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Fatal Flaw

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"I am writing a list of tragic character flaws on my dollar bills with a felt pen. I am thinking of the people in my universe and distilling for each of these people the one flaw in their character that will be their downfall—the flaw that will be their undoing. What I write are not sins; I write tragedies."
Tyler Johnson, Shampoo Planet

Heroes have a Fatal Flaw which they wrestle with on a consistent basis. This may open them up for specific conflicts later—when a protagonist's fatal flaw is encountered through the course of a plot, the audience's reaction is very tense. This works for villains as well, usually being the character trait that drives their evil in the story.


This is not to be confused with what Aristotle calls hamartia, also a key part of Tragedy. A hamartia is a mistake or error a hero makes which leads to his undoing. It is not the same as a fatal flaw (though the two often overlap). This confusion arose from the misunderstanding of Aristotle's Poetics in the 19th Century.

In classic literature, a Fatal Flaw is often what prevents a Tragic Hero from succeeding, or serves as the cause of their Tragic Mistake. It is usually some sort of character deficiency listed below or, in conventional television, an addiction of some sort. In modern television, the Fatal Flaw is more likely to lead to a Very Special Episode.

When a hero zeroes in on a villain's fatal flaw (and they usually do), do not expect them not to exploit it.

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    Some specific Fatal Flaws: 

Note the resemblance to the Seven Deadly Sins note . Also see Virtue/Vice Codification for a more comprehensive list of vices identified by various authors throughout history.

If the Fatal Flaw doesn't play any role in the story, it's an Informed Flaw. If the flaw isn't quite so fatal, you're likely dealing with Mr. Vice Guy. If someone else ensures that the flaw is fatal, it's Flaw Exploitation. A literal fatal flaw, as often seen in Science Fiction and fantasy, would be Phlebotinum Breakdown and/or Achilles' Heel. If you were looking for a fatal floor, see Pit Trap or Death Course.



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    Comic Books 
  • The Joker's is a mixture of his insanity and The Only One Allowed to Defeat You stance towards Batman.
    • In general most Batman villains have a flaw related to their psychosis, which Batman naturally tends to exploit. For example:
      • Two-Face is too dependent on his coin.
      • Poison Ivy with her obsession with plants.
      • The Riddler would be a perfect thief if he wasn't always leaving riddles.
    • Batman, of course, is eaten up by guilt over his parents' deaths.
      • Batman's paranoia, manipulative tendencies and reluctance to be open with people has also caused many problems for himself, his allies and the entire world over the years. The biggest example of this would be the Tower of Babel storyline from the Justice League comics where Batman secretly developed counter measures to defeat the entire League and the plans wound up stolen by Ra's Al Ghul for use in a doomsday plan, nearly killing and badly harming the members of the League. While some of them did see the value in what he was trying to do (Batman developed the strategies in case the League was compromised which is a very real possibility in a world of magic, psychics and mind control) they felt as a whole that the way he went about it was an underhanded betrayal, which badly damaged his connections with the League and the superhero community. Even Superman, his closest friend, felt that he had gone too far this time.
  • Hank Pym has his feelings of inadequacy, which caused him health problems when he became Giant-Man, mental problems when his worries about not being good enough for Janet led to him becoming Yellowjacket, and countless personal problems when his desire to prove himself as a meaningful member of The Avengers led to him building a robot to attack the team so he could stop it. Despite all of this, he still keeps trying to prove his worth as a superhero.
  • Across various iterations, Iron Man's has been either his narcissism or crippling alcoholism.
  • While Red Skull shared some of the flaws of most Silver Age supervillains such as overconfidence and excessive wrath, his biggest flaw is his dogged adherence to Nazi ideology, which can sometimes overrule even his legendary Pragmatic Villainy. Hard as it might be to believe, some of his major schemes were failures because he's a Principles Zealot — like a Stubborn Mule, he wouldn't budge from his views.
  • Nico, leader of the Runaways, is an interesting take on Lust as a flaw. She's quite responsible in most ways, but when dealing with stress or trauma, she (in Nico's own words) "throws herself at the nearest warm bod". This habit doesn't cause Nico's downfall, but it frays her self-esteem and sabotages her friendships.
  • Colonel Rick Flag of the Suicide Squad is initially hailed for his devotion to completing his missions and doing his duty as a soldier. Unfortunately, he believes that same duty requires him to "carry on" for the friends and family who died in the line of duty, which leaves him with an extreme case of Survivor Guilt, culminating in him eventually going rogue. He finally realizes this flaw before setting off on one final suicide mission:
    Flag: I won't ask you to "carry on for me", Eve. That's a dead end I've found myself in. Live your life.
  • In Supergirl (Rebirth), Director Chase thinks that Kryptonians were arrogant, and their hubris led to their destruction. She also thinks that Supergirl may have Kryptonian ego issues and still has anger management issues.
  • Superman and his Chronic Hero Syndrome can sometimes push him into borderline martyrdom. He's also far more secretive than he needs to be, and has a lot of trouble letting people into his life.
    • Superman's Arch-Enemy Lex Luthor is a petty, prideful egomaniac who often envies Superman to the point where he gave up a chance to become a god and create a utopia in The Black Ring, because on one condition is that he can't use his power to do evil. In this case, killing Superman. To him, even godhood is meaningless if it means he must let go of his hatred towards the Man of Steel.
    • Likewise, Darkseid is overconfident, often underestimating his opponents and not using his powers to their full extent.
    • Brainiac, another Superman foe, has Control Freak tendencies, often having a Villainous Breakdown when things go south. As Superman points out, this is basically his biggest weakness. Due to his absolute need to be in control of everything, Brainiac pretty much always works alone (and his rare team-ups are guaranteed to end in backstabbing), with his only consistent 'allies' being either his machines or people under mind control. By contrast, Superman always has friends and allies backing him, often giving him the edge over the alien.
  • Watchmen: Rorschach summed up his own fatal flaw quite nicely in one moment:
    Rorschach: No. Not even in the face of Armageddon. Never compromise.
  • Wonder Woman (1987): Artemis realizes shortly before her death that her arrogance has blinded her to threats and the damage her own words have caused, but when she tries to apologize to Diana for it as she lays dying Diana won't have it and puts the blame for Artemis' death entirely on others.

    Fairy Tales 
  • In "The Devil With the Three Golden Hairs", the king's downfall is caused by his Pride and his Greed. If he had not been so outraged at his daughter getting married to a poor suitor, the prophecy would have not come to pass, and his son-in-law would have not developed a good reason to resent him. And if he had not been so blatantly greedy, the luck-boy would have not found an easy way to get rid of him.

