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Psycho Ex-Girlfriend

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"Never let the crazy outweigh the hot."
— Regarding Mathilda, of MadWorld and Anarchy Reigns

This is someone The Hero used to be with, but broke it off. Said Ex is Not Good with Rejection.

You can expect the Ex to become a Stalker with a Crush. Many times, the Ex will become a villain because Love Makes You Evil. Despite the obvious gender differentiation in the title, it is not Always Female.

Oh and God help anyone our hero dated after this loon. They will suffer. Sometimes the hero will be targeted as well.

There are, at times, sympathetic Psycho Exes. Such as, if the break-up occurred because of the hero being a two-timing jerk at the time, or if she called him once to ask for her stuff back, and he went around telling everyone she "won't stop calling him," or told everyone that she cheated on him.

This is about the person who went nuts because of the break up. We also have tropes for: someone the hero knew was evil when they started dating, someone who turned out to be a psycho within the relationship, and someone who was turned into a psycho out of the blue in order to kill off the relationship.

See also Yandere and Woman Scorned.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Subverted in Hayate the Combat Butler, where Athena seems to be one of these... It turns out Demonic Possession and being a Lonely Rich Kid really messes with one's mental stability. She seems to be better now that she's free.
  • Aizawa from Sukisho. More to the point, he's a psycho ex-boyfriend.
  • Yuri Kim in Faeries' Landing is just about the personification of this trope, and even physically scarred the hero just to see him squirm.
  • Dante of the 2003 anime version of Fullmetal Alchemist is the sociopathic, mass-murdering ex-lover of Hohenheim.
  • A possible interpretation of Kyouko from Skip Beat!.
  • Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex has an interesting example where an ex of Pazunote  dons a perfect prosthetic duplicate body of his and frames him for two murders. It goes further in that she claimed to still love him, but believed that by being inside an exact copy of his body she had his "ghost" inside of her. Then she tries to kill the real Pazu. It's not made explicitly clear whether the real Pazu won the fight.
  • While not in total control of her faculties, Queen Mirage of Happiness Charge Pretty Cure is certainly this. Turns out she was a Shrine Maiden who fell in love with Blue 300 years ago. While he returned the feelings, he felt that, as a God, he shouldn't be attached to any one person and rejected her. She didn't take it too well, especially since it seems that Dark Mirror took control of her because of it.

    Comic Books 
  • Ray Palmer and his ex-wife, Jean Loring, in Identity Crisis. She gets committed to Arkham Asylum at the end. (Despite, er, not even living in the same state. Apparently there are no other asylums in the DCU.)
  • Wally West's ex-girlfriend Frances Kane, who returns as the psychotic villain Magenta. However, her violent insanity is actually an unfortunate side effect of her powers.
  • Gender-flipped (and foisted on her boyfriend) in Canadian mangaesque series Scott Pilgrim, where the main antagonists are the League of Ramona's Evil Ex-Boyfriends (oh, and one Ex-Girlfriend), whom Scott must defeat in various bizarre fight scenes in order to continue dating his Love Interest.
    • Played straight with eventual fights involving Scott's ex-girlfriends Envy and Knives. For fairness's sake, apparently, Ramona handles these fights.
  • Tony Stark broke up with Kathleen Dare because she was being too clingy. So, she shot and crippled him.
    • When Tony is later assumed to have died from an illness she shoots herself so she can join him in the afterlife.
  • Red She-Hulk a.k.a. Betty Ross Banner. One of Hulk's wives finally doesn't stay dead, and this happens.
  • Kimura, X-23's Ax-Crazy former handler, strongly comes across as a crazy stalker ex after Laura escapes her and the Facility. She's obsessed with getting Laura back, making several notable attempts to recapture her. When she finally does manage to retake her during Laura's stint on X-Force, she's actually licking her lips as she takes a chainsaw to Laura's arm for "being a bad girl."
  • Transmetropolitan: Spider's ex-wife had her head cryonically frozen with instructions not to thaw until presented with incontrovertible proof of his death. And attempted to engineer his murder so she wouldn't have long to wait.

