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Tragic Bigot

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Slavery and tolerance really don't go together.
Eddie Valiant: Get this straight, meatball! I! Don't! Work! For Toons!
Angelo: ...So what's his problem?
Dolores: A Toon killed his brother.
Angelo: What?
Dolores: Dropped a piano on his head.

The Tragic Bigot is a character who has developed an Irrational Hatred of a demographic, race, species, subculture, or other group, as the result of a traumatic and tragic incident involving said group in the character's past. This typically manifests as the death of one or more of the bigot's loved ones, the utter ruination of the bigot's life, or something similarly horrible. As a good rule of thumb, the Tragic Bigot would be a straight-up woobie if they had come out of the incident without holding it against their tormenter's kind.

This doesn't justify the Tragic Bigot's bigotry; the Tragic Bigot is still a bigot, and their hatred is still irrational. However, when this Dark and Troubled Past is revealed, it quite often causes their peers (and the audience) to think better of them as a character, or at least not hate them as much. It often paints their bigotry in a different light, portraying it as one of the personal demons that an otherwise good character has to fight (or else succumb to entirely, if they're a villainous example).

And this is likely why this is such a common trope for bigots: compared with a regular bigot, the Tragic Bigot has a far higher capacity to be a good person underneath it all, and thus any non-villainous bigot in a story has a very good chance of being this trope. After all, straight-up bigotry is widely seen as a villainous trait.

This also, however, can make a Tragic Bigot far more hurtful. Since the Tragic Bigot is often an otherwise good person, this gives their remarks far more sting because the characters who are the subjects of their bigotry can't simply dismiss them as a Jerkass and a lost cause they should just ignore. In fact, depending on how tragic the Tragic Bigot is and just how many of that group took part, it can sometimes cause characters in that group to doubt themselves and maybe even fear that the Tragic Bigot could be right about them. Unless said demographic is humans, however, this rarely if ever lasts very long.

Another important distinction of the Tragic Bigot is that they aren't likely to resort to bullying or mockery like a standard bigot would. The Tragic Bigot doesn't see their hated demographic as inferior but as evil. The Noble Bigot, on the contrary, sympathises with the demographic while viewing them in a reductive way, for this reason the Noble and Tragic Bigot tends to be mutually exclusive.

Finally, the Tragic Bigot has a very high chance of redeeming themselves. One very popular method is that the Tragic Bigot runs into their old tormentors during the course of the story and defeats them this time around. If this happens, expect the Tragic Bigot's bigotry to rapidly disappear.

Of course, a Tragic Bigot can still be a villain, and when they are this trope has some serious overlap with the Tragic Villain and Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds.

Compare Freudian Excuse, which is what the Tragic Bigot's backstory is. Also see Troubled Sympathetic Bigot, which a Tragic Bigot is quite likely to also be (though the reverse isn't necessarily the case).


