[[caption-width-right:221:[- Otto Dix, ''Suicide in the Trenches'' -- big toe on the trigger.-] ]]

-> Iíve been where you are now and I know just how you feel. Itís entirely natural that there should beat in the breast of every one of you a hope and desire that some day you can use the skill you have acquired here. ''Suppress it!'' You donít know the horrible aspects of war. Iíve been through two wars and I know. Iíve seen cities and homes in ashes. Iíve seen thousands of men lying on the ground, their dead faces looking up at the skies. I tell you, [[TitleDrop war is Hell!]]
-->-- ''[[TropeNamer William Tecumseh Sherman]],'' speaking to the graduating class of the Michigan Military Academy on June 19, 1879.[[note]]Sherman wrote about this at greater length when he told the residents of Atlanta [[http://www.rjgeib.com/thoughts/sherman/sherman-to-burn-atlanta.html why he was going to burn their city]] in 1864[[/note]]

%% One quote per page please. See the Administrivia/TipsWorksheet. Extras can go on the quote page.

[[WaxingLyrical War! Hunh! Good God, y'all! What is it good for? Absolutely nuthin'!]] TruthInTelevision, obviously.

When this theme is in play, war is a [[CrapsackWorld hellish, nasty, traumatizing nightmare]], and anyone who comes out of it alive will end up a ShellShockedVeteran. Those who take pleasure in it are AxCrazy {{Blood Knight}}s or [[PsychoForHire worse]]. This trope gained its name by the famous quote from General William T. Sherman, "War is all Hell, and I have every intent of making it so." Most people quoting it [[BeamMeUpScotty shorten it to the trope name]] (as Sherman himself did in the page quote).

The motivations for war are depicted as harking back to humanity's basest and most savage instincts: {{pride}}, {{greed}}, [[NoBloodForPhlebotinum important resources]], [[KnightTemplar dogma]], fear, disgust, hatred, [[CycleOfRevenge retribution]], [[WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity power, insanity,]] [[TakeOverTheWorld megalomania]], or even all of the above. The brutal and callous force of [[GeneralRipper wartime authority]] overrides all individual thought.

Sometimes, [[HopelessWar the war is shown to be unwinnable]] regardless of the sacrifices made and [[MoralEventHorizon moral codes abandoned]]. There is some correlation between being on the losing side of a war and making a work following this trope.

War Is Hell works often show the ''cumulative'' long-term effect of exposure to pain, deprivation, violence, and military culture: the horror goes on and on, dehumanizing everybody a little more each night. Heroes in these stories will typically struggle to PreventTheWar, or end it as bloodlessly and quickly as possible. If not, then merely ''surviving'' physically, and with most of their humanity and sanity intact.

Historically, this trope might be NewerThanTheyThink. [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy There is a long literary tradition of]] [[WarIsGlorious glorifying war]]: [[RatedMForManly bravery, discipline, manliness,]] [[MartyrdomCulture martyrdom]] and the [[ValuesDissonance right of the]] [[SocialDarwinist strong to take from the weak]]. As photographs, film and other forms of mass media from the front became more and more common, the newer trope became more and more mainstream, eventually making said tradition obsolete -- it's easier to glorify war when you can't see it up close. And there was one other major contributing factor to the paradigm shift: the increasing ''brutality'' of how war was waged. To wit....

Though isolated examples of this date back to UsefulNotes/TheRenaissance (in non-fiction), the [[UrExample earliest recognized instance of widespread belief in this trope]] is probably the UsefulNotes/ThirtyYearsWar, which [[UsefulNotes/AllTheLittleGermanies ruined the German states]] and involved such frequent changes of alliances that nobody was really sure why anyone was fighting anybody. The mass armies' constant need to raid the populace for conscripts and food meant that it directly affected a large segment of the population when, before, wars had largely passed the vast majority of the people. As a result, several artists of the period depicted war as a distinctly nasty experience, and popular accounts like sayings seem to confirm a rather gloomy attitude. However, after the Thirty Years' War ended, European militaries grew smaller and wars further from the people (until UsefulNotes/TheNapoleonicWars, at least), and the trope receded.

UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar prompted another early expression of the trope: US Army General William Sherman is commonly credited with saying "[[TropeNamer War is Hell]]." Rebel General Robert E. Lee held a similar sentiment: "It is well that war is so terrible, [[ColonelKilgore lest we grow too fond of it.]]" It was the first modern 'Total War' and chewed through a hitherto-unheard-of proportion of that country's countryside, people, and wealth. Furthermore, it was the first war that was ''extensively'' photographed and one public exhibition of war-photos, ''The Dead of Antietam'' by Mathew Brady, made for such a powerful impression that one reviewer said of it: "Mr. Brady has done something to bring home to us the terrible reality and earnestness of war. If he has not brought bodies and laid them in our dooryards and along the streets, he has done something very like it."

However, since the moral justification for ''that'' war was obvious to everyone fighting, in the fields and factories, and overseas, the horrors of war were just that bit more bearable than they might otherwise have been on account of it them being done in a genuinely good cause. The trope was only really... [[ObligatoryJoke entrenched]]... in European and Euro-sphere culture during UsefulNotes/WorldWarI, which was far bloodier and had no great moral cause that the people fighting it could comfort themselves with - though during the war itself the British successfully managed to slander Germany as an aggressive expansionist power that wanted to dominate the world (she'd had problems, but wanting to TakeOverTheWorld wasn't one of them). Thanks to near-universal conscription in all the major countries of Europe, a large number of writers, poets and artists of the early 20th century had combat-experience, and they did not like what they saw.

There are several reasons for this. One is that we aren't born as {{sociopathic soldier}}s and most modern societies frown on killing for any reason. Most military basic training spends [[TrainingFromHell quite a bit of effort]] to instill into recruits that killing is acceptable and the ends justify the means because their enemies are "savage" and/or "[[FantasticRacism subhuman]]". For a good look, ''Film/FullMetalJacket'' is a movie to watch. Still, overcoming a lifetime of moral imprinting is very difficult. Many past societies taught their ChildSoldiers from birth that killing in war was their noble destiny, firmly establishing that WarIsGlorious.

Second, being in constant fear for your life and limb is obviously stressful. Especially in the era of modern industrialized combat, which is more dehumanizing than ancient combat. Back then, if you were a genuine badass with both talent and training, you felt like you were in control of your destiny. Furthermore, war often took the form of [[RapePillageAndBurn raiding and rustling]] and might have actually been fun (at least from the perspective of those who weren't losing all their worldly goods to the enemy). Modern warfare with its mines, partisans, snipers, machine-guns, grenades, mortars, artillery, gunship-helicopters, ground-attack aircraft, firestorms, poisonous gases, deadly toxins, infectious diseases, killer drones, and massive conventional and nuclear bombs, mean that [[DeathFromAbove death can strike without warning or defense]] - instilling a mindset of paranoia, insignificance, helplessness and nihilistic despair similar to that portrayed by LovecraftianFiction. Chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons in particular render your actions more-or-less totally meaningless, as your life itself depends entirely upon whether or ''when'' the enemy chooses to use them upon you.

