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It Sucks to Be the Chosen One

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One of the biggest reasons for being the chosen one is for being able to go through these kinds of things.

Adora: Don't I get a say in what happens to me? Don't I get a choice?!
Light Hope: ...No. This is your destiny. You do not choose. You were chosen.

So you're The Chosen One. The Messianic Archetype. The one foretold by prophecy that everyone has been waiting for. Secret knowledge and power awaits! The world will change, and it's all because of you, baby.

But wait! The Chosen One does not have it easy, oh no. Far from it. There are rules to be followed and intense training to undergo, and danger lurks around every corner. The Big Bad and The Dragon are out there, actively searching for you, trying to hunt you down before you grow too powerful. In fact, if they haven't already tracked down and killed everyone you ever knew, you may have to leave it forever behind anyways to fulfill your destiny.

And sometimes your destiny isn't all that it's cracked up to be either. A Messianic Archetype must always remember that No Good Deed Goes Unpunished. A hero may find themselves with a Wound That Will Not Heal, discover that their unique power has a terrible price (especially if they can't control it!), a Sadistic Choice presented by the villains, they may be called upon to make the ultimate sacrifice, or they find out they're really destined to destroy the world or become its new Big Bad. Even if they survive, they may end up with serious mental issues relating to their work. The list goes on and on. Simply put, it sucks to be the Chosen One. Often presented as a deconstruction of the standard Messianic Archetype/Chosen One tropes.

Named for this Basic Instructions strip. Strongly related to Being Good Sucks and Blessed with Suck, and often leads to I Just Want to Be Normal, or even Refusal of the Call. Can be made worse if mixed with Missed the Call, where it's revealed that the "chosen one" was the wrong guy, meaning they went through all that crap for nothing. Compare The Perils of Being the Best. More positive works and reconstructions might use this to allow a Chosen One to earn a happy ending, but this is relatively rare. When others can see how much being the chosen one sucks, they may express Sympathy for the Hero.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Birdy the Mighty: Decode sees Shyamalan, who's actually a deconstruction of The Chosen One, give such a speech how such people might feel about it.
  • Brave Raideen: Non-prophecy example with Princess Lemuria. Her father chose her to be the Mu Empire's Sole Survivor because she had powerful telekinetic powers that frightened even Demon Emperor Barao. However, because she feels like her mission to save the world comes first, she's often cold and neglectful to her son - in her mind, anything less will make him vulnerable in battle. Near the Grand Finale, she breaks down to Mari and asks her if she thinks she's a terrible mother.
  • Death Note:
    • Light Yagami: He wasn't exactly chosen, it was pure luck. But according to Ohba Tsugumi, the creator, Light would have become a great detective and worked side-by-side with L himself on many cases had he not touched the Death Note. Fans even calculated that he would have lived a long life, to somewhere in his eighties. As it was, he goes batshit insane, gets many people including his own father killed (and his sister became a vegetable, great job Light), and he dies in his early twenties.
    • L qualifies as well. Thanks to his smarts, he's the only one able to threaten Light's killing spree during the first arc, and ends up dead. Oops.
    • All of the children at Wammy's. While the orphanage certainly seems like a better choice than some others, they are being raised and groomed to succeed a highly intelligent, enigmatic detective.
      • Near and Mello, L's successors. They probably both suffered through the trials that Wammy's put them through to deem them worthy of succeeding the Century's Greatest Detective. Look how they turned out. Mello is quite obviously not mentally stable, has a massive inferiority complex, and winds up dead. Near is completely isolated from society with only his subordinates for company, unable to interact with and understand others (or at least having a lot of trouble with it), in part thanks to his upbringing. He ends up inheriting the mantle of L, and, as a result, having to shoulder the pressure of living up to the world's expectations.
  • Chikane of Destiny of the Shrine Maiden was tired of her and her beloved being caught in a continual reincarnation loop, so she decided to subvert it and set up a Batman Gambit to make sure it never happens again. Sure, they get reincarnated again, but it's not as bad as before in Shattered Angels.
  • In Fist of the North Star, being a good guy SUCKS. The world is such a cruel, dark place that the only ones who truly enjoy their lot are the rotten ones, while the heroes must fight their own despair as well as the bad guys. Part of the reasons so many Manly and Tender Tears are shed in the series. In particular, being the chosen heir of Hokuto Shinken dooms you to a life of hardship, and in Kenshiro's time, there are THREE men, including him, worthy of succession.
  • Fushigi Yuugi. If you're the priestess, sure everyone bows down to you, you get to make any wishes you want, and you have a harem of bishounen at your beck and call. But, you have to use your wishes for the good of others (not yourself, with the possible exception of a wish to get home safely). Everyone expects you to know what you're doing, when you don't. You can't have sex or even a relationship with any member of your bishie harem as long as you're the priestess (because Sex Is Evil and will destroy your Virgin Power, and Love Makes You Stupid, or at least distracted and biased.) And worst of all, you are a Virgin Sacrifice to be Fed to the Beast; the very god who grants your wishes will devour your soul unless you can pass the Secret Test of Character.
  • In Future Robot Daltanious, Kento Tate is revealed to somehow be the descendant of the final Heliosian Emperor, Palmillion, and thus thrusted with the responsibility of managing the fallen empire's Alien Prince affairs as well as piloting the titular Humongous Mecha. Kento expresses on multiple occassions that he hates this responsibility.
  • Kagerou-Nostalgia sucks for everyone, including our reincarnated heroes. So far they haven't actually managed to save anyone, while losing their leader and suffering betrayal from one of their own.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (2016), Link is forced to go on a perilous quest before he even learns that the Master Sword will reject him and revoke his Plot Armor if Link starts enjoying it too much. To add insult to injury, the Hero's Shade then informs him that The Call will not stop toying with him even in death.
  • Hayate's status as the owner of the Book of Darkness in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's directly results in her nearly dying from organ failure, spending a good chunk of her childhood in a wheelchair, and the (temporary) murder of her adoptive family.
  • My Hero Academia: Each wielder of One For All has to face numerous perils in their mission to defeat All For One. The first seven wielders were short-lived and just managed to pass on One For All before their deaths. The eighth hero, All Might actually defeated All For One, sustaining crippling injuries in the process. Sadly, All Might learnt too late that he failed to kill All For One and was forced to entrust the responsibility to his successor, Midoriya. Midoriya underwent through so many hazards in his first year at high school alone, while simultaneously training to control One For All.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion:
    • Shinji Ikari, who hates his role as the savior of Tokyo 3 throughout the series. The few times he does get a little bit cocky about it, he is swiftly and cruelly brought back down to earth.
    • Later his classmate Toji is asked to become the Fourth Child and spends a fair amount of time angsting about it considering that his younger sister is hospitalized as a result of a battle between an Angel and Shinji's Eva Unit. By this point he's also become friends with Shinji and knows firsthand all the crap he goes through.
  • In Pokémon 2000 Ash flat out states this after they find out the Exact Words of the legend "and thus the earth shall turn to ash" don't refer to The End of the World as We Know It, but to the person who can save it.
    Ash: Well, right now I'm kinda wishing my mom had named me Bob instead of Ash.
  • The Magical Girls of Puella Magi Madoka Magica are not happy. They have traded their freedom for a lifetime of fighting witches for a single wish, which may not even be worth it anymore. Fighting the witches systematically tears apart their social lives. And if a puella magi dies in the witch's other world, her body never appears in the real world. They're missing. Forever.
    • To add insult to the injury, anyone who becomes a Magical Girl is already dead by the time they make the contract. To be precise, a Magical Girl in this universe is essentially a Lich, and only maintains life and normal function through the presence of her Soul Gem, which cannot be farther than 100 meters from her or she will fall into an Empty Shell state and eventually start to decompose much like a corpse.
      • And it turns out that the Witches they were fighting this whole time? They used to be magical girls just like them. Turns out that to accept a contract and become a magical girl, you're also damning yourself to become an Eldritch Abomination and be killed by another girl later—there's no way around it, and it is inevitable, unless you die in battle first. Thus, any magical girl killed in action and proclaimed missing is lucky (in fact, it's implied this is why the witches are killing them in the first place). And Kyubey knows this but has been keeping it from the girls it contracts.
      • Kyubey also mentions that a magical girl's potential strength comes from her hardships (hence why Madoka's potential baffled him). In practice this means you're taking a Broken Bird, granting them one wish, and then making them suffer horribly.
  • In Reborn to Master the Blade, Rafael Bilford is the owner of a Special-class Rune, a magical mark that lets him use incredibly powerful Artifact weapons, and who his nation is sure will eventually become the only person strong enough to save them from some great calamity. When he is 8 years old, during a Prisma Beast monster attack, he laments that he cannot join the others in repelling the threat because the others consider him too important to lose before he reaches his full potential, even to the point where everyone else has to be sacrificed to ensure he lives. He almost goes through watching his own mother perform a Heroic Sacrifice, if not for the intervention of his cousin, Inglis, another Chosen One. Fast-forward 15 years, and Rafael is now a full-fledged Knight but embroiled in even more political intrigue and the weight of expectations for him to be the ultimate warrior thanks to his Rune.
  • In Revenge of the Teapot Hero, this is an overarching plot point. The protagonist, Kyrie, is just the latest in a long line of "heroes" chosen by the gods and granted a super-natural [gift]. There can be only one "hero" at a time, and a new one won't be chosen until the current one dies. All the previous [heroes] had a [gift] obviously useful in combat and were sent into battle over, and over again until they died. Kyrie has it even worse because her [gift] is boiling water, so she's sent home and is given a day to enjoy her friends and family before her home village is burnt to the ground, everyone slaughtered just to get at her and make it look like the act of random bandits.
  • The Rising of the Shield Hero: While he, at first, didn't mind being chosen as the Hero of the Shield, Naofumi immediately thought he drew the short end of the stick after realizing that the King and the people of the kingdom didn't have too much respect for the bearer of the title, and that was before they frame him for a crime he didn't commit. Once he learns that he's stuck with being the Shield Hero until either he dies or the Waves are completely stopped, he decides to just say "Screw It!" and find ways to become strong enough to handle the Waves by himself. After a while time, he learns that while Melromarc was prejudiced against the Shield Hero because of the king's prejudice against demi-humans, the neighboring countries, especially those that have a significant Demi-Human population would treat whoever was chosen to bear the title with reverence and respect because the Shield Hero championed for equality between all races and was especially kind to Demi-Humans.
  • Usagi of Sailor Moon considered her being Sailor Moon this, especially during the latter half of the first season and the first half of R. When she finds out she's the long lost Moon Princess, Princess Serenity, it's just after finding out her crush had just been possibly killed and was just kidnapped by the enemy. By the time the first season reaches its end, she makes a dying wish to be normal again and she gets it... only to lose it when new foes appear.
  • Kamui Shirou of X1999's destiny is to determine the fate of the world. But his entire life is not pretty. He watches his mother burned to death and is vaguely told by her to go back to Tokyo to decide his own fate. After arriving in Tokyo, it turns out that his childhood friends, Fuuma and Kotori, are also affected where the former is fated to be the other Chosen One and the latter is destined to die by either one of them. After Kamui makes his decision to protect his friends, Fuuma automatically becomes his polar opposite and kills Kotori right in front of him. It gets worse from there as Kamui realizes that he has to fight his friend to save the world.

