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Dark And Troubled Past / Fan Works

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  • Juxtapose: A few:
    • Katsura Kensei was raised by the villain Tsuchigumo and taught to be a criminal; it was only later that he was rescued and re-adopted by Detective Tsukauchi.
    • On account of being bullied as a kid, Monoma Neito was obsessed with getting the Quirks of powerful heroes (via their hair) so that he'd always have some form of power on hand, which only got worse after he accidentally copied a villain's Anger Point Quirk and went berserk, culminating in a full-on Never Be Hurt Again mentality. It comes to a head when he obsessively searches for Izuku after seeing his Quirk take down a Zero Pointer robot - only to enter a Heroic BSoD when he finds out what it is.
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  • Parodied in The Parselmouth of Gryffindor, wherein, in Chapter 44, Snape and Dumbledore argue about whose backstory is more tragic.
  • Axis Powers Hetalia fanfic Gankona, Unnachgiebig, Unità: Let's see...Rome dying, being abused for hundreds of years—physically and verbally—by Austria, Holy Rome dying during the Thirty Years' War...those events definitely contributed to some issues Italy has.
  • Bird takes place in an insane asylum for troubled parahumans and elaborates on many canon backstories that were only hinted at in Worm proper. Special mention to Burnscar and Labyrinth.
  • Broken Bird Initiates with a somewhat graphic depiction of Kakashi's reactions to his repeated childhood trauma growing up.
  • In My Immortal almost all of the characters were stated to have gone through "horrible problems", although it is not clear exactly what these are.
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  • In the parody Xtremly Scray, even the freaking Sorting Hat has a tragic backstory.
  • In Transformers Meta Grimlock has this, which theoretically warrants his aggressive personality. Jazz also seems to have it, but does a better job at hiding it.
  • Kyon: Big Damn Hero has Michikyuu Kanae, who, as a slider, has gone through hundreds of worlds, only to have them invaded by aliens and everyone she loved killed. Again. Hundreds of times.
  • In the Uplifted series, Joachim Hoch has this. He was conceived as a last ditch attempt to bring happiness to a couple who had lost their children to the First World War, and was beaten by his father until he was killed during the occupation of the Ruhr. He then ran away from home and was taken in by an SS officer (a surprisingly decent man), and ultimately followed in his footsteps. He's a surprisingly balanced person in spite of all this.
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  • All of the main characters in the fanfic Freefall have tragic childhoods, to a varying degree of "tragic"; not surprising, since the fic features CLAMP characters.
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, there's Trixie's portrayal in some of the better Twixienote  shipping fics. At least two fanfics - Out in the Cold and Of Mares and Magic - gave her a parent who inspired her to take up magic, then went and died on her and left her traumatised. This not only provides a Freudian Excuse for why she acts like such a jerk in-series, but also provides grounds for the eventual Shipping.
  • In A New Face In Ponyville, Joshua Rocket is revealed to have shadows of one of them in chapter 9note . This could also be a case of Mysterious Past since not a lot of concrete details were given and even what WAS said could be put up for speculation considering it was under heavy sedation after an attack from the Equestrian Pony Alliance
  • Firefly in Ace Combat: The Equestrian War lost her home, her parents and her dreams of becoming a Wonderbolt, thanks to Black Star. It's the reason she is sometimes cold and angsty toward others.
  • In The Key to Marauding, Dawn has all the emotional baggage of Series 5 of Buffy (dead mother, knowing that the first 14 years of her life aren't real encounters with Glory etc...). In the fic she is chained up in the dungeon and nearly raped by Lucius Malfoy, kidnapped and tortured by Death Eaters and is torn between her own world and the Potterverse when a way of getting back appears.
    • By the sequel she has lost her adopted parents (Mr. and Mrs Potter). Then, pretty much in one night, her adopted brother (James), a woman who was like her sister (Lily), the man she loved had gone insane before her eyes (Sirius) and was imprisoned in Azkaban, where she watched him fall apart, knowing he was innocent and knew the traitor to be former True Companion Peter Pettigrew, and was also aware that she was the bait for his betrayal. Then, she lost custody of her Godson (Harry) because of Blood Wards, and had to endure a year of trying to care for him, but as she said herself to Harry, 'every one thing I gave you, they took two away' before leaving, recognising that she was making it worse for him. She then had to endure Harry's anger at her until the Blood Ward thing is explained to him. Oh, and to top it all off, she miscarried her baby by Sirius. Trauma Conga Line doesn't even begin to describe it.