Third, the societies that promoted war were also {{Crapsack World}}s; life was already a short and unpleasant hell anyway. Child mortality was high, plagues and famine were fairly regular, and losing a limb meant losing that precious scrap of food on the table, since there was no such thing as veteran support. {{Karma Houdini}}s roamed the streets while NoGoodDeedGoesUnpunished. So some warfare-oriented cultures had reason to feel that a swift death [[MartyrdomCulture knowing you did something meaningful]] was better than waiting to die by mishap. In Myth/NorseMythology, those who died in combat went to [[WarriorHeaven Valhalla]].

And finally, we live in an era of Freedom of Expression where everybody can write and express their opinions. Past societies tended to disdain slaves along with "the common folk" and only recorded the way they lived in general terms. Anything they didn't like was censored easily. War has probably always been hell for poor people: When armies are small and aristocratic, the noblemen trample all over your fields, ruining your crops; when they start drafting peasants, you have to leave your farm or shop, potentially leaving your family without support, to pick up a spear and some pathetic armor and join the army, or perhaps get in the galleys and row, or be MadeASlave...and still, armies trample all over your crops, except when they steal them. These opinions would not be found very often in pre-modern writings, [[WrittenByTheWinners because the people who held them neither knew how to write nor knew anyone who did and would care to listen]]; today, these stories get picked up fast.

This doesn't necessarily discredit war or render it obsolete. If anything, this trope has helped promote justifications of conflict along the lines of it being either a [[NecessarilyEvil necessary evil]] or an undesirable, last-ditch option when more peaceful means fail. In that regard, especially in North America and Britain, UsefulNotes/WorldWarII is the shining example of that considering the despicable [[UsefulNotes/NaziGermany nature of]] [[UsefulNotes/KatanasOfTheRisingSun their enemies]] and the fact that they were the victors with relatively light losses. In addition, paradoxically and in one of the most confounding ironies known to man, it's been argued that war in some sense ''has'' [[http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/in-the-long-run-wars-make-us-safer-and-richer/2014/04/25/a4207660-c965-11e3-a75e-463587891b57_story.html been good for something]]: namely helping make larger, stable and more peaceful societies possible while reducing the risk of violence over time, and thus ''less'' war.

May overlap with, but not to be confused with, HellIsWar. Contrast WarIsGlorious, which is not mutually exclusive with this trope, especially when the audience [[DoNotDoThisCoolThing gets a kick out of seeing people kill each other, no matter how ugly or condemning the work is]] -- or, more altruistically, when soldiers are painted as heroes specifically because they've volunteered to fight in order to keep the horrors of war away from their loved ones. See also ArmiesAreEvil (highly negative takes on the military).

While war in reality is a living hell, it is traumatizing to many who experience it. Therefore, UsefulNotes/RealLife examples are redundant.
* WarIsHell/AnimatedFilms
* WarIsHell/AnimeAndManga
* WarIsHell/{{Literature}}
* WarIsHell/LiveActionFilms
* WarIsHell/{{Music}}
* WarIsHell/VideoGames


* ''The Triumph Of Death'' by Creator/PieterBruegelTheElder shows how skeletons walk around and triumph in every way. Some of them are soldiers.
* Creator/FranciscoDeGoya 's ''Los Desastras De La Guerra'' (''The Disasters of War'') and ''The Third Of May, 1808'' show the brutalities and dehumanizing effect of the Napoleonic Wars in Spain.
* ''Guernica'' by Creator/PabloPicasso was inspired by the UsefulNotes/SpanishCivilWar bombardement of the Spanish town Guernica and is perhaps the most iconic anti-war painting of the 20th century.
* The drawings of Otto Dix, who experienced it first hand during UsefulNotes/WorldWarI.
* ''Nie Wieder Krieg!'' by Käthe Kollwitz is ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin. It shows a woman shouting: ''No More War!''.

* Often turns up in ''ComicBook/RogueTrooper'' to offset [[WarIsGlorious the exciting adventures]]. Many a story ends something like this:
-->'''Helm:''' Wow, that was harsh.\\
'''Rogue:''' Yeah, but you know what's harsher? War in general.
* ''Comicbook/SgtRock'' had this as a regular theme. The most brutal punishment he could think of for one recurring German officer whom he defeated in personal combat was to let him live: "You'll suffer through this war like I have to."
* Also a regular theme of Creator/DCComics' ''Comicbook/EnemyAce''.
* Prominently featured in the first issues of ''ComicBook/NthManTheUltimateNinja'', which takes place in eastern Russia during WorldWarIII.
* ''ComicBook/SinCity'': Invoked in dialogue -- from Wallace, mostly. Marv briefly mentions being in a war and how horrible that experience was. The VillainProtagonist in ''Rats'' also vaguely refers to a war. Since it's heavily implied that he's a Nazi war-criminal, it's obvious [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarII which one]] it was.
* In Creator/AlanMoore's "ComicBook/DRAndQuinch Get Drafted" for ''ComicBook/TwoThousandAD'', Waldo's self-described "first exposure to the total insanity that is war" is when he realizes that there aren't any expensive foreign restaurants on the desolate slime jungle planet to which his platoon is being sent to fight on the front line in a very bitter conflict.
* ''ComicBook/AmazonsAttack'' tries this. Ends up being one huge FacePalm.
* IDW has taken the time to explore this a few times in their run of The Transformers:
