaibatsu. That event both drove him to hatred and awakened the Devil Gene inside him, allowing him to survive to get revenge and try to take over the world.
* Wirt, the unfortunate peg-legged boy from the game ''Videogame/{{Diablo}}''. He wasn't always the {{Jerkass}} he is in the game: he was a normal kid from the city of Tristam, until he was abducted by demons and pulled inside the Cathedral. Griswold managed to save him, but not only Wirt lost his leg but also a big part of his sanity.
* [[spoiler: Asriel]] from ''Videogame/{{Undertale}}'', especially when you discover who he eventually became.
** [[spoiler: The Fallen Child]] is another example, although their fall from grace is not nearly so pronounced, given that they were described to not be the nicest person to begin with.
* [[AxCrazy Bloody]] [[PsychoForHire Mary]] from ''VideoGame/TheWolfAmongUs'' according to [[AllThereInTheManual her game file]]. Her biography states that she was once a shy, timid young girl who wanted to find her true love. Unfortunately, Mary married an abusive husband who she ended up killing, simultaneously triggering her taste for causing death. She would eventually grow up to become the sadistic ProfessionalKiller encountered in the game.
* ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'':
** Darion Mograine, as a child, loved his father and hoped to become a paladin. After sacrificing himself to save his father's soul, he became a Death Knight agent of the Lich King's will, and later, a ruthless AntiHero willing to do whatever is necessary to defeat the Lich King.
** For that matter, ''the [[BigBad Lich King himself]].'' The child we see early in his novel is something of an idealist, loves animals, and is kind even to commoners to a point he's said to spend more time with them than is appropriate for royalty, including being best friends with one. One [[DespairEventHorizon dead horse]], [[MysticalPlague zombie plague]], and a few [[MoralEventHorizon questionable]] [[WellIntentionedExtremist war decisions]] later, and Arthas has become first the [[TheDragon champion]] and then ruler of death itself. Special attention is even brought to this with the five-year perpetual dream he had during his long sleep after taking up the crown, in which he finds two figures [[GoodAngelBadAngel battling to influence him]]: Ner'zhul (the previous Lich King) and his own innocent child-self. Eventually, [[spoiler:he kills ''them both''.]]
* In ''VideoGame/HolyUmbrella'', [[spoiler:the Emperor Dondera]] is said to have been a "quiet, hard-working man" prior to [[spoiler:opening the first seal]]. At this point he underwent a grotesque transformation, as shown through a retrospective CharacterPortrait.
* ''VideoGame/{{Persona 5}}'': {{Delinquent|s}} Ryuji Sakamoto used to be the star athlete on the running team and pride of the school. Unfortunately, the school's coach broke his legs, making him unable to run again, and then spread rumors about Ryuji's abusive father, and the other teachers and his fellow students did ''nothing''. Ryuji unsurprisingly thinks all the adults in his life and many of the other students are full of it, and has no problem giving them crap for being lying, self-serving hypocrites.
* In ''VideoGame/StarWarsTheOldRepublic'', Vaylin used to be a sweet child until the day when she could not [[AccidentalMurder control her powers]] in a sparring match. She gets sent to a facility in a dead world by her father to have her powers controlled. She is left in isolation and in the care of a mad scientist who tortures her. When she is finally released from the facility, she emerged as a [[AxCrazy completely different person.]]

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* ''Franchise/AceAttorney'': [[http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lk19qxlon51qa5tboo1_500.jpg 9 years old Miles Edgeworth]] was [[ChildrenAreInnocent idealistic]] and ''adorable to the max''. Then, [[spoiler:his father was murdered. Before his eyes.]] Edgeworth was embedded with a severe phobia of elevators and earthquakes, and a hatred for criminals, defense attorneys, and ''himself'' after this. Even after [[spoiler:his eventual HeelFaceTurn]] he still has trouble relearning the social skills he lost due to this trauma and always comes across as [[http://infinityrpg.pbworks.com/f/1228359533/gyakuten-kenji-artwork-01.jpg blunt, insensitive and cold to others]].
