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My God What Have I Done / Fan Works

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  • In What Tomorrow Brings, this is essentially Cassie's reaction when she looks back on everything she did in the original war, concerned that she was so focused on being "moral" towards the end that she basically ruined the lives of the others.


  • Oliver has a moment like this in Out of the Dark, when he gets a call from Barry asking him to look up a woman Barry just saved from committing suicide before he was ‘abducted’ by Diggle and Felicity to treat Oliver’s recent poisoning. When Barry reveals that the woman’s name was Laurel, Oliver is horrified that things with Laurel have fallen so far that he didn’t realise she felt so alone that she might consider suicide.
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  • To Hell and Back (Arrowverse): Malcolm Merlyn had this reaction when he realized that it was Oliver, not Robert, on the Queen's Gambit, where he just had Frank Chen plant a bomb on. While this didn't stop him from taking advantage of the incident to force the Queens under his heel, he still felt immensely guilty for what happened and was relieved when Oliver was found alive ten years later. The feeling returns with a vengeance when he learns he's Oliver's biological father, as this means he had unintentionally ruined his own son's life, which eventually transforms him into a full-on "Well Done, Dad!" Guy.

Avatar: The Last Airbender

  • Katara has one of these in The Chong Sheng Trilogy, after going on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge when Jet is tortured and murdered in cold blood right in front of her. She uses said cold blood to literally rip apart anyone wearing Fire Nation armor, even the ones surrendering or running for their lives. It results in a Heroic BSoD that nearly drives her to suicide.
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  • Avatar: The Abridged Series: When Sokka rails against the Inventor, saying he's a traitor TO SCIENCE! because he is responsible for all of the "Steampunk Nonsense" in the Avatar world, the Inventor tries to defend his claim, saying that steampunk stuff could work and runs on scientific principles. Sokka cuts him off again, mentioning steam-powered jet skis. This leads to the Inventor having a Heroic BSoD while saying the trope word for word about the "horror" he has perpetrated against the world.


  • In The Bug Princess, Hugo goes through this twice. The first time is when he realizes that his magic ritual has gone horribly wrong and somehow knocked Lydia into a different plane of reality. The second time is when they find out that she actually died as a result of the ritual. BJ, although absolutely distraught over the first spoiler, takes the second one much more calmly since that tells him exactly where she is, and he's able to reassure Hugo that this is probably the best possible news they could have gotten. It Makes Sense in Context.


BoJack Horseman

  • Clarity is an elderly but senile Beatrice's moment of this, where she realizes how badly she treated her son BoJack.
    Narration: She is so, so sorry. She’s struck with fear, suddenly, that she will die without telling him. BoJack will never know that it wasn’t his fault. That he’ll be convinced, for the rest of his life, that he’s broken in the way she is. The way she told him he was.


  • The Bolt Chronicles: Bolt eventually realizes how callously he has been treating Mittens in “The Blood Brother.” He tearfully apologizes and is forgiven.


  • In The Beauty and the Tragedy, Booth practically has a panic attack when he learns that Brennan has spent the last month thinking he was legitimately dead when he was actually just undercover, blaming himself for not making sure that she’d been informed about the operation.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

  • All Through the Night looks at the moment when Spike nearly raped Buffy while adding the detail that Buffy is currently acting as the guardian and mother-figure for Angel's son Connor. After Buffy drives him off, Spike concedes that she was right to reject him as he realises that he never resorted to rape even when he was genuinely evil.
  • Xander has two in Emerald Dawn. The first when he realizes one of the kids he shot with an arrow on Halloween died. The second when he overhears demons talking about the Robin Hood type hunter going around killing every demon he sees, including a young couple who left behind a three year old orphan.
  • The Night Remembers:
    • When circumstances prompt Willow, Tara and Anya to take a closer look at the ritual that Willow used to restore Angel's soul, Willow is devastated when Anya's translation reveals that this spell doesn't include the clause, as that means that Angel and Buffy could have been together for years and she never realised it (although after Angel confirms that the clause is still intact based on his experience with Rebecca, Tara deduces that a spirit interfered with the ritual to ensure that the clause remained valid).
    • When an amnesic Buffy regains her memories of the Day That Wasn't ("I Will Remember You") and telling Angel that she loves and trusts Riley ("The Yoko Factor"), she is initially devastated at the idea that she could be that cruel to Angel until he assures her that she genuinely didn't remember his time as a human before now (her resurrection-related amnesia was just an opportunity for her to regain all her memories, including the lost Day).
  • Willow's parents are horrified by their actions in Xendra after the Mayor's death results in breaking The Masquerade. Namely, they can't believe they spent months away from their daughter at a time, to the extent they barely know anything about her or her friends.

Charmed (1998)

  • In "The Warren Curse", the Charmed Ones’ attempt to undo the titular curse creates a new timeline where Paige never existed and the Source stole the Book of Shadows after Prue’s death. Despite initially wanting to stay in this new life where their parents are still alive and together, Patty helps Piper and Phoebe see that they have to restore the original timeline in order to protect the innocents they would have saved if the Power of Three had still existed, even if it means her death.
    • On a more personal note, Phoebe is horrified with herself when she’s assured by Patty that Cole was always good after he fell in love with her, with his subsequent evil actions the result of him either being possessed by the Source or driven insane by his powers. Once she returns to her true time, Phoebe summons Cole’s spirit so that she can apologise to him for her actions and affirm that he is the true love of her life, with Cole accepting the apology as he can recognise the circumstances that turned Phoebe against him now that he knows about the curse.

