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The Chew Toy / Live-Action TV

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  • Mervin from Fur TV, in spades.
  • Father Larry Duff in Father Ted suffers horribly on every appearance, usually as the result of the title character phoning him at an awkward moment; among other catastrophes he gets buried in an avalanche, mauled by his pet Rottweilers and trampled by a herd of stampeding donkeys.
  • In keeping with his (relatively) Hot-Blooded nature, Mystery Science Theater 3000's Mike Nelson far more often finds himself suffering Amusing Injuries than his predecessor, Joel. He's also managed to become the Trope Namer for Mike Nelson, Destroyer of Worlds, a situation which inspires the bots to cause him no end of grief. As part of the show's Greek Chorus, however, he has the chance to give a bit back, unusually for this trope.
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  • Al Bundy on Married... with Children is a perfect example of this trope. Berated by his neighbors, stuck in a dead-end minimum-wage job, and badgered by his freeloading wife for sex every's no wonder he constantly wants God to take him out. Whether viewers identify with Al Bundy because of their similarly dysfunctional home lives and miserable jobs, or simply because they love to see him suffer, much of the show's humor is derived from Al's misery as the Chew Toy. One of the show's producers even told an anecdote about a fan letter they received from a viewer who had a crappy home life and a shit job, but who was always cheered up by the fact that, no matter how bad his week had been, Al Bundy's week was just a little bit worse. That letter made the producers so happy that they framed it and hung it up on the studio wall.
  • Lost
    • Mikhail — his Eyepatch of Power seems to be the only thing that keeps him alive. Something bad happens to him in every episode in which he appears. He is, in order, beaten up, shoved into a sonic fence and apparently killed, beaten up again, beaten up again, and finally gets speared (and comes back five minutes later) and blown up in his final appearance. Even then, it took Word of God to assure fans that he was really dead.
    • John "Don't tell me what I can't do!" Locke is the man was conned out of a kidney by his father whom he had never previously met and made it obvious that he wanted nothing more to do with John, thrown out an eight-story window by said father and paralyzed from the waist down, rejected when proposing to the woman he loved, and when his paralysis is cured when arriving on the island thanks the island's miraculous healing powers and he begins to find a purpose in life, he is sent off the island and killed.
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    • Hurley was actually presented as someone who had bad luck, but he doesn't take near as much damage as characters like Locke.
  • Meredith from The Office (US). She is usually the one to absorb all of the physical damage, from having a bat trapped against her head by Dwight, being hit by a car by Michael, resulting in a broken pelvis, being hit in the face with a football by Pam and setting her hair on fire during an office party. Poor Meredith just can't seem to catch a break.
    • Meredith has now also shaved her head after being made to believe she brought head lice into the office by Pam, the real culprit.
  • Jerry, from Parks and Recreation is constantly picked on, accident prone and made out to be lame in almost every aspect — to the point where, when the other characters try to be nice to him because his arm is broken, it's difficult for them to do so.
  • Ted from Scrubs. Usually by Dr Kelso, but frequently by just about everyone else. To the extent that he constantly thinks about either killing Kelso or himself, and almost succeeds in the latter in one episode. It's played for tragic comedy, mostly. More comedy than tragic, though; on the one occasion he managed to jump, an enterprising custodial staff's scam was exposed by the fact that it saved Ted's life. And then the Janitor got mad at Ted for ruining his cushy gig.
  • Howard Steel in The Worst Week of My Life.
  • Bad things happen to Firefly's Jayne Cobb. But then again, being a borderline Token Evil Teammate, he probably deserves it.
  • Blair Sandburg from The Sentinel couldn't get through an episode without being captured, drugged, tied up, shot, held hostage or drowned by the criminal of the week. He even died from said drowning, though this cliffhanger was solved in the next season.
  • From Zoey 101: Stacey would count as one of these. It seems that she doesn't really have any friends. To make it even worse, it is mostly because of her way of talking. Maybe something bad happened between her and everybody else a long time ago?
  • With a heartbreakingly long list of characters lining up to tell him how worthless he is, Dean Winchester from Supernatural is walking an incredibly thin line between this and woobiedom. This was made especially clear by the episode where they have to go back to their old house; the first half went to great lengths to tell us how much it's upsetting him but then, suddenly, it switches to Extras-like comedy and Missouri seems to have it out for him, smacking him down every five minutes.