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    Tabletop Games 
  • This trope is present (and of course taken Up to Eleven) in Exalted:
    • The Solars, Lunars, Dragon-Blooded and Sidereals all get various versions of the Great Curse, a psychological affliction thrown at them by the Primordials for besting them in war. The Solars and Lunars enter a brief psychotic period called a Limit Break (ranging from berserker ragenote  to uncontrolled crying at the suffering of the worldnote  to becoming cold and uncaring about the suffering of othersnote  to despising others' faultsnote  and well... being a jerkassnote ), the Dragon-Blooded get a lighter version of the same, and the Sidereals can't seem to make any of their big plans work right.
    • The Abyssals, on the other hand, get Resonance. If, for some reason, they decide they don't want to go along with their masters' goals of feeding all Creation into the mouth of Oblivion and resume something approaching a mortal life, their Resonance will build until it erupts and risks destroying any emotional connections they've managed to make with the world of the living.
    • The Infernals get a similar variant, known as Torment. If they defy the will of their Yozi patrons for too long, then said patron will assume control and cause shit to go haywire. This can range from spreading a Hate Plague (Malfeas) to causing the immediate vicinity to become a lifeless and spiritual wasteland (Cecylene).
    • Even without supernatural curses or compulsions, each of the four virtues has drawbacks if you have three or more dots (and exalts have to have at least one virtue of 3+): compassionate characters have trouble making harsh decisions; temperate characters have trouble lying, cheating or going back on their word, no matter how dishonest the antagonist; valorous characters don't know how to back down from confrontation; and as for conviction, well... Oh and it's perfectly possible for a character to have 3+ in two or more virtues. If they conflict, tough luck!
    • Since Alchemicals didn't even exist when the Great Curse was handed down, they've been spared it. Nor do they have their own flaw bound as a Limit mechanic; instead, their Clarity rating measures how close their mindsets are to human as opposed to Autochthon's. Instead, each Alchemical gets their own personal problems — most notably Excessively Righteous Blossom, whose problem is that his head is up his arse; he's incredibly bad at recognising when he doesn't possess a particular talent for something, meaning that whenever his duties take him outside "stabbing monsters" and into, for example, leading troops, it all ends in tears that are of course because of someone who is not Excessively Righteous Blossom why would you even think that.
  • In the system called House of the Blooded, the characters are all nobility, seemingly built for high drama and Mary/Marty Sue-ism. Each character has six characteristics, each based off of one of the major families, and there is no rolling involved. You have four points for one characteristic, three for two others, two for two more... and the sixth characteristic gets a zero, meaning you can never use it. A zero in Strength means you are too physically weak to force open a sticky door, for example, thus ensuring that all characters have an inbuilt Fatal Flaw that cannot be legally circumvented.
  • The New World of Darkness also has the option during character creation of giving a character a flaw which could potentially hinder them and — if done right — give extra experience points. Some of the flaws include addictions, Coward, Forgetful, and Behavior Blind. You are also required to select a Vice, which gives you a Willpower reward for doing something stupid in pursuit of it.
  • Every Darklord in the Ravenloft setting, no exceptions, has one, and it's always related to the crime that cursed them with their own Domain. For example, Strahd Von Zarovich's flaw is his love for Tatyana, his brother's betrothed. This desire led him to become a vampire, murder his brother, and — most likely — cause her death, which condemned him to his Self-Inflicted Hell forever. He can never have her, but is constantly tormented by visions of her and women who look just like her, both of which often cause him to take avoidable risks and make mistakes. If one hopes to have even a slim chance of defeating a Darklord, they must know what the flaw is and how to exploit it.
  • In Traveller the Fatal Flaw of the Vilani was in trying to call a halt to progress for the sake of stability. Which worked so long as they did not find an outside competitor(I.E. Earth) The Fatal Flaw of the Terrans was more complex. It was in trying to govern the thousands of conquered Vilani worlds without the experience or inclination. The Vilani system was too repressive for the Terrans to use it and the Terran system was only suited for governing a few dozen worlds.
  • Warhammer 40,000
    • The Emperor's arrogance and detachment from humanity. He never felt the need to explain himself, and assumed that no one would betray or disobey him regardless of what he did. He also couldn't comprehend people's seeming need to believe in a higher power, and thus never believed that his own anti-religious actions would eventually lead to his people worshiping him, as the priest in The Last Church rightly observed.
    • The Space Marines' blind obedience to their Primarchs.
    • The Eldar's single-mindedness. This leads to the Dark Eldar's continued debauchery and the Craftworld Eldar's Crippling Overspecialization.
    • The Necrontyr's jealousy of the Eldar's long life which led them to pledge their services to the C'Tan.
    • The C'Tan's gluttony which led them to feast on each other.
    • The Chaos Gods' selfishness which is why cooperation between them is impossible, and ultimately why they will never win.
    • The Orks' love of fighting for its own sake.
    • The Tau's belief in The Greater Good. It's heavily implied their tolerance for other cultures and liberal ideology will lead to the extinction of their species, especially in a universe where Chaos exists. Latter editions redefined this to being too trusting of the Ethereal Caste's teachings, with the Ethereals themselves intentionally hiding unpleasant truths, that they're completely not prepared to face some of the threats out there or seeing some of their side's own questionable actions and hypocrisy.
    • The Ethereal Caste it self has adopted a belief that the T'au would be better off not knowing about what goes on throughout the rest of the galaxy, out of either fear that the truth would shake the faith in "The Greater Good" or simply losing their political power, mirroring several of the same mistakes the Emperor made with the Imperium.
    • The Adeptus Mechanicus' insatiable curiosity for Lost Technology has greatly slowed the Imperium's ability and willingness to adopt new designs, causing further items to become Lost Technology due to their unwillingness to make or study anything that lacks an available Standard Template Construction. As well as accidentally awakening a number of Necron Tombs.
    • Most of the primarchs had one:
    • The Lion was a Horrible Judge of Character who couldn't read or relate to other people.
    • Jaghatai was a loner who hardly ever associated with any of his brothers, so when the Heresy kicked off, he could trust nobody and nobody could trust him.
    • Leman Russ had Undying Loyalty which meant he never questioned orders even when they were questionable, like being ordered to burn an entire world. Also, his lack of tact made him The Brother Nobody Liked.
    • Rogal Dorn's Determinator tendencies often translated as Attack! Attack! Attack! in battle. He didn't know when to stop. The Iron Cage incident exploited this and his legion was decimated as a result.
    • Roboute Guilliman had a need for control and orthodoxy that often made his thinking predictable and inflexible. This was how Fulgrim ambushed and wounded him.
    • Fulgrim had an obsession with emulating his father and perfecting himself that drove him to madness.
    • Perturabo always felt like his father and his brothers never valued him or his accomplishments, so when the Heresy happened he fell in line with the one brother who didn't treat him as a Butt-Monkey.
    • Konrad's unflinching desire for justice made him a brutal psychopath.
    • Angron... Where to begin? His uncontrollable rage, his obsession with avenging his comrades, his resentment against his father for letting them all die, his inability to relate with any of his brothers because of the pain of losing his old ones on his homeworld, his Never My Fault tendencies which made him very hard to like... Poor guy.
    • Mortarian's confidence issues led to him seeing council from the wrong people.
    • Magnus recklessly and arrogantly sought knowledge and power wherever he could, which led to him turning to Chaos.
    • Lorgar always sought a higher meaning to dedicate himself to. When the Emperor rejected him, he turned to Chaos.
    • Alpharius' desire to constantly look like the most brilliant person in the room ironically made him very easy to manipulate for both Chaos and the Cabal. Also, his Complexity Addiction which eventually resulted in his death at the hands of Dorn.
    • And finally, Horus, who above all other things wanted glory. He hated sharing credit with his brothers and eventually he hated sharing credit with the Emperor.
  • In Werewolf: The Apocalypse, several Time of Judgment scenarios show how fatal flaws undermined the various shape-changers.
    • The Nuwisha alienated many Garou with their trickster ways. When the Wyrm targeted the Nuwisha for genocide, their reputation created difficulties for them when they sought refuge among the Garou.
    • The Black Furies naïvely revered the Wyld for much of their history. This spelled doom for the tribe when a quarter of its members contracted the Wyld-tainted Metamorphic Plague.
    • The Get of Fenris always placed too much emphasis on relentless combat and too little on subtlety. This gung-ho attitude drove the tribe to charge head-first into subterranean tunnels to fight the Black Spiral Dancers. Even when it was obvious that the Black Spirals were luring them deeper into the tunnels with defensive feint traps, the Get pursued their prey anyway, until the tribe fell to the Wyrm.
    • The Uktena's close study of the Wyrm always worried the other tribes, and their strategy of binding banes under caerns was dangerous. In one Time of Judgment scenario, these bound banes corrupted the tribe's Bane Tenders, who in turn corrupted the rest of the Uktena.
    • The Red Talons' uninhibited hatred of humans led them to eat human flesh. The Red Talons contracted a prion disease from eating human flesh, which they in turn passed on to other wolves, annihilating almost all of their wolf kinfolk.
  • White Wolf are generally pretty fond of this trope. Changeling: The Dreaming and Vampire: The Masquerade are particularly good examples as every sub-flavour of supernatural ("Kith" in Changeling, "Clan" in Vampire) has its own supernatural disadvantage.

  • Older Than Feudalism: Pretty much all ancient Greek tragedies had a main character or characters with a hamartia, which is often translated to English as "fatal flaw." It was part of the basic structure for an Ancient Greek tragedy, according to Aristotle. Oedipus was headstrong and didn't know when to stop, Creon in Antigone was proud and was intent on making an example out of Antigone, Antigone was stubbornly committed to her traitorous brother...
  • William Shakespeare loves to give these to characters in his tragedies:
    • Brutus is extremely honorable and expects others to be, or possibly self-centered and susceptible to flattery.
    • Richard, Duke of Gloucester, a.k.a Richard III, has a callous disregard for human life and an irrational lust for the crown.
    • Macbeth is blinded by power and paranoia and plagued by guilt. He's also very wrathful.
    • Lady Macbeth is overly ambitious.
    • Hamlet waited too long, and is very likely crazy. He does have a particular flaw, but what it is depends on interpretation and how he is presented. And yet in every production he is completely aware about this:
      "So, oft it chances in particular men,
      That for some vicious mole of nature in them...
      Carrying, I say, the stamp of one defect,
      Being nature's livery, or fortune's star,
      Their virtues else - be they as pure as grace,
      As infinite as man may undergo -
      Shall in the general censure take corruption
      From that particular fault."
    • Romeo and Juliet are so obsessed with each other they forget about anything else. Romeo is a bit of a hothead, too. Friar Lawrence also thought his plan was Crazy Enough to Work.
    • Antony and Cleopatra similarly allow their obsessions with one another to override any sensible political judgement, so that they needlessly make an enemy of Octavian.
    • Othello is too rash, not to mention gullible (to be more precise, he believes the people he shouldn't and doesn't believe the ones he should) and prone to jealousy. In turn, Iago is a Consummate Liar.
      • It's a common point among scholars that Othello and Hamlet's flaws are exact opposites of each other; Othello is impulsive to a fault, while Hamlet spends too long thinking things through to the point where he gets nothing done. If Othello was in Hamlet's place, he'd kill Claudius in a second, and the play would be over, and if Hamlet was in Othello's place, he'd take great care to make sure Desdemona really was unfaithful, and would probably discover Iago's deception.
    • King Lear is far too proud. This causes him to exile and disown his beloved, youngest daughter who tells him the truth and gets himself stabbed in the back by his two eldest daughters who tell him what he wants to hear.
    • Goneril and Regan (Lear's back-stabbing daughters) are destroyed by their shared fatal flaw: lust. Their mutual attraction to Edmund from Act IV onward turns them against each other, culminating in a Murder-Suicide during the final scene.
    • Coriolanus is horribly arrogant and contemptuous of both the common people of Rome and his fellow politicians. He also flies into a near-murderous rage whenever someone calls him a traitor.
  • Camelot is doomed by King Arthur's idealism and belief in people which blind him to Guinevere's infidelity and Mordred's scheming.
  • Shown explicitly in Arthur Miller's play Death of a Salesman. The main character, Willy Loman, is so entranced with his own dreams and desires that he denies and ignores anything contrary to his beliefs. Willy's conviction that just being well liked is enough to lead to success eventually leads to his downfall, as he can't understand why his sons, who were popular in high school, can't seem to get successful jobs. After Willy commits suicide, the play ends as a "Shaggy Dog" Story, with nobody attending Willy's funeral. One of Willy's sons even lampshades his father's Fatal Flaw.
  • In Electra, the title character's unrelenting lust for revenge combined with her nigh-incestuous obsession with her brother, Orestes, and her father, Agamemnon, makes for her fatal flaw.
  • Hamilton:
    • Hamilton is immoveable when it comes to matters of honor, making him insensitive to the needs of others.
      • Hamilton's greatest strength, and greatest weakness, is that having grown up with nothing, he throws himself completely into any opportunity placed in front of him, and can't say "no". His writing continues to open doors for him throughout his life and creates the American financial system, helping the new country stay afloat: but it means he's an absent father and husband, and when the opportunity to sleep with Maria Reynolds comes up, he can't resist that either (which comes back to bite him hard).
    • Burr is too much of The Stoic, making Alexander think he is unscrupulous. Burr is actually quite emotional, but he also has terrible timing and a tendency to wait too long before making his move.
    • The ultimate irony of the final duel is that both Hamilton and Burr swap their flaws around. Hamilton waits too long and points his gun at the sky so that the duel can be ended bloodlessly, but Burr's already lined up his shot: Burr takes the opportunity and fires before he can realize what's happening. The result is fatal to Burr's career, and literally fatal for Hamilton.
  • Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar is doomed by old fashioned pride. Just because he's Jesus's right hand he automatically thinks he knows him better than anyone. He thinks his betrayal is for the best but he's just another part of God's plan so he kills himself when he realizes he has no control over his life.
  • My Fair Lady: Higgins' superior attitude causes Elisa to leave him.
  • Nancy's misplaced Undying Loyalty to the monstrous Bill Sykes in Oliver!.
  • The Phantom of the Opera and Love Never Dies:
    • Christine's love for her late father which The Phantom plays upon.
    • The Phantom's obsession for Christine.
    • Raoul doesn't listen to other people's advice.
    • Madame Giry's bitterness at The Phantom not appreciating her.
    • Meg's need to please her mother and the Phantom.
  • Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street: Sweeney Todd's obsession with revenge against Judge Turpin (combined with waiting a little too long the first time he had him in his hands) ends up costing him everything in the end (as well as his willingness to trust someone he really shouldn't have concerning his wife's fate).
  • In Miller's A View from the Bridge, Eddie Carbone's Fatal Flaw is his unrealized love for his niece, Catherine.