     Fan Works 
  • In "Days of Futures Past What Does That Mean It Kinda Sounds Sexy", Naruto mentions to Superboy that his ex girlfriend would threaten to skin the flesh from his bones whenever he forgot to do the dishes.
  • Fara Phoenix of Star Fox fame is prone to becoming this whenever Fan Fiction has merged the series' two continuities, attacking either Fox or Krystal - or both.
  • Extended Stay gives us Mistress's ex-boyfriend William Queen in Chapter 7. He jumps up on stage during her date with the Warden, loudly accosts her and even threatens her boyfriend at knife-point! It doesn't really help that he was an inmate at the latter's prison.


  • Tanis and Kitiara have this kind of relationship in Dragonlance, and feelings definitely linger on both sides (though in Kitiara's case, those feelings aren't much deeper than "lust and amusement"). From a technical stance, Kit's less "psycho" than "amoral and ambitious", but she still fits the trope.
    • Given how Kitiara becomes insanely jealous after hearing that Tanis is traveling with his ex-girlfriend Laurana (especially after hearing how incredibly beautiful Laurana is) and how this jealousy causes Kit to become obsessed with Laurana to the point of relentlessly stalking the elfmaid and trying to give her a Fate Worse than Death, Kitiara definitely fits as a "psycho."
  • Lanfear from The Wheel of Time series. A somewhat unusual example since The Chosen One she used to date has been dead for several millenia, so her stalking's a Reincarnation Romance.
  • Senna of Everworld is a Manipulative Bastard witch who is Christopher's ex-girlfriend, and is David's current girlfriend for most of the series, and his ex-girlfriend at the very end.
    • Not really an example: while she is a sociopath and also an ex-girlfriend, the only reason she dated either of them was because she's The Vamp and they seemed useful to her plans.
  • Raffles - Jacques Saillard in "An Old Flame".
  • Nately's whore in Catch-22 becomes insanely homicidal after she's told that Nately has been killed.
  • Used masterfully in Death on the Nile, where Jacqueline de Bellefort chooses a very unusual and effective method of revenge. Invoking this trope, everyone expects her to act crazy and homicidal, which is a major plot point.
  • Heart of Steel has Jim, a male example, whose reaction to the idea that Julia might be breaking up with him is murderous rage, which only gets worse after he gets turned into a cyborg.

