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Broken Bird / Film

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Animated

  • Red from The Angry Birds Movie (no pun intended). On the outside, he may appear as a Jerkass to those around him, but given he neither knew his parents nor had friends growing up, who can blame him?
  • Mittens from Bolt. Being abandoned by her owners made her snarky and abrasive.
  • Megara from Disney's Hercules. After making a Deal with the Devil and becoming a slave to Hades to save her boyfriend's soul, only to have said boyfriend dump her for another girl, she's more than a little cynical, particularly towards Hercules.
  • Wreck-It Ralph:
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    • Vanellope von Schweetz first comes off as a Bratty Half-Pint, but she reveals she is much more in a Crapsaccharine World where she is dismissed as a "mistake."
    • Sergeant Calhoun. Being programmed to believe your fiancé died on your wedding day due to your mistake is definitely going to make you rough around the edges.
  • Queen Elsa from Frozen used to be a happy kid, until one night, she hit her little sister in the head with her ice powers. After that incident, she tried to conceal her powers, detaching herself from her sister. She had spent thirteen years of her life in isolation and fear of herself and hurting others. However, after bringing back summer to Arendelle, she displays this trope less (particularly in the short Frozen Fever.)
    • Princess Anna from Frozen also has shades of this due to being secluded away from the world living with a sister who locked her out for 13 years, but she tries to hide it behind a cheerful facade. Unfortunately, she became a full-on Broken Bird when not only her attempts to talk out her sister regarding the Endless Winter ended up getting her struck on her heart and then sicced a giant ice monster by said sister that nearly killed her but when she attempts to get a kiss from her fiancee to thaw a frozen heart, said man never really loved her at all and then leaving her behind to die being frozen solid, causing Anna to break down believing that nobody loved her at all.
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  • Agatha "Aggie" Prenderghast from ParaNorman Used to Be a Sweet Kid until she became a angry, bitter and very sad Vengeful Ghost after she was being accused of witchcraft and executed by the townspeople.
  • In Zootopia, Nick Wilde is a Rare Male Example. As a child, he was an idealistic dreamer like Judy until his dreams were broken when he was bullied and muzzled for being a fox by prey animals. This made him cynical and bitter, deciding that he was never going to let anyone see that they got to him and resign himself to being the shifty, untrustworthy fox he's expected to be.