    Comic Books 
  • Ash tends to have this view in Army of Darkness. No matter how many times he defeats them, the deadites keep coming back and destroy his attempts at a normal life. Admittedly, its often his own fault. Even when defeating the main threat of a story, he almost always forgets some crucial detail that allows the Necronomicon to survive and cause trouble later.
  • Michael Rhodes in Birthright is supposedly fated to destroy God-King Lore and free the world of Terrenos from his tyranny. The pressure of a duty that he never chose in the first place, the resentment of being taken from his home (which also lead to his family being split apart) and the horrors of the war ultimately push him to perform a Face–Heel Turn, side with Lore and betray his comrades just to return to Earth. Making things worse is that he isn't the first, implying that he's entirely expendable as the Chosen One. Then it turns out that he was never really The Chosen One at all. The prophecy was referring to Lore, who had already saved Terrenos in the past and became a villain later. Making all the crap Mikey went through even more pointless.
  • Doctor Strange is the Sorcerer Supreme, and as such one of the single most powerful humans in existence. Unfortunately, this pits him against many Eldritch Abominations even more powerful than he is and malevolent in the extreme.
  • The Great Power of Chninkel: Invoked again and again throughout the story. J'on considers himself unfit for the role bestowed on him by God, has to travel half the world and nearly gets killed multiple times to fulfill his destiny, cannot consummate his love for his female companion G'wel, and is eventually executed by his own people. Even worse, the Almighty Creator saw him fit to die only so that it could attain eternal worship for itself.
  • Optimus Prime in IDW's run of The Transformers has a bad case of this. The first true matrix bearer in millions of years, he often laments the burden he carries and the responsibility he feels he has in the war that devastated their world. Add that when the Matrix of Leadership joined with him - it hurt. He interpreted it as the Matrix warning him of the burden he was accepting.

    Fan Works 
  • Child of the Storm has Harry, as per canon, express this on more than one occasion, mixed with a grudging acceptance of the fact that he is The Chosen One. But he has issues, ones that explode in an extensive Motive Rant in chapter 28 of the sequel, inspired by his being dragged into the Triwizard Tournament, that being the metaphorical straw that breaks the camel's back. Why? Because he can take his lumps (of which there have been many) if he chose to involve himself, if he chose to step up and fight, which he frequently does, to protect the innocent or for a higher cause. That's just the price of doing business. But this? This is just a game, supposedly to boost international cooperation but with shallower motives (Karkaroff and Maxime are both inclined to try and get one up on the legendary Dumbledore), and more to the point, one Harry did not choose to involve himself in.
  • Consequences of Unoriginality takes the time to point out that all those monsters the Chosen One has to fight come from somewhere—in this case, they spontaneously come into being to murder and torture innocent ponies to make Emeris appear to defeat them as the world forces him into the role of a Gary Stu.
  • Lampshaded in Dragon Ball Z: Lord Slug 2.0, during the chapter when Goku speaks on Vegeta's behalf in court. Goku points out that from the day he was born. Vegeta's father, and by extension the entire Saiyan race. Had rather unfairly placed the burden of high expectations on the Saiyan prince, by constantly telling Vegeta that he was "destined" to be the strongest Saiyan that ever lived. As well as insisting that becoming the next Super Saiyan was something only he could do. Which as Goku himself points out, ultimately led to Vegeta's own Inferiority Superiority Complex becoming a problem for the prince, later in life.
  • Dragon From Ash gives this viewpoint to Velandryn Savani when he's revealed as the Dragonborn. As a Dunmer forced to become a Nord messiah, he's saddled with powers his country loathes, a non-negligeable part of the people he's intended to protect hates him for belonging to the "wrong" race and several important officials want to use him as a political pawn. He will also have to fight dragons in spite of being terrified of dying or losing his identity every time he absorbs their soul. For all his smugness, several of his allies cannot help but pity him.
  • Defied in Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality.
    Harry: A lot of children have to grow up too early, though, not just me; and most children like that would probably trade places with me in five seconds. I'm not going to pity myself, Professor McGonagall, not when there are people out there in real trouble and I'm not one of them.
  • In Hit List, Link and Zelda both get this. Zelda has prophetic warnings from Nayru, which would be helpful if she had any context or idea how to prevent them and if she could get people to help without looking insane explaining it. Link, meanwhile, has to fight Ganondorf alone, more or less (Zelda's there but can't help much), ultimately being stabbed in the stomach and nearly dying pushing Ganondorf out a window.
  • Oh, how true for the four in The Keys Stand Alone: The Soft World. Although seemingly four of many "Chosen Ones" brought over to fight the Black Tower, they're not professional adventurers like everyone else and resent how everyone expects them to act heroically at the drop of a hat. George eventually loses his temper and yells at a teenager trying to get them to rescue her 8-year-old sister; later he decides to give up his shapeshifting ring once the Black Tower is down and they can go home, because "as long as I have it, as long as we have it, we're gonna be someone's slaves."
  • Zig-zagged in My Huntsman Academia. Izuku is incredibly grateful and happy to be the inheritor of One For All as it finally gave him the opportunity to pursue his dream of becoming a Huntsman at the greatest Huntsman Academy in the world. His adventures have given him a plethora of friends he could have only dreamed of prior to coming to Beacon and he gets to meet and learn from people he's idolized his entire life. But at the same time, One For All's backlash hurts and he has to be extremely careful when using it to avoid incapacitating himself in the middle of a life-or-death situation. Izuku also has to keep the nature of his new Semblance a secret, which eats away at him internally and contributes to his Heroic Self-Deprecation as his new friends praise him for how earnest he is. That guilt only lends to the crushing weight of his responsibilities as the leader of Team MNVW and his duties as the next Symbol of Peace and Hope, which make him privy to even more dark and dangerous secrets that he has to keep under wraps. While he will always appreciate the opportunity he's been given, it's clear that Izuku doesn't have his work cut out for him.
  • Mocked in these three images by My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fan artist Badumquish where Trixie is surprised that Twilight Sparkle not only doesn't get paid for being the Princess of Friendship, but also doesn't even get health or dental coverage (among other things). She goes on to rub it in even further when she points out that she makes more and has better health care as a traveling magician. Cue epic Death Glare from Twilight.
  • In Perfection Is Overrated, Midori laments having to send Mai, Natsuki, and Nao back in time to ensure that the greatest tragedies in their lives happen in order to avert a Temporal Paradox without any help, understanding how difficult it is. She wonders why the fate of the world rests solely in the hands of the Himes, who are not the ideal people for the job, but later wonders if they were chosen because they were imperfect.
  • Pony POV Series: In the Finale Arc, the Cutie Mark Crusaders are informed by Phobia that they are the ones who have to save the world this time. They complain about it at first, pointing out that they are only children and they barely made it out of the Wedding Arc with their lives, but suck it up and press forward.
  • A Protector's Pride: Ichigo is not amused that the fate of the world is always in his hands.
    "Saving Rukia, killing Kariya, stopping Aizen. (sighs) When does it all end? I'm tired of always being the hero."
  • The Road You Choose goes out of its way to show the toll that constantly having to save world takes on Ash and how he feels that he has no choice in the matter. It's explained that it is always Ash's choice to act, with his role more accurately being 'One Who Chooses', and that he does so because he believes it is the right thing to do. However, there are lines that Ash proves he will not cross, being willing to endanger the entire world to keep Giovanni from killing Misty.
  • In The Saga of Avatar Korra, Korra is kidnapped by the Red Lotus because she was the Avatar. They took her away from her family and put her through a Training from Hell regiment for fourteen years. She never made friends nor did she ever know when her birthday was during that time. It was not until after she escaped from the Red Lotus and entered Republic City she was finally able to become friends with anyone besides her loyal polar bear dog Naga.
  • In The Successors, Princess Aurora is frustrated that she and her sister were chosen to rule Equestria due to the enormous responsibility it brings, and the burden it puts on her to keep the nation together.
    Aurora: "I'm worried that Equestria won't accept us as leaders. I'm worried some other noble will call us inept or inadequate, and try to seize power for him or herself. There's…there's just such a huge burden on my shoulders now. It's like nothing I've ever had to deal with before."
  • Takato from the Tamers Forever Series can strongly attest to this. At first, he's happy in his role as the OmniTamer, but soon comes to realize that being the vessel of Chaos comes at a terrible cost.
  • With Strings Attached. Ya think, with a title like that?

    Films — Animation 
  • BIONICLE 2: Legends of Metru Nui: Vakama thinks Lhikan has made a wrong choice, as he not only struggles at mask crafting, he has no faith in himself to uncover the threat to Metru Nui.
  • The Prince of Egypt: Moses really wished that God choose someone else to "free his people", as he watches his home Egypt crumble by the 10 plagues, and he has to stand against his adopted brother.
    "And even now I wish that God had chosen another
    Serving as your foe on His behalf
    Is the last thing that I wanted..."