Code Geass


  • Yang has a moment of this in Chapter 48 of BlazBlue Alternative: Remnant when she calms down after snapping in anger, realizing that she's lashing out at and terrifying Pyrrha and Weiss. She ends up backing against a wall and tearfully apologizing to both of them.
  • In the Jackie Chan Adventures and Teen Titans crossover fanfiction A Shadow of the Titans, Jade has a reaction like this when she severely wounds Kitten during their battle in the Tournament of Villainesses (to be fair, not only was Kitten really rude to Jade when she was severely outclassed and offered a chance to surrender, Jade, due to her previous encounters with the Titans, etc., expected her to be Made of Iron). Of course, the other villains think her reaction means something else.
  • In The Cries of Haruhi Suzumiya, Kyon after he kills Haruhi.
  • Fluttershy has this reaction in chapter 10 of Ace Combat: The Equestrian War. She saved Cloud Kicker's life, but believes her actions partially led to Razor's death. She utters the actual quote (without the "My God" part) and until her friends comfort her later on, along with Princess Celestia stating that Razor died in the explosion caused by The Burning Talon's overheating, she is reduced to crying and blaming herself.
  • Equestria Girls: A Fairly Odd Friendship:
    • The Rainbooms are all horrified at themselves when Timmy chews them out for spying on and manipulating him, since despite their good intentions it was still the wrong thing to do. Twilight in particular is upset at herself for assuming that he'd just automatically forgive and befriend her.
    • Sunset feels horrible seeing how she hurt Moondancer and failed to properly make amends for what she did, after seeing her past actions come back to haunt her. She also feels horrible for nearly hitting Timmy in a fit of rage.
  • Equestria Girls: Friendship Souls:
    • In order to defeat Captain Blueblood, Rarity catches him off-guard with her sword to his throat, neutralizing his Shikai and threatening him with death if he tries anything. Blueblood tries to call her bluff, but Rarity in turn manages to keep up appearances in her tone and posture so that he's unwilling to risk it. After he surrenders and she binds him up, she leaves and has the internal realization that the threat wasn't as much a bluff as she was attempting to make it, and the idea that she would have willing killed an unarmed and surrendered opponent, even one that had just been trying to badly injure her at minimum, gives her an internal moment of chill. She does brush it off as necessary and tells herself that she wouldn't have done it, but the doubt remains regardless.
    • The Lament has this realization when the already horribly wounded Jet Set sacrifices himself to save his wife Upper Crust from his killing blow, which brought up the fractured memories of his own last moments as Hard Nail and how he tried to do the same for Sweet Cider against Grand Fisher.
  • In The Heroic Adventures of Zeus, Zeus decides to borrow a book from the library about Greek mythology, but as his face pales as he reads the pages, as he's in utter disbelief that he could have done such a thing.
  • Turnabout Storm: Phoenix says this almost word-for-word towards the end of the first day of the trial after casting suspicion on Fluttershy of murder to buy more time to investigate. Others are not shy on pulling some What the Hell, Hero? on him as well.
  • The My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic My Little Pony Vs... features the Mane Cast forced into fights to the death against various characters from other media. Rarity and Fluttershy both have this reaction after defeating Toph Bei Fong and Katniss Everdeen respectively.
    • Twilight has a mild one after killing a Dalek, if only because she had previously thought it was an robot instead of a living creature.
    • Rainbow Dash has one when she realises that her Buccaneer Blaze tore Pikachu to shreds - she had been ready to kill in self defence, but she hadn't meant to be quite so brutal.
    • Pinkie Pie has one after beating Taokaka, as the two had gotten on well up until Discord showed up with a horribly inaccurate video of her battle with Lucy.
  • In Origins, a Mass Effect/Star Wars/Borderlands/Halo Massive Multiplayer Crossover, Sarah has one for a relatively minor reason (all previous actions considered) when she loses it over the fact that Jackie's reform has been accepted but everyone is (rightfully) suspicious of her. Giving in to her darker impulses, Sarah attacks Jackie, only to break down crying and use her powers to try to undo what she'd done all while chanting "I need help."
  • In the Lilo & Stitch/Star Trek crossover Starlight, Jumba undergoes this thrice: first after he loses Lilo to the Borg, then after he accidentally leaves Experiment 426 behind to be apparently flung into outer space, and lastly after he shocks BorgDrone!Lilo to knock her out, during which she writhes in agony.
  • Luna in The God Empress of Ponykind has a moment like this after the war against the Crystal Kingdom, when she realizes that she was about to betray her sister. Unfortunately for her, The Corruption takes over her immediately after this.
  • In the fanfic Tails of the Old Republic, a crossover/ Fusion Fic between Sonic the Hedgehog and the videogame Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Tails has a very strong Thou Shalt Not Kill philosophy, and he has this reaction after killing the Sith troopers aboard the Endar Spire.
  • In the Batman and Death Note crossover Vigilante Light Yagami has this reaction while out on patrol with Nightwing and is horrified by how ruthlessly Nightwing takes down a criminal who was only trying to feed his family. Then Light remembers all the names of criminals he's written in the Death Note.
  • Mordin Solus has a truly tragic case in Harry Potter: Geth when he sees Mount Mordin: a massive pile of all the Krogan babies that died after he modified the Genophage to be more effective. It's stated as containing roughly a hundred-twenty million corpses. Jack is horrified and Samara openly states she would kill Mordin if she wasn't under oath.
  • In Children of an Elder God, Rei has this reaction when one of the Eldritch Abominations that she absorbed took control of her body and raped Asuka. Even though she wasn't responsible for its actions, she felt guilty about Asuka's pain because she was unable to stop it, and she wanted to be punished by her teammate.
  • Guardians, Wizards, and Kung-Fu Fighters:
    • The Guardians' general reaction to seeing Raythor tossed into the Abyss of Shadows because of them framing him.
    • This is Caleb's reaction once he realizes all the evils he's been letting fester within the Rebellion.
    • Jade, after killing Tharquin makes her realize what a Blood Knight she's becoming.
    • As shown in flashback, this was Julian's reaction when the raid on Carhaiz he ordered turned into a mindless slaughter.
    • In Chapter 31, Elyon is horrified when she realizes that Phobos is indeed the monster she was warned about, and that she was indeed wrong to leave Earth for him.
  • In Neither a Bird nor a Plane, it's Deku!, Izuku breaks down in tears after he nearly killed his Childhood Friend Bakugou by throwing him through a wall as a child. His actions haunted him for years and he swears to never become a Hero out of fear of what he could do to others.
    Izuku: [ready to sob in his parents' arms] I-I was in the park, and Kacchan, h-h-he was b-bullying someone. I just, I just wanted to make him stop. I just, I just wanted to be a Hero, but then I lost control, and Kacchan. Kacchan!
  • In Harry Potter and the Mystic Force, Ron and Hermione experience this when "Cedric" (in reality Ivan Ooze) removes the spell he was using to cloud their minds and they realize how they turned on Harry based on obvious deceptions.
  • The Many Dates of Danny Fenton: When Danny points out all the damage Katie Kaboom causes during her rampage and that she hurt her little brother, she is visibly horrified.
  • In the Infinity Crisis spin-off Sins, Sirens & Strife, Balder has this reaction when J'onn J'onzz frees him from Amora's control and he remembers what he's done for the last few centuries under her influence.
  • In Echoes of Yesterday, Glory Girl freaks out and gets extremely upset when she's said that the "drug dealer" whom she has just crippled is an undercover cop.
    Glory Girl looked from them, to the injured cop and then to me. The expression on her face was very familiar; the look of a kid in way over their head and realizing just how badly they managed to mess up in such a short period of time. I felt an eerie sense of deja vu and shook it off.
  • SAPR: After spending some time in prison, Sunset comes to the realization that the people of Vale are, well, people, and has this reaction to her actions during the Breach.
  • The Chronicles of Tanya The Holy: When Tanya pulls off an absolute miracle and cleanses all of Stratholme, including resurrecting many of the slain, Arthas and his forces are forced to deal with the guilt that the civilians they killed could have been saved. Beforehand, they could at least comfort themselves that their actions were terrible but necessary; now they have to live with knowing they killed thousands of innocents, even if the vast majority were resurrected.
  • Infinity Train: Blossoming Trail:
    • After Goh and Chloe argue over their friendship deteriorating, Goh answers Chloe's question of "Where were you?" by retorting he's chasing his dreams, something she lacks. This causes Chloe — already past her Rage Breaking Point — shouting that she never wants to see him, Ash or her father ever again and runs away to be picked up by the Infinity Train. Goh has realized at this point what he did, but by then he's too late to see her be whisked away and has realized that he has been nothing but a shitty friend to her.
    • In the same vein, Professor Cerise also realizes that he has been completely oblivious to how his daughter really didn't want to follow in his footsteps and is also horrified at the idea that he might never see her again.
  • In the Puella Magi Madoka Magica/Lyrical Nanoha crossover Twist of Fate, Nanoha and Fate battle and kill a Witch, thinking it is just a mindless monster. When Homura Akemi informs them of how Magical Girls eventually turn into Witches, they are completely horrified.
  • Acutus in Zero Context: Woolgathering panics and mentally screams "What have I done, what have I done?!" when she realizes that her lust and pride led her to severely underestimate Callista's capabilities, leaving herself helpless in the face of possible death.


  • In Despair's Last Resort, Shizuka Matsuki has one of these upon realizing that she's caused Naomi's death and actively killed Shigeru, and that if she graduates then those actions will be for nothing.
  • Graduate Meeting of Mutual Killing has one of these in a flashback. It's shown that Ginchiyo, when she received the letter from Hope's Peak, tried to leave her sister out of the school and pass herself as the receiver of the letter, just to be told that the offer was for both her and her sister. She then hurried back home to tell her, and finds out her sister ran away from home in despair. Ginchiyo tries to atone for years, looking for her sister, and before the Filmmaker's death, she states she believes her sister is dead, as she couldn't find her.
  • let's go out with a bang!: Kokichi constantly harasses Miu, insisting that her actions during their killing game prove that she's irredeemable. His campaign helps further isolate her from the rest of the group, and eventually leads to a one-on-one confrontation where she breaks down and reveals just how badly his actions have affected her... and that she's still haunted by the memory of him watching Gonta strangle her. Kokichi recognizes his Moral Myopia and starts shedding Broken Tears.

DC Comics

  • The Redemption of Harley Quinn:
    • Aaron Cash reveals that his daughter was one of Harley's many victims, and gives Harley a thrashing. Harley breaks down in tears and genuinely apologises, having rediscovered her sense of empathy.
    • When Poison Ivy admits to not searching for her while she was Two Face's sex prisoner, Harley slowly starts breaking one of her vines. Ivy violently lunges at Harley and threatens to kill her, and then realizes that she hurt someone she claims to care about.

DC Super Hero Girls

Death Note


  • In the Tamers Forever Series, when Chaos first emerges, but before Takato realizes he's a separate entity. From his perspective, he destroyed a significant part of the Internet just by having his Berserk Button pressed. You'd be a bit scared of yourself too.
    • This is also Takato's reaction when he uses the Omnivice to remove the pain from Azulongmon's Wind Electricity technique, only to find out that he'd transferred the pain to Rika, Henry, Renamon and Terriermon. His horror, frustration, and grief combine to send him over the edge, unleashing the power of ChaosGallantmon.

Dragon Ball Z

  • Dragon Ball Z Abridged:
    • Dr. Briefs yells "WHAT HAS SCIENCE DONE??" after Goku blasts himself into space on a ship Dr. Briefs built.
    • King Kai gets one too, after realizing that sending Goku home has resulted in him being all alone again. When Bubbles, Gregory and Bojack try to comfort him, he tells them to shut up.
    • Bulma gets one when she realizes she hit on her future son.
    • Goku finally suffers one when he finally realized the great flaw in his Batman Gambit for Gohan — he wasn't a fighter.
      Goku: ...I've made a terrible mistake.
      Piccolo: Oh, "I've made a terrible mistake" That's you.

DuckTales (2017)

  • In LOST, Webby basically had this moment after Dewey left Duckburg three years ago when she realises that he only left because he was in love with her and she was dating his roommate, Max Goof. looking back, Webby realised that Dewey must have felt terrible every time she told Dewey details about her relationship with Max, and he felt as though he couldn't tell anyone else because Violet and Lena would have almost certainly told Webby and his brothers would have just told him to drop it.

The Familiar of Zero

  • Derflinger reveals in Enslaved that the reason Brimir died was because in his quest to eradicate the elves, his elven familiar Sasha unknowingly killed her own family. Once she realized what she'd done, she "snapped" and ran Derflinger through Brimir's heart.