* [[spoiler:Archer]] from ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'', though in a subversion [[spoiler:he's just as broken inside now as he was when he was younger -- he's just grown more outwardly cynical and self-aware towards his inner failings]]. ''VisualNovel/FateHollowAtaraxia'' shows this to be the case with [[spoiler:Gilgamesh]], and ''Literature/FateZero'' with [[spoiler:Kiritsugu]] as well.
* [[spoiler:Akane Kurashiki, aka June]] in ''VisualNovel/NineHoursNinePersonsNineDoors.'' [[spoiler:She used to be a sweet girl, but the trauma of the first Nonary Game turned her into a person willing to do anything for the sake of ensuring her survival and later, saving the world - whether that means sacrificing her life (for the latter) or someone else's.]] In ''VisualNovel/VirtuesLastReward''[[spoiler: her childhood friend Junpei Tenmyouji remarks at the end that the Akane he knew is gone.]]
* ''Franchise/WhenTheyCry'':
** In ''VisualNovel/HigurashiWhenTheyCry'', [[spoiler:Miyo Takano]] used to be a cute, sweet girl who liked to collect flags and go eat outside with her parents. A car crash, which causes the death of said parents, results in her getting send to a ''horrible'' [[OrphanageOfFear foster home]] where she spends "not so nice" [[BreakTheCutie moments]]. Much later, she's out [[spoiler:[[MoralEventHorizon murdering children]] to [[KillEmAll release an illness that'll kill hundreds]], all while [[EvilLaugh laughing maniacally]] and spouting [[AGodAmI self-glorifying lines]]]].
** In ''VisualNovel/UminekoWhenTheyCry'', the main antagonist, the [[spoiler:seemingly]] AxCrazy sadistic Beatrice was once [[spoiler:a timid young servant named Yasu who wanted to learn magic to spice up [[AmbiguousGender his/her]] not really nice life.]] While Beatrice isn't actually as sadistic as she seems, she still has a ''lot'' of issues.

[[folder:Web Animation]]
* A bitter {{Jerkass}} today, Bitey of the ''WebAnimation/{{Brackenwood}}'' series used to be a sweet little thing, but years of loneliness, being the LastOfHisKind, and [[ParentalAbandonment being abandoned]] by an adoptive family of Morrugs has changed that.
* ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'': When we are first introduced to Agent Washington, he is portrayed as being strict, cold, and somewhat ruthless towards those around him while keeping up a professional and stoic demeanor. It is revealed that his behavior was the result of an incident he had with his A.I., Epsilon, who went insane and committed suicide while ''in his head''. The Freelancer Trilogy furthers how much the Epsilon Incident changed Washington by showing how he was practically the youngest, most naive of the freelancers before being implanted with Epsilon.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Sometimes used in ''ComicBook/ChickTracts''. Examples include Bruce in "Fallen" and Harry in "Fairy Tales".
* Setz from ''Webcomic/{{Crepuscule}}'' is shown to be a bright spirited young boy in the prologue chapters but is later shown to be a fairly apathetic, uncaring guy after the TimeSkip.
* "Player Two is red. He's a quiet sort of lunatic. The type everyone always says "was such a nice kid" after they find like, twenty human faces in his freezer."
-->Player Two character bio, ''Webcomic/CtrlAltDel''
* ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}''
** [[{{Munchkin}} Vriska Serket]] may [[HeelFaceRevolvingDoor play jump-rope]] with the MoralEventHorizon, but as a kid she was ''[[http://mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=005374 positively adorable]]''.