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Dark Crystal: After the Garthim raid the Podling village and capture a bunch of Podlings to enslave them at the castle, Jen comes to think it all happened because of himself and his quest to restore the Crystal, and throws the shard of the Crystal away in a fit of anger. Then he and Kira find the shard in the middle of ancient Gelfling ruins the next morning, Jen reads the prophecy on a wall and comes to terms with it, seconds before the Skeksis Chamberlain enters the scene.
  • Dogma. For Bethany, being Jesus Christ's ultimate descendant requires that you (a) contract a condition that leaves you barren (b) have your husband leave you (c) hang around with two stoners who want to get into your pants, and ultimately (d) become a single mom as a result of immaculate conception.
    • Jesus, himself, had a pretty terrible situation. As the Metatron points out, he, as The Voice of God, had to tell this 12 year old, who only wanted to play and be like his friends, that he was the Savior of his people, but the very people whom he came to save would be the ones to kill him. And, he couldn't even hear it directly from his own father because his human heart and mind would explode.
      • Jesus apparently still felt some of this even after growing up and accepting his destiny. Rufus mentions that Jesus often seemed happiest just listening to people talk about all the unimportant little things going on in their lives. Bethany speculates it was because not having anything important to talk about was a luxury Jesus never had.
  • Neo should've been more careful for what he wished to know about The Matrix. He gets his computer hacked, he's chased about and "bugged" by Agents. Shortly after being forcefully and painfully ejected from the Matrix, he learns the truth about the Matrix and completely loses it for a bit. He gets a little fun when learning how to bend the rules of virtual reality, but when Agent Smith and others put them to the ultimate test, he's bludgeoned silly before having the full mag of a Desert Eagle emptied into him. Even after getting Enlightenment Superpowers, he realizes they have a limit. He can hardly get a moment's peace with Trinity because of all the hero worship he gets. His purpose eludes him until he realizes that Smith, a fatalistic abomination, must kill him to save everyone in and out of the Matrix. He learned that You Can't Fight Fate, but you can trick it.
  • In Mortal Kombat: The Movie, this is why Liu Kang left his home. He couldn't bear the responsibility of saving Earthrealm to the point he grew cynical about the whole prophecy. His brother being killed gives him enormous guilt for abandoning his home and he initially joins the tournament only to get revenge on Shang Tsung, which Raiden warns will only bring an end to him and the world.
  • Seventh Son: Being destined to be a witch-hunter is pretty hard on Tom since he doesn't think he can handle burning witches alive. This only gets harder and more complicated when he falls in love with a half-blood witch, and then discovers he is one himself!
  • Star Wars:
    • Anakin Skywalker is the chosen one destined to bring balance to the Force. Unfortunately, (due to a combination of emotional trauma exacerbated by his reluctance to commit fully to either the Jedi or his own desires, his already impulsive and Hot-Blooded tendencies and his desperation to protect his wife) he gets corrupted to the dark side, spends half of the series as Palpatine's Dragon, and in the end only saves everything by killing himself with Palpatine.
    • The Star Wars Legends continuity doesn't have it much better.
      • Jacen Solo, in order to prevent a dark man from rising to the throne and plunging the galaxy into war, has to turn to the dark side, torture his cousin and padawan into a Sith apprentice and assassin, and lose not only his life but his very soul and the approval of everyone close to him.
      • Luke himself warns in the New Jedi Order novel Destiny's Way that just because someone is a chosen one or has a special destiny doesn't mean they'll have an easy life or a burden free life. He not only is referring to his own father, but is foreshadowing what will happen to Jacen in the coming years.
        Luke: My father had a special destiny, and see where it took him.
      • And then the Dark Man (Darth Krayt) rises to the throne and plunges the galaxy into war anyways..
    • Moral: Being a Skywalker or a Solo really sucks.
  • Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. She's a scared young girl who just wants to get home, and the task of saving Oz ends up falling on her just so the Wizard doesn't have to do it himself. note 
    • In the books, she gets over it later when she's able to go between Oz and Kansas as she pleases, and even more so when she is brought to Oz for good. Em and Henry are put up with a nice farm in Munchkin Country while Dorothy becomes Ozma's champion, heir, and possibly girlfriend.

