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Freudian Excuse / Fanfics

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Ben 10

Code Geass


  • In the Housemates universe it's discussed that Thor and his buddies would play "very rough" with Loki when they were kids as in it would be considered abuse among Midgardian children.
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  • In Origins, we have Jackie Jakobs, subjected to a Trauma Conga Line starting with Parental Abandonment, continuing through Rape as Backstory combined with a life as a Street Urchin. Of course, this isn't all shown right away as initially, all readers see is a Rich Bitch who's more than willing to torture the story's heroes.
  • In Project Horizons, a Fallout: Equestria fanfic (a fanfic of a fanfic), most of the villains have these. This is lampshades several times, but the funniest is when Blackjack rejoices upon finding a villain who *doesn't* have one, because she wouldn't feel sorry about the ensuing fight.
  • Fates Collide: Cinder Fall reveals that when she was a child, she and her parents were attacked by a Grimm. They were completely helpless, but just when they were about to be killed, a Huntress showed up and killed the Grimm with a single blow. This is the reason why Cinder is so obsessed with acquiring power, so she would never be helpless like that again.
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  • In My Huntsman Academia, Panchito "Pistoles" Rojo swore bloody vengeance against the Anacondas, a Human gang, for killing his brother in cold blood right in front of him. After single-handedly wiping them out, he extended his hatred towards "Human assholes" in general, joining the White Fang to terrorize Humans into submission.
  • This trope is dealt with at least two times in A Triangle in the Stars.