** [[LadyOfBlackMagic Rose]] [[WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity Lalonde]] started off as a [[TheSmartGuy mature]] yet sweet 13-year old who just wanted to play a game with her friends [[ItMakesSenseInContext so she could see her dead cat again]]. Once the game got started, she started communing with [[EldritchAbomination the Horrorterrors]] and wielding [[BlackMagicianGirl dark magic]]. She eventually turned into ''[[http://mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=005543 this.]]'' [[spoiler:She gets better, though.]]
** Aradia can count as an example, being a cheerful AdventureArchaeologist before [[spoiler:dying]]. She becomes the kind of person who enjoys breaking things for amusement and [[YouCantFightFate claiming there is no free will]]. [[spoiler:She gets better during the course of the story]].
** Averted with [[spoiler:[[BigBad Lord English]]]]. His younger self [[spoiler:Caliborn]] is almost as bad as he is now, just smaller and constrained.
** Kurloz Makara seems to have been a pretty nice normal teenager until [[spoiler:he had some kind of EldritchAbomination nightmare, mutilated his own mouth, and started working for the abovementioned BigBad]]. His dancestor Gamzee similarly was fine until he ran out of sopor slime; it's likely he [[spoiler:would still have turned to working for Lord English, but would have done so more subtly and without murdering Equius and Nepeta, had he never been on the drugs]].
** Most of Kurloz's group fit this trope thanks to being stuck as "kids" for [[NotGrowingUpSucks several millennia]]. [[TheBully Cronus]] [[EntitledToHaveYou Ampora]] was a wannabe magician that hoped to defeat an evil wizard, [[{{Yandere}} Damara]] [[ClingyJealousGirl Megido]] was a lovestruck schoolgirl that spoke little English, and [[{{Hypocrite}} Kankri]] [[InsufferableGenius Vantas]] planned to reform his discriminatory society.
* In ''Webcomic/TheInexplicableAdventuresOfBob,'' Fructose Riboflavin used to be a ''nice'' little larva on planet Butane. But his dad was a highway bandit. And then his dad [[http://bobadventures.comicgenesis.com/d/20100831.html got killed...]]
* [[spoiler:Richard]] from ''Webcomic/LookingForGroup'' may qualify.
* [[spoiler:Shields McKloskey]] from ''Webcomic/October20th" was an outgoing, high-spirited boy before he was sucked into the world of horrors and the unknown.
* ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'':
** Averted in the case of Xykon -- the whole point of the ''Recap/StartOfDarkness'' prequel book was to show that he had no redeeming features whatsoever, and never did. In the creator's words, not only is he thoroughly evil, he's also sort of a dick. While he may not have been evil when he first discovered his gift for Necromancy at the age of 4, by the age of 12 he's killing a CaptainErsatz of Professor Xavier (granted, one who was being an incredible dick about [[InsufferableGenius how wizards are inherently better than sorcerers]]), zombifying him and siccing him and his zombified grandma on his parents.
** Played straight with [[WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds Redcloak]] and his close-knit family, though. For goblins, they were quite nice people.
* [[BigBadDuumvirate Brian and Angelo]] are revealed to have shades of this in ''Webcomic/OurLittleAdventure''. Brian and his [[TheEmpire empire]] originally assisted followers of The Angel of Justice making a large part of the main Manjulias continent safer from [[AlwaysChaoticEvil savage creatures.]] Angelo was originally a member of [[LawfulGood The Angel of Justice's]] clergy, but eventually turned away from his goddess due to his [[UngratefulBastard bad experiences]] with many of the people he helped.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Sinfest}}'', [[https://web.archive.org/web/20140209190506/http://sinfest.net/archive_page.php?comicID=3050 an appeal on the grounds she wasn't always a devil girl.]] [[https://web.archive.org/web/20140209190506/http://sinfest.net/archive_page.php?comicID=4037 Neither was Lil' Evil always evil]].
* Trace Legacy from ''Webcomic/TwoKinds'' was an OK guy, until he tried using Necromancy to [[{{Necromantic}} ressurect his recently-slain wife]].