  • Ciara's backstory in Looming Darkness. After Zelda's mother revealed there was a prophecy concerning her, she spirited Ciara away to Earth and left her with Abusive Parents while her real parents were murdered by Ganondorf. She'd been abused for her first 13 years of life until Link brought her back to Hyrule to take down Ganondorf.
  • Although never stated in the fanfiction itself, Darkheart of The Return of Chaos is revealed to have a Dark and Troubled Past by the author in other works.
  • Rainbow Dash, in the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic Luna's Power and Rainbow's Love, says that she and Fluttershy do not like to talk about their time in flight school, because it "wasn't a happy part of our lives." it's implied that bullying is the reason for this.
  • There are quite a few characters from What Lies Beyond the Walls (particularly the vermin) who have had either a really horrible childhood or experienced something traumatic early on as an adult. Benrath Brugo, however, gets the prize for having the worst DATP of them all: his parents were murdered by Log-a-Log when he was a child, he's abducted by him soon afterwards, and then his surrogate father proceeded to rape and abuse him for several years.
  • Eric Cartman in The Ballad Of Stoot And Argyle (a South Park fanfic). He flat-out admits to Terrance that he killed Scott Tenorman's parents, and saw so many parallels between his life and Oedipus the King in junior high that, heavily disturbed, he pledged to overcome his past ways. Whether or not he's succeeded is still up in the air.
  • At least one character of Racer and the Geek has this. The degrees to which they cope vary.
  • Parodied in Chapter 7 of The Human Whose Name Is Written In This Fanfiction "In which everyone is very tragic":
    Don't you just love to read pointless and poorly written garbage about fictional people's problems?
    Well if you do you're a complete sadist but that's okay, you've come to the right place. This is the land where we step over the borderline from "tragic past" to "Loaded up with so many problems it's kind of sick". Sounds like fun huh?
    Take a glance around the room and you will see our first victim. His name is L Lawliet. Although he possesses legions of adoring fans they all seem to be obsessed with torturing him. Let's take a closer look.
    L sat sadly in task force headquarters. He felt his imminent doom hanging over his head as well as the pain of his unrequited love for unnamed love interest/dead love interest. This reminded him of all the tragic things that had happened to him, the things that kept him awake every night for fear of terrible nightmares (because this explanation of L's insomnia isn't complete rubbish at all).
    He thought back to his childhood as a poor orphan boy. He thought about that flashback he was going to have later in the series when he died and how it showed how tragic a character he was.
    It had all started when the young boy had to watch his family be brutally murdered. They were shot/burned/eaten/poisoned/exploded/forced to watch the Pokémon movies. It was a horrifying memory that would haunt the detective all his life.
    After many heart-breaking scenes of carnage Watari brought the young L to Wammy's house. He was very emotionally scarred and had no friends. Then one day Watari brought two new children to the house, A and B.
    L immediately fell in love with A/B/random other chick. Unfortunately they died. All of them. Violently. While still carrying his child. Right in front of him. Other wretched stuff.
  • Alluded to but nothing more in Songs Uncle Sings.
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fan fiction Our True Colors, Pinkie Pie's "hugginess" and tendency to inhale food both derive from her time as a homeless orphan.
  • Naruto in Kitsune no Ken: Fist of the Fox has, as his dark and troubled past, the fact that he was part of the Kyuushingai, a group of nine people who were instrumental in 365 days' worth of death and destruction across the continent. It still haunts him to this day.
  • In Mega Man: Defender of the Human Race, Captain Tallarcio had a shady past with Governor Deacon.
  • Stallions Of Harmony Verse has Prince Blueblood, who lost his parents as a colt, was blamed for it by his entire family and later was betrayed by his so called best friend, who used him to steal treasures from the castle. It took Nightmare Moon and other Elements of Harmony for him to start trusting others again.
  • Cooler Rising. This seems to be true for both Cooler and Zither, or at least as far as they're concerned.
