- Humanity itself in Greek traditions. Almost every god or goddess had at least one story in which they got bored and wanted to randomly screw with a mortal or groups of mortals. And then there's that hideous mess with Pandora and the plagues ruining all our lives collectively.
- The Bible:
- The patriarch Isaac is depicted exactly twice: getting led into the wilderness, tied up, and nearly sacrificed by his father Abraham; and getting duped into giving away his birthright by his wife and younger son Jacob. That's it. That's how posterity knows you.
- While he made good in the end, Jacob's son Joseph waded through a lot of crap to get there. His older brothers planned to kill him for mouthing off so they tossed him in a pit, then changed their minds and sold him into slavery in Egypt. Things were okay for a while after that until Potiphar's wife started hitting on him. When he refused to sleep with her, she accused him of attempted rape and off he went to prison. He was stuck there for years until one of Pharaoh's staff remembered he was good at interpreting dreams. And he was played by an Osmond in the musical.
- Job in the Book of Job. Getting literally everything taken from him by Satan — with God's consent — made him the ultimate Played for Drama Butt-Monkey and Cosmic Plaything. It all worked out in the end, though — for his faith, he got twice of everything back (with the sole exception of offspring; his original children remained dead, and he fathered only the same number of children afterwards).
- Jesus. He was born in a stable, after all. Then he was betrayed by his close friend, and abandoned by his other friends. And then he endured beatings, spitting, scourging, a crown of thorns, and being nailed to a cross to be executed as a criminal. And he was completely innocent.
Butt Monkey / Religion