* Villainous Cyborg Gear from ''KiwiBlitz'' was a cute little girl named Margaret before she received double dose of DarkAndTroubledPast followed by a heaping helping of CyberneticsEatYourSoul.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Adam from ''Machinima/ArbyNTheChief'' is an 8-year old boy who's a member of Chaos Theosis, a group of [[PsychoForHire cyberterrorists]] who wreck havoc across Xbox's Network. However, he is demonstrated to be the most cruel and volatile of of all its members. [[spoiler:He always screams and shouts online, verbally abuses his mother and friends, [[ForTheEvulz gleefully enjoys killing people for fun]], and stealing their account information to do what he feels like doing with it]]. During his final appearance though, when his mom finally breaks down asking what can be done to make him behave, she reminds him (and his friends) that was once a very happy young boy who would play nicely until playing Halo corrupted him into the monstrous child that he's become. Adam however coldly dismisses her yet again and continues acting the way he does. [[spoiler:[[TheDogBitesBack Needless to say, this comes back to bite Adam at his demise, HARD]].]]
* ''RolePlay/TheDoomyAdventuresOfIrkenDoominess'': Melissa as a smeet was a very fraile and kind irken, until she was abused by her classmates, lost her sanity, began killing lots of people, got a taste for human blood and over all became quite messed up to some degree.
** Gar who was normal as a smeet, got ridiculed by everyone, was singled out to be the tallests personal ChewToy, started HearingVoices, got a major SanitySlippage which resulted in her trying to kill the tallest.
*** Deef might qualify since WordOfGod states his mother cared about him up until the age of six when she decided he was able to take care of himself, he still lives with her but seems neglected by her, although Deef isn't insane or there isn't anything seemingly wrong with him, he's strange and has NoSocialSkills.
*** {{Inverted}} with Nel who used to be a [[EnfantTerrible Homicidal jerk]] And is now a very nice human.
* WebVideo/TheNostalgiaChick used to be an adorable girl who wanted a fairytale wedding when she was six, had quite a few friends and fell in love with a [[Film/{{Dragonheart}} dragon]] because he was honorable. Then bullying, abuse, becoming a BrattyTeenageDaughter and turning to alcoholism happened, so now she's a lonely, psychopathic BrokenBird. Again, ouch.
* Done {{tearjerk|er}}ingly in WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic's "Commercials Special". When he's on the edge of a DespairEventHorizon, he picks up a photo of himself as a kid and angsts about how he had so much promise and dreams back then. So that sweet, "perfect" child went through a BreakTheCutie (parental abuse, date rape, bullying and stalkers) and became a cynical, depressed man who has nothing left in his life but reviewing. He gets a CrowningMomentOfAwesome right after, but still... ouch.
* Happens frequently in ''Roleplay/SurvivalOfTheFittest'' if you read [[DevelopingDoomedCharacters pre-game]]. Many characters come off as likable, friendly people, only to be [[BreakTheCutie broken]] once the game starts, in a good portion of cases turning AxCrazy. As a result, you will be seeing this trope a lot, especially if the character showed up in pre-game frequently or there are any flashbacks involving the character.
* In ''Literature/{{Worm}}'', after [[VillainProtagonist Taylor]] [[spoiler:has her secret identity exposed]], news crews go around to talk to the few people who knew her, who are all astonished that the quiet, unassuming, bullied teenager they knew is now the single most powerful and brutal supervillain in the city.
* ''WebVideo/TwelveHundredGhosts'' shows Ebenezer Scrooge used to be nice when he was younger, particularly as a baby when he was delighted to get a rattle as a Christmas present.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Archer}}'': The title character was a fairly normal kid, but his mother wasn't around at all until he was 5, and messed him up even worse after she returned.
* ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'':
** While hiding out in Zuko's summer home, the group find [[http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20110329213952/avatar/images/4/45/Baby_Ozai.png a picture of a smiling and sweet-looking boy]] and tease Zuko about it. But much to Team Gaang's dismay, Zuko reveals that it's not of him - it's a picture of his [[AbusiveParents abusive father]], [[BigBad Firelord Ozai]]. They're left [[GoodCannotComprehendEvil baffled and horrified at this]], wondering how such an innocent toddler would one day become the genocidal, sociopathic, and warmongering tyrant they're now up against. Even [[InvokedTrope invoked]]:
---> '''Suki:''' But he [Ozai] looks so sweet and innocent...
---> '''Zuko:''' Well, that sweet little kid grew up to be a monster, and the worst father in the history of fathers.
** Zuko himself counts as this too. Even after his [[spoiler:HeelFaceTurn]], Zuko is still a [[PerpetualFrowner perpetually frowning]] [[EmoTeen emo]] [[IneffectualLoner loner]], [[spoiler:though he softens quite a bit as he becomes a good guy]]. But in flashbacks, he's shown to actually have been a genuinely sweet, happy kid... at least until the [[StartOfDarkness shit hit the fan]]. The series illustrates this with [[http://33.media.tumblr.com/1703ef0809b7893d2ed1f3fed0db8de6/tumblr_inline_nko752iLLp1sqmymu.png a still image of him from a flashback before a lightning strike transition to him in the present]].
* ''WesternAnimation/BabyLooneyTunes'':
** Sylvester and Tweety used to be [[OddFriendship best]] [[{{Irony}} friends]] before becoming arch enemies. In fact, Sylvester was an {{adorkable}} ShrinkingViolet when still a kitten.
** Taz was shown to be an adorably innocent little child, who was very sensitive and prone to [[TheWoobie crying a lot after his feelings were hurt]]. A far [[{{Pun}} cry]] from the AxCrazy ExtremeOmnivore seen in the classic cartoons.
** Marvin the Martian was an antisocial ShrinkingViolet who just wanted friends before becoming an OmnicidalManiac trying to blow up the Earth.
* Dan from ''WesternAnimation/DanVs'': In "[[WholeEpisodeFlashback Summer Camp]]", Dan is bullied and responds by telling the camp director. Contrast that with how now-a-days with his first response to anything frustrating, no matter what or how small the problem is, his first response is almost always to get revenge.
* On ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents'', Denzel Crocker was a near perfect child who was loved by everybody as a child. However, [[spoiler:losing his fairies]] was his StartOfDarkness.
* Amazingly, Lucius VII on ''WesternAnimation/JimmyTwoShoes''. He's {{Satan}} (albeit a [[HarmlessVillain mostly incompetent one]]), but what {{flashback}}s we get of his childhood paint him as actually cute and rather sympathetic, being abused by his father or the people of Miseryville. Then again, given [[CrapsackWorld the place he lives in]], it's probably no surprise he grew up the way he did.
* Zig-zag: In the 1993 cartoon ''Itsy Bitsy Spider'' (based on the animated short subject that played with ''Bebe's Kids'' in theaters), Leslie--the little girl who befriends Itsy--was a sweet, introverted kid in the short and first season. Many episodes in season two have her a head-slapping bitch.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'':
** Noatak [[spoiler:who eventually adopted the name Amon]] was described as being a kind boy who always strove to help and be fair to everyone. It didn't last... Or rather, it did, but in the [[DarkMessiah Darkest]] [[TallPoppySyndrome Way]] [[KnightTemplar Possible]].
** Noatak's younger brother, [[spoiler:Tarrlok]], was a [[ShrinkingViolet very sweet and timid boy]]. his adult version...[[SmugSnake Not]] [[CorruptPolitician So Much]].
** Season 4 gives us an older example in [[BigBad Kuvira]]. In Season 3, she was a kind and caring person who rescued Korra's father from certain death and was devoted to Suyin. Suyin even claimed she was like a daughter to her. But the faithful fallout with her over how to save the Earth Kingdom and the subsequent 3 years would turn her into a cold, power-hungry tyrant.