  • Animorphs: Congratulations, plucky pre-teens! You've been given the ability to shape shift into any animal! Sounds like fun, right? Just make sure you don't accidentally get trapped as a bird or caterpillar or something. Oh, and you have to fight alien invaders, but you can't tell anybody, not even your parents or the cops, because they might actually be under alien control. So enjoy risking life and limb fighting an increasingly violent guerrilla war as your innocence is shattered and you question your every moral value.
    • By the end of it, every one of the animorphs - at least those who got out alive - have become hardened soldiers up to their necks in PTSD. Yay.
    • The alien who gave them the morphing powers and the knowledge of the invasion felt bad about saddling them with this burden, but he believed that humanity deserved a fighting chance and knew from past experience that human children could accomplish a lot. Said alien was also chosen by the same godlike being who chose the Animorphs to be his gamepieces in a cosmic chess game with an Eldritch Abomination. The alien was forced to abandon a happy and peaceful life, spent the rest of it in a war, and suffered an excruciating death. All so that he would be in the right place and time to meet the future Animorphs.
  • Garion in the Belgariad complains about this so often, "Why me" is practically his catchphrase. It's even lampshaded multiple times. Ironically, the Prophecy driving the whole Chosen One business sets out to make sure that its instruments get rewarded, and so Garion picks up a kingship, a loving wife, and Babies Ever After. The "why me" part is mainly adolescent angst, which his friends tell him repeatedly to get over - and in the second series, by which time he's in his late twenties, when someone else comes out with it he cracks up laughing and explains that he always used to complain about this and never got a straight answer.
  • The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant: Thomas Covenant actually felt and acted this way long before things actually started to suck for him.
  • Kyrian in Dark Heart. He found out that he was a hero of prophecy destined to destroy the evil god Vraxor, but only after Vraxor's army slaughtered his family and nearly killed him too. It's implied that the grief and trauma left him less than fully sane.
  • The real name of Alfred Montbank in The Death Gate Cycle is Coren, which is Sartan for 'Chosen' or 'To Choose'. The day he emerges from suspended animation and realizes that every other member of his community died while he was asleep - that he was chosen to live when everyone else was not - he comes to hate that name very, very much.
  • This is without a doubt the belief of Discworld's most inept wizard, Rincewind. He's the favorite of Lady Luck, which makes him despised by her rival, Fate. As a result of being their Cosmic Plaything, not even Death knows when Rincewind will actually die.
  • Dune: Paul Atreides is said to be the Kwizatz Haderach, the culmination of a ten-thousand year Bene Gesserit breeding program showing up a generation early. He can see the future, the Fremen almost immediately begin bowing and scraping before him, and he has a number of mental and martial abilities from the training preparing him for this. However, he is horrified of his visions of his zealous followers starting a universe-spanning jihad in his name, and the only reason they follow him is because the Bene Gesserit deliberately shaped myths and legends to bail one of their number (by a twist of fate, his mother) out of trouble if she ever needed it. Unfortunately, he knows that this is a necessity to prevent humanity's extinction. The sequel, Dune Messiah, shows how it really affected him emotionally as he earns many enemies, goes blind after a failed assassination attempt, and foresees that his beloved concubine would die giving birth to their twins. In the end, he walks into the desert as he couldn't bear to continue his role, and leaves behind his empire and his children. His son takes up the mantle instead, following the path to the end and accepting how horrible it is.
  • One of the main themes of The Empirium Trilogy is how much being the subject of a prophecy messes with your life. Having incredible powers don't mean much if you can't use them freely, and everyone has different ideas about how they should and shouldn't be applied.
    • Despite how much grief her father gives her for being powerful, Rielle takes pride in being able to summon split the sea, control a shadow dragon, and summon fireballs all without the need of a casting, but everyone expects her to use these abilities to protect crown and country. She would love to reveal in her abilities as much as she wants, but she can't without potentially destroying someone or something. It's why Corien's words of devotion and his promise that he will never fear her are so appealing.
    • Before finding out about her heritage, Eliana had an incredibly useful healing ability, but deep down it always worried her. After learning that she's the daughter of the infamous Blood Queen, she comes to hate and fear her powers. Unfortunately, the world needs her now more than ever and a big part of that is accepting who she really is, up to and including her powers.
  • All the novels in Michael Moorcock's Eternal Champion series (including what is probably its most famous incarnation, The Elric Saga) feature this trope prominently.
  • Harry Potter. He gets to be a wizard! Yay! Unfortunately for him, he doesn't get to be a normal wizard. As "the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord", the fight against Voldemort systematically gets him ostracized by his school and society, makes him face traumatic tasks pretty much every year, and results in the deaths of his godfather, his grandfather-substitute, one of his favorite teachers, his future brother-in-law, several of his classmates and his pet owl. Oh, and himself, almost.
  • In Heralds of Valdemar, Vanyel Ashkevron summed this trope up very nicely when he said "A glorious destiny will get you a glorious funeral". Despite having a glorious destiny, he didn't get a glorious funeral, or any funeral for that matter. There wasn't enough left of him to bury.
  • In Murderess, the protagonist Lu definitely thinks so, enough to help Hallwad, a boy she meets on the Myles Mountains about halfway to the Refugee Camp, rescue his sister and simply stop her journey in the middle to move in with Cleareye Fullmoonnight, a Moondaughter she meets in the Myles Forest after crossing the mountains. Her Trickster Mentor 'Hat Lad' calls her out on this, emphasising in no uncertain terms how incredibly important her mission is.
  • Tahniya Dogoro in The Path to War. Being the chosen one left her isolated, emotionally stunted and with more than a few serious regrets due to the things she did to "prove herself." She doesn't take well to being called 'Chosen One' either, refused an elaborate home and angrily rebuffed the idea of her sister's twins being given names themed after her own. It's a wonder she never says "I just want to be normal."
  • Life has gotten progressively worse for each successive generation of Ohmsfords and Leahs in the Shannara series. Bonus points to Walker Boh, of The Heritage of Shannara who's attempted Refusal of the Call destroys his life and sees him railroaded into serving as the chosen one.
  • The Silerian Trilogy: Josarian, after becoming the Firebringer, is betrayed by his closest relative and then eaten alive by a monster. Also, his soul cannot move to the afterlife until the monster's maker is killed.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire
    • It becomes increasingly clear that Bran Stark was chosen for something by the supernatural powers up North. To actually get him there, destiny has robbed him of his ability to walk (and with it his dreams of knighthood), his home, his family, and likely his very humanity.
    • Jon Snow suffers on the Wall, losing everything important to him over the course of the story, and Dany spends her first 13 years on the run with her abusive brother before being sold into marriage/slavery
  • So This is Ever After: Arek says, multiple times, that he wishes that the prophecy did not exist or that the one who the prophecy talks about wasn't him, due to the fate saying that he should be the one to kill The Vile One and, therefore, forcing him to marry so that he won't end up vanishing.
  • The Heralds in The Stormlight Archive. Sure, they are immortal, worshipped, immensely powerful and impossibly skilled, with magic powers that essentially make them war gods, but whenever there's no Desolation on Roshar, they must go to Braize and let themselves be tortured by literal embodiment of Divine Rage before one of them breaks and they're sent back to fight in a Desolation. No wonder the story starts with them saying "screw this" and walking away.
  • The DeMarian royal line in Tales of the Branion Realm. Roughly half the monarchs in its history have gone insane, died young, committed suicide, been assassinated or switched religions. Also the fate of some of their supporters.
  • Tolkien's Legendarium:
    • The Lord of the Rings: Frodo Baggins was "chosen" to destroy the One Ring and thus save Middle-earth, but the journey is far from being an easy one. Before it's over, he's been critically wounded twice (by the Lord of the Nazgul and by Shelob), lost a finger (when Gollum bites it off to get the Ring), and permanently scarred by the burden of carrying the Ring.
      Frodo: Though I may come to the Shire, it will not seem the same; for I shall not be the same. I am wounded with knife, sting, and tooth, and a long burden. Where shall I find rest?
    • Things turn out pretty well for Aragorn, who is the heir to the throne of Gondor and Arnor — but first, he has to spend some sixty-seven years Wandering the Earth, separated from his lady-love (and knowing that if she does marry him, she will be doomed to die like a Man rather than live forever as an Elf), always in disguise, always working to oppose Sauron's agents (and not always succeeding) and build up the forces of freedom against the inevitable day when Sauron's armies will go on the attack.
    • The Silmarillion: Turin is the The Chosen One, prophesied to be the one to finally kill Morgoth in the final battle. However, most readers would probably conclude that it isn't worth it. The quick summary of everything bad that happened to him was (in some close semblance of order): his father and all his father's friends marched off to a war in which almost all died, and he never saw or heard from his father again; his sister and many of the people he knew who were still there died in a plague; he got sent away from his mother to a kingdom with no humans and never sees his mother again; he banishes himself from said kingdom; he gets a band of friends/subordinates who all die; he accidentally kills his best friend, he gets his new home city-state sacked and his love raped and killed; he marries and gets pregnant his new sister he doesn't know about, who he thinks dies just after he found out she was his sister, following which he kills himself in despair after possibly going insane and talking to his sword. And that isn't even going into what happened to the rest of his family.
  • Tree of Aeons: The summoned heroes, chosen to defeat the demon king, are granted great power by the gods. But the [hero] class also comes with embedded compulsions, pushing them to fight demons regardless of what the most sensible strategy is. Not that they would have much choice, anyway, because their explosively fast levelling also makes them shine steadily brighter, like a beacon, to the demon king's senses, so a battle is inevitable. Those same compulsions also help them to brush aside the violence and gore that they must wade through in order to win — until the demon king is dead, at least, after which they're mostly left to their own devices, now riddled with trauma, and There Are No Therapists. Many of them turn to alcoholism, promiscuity, founding ill-fated unstable empires, or otherwise failing to really cope. Oh, and they can return to their home worlds by dying, but they lose their powers and memories if they do, and as long as their compulsions are active, they can't properly think about that option.
  • Gregor in The Underland Chronicles has a bad case of this. He's fated to fulfill several prophecies which make the series go from mildly darker than standard High Fantasy to bad. Really bad.
  • In Warrior Cats, StarClan might tell you you can't have a mate or kits, or maybe the magical powers you have alienate cats around you, maybe you don't get to be a warrior at all, maybe all the cats you love will die, but regardless, it tends to suck.
  • In The Wheel of Time, the Dragon Reborn is the Chosen One, destined to wield massive power and battle the Dark One in the Last Battle. Unfortunately, he's doomed to go insane and destroy the world, too. A lot of people aren't exactly looking forward to his appearance. He'd be perfectly happy to go home and not fulfill his destiny, except the pattern of fate is literally woven around him, so there's no escape. And lots of people think he's a fake and want to kill him, or think he's real and want to kill him, or at least control him. And that's just the good guys, we haven't even gotten to the actual villains of the series, who include his past incarnation's Psycho Ex-Girlfriend and a dozen other extremely powerful sorcerers who hate his guts. Being the Chosen One really, really sucks. Specifically, he's fated to die in the Last Battle. He goes from struggling to find a way around that destiny to realizing he's done so many terrible things that he doesn't deserve to, or want to. Being the Chosen One involves some miserable realpolitik.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Ash vs. Evil Dead: Over the course of the series, it's repeatedly shown just how traumatized Ash is from the events of the films, even after thirty years, and the new string of Deadite fighting he has to do in the present doesn't help. He finally hits his breaking point in the Grand Finale — in light of the literal end of the world, he breaks down, slipping into a Heroic BSoD, getting drunk, and ranting about how he never wanted to be The Chosen One in the first place.
    Ash: Pablo, how may times you heard me say this, huh? Why me?! Who am I?! Nobody. Nobody! Guy from Elk Grove, Michigan. Where the fuck is that? In the middle of jack-shit nowhere, that's where! You know what? I got news for you. I didn't ask for this! You think I want this horse shit? Be covered in blood 24/7? Who the fuck would want that?!
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Buffy would be an obvious example, especially in season one. As early as the first episode she knows how much it sucks to be the Slayer: kicked out of school, losing friends, going out behind her mother's back, etc.
    • By season seven, however, she and Faith conclude that being hot chicks with superpowers does take the edge off it.
  • Ben in Carnivàle is an avatar of Light, but he doesn't really like or trust most of the people around him (and vice versa). Also not helping him is the fact that his healing touch power has to be offset by other things/people dying.
  • Charmed (1998)
    • Despite having three Chosen Ones, still fills the trope. The Halliwell sisters may receive magic powers, but their lives are frequently in danger, they have to lie to their loved ones and continually struggle to balance their witch duties with their personal lives. Piper's desire for a normal life is used against her more than once in particular.
    • The show deconstructs it a couple of times. One episode has the sisters given the option to give up their powers and they're initially willing to - until they end up nearly losing an innocent, ultimately deciding that the hardships are worth it if they can still protect people. And when they try to fake their deaths and go into hiding, they struggle with trying not to get involved in demon attacks.
  • Heroes has multiple Chosen Ones across the series and none of them are happy about getting superpowers. Well, except one, but he got over it after some laser-guided Deus Angst Machina. Joy.
  • House of Anubis:
    • Joy, who was merely believed to be the chosen one, was kidnapped from the school and forced to stay in her house, with no ability to talk to her friends, being trained to build the Cup of Ankh and help Victor and the teachers gain immortality, while being hunted by a psychopath who also wanted to use her to become immortal. Even after getting back to the house and discovering that she's a normal girl after all, she suffered from her life being uprooted and changed while she was gone, and proved to still have flashbacks about the ceremony two years later.
    • Nina, the real chosen one, starts getting controlled and tormented by a Ghastly Ghost who puts curses on her and her friends in order to make her find the Mask of Anubis. It then turns out that this mask can be used to enter the afterlife and reign as a god, and that the ghost's true plan involves stealing Nina's body to live in the afterlife forever.
    • Eddie, the Osirian, got a dose of this in season 3 when he started to receive odd visions from the House and became the leader of Sibuna while the fate of the world was about to be threatened. His desperation to protect his friends proved to be something he couldn't quite live up to, and in the Touchstone of Ra, he was forced into a Heroic Sacrifice to save his friends from Ra's wrath.
  • Mako Mermaids: An H₂O Adventure: As a descendant of the merman king, Zac's moonspells always have the same effect of drawing him to the artifacts made be mermen in ancient times to use as weapons against mermaids and his moonspelled personality always wants to use them regardless of what he actually wants. It's not until late into the second season that he starts getting a handle on the moonspell and refusing to let those weapons fulfill their purpose.
  • Arthur clearly feels this way in Merlin, and is constantly telling Merlin that he has no idea what it feels like. While he does have good reason to take this viewpoint, (and to be fair the trope does apply to him), it applies to Merlin much more.
  • Chloe, from The Nine Lives of Chloe King is a good example. Like Buffy, she just wants to be normal (though the main difference between them is that Chloe said she wanted to be special in the first place, so there's a bit of Be Careful What You Wish For mixed in too).
  • In the ten years of Smallville, Clark never seemed to be happy even for a moment regarding his destiny.
  • Supernatural:
    • Those who are capable of being angelic vessels can expect to be hijacked, leaving everyone they love, if they consent to possession by an angel. If they are possessed by a powerful angel, they will be left an empty damaged husk unless the angel bothers to heal them (which they generally aren't inclined to do). And just in case you're thinking, "Don't give consent then! Problem solved!", just remember there don't seem to be any rules on how they get consent.
    • Being a prophet seems to involve upsetting visions of the future and, in Kevin Tran's case, a lot of unwanted attention from angels, demons and Leviathans.
      Dean: I don't know, man, what can I say? You've been chosen. And it sucks. Believe me.
  • Allie, from Steven Spielberg's Taken, who just wants to be a normal little girl.
  • In Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, John Connor definitely seems to fit this - he and his family are constantly in danger, and he has intermittent bouts of I Just Want to Be Normal, plus at least one possible suicide attempt.
  • The titular chosen one of Wynonna Earp has had little but misery because of who she is. She accidentally killed her father when she was a child, she was institutionalized for talking about demons that actually exist, she had to Mercy Kill her sister, she gave up her newborn child to protect her from the previously mentioned demons... It would be faster to name the good things that have happened to her.

