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Break the Haughty in fanfiction.


  • Akane in Anything Goes Game Changer gets it finally driven home that she's far from the best when she and Yashima fight a quartet of Sekirei. Since her opponents don't hold back nearly as much, Akane can't ignore that her defeat ever happened as her wrist is badly fractured from it.

  • Almost all of the Twilight characters go through this at the end of The Wedding Crashers: the vampires realize they are not at the top of the food chain like they thought after two of their own are killed by Dean and Castiel, and are only saved by a human girl's mercy, the Cullens are disgraced by the rest of their kind, Renessme gets punched by Leah, Jacob accidentally releases Leah from his hold and gets beaten as a result, and Quil is told by Claire that she will never marry him.

  • Various cast members are put through this in An Alternate Keitaro Urashima, with varying results:
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    • Haruka's begins when she's slapped by a lawsuit led by disgruntled employees and customers she casually abused because she didn't like them. Pride keeps her from settling as her lawyer advises; as a result, she loses the teahouse, and Granny Hina exploits her vulnerable position to name her manager so she can continue her world tour. Though naturally embittered by this, over time, she starts to realize how her own actions contributed to her plight.
    • Su gets put in a position where her royal status can't save her, and actually works against her: If it becomes common knowledge that their princess is a thief, there'll be considerable political fallout. Despite this, Su repeatedly complains, wondering why 'those meanies' won't just let her friends fix everything.
    • Naru attacks Keitaro on the grounds of their cram school and nearly gets kicked out for the assault. Though the Headmaster shows her some pity and lets her off with a stern warning, the other students avoid her, not wanting anything to do with somebody so volatile. Naru blames Keitaro for this.
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    • Mokoto's gotten the worst Humiliation Conga so far. After getting arrested, she's steadily been losing everything that mattered to her: her FanGirl Posse, her position on the Kendo Club, her honor, her reputation, her status as heir of the God Cry School, and her place at the Hinata Inn, as she's being forcibly transferred to a co-ed school back in Kyoto.

  • Amazon Aid has Cologne destroy all of Nabiki's blackmail material and inform those affected by it of what she's done. Upon finding out, Nabiki is rendered beyond terrified at the realization that she now has nothing to stop her former victims attacking her, and has to literally beg Ranma for his protection, which he only agrees to provide if she gives up blackmail and extortion for good, pays back all the money she got from it, and doesn't interfere with him and Akane. She also gets treated with open contempt by the rest of Furinkan's students, and is forced to get a job in a department store to pay back all the money she owes.

  • Black Flames Dance In The Wind: Rise Of Naruto had a very satisfying one for Naruto, who up to that point and hovered between Gary Stu and God-Mode Sue. After he and Yugito fight Hidan and Kakuzu (respectively), Naruto meets Shizaru, a demon that Kyuubi flat out tells him he has no chance against. When Naruto disregards Kyuubi's warning to avoid antagonizing Shizaru at all costs, Shizaru beats him so badly that Naruto is left bifurcated and with almost all of his bones broken. While in a coma, Naruto gets called out by Kyuubi on not only disregarding her warning but dragging out his fight with Hidan after assuring Yugito that he'd kill Hidan as quickly as possible then help her with Kakuzu.
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    • Sasuke loses his trademark arrogance while training under Genma who, among other reasons, headbutts Sasuke every time he gets uppity.
    • Ino had always viewed herself as superior to Sakura in every relevant way, only to find in the aftermath of an attack on Konoha that countless shinobi are not only praising Sakura's heroics during the attack but also her diligence in the rescue efforts. As a result, whenever Ino fails to do something, a nearby shinobi will comment on how more genin should "be like that Haruno girl". When Ino later spars with Sakura, the fight lasts until Sakura goes on the offensive and breaks Ino's jaw with a single jab.

  • Word of God is that the rewritten version of Can You Imagine That? will chronicle the turning point of Calvin's characterization, showing his development from the original strip's portrayal as a jerkass to the more heroic interpretation the rest of the Calvinverse shows him as.