  • The Transformers, with its huge cast and multiple Alternate Universes has numerous characters with well-known flaws that are constant throughout the franchise:
    • Megatron is often a Bad Boss, and more often than not has the flaws of Pride, Wrath and Greed.
    • Starscream, being the Trope Namer, lusts for power and isn't above taking action that directly harms his own faction to gain said power. The Marvel Comics version infamously had a higher kill count of named characters than Unicron!
    • Rodimus Prime is often viewed both in-universe and among fans as a Sucksessor to Optimus Prime. He himself often suffers from self-doubt and is prone to second guessing himself. In some universes, he grows out of it and becomes a capable leader in his own right. In others, he's glad to let someone else take over as leader, especially if Optimus is somehow brought back to life.
    • Optimus Prime has two famous fatal flaws: his willingness to sacrifice himself for a noble cause and his unwillingness to fight the war with utter ruthlessness. The first has become a sort of Running Gag for him, while the second is usually justified by him fearing that fighting the way Megatron does would be his own personal Start of Darkness.

    Visual Novels 
  • Corpse Party: Naomi is very much your typical Tsundere. Cute, but has a tendency to let her temper get the best of her, and is unable to admit her true feelings. Unfortunately, this is not Played for Laughs or seen as cute, as her temper, and inability to apologize, ends up getting Seiko killed.
  • Quite few show up in the Danganronpa series, and often result in characters dying or killing one another.
    • Mondo Owada's is his temper and sense of inadequacy. In his backstory, he, struggling with feelings of inferiority to his brother Diaiya, challenges Daiya to a race, resulting in Daiya dying to save Mondo. In Chapter 2, he, jealous of Chihiro's sense of strength, and emotionally disturbed at the prospect of the aforementioned incident coming to light, accidentally kills Chihiro in a fit of rage.
    • Peko Pekoyama is unable to see herself as anything other than Fuyuhiko's tool, viewing herself and everyone else as expendable, which leads her to kill Mahiru under the assumption that Fuyuhiko would be considered the true mastermind, and thus graduate after everyone else convicted her.
    • Fuyuhiko and Mahiru both have fairly hot tempers and argumentative personalities, which frequently causes them to butt heads. Because of this, their meeting to discuss what happened in "Twilight Syndrome Murder Mystery" (which reveals that Fuyuhiko killed Mahiru's friend in revenge for his little sister's death), quickly gets out of hand, resulting in Peko killing Mahiru out of a belief that Fuyuhiko wanted Mahiru dead.
    • Kaede Akamatsu has a tendency to push her own personal sense of justice (what she believes is "right"), regardless of the consequences, which leads her to setting a trap to catch the Mastermind, even though she doesn't even know for definite that there is one. There is a mastermind, but Kaede's attempt to set a trap and kill the mastermind results in her being framed for the mastermind killing Rantaro, and thus being executed.
    • Gonta Gokuhara is very gullible, which makes him easily manipulated by Kokichi and really comes back to bite him when Kokichi manipulates him to killing Miu.
    • Miu Iruma's is cowardice, as she is unable to put aside her fear that one of the other students may kill her and use her talent to work together, thus leading to her plotting to kill Kokichi and graduate, an attempt that is thwarted when Gonta kills her on Kokichi's suggestion.
    • Tenko Chabashira's protectiveness over Himiko almost directly results in her death, literally volunteering to take Himiko's face in a death trap, albeit unknowingly.
    • Kaito Momota's arbitrary trust in people is often completely misguided, and while he does have a point about The Power of Friendship, this attitude nearly gets everyone killed in the fourth chapter because the Awful Truth is too much for him to bear.
    • Kokichi's is his constant lying to everyone. Though his lying tendencies do help out the group and allow him to outwit the culprits several times, it also gets in the way when he's genuinely trying to accomplish a goal and the other students don't believe him. It really comes back to bite him in the aftermath of Chapter Four Miu and Gonta are dead, which is almost entirely his fault, and the group turn their backs on him when he falsely claims to be the Mastermind. When the group are shown a Flashback Light concerning Ultimate Despair, they assume Kokichi is a member. When Kokichi kidnaps Kaito, Maki goes after Kokichi and confronts him. When Kokichi tells her (truthfully) that he has no idea what she's talking about, Maki naturally doesn't believe him and shoots him with a poisoned arrow, which will slowly kill him.
    • Himiko has two, her childishness and unwillingness to face her feelings. During the second trial, she thinks her magic show is more important than clearing suspicion of her, so she stubbornly refuses to explain how her trick works until Shuichi figures it out himself and she's forced to confirm it. She's also a major suspect in two different trials because her childish nature makes her an easy target to frame. Then in the third trial, her grief over Tenko's death looks fake because up until then, she expressed nothing but annoyance towards her. It's only when Kokichi forces Himiko to confront her repressed emotions regarding the deaths of her two closest friends, Angie and Tenko, the latter of whom actually died in her place that Himiko is finally able to finally grieve for them and begin to express herself to honour her friend's memory.
    • Angie's is that she's a Tautological Templar and believes herself to be in the right in everything because she is acting out Atua's will and she never considers other people's feelings because of this. She sets up a student council which is basically just a cult that answers to her and enforces rules she made up, dividing the students sharply into two factions. Her belief that everybody will abide by the rules she and the student council set up end up directly contributing to her death, since she went to her lab alone at night to try bringing Rantaro back from the dead, accidentally stumbling on Korekiyo while he was setting a trap. He easily knocks her out and kills her, and her body isn't discovered into the next day because she wouldn't open the door to anyone except the student council and Kokichi was forced to pick the lock when Himiko couldn't get Angie to respond.
  • Fate/stay night: Shirou's selfless need to help others is identified as a sign of his twisted, distorted view of the world pretty much right off the bat. What this really means, though, and the extent to which his distortion reaches, is only fully revealed in the latter routes.
    • Archer's flaw was his idealism which led him to being estranged from other people and finally executed for crimes he did not commit. He might have accepted this but his idealism also led to him becoming a Counter-Guardian, an existence which consisted solely of killing people rather than saving them.
    • Sakura's fatal flaw is her self image, which is horrible enough to become the primary cause for everything going FUBAR in Heaven's Feel.
    • Kiritsugu wanted to save the world. It cost him his wife, his daughter, and his life. He admitted that he had never done a single act of good, nor saved a single person, until he pulled Shirou from the fire which was caused by his own actions.
    • Kotomine is unable to find any joy or pleasure in anything good, and can only find satisfaction or happiness in the suffering of others. He struggled for a long time to deny this flaw, to work around it, or to correct it, even going so far as to marry and have a child. His only sadness upon her death was regret that he hadn't killed her himself. With the help of Gilgamesh, he surrendered to his own need for evil.
    • Saber's selflessness was her downfall in life. As King Arthur, she chose to become her ideal of the perfect regent, ruling without surrendering to her emotions and taking every action possible for the good and safety of her kingdom. However her perfectly just rule and emotional distance from the people led to many feeling she was in some way inhuman. This in turn led to civil war started by Mordred, the "son" created by Morgan le Fay whose love she rejected and subsequently allowed to turn to hate, and her death.
    • If Gilgamesh ever ever fought at full power, no one and no Hero in the Holy Grail War would be capable of defeating him. But due to his arrogance he never fights at his full potential and underestimates his opponents, and thus he gives them just enough of an edge in that overconfidence to surprise and finish him before he can correct his mistake.
  • In The House in Fata Morgana, two of the three people who ended up killing Morgana have serious fatal flaws that result in everything going wrong for all of them.
    • Mell's is cowardice. He imprisons Morgana from his fear of Yukimasa, in spite of his beliefs that he's doing wrong. He refuses to tell anyone or speak against the lord and Yukimasa because he's afraid. It is noted that while his fear is understandable, it ultimately ended up causing Morgana's death.
    • Jacopo's is pride. In his pride, he refuses to talk to anybody about his problems, which only makes everything worse for everyone and ends up in him killing almost everyone he cared about before he became a lord, and dying by one of the few remaining ones in turn.
  • Explored with each character on Illusionary Trauma, with each route showing the flaw of the character and how it affects them.
  • Makoto Itou, the protagonist of School Days, is a poor communicator and extremely indecisive, traits that do not serve him well when multiple girls start fighting for his affections. In the bad endings, these flaws can be literally fatal for either him or one of the girls he's involved with.
    • How it's played depends on the particular adaptation. In the original visual novel this can be played straight or subverted since the player controls Makoto's choices. In the anime he's these with a heaping of Jerkass thrown in for good measure. In the manga it's played more sympathetically, with Makoto being more genuinely unable to decide on what to do, but because he takes too long to commit to a decision, the situation still ends tragically.
  • Shinrai: Broken Beyond Despair
    • Rie's fatal flaw, by her own admission, is her adamant refusal to suspect her friends of any wrongdoing, especially not her best friend Runa, even when faced with the possibility that there's a murderer among them. This leads to some friction between her and Taiko, the latter of whom's investigating the killings and considers Runa a possible suspect, although Runa is, indeed, innocent.
    • Taiko's fatal flaw is his tendency to let his friendship with Kotoba cloud his judgment. To his credit, he doesn't hesitate to call Kotoba out when he takes his perverted antics too far, but he's also initially unwilling to believe that Kotoba was stalking Momoko, or that she'd used him in her plan. After Kotoba is badly burned or killed(depending on player choices) as a result of the killer's plan, Taiko becomes irrational, and insists that Kamen is guilty, even though his theory has more than a few holes in it.
    • Momoko's fatal flaw is her trust issues. In the past, she was overly trusting, resulting in many people taking advantage of her. As a result, she became unable to trust others, apart from her best friend Kamen and her boyfriend Hiro, and it took two years for her to truly open up to the former. Runa suspects that if Momoko was betrayed by either of the two people closest to her, it would break her, and for good reason. When Kamen tried to warn Momoko that Hiro tried to cheat on her with Kamen, Momoko refused to believe her, and threatened to end their friendship if Kamen continued trying to get between them. Momoko then discovered messages from Hiro on Kamen's phone, and concluding that Hiro and Kamen had betrayed her, plotted to murder Hiro, kill herself and frame Kamen.

