Playing With: Misery Builds Character
Basic Trope: Suffering is beneficial for a character.
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- Straight: Bob goes through hardships in his life from physical and emotional pain, but this made him stronger.
- Exaggerated: Living his entire life in a demented Crapsack World full of brutal people has made Bob the most powerful man on earth.
- Downplayed: The "suffering" includes chores, doing your homework, and playing nice with the neighbours' kids.
- Justified: Physical and Mental hardships have the possibility of helping Bob turn into a stronger, smarter, and more Genre Savvy person, or sometimes a worse one.
- Pleasure and peace are bad for you.
- Misery destroys character - they are left as burnt out shells who lack the motivation to use any of their training.
- Subverted: Bob's hardships cause him to breakdown because of the PTSD, turning him into a pathetic shell of a man.
- Double Subverted: But somehow he manages to put himself together, maybe even with the help of his friends or therapy, and acknowledge that the hardships made him stronger.
- Parodied: Eating spoiled and poisonous food is what made Bob a better person.
- Zig Zagged: Bad things are good for Bob, but in other situations, bad things are not good.
- Averted: Suffering neither builds nor destroys character.
- Enforced: The writer had experienced suffering that made him a stronger person, so he creates the character Bob as a reflection to help others.
- Lampshaded: "Suffer a little more and you'll become a better person."
- A tyrannical dictator wants to make obedient citizens by bringing forth intense suffering to them.
- Or alternatively, a deontological and strict ruler figures that the best way to make his subjects moral and disciplined is to make them go through something extremely horrific.
- Bob enjoys suffering and awaits for it to happen.
- Because of Bob growing up, his father Al tells him this just to force him to do his chores.
- Exploited: Same as "Invoked 1" except the tyrant wants to be seen as a well-meaning person for creating benefits through inflicting suffering, making him feel better about himself.
- "Suffering doesn't build character. You're just saying that as an excuse to be a douchebag."
- "Suffering doesn't build character. Suffering is just suffering."
- "It's always those types of people who think that bad things are good for us."
- "Suffering makes us stronger? What kind of drugs are you on?"
- Conversed: "You would think that the writers made Bob suffered long enough?"
- The belief that bad things are good for people opens a door for those to use said belief to justify their rotten behavior, making the world a horrible place to live; as a result, many people who are abused and harassed choose to take their own lives.
- Whatever character is built is shown to always come with serious long term downsides. While training may have toughened the soldiers up they can no longer function in normal society.
- Reconstructed: It is shown that a person who has suffered and recovered from hardships is much better prepared to face the real world than someone who avoided any form of adversity, and that while insurmountable hardships can very likely cause a person to break down and destroy his/her character; courage, personal attitude and support from friends and family can make adversity much more manageable, and actually make people grow.
- Played For Laughs: There is a literal grindstone that can be used to build one's character into a perfect personality. No one uses it because it is so tedious.
- Played For Drama: The trials and tribulations a character goes through break the audience's hearts.
Back to Misery Builds Character