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Rayet Areash from Aldnoah.Zero is a remarkable version of this trope, being a Tragic Boomerang Bigot. She herself is Martian, but after her father, one of the Martian agents on Earth responsible for the assassination of Princess Asseylum, is murdered by his superiors for outliving his usefulness, she decides that "all Martians are the enemy".
  • Licht and the Third Eye (Rhya, Fana, and Vetto), who are elves in Black Clover, hate humans and desire to kill every one in the Clover Kingdom upon being reincarnated because five centuries ago human royals slaughtered the elf tribe at Licht's wedding, with them seemingly betrayed by the first Wizard King Lumiere Silvamillion Clover, who had told them he believed that one day humans and elves could understand each other.
  • Blue Flag: Kensuke is a deeply homophobic person, so much that when he overhears his best friend coming out to a third party, he flies off into a rage and the two fight. He regrets that, but when he talks with Taichi, he reveals that he was molested by a gay man in his youth. While he is aware that not every gay person is a molester and that his friend is an individual separated from the group, he still has a hard time separating the group from the incident.
  • Nina Einstein from Code Geass has developed a case of racism from an attack in an alleyway she once endured. She ends up developing an unhealthy crush on the person who saved her from a terrorist hostage situation, which, through tragic circumstances, spirals into her developing a nuke that ends up decimating the Tokyo Settlement.
  • Makes up Bazu's backstory in Dear Noman. She started her life as a crow who was nursed back to health by a kindly old woman. Unfortunately, she was discovered by a cruel man and tortured to death with her wings getting torn off. This causes her to develop an irrational distrust of humans, but as the series progresses, she gradually changes her mind when getting saddled down with Mashiro devolving into a Tsundere.
  • Due to Future Trunks' backstory in Dragon Ball Z, he's very mistrusting of any Android and refuses to help Android 16 when he is damaged for the simple reason that he's an Android. When he returns in Dragon Ball Super he seems to have gotten over his issues, since he interacts with Android 18 peacefully and is glad to hear that she found happiness by settling down with Krillin.
  • Acnologia from Fairy Tail became a Dragon Slayer who drove dragons to virtual extinction after they ate his family, burned down his hometown, and attacked an innocent girl before his eyes, which ironically transformed him into the very creature he despises. While that's the most the manga ever divulges, the anime adaptation delves deeper than that: He used to be The Medic for the dragons of his home, which was protected by another dragon named Acnologia. When this dragon was nearly killed by Dragon Slayers, he (the dragon) went mad with fear and turned the other dragons against the humans without a second thought. This sudden betrayal, mixed with his utter powerlessness to save anybody, led the current Acnologia to take the treacherous dragon's name for himself to ensure that all dragons would suffer the same way he did.
  • Scar from Fullmetal Alchemist. He hates all Amestrians, and State Alchemists in particular, due to the Amestrian military's attempted genocide of the Ishvalans. His bigotry is made even more sympathetic by the fact that most Amestrians, including Ed and Al at the beginning, are pretty racist towards Ishvalans themselves.
  • Ilulu from Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid never wanted to hate humans (in fact, a flashback shows that she was friends with several human children when she was younger), but the death of her parents at the hands of humans and being raised on an anti-human rhetoric afterwards turned her into a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds. She gets better thanks to Kobayashi.
  • Principal Shirayuki from My Monster Secret is eventually revealed to be this. She was an ordinary human who lived in the Edo period in a village where humans co-existed with non-humans, and everything was fine. However, when a particularly harsh winter came, some of the villagers caged a non-human child and put on a freak show to make the money they needed to survive. Shirayuki's non-human friends abandoned her, acting as if she played a role in the whole thing, which caused her to become convinced that humans and non-humans couldn't co-exist peacefully. Shirayuki ended up selling her soul to a lesser demon for immortality so she could work to counteract her former teacher Akane Koumoto, leading to a generations-long feud between the two of them.
  • One Piece
    • Many fishmen hate humans because of how humans have treated them: they are generally discriminated against, treated like animals, and often enslaved.
      • Fisher Tiger (pictured above) is particularly tragic. In his early years, his prejudice against humans was relatively mild, but after he was Made a Slave, he began to hate them despite himself. In his mind, he knew all humans weren't alike and realized that hating them all was a horrible thing to do. He even freed both human and fishman when he attacked his former masters, because he intellectually understood that it was the institution of slavery that hurt him, not the species that did it. But ultimately, he could never let go of how he was treated. He tried, but he still couldn't stop himself from hating them. To the point he died because he refused a blood transfusion from humans, much to his own disgust. He knew the transfusion would work, he knew he'd die without it, he knew humans would gladly save him, but he still couldn't accept having human blood in him. However, he begged his crew not to tell the people of Fishman Island of his past as a slave or the ambush that killed him, hoping to stop the cycle of hate between the races.
    • Arlong started off his career like this, his hatred of humans deriving from their treatment of fishmen and their role in the death and enslavement of his hero, Fisher Tiger. However, by the time we get to him in the story, he's lost all "tragic" elements and has become just another pirate who robs and terrorizes people in the East Blue, just with the occasional pro-Fishman rhetoric thrown in for appearances' sake.
    • This is subverted by Hody Jones, the Big Bad of the Fishman Island arc. When he's asked by a fellow fishman what humans did to him, he answers "nothing." He just grew up surrounded by bigots, some with tragic elements and some without, and he absorbed their hatred without the motives behind it. By the time of his appearance as an Arc Villain, he's become far worse than any Fishman who actually experienced discrimination from humans and targets his own people who he thinks are human sympathizers.
    • Jimbei and Hatchan think Nami is this since she has a bad childhood with Arlong (their former comrade). However, thanks to Hatchan's general kindness and Jimbei's story (as well as the incident in Sabaody involving Camie the mermaid), Nami had lost all of her negative opinions towards fishmen as a whole by the time the Straw Hat Pirates arrived on Fishman Island. She still hates Arlong and Hody, but she does so because they're villains, not because they're Fishmen.
  • Deconstructed with King Aultcray Melromarc in The Rising of the Shield Hero. He has a deep hatred for demihumans because they killed his family and took away his younger sister from him, and in turn also despises the Shield Hero because demihumans worship him as a god. As a result, he constantly goes out of his way to abuse his authority to make things harder for Naofumi, ranging from denying him support or rewards for his efforts to actively making him out to be a criminal, even risking war with other countries simply because of petty revenge against a guy who hadn't personally slighted him in the least or even known about what happened to him.
  • Pretty much everyone who hates humans in Rosario + Vampire has had a tragic encounter with them in one way or another. The biggest example is probably Ruby, whose tragic backstory (her parents both dying in a car crash with a human truck driver), while tragic, didn't reflect overly poorly on humanity (who else would there be to crash into, exactly?). However, she remains sympathetic because her Tragic Bigotry was actually nurtured and encouraged for her entire life by her psychotic witch mentor who wanted to use her in her plan to kill as many humans as possible.
  • Symphogear: Downplayed with Kazanari Fudo. He's already an ultranationalist Token Evil Teammate who only lets the heroes deal with foreign powers begrudgingly and when the other party agrees to make heavy concessions to Japan, being old enough to have fought in World War 2 and holding a grudge against America for dismantling the culture of "The Land of the Gods". But then at the end of the fourth season a Japanese citizen transforms into a god, America responds by launching a nuke at Japan in an attempt to kill her, and it ends with her divine powers being permanently destroyed and the governments of both countries agreeing to quietly brush it under the table. This causes Fudo to completely snap, lose all faith in foreigners and even his own family, and break away from the protagonists to become an outright villain - now willing to slaughter even his own people out of his reinforced belief that The End Justifies the Means.
  • Quite a few characters in Tokyo Ghoul developed a hatred for the opposing species as a direct result of personal trauma.
    • Amon's unrelenting hatred for Ghouls was born from discovering his foster father was a sadistic Child Eater using the orphanage as his personal buffet. After meeting Kaneki, he begins to waver in his belief that all Ghouls are monsters.
    • Ayato was once a gentle and timid child, until their old human "Auntie" invited the Kirishima siblings into her home and promptly turned them over to Investigators. The children barely escaped with their lives and were forced to flee onto the streets where Ayato came to believe only the strong survive and humans are untrustworthy scum.
  • Played for laughs in Urusei Yatsura; Tobimaru Mizunokuji is a He-Man Woman Hater because, when he was a child, he was constantly bullied by Ryoko Mendo, and nobody ever comforted him for it because it was seen as just a "silly little girl playing". Even now they're teenagers, the guys and girls around him still wave it off as "romantic" and "she's just teasing". Add to it that his all-female support staff are openly contemptuous of him, his mother is selfish, cruel and eccentric, and his little sister is both sexually fixated on him and constantly injuring him with super-strong expressions of affection.