    Web Animation 
  • Dreamscape: The Overlord of Evil's god complex makes him believe he is invincible and holds all the cards, which means he is not prepared when the tables get turned on him.
  • Happy Tree Friends: Almost all the characters have fatal flaws. Lumpy is inept at everything he does, Nutty is constantly hyperactive and addicted to sugar. Flaky has fears and phobias about just about anything and everything. These flaws do indeed prove to be fatal by the end of the episode. Sgt. Flippy's untreated post-traumatic stress disorder, always proves to be fatal for everyone else around him by the end of the episode.
  • In If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device the fatal flaw is Arrogance. Like in Warhammer 40,000 the Emperor staunchly refuses to admit that he was wrong but even more than that constantly belittles everyone including his most loyal Custodian "Little Kitten" and thinks he's smarter and greater than everyone else (which he is). By doing this he causes Horus to start the Horus Heresy and put him on the Golden Throne and unable to communicate for ten millennium, Magnus the Red falling to Chaos after he failed to heed his warnings, lose Kitten's faith in him along with the position of Captain-General of the Adeptus Custodes, and cause Magnus to try to run the Imperium himself. It's Played for Laughs in "The Emperor and Kitten Play a Children's Card Game" short where the Emperor gives Kitten a "terrible" Yu-Gi-Oh! deck so he can beat Kitten in two turns with a deliberately broken deck that takes the bulk of the episode to do. Only to be beaten with two cards that exploit the fatal weakness of the Emp's strategy. He doesn't take losing very well.
    • As the Emperor says "Like fucking father, like fucking son": Magnus the Red has the same problem of arrogance as the Emperor. Possessing great wisdom and knowledge Magnus believes himself to be smarter and better than everyone around him (which he is), including his father (which he's not), but his arrogance is also very fragile as he complains like a whiny teenager when his father bullies him (which is a lot).
  • The Most Popular Girls in School: Deandra's is Gluttony, and playing all sides to satisfy said gargantuan appetite.
  • Overly Sarcastic Productions: According to Red, Hubris.
  • In Red vs. Blue:
    • Carolina's Pride and her need to be better than Agent Texas has caused several issues for herself, her teammates and others. By taking the two A.I. meant for Washington and South so she could compete with Tex, Carolina only fueled South's envy and eventually resulting in South leaving her brother for dead. During a training simulation with Tex to capture the flag, Carolina accidentally killed Biff, Temple's friend and callously dismissed the event, having been more focused on defeating Tex. This would lead to Temple's Start of Darkness and years later, hatch a plot to kill all freelancers.
    • Speaking of South Dakota, her fatal flaw is Jealousy. She can't stand being Always Second Best to her brother, and Washington preventing her from getting an A.I. like North Dakota (by having a mental breakdown when implanted with Epsilon, but details) led to her resenting him and potentially her later betrayal.
    • Washington's flaw is Revenge. Despite being a generally nice person, when he feels that he's wronged, he'll go to some spectacular lengths to get vengeance. This is why he brought down Project Freelancer and allied with the Meta against the Reds and Blues. His time with the Blood Gulch Crew has softened him up considerably.
    • Sarge's flaw is his need for war; he's a Shell-Shocked Veteran who doesn't know what to do with himself if he isn't fighting someone. This is why he's so adamant on fighting the Blues even when it's fairly obvious that the fight is unnecessary and made-up. It's also why he temporarily joins the Blues and Reds before coming to his senses.
    • Grif's is his Sloth, but not in the normal way; he's prone to being an Achilles in His Tent.
    • Simmons'is need for approval; he's such a kiss-ass partially because he sees Sarge as a replacement father figure, and he's afraid of standing up for himself.
    • Tucker's fatal flaw is surprisingly not Lust. It's his tendency to make reckless decisions. It's this flaw that causes Wash to get shot in the battle with the Blues and Reds, taking him and Locus out of the equation and later giving him brain damage.
    • Felix's fatal flaw is his massive ego. Felix ultimately causes more problems for himself than he can deal with by being as boastful and arrogant as he possibly can to people he should really just shoot dead when he has a chance. Also if he feels even the slightest bit upstaged in any way he will quickly abandon rational thought just to soothe his injured pride. This trait eventually gets him killed. He went after the Reds and Blues because he couldn't stand that they nearly killed him when destroying the Purge Tower and was horribly outmatched. It also causes Locus to turn against him in the end because Locus realizes that Felix knew he couldn't cope with the trauma of war and went out of his way to keep Locus under his control by not letting him do so. The reason for that? Locus was the better soldier.
  • RWBY:
    • Yang's impulsive personality makes her impatient, quick to anger, and prone to thrill-seeking, obsession and dangerously thoughtless acts. As a child, her obsession with finding her birth mother meant that, the moment her father's back was turned, she dragged her sister on a quest to locate Raven. All she found was a nest of Grimm. If not for Qrow turning up just in time, both girls would have died. Although she now controls her obsession with her mother, she revels in thrill-seeking and weaponises her quick temper: combining her wrath, impatience and Semblance allows her to win fights very quickly without bothering with either strategy or temperance. This fighting style makes her quite predictable to the villains, enabling Neo to defeat and almost kill her without receiving a single hit in return and also enabling Emerald and Mercury to disgrace her as a ruthless fighter who will hit an opponent who is already down.
    • Cinder Fall is an egomaniac, whose flaw is accompanied by sadism, an insatiable hunger for power and a severe case of pettiness. This has led to her losing badly several times. Cinder's driven to uplift herself while bringing everyone else down, even if she has to pause to waste time gloating instead of completing the plan without incident. If someone she perceives as beneath her gets the better of her, she will pay them back in the worst way possible, even if doing so is either pointless or detrimental to the long-term plan. If she thinks there's a way to fulfill Salem's mission and get what she wants she'll go for it, no matter how risky it is. Her cruel, arrogant lust for power finally gets the better of her near the end of Volume 5, when she falls for Raven's decoy and exposes herself to defeat by Raven's hand. In Volume 7, her need to gloat to Fria instead of immediately taking Fria's power gives the ailing Winter Maiden time to focus her mind and protect herself just long enough for help to arrive. Cinder then wastes even more time to take revenge on Winter for cutting off her Grimm arm, distracting Cinder from killing Fria and allowing Penny to become the new Winter Maiden instead.
    • White Fang High Leader, Sienna Khan sums up Adam Taurus's weakness as short-sightedness. He possesses the charisma to lead Vale's faction of the White Fang in any endeavour he supports; even when many Faunus lose their lives during the Volume 2 finale, he is confident that his followers will continue to do his bidding. Claiming he's inspired by Sienna's strength, he joins forces with Salem to destroy Beacon Academy. Sienna is furious because Adam cannot see that his actions have justified humanity's hatred and fear of the Faunus and that the White Fang is now more of a target than it ever was. Blake explains to Sun that Adam symbolises the concept of 'spite' to her; the world hurt him, so he intends to hurt the world right back; he neither cares nor comprehends the wider consequences of his actions. He believes in Faunus superiority and plans for a day when humanity will be forced to serve the Faunus, but he's willing to ruin his own plans for short-term gain, such as the destruction of Beacon Academy or putting a hit out on Blake's family just because they oppose him. Murdering Sienna to obtain control of the White Fang and trying to assassinate the Belladonnas motivates a previously neutral Menagerie to form an army for the sole purpose of stopping him from doing to Haven Academy what he did to Beacon; his ability to control the White Fang is therefore destroyed by his own weakness almost as soon as he set his plans in motion.
    • Ozpin's desire to stop Salem is ultimately hampered by his inability to give a straight answer to any question regarding the situation or his past. He implies to the heroes that his behavior stems from a desire to avoid being betrayed, leading him to engage in deflections, half-truths, lying by omission and pure deception. While he wants the heroes to trust that he has good reasons for his decisions, his tactics inadvertently alienate his allies. Ironwood's frustration with Ozpin's passivity leads him to go behind Ozpin's back and override Ozpin's responsibility for protecting the Vytal Festival while Raven abandoned him and his cause by investigating the truth for herself. Ruby's group learn the truth through the Relic of Knowledge, leading even the loyal Qrow to turn on him; his response is to lock himself deep inside Oscar's mind where even Oscar can't go. When Ironwood asks Oscar why Ozpin kept secret the truth about Salem, Oscar reveals that Ozpin keeps his secrets because he's terrified people will lose all hope.
    • General Ironwood is a good man, but his ability to do good is hampered by his paranoia. His default tactic to any threat is overwhelming military force, which puts him at odds with Ozpin, Glynda and Qrow when he arrives in Vale with his army; while he thinks the show of force makes people feel safe, Ozpin points out it'll just make them wonder what the threat level is. While he expects others to trust him, Glynda points out that he's not willing to trust others in return. The mistrust and paranoia mean that he doesn't follow orders well because he's willing to turn on allies as soon as they do something he doesn't like, such as reporting Ozpin to the Vale Council after the first time the Grimm breach Vale's defenses. It also makes it easy for Cinder's manipulations to target him when the virus she uploads into Beacon's security network allows the villains to take control of the army he wasn't supposed to bring to Vale. Later, the villains pull similar moves on him in Atlas, ramping up his paranoia until he's willing to put Mantle under curfew, contemplate martial law and circumvent the democratic mandate of the Atlesian council just to get things done without having to share any information. The villains find him easy to manipulate while his allies find him difficult to work with. When Cinder breaks into his office just to leave a Black Queen chess piece on his desk, Ironwood's paranoia manifests in a panic of second-guessing whether every decision he's made has played right into Salem's hands. After Salem manifests in his office, revealing her forces are on the way to Atlas, Ironwood orders the arrest of Teams RWBY and JNR, Qrow and Oscar. Convinced he's now exhausted his troops trying to evacuate Mantle, he dooms the city to death by deciding to fly Atlas higher into the heavens and orders the arrest of everyone who's not on board with that plan to ensure they can't thwart him.
  • Supermarioglitchy4's Super Mario 64 Bloopers:
    • Fishy Boopkins' flaw is his naïve, friendly nature. Boopkins is one of the few main characters who is unambiguously nice. It's his biggest strength, as he manages to befriend characters that the others would normally never have a chance of doing so (he proves instrumental in recruiting Axol), but it's also his biggest weakness as he's a Horrible Judge of Character, which leads to him being manipulated by people (Bob), keeping company that most people would find unsavory (Saiko, Bob) or straight up repaying his kindness with evil acts ( Waluigi, the Anime Cartel, Bob). For better or worse, it's his most prominent character trait aside for his love for anime.
    • Bob's flaw is his desire for fame. Bob desperately craves approval and attention from others, and will do anything to get it, even if it means doing morally dubious actions like betraying his friends or engineering events so he can look good. Even when he does get recognition, his unquenchable thirst for more fame usually leads to him ruining whatever good he has going for him in the first place.
    • Meggy has several:
      • Her overeagerness has led her to take out a target with brute force and overwhelming firepower. Of course, now she's just revealed herself to the enemies... This bites her in "Final Fantasy Mario" when it leads to the alarms being set off and alerting the entire base to her, Mario and SMG4's presence.
      • Her competitive spirit often causes her to become overzealous when it comes to training, which usually leads to trouble whenever she ropes her friends into joining her. Meggy often pushes her teammates way too hard and is extremely harsh when they fail to meet her personal high standards. "Meggy's Bootcamp" reveals that this overly competitive desire stems from her self-esteem being damaged by her failures in the Splatfests, and her guilt over treating her friends like crap only makes her feel worse.
      • She keeps her real emotions hidden behind a confident mask, bottling all of them up. When her suppressed emotions become too much to handle she lashes out at anyone nearby, which only makes her undergo Heroic Self-Deprecation, which she tries to hide by bottling her emotions up... "Meggy's Bootcamp" and "There's Something Up With Meggy..." show the effects of this, with Meggy having a Heel Realization in both episodes before running away and when confronted, breaking down in tears or shutting down entirely.