* Although he had shades of being a SpoiledBrat especially after his [[spoiler:mother's death and his father's initial refusal to hit him]], Clay Puppington in ''WesternAnimation/MoralOrel'' was revealed to be this in "Passing." [[GenerationXerox He was actually somewhat Orel-like]].
* [[GodSaveUsFromTheQueen Nightmare Moon]] from ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' used to be a {{Socially Awkward Hero}}ine Princess Luna before [[GreenEyedMonster bitterness and jealousy]] toward her sister twisted her into a monster. Subverted in that not only did she [[HeelFaceTurn get better]], but WordOfGod says that she was [[BrainwashedAndCrazy actually corrupted by outside forces]] and not acting of her own accord.
* Ricky Owens from ''WesternAnimation/ScoobyDooMysteryIncorporated'' went from the Shaggy of the original Mystery Inc. to the devious bastard he's known as in the present: [[spoiler:Mr. E.]]
* Monty Burns on ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' was depicted as one in "Rosebud." A flashback showed him happily playing with his teddy bear Bobo, and being referred to by his parents as "Happy." He immediately abandons them, however, to live with a "twisted, loveless billionaire."
* ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars'': Asajj Ventress, through a series of flashbacks, is shown to have first been a cute little girl who later turned to the dark side after her Jedi Master, Ky Narec, was killed.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2003'' episode "Insane in the Membrane", it appears like this trope will be subverted when [[spoiler:Baxter]] flashes back to his childhood and is seen about to pour some sort of chemicals on a bug in a jar. [[spoiler:He changes his mind and lets the bug go. Through more flashbacks, it was clear that he was a good kid who was devastated by his mother's death, and the memories of her were enough for him to let the Turtles and April go.]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/ThorTalesOfAsgard'' it was revealed that Loki was like this as a teenager. It's not until the betrayal of a family friend and the use of [[ArtifactOfDoom Sword of Surtur]] that his former outlook starts souring and he begins to think different.
* ''WesternAnimation/HeyArnold'': "Helga on the Couch" shows us in a flashback that Helga Pataki was a normal girl who was so neglected and ignored by her parents that she had to walk to preschool by herself, getting splashed with mud and having her lunch stolen by a dog. She then meets Arnold, probably the first person to ever show her genuine affection, and immediately falls for him. After Harold steals her graham crackers and the other kids start laughing at her, she starts bullying them in order to get respect.
* Inverted in ''WesternAnimation/CourageTheCowardlyDog''. The [[CoolOldLady old, but sweet and kind]] Muriel was shown in the episode "Little Muriel" to have been an [[BrattyHalfPint obnoxious brat]] as a child.
** Played straight with her husband Eustace, who is implied to have been a good child up until the treatment he received [[TheUnfavorite from his mother and brother]], thus turning him into the GrumpyOldMan he is in the show.
* The titular ''WesternAnimation/BojackHorseman'' is a major JerkAss in present-day, but his upbringing [[AbusiveParents was less]] [[ResentfulGuardian than stellar]].
-->'''Beatrice''': You know, I was beautiful before I got pregnant with you.\\
'''Young Bojack''': ''(quietly)'' I know.\\
'''Beatrice''': You ruined me, Bojack.\\
'''Young Bojack''': ''(sadder)'' I know.\\
'''Beatrice''': You better grow up to be something great to make up for all the damage you've done.\\
'''Young Bojack''': I will.
* In ''WesternAnimation/StarVsTheForcesOfEvil'''s 3rd Season opener, Queen Moon Butterfly, Star's uptight, stodgy mother, reveals why she's the way she is; Her own mother had been killed when Moon was the age Star is, forcing a once-carefree girl into the role of queen.
-->'''Moon:''' I was never a cool warrior queen, Star. I was a happy-go-lucky girl like you. And then... ''(Voice breaks)'' Toffee and his monsters killed my mother.