    Comic Books 
  • In Runaways, the Majesdanian Light Brigade are bigoted against Skrulls, but they have a pretty good excuse, given that the Skrulls destroyed their homeworld.
  • Nighthawk from Supreme Power is kind of a double whammy. His parents were murdered by white supremacists so he hates white people overall, but he also targets people like black drug dealers or pimps because he considers them race traitors who prey on their own kind. He also doesn't like fellow black superhero Blur and considers him an Uncle Tom.
  • Wonder Woman (1987): There are several Amazons who just can't get over their misandrist views even after Themyscira opens its borders. However, they are women who were abused and murdered by men and then given new life in clay-formed bodies, only to then be betrayed by Hercules and his men and turned into sex slaves before spending centuries in an isolationist state. Needless to say, their experiences have understandably colored their opinions.
  • X-Men villain Graydon Creed has this as his motivation to distinguish him from the other numerous anti-mutant villain characters. Despite being born an ordinary human, his parents were both mutants, which might have been okay if they were two normal, well-adjusted people. Unfortunately for Graydon, his parents were Mystique and Sabretooth, two of the most evil mutants in history. Being mentally abused by Mystique for being "squeamish", and then abandoned in the streets of Europe once she realized he was not going to develop into a mutant, filled Graydon with a hatred of mutants that only increased when he found out who and what his Disappeared Dad was. As an adult, he founds the anti-mutant hate group known as the Friends of Humanity, runs for president on an anti-mutant platform, and has every intention of rounding up mutants and sending them to internment camps upon being elected.
  • Billy Butcher in The Boys. He constantly mocks gay and transgender people, calls Americans "Septics" (Septic Tank = Yank) and (like many Brits) refers to Chinese food as "Chinky", but doesn't actually hate anyone on the basis of who they are other than superheroes (a direct result of his Dark and Troubled Past) – after all, he's happy to work with the Japanese Female and African-American Mother's Milk. Despite his sociopathic tendencies, he has an easy charm that allows him to get on well with almost anyone. He actually despises Rayner because he sees her as racist towards Middle Easterners. In the final arc of the series, he snaps and tries to enact a Final Solution against the supers knowing full well it would kill him and his friends too, as he could see no other way to protect people from Vought's constant tyranny.

    Fan Works 
  • Atonement: Cassie Herren/Rune is an odd case. Her Freudian Excuse is that her parents and their associates were horrible racists, so she became a racist out of habit, even when she doesn't want to be. She genuinely wants to redeem herself, but she accidentally sabotages her chances because she genuinely doesn't realize that casual racism isn't normal. If Madison hadn't seen her as a kindred spirit and offered to help coach her on social skills, she'd probably have backslid to villainy.
  • In the Eleutherophobia series, Tom hates Yeerks because he suffered from being controlled by two particularly cruel ones for three years.
  • RWBY: Scars: Weiss is untrustworthy of Faunus and looks down upon them because many White Fang members have killed her family's peers and extended family. However, most of her bigotry stems from trying to place the blame of her father's abuse on anyone but her father. After joining RWBY and especially befriending (and more) Blake, Weiss becomes a Former Bigot.
  • Celestia in The Negotiations-verse. Her disdain for the other non-pony races first stemmed from her witnessing her and Luna's parents get killed by griffon raiders as a filly, and it only solidified further with the numerous attacks and conflicts they launched against Equestria over the millennia of her rule. Similarly, her hatred of the humans was motivated in large part by how her apprentice and surrogate daughter Sunset Shimmer was killed by a group of human hunters, with their own history of conflict and cruelty only adding more fuel to the fire. It's made clear multiple times within the narrative that these tragedies don't justify her bigotry or excuse her leaving the other races of Equus behind to die horribly just to ensure her subjects' continued survival and launching an Assimilation Plot war campaign on the humans.
  • Little House on the Prairie The Price Of Freedom expands Hugh MacGregor's hatred of Indians when, shortly after the events of Season 4's episode "Freedom Flight" in which he tried to have a group of Sioux Indians wiped off. In this Continuation, it's revealed that he served during the Dakota War, along with his older sons, both of whom were killed by Indian warriors, who in addition raped his daughter. Now, he can't let go of his hatred. Dr. Baker, who tells Charles this backstory, makes it clear that his grief does not justify his actions, especially when he's willing to target innocent people who had nothing to do with his losses.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Derek from American History X became a neo-Nazi after his father, a fireman, was murdered by black drug dealers when he tried to extinguish a fire. However, the end of the movie shows that dear old dad was already planting some racist thoughts in a young Derek's mind prior to his death. These were far less racist and hurtful things than what Derek later wound up swallowing wholesale from the neo-Nazis, but nonetheless...
  • Black Panther (2018)'s Killmonger. As the abandoned son of a Wakandan prince, Killmonger not only learned from his mother's side, of the African slave trade that oppressed black people in America until the Civil War (with the Wakandans refusing to help) but also grew up poor in the inner-city black ghetto of Oakland, where he experienced racism firsthand (including the deterioration of race relations in America). What he plans to do is to rile up African nations and take over the world using Vibranium weapons, enslaving other races (primarily whites, but essentially anyone who is not black), let alone killing them once he takes power as the king of Wakanda.
  • Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019): Mark Russell for the first half of the film hates Godzilla and to a lesser extent all Titans, because the battle between Godzilla and the MUTOs caused his family unit to collapse in the face of his son's death and he has been unable to let go of that pain ever since; blaming the Titans and saying they should all be wiped out. It's also hinted early in the film (and furthermore in the novelization) that Mark is far from the only one who feels this way, and that this trope is a major source of Fantastic Racism towards the Titans: many people want the government to try indiscriminately exterminating the Titans because of the deaths of their loved ones.
  • In Hangman's Knot, Mrs. Harris hates all Confederates because both her husband and son were killed fighting in the Civil War.
  • Ending up far worse than Derek was Remy, the Anti-Villain (and, believe it or not, one of the three protagonists) of John Singleton's Higher Learning (1995). At the start of the film, he's actually the most sympathetic character (largely because of his Woobieness), but after too much bullying from the black kids in his college dormitory, and then nonstop taunting from fellow skinheads who mock him for constantly ranting about doing something to avenge the white race but having never even fired a gun before, he buys a sniper rifle and murders three students, the last of which is himself. Remy never even believed in white supremacy (and how could he have, using himself as an index?). He just wanted to live in a fantasy world where his otherwise irrelevant existence automatically had meaning.
  • Det. Spooner in I, Robot is an unrepentant bigot against robots, seeing them as cold, unfeeling Straw Vulcans who would never understand the importance of emotion to the lives of humans. This stems from an incident where he was in a car accident and both vehicles ended up in a river. He was trapped in one car while the other had an eleven-year-old girl. A by-standing robot leapt to the rescue, but calculated it would not have enough time to save both and chose him because his odds of survival were somewhat higher. A human, Spooner believes, would have tried to save the child anyway.
  • Lakeview Terrace: Abel Turner is a black police officer with a hatred for interracial couples because of something tragic from his past. His late wife was having an affair with her white boss, and they were both killed in a car crash as they were driving to the guy's home to have sex.
  • The Searchers: While Ethan Edwards is basically a Jerkass to everyone, he gains a little sympathy over his hatred of Comanches since a group of them killed his family and took his niece to live as one of them.
  • In Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, Kirk can't keep up with the softening Federation attitude toward the Klingons, because he can't forgive them for killing his son. Unfortunately, this puts him on the same page with the war hawks who'll do anything to prevent peace. The conspiracy sees him as the perfect patsy for assassinating Klingon Chancellor Gorkon. The Chancellor's dying words to Kirk, begging him to save the peace process, give him a Heel Realization.
  • Eddie Valiant from Who Framed Roger Rabbit used to love Toontown and the Toons who lived there until a Toon killed his brother, which left him bitter and resentful towards Toons in general (aside from Betty Boop, who is the only Toon he still seems to care for and have respect for), especially since he never found out which Toon it was until he finally confronts and defeats said Toon at the end of the movie.