    Multiple Media 
    • The six Toa Mata, later upgraded to Toa Nuva, are the only Toa team whose destiny, to awaken Mata Nui is public knowledge, but due to a mishap with their intended amnesia they have to re-learn almost everything it takes to live up to their own legends. As the amnesia of their leader Tahu fades, he remembers what they were not meant to know until it was too late: Mata Nui can only be awakened by jump starting an all-consuming electric storm that would kill them unless they lock themselves in eternal stasis, never to see their friends. This is because they were not meant to have friends, they were living tools with one mission to do. Thankfully, they find a loophole by letting Toa Ignika, the embodiment of the Mask of Life take over their role, restarting Mata Nui's heart while the Nuva escape. They still fulfilled their destiny because they technically engineered Mata Nui's awakening, but they remain free to go home and fight another day.
    • Toa Matoro became the chosen user of the Mask of Life because he was already kind of miserable and distant from others due to carrying secret knowledge of his people's past, but still had a heart of gold. His role made him face challenges that only one Toa prior to him had to endure, and more: sacrificing himself and getting resurrected as a Secret Test of Character, being burdened with an immoral mask that forced him to raise an undead army, and eventually giving his life up for real to save Mata Nui from death. His mentor Turaga Nuju, despite publicly hailing Matoro as a hero, secretly wondered if saving Mata Nui was worth this much sacrifice. At least Matoro died happily, using his last bit of willpower to save his teammates, while his unnamed predecessor Toa died in screaming agony upon using the Mask of Life as his team watched in terror.

  • Black Sabbath's "Black Sabbath" is about a guy who gets go to Hell!
  • The song "Superman (It's Not Easy)" by Five For Fighting is from Superman's perspective, bemoaning not being seen as anything but the people's guardian ("I'm more than a bird/I'm more than a plane/I'm more than some pretty face beside a train"), dealing with being the Last of His Kind and always having to keep his chin up because too many people are depending on him for him to sink to his knees and indulge in a depressed mood.
  • The Rite Of Spring is a ballet where the female lead is simply called The Chosen One. She has to dance to death as a Human Sacrifice.
  • "Rosetta Stoned" from tool briefly touches on this issue, though given the entire song is a drug-induced stream-of-consciousness train of thought it's obviously not the focus of it.

    Myths & Religion 
  • The Bible: In fact one possible interpretation of the Bible is that the meaning of life is Died Happily Ever After.
    • Abraham is asked to kill his own son. It was a test and God stepped in at the last instant to intervene, but he thought so.
    • Job is a literal Cosmic Plaything who loses his family and property.
    • Moses never actually lives to see The Promised Land. And knowledge of this trope is why Moses did his best to talk his way out of becoming The Leader of the Chosen People, burbling excuses as fast as they occur to him—"but I don't speak Hebrew", "but they won't believe me", "but Pharaoh won't listen"—until he's this close to getting smited. But he sure was right about Pharaoh, after all he'd grown up with the guy.
    • Hosea is chosen by God to speak to the Israelites, who have descended into corruption and idolatry. Part of this entails marrying a prostitute who runs away from him and has to be bought back from some other dude (as an object lesson from God to His people), and giving a "No More Holding Back" Speech to people who just won't listen.
    • Jeremiah, whose namesake book, besides being a collection of his messages, chronicles the hardships a prophet of God has to go through. He has been jeered on, humiliated, imprisoned, and disrespected throughout his career. As much as he wanted to vent his frustrations at God for giving him so sordid a task, ultimately he decides to man up and carry on, because somebody had to warn the Jews against moral decadence.
    • Nehemiah is particularly hysterical to read, because he ends practically every other chapter by pointing out to God that he's gone through a lot of angst to lead the rebuilding of Jerusalem and he'd better be getting a proper blessing for his trouble.
    • Most of all, Jesus... "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done." is a quote from an actual prayer of Jesus (Luke 22:42). One interpretation is that Jesus felt dying impaled as a criminal and a blasphemer was a heavy load to bear and an affront to God. The gospel states in the next few verses that God sent an angel to comfort him. So really, even God knew It Sucks to Be the Chosen One and tried to make it a little easier on him. Another interpretation is that Jesus simply understands that being in human form and slated to die a gruesome death is just going to suck, despite being God himself. But his Heroic Willpower is quite strong, as noted in "(Dad's) will be done," not his own.
    • The Virgin Mary has to watch her Son be humiliated and killed... and there's not a damned thing she can do about it.
  • Some schools of Buddhism consider Buddha a chosen one from his previous lives, which means that all the existential troubling he had to overcome (realization of suffering, search for enlightenment, ascetism...), he could not avoid. Subverted at the end, though, because the result of those troubles, that is, nirvana, is the ultimate happiness we can aspire to.
  • As The Chosen One of Celtic Mythology, Cu Chulainn was prophesized to die very early in life. He Jumped at the Call anyway, deciding that being immortalized after death was worth the short life.
  • In Classical Mythology, a number of heroes have less than idyllic lives. Odysseus ends up taking over 10 years to travel back home. After being driven insane, Heracles kills his own family and when he has to do twelve tasks to atone, the guy who chooses the tasks is doing a Uriah Gambit.

    Video Games 
  • Duran from Agarest Senki. To the point he's a cynical Death Seeker and Deadpan Snarker. Avoids being Wangst because he doesn't advertise it to the world and he's already resigned to his fate.

  • Baldur's Gate:
    • The Player Character has this trope in spades, particularly if s/he is good-aligned. Not only is s/he the child of an evil murder god, s/he also is fated to be a Doom Magnet as a result. Not to mention the fact that lots of people are trying to kill them, and that, in the second game, s/he eventually develops a Superpowered Evil Side.
    • This is made slightly better in Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal. While you are the subject of a prophecy that says that the Bhaalspawn will cause massive destruction to the Sword Coast, a celestial being offers a different interpretation. As it turns out, the prophecy doesn't speak of you, but of your failure to stop your more destructive half-brothers and -sisters.
  • The Trow from The Bard's Tale have a few songs about how much it sucks to be the chosen one. And considering the situations in which they sing themOneTwo, it's appropriate. Though played around with for the Bard himself — he is also a Chosen One, yet despite the repeated insistence of the Trow Band he actually ends up in the position to fulfil the prophecy, not die and get riches or alternatively stop a demon princess from ravaging the world and end up no worse off than he was at the start of the story, thanks to having more combat competence than farmboys and having the power of the save function on his side.
  • Broken Age:
    • Vella is the latest maiden to be chosen as a Human Sacrifice to appease Mog Chothra, an Eldritch Abomination that will destroy her village if he is not given a maiden every fourteen years. Being chosen is considered the highest honor, but Vella has gotten it into her head that maybe she doesn't want to be fed to a giant monster, an idea that earns her mockery from everyone in all the neighboring villages.
    • Shay is the fourteen year old appointed captain of the Bossanostra, a spaceship with the goal of finding a new home for the people of his dying planet. While Shay is told repeatedly by the ship's computer that he is the most important person on the ship, Shay himself has no real control over the mission, and the computer has the overriding urge to keep Shay safe at all costs, so the it keeps him safe by not letting Shay do anything dangerous at all, and after fourteen years it's gotten so boring that Shay is partially Driven to Suicide.

  • Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth: The cult at the beginning, Jack's time in the asylum, his mission to Innsmouth... all of this was set up by the Great Race of Yith to put him in the right place at the right time so he could kill two imprisoned Flying Polyps which were about to break free. In the end, while the Yith did help him on his quest, they do not cure his psyche, instead leaving him to die in a mental institution.
  • Gabriel Belmont from Castlevania: Lords of Shadow. Gabriel loses everything and everyone important to him in the course of fulfilling his God given destiny. Even after becoming Dracula to spite God, God still considers him his chosen champion so he can't even find escape in death. To emphasize how much it sucks for him, he spends most of the sequel trying to get his hands on the one weapon that can permanently kill him just so he can stop being the chosen one.
  • In Chicory: A Colorful Tale, the position of being the wielder is desirable due to the ability to inherit the Brush and color the world with it, in fact, the tradition of choosing a worthy wielder started to prevent people from taking the brush with violence. The position had ended up being unbearable for Chicory to inherit, given her strained relationship with her predecessor, Blackberry, and all of the stress and self-doubt she has held within her ends up becoming the breaking point that unleashes the corruption onto the world. A previous wielder, Cardamom, had quickly passed over his position as wielder to Blackberry because he found the position to be too stressful. It also shows that Pizza isn't fully satisfied with being the wielder nor has it resolved all of their inner feelings and conflicts during the game. During the game, the corruption manifests those very forms of self-doubt of Chicory and Pizza onto them as well. It turns out that the Brush itself carries all of the suppressed emotions of every wielder in history, and in the end, the protagonists create their own brushes and destroy the original Brush, so in the end, anyone has the potential to create their own brush to color the world, not just one chosen wielder.

  • Dark Souls:
    • This is probably the most prominent trope in the game because Continuing is Painful. Sure, you're effectively immortal and will return to life after being killed, but all this means is that you will be dying repeatedly, each time horribly. You'll also watch as your friends and allies die and go hollow one by one.
    • In Dark Souls III. Prince Lothric was designated at birth to be the one to Link the Flame, but he grew to resent his role due to everyone knowing that he would be the one to do it and thus never being allowed any sort of choice or say in the matter. This eventually caused him to become disillusioned and misanthropic to the whole affair, to the point where he decides to just let the Age of Dark come, rather than submit himself and his brother to the Flame again.
  • The Protagonist from Devil Survivor. For him, being The Chosen One means being fated to fight a series of terrifyingly powerful demons in a contest for power that will make him a target of Heaven and the demons if he goes too far out of line... not to mention being personally responsible for the lives of everybody in the lockdown.
  • In Dragon Quest XI, the main character is the reincarnation of a great hero called the Luminary, who banished the darkness once before and is prophesied to do so once again. Which meant he was at the top of evil's hit-list from the day he was born, and monsters razed a kingdom to the ground to try and get to him when he was a baby. This, in turn, gets another kingdom out for his blood, as the king blames him for the presence of the monsters. Most people don't even know of the Luminary, only this "Darkspawn" villain that the king's forces are hunting.