** ''ComicBook/TheTransformersLastStandOfTheWreckers'' runs on this trope, as a {{deconstruction}} of a franchise that usually takes a RuleOfCool approach to its central CivilWar theme.
** ''ComicBook/TheTransformersMonstrosity'': Focuses on the bleakness of war. The Autobots realize that they're going to be in this for the long run, and the entire planet has to pick a side, and many want to leave, not wanting to die or trust anyone. The Autobots and Decepticons also realize that ideals, ruthlessness and compassion will not win the war, resources will, and that they may have damned themselves with what little is left on the planet.
** Quite a bit of ''ComicBook/TheTransformersRobotsInDisguise'' and ''ComicBook/TheTransformersMoreThanMeetsTheEye'' has been an exploration of just what it means for individuals to have been locked in a brutal war for literally millions of years and the effects that has had on those individuals. Some of the characters were ChildSoldiers who were turned on, given a very brief education (basically, here's how to walk, talk, and hold a gun, took about fifteen minutes) and thrust immediately into combat. Many of the characters have serious psychological issues caused by the violence they've endured.
* ''ComicBook/TransformersWingsOfHonor'' also uses this trope, though near the end. For most of the first story, it's more of an action-adventure approach to the war, with the Elite Guard members having fun adventures with quirky or [[CardCarryingVillain Card Carrying Villains]], bar a few instances like when one of the scientists is gunned down, or when the Decepticon leaders have a war meeting, and they're all killed by an unwitting suicide bomber. Then the SuddenDownerEnding hits, where the Special Ops team goes rogue, kills almost all the extras and a good chunk of the main cast, and the base is destroyed with very few survivors. In the sequel, the survivors try to take a victory, and though the BigBad and the traitors are defeated, a new Warlord takes his place, and restarts the war, possibly killing TheHero, and the story ends with the Autobots having to leave the planet as it cannot support them.
* Behind the dragons and mages in ''ComicBook/{{Arrowsmith}}'' is a very traditional First World War story, complete with analogues of gas warfare and all the other horrors.
* The main character of ''ComicBook/TheBoyWhoWantedWar'' thought that WarIsGlorious and so he got himself into the space army. After that, he realized that his parents had a good reason to try to keep him from the war.
* ''ComicBook/{{Sturmtruppen}}'' is a satiric comic set during UsefulNotes/WorldWarII. And once you get past the BlackComedy, you see these soldiers deal with food that goes from barely edible to containing cholera, a [[DrillSergeantNasty sergeant who won't hesitate to torture you for fun]], incompetent officers ruining the work of their more competent colleagues and getting subordinates killed while getting away with it due to {{Nepotism}}, logistic officers embezzling the much needed food and clothes or (in one occasion) burning them to hide the lack of winter clothes... And the soldiers are so desensitised to all of this they ''treat it as normal'', and even joke about the new guy who thought that WarIsGlorious [[AndIMustScream being blown up on a minefield he himself set up and surviving without arms, legs, his five senses and the ability to call the doctors whenever he wets himself]].
* In one ''ComicBook/UsagiYojimbo'' story taking place when Usagi was a KidSamurai in training, Usagi is out with his master going about how he's going to fight in an awesome war and be all badass. His master shows him the sight of a recent battle to explain just what war results in: a field of decaying corpses and rusting armor. They meet a surviving soldier from the losing army, who recalls just how horrible it all was. This has an impact on Usagi, who wonders that if it's so bad, why do people say WarIsGlorious?
* {{Invoked| trope}} by Dmitri Romanov in ''Comicbook/{{Nikolai Dante}}'' - he scoffs at old-fashioned ideas like 'smart weaponry' and 'surgical strikes', believing that wars should have massive casualties, including many civilians, so that people never forget that war is horrendous. He leaves unsaid that fear of such terrors will discourage people from going to war against. He says this when the story is a year into a {{civil war}} which he intentionally started.
* ''ComicBook/{{Uber}}'' takes place in an AlternateHistory World War II where Nazi Germany was able to create superhuman soldiers during the last days of the war. Though they are able to save the Nazis' from the brink of defeat during the Battle of Berlin, the most destructive conflict in human history soon turns ''even worse'', as the Allies gain the ability to create their own Ubers which escalates the fighting to even more catastrophic proportions. A German general goes as far as [[AteHisGun committing suicide]] when he realizes the Ubers will only prolong the war and even more people will die as result. To cap it all off, its stated that its too late for the Nazis to win (as they were left too debilitated following the fighting), but at least they can make sure everyone else ''loses''.
* ''ComicBook/{{Birthright}}'': This trope features heavily in the backstory as the fantastic world of Terrenos is locked into a ForeverWar against an EvilOverlord that wants to spread his control further and beyond. The fighting took its toll on Terrenos' greatest heroes, who realizing that they were not making any progress in defeating their enemy, they chose to flee to Earth and place a protective barrier on Terrenos to contain him instead. Without its protectors, the people grew desperate and ended up kidnapping a teenager from our world (the main protagonist) who was supposedly fated as TheChosenOne to save them. He ''too'' hit the DespairEventHorizon after witnessing so many horrors, but unlike his predecessors, [[FallenHero he]] [[DealWithTheDevil stroke a deal]] with the BigBad to become his [[TheDragon Dragon]] and return to Earth to help him merge it with Terrenos. It's also implied that [[spoiler:the war is taking a toll on the BigBad too and he might not be as evil as we are lead to believe]]. In short: war makes monsters out of all of us.