  • Averted with Ciaphas Cain: He claims his parents were killed by kroot, to a kroot's face, but doesn't bear them any more ill-will towards them than the other xenos species. Of course, it's entirely possible he was lying.
  • Rene Vorbretten in A Civil Campaign hates Cetagandans for killing his father in battle only to find that one of his ancestors was a Cetagandan. Tragic bigotry toward Cetagandans is not an uncommon attitude in Barrayar because of the brutal occupation and because bigotry is a common vice (if less fashionable in Gregor's reign than in earlier times) among Barryarans anyway. Komarrans are often bigoted toward Barrayarans for conquering them as well.
  • In Dragon Bones, Shavig, where the protagonists come from, assisted Tallven in crushing a rebellion in Oranstone, the country the protagonists travel through for most of the plot. As a result, no one will sell them anything, and they almost run out of rations before saving a village, thus earning enough trust and gratitude to be given some food and other equipment. One unnamed tragic bigot threatens to shoot the protagonist with a crossbow.
  • Earth's Children: Dolando is extremely vitriolic towards the Clan and even says he would happily see them all wiped out, while refusing to hear anything more positive about them. While most Cro-Magnon don't view the Clan as people, many people note that Dolando's hatred towards "flatheads" can be extreme, especially as few other animals inspire such feelings. The reason for this is that Dolando's only son was killed by Clan men in a seemingly unprovoked attack.
  • One of the female jury members from the first John Grisham novel A Time to Kill. Her boss is black, and unfortunately, he's a Bad Boss and a Pointy-Haired Boss. No wonder she's a hopeless case. Then again, the protagonist still wins the case.
  • Near the beginning of The Mouse Watch, we learn that Bernie Skampersky wants to join the titular Heroes "R" Us organization because she saw a rat kill her brother, causing her to hate and fear the entire species. When she's teamed up with another rookie, a rat named Jarvis Slinktail, she alternates between repeatedly accusing him of being a spy and starting to like him in spite of herself. When she learns that the actual traitor is another mouse, she has a Jerkass Realization, apologizes to Jarvis, and accepts him as a friend and partner.
  • In Warrior Cats, Berryheart's prejudice against outsiders to ShadowClan is a result of how she trusted Darktail, an outsider, and chose to leave ShadowClan to join his group. Darktail proceeded so show himself as a cruel tyrant who killed her daughter Needletail, nearly killed her, and almost destroyed ShadowClan altogether.