Danny Phantom

Death Note

  • In A Charmed Life things are not as perfect in Light Yagami's life as he pretends them to be—he is a very unhappy person and he thinks of Ryuk as his first real friend. Of course he's still a mass murderer...
  • Played for Laughs in All You Need Is Love:
    "The Beyond Birthday case made so much more sense now, BB wasn't a megalomaniac he was L's spurned and neglected lover. Clearly the jam was just the aftershock of being forced into sex with someone that looked vaguely like a crack head. And she had prevented him from burning himself alive, if she had to have sex with L she might have tried to burn herself alive too. Naomi noted to herself that perhaps it was a good time to go to L.A.'s prison and apologize to that poor madman."
  • Many of the characters in And the Story Continues get some variant of Freudian Excuse.
    • Teru's canon backstory of being an emotionally disturbed and constantly victimized Bully Hunter is kept intact. Umbra notes that he may see Kiyomi as a replacement mother-figure since his actual mother "deserted" him.
    • Misa, equally disturbed, also keeps her canon backstory (witnessing the brutal murder of her parents) WITH the addition of her older sister Kimiko, an alcoholic who has always had a strained relationship with her and their late parents. She is also still mourning the loss of Light and grappling with the reverberations of their "relationship."
    • Mello’s Face–Heel Turn is spurned by his grief and rage upon discovering that L had killed himself and yet still never chose between him or Near as his successor. His feelings of betrayal and abandonment are the common ground on which he bonds with Misa, former minion from the opposite side.
    • Before coming to Wammy’s House, Matt was raised by an alcoholic father who could be emotionally and sometimes physically abusive, and their dysfunctional relationship closely mirrors the one Matt currently has with Mello. The former is so codependent on the latter he still goes with whatever he wants even if he knows in his heart that it’s wrong.
    • Before becoming the next Kira, Kiyomi suffered emotional and financial abuse at the hands of her mother, and appears to have issues with men due to her Extreme Doormat of a father and the sexual harassment she had to put up with from Demegawa.
    • L is presented with as much of a Dark and Troubled Past as one might suspect of him. As an infant, his parents were murdered by their insane housekeeper who kidnapped him out of want for a baby of her own. After her arrest, he spent some time in foster care before meeting Watari, who gave him the opportunity to become a Great Detective and by his suggestion had his death faked during the Winchester Mad Bombings. In addition to his Friendless Background, he struggled with the suicides of his kidnapper and A (his first successor), as well as the Face–Heel Turn of B (his second successor) and what is implied to be shame just for how he was as a person. Considering his meeting Erin as the closest he'd get to doing something genuinely good, he still follows her around even after his death and rebirth as Umbra.
    • If Lumen’s attitude towards Soichiro is any indication, Light (his previous incarnation) carried a lot of anger and hostility towards his father upon his death. Soichiro, still grieving for Light and blaming himself for all the misfortune that’s happened between them, is unsure what exactly he hates him for…between his often being away on duty while Light was growing up, pretending to execute him at L’s request, and taking L’s side when Light exposed himself as Kira to the whole task force.
    • Roger has one that could explain his issues with children: his parents, especially his father, weren't exactly kind people, and when he was in school he got a girl he was seeing at the time pregnant. He did the responsible thing and married her but kept wishing that they weren't having a baby and thinking about how he didn't feel ready to be a father. His wife ended up dying just after giving birth to their son, who turned out to be stillborn. He felt horribly guilty about the whole thing for a long time afterwards; in fact it's implied that he never completely got over it.
    • Watari and his mother were forced to leave his scientist father behind in Europe in the wake of WWII when he was little, and after his mother died some years later he was raised by their neighbor and maid who herself happened to be a Broken Bird, encouraging his talents at inventing and marksmanship. She's probably where he got the idea to train orphans.
    • Near’s mother had him while she was young and dumped him on his sick grandmother. Presumably thereafter, most people he came across considered him a freak. With Roger as his only real confidante, it’s revealed that he acts the way he does so he won’t be hurt by anyone again. Not to mention his own feelings of resentment towards L, and the guilt he feels for not being there for Mello as much as he doesn't know how to express support for anyone.
  • Light is given one in Back Story in Constant Temptation- His father and role-model growing up turned out to be a Dirty Cop and raging homophobe who arranged the deaths of all Light's past Love Interests. Light figured out that his father was behind the deaths and blamed himself for it because he wasn't able to protect them. He came to the conclusion that there was no justice in this world but no one should suffer as he did, he wished there was some way he could protect everyone... and then Light found the Death Note...
  • Done twice in A Cure for Love, downplayed both times. 1) There's the background of Original Character V: She was a victim of a human trafficking ring and had a child by rape when she was 12 (a child that would later be stolen from her by Wammy's House.) L discovered the human trafficking ring and also how V had arranged their deaths, and so recruited her to be an assassin for Wammy's House-in other words she was so broken when they found her they decided that she was beyond fixing and just trained her to be a Serial-Killer Killer. But because she is an assassin they wouldn't let her talk to her son or let him know she was his mother and still alive. Also there are hints that she might have been in love with A who committed suicide. 2) Light is given one in Back Story when L asks him why he doesn't really seem to like people— at a young age he noticed how shallow, stupid, and unjust people were. It was often gossiped about in their neighborhood that he looks nothing like his parents. Their gossiping brought his mother shame, so Light internalized that it was his fault (even though he knew it wasn't) and that there was something wrong with him. It gets worse from there.
  • Also invoked in Office Politics:
    L (to Souichiro): Did you hug your son enough as a kid?
  • Solitude does this twice for Light. First he's broken by his "perfectly normal childhood" when he's not "perfectly normal" and it's later made worse when he was molested by one of his father's coworkers but he never reported it because he knew that was not what people expected of him.
  • In Those Who Stand for Nothing Fall for Anything as a teenager L was molested by his father's coworker and his father blamed L for it. Later it's revealed that Light witnessed the assassination of his political mentor. Also B has been in love with L for as long as he's known him... and has been stuck in the friend-zone for as long as he's known him.

Disney Animated Canon

  • The Lion King fans just love using this trope on Scar and Zira. Usually comes in the form of an abusive childhood or the loss of a parent at a young age.

Final Fantasy

  • Vaticus, Ignatius and Riccio have their's revealed during the St. Galleria arc of The Tainted Grimoire.

For Better or for Worse

  • In The New Retcons Elly's hatred of motorcycles stemmed from being rejected by her first boyfriend and the father of her first child, who was an avid motorcycle rider. Her obsession with cleanliness was caused by her grandmother calling her unclean after she had a child out of wedlock, a feeling made worse when her first marriage dissolved. That same incident caused her brother Phil to swear that he'd never have kids.