    Live Action TV 
  • The X-Files: Fox Mulder had two of these — the first one was mostly just annoying and appeared as a New Old Flame to dump him again, but the second one turned out to be working for the Government Conspiracy and having some kind of weirdly ambiguous relationship with the Smoking Man.
  • For a few episodes Blair Waldorf on Gossip Girl becomes this to Chuck. Most people thought it was fair enough, since he was giving his new girlfriend incredibly expensive watches, crediting her with making him a better man and treating her like a queen, when he'd whored Blair out to his uncle and then slept with her greatest enemy.
  • Torchwood:
    • John Hart, Jack's ex-"partner" who shows up in the second season premiere. He reappears in the finale, holding Grey, Jack's long-lost brother, hostage and tearing Cardiff apart for no apparent reason but to get Jack's attention. It turns out to be a subversion, as Grey is the one in charge and has a bomb fused to John's wrist, forcing him to obey when he'd rather be anywhere else.
    • Torchwood: Miracle Day: His boyfriend Angelo's Catholic gayngst leads him to do terrible, terrible things.
  • And then, of course, there's the Master, the Doctor's Evil Counterpart in the original Doctor Who. The original seventies and eighties stories depicted him as the Doctor's Evil Former Friend, but even then there was heavy Homoerotic Foe Romance Subtext, and the twenty-first-century stories with John Simm and Michelle Gomez dropped the "sub" and made it blatantly obvious that they, in their youth, had a very close relationship.
  • How I Met Your Mother:
    • Parodied in "The Platinum Rule": at the end, Barney assumes Wendy the Waitress is this. She is actually taking their break-up really well, but he interprets her total maturity about the matter as a facade hiding a desire to murder him — for at least two years.
    • Being as the show focuses heavily on dating, a number of straight examples show up, as do a number of women who never quite become girlfriends.
    • A fun variation comes up when Lily starts following the girl Marshall's interested in, making Lily, by all rights, the crazy ex. At the end, Marshall concludes that Lily is one of the craziest people he's known. It's the episode they get back together.
    • Special mention should also go to Jeanette Peterson, the last girl Ted is dating before meeting the Mother. After the break up, she trashes Ted's apartment and throws a major part of the stuff in there out of the window - on fire! (Including the red cowboy boots and Barney's Playbook.) And Ted can't even get help from the cops, because Jeanette is a cop herself, and not above abusing this to her advantage...
  • iCarly: Lewbert's ex-girlfriend Marta Trundel in iFind Lewbert's Lost Love.
  • Oz. Unit Manager Tim McManus forms a brief liaison with prison guard Claire Howell. When he tries to break off the relationship she assaults him in his office (to the delight of watching inmates), then charges him with sexual harassment when he tries to fire her. Howell's later actions definitely cast her in the role of a villain — she assaults (and in one case murders) inmates, as well as using them for her own sexual gratification whether they want it or not.
  • 24. Two characters, Jack and Tony, dating the same person, Nina.
  • Davina from Material Girl Tv Series its revealed at the end of the series that most of her attempts to hurt Ali were in fact directed at Marco, Ali just got in the way.
  • Virginia from Sunset Beach. She even tried to have her ex's current girlfriend impregnated by another guy using a turkey-baster! in a memorable scene.
  • The Vampire Diaries
    • Katherine Pierce, who was a former love interest of both Stefan and Damon Salvatore during their human lives. Katherine enjoys torturing and playing with both Stefan and Damon and has threatened Elena numerous times. Katherine appears to be obsessed with Stefan in particular and seems to be both jealous of Elena and in competition with Elena for Stefan's affections.
    • Alaric's ex-wife, Isobel.
  • Mandy from Secret Girlfriend, to an extreme degree.
  • Rose from Two and a Half Men both fits and subverts this. Although becoming friends with Charlie, she does manage to drive away his love interests and refuses to give up. Plus, every main character has called her crazy at some point. She's also pretty civil in her stalking, despite it being creepy. In the ninth season premiere it's revealed she murdered Charlie for cheating on her.
  • After Dexter finally cut it off with Lila in Dexter, she nearly killed him and his girlfriend's children.
  • Frasier:
    • Niles's ex-wife Maris probably qualifies, although more subtly: when she begs for him to come back to her, and he rejects her on the grounds that she has treated him like dirt all his life, she goes into a Tranquil Fury and proceeds to utterly screw Niles out of every cent he has with a team of Amoral Attorneys, just for the sake of revenge (she was filthy rich already).
    • Also Niles' second ex-wife Mel, who after feeling justifiably humiliated when Niles abandoned her to run off with Daphne Moon, exacted her pound of flesh by insisting he go through the motions of marriage with her until such time as she felt they should seperate and divorce. Well, everyone said she was an expy of Maris...
  • In Zoey 101, we have Chase's short-lived girlfriend, Rebecca. Admittedly, she was psycho while she and Chase were still dating; she demanded Zoey no longer have any contact with Chase, and that Chase stop being friends with Zoey. It was the reason they broke up. Rebecca, of course, took this to mean Zoey was the reason they broke up, and in a later episode ends up blackmailing her into doing all sorts of embarrassing things.
  • In one episode of Boy Meets World, Shawn becomes the target of three of these who band together to sabotage his latest relationship because they think he is leading her on like he led them on.
  • Gabe of The Office (US) is a psycho ex boyfriend. He becomes one after Erin breaks up with him. He follows Andy, (whom Erin really likes) to the men's room and threatens him and follows Erin into the ladies room and pleads for her to take him back.
  • Vera Bates of Downton Abbey to the extreme. She refuses to let Mr. Bates divorce her, blackmails him for everything he owns and then pulls an I Lied and tries to ruin his reputation and those of his girlfriend Anna and the family that employs them anyway, and finally commits suicide in order to frame him for her murder. All this to a man who went to prison in her place for theft beforehand.
  • Kirsty in Coronation Street, when suffering boyfriend Tyrone leaves her for Fizz.
  • On My Name Is Earl, Earl had a girlfriend of three weeks named Jessie, as of the night he had his Accidental Marriage to Joy. Jessie worked as a secretary at the bail bondsman's office Earl frequented. When Joy had an arrest warrant for failing to appear in traffic court 6 years later, Jessie puts herself through Training from Hell so she can get revenge on Joy for a) stealing Earl from her and b) knocking out her two front teeth. It doesn't work, and she gets her veneers knocked out too.
  • Lauren to Mitchell in Being Human. Justified since Mitchell turned her into a vampire and then dumped her to deal with her new undead status herself.
  • You would think that the CW show Crazy Ex-Girlfriend would be about this, but Rebecca Bunch, the main character, is actually a deconstruction of this trope: she has legitimate mental problems, including anxiety and depression, and so when she ran into her ex-boyfriend Josh Chan, he reminded her of a time when she was truly happy. So she quit her job and moved across the country. However, for the first half of the season, she lied to herself, saying that she did this not because of Josh, but because she "needed a change." The theme song tells it like it is:
    She's the crazy ex-girlfriend!
    What? No, I'm not.
    She's the crazy ex-girlfriend!
    That's a sexist term.
    She's the crazy ex-girlfriend!
    Can you guys stop singing for just one second?
    She's so broken inside!
    The situation is lot more nuanced than that!
  • Spooks. Quinn makes the mistake of confessing he's an MI-5 agent to a woman he's seeing, who causes all kinds of problems when he tries to back out of the relationship (like printing his name and address on gay prostitute advertisement cards). Fortunately Quinn has attracted the attention of a Blonde Republican Sex Kitten from the CIA, who doesn't hesitate to abuse her power to scare off a rival.
  • NTSF:SD:SUV::: After Sam breaks up with his girlfriend, she threatens to blow up San Diego so she can force Sam to perform several tasks and marry her. He fails miserably, but decides to get in touch with her in prison.
  • Jokingly played with in one That Mitchell and Webb Look sketch — Mitchell, recently an ex-boyfriend, doesn't seem particularly inclined towards this behaviour on his own, but everyone else suggests he handles the break-up in ways along this trope, ranging from writing bitch with weedkiller on her lawn, over killing her pet "in a weird way" to planting crack in her office desk (apparently a standard suggestion, as one of the others asks if the crack has already been mentioned when he joins the group).