    Live-Action TV 
  • G'kar in Babylon 5 is bigoted against the Centauri for their crimes against his world. He outgrows this a little when he is forced to cooperate with a Centauri and when he sees the Centauri suffering too.
  • Tobias Whale in Black Lightning hates black people an awful lot, despite actually not being white as he might first appear but in fact an albino black man. The reason is that his abusive father always made sure to rub in that Tobias' white skin meant he wasn't a "real" black person. Partially justified, as albinos of African descent tend to be looked down upon at best and murdered as disease-carriers or for their organs (something his boss, Lady Eve, lampshades in one episode) at worst.
  • Skips from the Cold Case episode "Family 8108" used to be best friends with an Asian-American boy named Billy. They both fought in World War II. The atrocities committed by the Japanese made Skips racist towards Asians. He killed Billy's father Ray when the man insisted that his late son deserved to be awarded with a Medal of Honor along with the other "Japs" who fought for America.
  • The wife of the coroner (both black) in Copper hates the Irish because her brothers were lynched by The Irish Mob. This causes issues, as the main character and the coroner's top client, Kevin Corcoran, is an Irish immigrant.
  • Doctor Who: In "The Ambassadors of Death", General Carrington developed his hatred of the aliens after one of them accidentally killed his crewmate.
  • Discussed and averted in The Flash (2014) when Julian Albert tells Barry that there's no tragic backstory for his metaphobia in which his parents were murdered by a metahuman.
    • Played straight with Cicada/Orlin Dwyer, who blames Metas for the events during the Enlightening that injured him, claimed the lives of his sister and brother-in-law, and left his niece, Grace Gibbons, in a coma. A future version of Grace also takes up this trope but is not nearly as sympathetic.
  • The medical drama The Flying Doctors, which is set in Australia, had an episode where a WW2 veteran rallies a campaign to prevent a Japanese business venture from setting up shop in the area, which is eventually revealed that its because he hates the Japanese for his brother's brutal death in the war. Nevermind that the businessmen in question were born decades after the war, it's a grudge he simply can't give up, and it's not resolved at the end of the episode, the business venture is simply forced to cancel its plans as they had no interest in trying to purchase land in a hostile area.
  • Game of Thrones: Olly's immense hate for the wildlings stems from his Freudian Excuse - his parents and hometown being wiped out by them.
  • On Haven, Reverend Driscoll hates the Troubled because he believes one of them killed his wife with their uncontrollable Trouble. He convinces himself they are cursed because they are outcasts of God and seeks to cleanse the town of them. The kicker is his wife isn't dead. She faked her own death and took on a new identity because he was abusive.
  • Hemlock Grove: Olivia is shown to hate gypsies because much earlier in her immortal life she fell in love with a gypsy boy and ran away with him from her aristocratic family, only for him to steal her belongings and leave her for dead.
  • Kamen Rider Zero-One: Isamu Fuwa/Kamen Rider Vulcan utterly loathes the HumaGears due to the Daybreak Town Accident, where took over and caused the machines to revolt and kill every human on sight, leaving him as one of the survivors.
  • The Anti-Villain on one episode of Law & Order was a young man who, convinced he had been denied entrance to medical school because of affirmative-action quotas, went on a rampage of murdering every single woman he saw with a machine pistol which he converted to full-automatic through Hollywood Engineering, all the while muttering crude misogynist slurs under his breath. We're allowed to feel at least a little sorry for him, however, because he's clearly insane, he cries when the police corner him, and he appears pretty remorseful and well-behaved at his trial. In fact, the theme of that episode was not actually affirmative action or hate crimes, but gun control. The case in that episode was based on this real-life murder spree, for those curious.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power's version of Galadriel is a byronic nominal heroine at best who has an destructive desire for revenge and hatred for the Orcs. Not only she sees them as this iredeemable Always Chaotic Evil race, but also thinks they are unworthy of existing and vows to eradicate all of them. Even worse, the Orcs she hates were formerly Elves themselves and got turned into Orcs by Morgoth against their own will. She indeed lost many of her kin and family members to Orcs, leaving her completely traumatized.
  • Roger Sterling in Mad Men has a deep-seated hatred of the Japanese because he served in the US Navy in the Pacific War and is implied to have seen Japanese soldiers commit many horrible brutalities. He purposely sabotages a deal with Honda when his colleagues go behind him for the good of their company. They tell him to leave the past behind: the Honda execs are not the same people he fought against in the war.
    Roger: How could that be? I'm the same people!
  • The Mandalorian is not especially fond of droids, since battle droids devastated his Doomed Hometown and orphaned him during the Clone Wars. The first episode sees him refusing to take a droid-piloted taxi, opting instead for a human-piloted one even though it means a longer wait and a nearly broken-down speeder.
  • Parodied in the Scrubs episode "My Five Stages", where Dr. Kelso has a bizarre hatred of bikers that causes the Janitor to raise an eyebrow and ask why on earth he hates bikes so much. Cue flashback to Dr. Kelso as a little kid, listening to his father who is on a bicycle with tons of luggage tied to it:
    Kelso's Father: Son, Daddy's got to move on. And I just want you to know that since the car is in your mother's name, I wouldn't be able to leave the family forever if it weren't for your bike.
  • In Merlin, Uther Pendragon hates sorcerers because Nimue used magic to get his sterile wife pregnant with Arthur, not knowing that to give birth to Arthur her life would be traded. This one is made worse due to the fact it's emphasized it was completely unintentional on her part.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
    • Major Kira bore quite a strong grudge against Cardassians thanks to her time as a member of the Bajoran resistance. Driven home when she has a few "Not So Different" Remark moments (given the Cardassians were basically Space Nazis). She got better about it over time, even becoming the best friend and biggest supporter of the half Bajoran, half Cardassian Ziyal.
    • Miles O'Brien also bore a strong grudge towards the Cardassians due to having fought them in the Cardassian Wars, even going so far as to use slurs such as "Cardies" and "spoons" when talking to his commanding officer. He did work through most of his issues with them during the run of the show, however — it's revealed that most of his issues are less actually bigotry and more self-loathing as he was forced to kill Cardassians in self-defense during the war when he'd previously never had to kill anyone and hated them for turning him into a killer.
      Miles O'Brien: It's not you I hate, Cardassian; I hate what I became because of you!
  • Most Hunters in Supernatural start because someone they loved was killed by a supernatural creature. The Winchesters because the Yellow-Eyed Demon killed their mother.
  • Hilariously subverted in True Blood. When an anti-supernatural hate group called "The Obamas" (named after the Obama masks they use as disguises) starts savaging Bon Temps and murdering shifters, werewolves and vampires, Sookie tries to find out who the leader, called "The Dragon," really is. When it turns out to be a woman named Sweetie Des Arts, Sookie uses her psychic powers to try and find out why she hates supernaturals so much, only to find out that it's because her husband left her for a shifter. While that would be sufficient for less extreme actions, the fact that The Dragon launched an entire genocide campaign makes it unfathomably petty.

    Puppet Shows 

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons Ravenloft setting. In Rudolph van Richten's Back Story, his son Erasmus was kidnapped by a Vistani clan and sold him to a vampire. Van Richten tracked down the Vistani and (with a little help) killed all of them in a rage. When he found Erasmus, he learned that his son had been turned into a vampire and killed him. He hated all Vistani for years thereafter but eventually learned that not all Vistani are evil.

