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* ''VideoGame/{{Dropsy}}'' opens with a literal ''nightmare'', as the titular clown relives a tragic event. It's soon revealed that the event was a fire at the circus where he lives and works, a fire that killed his adoptive mother and several audience members. Everyone in the nearby city thinks that Dropsy ''caused'' the fire, and so the game begins with Dropsy despised by nearly everyone he meets, faced with no prospects and an ailing father.


* The beginning of the Anime/JapanAnimatorExpo's "ME!ME!ME!" has its protagoinst, Shuu-chan, lay wasting in his room in a depressed funkunable to respond to anything in a scene lacking anything cheery. [[spoiler:We later learn that this is he result of his guilt over his breakup with his ex-girlfriend Hana-chan, and that he's not going to get over it anytime soon.]]

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* The beginning of the Anime/JapanAnimatorExpo's ''Anime/JapanAnimatorExpo'' short "ME!ME!ME!" has its protagoinst, protagonist, Shuu-chan, lay wasting in his room in a depressed funkunable funk, unable to respond to anything in a scene lacking anything cheery. [[spoiler:We later learn that this is he result of his guilt over his breakup with his ex-girlfriend Hana-chan, and that he's not going to get over it anytime soon.]]

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* The beginning of the Anime/JapanAnimatorExpo's "ME!ME!ME!" has its protagoinst, Shuu-chan, lay wasting in his room in a depressed funkunable to respond to anything in a scene lacking anything cheery. [[spoiler:We later learn that this is he result of his guilt over his breakup with his ex-girlfriend Hana-chan, and that he's not going to get over it anytime soon.]]


** [[spoiler: The Doctor "dies"]] at the beginning of "The Impossible Astronaut". This also happened when Sylvester [=McCoy=] replaced Colin Baker as the Doctor and at the beginning of the TV movie in the 90s.

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** [[spoiler: The Doctor "dies"]] at the beginning of "The "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS32E1TheImpossibleAstronaut The Impossible Astronaut". Astronaut]]". This also happened when Sylvester [=McCoy=] replaced Colin Baker as the Doctor and at the beginning of "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS24E1TimeAndTheRani Time and the Rani]]" and [[Recap/DoctorWhoTVMTheTVMovie the TV movie in the 90s.nineties]].



* ''Series/{{Firefly}}'': Opens with the Independents losing the Battle of Serenity Valley, the deciding battle of the civil war, and the DespairEventHorizon for the main character.

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* ''Series/{{Firefly}}'': Opens ''Series/{{Firefly}}'' opens with the Independents losing the Battle of Serenity Valley, the deciding battle of the civil war, and the DespairEventHorizon for the main character.



* The Jim Davidson sitcom ''Up the Elephant and Round the Castle'' had a sequel ''Home James'', which saw the main character lose the house he inherited that was the setting for the series and lose his factory job.



* ''Series/ThePrisoner1967'': The episode "Hammer Into Anvil" begins with a woman throwing herself to her death from a window to escape a brutal interrogation. What follows is one of the most comedic episodes of the show, with one of its happiest individual endings.
* ''Series/RedDwarf'': Starts off with [[EverybodysDeadDave everybody dying]] from a radiation leak in what is surely the bleakest beginning any sitcom has ever had.

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* ''Series/ThePrisoner1967'': The episode "Hammer "[[Recap/ThePrisonerE10HammerIntoAnvil Hammer Into Anvil" Anvil]]" begins with a woman throwing herself to her death from a window to escape a brutal interrogation. What follows is one of the most comedic episodes of the show, with one of its happiest individual endings.
* ''Series/RedDwarf'': Starts ''Series/RedDwarf'' starts off with [[EverybodysDeadDave everybody dying]] from a radiation leak in what is surely the bleakest beginning any sitcom has ever had.

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* ''Film/{{Arrival}}'' begins with Louise's 12-year-old daughter Hannah dying of cancer.

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** ''VideoGame/HyruleWarriorsAgeOfCalamity'' starts during the calamity from the backstory of ''Breath of the Wild'', with Hyrule being razed to the ground, the king and champions dead, Link mortally wounded, and Zelda having awakened her sealing power far to late to do anything but run damage control.

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* ''Film/TheEightDiagramPoleFighter'' begins with the eight brothers of the yang family, the only survivors of their army after losing a war, fighting their way through hordes and hordes of Mongol invaders, only to be killed in battle, one by one before the opening titles. There are only two surviving brothers by the time they escaped the battlefield, and one of them goes insane by the first act.


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* ''Film/FourteenAmazons'' starts with the Imperial army being defeated by the invading Mongols, the heroic general of the royal army being ForcedToWatch as his surviving men gets brutally flogged to death by Mongol soldiers, before getting executed himself. Then cue opening titles.

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* ''WebComic/FriendsTillDeath'': And HOW. It literally starts off with Herz begging God to let him die!

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* The first half of ''WesternAnimation/ClassOf3000'''s pilot episode, "Home" is this. Sunny leaves the music business, the class loses their music teacher (and fears being separated), and their attempts to sell tickets for a benefit concert fall flat.