  • Common Sense: After dismissing Ash's growth as a trainer and pushing him past the Rage Breaking Point, Misty gets a rude awakening when she tries to challenge Ash to a Water Pokémon battle. Ash first gives her a good "The Reason You Suck" Speech and tells her she's not worth his time, and when she insists, he proceeds to trash her entire team with one Pokémon.

  • In the Death Note fanfic Story of the Century, not only do Light and Higuchi get broken, but L gets his, too. He technically "wins" the battle against Kira, but in the process, he loses Watari, Light, Misa's friendship, the trust and respect of the task force, and of course his own life. He takes sort-of Love Interest Erin's "The Reason You Suck" Speech at the end of it all exceptionally well (though he still forces her to leave) and spends his last few days alone.

  • A Diplomatic Visit: The wolf Far-Tracker had this happen to him - after some bragging about his tracking skills, he went out after a wild boar, only to wind up tracking his way straight into a porcupine's den. The experience left him somewhat humbler, and now he gets a laugh out of telling the story.

  • Dragon Age: The Crown of Thorns: Trian Aeducan is put through this, with surprising results.

  • In Earth and Sky, Diamond Tiara has gone from merely being a brat to being a self-centered Corrupt Corporate Executive who tries to make trouble for Harmony Aeronautics solely out of a misplaced grudge on Apple Bloom, and she ends up suffering for it: she's kidnapped by changelings, who find her so unpleasant they ditch her in the desert and leave her for dead. Diamond only survives to make it to civilization because of The Power of Hate, which to her horror means she owes her life to her sworn rival. Fortunately, all this abuse gradually leads to a Heel Realization and a Heel–Face Turn.

  • Ever After High fanfic Poisoning Apple Rotbart's initial relationship with Apple consisted of this: while Apple is very sweet, she is very used to getting what she wants and used to getting her word obeyed. Since she is used to the friendly and benign Raven as her villain, she is unprepared for Raven's replacement, Rotbart, son of the Swan Lake Evil Sorceror. Rotbart is genuinely antagonistic towards her and is a villain who likes being a villain. Who already doesn't like her because she's trying to force his little sister Raven into something she doesn't want.
    • Rotbart gets this when he is forced to rely on Apple for help when he is injured while swimming despite being a big jerk to her.
    • Daring Charming is humiliated in front of the entire school, caught cheating on Apple.

  • In Game of Touhou, Futo is an arrogant and incompetent admiral on Prince Miko's orders. Then, she's captured by Gengetsu and abused to the point of turning into "Fugetsu".

  • In the Gensokyo 20XX series, we have this twice with Yume Ni, the resident bully and smartass. The first time was after Reimu stabs her with a pair of scissors in response to her kicking her in the face, the which shattering her bravado. She was not happy about that, leading for a grudge, and found herself broken again by Chen when the latter gives her a "The Reason You Suck" Speech.

  • A Growing Affection does this to Hanabi twice. The first is a more minor breaking when Hinata deconstructs Hanabi's importance relative to Naruto. the second time is when Madara breaks her spirit as a part of his Grand Theft Me plot.

  • Yuuka in Imperfect Metamorphosis. She's completely broken when she discovers she's fictional. Also, Yukari is constantly broken by her extremist solutions but yet she refuses to yield.

  • Being raised on a diet of juvenile, inexperienced T. Rexes has given Iudex Carnifex of It's not the Raptor DNA an inflated view of himself; the Spinosaurus sees himself as the ultimate killing machine, and refers to Tyrannosaurus as "easy kills". Then he encounters Limper, a bull T. Rex who survived close to twenty years in the wild, and after a quick thrashing Carnifex has changed his mind about who is more powerful.

  • The Professional Wrestling series The JWL put Triple H through a Humiliation Conga:

  • Spectrem goes through a little breaking in The Keys Stand Alone: The Soft World.