    Video Games 
  • Castlevania: Symphony of the Night plays this straight and also defies it. It's played straight for Dracula, who hated the humans after they took his (also human) wife, Lisa, and burned her alive because they thought she was a witch. However, Alucard, Dracula and Lisa's Dhampyr son, was there when they killed her, and her last words made sure that he at least would not go down the same path:
    "Do not hate the humans. If you cannot live with them, at least do them no harm. For theirs is already a hard lot."
  • Dawn of War II gives us Sergeant Avitus, a very grim man whose personality is defined, at least in part, by his hatred of the Imperial Guard, and always takes the opportunity to insult them as cowards when he can. This is mostly due to his childhood, where he was under the heel of a corrupt Guard regiment, and the Kronus Campaign, where he was in direct conflict with them and lost brothers to the fighting. This slowly does get averted, though, as the game progresses and the regiment he and his brothers help out manage to prove themselves as capable allies. That then gets averted yet again in the start of Chaos Rising, where he gets attacked by traitor guardsmen, but he doesn't completely revert back to how he originally was.
  • Dragon Age: Origins:
    • Teyrn Loghain mac Tir hates Orlais because of the years Ferelden spent subjugated under them and his experiences in the war that won his country's independence. It gets to the point that he would rather betray King Cailan and become the Big Bad than accept their help in fighting the darkspawn. It's tragic because he genuinely believes he's protecting his homeland, as he considers the Orlesians a worse menace to Ferelden than the Blight that threatens all life in Thedas.
    • There's also Zathrian, the Elven Keeper, who is extremely bigoted against humans and werewolves since the werewolves are actually descendants of a group of humans who killed his son and raped his daughter centuries ago, and whom he personally cursed to turn them into monsters. The best ending for his quest involves convincing him that his Irrational Hatred of humans who genuinely didn't do anything is making him into a monster, so that he voluntarily ends the curse despite knowing it will also end his immortality.
  • Fallout:
    • The East Coast Brotherhood of Steel gradually became this. In Fallout 2, the Brotherhood as a whole was well on its way to demilitarizing and becoming a simple research group when they got blindsided by the Enclave - technologically advanced remnants of the U.S government that were trying to kill everything and everyone, everywhere, nearly wiping them out and forcing them take action or die. Ever since then, the Brotherhood has expanded its mandate to include aggressively destroying any advanced tech they think they can't control. Elder Lyons' Brotherhood chapter was dispatched to the East Coast to recover tech - when they encountered post-war Pittsburgh and its thoroughly mutated and deranged inhabitants on the way, they were forced to exterminate most of the population and developed an ongoing hatred of all mutants that persisted into their occupation of the Capital Wasteland. By Fallout 4, the Brotherhood has become the de facto governing body of the Capital Wasteland as they're the only ones capable of preventing the state from being overrun by the Always Chaotic Evil East Coast Super Mutants, and launch a crusade into the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to defeat the Institute and eradicate its Ridiculously Human Robots, under the reasoning they are protecting the Commonwealth and the wider world from the threat of a Robot War. By this point, they aren't interested in taking prisoners. They have a shoot-on-sight policy for feral ghouls that doesn't extend to normal ones (who are essentially just humans with a skin condition), but they're distrustful of them due to their tendency to turn feral.
    • The Enclave themselves could be seen as this, if you're willing to keep a really open mind. They were the descendants of members of the United States federal government and found themselves in the ruins of the world's most dominant superpower surrounded by people who had little to no concept of the ideals their ancestors died to uphold. As a result, they considered themselves to be the only true Americans and saw the wastelanders as mutated trespassers. Despite arguably not having the numbers to repopulate the country on their own, they were blinded by Honor Before Reason and decided they'd rather let humanity die than watch America fall completely. The Player Character of Fallout 2 can help the creator of their genocide virus, Lt. Col. Dr. Charles Curling, break through this delusion, upon which he realizes what he's done and turns on his own brothers to save humanity. After this and the destruction of their oil rig, the survivors are hunted down relentlessly by the New California Republic and Brotherhood of Steel. In Fallout: New Vegas, Retired Monster Onion Moreno was devastated by the loss of everything he had ever known and stated "kiss America goodbye, boys" as they were forced to flee Navarro.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • In Final Fantasy X, the Al Bhed are societal outcasts due to their use of machina technology, which the worldwide religion Yevon teaches are blasphemous and anger Sin, the Eldritch Abomination that roams the world. That alone would probably make Religious Bruiser Wakka opposed to them, but he didn't start hating the Al Bhed until his younger brother Chappu (who Wakka practically raised after their parents died) was killed by Sin trying to fight alongside them using machina weapons rather than the sword Wakka tried to give Chappu.
    • Meanwhile, in the sequel Final Fantasy X-2, the Youth League has become an opposing faction to New Yevon because of the revelation that old Yevon kept all of Spira in Medieval Stasis and kept pointlessly sacrificing Summoners to stay in power. Thankfully, the Gullwings intervene before things get too dicey.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • Soren in Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance has a strong hatred of the laguz (a group of were-beast peoples) that comes as a shock, as it's completely out-of-place with his usual stoic demeanor and rational way of thinking. Only when Ike has a support conversation with Soren later in the game is the reason revealed: as a child, the laguz abused him because he was a Branded—a Half-Human Hybrid between beorc (stock humans) and laguz. Both beorc and laguz generally despise branded, but the laguz are way more adept at spotting them for what they are, so his life around laguz was far more hellish.)
    • There's also Panne the Taguel in Fire Emblem: Awakening, who is the sole surviving member of her race of shapeshifting giant rabbit monsters. Her entire warren (tribe/family/group) was slaughtered by a band of humans, and her mother, like Lisa above, told her not to hate all humans for this. Unlike Alucard, however, Panne didn't immediately take this plea to heart and took quite a while to warm up to her human companions. She does eventually move past her hatred, however, and possibly has a child with one of the human men in the group.
    • Oboro in Fire Emblem Fates hates Nohr with a passion due to her parents being killed by a Nohrian assassin. Her personal skill is even called "Nohr Enmity", which lets her do +3 damage to Nohrian enemies on the field. Like Panne, she can eventually get past this, especially in the third path where she can become friends with the adoptive daughter of her parents' murderer.