  • In The End of Ends, Beast Boy explains his past to Terra to justify just why he felt depressed after she dumped him.
  • From Kill la Kill AU, we have Ragyou's childhood, in which she struck by a car when she six (on her birthday) and the best bid to save her life was to perform a forbidden and experimental surgery on her, which said surgery is implied to employ life fibers.
  • Nui Harime in the Kill la Kill fanfiction Maim de Maim has a very grim childhood in which she was a Creepy Child that went too far and created a flesh bound kamui made with the flesh of a ten year old girl she met in public. She eventually got out of the lifestyle and improved, but unfortunately in Chapter 15, the past came back to haunt her in such a hard way, it undid all of her improvements made since in a very depressing fashion.
  • Alluded to in regards to Mai-Lin from Kyoshi Rising; she seems to have some bad memories of her family, and a distaste for nobility, but other than a few glimpses her full past has yet to be revealed.
  • In The Saga of Avatar Korra, the Red Lotus are successful in kidnapping Korra and put her through a Training from Hell regiment for fourteen years. During that time, Korra believes her parents are dead, and while the Red Lotus promised to be her Parental Substitute, they generally abuse her. Only Ghazan and P'li treat Korra even remotely well. She is even more of a Fish out of Water than she is in canon, and she does not even know when her birthday is or her age.
  • In Second Wind, Luffy and Zoro were the sole survivors of a battle in the past that claimed the lives of all of their friends. Understandably, even though they've come back to Set Right What Once Went Wrong, they've yet to fully get over that trauma.
  • In Four Deadly Secrets, RWBY and more than a few of the supporting cast. It's the premise of the story, after all.
  • In Why Am I Crying?, Diamond Tiara is revealed to have had a really shitty life. She moved away from Ponyville to Manehattan when she was four, separating her from her best friend Apple Bloom. Three years later, her mother was killed in a train accident — while she was pregnant — and her father wouldn't even want to look at her she looked so much like her and couldn't stand it. Eventually, she was sent to a summer camp near Fillydelphia, where she was relentlessly and sadistically tortured by a group of colts who hated rich ponies (including with Silver Spoon, whom she met there), causing her to develop a persecution complex against lower classes. After her father found out what was happening to her and had the camp shut down, she moved back to Ponyville, and found that none of her old friends remembered her. The last straw came when she defended Silver Spoon from some foals who were making fun of her glasses; they just so happened to be friends of Apple Bloom, who had also forgotten about her, and twisted around the events so she could accuse her of bullying them. Feeling betrayed by her best friend, Diamond was driven to become the rich brat she was often perceived as and became devoted to making Apple Bloom's life a living hell.
  • Awkward Silence: Riko Shibata was raped by her uncle when she was younger, her mother who was having an affair with said uncle just slapped her for telling her, and her father left out of anger and never came back. This leads to some very realistic emotional effects on Riko.
  • The Racket-Rotter Chronicles: In Arc 5, Sinbad reveals that he was used in dogfighting matches for a good portion of his life.
  • Metroid: Kamen Rider Generations: Revisiting all of Samus Aran's past experiences ranging from her parents' deaths, and to losing her closest friends, and all is quintessential to her characterization. But, what really stand out are the backstories of the two Kamen Riders who fought alongside with her — Mitsuzane Kureshima (Kamen Rider Ryugen) and Gou Shijima (Kamen Rider Mach).
    • Mitsuzane, during his time with Team Gaim up to betraying them and subsequent alliance with his respective series' villains, out of his obsession with Mai, ends up being the Unwitting Pawn to them (Sid, Redyue, Ryoma... You name it.). Kouta and Mai dying right before his eyes left him but an apathetic shadow of his former self and slow descent into alcoholism. Ever since at the start of his road to redemption, his past would continue to haunt him. No wonder why he began making barbed sardonic jokes that land badly at anyone around him, and as an excuse to cope with his insecurities. When he reaches out to Samus, he started to get better.
      Mitsuzane: The 'Micchy' who used to be shy and friendly member of Team Gaim has been long gone when the whole Helheim situation began to get real. The Mitsuzane Kureshima who was groomed to be an heir of a powerful company and a manipulative mastermind is dead as well. But, the Mitsuzane Kureshima you see right now is a very insecure and isolated man, who can barely make fun of other people just to see the world becoming so relentlessly unkind.