* [[http://www.fimfiction.net/user/kalash93 Kalash93]] has a penchant for playing with this trope and WarIsGlorious simultaneously.
** In ''FanFic/RacerAndTheGeek'', Telny is definitely scarred from his experiences, but also shows [[http://www.fimfiction.net/story/81159/racer-and-the-geek a twisted attraction to warfare and violence.]]
** The protagonist of [[http://www.fimfiction.net/story/90939/shell-shock Shell Shock]] combines this with an obsession over getting revenge, as well as the idea of [[WarIsGlorious military glory,]] for some seriously dark results. The story is an unflinchingly brutal example of a "war is hell" piece. Seriously, [[http://www.fimfiction.net/story/90939/shell-shock take a look at it.]]
** While we don't see much of the CivilWar in [[http://www.fimfiction.net/story/88520/welcome-to-the-brothel Welcome To The Brothel]], the little we do see, combined with its effects on the protagonist, vividly illustrate this trope on a psychological level.
** The same war is brought up again in [[http://www.fimfiction.net/story/106068/1/relax/intimacy Relax.]] The protagonist mentions that he's going to have to return to it soon. It sounds nasty.
** Vividly demonstrated in [[http://www.fimfiction.net/story/109581/i-did-not-want-to-die I Did Not Want To Die.]] It is a tragedy, where the desire to fight and protect ones homeland brings naught but death and destruction to it.
** His entire Farn Baumrinde trilogy, especially '[[http://www.fimfiction.net/story/160199/barren Barren]]' and '[[http://www.fimfiction.net/story/162712/black-tulip Black Tulip]]'. Graphic depictions of both combat and PTSD.
** [[http://www.fimfiction.net/story/179940/caravan Caravan.]] The fic is based on TheWarOnTerror with a heavy emphasis on the tragic futility of fighting in Afghanistan.
* In ''Fanfic/AlongCameASpider'' the AFFC's preparations for the Clan Invasion include training up more psychiatrists to deal with the expected thousands of shell-shocked soldiers.
* In the ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' fics of Creator/AAPessimal, students at the Guild of Assassins are taught that it is better to kill a handful of people at the right time (if a suitable contract exists) than to let those people live to start a war that causes political instability, economic havoc with a detrimental effect on wealth and wellbeing, and which might incidentally result in the lives of thousands being lost. Thus you might be credited for bringing about a greater good - and you still get to claim the contract fee. So steel yourself to committing the correct inhumation at the apposite time, and show no pity. Be professional. ''Nil mortifi sine lucre.''
* In ''FanFic/{{Fractured}}'', a ''MassEffect''[=/=]''StarWars''[[spoiler:[=/=]''[=Borderlands=]'']] [[MassiveMultiplayerCrossover crossover]] and its [[FanFic/SovereignGFCOrigins sequel]], the price of victory (and even what that means) is explored.
** In ''Fractured'', the Reapers are defeated, but not due to overcoming FantasticRacism and fighting as a united galaxy. Instead, old wounds fester while fancy Trans-Galactic Republic hardware does most of the work, letting an obscure department [[TyrantTakesTheHelm take over the entire government]] in the name of galactic security.
** A Star Destroyer pulls a [[TakingYouWithMe self-destruct]] but the notion of NoEndorHolocaust for the nearby Asari colony is completely averted as debris kills thousands (which is still regarded as ''[[GodzillaThreshold better than]]'' what would have happened otherwise).
** The Asari are depicted as trying to defend their homeworld in ''Origins'' but [[FinaglesLaw everything goes wrong]] and the defense fails.
** On a more personal level, Samantha Shepard suffers [[TraumaCongaLine multiple]] HeroicBSOD episodes; one leads her to essentially commit war crimes, the second tends toward depression. Thankfully, ThereAreNoTherapists is averted, though this does not lead to an instant recovery by any means. The fact that she's been resurrected ''[[RuleOfThree three times]]'' is not going over well, and she even places a "No Extraordinary Measures" (an InUniverse Do Not Resucitate) in her file.
** James Vega and Ashley Williams, once friends, are split by a decision James makes in the context of defending an installation. He refuses to fire on an enemy ship which appears to be retreating, much to Ashley's chagrin. She is proven right when the retreat ends up being an act, but its attack fails.
** Brick loses an arm; better an arm than catching ThePlague.
** Jack sees her students kidnapped, is confronted with the realization that if you train kids to kill under the guise of fighting an AlienInvasion at the behest of a government using their resources, at some point said benefactor might ask that the trainees do it for real, and as a result gets to watch one of them die.
* In the {{Fanfic/Uplifted}} series the author certainly doesn't gloss over the nastiness of the war; an example would be the Italian sailor who is joking one moment, and cut in half the next by a British airstrike.
* ''Fanfic/TiberiumWars'' has graphic, savage, and brutal descriptions of soldiers being shot, stabbed, burned, and vaporized. That's before we get to how completely nasty the battlefields are; one chapter has a group of Nod soldiers slogging through raw sewage, with one soldier getting it ''in a fresh bullet wound.'' In one of the latest chapters, we get to see the effects of a full armored assault with [[spoiler: Mammoth Tanks]] from the perspective of the receiving end. It's about as brutally terrifying as one can imagine. In Chapter 17, a Nod officer [[spoiler: executes his own wounded]] to keep them from falling into enemy hands, because he believes they will be tortured and killed. 3 weeks into the war, GDI has managed to fill ''a stadium'' with ''300 thousand body bags.''
* ''Fanfic/DumbledoresArmyAndTheYearOfDarkness'' is another prime example, depicting the horrific ordeal the members of the eponymous insurgency go through to keep the darkness at bay as best they could, culminating in a final battle (the Battle of Hogwarts from [[Literature/HarryPotterAndTheDeathlyHallows the book]], retold from their perspective) in which [[spoiler:[[KillEmAll almost everyone dies.]]]] Unfortunately, it fumbles that ball badly, as the vast majority of the DA ''want'' to fight, have embraced the fact most of them will die, and when someone tries to convince them ''not'' to fight, he's portrayed as being in the wrong. The themes clash so badly that the entire story is tainted.
* ''FanFic/Warhammer40000Trouble'' brought it to the RefugeInAudacity level with random nuclear strike killed people 8 times larger than the AlienInvasion themselves, only reason that keeps LaResistance able to fight is because the PowerOfTrust.
* ''Fanfic/WhatAboutWitchQueen'' isn't too graphic in its depiction of war, but the Hell is there, especially during the fights in Stone Streams, which end up looking a bit like trench warfare, with bodies being trampled, people fighting not only with swords and crossbows, but also ''nails and teeth'' and both sides taking horrible casualties. TheChainsOfCommanding weigh heavily on some characters and both sides have bastards and normal people among them. There are some disturbing scenes, such as when one character crawls out of a pile of dead bodies where he was PlayingPossum and his friends nearly shoot him because they think his usually-blue uniform is red. There's also this moment where unnamed Weselton soldier manages to walk out of explosion zone, but dies moments later, because, in the words of narrative, he was "pouring blood from everywhere".
* Every story in ''Fanfic/PokeWars'' is filled with examples of this trope. The effects of the supercharged Pokémon attacks are described in graphic detail, as well as the feelings of the victim if it's still alive after the hit. The characters' reactions to the more trauma-inducing happenings are just as vividly written.
--> Skitty screamed both from the pain of the impact and the indescribable agony that arose from the corrupted blood that coursed through her veins, destroying everything they touched. She fought through the pain, struggling to get up before anything could take advantage of her vulnerable state. She tried to get up only to have her legs buckle. Her strength left her as the Ariados venom in her blood began to slowly digest her organs.\\
She [Solidad] opened her eyes; the scene of her Lapras dying still replayed over and over again in her mind. No matter what she did, she could not erase the sight of Lapras's eyes bursting and her skin scorching as thousands of volts surged through her body, burning her alive.
* ''Fanfic/TheTSABActurusWar'' has some of this, but it's not a key focus.
* ''Fanfic/WinterWar''. Aizen won, Gin [[TyrantTakesTheHelm has control of Seireitei]], and the few surviving shinigami form a very weak [[LaResistance Resistance]]... those that Aizen hasn't captured and [[FateWorseThanDeath experimented on]]. The survivors have had to abandon most of their pre-war honor codes- they've given up on the one-on-one duels that they insist on in ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'' canon, and when a minor character begins [[DeadlyDoctor using healing kidou to kill in very messy ways]] the characters let him, even though in peacetime they would be horrified. The fic is not shy about the physical and mental costs of fighting a war, either. [[spoiler: ReverseMole]] Hisagi in particular is well on his way to being a ShellShockedVeteran, despite the war not being over.
