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Playing With / Heroic Self-Deprecation

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Basic Trope: The Hero has zero self-esteem.

  • Straight: Hiro has saved the world on more than one occasion. He also has very, very poor self-esteem, only being able to think of the time he couldn't save his dead sister.
  • Exaggerated:
    • Saving existence itself is a daily occurrence for Hiro; however, he is practically suicidal in terms of self-esteem, as his little sister once scraped her knee.
    • Hidden Heart of Gold.
  • Downplayed:
    • Hiro has decent self-esteem, but he considers it more important to remember defeats so he doesn't repeat them than bask in his victories.
    • Advertisement:
    • Hiro doesn't deny his world-saving abilities, but considers himself rubbish in every other area.
  • Justified:
    • While the outsiders can only see Hiro's good deeds, Hiro himself spends a lot of time thinking about what he's unable to do; as a result, this causes him to view reality quite negatively.
    • Hiro comes from a Badass Family with a long Heroic Lineage. No matter how badass his own deeds, he still has to live up to the precedents set by his parents, older brother, older sister, and even the family servants.
    • Hiro is The Perfectionist and, while acknowledging that he's done good deeds, he doesn't think he's done enough.
    • Hiro doesn't want to become an egotistical Jerkass.
    • Despite Hiro's accomplishments, All of the Other Reindeer still rag on him.
    • Hiro has some sort of mental illness.
  • Inverted:
    • Hiro fails at saving the world more often than not, but his self-esteem is incredible.
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    • Emperor Evulz has self-esteem issues.
    • Small Name, Big Ego.
  • Subverted: Hiro seems depressed in public, but it's just an act. When no one is watching, he acts normally.
  • Double Subverted: ...But that's an act too.
  • Parodied:
    • Hiro continually whines about how he is unable to do anything. And he's a Physical God. And he's angsting while he's kicking ass, sleeping with many women, and is honestly enjoying a hedonistic lifestyle.
    • Hiro somehow harnesses his low self-esteem as a superpower, like a twisted version of The Power of Hate.
    Evulz: Aahahaha! You simply cannot stop my Doomsday Device from wiping out all of Tropeston City!
    Hiro: Oh well, I guess I'll just go home and binge-watch some reality show while eating my last bag of tortilla chips.
    The doomsday device blows up.
  • Zig Zagged: He's depressed in public, but it's an act... or not an act. Then he stops being depressed. Then he is. And then...
  • Averted: Like normal people, Hiro has days where he feels great and days where he feels...not so great.
  • Enforced: "My totally awesome character needs a flaw, and the whole 'too beautiful to function' thing is out... I know! I'll have her be unable to think about anything but her failures!"
  • Advertisement:
  • Lampshaded: "You'd think that someone as amazing as Hiro would have better self-esteem."
  • Invoked: Hiro purposefully acts depressed so that people will feel sympathy towards him and stroke his ego.
  • Exploited: As a plot to keep Hiro down, Emperor Evulz makes sure he mentions his dead sister at every opportunity.
  • Defied: "Bullshit! I kick ass!!"
  • Discussed: "I know you hate yourself, but trust me, You Are Better Than You Think You Are."
  • Conversed: "Why does the hero of this story always act so depressed? It's like the writers wanted to go on about how awesome she is without making her look arrogant."
  • Implied:
    • Hiro doesn't openly self-criticize, but he is never upset when others admonish his actions or say something Innocently Insensitive about him. He just stays silent, as if in quiet agreement.
    • Alot of Hiro's boasts are rather backhanded, and don't reflect well on him.
  • Deconstructed:
  • Reconstructed:
    • So he channels this low self-esteem into self-improvement, and becomes an even greater hero than before.
    • ...but when his non-existent self-esteem incapacitates him as hero, the others realize their harmful effect on Hiro. Since a good but imperfect hero is better than no hero at all, they let up and even praise him to bring him back.

Heh, if I was any hero at all, I could do better than provide you with a mere link back to Heroic Self-Deprecation.

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