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Live Action

  • James Bond: More than one Bond Girl.
    • Countess Tracy Di Vincezo (Diana Rigg) from On Her Majesty's Secret Service. She's barely recovering from a traumatic divorce (and her ex husband's death), drug addiction, and her child's death. And once she and Bond are Happily Married, she's shot to death.
    • Melina Havelock (Carole Bouquet) from For Your Eyes Only, who joins Bond to avenge her parents' deaths with her trusty crossbow.
    • Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale (2006). Like Tracy, she's the only girl Bond thinks about leaving MI-6 for, but she turns against him by stealing his winnings to pay for her boyfriend's ransom, but dies during the exchange. And what's worse is in Quantum of Solace, we learn that her boyfriend was really an agent with QUANTUM, who staged the kidnapping.
  • Kill Bill:
    • The plot revolves around The Bride on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge to murder the assassins who crashed her wedding, killed her fiance, and ruined her life.
    • When O-Ren was seven, she watched her parents be brutally murdered right before her eyes, leading her to avenge them by hunting down their killer. At age eleven, she found him and stabbed him to death. That act of revenge proved to be a slippery slope, as she grew up having taken professional killing as her career, joining Bill's Deadly Viper Assassination Squad and eventually becoming a feared yakuza leader. Even after all that, she's still shown to be affected by her parents' death, and insulting the Chinese-American heritage she gained from them is a big Berserk Button of hers.
  • Annie Newton in The Invisible. Call her that, and she'll beat the tar out of you. Half the movie is spent learning how she was broken.
  • Battle Royale: Mitsuko Souma, despite being forced into battle royale and not wanting to play the game, takes great pleasure at killing other students in her 9th grade class for her own survival mainly since she feels no sympathy for anyone but herself regarding an incident from her childhood when her mother pimped her out to a pedophile at age 6.
  • The Interview: Sook yin-Park, a North Korean general who turns out to despise Kim Jong-un despite praising him repeatedly up to the point that she has to compliment him through terrible lies. This leads her to turn against her dictator and aid the American protagonists in overthrowing Kim.
  • Suicide Squad: Katana. The death of her husband has driven her mad and she is left with very poor temper.
  • The Hunger Games: Katniss Everdeen starts out as one due to her father's death and having to be her family's main source of financial support but after the Games it turns Up to Eleven.
  • Loki from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In Thor, we see that he is actually a relatively nice person deep down, who loves his brother and looks up to him immensely. Sure, he's manipulative most of the time, ruining Thor's coronation just because he thought Thor wasn't ready (he wasn't, but that's not the point), but learning that his whole life and family is a lie, and that he's actually part of a race he's been taught to hate his entire life is still pretty devastating. This is what ultimately makes him snap and go about violently trying to prove his worth in the worst way possible. After this, the downward spiral only continues... although he does seem to get some redemption in Thor: The Dark World and even more so in Thor: Ragnarok and Avengers: Infinity War.
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past: Time and events have really taken their toll on the younger Charles Xavier. He lost Raven and Erik, Sean had disappeared several years prior (and is later confirmed dead at the hands of Trask), then most his teachers and students were drafted to the Vietnam War, leaving him alone except for Hank. He's taking a serum designed by McCoy that suppresses his powers and restores the use of his legs just so he can sleep at night without feeling other people's pain.
  • Theodore in Her begins the film isolated and withdrawn. He's a writer who has always been inside his own head, but completely caves in after his wife divorces him.
  • Selena in 28 Days Later has already seen society crumble around her and everyone she knows killed or infected by the time we meet her, and as a result maintains that "staying alive is as good as it gets". She ruthlessly kills her companion Mark when she suspects that he is infected, and assures Jim she would do the same to him "in a heartbeat".
  • Jyn Erso from Rogue One. As a child she watched her mother gunned down by Imperial troops, and her father effectively kidnapped to work on an Imperial weapons project, and the next time she sees him it's only for him to die in her arms after a Rebel air strike. Her guardian turned her into a Child Soldier, and then up and abandoned her, ostensibly for her own protection since his men were beginning to learn who she really was. From then on she was on her own, more or less resorting to petty crime to get by, until she ended up in an Imperial labor camp. All of these experiences leave her beaten down and jaded, to the point where she's stopped caring about anything other than her own survival, and is honestly content to just keep her head down and ignore how bad things are for everyone else under the Empire.
  • Rey from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Despite her naive optimism, being abandoned as a child caused some serious abandonment issues, judging by the look on her face when Finn announces his plan to leave and the flashback it triggers.
    • Addressed more in The Last Jedi, when Kylo Ren deliberately presses this button to try and convince Rey to join him. Rey breaks down crying when he forces her to admit that she's always known deep down that her parents were nobodies who sold her for drinking money. It's implied that she showed so much admiration for Han Solo and Luke Skywalker because she saw them as the father figures she never had (or possibly even believed that one of them could be her real father), making the Broken Pedestal she suffers with Luke even harsher. Throughout the third act, however, Rey begins to come to terms with the fact that she can be the hero the Resistance needs no matter where she came from.
  • Kat in 10 Things I Hate About You was once a happy, relatively popular student at Padua High before her social life was ruined by rich, popular jerk Joey Donner. Ever since, she's been a quintessential Broken Bird and Deadpan Snarker who acts disgusted with the inanity of her high school existence and cynically mocks everyone around her, including teachers, her father, fellow students, and her younger sister, Bianca, whom she particularly scorns for all her grasping attempts at popularity. Kat displays many of the traits of the Broken Bird, including a tendency to punch people and a history of having been a "hero" before she became a pariah. She actually has a streak of Cool Big Sis for her sister, thought, despite constantly reminding Bianca of how annoyed she is.
  • Myra in Waterloo Bridge ran away from her Abusive Parents to live in London as a chorus-girl. Unfortunate circumstances come along, so she becomes a prostitute to get by. Not only is she hurt and lonely, she feels ashamed and cheap when confronted with the chance for happiness with Roy.
  • Vera, the main Heroine of The Magic Life of V is partaking on a LARP ("Live-Action Role Playing") after LARP, mostly in badass roles (like A witch or a mutant shooter) to cope with her having very abusive childhood - her father drank a lot and beat both her and her brother, and said brother being retarded led to her being bullied.
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