  • Simon in “Freedom To The Free”. None of it was his fault, but he hates what he did to protect Wash, River and Kaylee while they were enslaved. He let himself be used for sex by the owner because Kaylee would be raped if he didn’t, and he was forced to castrate a slave in violation of his oath and told it would be done without anesthesia if he refused and the same would be done to Wash. Then there’s his struggle with being ordered to kill a badly hurt Wash if the pilot didn’t wake up soon, or Kaylee and River would pay for it. After being rescued, he still struggles greatly with it all.

Five Nights at Freddy's

  • Almost every (if not every) Five Nights at Freddy's fanfic involving the animatronics being good-hearted and realizing that they've been killing people when they stuff them into animatronic suits (not helping exoskeletons get into costume) uses this trope.

For Better or for Worse

  • In The New Retcons, after Elly snaps out of her insanity and is confronted by the doctors with what happened to her and what she did to others, she's horrified at her actions, particularly when she reads the letters she wrote while insane, and realizes how much Connie enabled her.


  • In "The One Where Ross Tries to Fix Everything", Ross tries to use a time machine to fix his past mistakes with Rachel, but his attempts to change history rarely work out well for everyone; one particular timeline features an overweight Chandler and Monica, Ross married to Janice, Phoebe still living on the streets and Rachel unaccounted for (although Joey is still doing well).


  • Kimberly T's Gargoyles series;
    • Xanatos was already aware of his past sins, but he is basically hit in the face with them all over again when he listens in on Anne Marsden, a resident of the Labyrinth, explaining how she ended up on the streets; her husband went missing during the Lost Nights and her best friend and the daycare where she worked were both lost during the Big Sleep, both events that Xanatos caused even if he had no way of anticipating the consequences of his actions. As a result of his indirect role in Anne's losses, he informs Owen that he will make it a priority for her to get a new job even before events lead to Owen suggesting that Anne could be hired as a nanny for Xanatos's own son Alexander.
    • After Dominique Destine's first meeting with the People for Interspecies Tolerance, realising that there are humans out there who genuinely want to help gargoyles just because it's right, and overhearing one of them reflect that 'Dominique' only knows how to hate and can't stop herself because otherwise she'd have to admit that she's lived a pointless life, Demona becomes so horrified at her new understanding of herself that she retreats to her mansion and spends the next few days getting so drunk she would have died of alcohol poisoning without her immortality.


The Green Hornet

  • Repeated word for word in the fanfiction Bad Medicine after the OC kills the man who abducted/tortured her in self-defense.

Harry Potter

  • In The Day He Was Pushed Too Far, Dumbledore, in order to avoid legal repercussions, lets a copy of Harry "die" and gives Harry a new identity after Harry shoots Umbridge and then himself in his fifth year. Harry says "What have I done?" shortly after coming across Neville, who's been dealing poorly with the "loss" of the only person who cared about him, trying to kill himself.
  • In Lily's Changes, Voldemort says this almost word for word after eleven-year-old Harry, having future knowledge, convinces him to absorb the soul fragments in two of his Horcruxes, regaining his sanity.
  • Percy Weasley has this reaction in Fixing What Has Been Broken after he learns that James Potter kidnapped Harry from the Saint Mungo's nursery when the real Harry Potter died shortly after birth and consequently he'd been vilifying his own brother.
  • In Exfriends, Lovers and Brothers Ron, upset about Harry being gay, punches him in the stomach. He has this reaction after learning that he caused Harry to lose his unborn child.
  • The Power of Seven;
    • A good description of Fleur's reaction as she finds herself in a position where she is choosing to help Harry over helping Bill, but may arguably also apply to Ginny as she genuinely apologises for her prior treatment of Fleur.
    • Indirectly invoked by Dumbledore after it is revealed that Voldemort has been influencing him through the ring horcrux for months, Dumbledore apologising to Harry for their recent conflict while musing that he cannot explicitly state which of his actions were his own decision and which were the result of the horcrux's influence.
  • Happens for more than a few characters in Brutal Harry.
    • Aunt Petunia had this reaction when Uncle Vernon's abuse of Harry escalated to the point that he nearly beat the then-nine-year-old boy to death with a golf club, triggering a soul fragment of Lily's that was hiding in Harry to manifest, viciously beat Vernon to a pulp and then call Petunia out on taking her resentment and jealousy out on her completely innocent nephew, promising to really make her suffer if she ever hurts Harry again. Since then, Petunia became The Atoner.
    • Dumbledore has both this reaction and I Need a Freaking Drink when he realizes the horrible mistake he made in leaving Harry in the Dursleys' care after hearing about the full scope of the abuse Harry suffered at their hands.
    • Professor McGonagall goes through this after Harry calls her out for punishing him for fighting off the troll that almost killed Hermione, pointing out that she might as well have said that he should've just let Hermione be killed just to uphold the rules and that she did not take into account of her students' individual backgrounds before doing so. After this, she makes an effort to loosen up some, so that all her students will actually turn to her for help rather than be afraid of her Stern Teacher tendencies when they have issues.
  • In "Breaking the Window", when circumstances allow Hermione to meet and fall in love with a teenage version of Bellatrix Lestrange, at one point Hermione attempts to use a kind of telepathic plant to show Bellatrix some of Hermione's memories of her future self in the hope of changing Bellatrix's fate. However, the trauma of witnessing her older self torture Hermione and the knowledge of fourteen years in Azkaban is so horrific for Bellatrix that Hermione obliviates her of those specific memories, ashamed at what she did to someone she's come to care for.
  • Snape goes through this in Chapter 32 of Harry Potter Gets Smart and Takes Control-The Goblet. To summarize, Snape finally undergoes a Jerkass Realization, realizing that his preconceived biases and subsequent treatment of Harry was completely unjustified, as Harry had grown up being bullied and unloved, just like Snape himself had been, and he has become the exact same kind of bully that James Potter was in his youth, if not worse. And due to a set of very unfortunate coincidences, he may have completely destroyed the boy's spirit and completely dishonored Lily's memory and sacrifice, and any chance of atoning for this is extremely slim.

Hetalia: Axis Powers

  • In the doujinshi Besame Mucho, Spain gets one of these (quoting the trope name included) when standing in front of a destroyed house in a village his army just slaughtered. He is passing by when he sees a dead child's arm peeking out of a pile of wreck, and it makes him remember about Romano. Something was in my eye when he says that they just killed people, who were the same as him or little Romano. His companion's answer? "You are wrong. You are not human.". Tear Jerker, indeed.
  • Also in a Hetalia Axis Powers fic, this is lampshaded by an authoress in the notes of the first chapter of her intense FACE bondage-dominance foursome. Repeat, the /first/ chapter.
  • In yet another Hetalia: Axis Powers fanfiction Let me be Your Savior Romano/Lovino has one after stumbling across his brother (Italy/Feliciano) after Romano/Lovino had violently raped him crying, and it finally hits him that what he's been doing is wrong. This scene is a nice breakthrough, seeing as Romano/Lovino had seemed to cross Moral Event Horizon before.
  • Just about every fan-written sequel for the controversial Kink Meme story known as the Financial Crisis Gangrape has America's attackers all go through this in varying degrees. Depending on how forgiving or vindictive the individual author is, at least one of the rapist nations either gets Driven to Suicide from their guilt or suffer a massive BSOD.
  • Multiple examples in Soviet Insanity. In particular, Belarus when she stabs Lithuania and Russia once he realizes the extent of the psychological damage he has inflicted on his family.

Hey Arnold!

  • In the Furnace, both Harold and Sid commit suicide out of guilt for murdering Arnold and Stinky.

How to Train Your Dragon

  • A Thing of Vikings;
    • Both Stoick and Bladewit (Fishlegs' clan grandmother) all but explicitly state (Stoick in his own private musings and Bladewit in a talk with Fishlegs) that they had this moment after they learned the truth about the dragons' reasons for raiding Berk and stealing food; each is disgusted and horrified with themselves that they have spent their lives taking pleasure in killing dragons who were little more than enthralled children, and take efforts to correct their mistake.
    • Hiccup basically feels this way when he sees what has happened in Rome because of dragons, feeling that all of this only took place because he indirectly drove Snotlout out of Berk.
    • Eret feels this way when he learns that the Buffalord spit has medical benefits, as he wonders how many people might have died in the last month because he killed a creature that could produce medicine.

Jackie Chan Adventures

  • The Ultimate Evil: Jade is furious at Valerie for her long line of lies to her and the rest of the Chan Clan and spurs her. Then Shendu possesses Valerie just when Jade is about to try having a civil talk with Val, and it leaves Jade feeling guilty of her anger towards Valerie.

Jennifer's Body

  • In Love on the Run, after Needy finally manages to find a cure for Jennifer's condition, Jennifer breaks down crying as she finally feels the emotional weight of the people she killed while possessed.