    Web Comics 
  • In Anecdote of Error, Atshi absolutely cannot handle failing, or even being perceived as a failure. This causes her to ignore warnings that the school is under attack, and to try to take out the invaders herself, only to fail miserably. She also absolutely will not allow anyone else to risk their life on her behalf, even if they are much better equipped to deal with the problem than she is, which culminates in her sneaking out to Luntsha’s espionage mission in the middle of a warzone.
  • In Concerned Gordon Frohman's fatal flaw is his stupidity. Not only does he frequently put himself into life-threatening situations, but he's also too stupid to realize when people are trying to help him, such as when he gets angry with his brother for "shoving him" when the latter pushed him out of danger many times since they were young. In the end, he drives away the Vortigaunts that might have saved him after accidentally deactivating the "Buddha" cheat for invincibility, and ends up bleeding to death.
  • In Golden, a take-off of the standard fairy tale, the hero (and his less useful older siblings) are all sent off on the Quest because of their father's fatal flaw: GREED. The king wants gold very, very much. In fact, that whole family loves gold just a little too much to be healthy.
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • Vaarsuvius has the fatal flaw of Pride in their magic power and intellect, which both leaves them wide open for the trauma factor of being completely powerless to stop horrible things from happening to their friends and loved ones and drives them to accept a Deal with the Devil rather than experience that feeling of helplessness again. Later they start working on that, though, and are limiting themselves to low-level enhancements unless they need them, as opposed to just going all out.
    • Redcloak, whose inability (Conviction) to back down from the path and plan he's chosen, despite all the senseless sacrifices, really bites him in Start of Darkness.
    • Haley's flaw is greed, although unlike most examples, she's vaguely justified in this: her father is being ransomed for a small fortune and she became an adventurer to get enough money to save him from further imprisonment. At one point, the gold and treasure she owns is destroyed in a fire, and Haley's shock is so great that it renders her literally unable to speak for the next hundred or so strips. (One of the reasons she likes Elan so much is because his presence encourages her away from this.)
    • Miko Miyazaki, a massive Knight Templar who refuses to believe that anything she does is wrong. Instead, she imagines a massive plot brewing behind the scenes just to enable this belief. It's only when she's moments away from death that she starts to question any of her actions, but by then, it's way too late.
    • Nale is a Smug Snake who thinks It's All About Me. His massive ego and tendency to slip into Evil Gloating have only hampered his ability to competently execute plans in the past, resulting in numerous defeats and a trail of kobold corpses in his wake. It's even noted in-universe that if Nale wasn't such an arrogant egomaniac, he would actually be dangerous. He ends up in over his head when he makes a series of incredibly short-sighted choices on account of his pride, which first costs him Girard's gate, then his adventuring party, and finally his life.
    • Tarquin can be very dangerous, but he thinks It's All About Me and starts falling apart when Elan refuses to be The Hero and tells Tarquin that he isn't the Big Bad.
  • Each major character of The Noordegraaf Files has some major flaw that troubles them throught the story. Time will tell if they overcome said flaw, or — tragically — don't.
    • Theo, the protaganist is a Wide-Eyed Idealist, and an extreme Optimist, which, while allowing him to be very charismatic and friendly, also causes him to underestimate the possible danger some situations can hold. It's hinted that this optimism is a self — made "defense mechanism", as he's horrified of death (or anything to do with it), and uses this to try and avoid confronting said fear.
    • Katrina, the main heroine of the comic, comes across as a very friendly and outgoing young girl, but has deep problems with depression due to... whatever happened to her. She's not telling.
    • Violet, a young and slightly unhinged girl is definitely a Blood Knight, and has serious problems dealing with anger and self — worth. She's been known to go into a sort of martial frenzy, losing complete control of herself and attacking whatever is nearby, friend or foe. Most of the other characters, even her boyfriend, are scared of her. It's been hinted her worst fear is killing her loved ones due to this instability, and shuts herself out from the world because of this.
    • Akila, Katrina's best friend (and possible lover) is too seductive and flirtatious for her own good, and also has serious issues with self — worth. She's the only non — human character in the comic, and therefore feels nobody will truly love her for who she is, causing her to overcompensate and flirt with everyone, causing it hard for people she truly does love to notice her affections.
  • Unordinary: Arlo's fixation on keeping to the school's established power hierarchy keeps Arlo stuck from ever trying to improve the bullying problems that go on amongst the school's lower tiers, which he finally becomes aware of after a group of Mid-tier students kidnapped and beat up a depowered Sera. John eventually calls him out for it in chapter 132, and threatens to destroy the hierarchy that Arlo is desperately trying to hold on to.

    Web Original 
  • In the first season of Cobra Kai, this wasn't much of an issue. But the timber gets laid after the tournament, when Daniel introduces Robby (Johnny's son) to Miyagi-do. Then in the second season, almost everyone's core character defect is revealed: Daniel's pride, Johnny's gullibility, Sam's Never My Fault inclinations, Tory's envy, Demetri's snarky needling, Hawk's insecurity-fueled Hair-Trigger Temper, Moon's ditziness, and Robby and Miguel's respective and collective disregard for reason. The school brawl on the first day, between the Rival Dojos (whose sensei were doing the best they could to move on but still had some unfinished business), took it all Up to Eleven and brought them face to face with their ultimate failures.

    Web Video 
  • In The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, Lizzie's pride and stubborness has caused misunderstandings and problems between her and others, particular Darcy and Lydia. Fortunately, through Character Development, she starts to work on improving from those flaws.
  • The Nostalgia Critic is trying to work on his temper and cynicism, but his insecurities about seemingly never being good enough are still getting in the way.
  • Something Awful: Dungeons & Dragons: Minerelle's Cowardice, Joey's Greed, Miriam's Anger, Gibnaf's Idealism, and Kod's Pride. The former is particularly notable as Minerelle's strict running policy led her away from Joey and Kod, meaning when she went down there was no one to save her from being Killed Off for Real.