  • Fellow Love Hina fic For His Own Sake also sees the haughtier members of the cast going through this. In particular, Su's antics with her robots have gotten her arrested and labeled a terrorist; Mokoto has gotten stripped of her heir status and Naru's impulsive decision to attack an innocent man and blame him for it bit her hard when it turned out he was a career advisor, and the attack brought her behavior to the attention of her school and has implicitly torpedoed her academic future.

  • Many Evangelion fanfics do this to Asuka.
    • A Crown of Stars: Asuka had trained hard her whole life to become the best. She was a soldier and was proud of it. Then the war came and she got beaten, humiliated, mind-raped, abandoned by her comrades and murdered. After the end of the world, she was angry, jaded and semi-comatose. She got forced to be two warlords' war toy and plaything for years during which she thought she had been abandoned and betrayed again for the only person she might have loved. When the story starts out she is soul-weary and mind-broken she does not believe her life will ever get better.
    • Advice and Trust: Although the premise of the story is "Shinji and Asuka's ruined First Kiss was Asuka's turning point which led to her break-down. What if they would have gotten it right?" Asuka still is put through a breaking. She gets swallowed by an Angel, her best friend gets absorbed by her giant robot and she gets fired up by Gendo. The last was a potentially devastating blow since her self-worth is completely tied to being a pilot. She was hanging by a thread afterward, and Shinji was the only thing helped her to cope with the situation in lieu of falling apart and crumbling down.
    • The Child of Love: Asuka was prideful and boastful because her very fragile self-image was founded on being the best at everything and depending on nobody. She never wanted to have children and piloting Eva was everything she thought she had. Then she fell in love with her greatest rival, he got her pregnant and she stopped being a pilot due to her pregnancy. Her self-image got shattered, but she managed to pull herself together, and when Shinji reached out to her she opened up, acknowledged her feelings and trusted him. And then he lost his nerve.
    • Children of an Elder God: Asuka was somewhat arrogant and brash when she came along (albeit she was calmer than in canon thanks to being raised by a good foster mother). In her first battle, she was supposed to capture her adversary alive, but she got carried away when it got her mad and she killed it. As a consequence of it, she got lectured, berated and threatened by Gendo. During the War, she sees her friends and people getting insane or dying because the Eldritch Abominations they are fighting as she gets put through several defeats and humiliations, and when all is over she pretty much has no pride left.
    • Doing It Right This Time: Brash, bold, prideful Asuka got her heart broken, her pride shattered, her mind raped and her body chopped into pieces and devoured before the beginning of the history. She became suicidal before AND after dying and being reborn, but now the universe has got a makeover she has decided turning over a new leaf, too.
    • Evangelion 303: By the start of the history Asuka is the top pilot in the base, she knows it and ensures -loudly- that everyone else also knows it. However, her performance had been slipping and she lost a coveted assignment to another pilot. Then she challenged the newcomer pilot to a duel and she lost. Her conflicting feelings towards Shinji got her distracted and she botched a mission. Her self-image was collapsing but she got better after she sorted her feelings out and Shinji and she consummated their relationship. But shortly before the warplane that she was piloting crashed and she spent several months in a coma. When she woke up she blamed herself for it and her best friend's death. Later she had to fly another prototype and it also crashed. With her self-confidence and self-esteem shattered she saw herself like a pathetic failure. She was so affected that she tried to tried to kill herself and when Shinji stopped her, she ran away.
    • Ghosts of Evangelion: Asuka was apparently prideful and boastful, and she thought she was the best pilot ever. During the War, she got humiliation after humiliation, beatings, a mind-rape and realized NERV never cared about her. After Third Impact she was very bitter and furious, but she tried to get better... and then she got raped.