Kill la Kill

  • In Maim de Maim, Nui gets two of these, one is from when she skinned a girl alive to make a kamui and another is after Ryuuko and Senketsu are brainwashed. Ragyou appears to have one in chapter 22 when she shows and appears to be feeling a twinge of regret, during one of the few times she shows genuine emotion.
  • In Cellar Secrets, we have this with Ragyou over what the abuse she's put her daughters (especially Ryuuko, to whom she locked in the titular cellar) and secretary through when Satsuki visits her in the mental asylum.
    Ragyou: [articulating her regret] "I danced with the devil and I'm so ashamed."
    Satsuki: "Did he mention that you'd have to pay?"
    Ragyou: "Please forgive me."
  • The Outside:
    • Ragyou, when she finds out what happened to her girls in her absence
    "If I had known any of this were to happen, then I wouldn't have left."
    • The biggest example of this occurs with Satsuki in Chapter 48, when we see her POV
    "I thought about what got us here and it was then that I realized I had been quite selfish in all of these years. I couldn't live a normal life and, so, I had stolen one from her because I was afraid, afraid the outside world, and afraid of losing her. I wanted to protect her but, in doing so, I lost her. [...] I was sorry. I was sorry for many things but, more importantly, I was sorry for the harm caused by my selfishness."
    • Chapter 51 gives Satsuki another one:
    "As I mused more on this, I had realized I had been projecting some of that resentment onto Ryuuko, as, in the end scheme of things, she could live a normal life but I had been selfish enough to take a good much of that away."

Kingdom Hearts

  • Sora in Broken Heroes has this reaction twice: When Ventus dies and he realizes how much of a Jerkass he has been to him, which causes his character to do a complete 180, and when he agrees to become Xemnas's slave (implied to be Sex Slave) to keep Riku, Kairi, and his other friends safe, which spurs him into adopting the identity of Roxas.

The Legend of Spyro

The Legend of Zelda

  • Prince Komali is implied to have one in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker where he goes into Dragon Roost Cavern to try and help Link save Medli, ashamed of how he had treated the former.
    Prince Komali: This place is dangerous and when I had processed enough, I decided to try and go with her.
    • In the same story, the King of Red Lions has one of these moments about his selfish desire to resurrect Hyrule.
      Link: Is something wrong? You've been nothing but a hero to me this entire journey! You deserve more than my thanks!
      King of Red Lions: Unfortunately not. I am not a good person. I went about this all wrong.

Littlest Pet Shop (2012)

  • In The Times They Are A-Changin', Zoe is "horrified and ashamed of herself" after she gives Pepper an Eye Scream injury during a fight. She doesn't protest when Mrs. Twombly isolates her from the other pets, since she considers it "an appropriate punishment".

The Lord of the Rings

  • In Death Seeker, Grima Wormtongue has this reaction after having been inadvertently freed from Saruman's domination at the same time as King Theoden.
  • In Left, Frodo has two of these. One happens during a dream sequence when he discovers that he killed Sam in a fit of Ring-jealousy. The other happens when he lashes out at Sam in Cirith Ungol and realizes how close he came to fulfilling the nightmare.
  • In Moria's Revenge, Haldir has this reaction when he kills Icicle (a warg who befriended the Fellowship) under the mistaken impression that she had attacked Frodo, then learns that she had actually saved him from Gollum, the real culprit.

The Loud House

Lucifer (2016)

  • In the AU fic "City of Sin", Ella definitely has such a moment after her first sexual encounter with Lucifer; hating herself for being seduced by Lucifer when she already knows that he's dating Chloe, who Ella considers basically her only true friend at the LAPD, Ella spends the next hour or so walking in pouring rain and taking late-night buses, and is in such a state by the time she reaches Chloe's apartment that the detective initially assumes Ella was raped (and once she's learned what happened, Chloe is able to quickly clarify that she and Lucifer have an 'open but serious' relationship where either of them having sex with someone else isn't a big deal).

Marvel Cinematic Universe

  • Steve Rogers has a breakdown towards the end of Agent 13 when he realizes (with some prodding and help from Peggy) how selfish he's being in abandoning his friends (Bucky and Sharon especially) and expecting Peggy to just take him back with open arms without any consideration to how she's moved on with her own life.
  • Clint Barton from Take All The Courage feels rather sensitive about Daredevil's perceived ableism and refusal to accommodate Clint's deafness. Then Matt confesses he's blind, and Clint is horror-struck by the understanding that he bullied and let his teammates bully another disabled person over something he couldn't help.
  • Combined with a Heel Realization in Tony's Girl when Wanda is given incontrovertible proof that not only is Tony Stark not responsible for her parents' deaths, but that he (incidentally) killed the two who were and that, by helping Ultron, she was responsible for Pietro's death.

Mass Effect

  • The Quarian admiralty board has one in the second book of the Uplifted series, when they discover the Nazi concentration camps.

Mega Man (Classic)

  • In Mega Man: Defender of the Human Race, this is Dr. Light's reaction to the Gamma ordeal, and Vickers' when he learns the truth about Bass and his creator.
    • Roll gets this in the episode 3 interlude after she brutally dispatches the cosmetic robot from "Electric Nightmare."
    • Dr. Wily gets this briefly in the episode 11 epilogue, but soon his rage outweighs the guilt.
    • Bass gets a pretty big one in Episode 17, Chapter 6, when he tries to shoot at Kramer, but Dr. Light jumps in the way and takes the blast instead.

Merlin (2008)

  • In Dragonfasting, after Aithusa and Merlin are able to break the spell that turned Morgana against Camelot, she is horrified to recall what she did while under the spell's influence; at least once Morgana wakes up screaming as she recalls the time she and Morgause had their soldiers shoot innocent people while trying to get the knights to swear allegiance to her.
  • In "The Sorcerer's Bride", after Morgana reveals to Uther that she has magic, she uses a truth spell to question him about the origin of his own hatred for magic. Since the spell not only compels Uther to tell the truth, but also prevents him from even lying to himself, he breaks down sobbing when he's forced to acknowledge that he was genuinely warned that Ygraine's life would be at risk given the circumstances of Arthur's conception, and his wife would be devastated to see what he has done in her name.

Miraculous Ladybug

  • The One to Make It Stay:
    • After spending several stories in the series and over a month grappling with the question of whether or not she was at fault or not for various problems that had cropped up, Alya's tipping point comes when Ladybug confirms that Lila is not and has never been her friend. This causes her to break down and admit she'd been in denial for some time, as she didn't want to deal with the possibility that she was wrong and had been ruining her relationships for nothing.
    • All the Laughs We Had in the Past sees Chloe get hit hard by this as well when she learns that, while akumatized into Miracle Queen, she successfully stole the Black Cat ring and got it to Hawkmoth, making her responsible for the power of Destruction falling into their enemy's hands. All she can do in the face of that realization is try in vain to apologize:
      Chloe: "Ladybug, I'm—"
      Ladybug: "It's a bit too late for your apologies, Chloe. Maybe you should have given them out sooner."
    • Alya also takes the news about what happened poorly, blaming herself — if she hadn't posted that edited video to her blog, things might not have reached this point. Even worse, Hawkmoth's Interlude affirms that yes, said video did inspire his decision to exploit Chat Noir's feelings for Ladybug.
    • Don't Step Over My Head also has a Downplayed instance: Hawkmoth's thoughts show that he was shocked to learn that his son was Chat Noir, but quickly rationalized his reaction away and dismissed any potential self-revelation, having no real issue with causing his son further turmoil so he can akumatize him.
  • Of Patience and Pettiness: After spending most of the story insisting that they aren't to blame for any of their recent problems, Adrien and Alya finally have their Jerkass Realizations after they falsely accuse Eden of being Ladybug. Not only are the accusations completely untrue, they belatedly realize that being upset with somebody for being a superheroine just because she stopped tolerating their selfish behavior is not a good look.
  • Miraculous! Rewrite:
    • During "Riposte", Hawkmoth frantically tries to stop the akumatized Kagami from going after his son when he appears to be trapped in the sarcophagus, screaming when she lands what would have been a kill shot... had Adrien actually been inside. Afterwards, he vows to himself that he's never going to akumatize her again.
    • After she's healed, Ondine grapples with the heavy knowledge that while she was Syren, she seriously wounded and nearly killed Adrien, on top of everything else she did while transformed. Kim sits down and talks her through it, drawing upon his own experience as an akuma as well as being her merman partner.
    • Following Style Queen's stint, Gabriel goes into a full-fledged Villainous Breakdown, declaring that the fact his son has been critically endangered thrice now is completely unforgivable, and giving up his crusade.
    • Chloe has a major one in the climax of Season Three, as her plan to trick Scorpion into believing he's corrupted her into a Face–Heel Turn goes sideways and leads to the Miracle Box falling into the villains' hands... and to Master Fu erasing his memories in a Senseless Sacrifice.
  • In Shattered Souls, after Lila's bullying leaves Marinette in critical condition after a suicide attempt, three of the five chapters written as of October 2020 are about Marinette's parents, Principal Damocles and Adrien thinking how they could have ignored all the signs and (in case of the former two) trusted Lila over Marinette. The other two are Master Fu reflecting on how could he have heaped so much upon Marinette, and Gabriel realizing his encouraging Lila (for the sake of trying to make Marinette into a powerful Akuma) destroyed both such a wonderful girl and his son (who had been the one to pull her out of the noose).
  • Sins of the Past: Kamala is hit hard with this after Nemesis attacks, as she realizes that she's caused Amacia's akumatization — the first in fifteen years. As if that wasn't bad enough, she's forced to flee the scene of the car crash, seemingly abandoning her parents in the process. (Since she's unaware of her parents' alter egos of Tigerclaw and Pearlescent, the ones who saved her from the wreckage.)