    • Ingrid in Fire Emblem: Three Houses has an unsavory grudge against the people of Duscur. Her likes and dislikes information screen will tell you as much. This makes her relationship with Dedue rather complicated. But then, it is revealed that her reasoning for this is caused by the assassination on her fiancé that was blamed on the people of Duscur. However, she does manage to realize the unfairness of her grudge and comes around eventually.
  • One of the two Big Bads of Hogwarts Legacy, Ranrok, was a goblin terrorist that sought to subjugate humanity. However he didn't always hate humans, but when he was younger a wizard beat him half to death for simply trying to return his wand (as nonhumans are forbidden from carrying them) and he held a grudge ever since.
  • Journey On: The elder of the Beastmen's Village distrusts humans because a human that the village saved, Ryuga, betrayed them and tried to conquer the village, killing many beastmen in the process. However, the party can gain his trust by completing quests for the villagers.
  • It's no secret that Machias of The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel loathes the nobility with a burning passion, and always goes out of his way to express how they are the scum of the earth, despite several of his classmates being of noble blood. Thus begs the question of what happened that made him think that way. During the field study in Heimdallr, he tells the group that when he was a kid, his older cousin had an intimate relationship with a nobleman, and they were engaged to be married, but his family did not approve and spread rumors in order to split them apart. However, the rumors continued to circulate even after it was over, and Machias' cousin could no longer handle the slander she suffered, leading her to take her own life. Machias hated the noble and his family for causing his cousin's death, but it soon evolved into hatred towards the nobility in general. However, by the time he tells this story, he states that his time with Class VII has taught him to deal with this and that Rean and Laura have shown him that nobles are capable of being good people.
  • Mass Effect series:
    • Ashley in Mass Effect is distrustful of aliens as a direct result of her family being turned into pariahs by the First Contact war.
    • Wrex in 1 is not fond of the salarians or turians for inflicting a Sterility Plague onto his species.
    • Distrust of synthetic races and AI's is common in the series, but the otherwise Nice Girl and sympathetic-to-other-organics (to the point of pursuing an Interspecies Romance) Tali harbors an instinctive distrust of synthetics, especially geth. The quarians have been exiled from their homeworld of Rannoch for three hundred years because of the geth gaining sentience and driving them off into space; on top of that, in the second game the geth are directly responsible for the death of her father and her being accused of treason and facing the prospect of exile from her own people. In the best case scenario through the latter two games, her character arc involves learning to overcome these beliefs and become instrumental in achieving a lasting understanding between the quarians and geth and a peaceful return of the quarians to Rannoch.
    • In Mass Effect 2 An asari in Illium lost her wife in the Geth War and her daughters in the attack at the Citadel in Mass Effect, and is convinced that if only the asari existed, the galaxy would be a better place. You can talk with her, get her to open up and break down in tears about this terrible tragedy and the pain it still causes her, and convincing her to honour their memory by forgiving the aliens she holds responsible... only to overhear two racist asari thoughtlessly bitching about her and her family, because she's pureblood and she married an asari. For more heartbreak, it's implied that Shepard may have met both of her daughters on the Citadel: one is the Presidium receptionist, the other works for the asari Consort.
  • Markus Kruber in The End Times: Vermintide might be the Nice Guy of the team, but he's very guarded and distrustful towards Sienna due to losing his whole unit to a necromancer. He knows he's not right in doing so and genuinely tries to not let his prejudice affect their relations.
  • Rave Heart: Klein is cold and distrustful towards Chad for being a human. In a flashback, it's revealed that Klein had an abusive human father, Robert Jancarlo, who sold him into sex slavery.
  • Taru Caplain in The Reconstruction is a misanthropic Jerkass to everyone he meets, but is especially hostile to Shra. This is because his former captain, the Shra Rehm, went into a massive Heroic BSoD after the death of Vasra. Taru, who was himself pretty broken by Vasra's death, ultimately decided that Rehm had abandoned the crew, and came to believe that all Shra were cowards.
  • Tail Concerto has Alicia Pris, the Felineko leader of the Black Cats Gang who terrorize the Caninu of Prairie Kingdom in the name of the Felineko they supposedly persecuted. However, a lot of her hostility towards the Caninu stems from a moment in her childhood where her father died from a rare disease that only affects Felineko, meaning the dominantly Caninu-inhabited doctors were unable to properly treat them. This would've been a downplayed example as Alicia only lashed out at the doctors under the belief that they let her father die, but it ended up morphing into full-blown Fantastic Racism against all Caninu when Fool and his silver tongue convinced her that it's all part of the Prairie Kingdom's (non-existent) anti-Felineko propaganda. Thankfully for everyone, once Fool is exposed, Alicia abandons this mindset and starts to make amends with the people she wronged, and her appearances in Solatorobo: Red the Hunter has her display no ill-will towards the Caninu.
  • The Tiamat Sacrament: Xandra is initially distrustful of dragons because she believes the Great Seven abandoned humanity during Ry'jin's conquest, including the royal court she was a part of. She changes her mind when she realizes their decision actually has some reason to it, since their unsealing could result in Ry'jin gaining more power.
  • Valkyria Chronicles:
    • Rosie grew up in an area heavily populated by Darcsen people, the game's equivalent to Jews/Gypsies. She's revealed in a bonus chapter to have lost her family to Darcsen hunters after they burned her home to the ground thinking there were Darcsens inside it. She ultimately concluded that if there had been no Darcsens in her life, her family would be alive. By the time in the story this has been revealed, she's gotten over it from her experiences with Darcsen injustice and cruelties throughout the war.note 
    • In the Japan-only Valkyria Chronicles III, Imca develops an immense hatred of Valkyria after witnessing one (specifically Selvaria Bles) destroy her hometown.
  • World of Warcraft: Alleria Windrunner. Despite being a good person in general she hates orcs passionately, mainly due to having last lived on Azeroth during the time of Warcraft II when the orcs were all bloodthirsty assholes. However, this was all because of the Burning Legion corrupting them (which no one on Azeroth knew about at the time), and they are no longer under their control. Despite this, she still hates them for what they did even after returning in Legion.