    Western Animation 
  • Rob from The Amazing World of Gumball has an inability to communicate as his flaw. He kidnaps Banana Joe's mother so she can paint the future, and attempts to brainwash his former classmates to escape to an unknown place. This gets him beat up by a T. rex.
  • American Dad!:
  • Arcane: Vi tends to be impulsive and short-tempered, too often acting without a plan. In Act 1, she leads the kids on a big heist without telling Vander what they're up to, leading to the events of the present. In Act 2, Vi instantly gets into a fight with Sevika upon seeing her; while she almost wins, learning what happened to her sister gets her stabbed, requiring saving by Caitlyn. Vi complains that Sevika got away and will be telling Silco that they're here, but Caitlyn bluntly points out she's the one who exposed herself first. In Act 3, she pushes Caitlyn away and ignores Jayce's warning that she won't make it alone. Vi shows up at The Last Drop and barely survives defeating Sevika again, resulting in both her and Caitlyn being kidnapped, which directly leads to the events of the ending.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Iroh's bizarre Fatal Flaw is his love of tea. While normally the wisest and most sensible figure in the entire series, he makes some monumental mistakes when around the stuff. Once, when having to hide his identity as a Fire Bender, he used his bending to heat up some cold tea and nearly blew his cover. Earlier than that, when finding a plant whose leaves were either the world's most refreshing tea or pure poison, he ground it up and drank it due to temptation. It was poison.
    • Azula is another example, as she's a psychopath with Control Freak, perfectionist, and paranoiac tendencies. She simply sees people as objects — she manipulates them and expects them to behave accordingly. But she can't handle not being in control of everything. Her belief that people can be controlled through fear flew in her face, and her determination to prove herself to her father, mainly because she believed that her mother only cared for Zuko, proved to be a serious issue that led to a Villainous Breakdown at the end of the series. And when Mai and Ty Lee, the people she thought she had the most control over, turn against her, the shell cracks off the nut, and her relatively subdued madness comes to the forefront and turns into full-blown paranoia, leading her to banish everyone around her for imagined slights and plots against her. Finally, when there's no one around for her to control, whatever remaining sanity she had is whittled to the point that she's reduced to total lunacy and Ax Craziness.
    • Ozai shares the same flaws as Azula — Evil Cannot Comprehend Good, Pride, extreme perfectionism, megalomania and paranoiac tendencies.
    • Aang's flaw is his conviction. He was raised as a dedicated pacifist, and though he will fight if necessary, he won't kill. When his opponent is the Big Bad who descended from the man who slaughtered Aang's people with the intent of continuing such a legacy and oppresses the populace of two nations, this turns out to be a bad thing. He finds a solution in the end: De-power the Big Bad.
    • Zuko's misguided decisions in an effort to gain his cruel father's acceptance. It takes a while for him to realize Ozai has no love for his wife, his brother, or even his children.
    • Katara is known to hold grudges to the point where she could kill someone, especially if she was betrayed or if her loved ones are put in danger. When she runs into Jet after he had betrayed her trust, she immediately attacked him. She flat out told Zuko after he joined the gang that if she thinks he might hurt Aang, she would personally kill him. And when she confronted the man whom she believed killed her mother, she bloodbended him.
  • Batman: The Animated Series: The Joker's Attention Whore status sometimes gets the better of him.
    • When the Unexpected Inheritance he got from a deceased rival turned out to be fake, Joker was enraged. Plus, King Barlowe knew Joker would binge-spend on the fortune and get a visit from the IRS, at which point the clown will either get jailed for tax evasion or admit he was conned by a dead man (which he won't do as it would turn him into the Butt-Monkey of Gotham).
    • Another is when he was booted out of a comedy show and got back at the ones responsible by hypnotizing them into becoming supervillains in order to cement himself as the "funniest man in all of Gotham", only to end a laughing stock afterwards.
    • When his moll Harley managed to successfully capture Batman so that she and the Joker can truly live together, the clown instead pushed her out of a window to her possible death. It was revealed that Batman duped Harley into doing it because he knew that the clown's ego would never allow someone else to kill Batman.
  • In Big Hero 6: The Series, Obake's flaw is his inability to recognize that just because you can do something doesn't mean you should. Granville's lack of supervision combined with his brain damage has driven him to complete his goals, no matter how dangerous or who gets hurt in the process.
  • Bob from Bob's Burgers gets obsessed when it comes to one-upping his rival from across the street, Jimmy Pesto. Oftentimes, in episodes featuring Jimmy, Bob's constant need to beat him causes him to do something that ends up putting him or his family in a worse position. One example is in ''Bob's Burgers S7E21 "Paraders of the Lost Float"", where Bob and Jimmy are in competing floats in a parade float contest. The two floats first try to sabotage each other, causing their decorations to fall off, then try to race one another to arrive at the judge's table first and bribe the judges into giving them the prize. Bob tries to take a detour to beat Jimmy's float, but just ends up getting him and his family lost in town.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door: Chad Dickson's fatal flaw is his Pride. He is obsessed with being the best, even at the detriment of the organization he loves so much. Part of why his Fake Defector act was so convincing is because the idea that he wouldn't want someone tarnishing his legacy after he was decommissioned wouldn't really be out of character for him. Eventually, when he's denied the honor of being Earth's representative for the Galactic Kids Next Door, he undergoes a slow burn of a Villainous Breakdown, exacerbated by being forced into a Chained Heat situation with the person who (unknowingly) took that honor from him, Nigel Uno/Numbuh 1, the main protagonist of the series. Not helping things is that Nigel is completely unaware of his Fake Defector status and thus is extremely belligerent towards him. Eventually, the situation deteriorates and all the pent-up resentment culminates in a Duel to the Death between them, which Chad loses.
  • Danny Phantom:
  • In Darkwing Duck, Darkwing's massive It's All About Me attitude and his need to constantly hog the spotlight land him in plenty of trouble. He always has to make a dramatic entrance, takes great pains to ensure the world is well aware of who he is, and will throw a huge fit anytime another superhero (especially Gizmoduck) comes out to help. All of this gives the villain the chance to get away clean, or worse, win outright. He does realize he made a huge mistake, but it never sticks.
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy:
    • The most obvious Fatal Flaw is Eddy's Greed. Much of the driving force in many episodes is Eddy trying to scam other kids out of their money so he can gets his hands on jawbreakers (or just keep it for himself). Many of Eddy's schemes would be legitimate business ventures if he applied himself. The trouble is that Eddy's obsession with making as much money as possible keeps ensuring that Failure Is the Only Option for him.
      • Eddy's impulsiveness is also a recurring issue for him - when he wants something, he wants it right now and will chase after it with little regard for the consequences.
    • Double D's spinelessness means that he's often dragged along with Eddy and Ed's shenanigans whether he wants to or not and his inability to assert himself with his friends or the neighbourhood kids often results in him being punished alongside Eddy and Ed even when he was innocent and/or tried to stop the other two. He also has a bad habit of letting his reputation of the smartest kid in the cul-de-sac go to his head at times and he has to be right about everything, making him quite inflexible and not good at bouncing back when things backfire on him.
    • Ed's stupidity is his flaw, since he's very gullible, prone to making mistakes and often doesn't understand what's going on, often meaning that more short-tempered characters like Eddy or Sarah take their anger out on him or him getting manipulated easily.
    • Sarah's Fatal Flaw is Wrath. There is rarely an episode where she isn't either yelling at someone or beating them up, and the other kids in the cul-de-sac rarely help her as a result.
    • Kevin's is arguably Pride, being an arrogant Jerk Jock who likes to think he's the coolest guy around.
    • The Kanker Sisters, who all fall under Lust, as their habit of subjecting the Eds to unwanted kisses and affection actually just terrifies them and drives them further away.
    • Jimmy's childishness mean that he's an easy target for bullies (especially when Sarah isn't around) and he's often dismissed and patronised even when he does have legitimate concerns or opinions.
  • Gargoyles have many examples.
    • One of the strongest examples is Demona and her refusal to take responsibility and accountability for her actions. After all Demona was the reason why her Gargoyle clan was destroyed by the Vikings and why the surviving clan members got cursed, which is the genesis of the series.
    • Goliath's flaw is his anger and need for revenge, especially if someone in his clan is hurt. Such as in ''Deadly Force" when he mistakenly believed that Elisa was nearly killed by the gangster Dracon and Goliath ruthlessly hunted him down and in "Hunter's Moon", his desire to kill the ones who almost killed his daughter Angela overruled his common sense.
  • Every single Pines family member in Gravity Falls has at least one critical flaw that tends to kickstart the conflict of the stories:
    • Dipper's flaw is his insecurity; Dipper has done some very stupid and very dangerous things in an effort to prove himself, such as reciting a curse out loud in an attempt to be taken seriously by federal agents. In addition, these insecurities have given Dipper something of a defeatist mentality, which impairs his ability to fight back in difficult circumstances.
    • For Mabel, her selfishness meant that she often never considers what everyone else wants and instead, prefers that they do what she wanted to do. She is also shown to be quite insensitive to Dipper's feelings as despite the fact that she knows that Dipper is troubled, she still constantly picks on him. This flaw is what ultimately caused a rift between the two and allowed Bill to exploit her emotional state in order to directly cause Weirdmageddon.
    • Stan has three; First, his issues with trusting and confiding in others, which comes back to bite him in Not What He Seems. Second, his temper, which cost Ford his dream scholarship and almost doomed the entire world when Ford corrected his grammar, prompting Stan to attack him, thus breaking up a magic circle that would have destroyed Bill. Third, similar to Mabel, is his selfishness and his obliviousness to it. Part of the reason he and Ford had a falling out was Stan assuming that the latter would be comfortable with not going to his dream college and feeling threatened when he realized Ford was seriously thinking about it.
    • The Author (aka Stanford Pines) lets his obsession with his own work and science drives away everyone he cares about including his brother and Fiddleford. He is also really bad at just explaining things, usually due to trust issues or lack of communication skills. Among other things this leads to his assistant leaving and going mad, a fight with his brother that gets him sucked into another dimension for about thirty years, only trusting one person with world-saving secrets, and being part of a chain of events that kicks off Weirdmageddon. Adding to his poor communication, he assumes that the people in his life won’t be emotionally affected by his choices, both assuming that Stan would be fine with him going to West Coast Tech instead of sailing around the world together and that Mabel would be fine with Dipper staying in Gravity Falls as his apprentice instead of going home to Piedmont with her. They weren’t.
    • Two common flaws for all of the Northwests is both Snobbery and Greed. Nathaniel Northwest convinced the local lumberjacks to build his mansion in exchange for an annual party. After it was finished, the Northwests literally shut the gate in their faces. This escalated into the death of a lumberjack and cursing the family for 200 years. His descendant Preston is even worse when he tries to join up with Bill during Weirdmageddon. Only Pacifica was able to break out.
    • Gideon’s is Obsession. He’s determined to be with Mabel, despite the fact that she doesn’t want anything to do with him. It’s not until the Grand Finale that it sinks in that she doesn’t love him. In addition, When he found out that Journal 1 was missing, he chased Dipper and Mabel to get it, despite the fact that he’d won at that point: he had the Shack, Waddles, and two of the journals. This resulted in the twins and Stan defeating him and being sent to prison.
    • Like Dipper, Robbie also has insecurity. He was genuinely threatened by Dipper’s crush on Wendy despite it obviously being a Precocious Crush to the point where he was willing to fight Dipper. He’s also implied to be nervous about his skill as a musician, ripping off a song in order to win Wendy back. Unfortunately, it also brainwashed her, which resulted in her dumping him.