My Hero Academia

  • All For One in Anyone has a brief moment when he first meets Izuku while in Tartarus. In the dimly lit room, the only thing All For One knows about the stranger who had just arrived is that he has One For All in him, and soon cares about nothing else other than attacking the new holder. As soon as he gets a better look at Izuku's face, All For One is horrified that he almost killed his son.
  • In Bloom in Winter, Izuku gapes in horror when he realizes that the information he spouted to his father's coworkers earlier had been used to critically injure a rising hero. Then he's forced to analyze other heroes to find their weaknesses, which makes him feel just as responsible for their maiming and/or murder as the ones who actually did it.
  • In Karma in Retrograde, Ryouta, an aspiring hero student, is horrified to learn that he grows up to become the murderous villain Dabi. He's even more shaken when he learns that he was willing to attack his youngest brother.
  • Izuku is struck by this in The Emancipators after he successfully tricks Monoma into copying and using One For All. He did so deliberately banking on the idea that the Quirk would be too powerful for him, and would hurt Monoma when he tried using it, but upon seeing the results, he's shaken. Not by the carnage, but at his own detachment from it — and the fact that on some level, he's actually pleased to see how much pain he's in. Despite his desire for vengeance, he's not so far gone that he's unable to recognize that his reaction is abnormal and unheroic, and his secret shame over this only intensifies as Toshinori attempts to comfort him afterwards, unaware of what's really going through his protégé's head.
  • Todoroki is horrified in The Emerald Phoenix when he loses his temper and lashes out with a massive amount of ice during the Heroes vs Villains exercise. Even with his quick action melting the ice, he still badly injured his classmates, including breaking several of Camie's ribs. Afterwards, the one thing keeping his reputation above Bakugo's is that he obviously didn't intend to go as far as he did and was disgusted with himself.
  • Three Guys Go to a Bar (And Then They Beat You With It):
    • When Shinsou transfers into their class after Mineta is expelled, Oijiro's grudge over what happened at the Sports Festival rears its ugly head, festering until the two of them are paired together to spar. His anger leads him to break two of Shinsou's ribs, along with his arm. Upon seeing what he'd just done, Oijiro is immediately remorseful; however, this doesn't stop Shinsou from holding a grudge of his own against the 'fuck kangaroo'.
    • Aizawa begins to realize that pairing Bakugou, Shinsou and Tokoyami together for the 'trial run' might have been a bad idea after seeing how the first two snipe at each other during a meeting.
    • After witnessing how Hitoshi's mother treats him, Katsuki immediately reveals what he's learned to Aizawa over Hitoshi's furious, desperate protests. After learning more about the situation, he has a Downplayed moment of this — while he still feels that Hitoshi needed help, he didn't intend to effectively orphan him, as he wasn't aware of the full situation. Namely, that his father was in jail for abusing his Quirk, which caused victims like his mother to develop schizophrenia.
  • In The Undead Schoolgirl: Dead Pulse, Bakugo breaks down crying when he learned Izuku actually did commit suicide. All the times he bullied her over the years were an attempt to keep her safe by making sure she didn't try to become a hero without a Quirk. Bakugo has another instance earlier when he realizes the explosion that killed so many people was caused by him trying to get free of the Sludge Villain.

My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic

  • After The Gala shows this as Fluttershy's reaction to her explosive display of anger at the Gala. She's outright horrified by what she did and left a sobbing wreck. Her friends console her, though, and manage to get her out of her Heroic BSoD both by their forgiveness and Celestia revealing everyone was okay and it wasn't entirely her fault (the animals were rather wild to begin with and Celestia apologises for not warning her beforehand).
  • According to A Brief History of Equestria, this was Smart Cookie's reaction when she realized that the plans she helped Puddinghead draw up for colonizing a new homeland would mean effectively leaving the other tribes to slow death by starvation and hypothermia.
  • Celestia reacts this way after she learns what she's inadvertently caused Navarone to become in Diaries of a Madman. Nav himself also shows this, when he sees first hand how cruel his suggestion for feeding the changelings is.
  • Twilight Sparkle in Divided Rainbow... though she's far from the only one.
  • Escape From the Moon: In the sequel The Mare From the Moon, this is Twilight’s reaction when Spliced points out the damage she’s inadvertently done to Spike’s growth, meaning he’s physically a child who’s about to enter puberty with the wrong mindset for a dragon.
  • In Equestria: A History Revealed, after the climactic battle of the Equestrian Civil War, Princess Luna finally realizes the extent of what she had done, and then suffers from a Villainous BSoD. This conflict in her heart acts as the catalyst to allow the Nightmare forces to possess her body and complete her transformation into Nightmare Moon.
  • Friendship Is Magical Girls: This is Spike's reaction after he, in an Unstoppable Rage, kills Snips in cold blood for shooting Twilight. Once he realizes what he's done, he sinks into a Heroic BSoD that lasts a full day before Celestia is able to talk him out of it.
  • A Future of Friendship, A History of Hate: Rarity has this reaction in Episode 4 when she realizes that she's been blowing off her friends without a thought in order to spend time with Regal Rule, most prominent being that she completely forgot about Fluttershy's birthday.
  • Twilight has a few of these as she copes with the fallout from Hard Reset. Especially given how she started treating ponies (herself included) during the "Groundhog Day" Loop.
  • Inner Demons: Twilight is horrified when she accidentally petrifies Princess Celestia in a fit of rage about the prophecy... at least until she's consumed by her "Queen of Darkness" persona and goes from regretting it to bragging about it.
    • Shining Armor also has this reaction when he realizes that the "Cadence" he slept with was actually Queen!Twilight in disguise.
    • Apple Bloom's reaction to accidentally killing Trixie.
  • Loved and Lost:
    • Shining Armor greatly laments disowning Twilight. When Cadance reveals how Twilight secretly helped him to get together with Cadance years ago, it causes all of the heroes to have a massive Jerkass Realization, which Shining Armor takes the hardest.note 
    • Celestia and Twilight's friends repeatedly express how much they regret trusting Chrysalis over Twilight, and in the process, causing misery to Canterlot's citizens by failing to prevent the invasion.
      Celestia: Oh, my faithful student, I miss you so much. If only I had listened to you.
    • Happens with Twilight herself when she finally realizes how evil Jewelius truly is, and that her former friends, mentor and brother were right about him and the fact that she helped another villain gain control of all of Equestria.
    • Lieutenant Shackle is hit by this hard when she does her Heel–Face Turn during the Final Battle.
  • The entire point of the Lullaby for a Princess song is to express Celestia's sorrow over banishing Luna.
  • In Maternal Instinct (MLP), in a fit of unbridled rage, Queen Chrysalis exploded in a vicious tirade against her heavily mentally and physically disabled daughter and heir, Princess Pupa and proceeded to beat her. Savagely. But when Chrysalis came to her senses and saw her daughter on the floor, barely conscious and with blooding oozing out from wounds on her crown and temple, the aghast and repentant Queen immediately threw herself at her daughter's mangled form, kissing her face and trying to stop the bleeding, mentally crying, ‘Kami above, forgive me! Please, forgive me!’ note 
  • After essentially being brainwashed in My Brave Pony III Starfleet Magic, Ace Ray reacts this way to memories of his past actions.
  • Past Sins: Celestia has several lines of this during Luna's What the Hell, Hero? speech.
    "I do not need to be told the heinous nature of my actions!"
  • The Pieces Lie Where They Fell:
    • Night Blade's reaction when he realizes that was the real Page he was just beating up, having mistaken her true form for a Changeling impostor.
    • Xvital's reaction when she realizes she's been projecting her feelings toward a certain Ahuizotl noble onto Night Blade.
    • In the sequel Picking Up the Pieces, this is pretty much the entirety of the Blade family's reaction when they realize just how badly they've all messed up with Night, be it his siblings' distance or how his parents acted at his talentmitzvah. Lethal Blade and Sweet Dagger get another dose when they realize they never once showed up for any of their youngest's tournaments.
  • The Pony POV Series has several examples:
    • Rarity's reaction to yelling at Sweetie Belle and nearly hitting Sweetie Belle with a sharp circlet, coming close enough to cut a few hairs in her mane, in a fit of rage.
    Rarity: "Reality came down on top of me like Luna's moon fallen from orbit. What had I done? WHAT HAD I DONE-?!"
    • Fluttercruel's reaction when her attempt to teach Fluttershy about the crueler side of nature corrupted instead of helping her.
    • The denizens of Sunny Town have this reaction whenever Applejack's Living Lie Detector gaze forces them to remember their misdeed through Princess Gaia's spell.
    • Rainbow Dash's reaction to how her dealing with Discord's Sadistic Choice turned out.
    • Celestia had two in "Origins": first, when she realizes she helped Discord discover his sadism, and then when she realizes she was responsible for the Windigoes' rampage.
    • After Discord restores her sanity, Golden Tiara/Screwball remembers she tried to kill her daughter Diamond and has a rather nasty one of these, including saying this practically word for word:
    " Dear Cadence, what did I do?! WHAT DID I DO?! If Filthy hadn't stopped me... WHAT WOULD I HAVE DONE TO MY BABY?!"
  • The Powers of Harmony: In the aftermath of the fight with the Changelings in Gallopfrey, Applejack nearly slips into a Heroic BSoD over the realization that she had to kill for the first time during said fight. Fortunately, a few reassuring words from Granny Smith are able to pull her out of it.
  • In Rainbow Dash, Please Report to the Principal's Office, Trixie has a moment of this when she realizes what could have happened if her theory that Rainbow Dash and Principal Celestia were secret lovers had left the school.
  • Spitfire has this reaction in the Reading Rainbowverse when she realizes how horrible she's been to her daughter.
  • It Sounds Better Than "Pity Date": Sci-Twi feels guilty when she finds out that by ignoring Flash Sentry during The Friendship Games she accidentally hurt his feelings by making him think Princess Twilight lost interest in him. She tries to make it up to him by offering to take him out on a "simulation date" where he can pretend she's Princess Twilight if he wants. She has another moment later when she realizes she became attracted to Flash herself and tried to kiss him, panicking and calling herself a man-stealer.
  • A Taste of the Good Life, from the same author as Hard Reset, has this twice over in the aftermath of a climactic scene midway through the story. Scootaloo's mother, Ebony Glimmer, is hanging for her life off a cliff and the only pony around who can help her is Scootaloo; the pony to whom she'd been an emotionally abusive drunk, forcing the filly to run away. Scootaloo had said, repeatedly and clearly in the last few moments alone that she wanted nothing to do with Ebony, especially after Ebby used Foal Protection Services to essentially steal her from the ponies she loved in Ponyville. Scootaloo walks away, prepared to let Ebony fall and die because it would means she'd go away forever. Ebony is saved, but in the aftermath Scootaloo is horrified by what she had been prepared to do and Ebby comes to a Heel Realization about how she had been acting towards Scootaloo.
  • The spy Lord Eminence in Under The Northern Lights when he realizes that his plot has been found out because he has been very careless because his special talent for being unobtrusive and even turning invisible doesn't work on reindeer, meaning there are lots of witnesses to his acts. He acted alone, convinced his success would force his superiors to accept a job well done, but Princess Luna is not only against the plan per se, she is also furious that he was so careless as to be found out. He doesn't say the actual phrase, but falls to the floor and moans "Mare in the Moon!" which prompts Luna to chastise him further for taking her name in vain when she is standing right there.
  • The Witch of the Everfree: Applejack gets snapped out of her blind rage at the Great White Wolf for killing her parents when seeing Sunset Shimmer slowly killing it for her. Her reaction in turn causes a milder one in Sunset, who then finishes it off quickly.
  • In Zenith, Celestia has this reaction when she finds out that her decision in letting Spike stay with Twilight rather than having him go back to Ponyville only made things even worse for him.