    • HERZ: Chapter 2 narrates how Asuka's pride got shattered until she regarded herself as a worthless, useless failure and an ugly, scarred freak.
    • Higher Learning: Asuka was bold and arrogant at the beginning. All of it was a façade to hide her many insecurities and neuroses, though. She gained emotional stability when she hooked up with Shinji, but for the same reason she got severely upset when he was in danger or when he left for a while. Then she was Mind Raped by Arael and her self-confidence crumbled down. Asuka spent the rest of the history depressed and clinging to Shinji in order to not lose it completely. She was so soul-weary and her self-esteem was so shattered that she would rather die with Shinji to get into her Eva again and fight for her life.
    • Last Child of Krypton: Due to her rigorous training and inferiority complex, Asuka was -or pretended to be- cocky and self-assured, and thought she would easily destroy any enemy. However, she got nearly killed in her first deployed and was admonished for a mistake was not her fault. She got better afterward, but she was put through more humiliations and defeats until she stopped being an Eva pilot.
    • Once More with Feeling: Defied. Shortly after meeting Asuka for first time -again-, Shinji feels tempted to bring her down a notch... but he will do not it, no matter how overbearing she may be, because he has seen what would happen if her pride was shattered, and he has absolutely no desire of seeing it happening ever again.
    • The One I Love Is: In this story, Asuka was broken even worse than in canon. In addition to the long string of traumatic humiliations, beatings, defeats, and Mind Rape she suffered in the original series, she got to compete with Rei over Shinji. She forced herself to face her feelings, opened up to Shinji (making herself vulnerable despite all her misgivings and fears)... and then she got depressed and heart-broken because it did not seem to be enough to win him over and she felt wanting compared with Rei. That situation increased her insecurities and feelings of inadequacy and she slowly and gradually fell completely apart and tried to kill herself.
    • Superwomen of Eva 2: Lone Heir of Krypton: Asuka behaved as a prideful, self-assured girl at the beginning (a mask to cover her weak self-esteem). When her powers surfaced and she started out her superheroine career, though, she changed gradually, becoming less self-centered and more altruistic. At the same time her performance with her giant robot suffered, and she started questioning herself. Then she went through Arael's Mind Rape. The Robeast played with all her fears, doubts and insecurities, and broke her down. For a while she was utterly distraught and depressed, thinking she was never a heroine but an immature child playing a game, she was never a good pilot, and she was worthless.
    • In Thousand Shinji, both Jerkass Woobie main characters suffered this:
      • Shinji did this to Asuka so she didn't break in an undesirable fashion. He won a duel against her and exposed all her flaws and insecurities to force her to face them and mature.
      • Shinji also was broken when his plotting and scheming completely backfired, and his love, family, and friends suffered the consequences.
    • The Second Try: Asuka was arrogant and loud because she tried to overcome her childhood traumas by becoming the best pilot ever. She got beaten and humiliated repeatedly; then she was abandoned and replaced, and shortly after she died in a gruesome way. She managed to live beyond the end of the world, mature, get married to her love and have a beautiful daughter, and then everything was taken from her.
    • Deconstructed in Neon Genesis Evangelion: Genocide. Asuka was an arrogant, annoying brat, but she was broken so thoroughly that her life became a nightmare and she tried to commit suicide because she couldn't stand the pain anymore.
    • Going Another Way: Asuka goes through the routine, but as the fic is an AU story, the process goes very differently, starting with her being the one who gets absorbed into Leliel. The experience consists of Satan giving her "the "Christmas Carol" treatment, and it traumatizes her badly, but instead of retreating into herself and wallowing in self-hatred, she undergoes some much-needed Character Development, becoming a much nicer and more considerate person (though she still is rather boisterous).