** There's also the fact that the shinigami aren't able/willing to do their jobs of keeping souls in balance and sending the dead from the human world to Soul Society. This means that the entire structure - Soul Society, the human world and the Hollow world of Hueco Mundo - is in danger of collapsing in the not-too distant future. So even if the war goes in favour of the increasingly damaged Resistance, it could yet be for nothing.
* WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender's fanfic ''Fanfic/{{Embers}}'' explores this trope even more than the original cartoon. It's clearly shown what losing their loved ones and constantly fighting for survival does to the characters, especially ChildSoldiers. Zuko has more issuses than just being extremely paranoid, Katara snaps after years of repressing herself emotionally over the loss of her mother and getting PromotionToParent, Aang lives in denial and it's the only thing protecting him from the same fate. The only two well-adjusted characters in the main cast seem to be Toph and Sokka, but considering the theme of this fic, their issues are yet to be shown.
* ''FanFic/TheImmortalGame'', formerly titled ''Ponies Make War'', has this trope as a basic theme.
** ''Fanfic/AceCombatTheEquestrianWar'' shows that, as the war with the griffins is progressing, some ponies simply want to quit fighting and live a normal life. Many of them were traumatized by the first major conflict that hit Equestria in hundreds of years. This is emphasized further in the sequel, ''Wings of Unity''.
* Prince[=/=]{{Commissar}} Blueblood's experience with [[ShotgunsAreJustBetter canister shot]] in ''[[https://fimfiction.net/story/55377/blueblood-hero-of-equestria Blueblood: Hero of Equestria]]'' is quite graphic. To whit, the prince is grazed across the withers by a shrapnel; the poor guy next to him "virtually exploded" and is reduced to an unrecognizable blob of gore. Cue VomitIndiscretionShot. Blueblood then re-evaluates his stance on [[SlobsVersusSnobs commoners and nobles.]]
-->''"There, lying before me, I saw that all a pony ever was, and will be, is blood, organs, flesh, and bone wrapped up in a fragile sack of skin. All the stuff that had previously seemed so valuable to me; social class, hierarchy, manners, parties, and all of that upper class aristocratic nonsense was once my very reason for living, all of that just didnít seem so important anymore."''
** The rest of the chapter describes the field reduced to a CorpseLand, a mortally wounded soldier crying out to his mother, his goddess, ''anyone'' to save him, and laments how the last thing he ever saw was the commissar's skull-badge. It also laments the fact that Blueblood can't remember anyone's name or face, and cursing the name of whoever thought that artillery was a "dignified" weapon.
* ''FanFic/FallenKing'' has this as a major theme. Joey and the others are force to make difficult, morally questionable choices and grapple with the fact that they and their world will never be the same.
* ''FanFic/MegaManDefenderOfTheHumanRace'' has this as a clear theme of the series; despite his many victories over Wily, the battles he's fought and losses suffered affect Mega Man greatly.
* The entire galaxy is hit with this in ''FanFic/SonicXDarkChaos''. Not many battles are described directly in story... but the aftermath of those battles are. The Metarex and Tsali steal the Planet Eggs of worlds to siphon Chaos Energy from them, turning the planets into lifeless rocks. Many of the planets Sonic and friends search are either beyond saving or [[JustBeforeTheEnd about to be destroyed]]. One world they find is nothing but a CorpseLand; another is obliterated by [[EarthShatteringKaboom an exploding Planet Egg]] before their very eyes. Others are corrupted by [[TheCorruption Dark Chaos Energy]] or infested with [[TheVirus Shroud]] feeding on the remains. Disease and starvation run rampant. The war between the Demons and Angels is described just as brutally, with gigantic war machines the size of towns clashing in merciless battles of attrition that can scour whole worlds of life in days, and plenty of RapePillageAndBurn (on a planetary scale) from both sides.
** The best example comes at the end of Episode 68; a Demon after-action report details that the entire Leo constellation was eaten by Shroud, with "[[WeHaveReserves acceptable]]" losses of 36.8 ''trillion'' people
* FanFic/{{Eugenesis}} is an extremely frank and grim depiction of what the [[Franchise/{{Transformers}} Cybertronian War]] has been like for all involved. Characters, even important and beloved ones, can die pointless, horrible deaths. The usual tropes and beats of Transformers fiction are subverted or denied, and mention is made frequently that almost all of Cybertron's former culture is gone completely. Not surprisingly, it's written by one of the writers of ''ComicBook/TheTransformersLastStandOfTheWreckers'', which has similar themes.
* In Fanfic/SeanBeanSavesWesteros, the [[RealPersonFic "real life"]] Creator/SeanBean is transported into the land of Westeros of Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire. Now living as Ned Stark, not just playing him on TV, Sean is horrified by the situations he's now thrust into, but he adapts.
* In the sixth chapter of ''Shielded Under the Raptor's Wings'', titled [[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8514416/9/Shielded-Under-the-Raptor-s-Wings "The Truth of War"]], a Minbari ground force launches a charge on open terrain against a Human force that outnumber and outguns them by a large margin, and gets graphically slaughtered. This was done because, otherwise, the Minbari back home would have dismissed the tales of the survivors (those who had been evaquated in time, those who had already spent there their tours of duty before evacuation became necessary, and those too wounded to fight) as the justifications of cowards.
* FanFic/HarmonyTheory: Though the Solar Kingdom and Lunar Republic haven't officially come to blows(Yet), the fighting that has happened is extremely brutal and graphic. Especially from the relatively pacifistic Rainbow Dash [[spoiler: and later, the rest of the mane six.]] who has woken up in this future and isn't used to warfare.
* This is implied to have been the case for the Trainer-Ranger Wars mentioned in ''Fanfic/PokemonResetBloodlines''. The last one ocurred around forty years before the beginning of the story, and even in the present time there's considerable animosity lingering between the Trainer and Ranger nations. Lt. Surge, a veteran of the last war, is implied to have lost many comrades and witnessed many horrors during his time in the military.
* ''Fanfic/DavionAndDavionDeceased'' sees the horrors of war dragged back from the far edges of the Star League to its core worlds, with millions of military and civilian casualties, as well as billions of refugees as entire worlds are rendered uninhabitable.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* As with the Film examples above, several TV series deal with the effects of war on both soldiers and civilians, including [[TheVietnamVet Vietnam-era]] shows ''Series/ChinaBeach'', ''Series/TourOfDuty'', the pilot episode of ''Series/TheWonderYears'' (where [[spoiler: Winnie's brother dies]]) and the modern-day ''Series/CombatHospital''.
* ''Series/{{The 100}}'' has left almost all its main cast traumatized by the war on the Ground: partly by the things that have happened to them, mostly by [[IDidWhatIHadToDo the things they've done trying to stay alive]].
* ''Series/TheATeam'': Murdock gives a nice little "war is hell" speech in the episode "The Island".
--> "War is hell, Wally Gator, isn't it? We know about hell and we know about war, right?"
** He was talking to ''a baby crocodile'', and ''still'' made it sound deep. Creator/DwightSchultz is just ''that'' awesome!
* ''Series/BandOfBrothers'': You will cry the day you lose your friends. This one is contrasted with its main theme of [[TrueCompanions a circle of unbreakable friendships]].
** Harry Welsh also says this to Dick Winters after inquiring about how his (rather minor) ricochet injury is healing.
* ''Series/{{Blackadder}} Goes Forth'': Otherwise a tongue-in-cheek comedy set in the trenches of [=WWI=], dives into pointedly chilling satire at the end, and [[spoiler:ends with [[BolivianArmyEnding the implied death of the entire main cast.]] Worse, before that, [[TearJerker the characters express their extreme fear to each other in the face of inevitable death.]]]]
* ''Film/TheCrossing'': The first scene shows the [[UsefulNotes/TheAmericanRevolution Continental Army]] slumping along their line of retreat in bandages, without shoes, bloodied, grimy, sick, and all-in-all in a bad way. Encampment is not where anyone wants to be, and the brutality of battle is quite vividly shown.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** ''The Last Great Time War'' is said to be this. By the end, it turned the Time Lords into bad guys, forcing the Doctor to kill them all[[note]][[spoiler:[[Recap/DoctorWho50thASTheDayOfTheDoctor sort of]]]][[/note]]. Its effects on the Doctor reverberate through the new series.