  • In Accidental Companions, the rest of Team 7 realize too late how badly they’ve messed up.
    • In Kakashi's case, he realizes that Naruto was trying to ask him for help and that the latter was sick the whole time, along with that, due to finding him annoying, he failed to help him.
    • After a prank, Sakura realizes how much that prank really hurt him, especially since she remembered that she never even apologized.
    • After beating him up, Sasuke realizes why Naruto didn't want to fight him. When he goes to see him at the end, he finds an empty hospital room.
  • Naruto in Am I worthy to love you? becomes horrified and is overwhelmed with guilt when he learns that his actions and words added fuel to Sakura's depression and drove her into attempting suicide.
  • A Case Study in the Sturdiness of the Rookie 9:
    • Kakashi gets hit with this when he learns that sending Team 7 (Shino, Sakura, and Choji) to spy on Genma as petty revenge has inadvertently taught them to betray their fellow Leaf Nins for their goals, which they do by tricking Team 10 (Naruto, Kiba, and Ino) in order to steal their scroll during the Chunin Exam, leading to chain of events that let Orochimaru place a Curse Mark upon Kiba.
    • Choji later comes to the same conclusion after Shikamaru makes him realize that he betrayed one of his childhood friends just for a test.
    • Asuma earlier allowed Ino to use her Mind-Possession Jutsu to keep Naruto and Kiba from fighting. But constant use has weakened the durability of Kiba's mind, making him more vulnerable to Orochimaru's Curse Mark.
  • In Echoes, Kazama has one after he burns down most of Konoha, and realizes that while he got his revenge on the Inner Council, he had hurt thousands of people who didn't even know him, on top of his friends in the Konoha 12, several of which he killed.
  • Kurotsuchi in Eroninja was tasked with killing D (an enhanced shadow clone of Naruto's) because he was inadvertently ruining Iwa's plans to take over Fang country and Claw country. Unfortunately for her, she learns he's not taking advantage of the situation like she'd hoped but is just an honestly nice man. Furthermore, she ends up In Love with the Mark and he easily accepts his death. As a result, she's haunted for months afterwards, unable to sleep and freezing up any time she might have to take a life.
  • Sakura has one in Legacy of the Rasengan: Naruto after Naruto rips her apart for stealing his tin of personally created jutsu. Actually a Delayed Reaction when certain facts hit her. In order: A)Naruto spent YEARS creating his jutsu for HIMSELF. B)She stole from him. C)The reason they have Uzumaki Family Scroll on them is because Naruto is an orphan and wanted to pass on something to his kids.
  • In Legend of the Blind Ninja, many of the Konoha villagers that harassed Naruto did not take the information about his heritage well, as they’ve been harassing a person who is essentially royalty. Sakura deserves a special mention as she had a Jerkass Realization about her treatment towards him a few chapters earlier.
  • A Mother's Love: Fire and Blood: The Third Hokage has one over pretty much screwing Kushina and Naruto over (The Third made it so their lives would be miserable) and letting them get kicked out of the village. The village has one years later when they admit that kicking out them out was a dick move on their part since ''The fox in the desert'' might return for revenge.
  • Sasuke gets one in NBH when she gets captured after trying to defect to Sound. Not only does she have no hope of killing Itachi anymore (even if she was allowed to remain a ninja, Ino destroyed her Achilles tendons), but she once more lost everything; this time because she threw it all away herself.
  • Kurama has one in Played to Death when he realizes how much going along with Naruto's idea to make videogames real has damaged the boy. As he explains to Hana, he can barely get the boy to go outside as Naruto honestly prefers being in places where everything is trying to kill him to being in the village. As a result, Kurama outright begs Hana to give Naruto something, anything, to live for.
  • Exploited by Obito in Son of the Sannin. First, he uses Kotoamatsukami to brainwash Naruto so he turns himself to Akatsuki quietly, forcing Sasuke to fight to stop him. During the fight, Sasuke stabs Naruto (non-fatally) with his sword and sends him an electric discharge, hoping that it'll break the brainwashing out of him. Obito then starts acting like Sasuke killed Naruto, so that the trauma awakens his Mangekyo Sharingan to take from him.
  • In Vapors, because she is a self-insert original character into the Naruto world, Aiko holds herself responsible for every bad thing that happens in the story. Tsunade also has one of these, when she realizes that giving Aiko insufficient support during her mission to infiltrate Root, followed by handing her a student who would be at risk from Danzo, put Aiko in a position where she had to kill one of her teammates in cold blood, despite the man trusting her to help him.

Neon Genesis Evangelion

  • A Crown of Stars: Gendo’s reaction when he learns that Asuka means to his son so much as Yui means to him. It is right then when he realizes how badly he has screwed everyone’s lives.
  • Doing It Right This Time: Learning that Rei's her sister causes Ritsuko to have a slight breakdown upon considering how she's been treating the girl.
  • Ghosts of Evangelion: Asuka has several moments where she realizes she's crossed one line:
    • In the first chapter, Asuka is trying to convince Shinji to try and go past their many unresolved sex-related hang-ups and have sex once and for all, but Shinji is very wary. Frustrated, she unthinkingly asks if it would be easier if she was asleep or she was a boy. One second later she realizes she should not have said that, and apologized.
    • Asuka turned Shinji down harshly when he confessed. She states that he didn't love her but it was some sort of act to keep her appeased. After Touji and Hikari got her to realize his confession was real, Asuka falls apart.
  • In Neon Genesis Evangelion: Genocide, Asuka has this reaction when her Unit-02 goes berserker and brutally hurts Keiko.
  • Neon Metathesis Evangelion: After first learning that Shinji had tried to commit suicide, and then thinking Asuka may leave, which would cut down NERV's forces for the defence of the world, Misato realizes what she has done over the years: Raising child soldiers, sending them into battle after battle, never showing respect or gratitude or even only sympathy.
  • Once More with Feeling: After going back to the beginning of the War, Shinji has this reaction when he realizes Asuka, Rei, Misato and his friends suffered and died because he abandoned them and betrayed their trust when they needed him, and all humans died because he made that choice.
    The heart of the person… of the woman he could finally admit to himself he might well have fallen in love with.
    And then abandoned to die at the hands of SEELE.
  • This shows up in two different ways in Scar Tissue:
    • Asuka, who has been physically and sexually brutalizing Shinji for months, has minor moments of this whenever her temper finally abates, then has a massive moment of this coupled with Villainous Breakdown when she finally beats Shinji badly enough to nearly kill him. The fic starts after this moment; when it's not filling in backstory, it's detailing her attempts to atone for her actions.
    • Shinji, on the other hand, blames himself for everything Asuka has done to him, seeing his actions during the canon story (especially the hospital scene in "End of Evangelion") as so unforgivable that he can justify her abuse as karmic retribution.
  • The Second Try:
    • Shinji and Asuka are at a lake with Asuka swimming in it. Trying to get Shinji to swim (he admits he can't) she pretends to drown, making him panic and jump in to save her. She takes a look at his face and realizes that she scared him shitless and, for a brief instant, made him think he was going to watch her die and be the last human alive in a post-Third Impact world.
    • Asuka has this reaction when she damages her daughter's doll and scares her away with a pedophobia induced panic attack.