  • In Origins, a Mass Effect/Star Wars/Borderlands/Halo Massive Multiplayer Crossover, Cortana has very specific notions of how to fight off a certain Alien Invasion. This is a point that is repeatedly harped on, to the point where the plot often supports the argument as the heroes fall back again and again. A downplayed version of this trope kicks in when several different technologies are combined into a new starship that succeeds in its very first real field test.

  • Mega Man Reawakened has this happen with Bass. In Arc 4, chapter 1, Roll easily defeats him, and an even more severe instance happens to him in the Arc 4 finale when Break Man curbstomps him.

  • Original Character Arjuna in Harry Potter and the Lack of Lamb Sauce is played up as the best chef among the students at Hogwarts, always winning or coming in second place in every challenge of the Magic Chef Junior Competition, and unlike the other competitors, she refuses to practice together, claiming she already knows everything she needs to in order to win. However, when faced with a challenge that forbids the use of magic, she struggles to keep up and cheats to get around a challenge that requires she cook beefnote . She's eliminated from the competition, receives zero sympathy from almost the entire student body, and her own house goes from calling her "Arjuna the Ace" to "Arjuna the Disgrace".

  • Pokémon Reset Bloodlines has a few examples in the main story and its side stories:
    • Gary Oak has a rather high opinion of himself as a Pokémon trainer, but constantly loses to Red whenever they encounter each other. To top it off, when teamed up with Paul in the Fuchsia tournament, he's quick to see how far behind he is in skill compared to Paul.
    • The Pokémon Tech's Golden Generation suffers a series of humiliating defeats at the hands of Ash and Misty during the Giselle Interlude.
    • The Clair Interlude shows the title Gym Leader is fond of doing this to Small Name, Big Ego challengers. She will beat people with a Magikarp solo when applicable.

  • The fanfic Poor Princess puts Princess Morebucks from The Powerpuff Girls through the wringer, beginning with her getting disowned by her father.

  • Power Rangers GPX has three instances, two heroic and one villainous. Let's take a look:
    • Sean O'Callahan, the Red Ranger. Prior to his, he'd been a more lightly arrogant Jerk with a Heart of Gold than other cases. However, by episode 12, it's implied being Red Ranger has gone to his head, especially because Green Ranger Daisuke Miyazawa had been a pain in the ass. After Daisuke mutinies and leaves the team, he spends the next chapter brooding over the result. It's cemented when he's beaten nearly half to death and he undergoes Character Development to become a more level-headed leader.
    • Daisuke Miyazawa, the Green Ranger. Unlike Sean, he is just plain arrogant and unwilling to accept Sean as a leader because he sees Sean as unworthy. He constantly tries to undermine Sean's authority until he leaves the team, taking his sister with him. Two chapters later, he fights the main villain of the arc and is defeated and called out by his own sister for his actions. After being rescued by Sean and the other Rangers, he decides to leave the team.

  • The entire premise of Purple Days which has Joffery Baratheon put through a "Groundhog Day" Loop that forces him through some Character Development.

  • Mordecai from Regular Show is sometimes made the Haughty in the fanfics and ends up breaking when Rigby gets killed/dies in some of those cliched yet untiring "Rigby dies and Mordecai suffers from it" fics.

  • Happens to Ludlow in Rise of the Galeforces, with lethal results. To be fair, though, he deserves it - his Establishing Character Moment reveals him to be a greedy, glory-hounding, insensitive asshole who is willing to hurt others to get what he wants. Unfortunately, he's also incompetent, to the point where he thinks that both abusing a Tyrannosaurus rex family and turning Violet into a T. rex are good ideas. A thoroughly infuriated Vi proceeds to put him through a Humiliation Conga of epic proportions, unraveling plans that presumably took him decades to put together in a very short space of time. He finally breaks down, attempts to murder Vi... and is eaten by the aforementioned family of baby tyrannosaurs upon Violet's behalf.

  • In Rise Of The Unicorn, Cecilia is (unintentionally) broken to the core after Banagher delivers an unexpected one-sided fight against her. After a little pep talk, she's shifted from the snobby, all-mighty girl into an unwanted, submissive lover to the Gundam pilot.

  • Silver gets broken over the knee by prison life, initially believing that he will reform the entire prison population. Reality bites him like a crocodile and refuses to let go.