    • Gou, when he learns that his father, Professor Banno, an Ax-Crazy Mad Scientist who was never a father to him, of course. And when Chase was killed at the hands of said mad scientist also counts. He got better when Chase once again returns back to life.
  • In We Are What We Are each Dazzling has one. It's so bad it's no wonder Sunset tried to send them home after Adagio told her them.
    • Adagio Dazzle had the happiest life. ...Until she got married. Her husband cared little for her, yet still tried to kill her and her lover when she had an affair. She was forced to flee, leaving her happy rich lifestyle for a homeless life constantly on the run.
    • Sonata Dusk was abused by her parents and was only ever shown kindness once in her entire pre-Siren life. She didn't even want to go with Adagio and Aria, but was forced to when soldiers destroyed her home.
    • Aria Blaze arguably had it the worst. She never even knew her parents and was raised in a horrible Orphanage of Fear where she was abused constantly for her beauty and singing voice. It's made worse when it's revealed that she would never get to leave because she was adopted by the worst of her abusers. She tried to escape several times only to be stopped every time (she was even nearly killed once)except her final time. Is it any wonder why they're so hateful?
  • Time Out of Mind at one point features an in-universe (non-alcoholic) drinking game of the characters' varieties of dark and trouble pasts. (Among other things, leads to one character being distressed at not having one).
  • A Gem in the Rough: Petrea (Miss Valentine) and Damian (Mr. 5) both have tragic backstories. To subvert this trope, Genevieve (Miss Goldenweek) does not appear have one. In fact, she is the only one who has not lost a parent of the bunch...possibly even the entire crew.
  • Forest of Despair has a lot of characters with one due to living in a Crapsack World Afterthe End. One of the most notable examples is Akita Yamazaki, the protagonist, who has been tortured to the point of having a scar and experienced friends dying before the Killing Game actually starts.
  • To Hell and Back (Arrowverse):
    • Barry and Kara, on top of their canon backstories, land on Lian Yu alongside Oliver and suffer some of his canon backstories, including torture and the deaths of Shado and Yao-Fei, and the assumed death of their adoptive father, Slade. And if that weren't enough, they are press-ganged into the League of Assassins after the later saved them from drowning after the sinking of the Amazo, suffering Training from Hell to become Ra's' three top enforcers.
    • Slade's past is arguably even worse. On top of losing Shado, he's separated from his adoptive children, captured by Amanda Waller and experimented on in an attempt to replicate and perfect the Mirakuru, and suffers through all of Oliver's post-island pre-series adventures (only one of which ended better than they did in canon). Then, just when it seems he can have a Bittersweet Ending by reuniting with his biological children, Waller returns, takes out his eye, and blackmails him into Task Force X by threatening Joe's life.
    • Iris' past wasn't a walk in the park either, though it wasn't as tragic as the above examples; she lost her best friend Barry for ten years thanks to her father's Parting Words Regret, tried to emulate said best friend in order to cope with his presumed death, suffering ridicule from all her peers along the way, and then learned that her biological mother was alive and that she had a little brother, all of which her father hid from her. One can't really blame her for being cold and slightly bitter as an adult.
  • Pokémon Reset Bloodlines has its fair share of these:
    • Red is shown to have Bad Dreams, of suffering a lot of bullying as a kid, and it's heavily implied that he lost his mother when their house burned down, with all hints pointing that he was the one who accidentally set it on fire.
    • The resident Knight of Cerebus, Belladonna Tyrian, and her three girlfriends also have this, all of them suffering of Parental Abandonment or otherwise losing their families to varying degrees, and they only have each other. Belladonna especially is so desperate for a real family that she quickly accepts the possibility of Ash being her half-brother without much question.
  • In A wand for Steven, despite his cheery disposition, Steven harbors much emotional turmoil over the events that happened in his world. He shows homesickness more than once, mentioning his dad and Connie on more than one occasion. He was even apart of the huge epic battle that eventually led to the Gems poisoning the planet. This is best displayed during Lupin's session with the boggart, his fears so intense that the boggart outright attacks him in the form of Jasper and Yellow Diamond instead of just harmlessly scaring him, Dumbledore reasoning that his fears are far more real and deep-rooted than the average student.