  • Nier killed Shades without remorse, because he thought they were just mindless monsters. After learning in Tower of Babel that they are sapient beings, he is utterly horrified.

The Office (US)

  • Happens for several characters in the fanfic Insouciance.
    • Erin gets hit with this when she's made to watch a clip from the in-universe documentary showing her mistreatment of Jessica, realizing that she was a hypocrite for demanding that Andy accept and "get over" her choice to be with Pete when she wouldn't do the same for him.
    • Pete himself gets hit with this when he sees that his handling of the way his and Erin's relationship began, being "the other guy" in Erin's situation of infidelity, led to his family being targeted for harassment by some angry Internet denizens.
    • In a "deleted scene", Nellie is similarly hit with this when she realizes she was essentially directly responsible for the horrific Internet harassment Erin and Pete suffered through because she helped get them together.

One Piece

  • In This Bites!, this is Cross' reaction after he kills the Kestia before it can bite Nami.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians

  • In Broken Bow, Artemis breaks down after The Reveal that Armani is her (immaculately born and conceived) son. This only gets worse when she accidentally lets loose the arrow she had aimed at him.


  • A relatively low-key example in Circumstances of One's Birth when Misty tells Ash that she wishes he had never been born during their latest argument prompts him to run off to his room; when Misty goes to apologise, she learns that Ash is a Child Of Rape who still wonders how his mother can even love him when he's a constant reminder of what happened to her, Misty swiftly doing her best to help Ash through his breakdown by assuring him that he is loved and wanted.
  • In The Dark Side of Innocence, Mondo has this occur twice: The first time was after he left his friend Lana to die after being attacked by a Persian and the second time was when he learned that Giovanni had a son (implied to be Silver's anime counterpart) who is now an orphan after Mondo was involved in his father's death. Both instances caused him to have an existential crisis and led to him becoming depressed and cynical.
  • In Jessica, Cameron discovers that Jessica and the rest of his Pokémon Yellow team are real beings, and that he killed them when he destroyed his Pokémon Yellow game cartridge.
  • Pokémon Reset Bloodlines: During his second interlude side story, Ash's Butterfree delivers a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown on a female Vivillon who challenges him during an impromptu fight club. At the time he was angry for being reminded of his lost mate and wanted to vent on someone, but after going overboard, the other Pokémon call him out on beating her up so badly and attacking her after she gave up. He's naturally horrified when he sees how badly hurt he left her.
  • Pokemon: Shadow of Time;
    • Ash blames himself when a Cleffa's family are killed by a rockslide during a battle with Team Rocket.
    • After Anabel meets Jigglypuff at Oak's lab, she assures it that she understands it was corrupted by Shadow when it killed her, but Jigglypuff still feels guilty.
    • Apparently Giratina hides in the Distortion realm because it blames itself for the circumstances that led to the creation of Shadow Pokemon.
    • Team Cipher member Lovrina starts to realise the scale of her team's evil after talking with Kyoji.

Ranma ½

  • In Akane in Chains, this is Akane's reaction when she throws a stone projectile at Ranma, only for it to hit a child instead and badly injure her.

Romance of the Three Kingdoms

  • Farce of the Three Kingdoms:
    • Cao Cao has a moment like this after Big Xun commits suicide after his nudging.
    • Liu Bei also appears to react like this after executing Liu Feng, but he refuses to admit it.


  • Children of Remnant:
    • Upon witnessing Jaune collapse to the ground in tears while begging for forgiveness for being unable to protect his sisters from Salem, the conspiracy realizes the horror of what they've done and ask for forgiveness as well. Kali, the one who stabbed Jaune, is the most affected by this.
    • In the side story Children of the Grimmlands, Salem's plan gets derailed when she takes one look at them, finds them too adorable to harm, and promptly realizes that she is horrific monster for kidnapping children for the express purpose of torturing them into Child Soldiers. She has to scramble to find them beds and food, and later breaks down crying because she feels like nothing she's doing is good enough.


  • In Saki: After Story, Teru viciously attacks her younger sister Saki while denying that they're related, as well as Nodoka when she comes to help, injuring them badly enough to put them in the hospital. After her teammates run in and stop her, Sumire tells Teru that she knows that Saki is Teru's sister, and what Teru did to her and Nodoka is inexcusable. Teru says the following quote before she's arrested, both in reference to beating Saki up and for refusing to acknowledge her as her sister.
    Teru: Oh my god! What the have I done?

Sherlock Holmes

  • In A Study in Regret, Sherlock Holmes invokes this several times — sometimes word-for-word — in regards to Watson, Mary, and Marcel. The heartbreaking part is that, half the time, he's taking blame for events that are not his fault.
  • In Children of Time, during and after his Heel Realization.
  • Missing (Sherlock Holmes): Watson tears up when Holmes mentions that they found his wallet in a corpse's pocket. He had treated the young man while he was still alive and coaxed him to take the wallet to Holmes or the police; and thinks that this is why he was killed. The detective immediately assures him that the gang probably intended to kill the youth anyway and his death had nothing to do with Watson, as they would have taken the wallet if they were aware of the scheme.
  • Holmes, when speaking with Inspector Lestrade in Mortality: "I’m sorry. Dear God, I’m so sorry."

A Song of Ice and Fire

  • In Robb Returns, this is Theon's reaction when Robb tells him what he did in the original timeline, namely his attack on Winterfell and his murder of Bran and Rickon (Robb didn't know that the two had managed to escape).
    • Less intense from Eddard, who realizes he did Robb a great disservice by not teaching him the politics involved in being the Lord Paramount of the North.
  • In who else can take all your blood and your curses?, Robb has to use his Healing Hands on Theon to save him from a nasty case of literally split personalities. Then Theon confesses he can't remember anything about his blood family, which utterly horrifies Robb.

Sonic the Hedgehog

  • In Blast to the Past Princess Elise managed to prevent the Metarex from changing the past, (without Eggman, they'd have no competition, and most likely none of the events of the Sonic games would have never happened) but latter finds out - much to her shock and disgust - that she was the one caused the events that started it all, something that was just as bad when Sonic was killed because of "That damned demon within her." Silver and Blaze managed to convince her that Sonic played an important factor in everyone's lives, almost the same way that Eilse convinced him.
  • In Episode 74 of Sonic X: Dark Chaos, Tsali's core systems are damaged in the previous Episode, causing his programming to become scrambled. Because of this, the programs preventing him from feeling regret or remorse for his crimes are disabled. When he and the heroes find out Maledict had been manipulating him from the beginning, he completely breaks down into a sobbing wreck as his systems starts going into full Logic Bomb meltdown - and the horrors he unleashed come back to him.
    • Knuckles has one of these at the end of Episode 73 after setting Tails on fire to destroy his Shroud form, and nearly burning Tails to death when it changes him back to normal.

Star Wars

  • To be exact, Vader/Anakin has a "My God, What Would I Have Done?" moment in Eros Turannos, when he realises that he was genuinely considering raising his own twin children to be Sith even for a moment.
  • After months of training, Vader finally succeeds in turning Luke into a Sith in The Shadow, only to realize shortly afterwards how much he truly hates the idea. He ends up recruiting Leia (who's become a Jedi) in order to save Luke from the Emperor.
  • In Whisper Your Weakness, Luke is kidnapped, brutally tortured and ultimately raped by a Mad Doctor over the death of the doctor's father on the Death Star. Luke is broken and catatonic by the time he's rescued, but when the doctor, Victor Berdin, tries to attack the group of rescuers, Luke comes awake, stands up and uses the Force to squeeze Berdin's heart in his chest until it literally explodes. But almost immediately, he reacts with a horrified "what have I done?" before hiding once again within his catatonic state. Even after everything he endured at Berdin's hands, he still hated himself for what he perceived as giving into the dark side to kill the man. It takes a lot of reassurance from Mara, Leia, and the ghost of Anakin Skywalker to get Luke to accept that he was acting only to defend himself and his friends from a depraved man who nearly killed him, and that it doesn't mean he's slipping into darkness.

Stargate SG-1

  • What You Already Know:
    • Sam basically has one of these in Lost City when, after initially denying the idea that she has deeper feelings for Daniel, she finally accepts that she's been in love with him on some level for years after he's downloaded the Ancient knowledge and will likely be dead in the next few weeks. Sam tells Janet that she doesn't know how she can tell Daniel the truth about her feelings under these circumstances (even if part of that is her own fear about her apparent Cartwright Curse).
    • In Resolutions, Daniel allows Moloc's host an opportunity to communicate before Moloc's execution, with the host explicitly asking to be killed with Moloc as he cannot live with the memories of what Moloc has done in his body.