  • The music video for Justin Timberlake's "Cry Me A River" paints the singer as this. This video goes into more detail.
  • "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" by Miranda Lambert, of course.
  • The title character of the Dixie Chicks' "Goodbye Earl," who puts poor Wanda into intensive care after she gets fed up with his abuse and files for divorce. The girls themselves might also qualify given what they do to him in revenge for this. I wouldn't want to be those girls' next boyfriend.
  • "Psycho Ex" by Andy Prieboy.
  • Pretty much Avril Lavigne's musical persona.
  • Pink's "Please Don't Leave Me".
  • Paramore's "(One Of Those) Crazy Girls".
  • Adele's "Hello" features a woman who won't stop calling her ex and leaving messages on his answering machine or voicemail, even though the breakup was years ago, and he has learned not to answer when she calls. (Apparently, he has never heard of Call Blocking, or considered changing his phone number.)
  • In Taylor Swift's "Blank Space", the narrator admits that her exes view her as a crazy ex-girlfriend:
    Got a long list of ex-lovers,
    They’ll tell you I’m insane,
    But I’ve got a blank space, baby
    And I’ll write your name.
  • "Before He Cheats" by Carrie Underwood is written from the perspective of a psycho soon-to-be-ex-girlfriend. It's about a woman believing her man is in the process of trying to score with another woman which drives her to vandalize his car and destroy his property.
  • In Pomplamoose's "Bust Your Kneecaps", a girl, whose family has ties to the Mafia, has been dumped by her boyfriend, Johnny. The song is her giving him one last chance to take her back, with the implication that the family will kill him if he doesn't.
    Johnny, don't leave me
    You said you'd love me forever
    Honey, believe me
    I'll have your heart on a platter
    Might you recall
    We've got a small family business
    And the family won't like this
    They'll bust your kneecaps, ooh-wop-dee-do-wop-dee-do...