  • Pikachu from Rocket Member watched her pregnant mother get mortally wounded by Team Rocket, resulting in her dying before her twin brothers were even born. Her father ran off afterwards, leaving her and her older brother to raise twins by themselves.
  • Principal Celestia Hunts the Undead: Celestia and Luna both. Their introduction to the supernatural came when Luna fell for a vampire who tricked her, then killed their parents and bit Luna, nearly resulting in her death because Celestia thought she'd been turned and shot her.
  • In To Belong, the siblings were orphaned when Anya accidentally set their house on fire playing with the chandelier. Anya still blames herself for her mother's death and can't turn into her lioness form without being triggered.
  • Team Rocket Roots turns Jessie's Hilariously Abusive Childhood into this. After her mother left on a mission when she was five, she was supposed to be taken care of by someone. Alas, Jessie almost starved to death because the person failed to do this. Afterwards Jessie ended up in foster care and her canon backstory occured. It all resulted in Jessie having serious abandonment issues.
  • The oneshot To Try For The Sun gives princesses Celestia and Luna tragic backstories. They grew up in times of war and were orphaned as foals. They were always at risk of starvation and the elder sister Celestia worked as a gravedigger at only twelve. One day, Celestia somehow rose the sun herself and this feat is what lead to her ascension.
  • In Danny Phantom fanfic Resurrected Memories As shown from flashbacks, Ember McLain had a very difficult human life. Originally called Amberline McLain, she was an unpopular girl with big dreams of rock stardom, she got frequently bullied and was subjected to pranks from the popular kids, had been raised by Control Freak parents who didn't understand and neglected her and suffered from an unrequited love towards David Parker, the most popular guy at her school. One day David asked her out to the movies and she waited for him all night, thinking that he was just late. However she eventually went home after realizing she was stood up and cried herself to sleep, unaware that her home had mysteriously caught on fire. She died in the flames and out of anger for her untimely death and horrible life, renamed herself Ember McLain and became the vengeful Evil Diva seen in cannon. In fact the only good thing about Ember’s human life appears to have been her little sister.
  • In quite a few works of the 2003 Teen Titans cartoon, Starfire has a troubled past as a slave. For example, the oneshot Deceptive Protection revolves around Robin learning of Starfire's past as a Sex Slave after the episode "Troq". There is some basis in canon to Starfire being enslaved in canon, as she was a Gordanian prisoner and she was a slave in her original comic backstory, but the cartoon implies she escaped before she became anyone's "servant".
  • In the Scooby Doo series Shaggy The Handler, Shaggy has a past as a soldier during the Vietnam War. He doesn't like talking about it and averts questions on it, but what's implied to have occured in his past isn't pretty.
  • Lost Storms: Stormy's Forgotten Past: Stormy lived a happy life with her mother until age six, when she was taken by Human Traffickers and sold to Murky. Murky planned on using Stormy to defeat Rainbow Brite and raised her for years as a servant. To make Stormy complacent, Murky would often make her drink a potion to keep her under his control.
  • Life with Fumi: A Yo-kai Watch AU: Sailornyan was a normal cat owned by a rich girl named Lucille Sanshiro. Her owner eventually fell in with the wrong crowd and became a criminal. When Lucille was arrested, Sailornyan tried to take Lucille her favorite manga Sailor Piers but was killed on the way there. Since turning into a yokai, Sailornyan began visiting the room's of delinquent girls in order turn their rooms girly and help change their view on life. She'd also inspirit their mother's so that the mom's would enforce stricter rulers to curb their child's delinquency.
  • A Tale of Two Rulers:
    • Ganondorf's mother died when he was very young. He was raised in a brothel and it's also mentioned that he worked there too. Eventually he recovered his Past-Life Memories as a teen and ran off. Ganondorf has very clear memories of the tragedies and violence of his past lives, which also effects him.
    • Zelda had an abusive relationship with a tutor at thirteen. That's how she ended up pregnant with Rinku. Zelda's father also disappeared years ago, leaving her the princess regent.
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