  • This happens to Obsidian in the Hunger Games fanfic Some Semblance of Meaning. After entering the Games with total confidence, he is broken by the fact that the Games are not what he dreamed they would be and beaten down by concerns that the Careers' way isn't right. This causes him to leave the pack, leaving him a pariah and—after an embarrassing run-in with another tribute who steals from and mocks him—without any supplies other than his sword. He ends up feeling great remorse for his kills, and this is why he doesn't ally with Vale the first time he gets a chance (along with the fact that Phlox had just allied with her, Fen, and Lark): he fears that he would probably end up killing her, as well. By the time he finally does become Vale's ally, he is hardly recognizable as the same confident, poised tribute he once was.

  • In A Teacher's Glory the invasion is such a Curb-Stomp Battle that it becomes known in-universe as The Breaking of Suna. Then they counter-attack against Orochimaru, and by the end of it, the rogue sannin is only "the master of as much land as his feet cover each moment" while he flees.

  • Tsuuma is sometimes a jerk to Viral in Tengen Toppa Gurren Solvernia (however, she is hinted to care, and she's also proud of her intelligence but she still treats herself above the others. She loses it during Viral's death.

  • In The Sealed Kunai, Naruto comes across as functionally invincible for a time, particularly after he beat ten of the other eleven rookies with ease (Lee was still recovering from surgery and couldn't fight). Then he picks a fight with Jiraiya while the Sannin is training him. Jiraiya wins easily; not only is he stronger, faster, and more skilled than Naruto, he's been a ninja since before Naruto's parents were born.

  • In the Pokémon fanfic Travels of the Trifecta, Paul suffers from this for most of the story up until the battle at Lake Acuity with Ash.

  • Bill Cipher goes through this in A Triangle in the Stars. Unlike most examples, he got better, and came out all the better for it too.

  • Transferring out of Onodera turns Bakugou's life upside down in The Vigilante Boss And His Failed Retirement Plan:
    • A more decent middle school can't tolerate his vicious temperament. He was even discouraged from pursuing pro hero course due to the dangerous combination of his behavior and Quirk.
    • In UA, Izuku and other recommended students outshine him. Their first combat exercise ends with Bakugou knocked out in less than a minute because Izuku wants to avoid collateral damage.
    • Izuku's group of friends go behind his back and sabotage Bakugo's chance to make connections with students outside of the hero course. But they don't need to work even further than that because Bakugou basically did it to himself.
    • The teachers who have been warned of his temperament watch him more closely and, much to their horror, Bakugou has developed an ongoing issue that made him a hazard not just to himself but also to other students.

  • The Vocaloid fanfiction Hear my Song! does this to SeeU. She starts out as an arrogant, prejudiced Jerkass, and then Ia physically and sexually abuses her to the point that it completely breaks her mind.

  • In Wind Shear Bellatrix Black is nearly killed by Harry, then nearly killed by abominations created by Voldemort, then Imperiused by Voldemort and nearly tortured and killed by him, his Knights of Walpurgis and her own aunt. All of which, combined with time spent in the Muggle world, brings her to the realization that Muggles are people too.

  • Brox and, to a lesser extent, Grunnel in With Strings Attached.
    • Jeft qualifies too. He's an arrogant gamer Jerkass who thinks he's planned everything to perfection, and he treats everyone like shit, even his favorite character. He eats considerable crow at the end of the Third Movement.
    • Paul wades through endless hordes of skeletons, zombies, ghouls, and ghasts without a scratch, supremely confident in his invulnerability—but then he meets the wraiths...

  • Smug Snakes Admah Keter, Abigail Lemon, Lyra Nikos, and Father Scorch all get a taste of humiliation along with their defeats.

  • A Diplomatic Visit: The sequel (Diplomat at Large)'s chapter 4 has this happen to Chrysalis. Dragged out in chains to be Sealed, attempting to use her status as a Power to win her freedom, only to find she really is in the wrong by their ancient Laws, and then stripped of her status as a Power by her superior before being Sealed once and for all.

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