** In ''[[Recap/DoctorWhoS25E1RemembranceOfTheDaleks Remembrance of the Daleks]]'', a Dalek asks one of its human collaborators if he's bothered by selling out his entire race to further his own aims. The collaborator (a veteran of UsefulNotes/WorldWarII) shrugs and responds with this exact phrase.
** In "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS35E8TheZygonInversion The Zygon Inversion]]", the Twelfth Doctor gives an incredibly moving speech regarding his experiences in the Time War. A villain tells him that he can't understand her war, and he ''laughs''.
--->'''The Doctor:''' I don't understand? Are you kidding? Me? Of course I understand. I mean, do you call this a war, this funny little thing? ''This'' is not a war! ''I'' fought in a bigger war than ''you'' will ever know! I did ''worse'' things than you could ever imagine! And when I close my eyes... I hear more screams than anyone could ''ever'' be able to count! And you know what you do with all that pain? Shall I tell you where you put it? You hold it ''tight'', till it burns your hand! And you say this: No one else will ''ever'' have to live like this! No one else will ever have to ''feel'' this pain! Not on my watch!
** Even though he technically [[spoiler:saved the Time Lords from extinction, the war itself was still bad enough to severely traumatize a man who walks away from beatings, torture and near-death experiences on a near-weekly basis. Yeah, it was that bad.]] Not to mention that it made BigBad the Master flee in terror.
* ''Series/DowntonAbbey'' season 2 which is set in UsefulNotes/WorldWarI.
-->'''Matthew''': At the front, the men pray to be spared, of course. But if they don't, they pray for a bullet that will kill them cleanly. For many men at the hospital today, that prayer wasn't answered.
* The Australian miniseries Gallipoli, released on the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli campaign, is this in spades. Soldiers die in the dozens for an ultimately futile campaign, the Anzacs and Turks come to respect each other but it doesn't stop them from killing each other, often in brutal hand to hand combat. A literal example is when, during one attack, artillery sets fire to scrubs, engulfing attacking troops in flames.
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'': While the war scenes are spectacular, they are also extremely gruesome and brutal. Soldiers getting dismembered and the more heroic characters killing already downed foes are commonplace. This is probably most pronounced in "[[{{Recap/GameOfThronesS6E9BattleOfTheBastards}} Battle of the Bastards]]", which shows just how brutal it is to fight an army that vastly outnumbers you. Season 7 tops that with the "[[{{Recap/GameOfThronesS7E4TheSpoilsOfWar}} The Spoils of War]]" by introducing a ''dragon'' and showing the horror of such beast inflicting it on the battlefield alongside men being butchered like animals and slowly burning to death.
* ''Series/GenerationKill'': Most of the main cast realizes this after watching a video of what has happened over the course of the show.
* Comes up poignantly in ''Series/OnlyFoolsAndHorses'' of all places. In "The Russians Are Coming", Granddad gives a bitter speech to Del Boy after the latter seems to not take the threat of war seriously.
-->'''Granddad:''' I remember when I was a little nipper, and I saw all the soldiers marching off to battle. Ohh, yes! It was a glorious sight, alright.
-->'''Del Boy:''' Yeah, [[DeadpanSnarker I bet all them spears and chariots must've stirred the blood]], mustn't they?
-->'''Granddad:''' My brother George was at [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Passchendaele Passchendaele]]. Half a million allied troops died there, all for ''five miles of mud''! I was at Kings Cross Station when his regiment come home after the Armistice. Most of them was ''carried'' off the train. I saw men with limbs missing, blind men, men who couldn't breathe properly because their lungs had been ''shot to bits'' by mustard gas. While the nation celebrated, they was hidden away in big, grey buildings - far from the public gaze! ''(chokes back tears)'' I mean, courage like that could put you right off your victory tea, couldn't it? ''({{Beat}})'' '''They promised us homes fit for''' '''''heroes.''''' '''They give us''' '''''[[TearJerker heroes fit for homes.]]'''''
* ''Series/{{MASH}}'': Portrayed generals as bloodthirsty buffoons and emphasised the enemy soldiers' humanity. The military medical setting is ideal for exploring what modern weapons do to human bodies. The doctors themselves are not at home providing medical care, they are overseas working themselves into the ground patching up an endless line of casualties. The doctors at times serve as mouthpieces for the author's and actor's anti-war views.
--> '''Hawkeye:''' War ''isn't'' hell. War is war and hell is hell, and of the two, ''war'' is ''worse''.
-->'''Fr.Mulcahy:''' How do you figure that, Hawkeye?
-->'''Hawkeye:''' Easy, father. Tell me, ''who'' goes to hell?
-->'''Fr.Mulcahy:''' Sinners, I believe.
--> '''Hawkeye:''' Exactly. There are ''no innocent bystanders'' in Hell, but war is chock ''full'' of them. Little kids, cripples, old ladies. In fact, ''except'' for a few brass involved, almost ''everybody'' involved is an innocent bystander.
** When a military bomber pilot comes to the camp after being shot down, he brags about [[WarIsGlorious the great time he's having for his term of service]]. Hawkeye, disgusted at this attitude, invites him to help out during a rush of wounded, which included civilians wounded in a bombing. The pilot is profoundly shaken at the end of the session and Hawkeye apologizes for putting him through that, but there was no damn way he was going to let him return to his duties without learning the consequences of war.
* ''Series/ThePacific'' [[note]]SpiritualSuccessor to ''Series/BandOfBrothers''[[/note]]: This show is worse. Made brutally clear by Euguene Sledge's father, who tries one last attempt to persuade his son from enlisting:
--> "The worst thing about treating those combat boys from [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarI The Great War]] wasn't that they had their flesh torn; it was that they had their souls torn out. I don't want to look into your eyes someday...and see no spark, no love, no...no life. That would break my heart."
* ''Series/{{Revolution}}'': [[Recap/RevolutionS1E11TheStand Episode 11]] has this trope as its premise, with the air strikes systemically wiping out entire rebel camps.
* ''Series/TerminatorTheSarahConnorChronicles'': The ''Franchise/{{Terminator}}'' franchise always describes the fight against the machines as a war but it was this show which really hammered this point home. Derek, Sarah, John, and [[EmotionlessGirl Cameron]] were starting to crack by season 2.
* ''Series/{{Spooks}}'': "War is shit. Anyone who says otherwise has never been in one." Said by the episode's antagonist, who happens to be a well-decorated Major.
* ''Franchise/StarTrek'':
** ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'': The episode "[[{{Recap/StarTrekS1E23ATasteOfArmageddon}} A Taste of Armageddon]]" centered on two planets involved in a "clean" war lasting centuries, [[AMillionIsAStatistic where computers played out virtual battles, and the people on each side were executed to match the results]]. When the Enterprise gets caught up in it, Kirk destroys the war computers, pointing out that war is ''supposed'' be Hell (InvokedTrope), so that people will avoid it. The fear of a real war scares the planets into peace talks.
** ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'': Introduced The Cardassians during " [[{{Recap/StarTrekTheNextGenerationS4E12TheWounded}} The Wounded]]". It gave Miles O'Brien the backstory of having participated in a bloody planetside battle [[spoiler:during which one of his best friends was killed, and he was forced to kill to save himself.]]
-->'''O'Brien:''' I don't hate you, Cardassian. I hate what ''I'' became, because of ''you''.
** ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'': As the only ''Franchise/StarTrek'' series which showed a long time war (the Dominion War) the show often ventured into this with episodes like "[[{{Recap/StarTrekDeepSpaceNineS05E04NorTheBattleToTheStrong}} Nor the Battle to the Strong]]" and "[[{{Recap/StarTrekDeepSpaceNineS07E08TheSiegeOfAR558}} The Siege of AR-558]]". It also showed the lasting consequences on the psyche, such as a loss of humanity and [=PTSD=]. The latter episode was directed by a Vietnam veteran, and it shows.
*** The most striking was when the war was over. Captain Sisko, Admiral Ross and Chancellor Martok are standing on Cardassia Prime. Martok has brought a barrel of bloodwine to celebrate defeating the Dominion. But Sisko and Ross pour their drinks on the ground, saying that while they are glad the fighting is over they will not toast over the bodies of dead Cardassian civilians that had just launched an uprising against the Dominion.
* ''Series/TheTwilightZone'': Some episodes.
* ''Series/XenaWarriorPrincess'': For all its campiness, this show never shied away from showing the terrible effect of war.

