Awww, the poor kid...
An easy way to mark someone as The Woobie
is to confine them to a wheelchair. Crutches or other similarly visible impediments are common, too, but wheelchairs are the most common. Often their Woobie status is tied to how they ended up in the thing in the first place.
This trope is NOT reserved for examples involving wheelchairs; any similar example works.
If the character does not like to be reminded of their Woobie status, this overlaps with Don't You Dare Pity Me!
Anime and Manga
- Practically every lengthy description/slow pan camera shot of a hospital plays to this in some degree.
- Black★Rock Shooter's Kagari counts as more along the lines of a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds. Did we mention that there's no medical reason why she can't walk? She just became codependent on her friend, Yomi.
- Code Geass: Nunnally Lamperouge/vi Britannia, although in Code Geass: Nightmare of Nunnally, she regains her ability to walk in the end.
- The anime also makes reference to her undergoing physical therapy, but we don't see any results within the actual show. By the time she becomes the Empress of Britannia, she has regained her sight - but is still wheelchair-bound.
- Hayate Yagami from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's, though she gets better, both in terms of mobility and life situation, by the third season. Also qualified for Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds by the end of A's.
- Sylvette Suede of Tegami Bachi. Her mother died in childbirth, and she is eventually separated from the brother who raised her and lives in poverty. And it turns out that Gauche did not actually recover his memory when he comes back, denying her a reunion with him.
- Rock Lee ends up heavily injured by Gaara during the exam and has to use crutches. The others fear that he may be permanently crippled, which would destroy his dream of ever becoming a ninja. He gets better.
- The pictured example is Kamio Misuzu from Air in the second half of the show. Let's just say that she got sick to the point in which she needed to be on a wheelchair. Unlike some of the other examples, she doesn't get better, but instead worse. Very worse.
- Subverted in Jo Jos Bizarre Adventure Part 7 by Johnny Joestar. He's shown as a somewhat frail and even effeminate boy but he's still determined enough to take part in the Steel Ball Run horse race even without working legs to follow Gyro Zeppeli and to find out the secret of his steel balls.
- Ramon from Mar Adentro is an extreme example in that he is quadriplegic and confined to his bed for most of the film, becoming a Wheelchair Woobie only towards the end.
- Crutchie from Newsies.
- Vriess in Alien: Resurrection. Complete with a scene where Johner throws a knife into one of his numb legs, just to be an ass!
- Older Than Radio: In A Christmas Carol, Tiny Tim is a sad little boy who for has a bad leg and can only walk on a crutch.
- Briarlight from Warrior Cats, after breaking her spine. Being a cat, however, she doesn't have a wheelchair, making her even more of a woobie.
- Stevie from Malcolm in the Middle. However he sometimes subverts it by doing some pretty impressive stuff (like punching Reese into submission).
- Orson from Desperate Housewives after the plane crash during season 6 leaves him paralyzed. He even takes advantage of his condition in order to get his revenge against Bree.
- On Arrested Development, Maeby tries to invoke this trope with her false identity of wheelchair-bound, dying Shirley.
- Artie from Glee drifts into this on occasion.
- When Snoop Dogg hosted Saturday Night Live, he played a mediocre, wheelchair-bound rapper who continually wins battles by reminding the audience that he's in a wheelchair - until he goes up against a blind rapper.
- John Locke from LOST.
- Matthew from Downton Abbey is seen by many as this.
- Also Bates, who uses a cane due to an injury he got while serving in the military.
- To a certain extent, John Watson at the beginning of the first episode of Sherlock could be considered this.
- The Clockworker's Doll. Even though the wheelchair has no bearing in her woobie-ness, she's still a major example. Although she did get out of it as of Capriccio Farce.
- Acro from the second Ace Attorney game. He lost his brother and his ability to walk to an accident that should have been just an innocent prank!
- Diana in Sakura Wars V. Her self pity can keep people from feeling sorry for her in some cases.
- The player's brother, Doned, in the opening of Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. He spends the rest of the game in a world where he can magically walk and gets upsets with the player for trying to restore their original world. Wonder why.
- In the end, he's back in his wheelchair, but more accepting of his situation.
- Mega Man Legends 1 has a little girl named Ira who is confined to a wheelchair. Despite the hospital's aging equipment stalling her recovery, she remains hopeful that she'll walk again. If you donate enough Zenny so the hospital can buy new equipment, she will.
- Emi Ibarazaki from Katawa Shoujo, though it's temporary; she has an infection that prevents her from using her prosthetic legs. Bad thing, running with said prosthetic legs kept her Bad Dreams away from her mind, thus her mental/emotional state becomes unstable....
- Kaoru Watabe from The King of Fighters starts as such, but by the time we officially meet her she's starting to get better.
- Tavros Nitram from Homestuck, whose misfortunes are too plentiful to name here, although there's a delightfully comprehensive list in his entry of the character page. Although his woobie-ness is not tied to his disability — he was still the universe's punching bag both before he was paralyzed and after he regained the use of his legs.
- Mecha maid (without her armour) in Spinnerette.
- Amara from Keiki, especially when one comic showed her becoming a popular trendsetter, then realizing it was All Just a Dream.
- Lululu Lopez, an impoverished land-based mermaid from Electric Wonderland, might come off as this if not for the moments when she comes off as a Bratty Half-Pint.
- Subverted in season 3 of The Guild, in which one of the members of the "Axis of Anarchy" is a hot blond in a wheelchair, who turns out to be a total b-word and exploits her condition to manipulate people.
- One article in The Onion deals with a young wheelchair-bound boy who prays to God to be allowed to walk again, only to be told that he never will.
- This animation of a boy in a wheelchair who dreams to be able to fly one day.
- Averted completely in Worm, first Taylor gets her back broken and nearly drowns due to saving a civilian shelter, then is healed within a chapter. Then Genesis is revealed to have been wheelchair bound for a long time, however for the same reasons that this takes a long time to come up, she hardly seems to care.
- On South Park, Timmy - in a wheelchair, and who can only say his own name - is protective of his status as the Wheelchair Woobie when he meets Jimmy - a boy with an unnamed disease which withered his legs, making him walk with two forearm crutches, but who does inspirational Stand-Up Comedy. Timmy even tries to kill Jimmy.
- In one episode of Blinky Bill, poor little Shifty Dingo breaks his leg and has to be in a wheelchair.
- Joe Swanson is occasionally this when he's not being a Handicapped Badass.
- Subverted on The Proud Family, where Penny starts dating a boy in a wheelchair, who she felt sorry for. But it is revealed that his actually an incredibly bossy jerkass who exploits his handicap and pretends to be more weak and gentle than he is to get people to do what he says. He even uses this to escape punishment. (to clarify, Penny and her friends were suspended because they were suspected of having been the vandals. All he has to do when he's caught? Apologize.)
- On Futurama, Tinny Tim is a parody version of this, an orphaned robotic child with a crutch for one arm and differently-sized legs.
- On Young Justice, Artemis' mother Paula. Losing her mobility in her former career (as a criminal) is just part of what makes her Woobie-ish.
- One episode of The Wild Thornberrys features a character of the week being a girl in a wheelchair. Eliza tries very hard not to treat her any differently than she would any other girl but has a hard time not bringing it up.
- Gillette from Archer was shot through the spine, confining him to a wheelchair. Archer's Jerkass persona lead to many Kick the Dog moments. Subverted when it is revealed that he wasn't actually crippled and just liked the sympathy and attention being in a wheelchair afforded him.
- In the fourth season finale of The Venture Bros., Triana's new boyfriend Raven is one of these. Seeing as he's an Edward Cullen parody, his status as "woobie" may be up for debate.