* ''TabletopGame/KingdomDeath'' opens with a doozy: humanity is reduced to the dregs of the Stone Age, trapped in a realm of near-eternal darkness, and beset on all sides by [[EldritchAbomination grotesque monsters]]. A handful of starving people gather together by one of the few sources of light to try and build some kind of civilization. [[spoiler: In most campaigns the story has a DownerEnding, too, as the survivors are wiped out in a suitably [[IronicDeath ironic fashion]].]]

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* ''TabletopGame/KingdomDeath'' opens with a doozy: humanity is reduced to the dregs of the Stone Age, trapped in a realm of near-eternal darkness, and beset on all sides by [[EldritchAbomination grotesque monsters]]. A handful of starving people gather together by one of the few sources of light to try and build some kind of civilization. [[spoiler: In most campaigns the story has a DownerEnding, too, as the survivors are wiped out in a suitably [[IronicDeath [[DeathByIrony ironic fashion]].]]


* ''Anime/FullmetalAlchemist'' opens with a flashback of when Ed and Al attempted human transmutation to bring back their dead mother ([[spoiler:[[CameBackWrong The result looked like some poor dude that had an encounter with a flamethrower or an acid pit]].]]), which led to Al's body and Ed's arm and leg being lost to the Gate. While [[Manga/FullmetalAlchemist the manga]] didn't cover it in detail for a few chapters, ''[[Manga/FullmetalAlchemist Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood]]'' flashes back to the event in the second episode.

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* ''Anime/FullmetalAlchemist'' ''Franchise/FullmetalAlchemist'' opens with a flashback of when Ed and Al attempted human transmutation to bring back their dead mother ([[spoiler:[[CameBackWrong The result looked like some poor dude that had an encounter with a flamethrower or an acid pit]].]]), which led to Al's body and Ed's arm and leg being lost to the Gate. While [[Manga/FullmetalAlchemist the manga]] didn't cover it in detail for a few chapters, ''[[Manga/FullmetalAlchemist Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood]]'' ''Anime/FullmetalAlchemistBrotherhood'' flashes back to the event in the second episode.



[[folder:Web Comics]]

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[[folder:Web Comics]][[folder:Webcomics]]

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* ''Manga/DemonSlayerKimetsuNoYaiba'' begins with Tanjiro getting home to find that most of his family has been slaughtered by a demon. The only survivor, his younger sister Nezuko, has been transformed into a demon herself, meaning that she might give in to her hunger for humans and attack Tanjiro, or be killed by the Demon Slayer Corps.

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* ''VideoGame/XenobladeChronicles'' starts with humanity's best chance at survival being crippled, and ends its first chapter with Shulk's closest friend dead.


* ''Fanfic/SinsOfThePast'' opens with Lila successfully [[WoundedGazelleGambit framing Marinette for supposedly attacking her]]. When Marinette confides in Adrien, expecting him to keep his promise of supporting her, he instead [[UsefulNotes/VictimBlaming blames her]] and claims that her attempts to expose Lila make ''her'' a bully. Then one of Hawkmoth's butterflies finds her alone in her anguish, and he greets her as 'little bug'. [[TimeSkip Fifteen years later]], Ladybug in long gone, and Kamala has a miserable first day at school before the blackened Ladybug earrings find their way into her possession, and she meets a ghostly Marinette.

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* ''Fanfic/SinsOfThePast'' opens with Lila successfully [[WoundedGazelleGambit framing Marinette for supposedly attacking her]]. When Marinette confides in Adrien, expecting him to keep his promise of supporting her, he instead [[UsefulNotes/VictimBlaming blames her]] and claims that her attempts to expose Lila make ''her'' a bully. Then one of Hawkmoth's butterflies finds her alone in her anguish, and he greets her as 'little bug'. [[TimeSkip Fifteen years later]], Ladybug in is long gone, and Kamala has a miserable first day at school before the blackened Ladybug earrings find their way into her possession, and she meets a ghostly Marinette.



* ''Fanfic/OneStepBackwardsAndThreeForwards'' opens with [[TheBadGuyWins Hawkmoth triumphant]], as Lila/Cobra gives him the Miraculi he sought, having successfully convinced Alya and Nino [[FaceHeelTurn to betray the other heroes]] and stolen the Snake Miraculous for herself. Despite Plagg and Tikki [[DissonantSerenity cheerfully observing]] that villains are never [[BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor careful with their Wishes]], Hawkmoth still makes his Wish, and invites his minions to join him. These Wishes [[RealityWarper rewrite and retcon reality]], with Marinette and Adrien helpless to do anything other than cradle each other and lament their failures as everything goes white.



--> '''Narrator''': For who could ever learn to love a beast?

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--> '''Narrator''': -->'''Narrator''': For who could ever learn to love a beast?


* In ''VideoGame/GoldenSun2001'', your hometown is almost completely destroyed by a rockslide and Felix barely makes it alive out of the river he falls into.

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* In ''VideoGame/GoldenSun2001'', ''VideoGame/GoldenSun1'', your hometown is almost completely destroyed by a rockslide and Felix barely makes it alive out of the river he falls into.

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