     Tabletop Games 
  • Pathfinder has Calistria. If she notices you, hope she loses interest before you do something to offend her - praying won't help because she's a god. The deity of lust, trickery, and revenge, revered by elves for her changeable nature, fond of wasps due to their ability to sting people without harming themselves, and noted to be not simply vengeful but outright vindictive, Mephisto considers her too unreliable to ally with.


    Video Games 

    Web Animation 

    Web Comics 
  • Possibly MegaTokyo's Miho, depending on what side of the emotionally crippled goth-girl or undead fiend debate you are on.
  • Cassiel (Lucifer's niece) is Rumisiel's in Misfile, or at least she would be if she wasn't even more incompetent than Team Rocket.
    "Haha! Sub-par snacks! FEEL MY WRATH!"
    • Missi is an even milder version for Ash. Missi used to talk about ignoring Ash's wishes about not dating, but has settled into making sure that she's available if Ash's decision changes.
  • Gwynn from Sluggy Freelance almost destroyed the world trying to get revenge on ex-boyfriend Riff.
    • Don't forget Oasis going after any female seen speaking to Torg. Inanimate objects are not safe from her wrath if she sees them as rivals for Torg's love, either.
    • Monica has gone far beyond Gwynn; refusing to understand that Riff broke up with her and using every Mind Screw trick to keep him too intimidated and confused to get away. Subverted in that she has a method to her madness, double-subverted in that her ulterior motive is also crazy.
  • Roxanne in Candorville began as a Clingy Jealous Girl, and some of the fandom thinks she still is and we're seeing things Through the Eyes of Madness. If not, she's a vampire prophesied to rule the world, and the closest thing the strip has to a Big Bad.
  • In Jet Dream, Raven Red reacts to the sex change of her Dating Catwoman love interest Jack Thunder... poorly. While the newly-christened Harmony Thunder seems open to alternative possibilities, Raven isn't, and takes an If I Can't Have You... position towards Harmony.
  • The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!: it turns out the reason Jean fell for Nice Guy Bob so quickly is that her previous relationship had been with Bastard Boyfriend Slick Simmons, and she viewed Bob as his complete opposite. Slick has since returned as an obsessed, stark raving loon — which, since he's also a brilliant scientist, is problematic.
  • Mona Montrois in C'est la Vie, over Louis and Tiffany. Her behaviour towards tiffany gets more and more unhinged until she ends up sectioned in a psychiatric hospital, and is afterwards released to intensive therapy, nearly driving her shrink insane.
  • Damara Megido of Homestuck is an arguable example; learning that her (then) boyfriend, Rufioh, was secretly dating Horuss on the side drove her past the Despair Event Horizon, and Meenah's needling over the matter made her snap and go completely mad. In addition to killing Meenah and rendering Rufioh quadriplegic, it's heavily implied that she killed Horuss as well. It's implied that she still has lingering feelings for Rufioh, even though he doesn't really want to date her anymore.
  • Discussed in Questionable Content where Penelope expressed her dislike of the term, feeling it a cheap way of dismissing whatever actual problems the couple may have had.
    • A downplayed example would be Angus's ex-girlfriend who we never actually meet but sounds like an unhinged Faye. Angus's flatmates threw a 'The witch is dead' party when they split up.
  • Melissa in El Goonish Shive, is an annoying example... except that it's been revealed that her motives are a bit more complex than that. Not to mention that she is fully aware that her attempts to win over Justin are pointless and do nothing but make her come off as annoying and quite possibly psychotic, but can't seem to stop herself.
    • Defied with Ashley, she is fully aware that if she talked to Susan about staying away from Tom she would come across as a biased "crazy ex".