  • Antonio on Wings in the later seasons. Although he was a reasonably contented homeowner during his few seasons, he was to become dirt poor, have his mental health collapse, lose his one true love, and be attacked by a pack of wild dogs.
  • Karen Ball from Green Wing gets her hair stuck in a copy machine, is ostracized after she gets Slytherin in an online "sorting hat," and is not noticed, for days, to have fallen out of an open window. However, once she falls out the window, she returns in the series-closing special as a much more aggressive person.
  • The Interrodroid from The Middleman gets its head ripped off every episode it's in. Sometimes more than once. They started out with the Interrodroid 3000 and now they're up to the 7000 (although that was already destroyed).
  • In Life on Mars, a regular's getting demoted? Not Sam, Gene, Annie, or Chris: Ray! Somebody's getting blown up? Ray! Somebody's going to be intolerantly racist? Ray! Then again, Ray arguably brings a lot of his own misfortune on himself rather than the universe just being cruel; he was demoted, for example, because he irresponsibly caused the death of a suspect in custody then tried to cover it up, and being racist isn't exactly something you can blame on the universe. Chris, on the other hand, is the guy Ray uses as a punching bag, and the guy everyone else uses to do the unpleasant menial work.
  • Olive in On the Buses spends the entire series being mocked for being a saddo by her family.
  • The horrors visited upon Jason Stackhouse in True Blood take full advantage of HBO's allowance of various forms of naughtiness. Of course, he usually deserves it.
  • Pretty much every single character that Blackadder interacts with fits this bill, unless he/she is higher status than him. Baldrick is the shining example, though, seeing as he's in every single series.
  • Kamen Rider Den-O
    • The protagonist Ryotaro Nogami is described by one of Those Two Guys as having Guinness-level bad luck; in fact, the first time we ever see him, he's stuck up a tree because a sign randomly fell down in front of his bike and acted as a ramp, sending him flying — and that's just a mild example. However, he manages to be both The Chew Toy and The Woobie, as his antics tend to inspire chuckles followed by statements of pity; probably a combination of his Dogged Nice Guy personality and being played by a rather handsome actor. In one episode he tells a stunned onlooker that he doesn't give up because he knows things can only get better from here.
    • A later movie shows that his grandson Kotaro (also the inheritor of the Den-O powers and job as pseudo-Time Police) is just as unlucky; however, his Battle Butler Teddy actively shields him from the misfortunes. When forced to work alone for a while, Kotaro immediately starts experiencing the kinds of disasters that afflict his grandfather.
  • Dr. Smith from Lost in Space is another one that many people believe deserves everything he gets.
  • As do the Divine Predecessors of Lexx.
  • Neil from The Young Ones flits between this and The Eeyore, though some may see fit to make him into The Woobie. Stuck with all the drudge work, and mistreated at least once every episode, Neil's lot is not a happy one. He's also the show's resident Butt-Monkey.
  • Alan on Two and a Half Men. Although every once in awhile, they make sure you know that he brings it on himself. Every time he gets a slight advantage, he lets it go to his head and starts acting like the biggest jerk on the show. And that's saying something.
  • If something bad is going to happen on The Mighty Boosh — whether it be mildly unpleasant or a living nightmare of pain and degradation — smart money says it will happen to Howard Moon, even if it should logically happen to someone else. Howard's bad luck is one of the best running gags on the show and was lampshaded in the third series, when, to Howard's utter disbelief, something bad happened to Vince for a change:
    Howard: Have you got my script?
  • NCIS
    • Tony DiNozzo is tormented for your amusement throughout the series. It's played for laughs (and as just comeuppance) even when it crosses over into sadism (and the punishment far exceeds the crime).
    • McGee also gets this treatment, though he, in contrast, rarely does anything to deserve the punishment. Enjoy being tased, Probie!
    • It never happens to Gibbs or Ziva. They are just too cool. (And too hot.) Not that they avoid drama, though.
  • Fredward Benson from iCarly. Constantly rejected romantically by his best friend, his mother is insane, is constantly beaten up and insulted by his other best friend, can never win something without losing something else. This is played for laughs in all but one episode. And because that resolution was private, he still would have had to deal with the consequences anyway.