[[folder: Roleplay]]
* Roleplay/DinoAttackRPG went into this terrain near the end. Granted, the first few acts involved an over-the-top villain who unleashed Chaos all over the city, characters going on bizarre shenanigans, a campy sub-plot about a psychotic agent who decided to kill everyone with the slightest idealistic views, [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking and a man named French Fries]]. But near the end, by which point many of the players had grown (the RPG having gone for six years) and their writing improved it got awfully dark for an RPG inspired by a short-lived LEGO Line of all things. Again, this technically [[DependingOnTheWriter depends on the writer]], but to name some specific examples:
** Atton Rand primarily strove for realism in his later posts starting with the Adventurers' Island arc- which gradually came to be written with this line of thought. He even had the character of Kate Bishop- a young, innocent teenager really not cut out for working on the battlefield- and if anything is ultimately broken by the war.
*** Additionally he introduced the majority of the majority of the RPG's medical characters. Naturally he was usually the one who spent a great deal of time during battles focusing on the general stress of working in a hospital in the middle of a warzone ([[ShownTheirWork going so far as to write an in-depth description of the medical staff performing surgery for a collapsed lung and internal bleeding]]).
*** He also ended his posts on a rather bleak note compared to the more optimistic views of the other players, [[DownerEnding writing posts focusing on how totally messed up his characters are psychologically as a result of the war]].
** [=PeabodySam=] killed off most of his main cast in the final battle, just to prove that AnyoneCanDie. Although he only barely touched upon this in the RPG itself, preferring to write a more BittersweetEnding in comparison to Atton's DownerEnding, [[WordOfGod he has confirmed that]] a handful of the survivors will suffer from PTSD, depression, or other such problems in the years following the war.
** that guy from that show exemplified this trope through numerous characters he introduced. Pharisee was forever hardened by his exposure to the more horrible acts committed during the war between the Crusaders and Black Falcons. Solomon Koplowitz was a philosophy professor turned KnightInSourArmor after witnessing firsthand the horrors of war between ninja and samurai. Carl Lutsky was driven to insanity in the days after finding himself promoted to the position of commander in the Dino Attack war.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}'' might just as well be the full extent of this trope in tabletop game form. Especially its DarkerAndEdgier[=/=]UpToEleven[=/=]RecycledInSpace form, ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}''. See their own pages for the awful details. "In the grim darkness of the far future there is only war", indeed.
* Personified by Szuriel, Horseman of War, in ''TabletopGame/{{Pathfinder}}''. Gorum represents the [[WarIsGlorious glory of war]], Torag [[TheStrategist strategy]], Iomedae [[ThePaladin just causes]], and Moloch [[LawfulEvil discipline]]. Szuriel, on the other hand, is war at its worst. Essentially a PsychoForHire with divine powers, she represents genocide, societal collapse, and war crimes on a grand scale, using war to traumatise mortals, harvest souls, and [[OmnicidalManiac hasten the apocalypse]].
* Most of the games in TabletopGame/TheWorldOfDarkness tend to glamorize violence, intentionally or not. ''TabletopGame/WraithTheOblivion'', on the other hand...doesn't. It really hammers home the horrific, pointless nature of war, and the two books dealing with the World Wars (''The Great War'' and '''especially''' ''Charnel Houses of Europe'') may be the bleakest things ever written by Creator/WhiteWolf.
* ''TabletopGame/BattleTech'' originally started as a state of low warfare between the five Successor States after the collapse of the [[GoldenAge Star League]] and the resulting chaos left them too shell-shocked to consider anything further. That changed after the reintroduction of lost technologies, and in the ensuing decades the setting saw a steady increase in destruction until the Word of Blake Jihad, which featured rampant destruction and suffering on a scale not seen for three centuries. [[DeathFromAbove Warships razed surface troops]], chemical weapons were used on civilians, and entire planets were rendered permanently uninhabitable from bioweapon attacks and nuclear bombardments.
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Twilight 2000}}'', WorldWarIII has destroyed civilization while resolving nothing. The players are all soldiers who were in the last battles of the war, trying to survive and perhaps begin picking up the pieces.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/TheGreenEyedSniper'' is partly focused on war and its consequences. None of the characters enjoy war: Shanti is known to [[http://ges.smackjeeves.com/comics/2542191/ges-part3-page45/ hate war (and soldiers)]]; Blitz hates violence in all forms; and Sekhmet, although a wanted war criminal, claims to be [[http://ges.smackjeeves.com/comics/2542191/ges-part3-page41/ fed up with war]].
* This ''Webcomic/{{xkcd}}'' strip: http://xkcd.com/769/
* ''Webcomic/{{Angels 2200}}'' has its plot built around this, with [[FaceHeelTurn very]] [[BreakTheCutie dire]] [[AnyoneCanDie consequences]].
* ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'' has a speech [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0417.html here]] about this given to Haley regarding Xykon's imminent attack on Azure City.
* ''Webcomic/{{Subnormality}}'' has a few, but this one is [[http://www.viruscomix.com/page541.html particularly poignant.]]
* ''Webcomic/GoneWithTheBlastwave''
--> West: Am I the only one here ''without'' a death wish?
--> Crosshairs: Yes.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Works by Stuart Slade, such as ''Literature/TheBigOne'' and ''Literature/TheSalvationWar'', make a point of portraying exactly how horrible modern military weapons technology can be, mostly as a reaction to how underestimated or cavalierly such weapons often get treated in much fiction. It helps that the author is a professional military analyst, and he [[ShownTheirWork shows his work]] by refusing to shy away from excruciatingly detailing exactly what modern weapons -- from the "lowly" assault rifle to weapons of mass destruction -- can do to people. In ''Literature/TheSalvationWar'': [[http://bbs.stardestroyer.net/viewtopic.php?t=118769&highlight= Armageddon]], for example, the forces of Hell learn first hand the horror of modern, mechanized total war. One of them even remarks that the battlefield they were fighting on was a human-made hell. Quite a rude awakening for the army in question, [[spoiler: especially as they were at bronze age levels of technology.]]
* In the sequel to ''The Salvation War'', ''Pantheocide'', we get "treated" to [[spoiler: the angelic army being hit with a nuclear initiation. The description of the results is chilling.]].
* WebVideo/{{Kickassia}} presents a humorous version of this trope, with various incidents happening during the 'war':
** WebVideo/TheNostalgiaChick [[MustHaveCaffeine runs out of coffee]], loses her mind, and joins a pack of coyotes.
** Rob Walker (the cameraman) turns amputation into a RunningGag, once having an arm cut off so that he would be symetrical.
** [[WebVideo/TheGameHeroes 8 Bit Mickey]] takes to wearing a necklace made of human ears - despite there being no fatalities in the war.
** Braghav wandered off into the desert... and returned with a penguin.
** At one point, most of the cast realizes that [[ImAHumanitarian they are all humanitarians]]... despite a buffet being available at the hotel.
** In the end, when all is said and done... Rob realizes that he left the lens cap on.
* ''Literature/{{The Lady Voltigeur}}'' shows a lot of this. In fact, a major element of the novel is showing the horrors of the war.
** Nathalie and Claire repeatedly say and admit that the war has brought nothing but pain and anguish for them with Nathalie being more vocal and aggressive when saying it aloud.
** Reinhard also shows and says hints that connects him with the war during his past, just by the way that he sounded when he said that he did not want to remember being a part of the war, people ought to believe that the war had been hell for him.
* In ''Literature/{{Spectral Shadows}}'' we have Harrison James, who would wake up in the middle of the night from nightmares, resulting in all the horrors he witnessed as a soldier during Chikyu's [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarII Second Great War]].
* ''WebAnimation/{{RWBY}}'':