    Web Original 
  • Annabelle Wynters in Under the Van Gogh. And that's putting it nicely.
  • Shannon in Echo Chamber's Trope Of The Week series has an entire episode dedicated to her psycho ex nature. She stalks him, threatens other girls he's seen with (Dana in particular), and seems to believe they are still dating. But the kicker? She forced him to propose to her. Oh, and she regularly cheats on him. Hooray for the Double Standard.
    • One could take the above spoiler as Tom proposes to her, but then gets cold feet and runs off. He takes Shannon back and now they have sex every so often.
  • The Questport Chronicles: The Lord of Angels and Demons is a male example. He erases one woman's memory after she dumps him, and then destroys the only book that tells how to restore her memories.
  • This NSFW music video about a young woman who feels compelled to post pictures of her ex's dick on the internet — and elsewhere.
  • This video in a genderflipped example. It gets to the point where he's more or less breaking the laws of physics to get her back... and then he says that HE'S feeling smothered.
  • Cracked's America's Best Girlfriend: America's Worst Reality Show revolves around a woman who, having not taken her break-up incredibly well, goes to the trouble of (poorly) staging an entire fake reality TV show to try and humiliate her exe's new girlfriend. It fails disastrously on multiple levels.

    Western Animation 
  • Several times for Robert Freeman (Granddad) in The Boondocks, but thankfully not for repeating characters.
  • Terra for Beast Boy in the Animated Adaptation of Teen Titans.
    • Hell, Terra period. She was much worse in the comics! When she had the Titans (aside from Nightwing) captured, Gar pleaded with her, only to have her not only laugh in his face but sneer that kissing him "made her want to puke." Even better is that she was actively boinking Deathstroke (who was actually afraid of her). Poor Gar still can't fully acknowledge she was a traitor all along.
      • Comics Terra doesn't really apply to this trope since she was psycho before Changeling met her and any romance between the two of them was all an act on her part. Animated Terra however fits the trope to a T. She was pretty much on the neutral side of things, agreeing to sell the Titans out (well four of the five) as a favor to Slade for helping her control her powers, but not exactly on the evil side until Beast Boy told her she had no friends which turned her over the dark side completely until her Heel–Face Turn three episodes later.
  • Goliath and Demona of Gargoyles, with emphasis on the "psycho"
    • This is a case where feelings do still linger on both sides, but both characters recognize that they're now too different to ever be an item again (trying to kill each other almost every time you meet will do that to you). Doesn't stop the shippers.
  • Prof. Farnsworth and Mom in Futurama.
    • Notably, her insanity was there when they were dating. He just had a change of heart and couldn't stay with a megalomaniac.
  • Trixie Tang from The Fairly Oddparents briefly became this to Timmy after he wished they were the only two people on earth in "Just the Two of Us!".
    • While we're at it, Princess Mandie is considered this to Mark Chang.
  • Blackarachnia from Transformers Animated is actually this to Optimus Prime, after he and Sentinel accidentally leave her behind on a spider-infested planet. Sort of, anyway: she was actually Sentinel's girlfriend, but it's pretty obvious Optimus has a thing for her, which she returns after being mutated; she refuses to trust him, though.
  • 6teen's Lydia was Jonsey's ex; somehow she became a Stalker with a Crush to Wyatt.
    • She thinks Wyatt and Jude are identical twins. That should tell you she's a little cracked. When she meets Wayne, she thinks they're identical triplets.
  • Dave the Barbarian's Ex, the Evil Princess Irmoplotz.
  • Lola on The Looney Tunes Show. Bugs meets her on a tennis court and after the first date, decides that she's not right for him afterwards at least partially due to her being a Stalker with a Crush on him, and Lola goes from being distraught about it to believing that she's still involved with Bugs to the point where she has Bugs (unwillingly) at the altar with her. Bugs is thankfully saved from the And Now You Must Marry Me situation she has put him in by her invocation of Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace on the grounds that she has decided that she loves Pepe le Pew.
    • Then when Lola returned the relationship was She Is Not My Girlfriend for a few episodes before Bugs admits she's his girlfriend making Lola a psycho girlfriend.
  • In Star vs. the Forces of Evil, Star has a demonic ex-boyfriend, Tom. When she and Marco ended up doing a Dance of Romance in "Blood Moon Ball", Tom starts Burning with Anger and tries to incinerate the Earthling. A storyboard for that episode showed him threatening to destroy the Earth if Star didn't go out with him. A second episode had him try to manipulate Star by getting a counselor to play on her fears but a callout from Marco made him realize he'd gone too far. He decides to stop pursuing her after that.

Alternative Title(s): Psycho Ex, Psycho Ex Boyfriend