  • Hey Arnold!: Helga Pataki's primary flaw is insecurity. She is unable to be her true, kind, articulate and intelligent self due to her fear of being shunned by others, so she resorts to being The Bully instead. Arnold would likely return her affections if she were to stop treating him like garbage and be herself. If she were to try harder in school, her neglectful parents would probably pay more attention to her (but as we've seen with her older sister Olga, that might not be a good thing) and while she might get a few snickers from Harold or the others, she'd be in a much better place and would be happier for it. Her nanny Inga in "Helga and the Nanny" even tells her that she's doomed to suffer as long as she continues to push others away.
    • It's not addressed much but Phoebe has a bad habit of going Drunk with Power whenever she's given any kind of authority and several of her A Day in the Limelight episodes show her going completely overboard, particularly the episode she's made hall monitor or in "Phoebe Breaks A Leg."
    • Rhonda's is her snobbery, as even though she is a kind person at heart, her Alpha Bitch behaviour means that whenever she gets knocked down a peg, people are rarely sympathetic towards her and she struggles to relate to her peers or cope without her wealth and popularity to fall back on, such as "Rhonda's Glasses" or "Rhonda Goes Broke."
  • I Am Weasel has severe Chronic Hero Syndrome which sometimes makes things worse for the world rather than better.
  • Infinity Train is built around this. Each season focuses on a new passenger of the eponymous train, who can only leave when they've resolved a notable personality flaw.
    • Season 1 has Tulip. Her issue is a general unwillingness to work through her feelings, preferring to bury them rather than accept imperfection and move on.
    • Season 2 has Jesse. He wants people to like him so much that he won't take sides, lets people walk all over him or even talk him into doing things that he knows are wrong.
    • Season 3 has Grace and Simon. Grace's pride is what led to her starting the Apex to begin with because she couldn't own up to the fact that she didn't actually know what the numbers meant, and only wanted recognition. Meanwhile, Simon's obsessive nature means that once he gets an idea into his head, nothing will convince him to reexamine it or consider he may not have all the information, which actively contributes to his worst character traits.
    • Season 4 has Min-Gi and Ryan. Min-Gi’s self confidence issues cause him to abandon his music dreams for university and a "safe" career in finance. Ryan tends to leap before he looks, which results in his career in music going nowhere. Both issues weigh heavily on their friendship.
  • Invader Zim: Zim is so blindly arrogant that not only does he refuse to second-guess himself, he won't accept others doing the same. He single-handed ruined the first Irken invasion when he launched a massive assault... and didn't realize he was assaulting his own planet. And shot down any underlings who tried to point that out. To this day, he still does not recognize what he did wrong there.
  • Jackie Chan Adventures:
    • Shendu is powerful and cunning, but his untrustworthiness and unwillingness to share power with others causes him to double-cross numerous characters, costing him many important victories and advantages later on.
      • Denying the Dark Hand the riches he promised them leads them to follow him back to his palace in order to take their price, and they also unknowingly transport Jade with them, allowing her to deny Shendu's certain victory over Jackie.
      • His decision to leave his siblings to rot in the Netherworld centuries ago later bites him back in the ass, when he eventually meets the disgruntled family again as an incorporeal and depowered spirit.
      • Trying to steal the Demon Archive from Jade while she was the Queen of the Shadowkhan by deceiving her resulted in her destroying it.
      • Also, Shendu betraying Daolon Wong after his resurrection makes the old wizard vengeful enough to the point that after being arrested, he tells the heroes Lo Pei's chi spell that is used to turn Shendu back into a statue.
    • Greed for the main trio of the Enforcers, which is why their first two attempts at turning good failed.
  • The Legend of Korra:
    • The Hero Korra nearly gets killed or depowered on several occasions by her aggressive and proud nature. She gets better, at least. Bolin, meanwhile, repeatedly gets himself into trouble through his trusting nature which stemmed from Mako's overprotective nature. Mako's inability to spit anything out or relax for four seconds never gets him into any worse trouble than a difficult breakup. It's really a blessing that Asami doesn't have this trope that it enables her to keep their group together. Lin Beifong has trouble letting go of old resentments that she ends up hurting others who aren't even part of her resentment like her niece Opal, not so dissimilar to Katara as mentioned above. Tenzin can be surprisingly naïve for a middle aged man and has to learn not to compare himself to his father.
    • The villains: Fittingly for a Satanic Archetype, Vaatu's flaw is his Pride — more specifically, his belief that mere humans could never pose a threat to a supremely powerful spirit such as himself. Kuvira's flaw is her utter devotion to her goal of a safe and unified Earth Empire. While this makes her a Determinator, it also gives her tunnel vision and sends her further and further into outright villain territory. She also adamantly refuses to take responsibility for the consequences of her actions, an issue she's had since childhood as revealed in the Ruins of the Empire comic.
    • Raava, Vaatu's Good Counterpart, suffered from a similar flaw as he did. When battling Vaatu, she dismissively told Wan not the meddle in their affairs, whereas Vaatu was smart enough to manipulate Wan into helping him. While she chided Wan for his mistake, she also contributed to that said mistake as well due of her dismissive nature preventing her to explain to the first Avatar why freeing Vaatu was a bad thing, which enabled the God of Evil to manipulate him.
  • In the animated short, Life in a Tin, it's the main character's workaholic tendencies. When given the chance to take a day off and spend time with his child, he doesn't relent. It ends up killing him.
  • Miraculous Ladybug: The eponymous character's impulsiveness, which leads her to say or do things without considering what the consequences of her actions might be, particularly when Adrien is involved. This has not only driven a wedge between her and her friends, such as in Rogercop, but it has also caused a substantial number of akumatizations that otherwise could have been avoided, such as in Gamer.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • All six of the main ponies suffer from some defining flaw that usually serves as a pivot for most of their personal dilemmas and even expand into full blown disasters when exacerbated enough (almost all of them have suffered a Sanity Slippage at one point). While downplayed later in the series due to Character Development, they're still present:
    • Discord loves exploiting these to break ponies For the Evulz, and is very good at it, but has one himself, namely his own pride and inability to truly understand how strong the bond of friendship really is. Both of these blind him to the fact the mane cast has reforged their friendship and the Elements of Harmony, the one thing on earth that can possibly defeat him, work again until he gets a friendship powered Wave-Motion Gun to the face. While he gradually grows out of the latterr flaw via Character Development following his Heel–Face Turn, his pride is still his greatest weakness and continues to blind him to threats.
    • The Arc Villain of the fifth season premier, Starlight Glimmer, has a big one: a lack of common sense. When faced with a problem, personal or otherwise, Starlight's first response is to use her absurd magical power to make it not a problem anymore, and she never thinks of the consequences until they've come back to bite her. Her childhood friend never contacts her again after getting his Cutie Mark? Cutie Marks are to blame for her unhappiness, so they must all be removed so nopony can ever leave her again. The Mane Six expose her as a brainwashing tyrant? Exploit Time Travel to ruin their friendship before it ever begins, Butterfly of Doom be dammned. Even post Heel–Face Turn Starlight has this problem, as her first instinct upon being told to socialize with other ponies involves things like magically compelling Big Macintosh to say everything that's on his mind and mind controlling the Mane Six sans Twilight.
    • Chrysalis's Fatal Flaw is her Narcissism and need for control. While a cunning strategist and Manipulative Bastard who's nearly conquered Equestria several times, she's shot herself in the hoof more than once by getting drunk on her apparent victory and congratulating herself before she's actually won, and her need to control is what exposes her to Twilight in her first appearance. Her inability to accept she's wrong and change how she runs her hive ultimately costs her everything in her second appearance.
  • The Owl House: Luz's major fatal flaw is her is her inability to think in the long term. On Palisman Adoption Day, abandoned Palisman choose which students they go to based on what they want to do for the future; Luz does not get one because she doesn't know what to do for her future. And that's not even getting into all the times that she gets herself into trouble without putting any thought into how she's going to get out of it.
  • On Ready Jet Go!, Sean's fatal flaw is that he fears cramped spaces, heights, and gets space-sick easily, but he must overcome these fears in time so he can achieve his dream of being an astronaut when gets older. He was also somewhat of a neurotic, overconfident perfectionist in the early episodes, but he gets better later on.
    • Jet's fatal flaw is his impulsivity. He tends to act before thinking, and this has caused trouble for him and his friends a few times throughout the show. He is also terrible at keeping the secret that he is an alien.
  • Samurai Jack: The Fatal Flaw of the Daughters of Aku is their Lack of Empathy. They were taught from an early age that needing help is weakness and deserving of punishment, though this also means that they won't protect each other when they're on the defensive.
    • Jack's patience is legendary, but more often than not he allows his frustration to boil over with disastrous results. Specific incidents include getting so infuriated at a constant stream of bounty hunters that Aku was able to create an Evil Knockoff of him to fight, and lashing out in a blind rage after Aku destroyed the last known time portal in existence and then mutated the sheep that had helped him find the portal. That last one cost him his sword and sent him into a 50 year Heroic BSoD.
    • Aku has several flaws:
      • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good. Given that Aku is the Anthropomorphic Personification of evil, it's only natural that he suffers from this. Many of his schemes fail because he has no understanding of the concept of good. This trope is why him sending Jack to the future backfired. He'd expected a world ruled by him would allow him to crush Jack effortlessly when he arrived. He never took into account that a hero arriving and successfully resisting him would trigger Hope Springs Eternal and start giving the oppressed masses someone to rally behind. And in the series finale, his execution of Jack fails because he couldn't comprehend that rather than being crushed by this, the ones Jack inspired would come to his aid en masse. Later on in the same episode, he finally meets his end because he never believed his daughter Ashi could free herself from his control, letting her use his powers he awakened in her to take Jack back to the past and kill him.
      • Additionally, other things that are lost on him are "respect" and "teamwork", as he has Chronic Backstabbing Disorder to the highest degree and has actually screwed himself over time and again because he cannot help but betray his allies in some form or another, even when he's trying really hard not to.
  • In She-Ra and the Princesses of Power:
    • Catra's biggest problem is an overwhelming sense of jealousy. Her obsession with control, the past, and her inability to understand the responsibility she holds in her own life all stem from being jealous of someone else. On numerous occasions, she's given the opportunity to change, and fails to do so because of perceived slights towards her.
      • In the first season, despite having a flashback of all their good times as childhood friends, Catra still turns her back on Adora, leaving her to die. Catra does this because if Adora is gone, it will mean Shadow Weaver will have to favor Catra instead.
      • Throughout the third season, Catra consistently makes things worse for herself out of jealousy. Catra lies that Entrapta is betraying the Horde, getting Entrapta sent to Beast Island. This actively hurts the Horde's plans, but Catra's jealousy over Entrapta getting close to Hordak means she doesn't care. Scorpia's suggestion that they live in peace in the wastes is ignored the second Catra believes Shadow Weaver joined up with Adora. Even in a reality where Adora offers Catra the chance to escape the Horde before becoming She-Ra, Catra still chooses to insist that Adora is abandoning her. Later in the same episode, Catra is willing to destroy the universe, herself included, just for the sake of beating Adora at something. Each time, Catra is offered opportunities to change, but blames others for her own mistakes and lets her long-held grudges ruin her senses.
    • Maybe not as fatal as Catra's, but Entrapta's flaw is her overwhelming curiosity, combined with a complete disregard for consequences. As long as she can learn something, it really doesn't matter what happens. She does have her limits, refusing to perform an experiment that might destabilize the universe, but before that, she had destabilized the climate of an entire planet and was perfectly willing to open the door for an invading army, just because she might get the chance to learn from them.
    • Hordak's biggest fatal flaw is tunnel vision. Hordak is so fixated on projects of immediate importance to him that he overlooks dangerous developments right under his nose. Notably, he failed to grasp the full implications of She-Ra's re-emergence, the power contained in her sword, or her ability to unite the Princess Alliance.