** The Great War in [=RWBY's=] history was as terrible as it sounds. One hundred years of political and cultural tension erupted into ten years of brutal conflict between the alliances of Mistral and Atlas against Vale and Vacuo. Countless soldiers died in battle and just as many villages were lost to [[TheHeartless Grimm]] attacks while all of their capable fighters were drafted in the war. Humanity came perilously close to extinction until the final battle in Vacuo.
** General Ironwood and Professor Ozpin do not agree on how to handle threats of war and terrorism. Ironwood throws military might at problems whereas Ozpin prefers investigation before making a move. Glynda mentions that Ozpin has experience everyone else lacks and he is implied to be unusually ancient, probably having lived through Remnant's last war of 80 years ago. Although Ironwood thinks Ozpin is prepping his students for war, Ozpin is actually hoping the kids [[PreventTheWar never have to fight one]].
-->'''Ironwood''': Do you honestly believe [[ExtranormalInstitute your children]] can win a war?
-->'''Ozpin''': I hope they never have to.
** When war does come, it is as horrible as imagined. [[spoiler: Sweet [[RobotGirl Penny]]'s accidental death starts off a massive invasion that ends with [[HotBlooded Yang]] losing [[AnArmAndALeg an arm]] and [[HeroicBsod her fighting spirit]], [[TheAce Pyrrha]] losing her life in a fight to the death, and Ozpin missing in action. The school has to be abandoned and these are just the opening shots of the war.]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Universal Cartoon Studios productions
** ''WesternAnimation/WingCommanderAcademy'' - As much as could be portrayed in a [[TheNineties 1990s]] Saturday morning cartoon, the series is not at all shy about the death and occasional moral ambiguity of war, on both sides.
*** Probably the best episode for this is one where a kilrathi pilot crashlands on a paradise planet and holds the female doctor there hostage. She seems to have been taken over with Stockholm syndrome when Blair and Maniac find her, and eventually after stopping them from fighting one another she convinces them to let the Kilrathi leave, after having him promise not to reveal the beautiful planet's location so it may survive the war unscathed. Blair and Maniac agree to let him go, and he flies off...then they find notes implying that when she was treating his wounds she was also experimenting on him, and has bioengineered him without his knowledge into being a walking viral factory, who will die upon returning to Kilrah and spread the disease throughout their homeworld, wiping out the entire Kilrathi race. Blair and [[EvenEvilHasStandards even Maniac]] call her out on this insane plan, then take off to shoot him down. They both feel pretty crappy about it afterwards.
** ''WesternAnimation/ExoSquad'' also wasn't shy at all, depicting people dying on all sides, civilians being starved, [[OffstageVillainy indications of genocide]], BodyHorror, and many examples of NightmareFuel, particularly later in the show.
* ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' explores the prolonged effects of Imperialism, foreign occupation, and genocide as much as it can while still being viewable for children. One episode has the commander of an Earth Kingdom fortress show our heroes an infirmary, and then mentions that those soldiers are the lucky ones, because they came ''back''. Everybody has their lives affected by the war: the main character is the last of his kind because every single one of his people were massacred a hundred years earlier, and two of his companions lost their mother to a raid. They also meet many people whose villages were burned to the ground, with most of them losing their families in the process. [[WellIntentionedExtremist One even blows up a dam to try and clear out Fire Nation soldiers, knowing that the flood will kill innocent civilians as well.]] The heroes at one point find a refugee camp, where people are left with few possessions and in cramped conditions, trying to buy passage into Ba Sing Se, one of the few safe cities. They even meet a woman who was taken from her village simply because she was a waterbender, who then spent years learning how to manipulate the blood in people's bodies and now [[HeWhoFightsMonsters blindly seeks revenge]].
** And this is before we get to ''The Tale of Iroh'' in the ''[[Recap/AvatarTheLastAirbenderTheTalesOfBaSingSe Tales of Ba Sing Se]]'' episode, which shows the quiet but powerful sadness of a father losing his son to the war. [[SomeAnvilsNeedToBeDropped It hammers home the message of the inevitable personal consequences of war, and why it should not be entered into lightly.]] If there's a way to show this trope responsibly in a kid's show, ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' is probably the best example that you could possibly find. It even won a Peabody Award for its responsible, yet brutal depiction of war, along with its CharacterDevelopment.
* The word "Hell" is almost ''never'' allowed on children's television. But ''WesternAnimation/{{Histeria}}'' used it in [[BeamMeUpScotty the popular recollection]] of William T. Sherman's famous quote.
* ''WesternAnimation/PeaceOnEarth'', a very {{Anvilicious}} anti-war cartoon made just as World War II was beginning in Europe, is about a post-apocalyptic world where humans have killed themselves off through war and the world is populated by [[RidiculouslyCuteCritter Ridiculously Cute Critters]]. Features some NightmareFuel-inducing rotoscoped animation.
* ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars'' does this a lot to contrast itself to the first, Tartakosky series which was WarIsGlorious. [[spoiler: First shown in ''Rookies'' where a group of clones tries to retake an outpost... only two survive besides [[MauveShirt Rex and Cody]]. It's really hammered in hard during the Kaminoian Invasion where 99, a defective Clone, is killed. And finally in the Umbara Arc? It's so hellish (and the Jedi General is evil and planning to defect), the Clones are ''tricked to killing each other''.]]
* Recent Franchise/{{Transformers}} series such as [[WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated Animated]], [[WesternAnimation/TransformersPrime Prime]] and [[Film/{{Transformers}} the live-action films]] portray the Autobot-Decepticon war as this. This went back as far as ''WesternAnimation/TransformersTheMovie'', where a single battle saw the termination of numerous recognizable faces (albeit because [[MerchandiseDriven Hasbro wanted to remove the entire existing cast to make way for new toys]].)
* Parodied on an ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad'' where Steve becomes a ShellShockedVeteran after spending the weekend with a group UsefulNotes/VietnamWar recreationists. The episode is a parody of war films.
* In a scene from [[Recap/TheAmazingWorldOfGumballS3E19TheProcrastinators "The Procrastinators"]] from ''WesternAnimation/TheAmazingWorldOfGumball'', Gumball and Darwin are bored while having lunch so they decide to have a FoodFight. [[LiteralMinded They sent their peas to war against their sweetcorn]], a massacre ensues and the survivors are bombed by a sausage. [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone The two of them are traumatised by the whole thing]].
--> '''Gumball:''' That was nowhere near as fun as I thought it would be.
--> '''Darwin:''' I think I've lost my appetite.
* ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'' has both this trope, as espoused by Garnet and Greg, and WarIsGlorious, as espoused by Pearl. Pearl enthusiastically recounts the courageous actions Rose Quartz and the other Crystal Gems undertook to save Earth, while Garnet stoically points out that every weapon they're walking past is one of a gem who died in the fighting. But Greg explains it to his son in the plainest terms.
--> '''Greg''': There's no such thing as a "good" war.
** What little we see of the Homeworld Gems' point of view is this trope full force. Many of their veterans have some form of PTSD and recount heavy losses on their side.
* Shows up in ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' of all places: The episode [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS5E25TheCutieRemarkPart1 The Cutie Remark]] succinctly conveys this [[spoiler: in an [[BadFuture alternative timeline]] where King Sombra has conquered half of Equestria with his slave army and all of Equestria is mobilized in total war just to hold him off. Half the cast have given up their dreams and work in factories to keep the war machine running and the other half are hardened front line soldiers. Rainbow Dash in particular has a chunk missing out of her ear, has a scar across one of her eyes and has replaced one of her wings with a metal prosthesis.]]
* Although it keeps the amount of violence to what is acceptable for a children's series, ''WesternAnimation/BooBoomTheLongWayHome'' still makes no attempt to hide how awful World War II was, and war in general is. For starters, the war is what landed the protagonist, Boo-Boom, in his current situation; being seperated from his parents during an air attack. As he and his friends travel Italy, itís shown numerous times how everyday life for normal citizens who never wanted anything to do with the war is turned upside down because of it.