Steven Universe

  • In Awakening (Steven Universe), a ressurrected Pink Diamond is horrified to learn the consequences of her actions thousands of years ago (Spinel staying in the Garden for 6000 years, the Rose Quartzes all getting bubbled, what her final order did to Pearl, etc.).
  • Blue Diamond in Fractures comes to this conclusion after she finds that Pink Diamond has more or less gone completely catatonic after they shattered every last one of the Crystal Gems right in-front of her to teach her a lesson, missing the lovable, innocent, mildly obnoxious Pink she used to know. Yellow is in denial of this until long after White Diamond is shattered, finally seeing the scars her fellow diamonds have inflicted on her, being reason enough to allow her to leave Homeworld without protest.

Supergirl (2015)

  • At the beginning of Survivors, Kara trespasses on a farm and gets shot by a farmer who mistook her for a wild animal. When the man sees he’s shot a child, he’s horrified.
    Farmer: Hey, what are you... I didn't hit you, I just wanted to scare you... Oh God you're a little girl. I shot a little girl.


  • In Song Remains the Same (an AU where Sam’s twin sister, Alex, has been romantically involved with Castiel since the Apocalypse), Castiel basically has this reaction when he learns that saving the Titanic created a timeline where Alex was separated from her family when she was little and committed suicide as a teenager. The moment Castiel learns what happened to her in the new timeline, he immediately travels back to the moment of her death, and then orders Balthazar to re-sink the Titanic because he’s horrified to see how far into despair Alex has fallen in this new timeline, recognising that he can’t ‘fix’ Alex’s mental state even if he brought her back to life.

Teen Titans

  • In The End of Ends, the Titans, Doom Patrol and Terra have this reaction upon finding out about Beast Boy’s death. And soon Count Logan’s true identity.

Thomas & Friends

  • This is Thomas's reaction in Thomas and Emily's Relationship, when he learns that Rosie is going to leave Sodor because he yelled at her and told her that she didn't belong on the island.
  • This is Gordon's reaction in Restoring Lost Honour when he learns that his teasing at the beginning of the story led to the events that resulted in Thomas nearly getting blown up.
  • Emily has this reaction in Goodbye to Yesterday, after she accuses Thomas of loving Ashima then learns that her jealousy was unnecessary as neither Ashima or Thomas had romantic feelings for each other.
  • In The Demon Awakens, Thomas has this reaction when he finally reaches his Rage Breaking Point with the trucks that caused Emily's accident and bumps them savagely, only to both shatter the lead truck to pieces and cause a raging fire that burns the truck to death.
  • In Sailor John: A Pirate's Vendetta, this is Dr. Frederick's response to knocking out the Fat Controller on Sailor John's orders. The guilt is so bad that it leads him to confess everything, then jump out of a window to his death.
  • In Cruel to Be Kind, this is Emily's reaction when she loses her temper with Diesel and slams into him so hard that he goes smashing through a shed and is severely injured.
  • David has this reaction in O Mother, Where Art Thou?, when he goes berserk and slashes the Diesel with his cutlass, giving the engine a scar across the eye.
    • The dieselworks worker who helped Diesel 10 has the same reaction when he realises that he helped one of the most evil diesels around escape his imprisonment.
  • In This Means Wharf, Millie has this reaction when she accidentally shunts some trucks into the canal while working at the Wharf.
  • In Crushed Spirit, Percy is horrified and traumatized when he crashes into a house and causes the death of an entire family.
    • Emily has the same reaction in Chapter 4, after she accidentally gets drunk and fails to return to the shed to comfort Percy, like she promised.
  • In How Else It Could Have Been, David has this reaction in his fantasy about how the events of the fanfic Restoring Lost Honour would have played out if he'd been on Sodor at the time, when he strangles the Fat Controller in an attempt to protect Thomas and Emily from the latter's wrath. The Fat Controller has the same reaction in the same fantasy, when he learns what really happened during the coach derailment and dynamite incidents.
    • In David's fantasy about how the events of Brother to Sister could have played out if he'd been present, he's guilt-stricken when he sees just how horrified Emily is about the harsh punishment he doled out to Donald and Douglas for derailing her.

Total Drama

  • Total Drama What If Series In the disaster challenge, Cameron gets his body injured by Chef since he threw a book at him. Sammy feels bad about this since she helped him across the wall.

Touhou Project

  • In chapter 82 of Gensokyo 20XXV, it was noted that, after she stabbed Yume Ni with a pair of scissors in a fit of rage, Reimu expressed remorse for her actions, recognizing it as something she shouldn't have done.
    • Earlier in the series, 20XXI, Ran and Kanako have both have this at different times. Ran has this when Reimu takes a horrible fall and loses the function of her legs while she was being negligent, while Kanako has this when she thinks she may have caused Sanae's death, after having been abusing her for some time.

Touken Ranbu

  • Tales of the Undiscovered Swords: After Tsurumaru accidentally injures a suicidal Nikkō, he, Hasebe and Nansen, who have been working together to bring him down, shed tears of remorse for him. Nikkō goes Shinken Hissatsu at this.
    • Kiriha is so depressed by having to engage in a bloody fight against his brother Ishida in order to stop him from killing the saniwa he decides to spend the rest of his existence in a blanket closet and blame himself for manifesting a human form and bringing trouble to the Citadel before he presumably gets dragged out off-screen to be sent on kiwame.


  • In Dear Agony, Megatron has this reaction after taking his anger out on Starscream and nearly tearing his wing off.
  • Predaking's reaction in Starscream - the Predacon Whisperer, when he realises that he made Starscream cry.
  • The general reaction to Kade's abuse at the hands of his girlfriend in Stay Back 500 Feet is this. Heatwave is horrified he let it happen right in front of him, Chief Burns is kicking himself for forgetting that men can be abused and Dani is driven to Stress Vomit because she mistook all signs of the abuse for evidence that Kade enjoyed that sort of thing.
  • In Property Of, the Autobots and Decepticons have declared peace, but a key group of Decepticons discovered Earth and have been selling humans as pets to the rest of their people while they search the planet for Megatron and the Allspark. After a group of key Autobots discover that humans are sentient, Bumblebee and Ironhide are particularly disturbed to learn they have basically taken their human pets away from their existing families (particularly in the case of Ironhide, as his 'pet' is Annabelle Lennox, a five-year-old girl).
  • In Repair the Damage, Megatron has this reaction when he realises that his abuse of Starscream drove the Seeker to attempt suicide. Starscream has the same reaction when he realises how broken his trinemates would have been if he HAD died.



  • A good description of how the wolves feel in North Star when Rennesme (now calling herself Renna) is able to break the 'curse' that caused the pack to imprint in the first place. Paul is horrified to realise how he was basically forcing his imprint to stay with the tribe when she didn't want to, Quil is ashamed at how he treated Claire and it's speculated he's going to need therapy for being so focused on a little girl, Sam's shame and guilt is so strong that Leah can't bring herself to be around him, and Jacob spends several hours waiting outside the Cullen house just to apologise to Renna. The only imprint to come through the curse-breaking fairly well is Jared, which is speculated to be because he already liked the girl he imprinted on before it was triggered, Leah observing that it's possible he would have dated the girl even without the imprint.

Warcraft II

  • In the WarCraft II shrine, Benamin decides to teach the high elves of Quel'Thalas a lesson by purposefully allowing the Orcish Horde to invade and sack their kingdom. The Princess of Kalimdor angrily calls him out on it and he recoils in horror when he realizes how callous he allowed himself to be.

Warhammer 40,000

  • All Guardsmen Party: When Doc runs away from a Flyrant, letting Sergeant Gravis get bisected (two thirds of the Inquisitorial Council ruled in his favor saying that his continuous shooting was an attempt to distract the Flyrant), the DM makes a roll and decides that Doc got an obsession with keeping the Marine alive. This manifests in the story as Doc becoming utterly determined in keeping the Marine alive until he got full medical treatment. (Though he does eventually lose the Marine's legs.) Gravis lives long enough to get put into a Dreadnaught.


  • In The Land of What Might-Have-Been, Elphaba's rant in chapter 52 includes variations of this, as she bemoans how she spent so long back in Oz blaming Dorothy for Nessa's death and never really apologised for it when the girl was just the unwitting pawn of Morrible and the Wizard.


  • In Cenotaph Taylor seeks revenge on Bakuda and the greater ABB for murdering her father. Over the course of an arc and a half she carefully tracks Lung and Bakuda down, then sets off Bakuda's own grenades in her workshop with both Lung and Bakuda in the blast radius. Little did did she know - Bakuda built in a deadman switch tied into several thousand bombs implanted in both gangmembers and kidnapped civilians in the event she was killed. Taylor doesn't find out until the next day, while enjoying a social breakfast with 'James' and Lisa. She... doesn't take it well.


  • In The Return-Remixed, Maria Kanellis has this reaction after other members of DEAR triple-powerbombed Eve Torres on the cement floor of the arena and spends the rest of the story feeling guilty, but not sure what to do. Near the end, she plans to get herself eliminated from the climactic battle royal first so someone from the Diva Army will win.



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