Green Lantern

  • DEATHmatch, by Shadow Crystal Mage, attempts to justify Nekron's attempt to wipe out all life in Blackest Night by saying the paperwork had been getting him down.

Harry Potter

  • In Heir Draco Malfoy is regularly tortured by his father via the Cruciatus curse. Also there's Harry himself- in this fic his abusive childhood is played much more seriously and as a direct result he's now a dark lord in training. Then there's Voldemort— as a child Tom Riddle had a psychotic break when the other kids at the orphanage killed his baby snake in front of him.
  • The Jaded Eyes Series is another fic where Harry's childhood is played much more seriously as it becomes his Start of Darkness when he snaps and murders the Dursleys. Then he ends up in an Orphanage of Fear where he's regularly bullied by the other kids and has the scars to prove it. It gets worse when Harry discovers that his parents are still alive and have a perfect little family and a little brother who was living a perfect life while he was living in that Hell.
  • In Diagnosis Harry expressed his annoyance at this particular trope when telling Hermione about his lessons with Dumbledore sixth year.
    ...He made a point to mention to her that it was hinted that Riddle had been abused, and that his mum had bewitched his father who was a Muggle, and even that he was more than likely unloved and abused, but that it was no excuse for what he became. The abused aren't predestined to become the abusers, and it always hacked Harry off when people, including the Headmaster made it seem like it was some sort of excuse.
  • Deconstructed in The Very Secret Diary. Ginny is able to deduce Riddle's backstory, but doesn't feel sorry for him at all. She points out that Harry lost his parents and was stuck with the Dursleys, but didn't turn bad, concluding that being an orphan is a shitty excuse for all he's done.

Kid Icarus

Kill la Kill

  • In Kill la Kill AU, the reason as to why 8-year old Ryuuko is a delinquent seems to stem from maternal deprivation from being separated from her mother at two-years old and her anger and upset thereof of something she felt sad about, yet didn't know what it is, as well as the fact that no one would tell her.
  • From The Outside, from we have mentioned of photos and Shiro's reasonings, the reason Satsuki is agoraphobic and was so overprotective of Ryuuko (to the point of smothering) was because she's been sick a lot her whole life and knew nothing else, especially in light of their parents splitting and their father's death, leaving her to use Ryuuko as something of a Living Emotional Crutch to cope with her situation, as she probably couldn't cope otherwise.

The Legendof Korra

  • Book 5: Legends give us this for the villain's backstory. Unloved by virtually all except their mother, losing them devastated the villain to the point that they are trying to resurrect them Mary Shelley style. And when that doesn't quite work out the way they hoped, they go full on burn it all down mode. To a lesser extend, the secondary antagonist has a similar excuse, having been shunned and abandoned by their real family and thus developing an unhealthy fixation on their Big Bro Temuji as a result.

The Loud House

Mega Man (Classic)

  • Mega Man: Defender of the Human Race subverts this. While Dr. Wily does have an abusive father who colored his outlook on life, the story takes pains to show that Wily himself is a horrible man who deserves punishment.

Metal Gear

  • Stray discusses this - it's set in the Metal Gear universe, land of villains with unhappy childhoods, and at least two characters (including one of the protagonists) are former Tykebombs. However, Adamska (one of the tykebombs in question) eventually rejects the idea that a person's essential nature can be changed by the actions of other people.

My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic

  • In Bride of Discord, Discord reveals the reason he initially overthrew Celestia and turned Equestria into a World Gone Mad, was because his misguided attempts at "helping" pony-kind, lead to Celestia, the only pony to give him a chance in his entire life, getting angry with him. Being the Last of His Kind and being shunned and ridiculed by ponies prior, probably didn't help his emotional state.
    • To a much lesser extent, Fluttershy reveals to him, part of the reason she has a hard time opening up to everypony and why she was very reluctant in trying to pursue a romantic relationship, is because as a filly, a colt told her she was beautiful and asked her out on a date, only to reveal it was cruel trick to mess with her.


