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Stoic Woobie

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His life sucks, but he will never complain.

"They'll realize that beneath your unfeeling exterior is a heart that's breaking. Silently, and in more pain than any of us can possibly understand, because that's what it is to be Vulcan!"
Star Trek: Voyager, "Muse"
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These characters need a hug. Badly. But don't expect them to ask for one. A subtrope of The Stoic, unlike other woobie characters, they won't cry, angst, or outwardly show how much they're suffering at all. (Internally is another story). They don't want your pity, and in a great number of cases, will deny having emotions at all. Don't be fooled. The plot has heaped complication after complication on them, and silently, internally, they're suffering. They may inadvertently show their suffering for a moment, in which case they are Not So Stoic, or they may just have Bad Dreams. If they are lucky they will find a Manic Pixie Dream Girl to comfort them and live happily ever after as a reward for their stoicism.

See also Jerkass Woobie and Iron Woobie. This character is often a Tin Man, Sugar-and-Ice Personality, Broken Bird, Emotionless Girl, Shell-Shocked Veteran, or Defrosting Ice Queen.

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Polar opposite of Wangst, where a character overemotes at the most minor suffering. Compare Did You Think I Can't Feel? Also compare Mangst.


Examples

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    Comic Books 
  • Cyclops, leader of the X-Men. Even though some think he acts like a Knight Templar dick, you have to pity this guy. Starters he lost his family in a plane crash where he and his brother were the only known survivors; said brother would then be adopted and taken away from him, leaving him alone in a Crapsack of an orphanage where he was bullied by other children and tortured/experimented on by Mister Sinister. He can’t control his powers. His first two wives turned crazy and evil with one of them resurrecting and dying again. He's been Mind Raped a number of times. Yet he never complains, ever.
  • X-23. For all the hell she's put through, Laura seldom actually talks about it. This is mainly because her emotionally-abusive upbringing left her with a poor understanding of how to deal with her feelings. As a result, her main form of expression over the pain in her past is cutting herself with her claws, and when she does break down, she's prone to bouts of severe if not suicidal depression.

    Fan Works 
  • Mercury from the Inheritance Cycle fanfic series "A dance of Shadow and Light" by Ocadioan is a definite case of this. Traumatic, cruel and hellish childhood? Check. Repeated being used as the universe's chew toy? Check. Losing his few friends and loved ones one by one? Check. It is telling that as the story continues and the author's physical abuse of him lessens, the mental abuse just keeps escalating. At the end, Mercury have been wishing for and planning his own death for 400 years.
  • Monster X is portrayed this way in The Bridge. He may be an antagonist, but isn't an amoral character who's at worst a Punch-Clock Villain. Yet it seems like everything that could go wrong with his early life did, and is coming back to haunt him.
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    Visual Novels 
  • Miles Edgeworth from the Ace Attorney series was trapped with his father in an elevator by an earthquake as a young child. After hours in the dark, he was rescued, but his father was found dead of a gunshot wound, the third man with them was falsely accused, and Edgeworth secretly blamed himself. He was taken in by the man who actually committed the murder, who raised him to be a heartless prosecutor. His adult persona is the very picture of refined self control, but earthquakes completely wreck him — he panics, often faints, and kicks himself afterward for being so 'weak.' You just want to pat him on the back and tell him it's not his fault.
  • Ange Ushiromiya from Umineko: When They Cry. The poor girl grew up in a Bad Future where one entire side of her family (including the half-brother she hero-worshipped) died, with the exception of a now Ax-Crazy aunt, who loathes and resents her for still being alive while her child died on Rokkenjima (And later it turns out it's not true, and said truth that her "crazy" aunt hid from her is FAR worse). She got sent Off to Boarding School, where she was bullied and treated like a freak, and her only remaining relative on the other side of the family is an even more Ax-Crazy aunt who actively tried to kill her. And as icing on the angst-cake, Bernkastel manipulated all of these events specifically so she could bring Ange back in time with the false hope of fixing her world and then kill her, purely to torment the aforementioned brother, himself an Iron Woobie. You wouldn't know any of this from talking to her, though; she's a Deadpan Snarker who keeps to herself and rarely shows any expression except for a vague frown.

    Web Animation 

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • In the Neopets "Tale of Woe" plot, Bruno is a handsome, if gangly, young Gelert. When Mr. Krawley offers him a potion that will make him stronger, he accepts it because he is desperate to impress his love interest. Unfortunately, he was tricked as the potion came with the side effect of turning him into a grotesque monster. In the end, when an antidote is found, it does not work on him. It is assumed that this is because he's been under the effects of the potion for too long. He accepts his fate, saying that he is used to the way he looks now.

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