      • Another one of his fatal flaws is arrogance. His arrogant attitude toward, and outright abuse of subordinates such as Catra and Shadow Weaver contributes to their disaffection, which has disastrous consequences for him. His arrogance toward the "inconsequential" Adora/She-Ra blinds him to the real threat she poses to the Horde.
    • Adora's biggest flaw is that she can be too controlling — when she wants to keep someone safe, she instinctively tries to fence them in so they can't get hurt. It's a holdover from her abusive childhood, when Shadow Weaver would torture Catra and tell Adora it was her fault for not keeping Catra under control. It does a real number on some of her most important relationships, especially since she doesn't really have the emotional intelligence to realize that she's doing it: Catra views Adora protecting her and telling her that she should change sides to get away from Shadow Weaver as attempts to put her back in Adora's shadow, while Glimmer in Season 4 takes Adora's actions as attempts to usurp her authority.
    • Glimmer's flaw is her sense of righteousness. In Season 1-3, she routinely goes against queen Angela's orders to do what she thinks is right, which sometimes works out and othertimes don't, but this flaw really starts becoming a problem in Season 4, when Glimmer becomes queen of Brightmoon. She still feels that she's always right, but now she has the authority to steamroll any objections. When Adora and Bow both object to her course of action because they know it won't work and only make things worse, Glimmer pulls rank on them and goes through with it anyway.
  • The Simpsons: Lisa's biggest flaw is her dependency on her status as the smart one. Whenever confronted with the possibility that someone might be smarter or more skilled than her, she loses it and often tries to sabotage them. When given the choice of being a Normal Fish in a Tiny Pond in second grade or moving up to a better, more challenging education, she stays in her small pond because she cannot tolerate less than stellar grades.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: Squidward is brought down by his hubris. His paintings and sculptures are pretentious and self-indulgent, and his clarinet playing is atrocious, yet he's so convinced he's an artistic virtuoso that he puts no effort in improving himself. Whenever someone (usually SpongeBob) proves to be much more talented than him, he refuses to accept it and berates him for not respecting True Art. A Flashback reveals that he thought working at the Krusty Krab would be a mere interim until his artist career took off, and smugly laughed at the possibility that it wouldn't. No prizes for guessing where that got him.
  • Steven Universe:
    • Steven's main flaw is his self-sacrificing nature; he tries to take everyone's burdens on himself, even when it's obviously burning him out. This is taken Up to Eleven in Steven Universe: Future.
    • Connie keeps secrets and assumes that other people's reactions would be more negative than they are.
    • Lars has both severe social anxiety and self esteem issues, leading to a defeatist mentality and a Jerkass Façade. His determination to seem as cool by others results in screwing up his relationships with Steven, Sadie and the local teens. He gets better in Season 5 after a Disney Death and bonding with The Off-Colors.
    • Pearl has absolutely no self-esteem and depends on her relationships with others to feel good about herself. For most of her life, she was dependent on her Lady and Knight relationship with Rose, to the point where she couldn't accept her relationship with Greg or her decision to have Steven. She later almost completely ruins her relationship with Garnet by lying to her in order to keep Fusing, since as a fusion with Garnet she got to feel Garnet's self-confidence.
    • Amethyst also has no self-esteem, but in a different way. Her origin as a defective Gem from one of the Homeworld Kindergartens means that she thinks of herself as being a parasite on Earth, and she has little confidence in her own strength.
    • Garnet is an odd case, since she's a Fusion and both Ruby and Sapphire have their own. Ruby's is her hot-headedness and singleminded focus on the present, to the point of not even trying to look for solutions to her problems. Sapphire's is her apathy and trust in her future vision; she is so invested in the future, she forgets that the problems she sees solved haven't been solved yet, and need her to act to fix them.
    • Rose Quartz had her Condescending Compassion and Innocent Insensitivity; while she really was an All-Loving Hero, she had no idea how deep that particular rabbit hole went. She didn't understand that humans could love on equal terms with Gems until Greg confronted her, and she was particularly bad at understanding how others felt, especially towards her. Some of this presumably came from being so isolated as Pink Diamond.
    • Blue and Yellow Diamond have opposite flaws; Yellow Diamond represses her emotions to the point that they cause her to act irrationally when they get too much, while Blue Diamond lets her emotions distract her from both her duties and from finding peace. White Diamond holds everyone to impossible standards of perfection, including herself.
    • Pink Diamond's flaw was her immaturity. She was the No Respect Gem among the Diamonds, and her frustration led her to throwing tantrums to just get some attention from her sisters. She later grew out of it, but into others — see Rose's entry above.
  • Two fatal flaws are exposed in an episode of Teamo Supremo. Mr. Paulson admits to being too trusting. He tried to give his former lab assistant Crawford a second chance after he served his sentence for his villainous rampage as "the Gauntlet", only for Crawford to backstab Paulson and steal the Mega Gauntlets again. Paulson then reveals Crawford's flaw, his temper. He joins the team in confronting the Gauntlet and taunts him until, in a fit of rage, he hands the Mega Gauntlets over to Teamo Supremo so he can fight Paulson himself.
  • Teen Titans:
    • Robin tends to become so devoted to one goal, he neglects other aspects of his life until the issue is resolved. This characteristic has damaged, or even risked losing, many of his friendships and sometimes even proved his undoing.
    • Brother Blood is a genius and master manipulator, his flaw being perfection and pride. Once Cyborg proves resistant to his mind control, Blood becomes obsessed with finding out why, this one man he cannot control leading him to take foolish risks and bringing him to the brink of madness, and eventually, defeat.
    • Terra's is her inability to take responsibility for her actions, owing to being blamed for things that weren't her fault when her powers went out of control. This leads her to keeping secrets from the team, running away from her problems and being an easy target for Slade to manipulate.
  • Total Drama: Every character has one that ends up biting them in the back at some point.
    • Pride is actually a very common fatal flaw in Total Drama. Heather and Jo refuse to play nice because of it, and both are mostly disliked by their peers. Lightning frequently makes bad decisions because of his arrogance, and it turns his team against him in season five. And then there’s Justin, who has a tendency to limit his participation to avoid ruining his appearance. Topher thinks he can take over Chris’s role as host, and lets his team lose when he thinks he has. While Harold was never really done in by his, it generally did him no favors with his team. And while pride was arguably not Sugar’s biggest flaw, it was the one that got her eliminated in the end.
    • Courtney's flaw is perfectionism. She expects others to follow her unquestioningly, gets dangerously angry when they don't, and is constantly trying to elevate her own social status. This has led to her downfall in every season she's in. Two other flaws that lead to her downfall are her need for control and greed.
      • Control. The reason Courtney has never made it to the final two despite being such an effective competitor is because winning is so important to her that she views other contestants as tools or pawns to further her own goals, rather than people. Unfortunately for her, she can't stop her "pawns" from using the show's most crucial weapon against her: the voting booth (and unlike Heather, she doesn't know how to manipulate people out of using it against her). Her own desire to win ultimately sealed her fate in All-Stars.
      • Greed. Whenever Courtney has a choice between another person or the prize money, she will always choose the latter, no matter how important that person is to her (as Duncan, Gwen, and Scott can attest to). Not surprisingly, this has been the nail in the coffin for all of her relationships, romantic or platonic.
    • Heather's fatal flaw was recklessness in the first season. Heather repeatedly commits actions throughout Island that not only manage to alienate everybody on her team, and ultimately, the entire cast, but are extremely shortsighted and bring her no long term benefit while only giving her short term advantages. One excellent example of this is reading Gwen's diary, as it managed to make her an eternal enemy in Gwen, didn't get her team any points, (and it's implied that had Heather actually performed ballet, it would have been enough to seal a Gopher victory), and nearly got her voted off. The only reason she makes it so far, especially after the merge, is either someone else is removed, or she gets invincibility. Unsurprisingly, her shortsighted decision making finally gets her eliminated in the final three.
    • Alejandro's flaw is his narcissism. It works to his advantage because he can back up most of his boasting, which impresses the other cast members, even after his true nature as a Manipulative Bastard is revealed. Unfortunately for him, stoking his ego is a great way to get him to lower his guard, which Heather manages to exploit twice in a row. He also fails to consider the possibility that he might be outmatched or outwitted in any way, so he's left floundering when Mal brute forces him into submission and no one is willing to listen to him anymore.
    • Sierra's flaw is her obsessive nature. Aside from her stalking of Cody, she idolizes Chris (and the show itself) leading her to trust him blindly.
    • Dawn’s fatal flaw is her social ineptitude, which is ironic for an empath. Her lack of any concept of privacy had a tendency to unnerve her teammates, and as a result, they ended up trusting Scott over her.
    • Noah's flaw is apathy. He won't work with his team to win, and generally doesn't care about anyone's feelings — which, combined with his sharp tongue, led to him being voted off.
    • Duncan’s rebellious nature got him eliminated twice, and the second time, he got arrested for blowing up Chris’s mansion.
    • Eva’s fatal flaw is her temper. She has a tendency to react violently to the slightest of offenses, and was voted out twice for being unstable.
      • Scarlett had the same flaw, taken to murderous extremes. Yeah, Max was annoying, but she should have known trying to hold her castmates for ransom wouldn’t work on Chris.
    • Ella has the fatal flaws of naïveté and lack of social awareness. She fails to recognize Sugar’s hatred of her, and annoys her into setting her up for elimination.
      • Ezekiel and Staci both seem to have the same problem, but even more so. Ella annoyed one unscrupulous teammate. They offended/annoyed their entire teams.
    • DJ’s flaw is cowardice. In seasons 1 and 3, he let his fears get the better of him, and was disqualified as a result.
  • Mark Lily of Ugly Americans frequently gets into trouble with his lack of understanding of the various monsters of the world he lives in despite being a social worker, whether that be trying to treat them like humans or straight ignorance:
    • He temporarily killed Leonard by snapping his wand in half because he didn't know it was Leonard's life force.
    • He let a batboy out of its cage in an attempt to treat it with respect, unaware it was closer to a rabid animal than a person. It bites him on the penis, infecting him with its venom, and Grimes swoops in to kill it, aware of what was gonna happen.
    • Mark nearly killed a young manbird by trying a Die or Fly moment both because he thought it was ready and because he didn't want to try and teach him the manbird language, which consists of all swearing. The second part also means the manbird, Albert, will never properly communicate with his kind. Albert's singing even causes his father to disown him on his deathbed.
    • He nearly kills Randall, who was turned into a plant/zombie hybrid, by acquiescing to his demands for human brains, under the impression it was what Randall needed. Leonard points out it was closer to a baby demanding candy and Randall is dying of neglect.
    • His lack of knowledge on demons almost cost him his soul in one episode when he unwittingly agreed to a demonic ceremony with Callie. A recurrent problem in their relationship is also that it is clear Mark has no idea what he signed up for.
  • The Weekenders has Carver, whose desperation to be cool often leads him to making terrible decisions.
  • Winnie-the-Pooh: In "123's", Roo's major flaw is the inability to count over 6, and asks his friends for help.
  • While it is undeniably played for laughs most of the time, Omi, from Xiaolin Showdown has a massive superiority complex, constantly talks down to his friends as if they're beneath him, and it has gotten him in trouble more than a few times. Also demonstrated with Raimundo. Due to being singled out of a promotion and treated as inferior by Omi, again, Raimundo betrayed the team.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Tragic Flaw


Goodbye Mr. Crisps

A list of Iqbal's fatal flaws devolves into a list of his many crimes.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

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Main / ListOfTransgressions

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