  • Meimu Uchiha from Reincarnation Roulette by Silver Queen has some great reasons for being the cold hearted villain she is. Namely, she's a self-insert born into the Uchiha clan, and realized she'd have a miserable life if she became a ninja. Unfortunately, her new parents won't take no for an answer, and proceed to literally beat ninja training into her. Her Jounin sensei ends up being Orochimaru, forcing her to be on the lookout for having a Sharingan, lest she end up as one of his host bodies. She succeeds in hiding it by killing anyone who ever found out, but is forced to make herself useful to him in other ways. She gains a younger brother in the form of Obito, and wonders if she'll have it in her to murder him and avert the future. She does, complete with Itachi's "foolish little brother" line. What makes her most disturbingly chilling is the fact that, as Silver Queen's self-insert, she used to be the same person as the protagonist of her most famous fic. The contrast between Meimu Uchiha and Shikako Nara effectively makes the former the latter's Mirror Universe Evil Counterpart.
  • Parodied in Oh, Did You Have a Sob Story Too, Sasuke?. Since every vilain (almost) have a Freudian Excuse in the manga, Naruto has trouble remembering them, or rather which is whose, leading him to list all of them to Sasuke until he get it right.

Neon Genesis Evangelion

  • A Crown of Stars: Gendo abandoned his son because he was just as afraid of Shinji as Shinji was of him. He did not know how dealing with other people or relating to them, and his wife’s loss broke him completely. After hearing about it Shinji did not think it was good enough of an excuse… until he realized he was just like his father.
  • Advice and Trust: Chapter 8 examines how Gendo does everything he does because he is a broken man, utterly afraid of other people, that was completely obsessed with getting his deceased wife back.
  • Once More with Feeling: Chihiro Tanaka's aggressiveness, vindictiveness and rude behaviour is later explained as the result of growing up without a mother.
  • The One I Love Is: Most of the story is narrated from Shinji's point of view, so Gendo is treated very unsympathetically most of time. The "Let the World Burn/One Dream at a Time" side-story explores his personality and motivations. Gendo is depicted as a pathetic, broken shell of a man always felt lonely and frightened of other people, thought nobody would ever love him because he was not worth it and fell utterly apart after his wife's death, sending his only son away because he was scared of Shinji and of hurting him.

Pandora Hearts

  • Beyond The Winding Road: Edith beats the crap out of kids in her class, blatantly disrespects teachers and other authority figures, and throws other people's emotional baggage into arguments when she's losing control of them. But she's also suffering from some extreme Parental Neglect and it's heavily implied she was both ostracized from the community due to her mother's previous scandalous actions and sexually harassed by the boys in her school (in her introductory chapter, some boys fill her locker with condoms, though the author never outright states what they are). Worse, those same teachers and authority figures were predisposed to find fault in her whenever she came to them due to her mother's reputation.


  • An interesting case where the hero has the excuse, Pokemon: Shadow of Time establishes that the reason Ash never pursued a romantic relationship with any of his female travelling companions was because he was afraid of turning out like his father, who left his mother and him when he was younger and never came back, Ash choosing to avoid relationships so he'd never hurt his partner like that.

The Rising of the Shield Hero

  • Ambition of the Red Princess: When Malty was a child, she overheard her mother declaring she was useless as an heir, insisting on having another child, suggesting Malty be married off to King Faubley. Given Malty's and Melty's respective ages, the princess was less than ten years old when her mother wrote her off. As a result, Malty becomes solely devoted to proving she's a better heir than her younger sister, with all of her actions geared towards becoming queen rather than engaging in petty sadism.
    • The people of Melromarc are suspicious of the Shield Hero on principle partially because a previous Shield Hero became king of Siltvelt and was such a monstrous tyrant that the world knew him as the "King of Rape".