  • Elden Ring: Malenia was chosen as the champion of the Outer God of Scarlet Rot while she was in the womb. What this means for Malenia herself is that she's infected with a disease that causes both Body Horror and Mind Rape, infects everything she gets close to, and cannot be cured. By the time you meet her, she's lost more body parts than not to the Rot, despite wearing Unalloyed Gold prosthetics and armor to hold it back. The status does come with the potential to become a true goddess by releasing the Rot, but Malenia would really rather be rid of it and absolutely hates being worshiped as the Goddess of Rot.
  • Sometimes being The Chosen One in the Elder Scrolls universe can really suck. To note:
    • Daggerfall shows us how much it sucks to be the Unchosen One. Due to some completely random coincidences, The Agent gets sent by the Emperor to Daggerfall on a seemingly minor mission, but find themselves in the middle of a massive political Gambit Pileup with heaps of Black-and-Gray Morality. Just for doing what they're told, the various factions are constantly sending assassins after the Agent, and they quickly learn directly or implicitly that few people are actually trustworthy around the Iliac Bay. In Morrowind, we learn that all of the morally gray outcomes are canonical due to a Time Break, including the Dummied Out ending where the Numidium kills the Agent and obliterates their immortal soul because they are unworthy.
    • The Nerevarine in Morrowind definitely gets the cosmic short end of the stick. While all of the Chosen Ones in The Elder Scrolls series have to endure many hardships to accomplish their goals, none of the others get infected with a horrible mutating disease as part of their divine mission (though the Nerevarine is able to eventually remove the negative aspects of it). It also sucks because everyone around the Nerevarine is trying to manipulate him/her: the Emperor, the Tribunal, Azura, Dagoth Ur, everyone. And in the end, the Nerevarine saves Tamriel from the threat of Dagoth Ur, but at the same time unintentionally sets in motion Morrowind's destruction. In Oblivion, it is mentioned that the Nerevarine apparently took an expedition to Akavir, and hasn't been heard from since. The Nerevarine's story essentially ends with him/her the Ageless hero of a land that has been destroyed, most of his/her accomplishments rendered moot, and having vanished off the face of Tamriel entirely.
    • The Champion of Cyrodiil in Oblivion doesn't have it much better. The Champion actually fails his/her mission to stop Mehrunes Dagon's invasion and has to watch as the other Chosen One, whom s/he has been helping and protecting throughout the main questline, sacrifices himself to save the world. The Champion is later tapped to be the successor of the Daedric Prince of Madness, Sheogorath, which entails leaving Cyrodiil behind and gradually going insane as mad gods are wont to do.
    • Being the Dragonborn in Skyrim means every major cosmic power either wants to kill you, use you, or both. Daedric Prince Hermaeus Mora is particularly interested in Dragonborn, and arranges events that eventually force the Dragonborn to act as his new champion.
  • EXTRAPOWER: V carries in him an ore heart that can transform him into the demon god Vezerga. While this sounds like a sweet deal, as his Vezerga form is raw ferocious power, the demons of Malice seek to kill him and retrieve his heart to use its power for themselves. He lives his life fighting off demons on a regular basis, and has lost the life of his sister Victoria before the events of EXTRAPOWER: Giant Fist. The pressure of this generational "gift" has led him to beg the magma majin Magma-O to accept his heart into Magma-O's volcano by the time of EXTRAPOWER: Attack of Darkforce, destroying the heart and his own life in the process. Magma-O claims that too much doubt remained in V's eyes to accept his request just yet, and that the family inheritance that is V's ore heart ensures a powerful defender to protect the Earth. It's certainly not a burden that V ever asked for.

  • Fate/Grand Order: Both of the Avalon le Fae in the British Lostbelt: Artoria Caster and Morgan have absolutely MISERABLE lives. The former spent her childhood living in a barn, was ordered to kill the man who raised her, was hated and shunned for being from Avalon, was traumatized upon watching Woodwose burn down Tintagel, forced to shoulder the immense fear and responsibility of saving Britain from Morgan, had to watch as the unrepentant Fae gleefully murdered Morgan, any innocents they could find, and each other, and from the beginning was destined to die forging Excalibur as her final duty until Muramasa did it for her. The latter? Tried COUNTLESS times to save the Fae (who remained completely ungrateful each and EVERY TIME), has her innocence ruthlessly crushed when all her friends were murdered, grew incredibly cold and bitter and oppressed her former tormentors for 2,000 years ruling alone, unintentionally neglected her adoptive daughter Baobhan Sith, and lost her kingdom, her daughter, and her life with one last act of betrayal, and posthumously had all of her work undone when Faerie Britain was destroyed by Vortigern. It's NOT a surprise these two have some unresolved issues.
  • In the Final Fantasy series:
    • Final Fantasy X. Tidus who has been placed in the position of stopping Sin by both his own father and the Fayth. He eventually finds out that permanently killing Sin means he will die too. He does not share this knowledge to the others until the very end. In the sequel he gets revived and gets a happy ending with Yuna.
    • Final Fantasy XIII. So you're a Pulse l'Cie? Congratulations - the government of Cocoon hates you. You have to fulfill your Focus, or else you'll be turned into a Cie'th, Body Horror personified, and will be unable to think of anything but your task...or you might even turn into a living tombstone. And your reward should you complete that Focus? a crystalline statue. Unless, that is, the fal'Cie need you, in which case you can be continuously de-crystallized and crystallized again to complete whatever Focuses they want you to do... Focuses which are never fully explained to you. Have fun. Fang and Vanille in particular were given a rather terrible Focus. It was so bad, Vanille couldn't even bring herself to do it.
    • The Warrior of Light in Final Fantasy XIV is chosen by Hydaelyn to be the world's protector by blessing them with her power and unlocking their latent Echo ability, which makes them immune to being tempered by the primals. Thanks to the Warrior of Light's "gifts" and powerful strength, they never get a moment's rest due to everyone wanting their help (primals or otherwise) and big name leaders (mainly those from the Scions and the Grand Companies) are always seeking them out for the bigger operations, especially when it involves the Garlean Empire. The Warrior of Light basically has no say in anything since there's almost no one else in the world who has the same abilities or blessed powers that they possess. This gets touched upon in the early Dark Knight job quests where the Warrior of Light secretly resents having to be everyone's heroic errand boy and wish they could just say screw it to everything and just go on their own adventure without having to be at everyone's beck and call.
    • Final Fantasy XV:
      • Being born into the line of the Kings of Lucis is a pretty sweet gig on the surface; access to immense magical power, wealth, and an arsenal of mystical weapons you can summon from thin air. The catch? All of the king's powers are Cast From Life Span, with the power they extend to their subjects drawing on that same finite source. Upon death, the king's soul is bound up within the Ring of the Lucii in a sort of limbo world to lend power to the kings to follow, with only the souls of other deceased kings for company. The situation worsens with the protagonist's father, who has to maintain a magical barrier around his whole city to keep monsters at bay (exacerbating the whole Cast from Life Span deal). The protagonist himself, essentially the Chosen One of the Chosen Ones, gets to live about twenty years before being locked in crystal stasis for a decade, and once free, he gets roughly another night or two before he has to endure a brutal Heroic Sacrifice to save the world from eternal darkness. Heavy hangs the head that wears the crown indeed.
      • As bad as Noctis has it, Episode Ardyn reveals Ardyn himself has it far, far worse. He is also technically The Chosen One... chosen by the gods to effectively become Satan. The process of breaking him down into a man willing to burn Eos to the ground involves forcing him to absorb countless daemons and become a Humanoid Abomination, getting his younger brother to betray him, killing his fiancée right in front of him, sealing him away for 2000 years, yanking his vengeance away at the last possible second, and then telling him right to his face he's nothing but a pawn.

  • A couple of Golden Sun characters qualify:
    • Isaac, the player character of the first Golden Sun game, is chosen directly by The Wise One to make the hard decision of whether Alchemy is restored to the world or not, which isn't the black-and-white situation it initially seems to be. And the fate of his Disappeared Dad hangs in the balance... and Isaac is nearly forced to knowingly murder him himself to confirm a choice that he can't ever be sure was the right one.
    • Ivan was given up by his family as an infant to ensure he would be in the correct place to join Isaac and Garet on their quest. He was raised by non-Adepts in Kalay, and was considered a Creepy Child for his powers. Ivan finds out about his destiny when his foster-father is held for ransom in the local Wretched Hive and his foster-mother forbids him from helping so he will go fulfill the prophecy instead (if you rescue Hammet anyway, Layana yells at Ivan for disobeying her orders and jeopardizing the prophecy). When Ivan reaches Contigo in the second game, he learns that his birth mother died of a broken heart over giving him up, and his only blood relative refuses to get close to him because that prophecy's not fulfilled yet.
    • A stealth example: in The Lost Age, there are certain dungeon inscriptions and books suggesting that Piers is the Mercury Adept destined to bring about the return of Alchemy to Weyard. Piers gets branded a criminal and permanently exiled from his homeland for this.

  • Horizon Zero Dawn: The circumstances of Aloy's birth that made her the Chosen One also made her an outcast within the Nora tribe, and as a result, she was raised her entire life by an adoptive father, Rost, who was himself also an outcast. As a result, she has little love for the Nora. When they finally accept her as the Chosen One and start worshiping her after she saves them from an Eclipse raid and returns from her journey into All-Mother Mountain (a.k.a. ELEUTHIA-9) with the knowledge of her goal to destroy HADES, she gives them a short but sweet "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
    Nora matriarchs: All praise Aloy, anointed of the Nora!
    Aloy: No! No! Stop this! Up! Up! First you shun me, now this? I will not be worshiped! I am not your "anointed"! I don't belong to you! There's a whole world beyond your borders, whole tribes of people just as good as you.

