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Doomed Defeatist

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"That's it man. Game over man, game over!"
Hudson, Aliens

The cast is surrounded by monsters, killers, and all manner of deathtraps, but the hero's got his head on his shoulders, and the determination to hope that everything will turn out fine. Unfortunately, not everyone shares his belief. In every group there's the one guy who's quick to insist that they're all doomed, to complain that there's no way to survive their predicament, who is the first to completely lose their head as the weight of the danger they're in starts crushing down. And he's right, for himself at least. The moment you get so scared you become a defeatist, you're marked, and might as well have shown off a family photo for all the good it'd do you.

Surrendering is not an option either, and will only serve to demonstrate that the enemy doesn't accept surrenders.

Basically, you panic, you die. If you're a defeatist or fatalist, then you also die. Vaguely related to Death by Pragmatism, and The Complainer Is Always Wrong.

Yet another reason why you shouldn't tempt fate. Contrast Determined Defeatist and Doomed Contrarian.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Ron from King of Thorn decides to split from the rest of the survivors because he figures that it's no use going on now that they've seen the condition the rest of the world is in. He later changes his mind and, surprisingly, lives to tell the tale.
  • One Piece has Usopp as this, although it is more played for laughs as he constantly predicts they're all gonna die even though he's in the company of several people with superpowers.
  • Nearly Inverted in Hellsing: The first man among the Wild Geese to break down and start panicking because they're all going to die is actually one of only two to survive Millenium's assault on Hellsing manor.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Averted in Aliens, despite the page quote: Private Hudson is the Audience Surrogate during the movie and is constantly defeatist during the attempts to find a way off the planet, but when his time comes he goes out in a blaze of foul-mouthed battle euphoria during the final firefight of the movie. He is the first of the surviving marines to die, but only by a matter of minutes.
  • Averted in The Dark Knight. One of the cops on Harvey Dent's prison transfer, as soon as the Joker attacks, never shuts up about how nothing's going as planned, how they're sitting ducks, how they're all going to die, and how things are generally not going well. However, he is one of only three cops who actually survive the attack without a scratch.
  • Toyed with in the House on Haunted Hill (1999) remake, where Prichard knows about how the house is completely fricking evil and is fully aware that he, and everyone else in the house, is probably going to die. He spends the majority of the movie drinking and making dark, fatalistic quips about how everyone is doomed and there's no escape. The movie almost fools you into thinking he might be one of the few to survive after he starts actually helping to get everyone out, and then he gets the quickest death in the whole movie. At least he gets to save the ones who are left as a ghost at the end.
  • Subverted in Undercover Brother. Lance falls apart when the island base's Self-Destruct Mechanism is activated, but he survives the movie (it helps that it's a comedy).
    Lance: We got to get the hell out of here, man. We're gonna die! We're all gonna die!
  • Independence Day: When the jet fighters come across the fleet of alien attack ships Hiller tells everyone to just punch through that line. The one who says "There's too many!" is the only one to die on that particular maneuver.
  • The Lady Vanishes: A man tries to surrender, with white flag and all, and is promptly shot on sight.
  • Fortress during the big escape scene, Stiggs decides to surrender. He slowly rises from behind cover, hands first, and is shredded by bullets.
  • The Last Outlaw: Lovecraft becomes increasingly convinced that the outlaws are unable to kill Graff and that they're all doomed, to the point he betrays them to the posse and accepts Graff's command to murder the gang's leader and his best friend Eustis. However, Lovecraft finds himself unable to do it, and ultimately turns the gun on himself.


    Live-Action TV 
  • The opening scene for Firefly is a flashback to the Unification War. Mal Reynolds is leading a group that's holding ground against a numerically larger opponent. One of his soldiers, Private Bendis, says they're going to die. Mal tells him reinforcements are on their way and they'll be okay. Instead it's the enemy that gets reinforced and Bendis is killed while standing next to Mal.

    Video Games 
  • In Gears of War, a member of Alpha squad, after getting trapped and surrounded in an abandoned warehouse, panics, runs for his life, and is instantly killed by the Berserker the Locust have just unleashed.
  • The fossil Pokémon Archeops has good speed and awesome attack power, allowing it to function as a sweeper in-game. However, its Defeatist ability makes it lose confidence and halves its attack power when its health drops below half. After that, it's pretty much fodder unless it's healed.
    • Alternately, have it smack a Yamask or Cofagrigus or have another Pokémon use Entrainment on it. This replaces the crippling "Defeatist" ability with something much more useful, making Archeops dangerous until it's forced out.
  • Who could forget Xan from Baldur's Gate.
    "We delude ourselves to think that our pitiable band will stand up to our enemies."
  • Similarly, Harrim in Pathfinder: Kingmaker's Establishing Character Moment is being found welcoming his death... from a wound that's barely even a scratch. Given that he worships a God of Entropy, the characterization is fitting.

    Western Animation 
  • Beast Wars: Rattrap is always the first to break down when he and other Maximals are thrown into a seemingly inescapable predicament, often howling that "they're all gonna die". It's usually followed up with someone telling him to shut up.
  • Hey Arnold!: Regardless of how serious an issue would be for the cast, Helga would often be the first one to overreact and scream about the worst case scenario.
  • Futurama:
    • Parodied when the crew shrinks themselves down to fight worms inside Fry's body ("Parasites Lost"). Whenever a minor setback comes up, Bender panics and yells at everyone to abandon ship. Happens no less than three times. Note that they are using virtual reality controlled robotic miniatures of themselves and are never in any danger whatsoever.
    • In a Season Six episode ("Lethal Inspection") Bender states that all robots have a "backup unit" that allows them to be re-constituted should they be destroyed (Bender's is missing, but he is unaware of this at the time). When someone points out that despite being functionally immortal Bender always panics when he's in physical danger, his response is "I never said I wasn't a Drama Queen" ... which is entirely consistent with his earlier behavior in "Parasites Lost".
  • Star Trek: The Animated Series episode "The Jihad". Subverted with M-3-Green, who despite calling their mission "mad" and saying "We're all going to die", makes to the end alive.

    Real Life 
  • Winston Churchill:
    When I warned them [France] that Britain would fight on alone whatever they did, their generals told their Prime Minister and his divided Cabinet, "In three weeks England will have her neck wrung like a chicken." Some chicken! Some neck!