  • In Adel Aka's video on rewriting Adam's character, he changes Adam's character to be a foil to Yang. His extremist nature comes down to being born on a farm with a family who is unable to survive elsewhere due to their faunus heritage. After his mother dies of overwork, Adam turns against the farm and joins the White Fang.
  • In re:Bound (RWBY), Neo's parents were killed by Raven's people. Raven took her in and raised Neo as an assassin.
  • Burning Coals: Neo originally began killing simply to survive. As a child, she was orphaned in a fire that also injured her throat. Neo spent several years on the streets before Roman took her in.
  • A Rabbit Among Wolves: Perry once aspired to be a veterinarian, and applied to medical school for his chance. He was denied a scholarship (which he legitimately qualified for) just for being a Faunus. After his dreams were crushed, Perry found no other choice but to join the White Fang. The narration afterward notes that his situation is nothing new.
    Most anyone who joined the White Fang did so because something had affected them in the past. People called them insane Faunus – often using terms like rabid to drive home the `animal` angle – but the simple fact was a person wouldn't risk their life for no good reason. You needed something big enough to drive a person to action.


  • Subverted in Kara of Rokyn. Albeit Lex Luthor sees himself as the victim of an alien who betrayed him and ruined his life when they were teenagers, leading to being branded as a criminal and being kicked out of home by his father, an analysis of his life's story shows he just blamed Superboy for all of his own self-caused problems.

Total Drama

  • Unbreakable Red Silken Thread: Heather's actions, especially during TDI, cemented her as a manipulative, scheming and conniving bitch that has little regard for the well-being of others. Chapter 4 makes it quite clear this is due to her parents treating everyone, including each other, exactly the same if not worse.


  • In Gensokyo 20XX, we have a odd example in Yukari, in that it be a fairly safe assumption some of her issues she's had, especially wanting to have a child to such an extent that it tears her up inside and some issues with attachment (either would be described as "something to love, something to hold, occasionally scold, and something that would take away an intense pain"), seem to stem from being abandoned by her parents, to whom she referred to as "two large shitbags", when she was two.


  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! Forever, several villainous characters have a Freudian Excuse for why they turned to the dark side. 1) Jan Shimizu, the Black Sheep of his family, recounts late in the story that his father, Ryou Bakura, frequently treated him with subtle contempt because Jan's appearance reminded Ryou too much of the abusive spirit of the Millennium Ring. It led Jan to leave home and change his last name, to distance himself from the family, and led Ryou to declare I Have No Son! concerning him. 2) Michael Bronte, a member of the JUDAS organization's Quirky Miniboss Squad, explains that the reason he joined the group was initially to exact revenge on his parents—specifically, his stepfather used to physically abuse him as a child, while his mother turned a blind eye. Present-day Michael is an Ax-Crazy Slasher Smiler who enjoys perpetuating Cold-Blooded Torture on his victims. 3) Angel Snow, a member of the Zodiac terrorist group, grew up with a drunken and physically abusive adopted father. The Dragon then liberated her from that home situation, and she jumped at the chance to give him her loyalty. 4) James Truesdale, another Zodiac member, has a particularly painful one that he hides behind a mask of stoicism and thinly-disguised contempt for his sister and father: his mother died giving birth to his sister, and his father made him keep his grief hidden for the sake of the little girl. He blows up spectacularly when he finally reveals his past and his repressed anger.


  • X-Men: The Early Years: Scott can't stand Bruno, a high-school bully he meets in "Boy Scouts, Sex, and Other Mysterious Things". Scott's parole officer explains Bruno's father was abusive, and Bruno needs to be taught how to behave.
    Carol: Good, now that we're alone. I'm asking you to try to be a little nicer to Bruno, okay? I know it's not an easy task and he's not the most pleasant person you'll ever meet. Bruno's not a bad kid Scott. Yes, I know he's a bully, but he's only acting out what he knows. What his father taught him.
    Scott: So? That makes it okay for him to threaten to hurt Bobby? That makes it okay for him to threaten to hurt someone younger than he is?
    Carol: No, of course not. But Bruno has only threatened, and he actually hasn't made a move to hurt Bobby. That leaves a lot of room for you to let it slide off your back and compromise until he actually tries something. If Bruno tries to hurt Bobby, you won't be the first one to trounce him. Trust me.
    Scott: Compromise, in my experience, has always been another word for lose.
    Carol: You are so wrong, Scott. Compromise most times is the only way everyone wins. Bruno is acting out the lessons that his drunken, abusive father taught him. Don't act out the lessons that Jack taught you. Don't let Jack win like that.


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