  • In The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel, anybody who is chosen to pilot a Divine Knight will be forced to go to wars that they don't have any reason to do so. Rean, the protagonist, feels the burden late in the game that during the epilogue, many characters thought that he had lost the fire that he had months ago.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • In Breath of the Wild, both Link and Zelda learned about their destinies years in advance, and it's implied they both became pretty messed up because of this.
      • Link drew the Master Sword at age twelve, 5-6 years before it was actually needed. By the time the story takes place, he's stopped expressing himself (and in some translations, developed selective mutism) to cope with the massive amounts of attention and pressure this brought down on him. His life after the Calamity is no picnic, either; he wakes up with total amnesia, is promptly told he's the only one who can defeat the evil force inhabiting the castle, and then has to deal with people not recognizing him and making his job harder, people recognizing him and unloading a century of misplaced anger on him, and a Doomsday Cult trying to assassinate him. And depending on what order the player finds his memories in, he may spend much of the game convinced that the princess he's trying to rescue openly despises him.
      • Zelda had it just as bad. From an early age, she was put under massive pressure to awaken her sealing powers to combat the Calamity, complete with vicious gossip when said powers didn't develop as expected and the interests she actually enjoyed being constantly devalued in favor of more training. All of this led to her becoming deeply insecure and trying to compensate by pushing herself far beyond her limits in various ways, including an incident where she nearly drowned herself by meditating in a freezing spring until she passed out from exhaustion. On top of this, the same Doomsday Cult was actively trying to assassinate her and came very close to succeeding on at least one occasion. Then, when the Calamity finally came, she had to deal with her family and friends dying when she might have been able to save them if she had her powers, and finally she watched Link suffer fatal wounds while protecting her and die in her arms.
    • Hyrule Warriors has Link, an army recruit undergoing basic training, suddenly be promoted to one of the army commanders, with all the stress and pressure that comes with that. Then he learns that the war he's fighting started because a sorceress went Yandere for the Spirit of the Hero and will do anything to make him hers, including resurrecting an evil that was supposed to be destroyed for good. Once the war starts going well for the good guys, Link becomes a bit too confident, which is promptly used to lure him into a trap and costs the army a crucial victory. Then he takes a massive beating courtesy of Ganondorf and loses the Triforce, leading to an all-out confrontation in a Hyrule remade in Ganondorf's twisted image. Earn Your Happy Ending, indeed.

  • In Mortal Kombat Liu Kang is given a case of this in the new timeline starting with Mortal Kombat 9 where he dies in a dispute with Raiden and is revived as a Revenant Zombie. His past self also gets some in Mortal Kombat 11 where he has to forgo a relationship with Kitana as they guide the timeline in his tower ending.
  • In Mother 3, even with there technically being two Chosen Ones here, it still applies. While Lucas isn't necessarily name-dropped as the Chosen One, the fact that he's the only person (besides the Masked Man) who can use PK Love and pull the 7 Needles to awaken the dragon as was prophesied hints at it. And the Magypsies flat out point out that fact too. As such, Lucas definitely fits this trope, given all the traumatizing things that happen to him as he goes on his journey. Same goes for the Masked Man, AKA Claus, for the same reasoning as mentioned above, him being forced to become the Masked Man and commit atrocities in the name of Porky being the worst of it.

  • Near the end of OneShot, you and Niko find out that the only way that Niko can return home to their world is by smashing the lightbulb that's supposed to save this world, thus dooming it forever. And even worse, they leave it up to you to decide whether or not you allow a lost little kid to get back to their family and thus leave an entire world to rot in darkness for the rest of its life or trap said kid in a world that is allegedly doomed anyway to push the doom part a bit back. Have fun.

  • The whole playable cast of Persona 2 gets it bad across both games of the duology, Tatsuya in particular. Turns out being caught in a Book of Job-style contest between two powerful (and otherwise evenly-matched) gods of humanity's creative and destructive sides, each trying to see which of their respective domains is stronger in humanity, just completely sucks. And that's before one of them decides to kick over the table when things don't go his way.
  • The protagonist of Persona 3 also has it pretty bad. After finding out about the Dark Hour, he/she joins a group dedicated to stopping it. Only to find out that they were unwittingly played in order to bring about The End of the World as We Know It. Also, thanks to being at the wrong place at the wrong time, the harbinger of this end turned out to be locked inside of him/her. This results in him/her having to make a sadistic choice. The first option is to erase everyone's memories of the fact that the end of the world is coming, but allowing all of them to live their last days happily. The other option is to keep everyone's memories intact allowing them to futilely fight against the coming end. This first leads to a Nonstandard Game Over/Bad End. The protagonist only succeeds with the second option by performing a Heroic Sacrifice that results in him/her becoming a Barrier Maiden.
  • Prayer of the Faithless: The Vergio Oracles lost their clairvoyant powers, but Serra Cadmus is the only one who regained her powers. Unfortunately, Oracles cannot refrain from announcing their prophecies, and the one she gives is "Fear the Revenant: The Vanguard of Ruin," which causes human civilization to panic about the end days. In order to quell this panic, Emperor Daigo orders her execution, so Serra has no choice but to flee Vergio and take her chances with the Fog.

  • RuneScape:

  • While Ibuki in Street Fighter is mostly a side character, in her own comic named after her it is revealed she was a chosen infant who would become a great ninja. After she was stolen from the Geki clan by Enjo, the current leader of her village group she has to live knowing and defending herself from the evil Geki clan who's ninjas who easily out size her want to kidnap her and make her work for them.
  • Pretty much every hero in the Suikoden series:

  • A lot of games in the Tales Series fit this trope. Even when it's played straight in that it's not entirely a bad thing, there's still a catch:
    • In Tales of Symphonia:
      • Colette. Chosen at birth for her genetic compatibility with the Big Bad's dead big sister, she goes through one painful transformation after another, in between kidnappings which are also connected to her status. Not to mention the psychological trauma and self-esteem issues that come from knowing since about age six that she'd one day be expected to make a Heroic Sacrifice to save the world.
      • Zelos has most of Colette's psychological issues, compounded by Parental Abandonment - his father, the previous Chosen One of his world, committed suicide, and his mother was murdered in front of his eyes when he was about eight; the murderer was The Mistress of Zelos's father, who was targeting Zelos so that Zelos's half-sister could become the Chosen instead. Her last words to him were "You should never have been born", after which he decided that being the Chosen One was the only reason his life had value at all. And then the reveal comes that Martel isn't a real it any wonder he's a Death Seeker unless Lloyd can convince him he's worthwhile?
    • Shirley in Tales of Legendia. Has no friends, spends most of the game getting kidnapped, her first friend takes the bullet for her, and then she turns out to be a kind of Dark Messiah, is brainwashed by the entire ocean and almost commits genocide on land-dwelling humans.
    • In Tales of Eternia, Reid is a chosen one in that he can bear Fibril... but he's not the only one who can do so. Ras, Shizel, and Meredy (albeit not integrated into the gameplay or fully explained in text) can, too. Unfortunately? Nereid's Fibril can make you possessed by Nereid himself, and invoking Seyfert's Fibril before undergoing all of the trials? You die.
    • Estelle is the Child of the Full Moon in Tales of Vesperia. Must be neat to have powerful healing artes, right? Well, Phaeroh wants her dead and views her as a poison to the world, and using her powers on an Entelixea will cause them to go crazy and eventually kill them. Even if she can turn them into spirits.
    • Veigue didn't know how to control his Ice Force in Tales of Rebirth when he was "chosen" to gain its powers. So during an outburst of yelling "CLAAAAIIIIRRRREEE!", he froze her. (This actually became somewhat of a running gag; a Tales DVD shows him shouting, "CLAAAAIIIRRRREEEE!" and covering the screen in ice; and several fans were disappointed this wasn't integrated into Tales of Graces.)
    • So you're a reincarnation of a heavenly being in Tales of Innocence? Your past life is literally going to come back to haunt you.
    • Tales of the Abyss has Luke fon Fabre (both original and replica models), who is informed that he is a chosen hero Because Destiny Says So, but not what the consequences of his actions will be. Because of his ignorance, he destroys a city and starts a war, all in accordance with the ancient prophecy that controls the world, and he has to deal with the consequences for the rest of the game.
    • Tales of Xillia sees Milla Maxwell, the Lord of Spirits, focus on her mission to destroy a tyrannical king and his doomsday device. Except being a Determinator gets her crippled, and later killed, by her staunch refusal to abandon her goal. And then it turns out she's not really the Lord of Spirits after all, just conditioned to believe she was. And that tyrant of a king? He's an Anti-Villain who only wanted to protect his kingdom from people seeking to usurp it. Finally, at the very end of the game, she does get to become the true Lord of Spirits, at the cost of having to leave behind everyone in the human world she's grown to care about.
  • Ark from Terranigma. It turns out that returning life to the surface world requires the destruction of his own, himself included. The real kick to the balls is the implication that his past incarnations have been doing this since the dawn of time.

  • Xenoblade Chronicles 1: Shulk is the only Homs on Bionis able to wield the Monado without harming himself. It turns out it comes at a cost: Namely, he slowly converts his body to be an avatar for Jerkass God Zanza to commit Grand Theft Me.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! BAM, during an incident when you are brainwashed, you wonder if your ability with BAM is a gift or a curse, as all this fighting seems to be happening because of you.

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY: Every generation, there is a single person who is tasked with protecting humanity from a secret Ancient Evil and guiding them towards an equally secret destiny. As a Farm Boy, Oscar always wanted to be special... he just didn't want to be this special. When other people learn the Awful Truth about what's really going on in the world, they have the option of running away from it all. Oscar is the only person who can't. Ozma was tasked by the God of Light to help humanity achieve harmony by The Day of Reckoning; if he fails, humanity will be destroyed. His soul, Aura and memories constantly reincarnate into a new person whenever his previous body dies, passing into Oscar from Ozpin at the end of Volume 3. On top of Ozma's extraordinary powers, Oscar also inherits the emotional baggage of countless lifetimes spanning thousands of years; people who had issues with Ozpin, see him as a suitable proxy to satisfy their grudges; people who want Ozpin's advice, see him as nothing more than an access point to reach the person they really want. Oscar also faces the possibility of permanently losing his own identity through merging with Ozma; he therefore fears disappearing as a person in his own right and becoming nothing more than another one of Ozma's endless lives.