    Visual Novels 
  • While many British characters in The Great Ace Attorney are racist without any excuse (due to Deliberate Values Dissonance), Barok van Zieks is the only one who fits this trope. Late into the first game, he reveals that he hates the Japanese because he once had a Japanese friend who "betrayed" him, though he doesn't elaborate further. The sequel reveals that this friend, Genshin Asogi, was convicted of being the Serial Killer known as The Professor who had been killing London's nobles and sowing fear throughout the city. The same serial killer who murdered his brother Klint. It's later discovered that while Genshin really did kill Klint, it was because Klint had been The Professor all along — consumed with guilt over what he had become, he admitted to his guilt to Genshin and requested a Duel to the Death, knowing that he would be killed. Barok even once suspected that Klint was The Professor and had all the pieces to discover the truth himself, but subconsciously refused to put them together because that would mean accepting that his beloved brother was a murderer.

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY:
    • Weiss Schnee has a strong distrust of faunus because the White Fang (an extremist group fighting for Faunus rights) have attacked her father's company repeatedly, which she blames for making her father abuse her. Though Weiss seems to just hate Faunus involved with the White Fang rather than Faunus in general, she also has an unfortunate tendency to assume any Faunus criminals are automatically White Fang.
    • In turn, most members of the White Fang also qualify, since the group was created to combat the discrimination and oppression the Faunus faced at the hands of humanity. The reason the Schnee Dust Company is one of their primary targets is that the corporation routinely exploits the Faunus for what is effectively slave labor.
    • Come Volume 6, Adam Taurus turns out to have shades of this behind his A Nazi by Any Other Name trappings. When he finally removes his mask/blindfold, we see that he was branded by the S.D.C. across his left eye.

  • Jamie from Khaos Komix is first introduced as a homophobic Jerkass, and although he shows some Hidden Depths in later appearances, he still comes across as a bigot. It's only in his own POV chapter that readers find out ''why'' he acts like that.
  • Redcloak from The Order of the Stick. Initially he hated both humans (especially Paladins) because his village was wiped out by a group of Lawful Stupid paladins (since they were mechanically an Always Chaotic Evil race and literally only existed to serve as a source of XP) and Hobgoblins (because he and other goblins were bullied by their more martially inclined brethren). He has since gotten over the latter, but not the former, as a result of this, he declares himself not a racist, but a "Specieist" since he hates all races of humans equally.

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, the Fire Nation has waged a century-long war against the Water Tribes and the Earth Kingdom, committed genocide against the Air Nomads, and has implemented a brutal occupation of all foreign lands they have conquered. Try to find a single person in the initial series or the subsequent comics who hates firebenders and isn't this trope. You will fail.
    • The Legend of Korra:
      • Amon, who claims to hate all benders because a firebender murdered his family. It's a lie, but he still came to hate benders because his traumatic childhood convinced him that bending was evil.
      • It's implied that a lot of Amon's support comes from the fact that the benders exert rigid control over the city's criminal underclass, meaning a lot of people maimed, cheated, and otherwise scarred with no one else to blame.
      • Hiroshi Sato also turns out to be one of these, surprisingly enough; it's because his beloved wife was murdered by fire benders. To the point of nearly killing his daughter for betraying his wife's memory. By Book 4, it's unclear if he still hates benders, but he regretted what he's done and tries to make amends to his daughter.
  • In the The Boondocks episode "The Color Ruckus" we learn why Uncle Ruckus hates the African-American race so much (also his own race). It's because he had to endure a lot of abuse from his father and grandmother when he was a child, all while being brainwashed into believing the white race is superior and the black race inferior by his delusional mother.
  • In a Courage the Cowardly Dog episode called "The Mask," a cat called "Kitty" hated all dogs because a domestic abuser of her friend Bunny is a dog.
  • In one episode of Futurama The Professor leads a group of protestors against Proposition Infinity, which would legalize Robosexuality. It turns out he hates Robosexuals because he used to be one before his robot girlfriend cheated on him with another robot, causing him to take his heartbreak out on all robots with an interest in humans.
  • Played with on Gargoyles:
    • Demona thinks she's this trope, but the truth is even though the humans at Castle Wyvern weren't nice to the gargoyles, it didn't result in any tragedy until Demona decided to get rid of them. After her plan went horribly wrong, she blamed the humans for the tragedy.
    • Jason Canmore watched Demona kill his father, but his father had already raised him and his siblings to believe that all gargoyles are evil and need to be killed.
    • Jon Canmore was the least bigoted of his siblings, even believing that they could work with the other gargoyles to get Demona. But when he sees a video of Demona explaining that her master plan to wipe out the human race was designed to benefit her clan, he mistakenly believed that his original belief was wrong. When he arrived to stop Demona, he assumed Goliath was there to help her and opened fire on him, his brother (who at this point had seen the error of his ways) jumped in front of the bullet and ended up paralyzed. Jon decided to blame the gargoyles (making him exactly like Demona).
  • Justice League Unlimited sees Vigilante depicted as this in "Hunter's Moon", the first episode he has a major role in, as he was tortured by the Thanagarians during their occupation of Earth during the events of "Starcrossed", resulting in Fantastic Racism towards the species, including Shayera Hol.
  • In The Life and Times of Juniper Lee, Boomfist hates dogs because they destroyed his home planet, despite Monroe the pug being a good guy.
  • Heavily deconstructed in The Owl House. Part of the reason Belos/Philip hates witches so much is because his older brother Caleb was lured into the Demon Realm by a witch named Evelyn, never to be seen again. However, his hatred of witches clearly trumps his love of Caleb, because when Philip went into the Demon Realm to save his brother and discovered that Caleb actually went in willingly to enter a romantic relationship with Evelyn, he flew into a rage, stabbed Caleb to death, and proceeded to spend over 400 years desecrating his corpse in his attempts to make a Grimwalker of Caleb that would obey him without question. Even his stated goal of protecting humanity from evil falls apart under the slightest scrutiny, since he has absolutely zero qualms about tormenting and trying to kill Luz, a 14 year-old human girl. In "Watching and Dreaming", the Titan spells out Belos's true motivations as "wanting to be the hero in his own delusion", thereby fearing what he can't control.
  • In ReBoot, the young Enzo Matrix ends up becoming a Guardian and has to defend Mainframe from the virus Megabyte, who was on the verge of conquering the entire system. After a Time Skip, an adult Matrix has an intense hatred towards all viruses.
  • The Simpsons: Krusty the Clown's one-time girlfriend and the mother of his daughter Sophie in the episode "Insane Clown Poppy." In this case, it's more like bigotry towards an occupation. After Krusty botched her assassination of Saddam Hussein, she spent the rest of her life believing that the only good clown is a dead one, as evidenced by the artwork she decorated her apartment with. Sophie, on the other hand, doesn't feel the same way.
  • In Steven Universe, in contrast to Garnet and Amethyst who are quite well-adjusted to life on Earth and have managed to build positive relationships with human beings, Pearl was noticeably the most prejudiced toward humans, which is implied to be because Rose, the gem she loved the most, fell for Greg, a human, instead, and later gave birth to Steven, which resulted in her demise. Eventually, Character Development kicks in and Pearl decides to be more open toward Earth's culture and customs.