    Web Comics 
  • Castle Swimmer: The Beacon (or Kappa as he prefers to be called) was created by the God of the Surface to fulfill the prophesies of the various merfolk kingdoms but they frequently turn out differenly than the recipients expected, leaving Kappa jaded with the whole thing but he has no choice since he's compelled to go to each kingdom and can't physically leave till it has been fulfilled. It's especially bad with the most recent one as he's fated to be killed by the prince of the sharks to save their people from a curse, or at least that's what everyone was led to believe.
  • Zaid from Kill Six Billion Demons is supposedly the chosen heir of Zoss, the former king of The Multiverse, and destined to rule over creation as a benevolent God-Emperor. All he gets from this is being kidnapped and held prisoner in Throne, exploited as a pawn in a cosmic conspiracy, separated from his friends and family, and generally traumatized. Oh, and he's not even really the Chosen One to begin with, apparently being nothing more than a motivational tool to train the real Chosen One, his girlfriend Allison.
    • Allison herself (who is and always was Zoss' true chosen heir) goes through quite a bit of suffering herself for being the carrier of the Cosmic Keystone she's supposed to hand over to Zaid, forced to hunt through the same Wretched Hive in search of a boy she hardly knows while everyone wants to either kill her for the Key of Kings forced into her head, manipulate her into handing over the Key to Zaid at the right time and place, or mold her into an instrument they can manipulate against the other two factions. At the end of Breaker of Infinities Jadis, who is The Omniscient and knows Allison's entire future, calls Allison "the god of suffering" and reveals the events of the book's second half, which included almost driving Allison to suicide, was a vain attempt to save Allison from her future.
  • The role of Goddess was forced onto Max on his birthday in Magical Boy, specifically the day he decided to come out to his parents as trans. Because the Goddess is an exclusively feminine role to take, he is forced to have his hair up, his face covered in make-up and wear a frilly dress whenever he has to take on his duty (which he has no real say in whether he wants to fulfill it or not). If he does not fulfill his destiny, then the world will be overrun with emotion-eating monsters, leading to The End of the World as We Know It. When he is not powered-hp, his zealous-to-the-point-of-obnoxious mother tries reminding him of his destiny every chance she gets, ignoring his coming out and trying to enforce his assigned gender onto him so that he may be a "proper lady."
  • The Witch's Throne: Technically, all girls that awaken as Witches are The Chosen One. The only problem is, that's definitely not something they want to be.

    Web Original 
  • Sasha in Greek Ninja is definitely not thrilled with her fate...
  • The titular character from "Gary and his demons", the first episode is even called "Still the One".

    Western Animation 
  • American Dragon: Jake Long has a dragon assigned to protect every country. And our hero is, uh...the American one. And it leads to getting chased by a dragon-crazy teacher, training taking most of his childhood, nearly getting killed multiple times, and losing his dragon-hunting girlfriend through a time change.
    • One episode has him shifting the burden to his little sister Haley, who is initially very eager to accept it. In one week she's a stressed out bundle of nerves because she's sleep deprived and falling behind in school. Jake, on the other hand, is having the time of his life as a normal kid.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: Aang has enormous pressure put on him at the age of twelve. Because he was unable to handle the responsibility of being the Avatar and ran away, his entire race got wiped out, and the Evil Overlord terrorized the world for 100 years. In addition to that, he blames himself for two more crushing defeats. Basically, his entire life was planned out for him, and even his closest friends and past lives take it for granted that he's going to forsake his values and kill the Fire Lord. He doesn't, in the end, but still.
    • Its Sequel Series The Legend of Korra shows that even for Korra, who Jumped at the Call, the challenges of being the Avatar can get to her. When she gets poisoned in season 3, it absolutely destroys her mentally because her self-identity was so reliant on her status as the Avatar.
  • Fangbone! doesn't shy away from showing how hard it is to have to guard one of Venomous Drool's parts. Fangbone himself has to be on guard 24/7, can hardly do anything without a monster showing up to take the Toe of Evil from him, and is forced to live in a completely different world where he has very little idea of who he can trust. One episode "The Keeper of Toe" shows examples of the fates of Drool-Keepers who end up getting caught (eaten by monsters, getting turned inside-out, getting your head turned into a goat's and covered in butter), and in the case of Wargrunt, former keeper of Drool's elbow, how easy it can be to become corrupted by using the magic of Drool's body parts.
  • Gary and His Demons has the titular protagonist bemoan the fact that he is chosen to be a demon slayer and is waiting for his replacement.
  • The Life and Times of Juniper Lee: Juniper is chosen as her generation's Te Xuan Ze: the magical protector of the barrier between the human and monster world. At first, it's a job she takes in stride, even though she has to occasionally ditch her friends and keep it a secret from them. But then comes the real rub; she can't leave her hometown ever, as there is a barrier keeping her from leaving. The only way out is for her successor to take the reins. And as Juniper is still a child, it'll be a while before that happens. To say the least, she doesn't take this discovery well. Her grandmother Jasmine got it worse than her. Her son didn't become the Te Xuan Ze so she had to wait until Juniper was born and awakened her powers. And the reason she travels the world is both to make up for all the time she lost as Te Xuan Ze AND to find a way to free Juniper from the barrier.
  • Mighty Max: Max certainly feels this way many a time about his status as the Mighty One. It's especially annoying when the world needs saving right in the middle of his vacations, or as he's playing baseball. Comes to a head in both season finales when he gets to watch his friends die trying to help him achieve his destiny.
  • In Miraculous Ladybug, Ladybug and Chat Noir have the power to create and destroy respectively, but they cannot tell anyone, lest Hawk Moth and Mayura find out.
  • In Ninjago, Lloyd Montgomery Garmadon turns out to be the prophesied Green Ninja. This is great — he possesses all the elemental powers of creation. The downside? He has to fight and defeat his dad (whom he loves and who loves him back), he has to grow up quickly (literally), and villains seek to steal his powers. And there are more reasons why his life sucks — the others just aren't related to him being The Chosen One.
  • In She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, Adora at first enjoyed having the power of She-Ra, but after various set backs, she began to become overwhelmed by her responsibilities and her perceived failures. She seems to adopt this mind set in season 3 after she learns of the fact she was stolen from another world and Light Hope tells her she doesn't have any choice in her destiny. Then in season 4, she is completely horrified to learn that She-Ra is the conduit for the Heart of Etheria, a weapon that the First Ones made to destroy countless other worlds.
  • The Simpsons: Homer Simpson experiences this in the episode "Homer the Great". At first it's nice being the Chosen One of the Stonecutters, but then he gets bored with it due to the lack of any challenge-everyone constantly sucks up to him and lets him win whatever games they play.
  • In the Imaginationland story, in South Park, Butters is the key to stop the evil characters. He doesn't care for the role, and once everything is over, his parents ground him because he was supposed to be helping his mother clean the basement instead of saving all of imagination.
  • The Transformers After the events of Transformers: The Movie, Hot Rod becomes Rodimus Prime, and while he does his job to defeat Unicron, a few episodes into the series afterwards, and he becomes more and more disgusted with having the Matrix of Leadership, and all the duties of being leader of the Autobots, to the point that when the Matrix is stolen by the Decepticons, he says they can have it!... Until the Decepticon who stole it starts to actually melt from having it in his chest. Rodimus is then Resigned to the Call and takes it back.
    Rodimus: Why did I have to be chosen one?
  • In Transformers: Prime, once he learns he's been chosen by the Matrix to be the next Prime Smokescreen seems to want the position less and less as the series progresses (not that he wanted to be a Prime in the first place, he just wanted to be a great soldier). He ultimately rejects it, using the opportunity to restore Optimus to full strength instead.
  • In Trollhunters, the Amulet of Daylight - an Ancient Artifact created by the wizard Merlin - chooses someone to take up the mantle of trollhunter, the inspirational hero to all of troll-kind and maintainer of both the troll-world and human-world (by proxy). The trollhunter has no actual say in the matter, forced to take up the role up until their death. As the trollhunter, they must "heed the call" whenever it calls for them. "Heed the call" can be anything as minor as taking care of one troll's gnome infestation or deliver something through the mail, but usually it involves life-threatening situations. Should they try and get rid of the amulet, it will simply appear back to them, but it must be retrieved if it is stolen.
    • These problems are even worse when it falls towards the current trollhunter James "Jim" Lake Jr., who is not only the first human trollhunter, but he is a mere teenager who had no fighting experience before he was chosen. Being a human using a device designed for trolls, it takes getting used to for Jim to have control over its activation. As a human, he is considerably weaker than most trolls. As a teenager, he has many responsibilities in his personal life and school life, his duties straining his relationship with his mother and causing him to fall so far behind that he winds up missing over a month in school. By the end of Season 3, he was forced to abandon his human life and allow himself to be turned into a troll by Merlin just so he would be physically strong and durable enough to take on Gunmar and Morgana.
  • Unicorn: Warriors Eternal: Emma certainly seems to think so. The latest reincarnation of the Sorceress Melinda, one of the titular Warriors, Emma's life was completely upended when Destiny came for her on her literal wedding day. Now she's fully expected to give up her body to a woman she knows nothing about for the nebulous reason of saving the world. Worse, she's been driven away from her beloved fiance Winston, whilst having to deal with the advances of another of the warriors named Eldrid, Melinda's reincarnated elven lover. It's hard not to understand when she declares "I hate you" to the heroes.

    Real Life 
  • Human sacrifices were (of course) chosen by their gods, and in many cultures saw it as quite an honor.
  • Redvers Buller in command in South Africa in the Boer War and Elphinstone in Afghanistan in 1842. Both protested vociferously at being given a job they knew they were not competent to handle.
  • Ambrose Burnside is famous for refusing command of the Union Army during the American Civil War, fearing he lacked the competence. The Battle of Fredericksburg proved him right.
  • Tevye's quote above, although in jest, accurately depicts a real-life example of this trope. Jewish tradition says the Jews are the so-called "chosen people of God," but because of that separateness, the Jews have been subject to more persecution and ill treatment than just about any other surviving ethnic group. You could argue that Judaism is a real-life example.
  • Some famous child actors have suffered as a result of their careers, whether it is due the stress of acting or bullying at school. This leads to speculation that if they had missed an important role and instead had a normal career, their lives might have turned out better.
  • In the early days of the Space Race, this was a significant problem for astronauts and cosmonauts. Congratulations, you have been chosen to represent your entire country In Space Welcome to a battery of invasive and painful medical tests, some Training from Hell that just goes on and on, endlessly cramming details about your spacecraft and mission objectives for a final exam where failure is not an option, family stress, press intrusion (in the US) or heightened surveillance (in the USSR). Okay, you do get a degree of celebrity and the promise that maybe your name will go down in history - but there's a pretty significant risk that either your mission, or just the training for it, will straight-up kill you, and an even higher risk that you will have to deal with one or more of your colleagues and friends dying. Little wonder that military pilots were overwhelmingly favoured for astronaut selection in the early days.


Video Example(s):


You do not choose

Adora asks Light Hope about her origins, but Light Hope shuts down her questions and insists upon the importance of her destiny, even going so far as to outright say that Adora has no choice in the matter.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / ItSucksToBeTheChosenOne

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