  • On The Jersey, Nick's older sister Hilary is the victim of most slapstick gags which usually leaves her wet or messy. She has even lampshades the number of times she has been Covered in Gunge with this Tempting Fate statement:
    Hilary: I am usually such a klutz, you know. I am always getting stuff dumped on me like guacamole or pies, but with this car I managed to stay perfectly clean! Looks like my luck is changing. Oh, the dipstick's a little bit out...
  • Alex Krycek in The X-Files basically exists so people can beat him up. Granted, he's not a particularly nice man, but the dude spends every episode getting bitched. It almost winds up a running gag.
  • Mason of Dead Like Me. He is ridiculed by his colleagues, shot at, run over and hurt in various other ways, he once had a stash of drugs dissolve in his anal tract, and he died from drilling a hole into his own head.
  • Victor Meldrew from One Foot in the Grave.
    • And Patrick, often a secondary victim of the weirdness affecting the Meldrews, including having his genitals attacked by a live crab, having a naked suicidal man hanging outside his office window whilst entertaining important clients and having his house flooded with a hosepipe. And Mrs. Warboys - in "The Return of the Speckled Band" Mrs. Warboys, already suffering from drawn-out food poisoning, ends up in hospital. Margaret, trying to cheer her up, brings her a video of Alien, having no idea of its content but knowing that Mrs. Warboys likes sci-fi "like Mork & Mindy", leaving her unable to leave the bathroom for two and a half hours. In a second attempt to cheer her up, Margaret unknowingly boils developing alligator eggs and delivers them to her for breakfast. In fact, about the only non-Chew Toys in it seem to be Pippa and Mr. Swainey.
  • Bertie Wooster of Jeeves and Wooster. Always up to do a favor for a friend/cousin/aunt, which always manages to backfire on him, and not the friend/cousin/aunt. Includes both emotional and physical humiliation: the number of episodes ending with or involving him getting whacked over the head seem too numerous to count.
  • Rebecca Howe from Cheers has to go here. Over the course of the series, she has her heart broken multiple times, loses her job more than once, accidentally burns down the bar, her boyfriend cheats on her and steals her money, and she ends up such an emotional wreck that in the last episode she marries a man she just met solely because she's desperate to be loved (and in an episode of Frasier, it's casually revealed that the guy became a millionaire and dumped her). Throughout, and with very few exceptions, the rest of the characters seem utterly indifferent to her misfortunes, and they're almost always played for laughs.
  • Ted from the US Queer as Folk.
  • Although just about all the characters in Mongrels get used like this (apart from Kali) it's really poor Nelson who suffers the most, perhaps because he is the only character who actually cares about others. It makes him an easier target.
  • The Colbert Report: Poor Jay the intern. He can't catch a break.
  • Speaking of interns, Matt from The Soup.
  • Josh Lyman of The West Wing alternated between this and The Woobie, depending on the cause and nature of the misfortunes he suffered. Anything stemming from the fact that he's a Genius Ditz who Can't Get Away with Nuthin' always invokes this trope, but the universe would sometimes pummel him to the point where it became diabolical (or even tear jerking), instead of funny. This was quite painfully deconstructed in season two, when his status as the chew toy combined the fact that he usually bounces back with perfect poise from every hilarious tragedy he suffers is implied to be the main reason why no one noticed that he was having a slow mental breakdown due to PTSD after an assassination attempt. However, he didn't stay this trope: eventually, he managed to become the campaign manager for the next Democratic presidential candidate, got a delightful Relationship Upgrade with the woman who had been in love with him for years, and after winning the campaign, was appointed the president's chief of staff.
  • LazyTown's Robbie Rotten. One of the show's main jokes is that something bad will always happen to him just before the credits roll. Always.
  • Francis from Malcolm in the Middle, especially in earlier seasons.
  • Nathan from Misfits has been beaten up, maimed, humiliated, and killed more often than the rest of the main cast put together. He occasionally strays into woobie territory when something really bad happens to him, but more often than not his horrendous misfortune is played solely for laughs - perhaps partly because said misfortunes can usually be traced directly back to some act of blatant stupidity and/or jerkassery on his part.
  • The lovable play-doh man Mr. Bill of the Saturday Night Live sketch show, "The Mr. Bill Show." A parody of Tastes Like Diabetes children's shows, every sketch ends with Mr. Bill being dismembered, blown up, set on fire, electrocuted, or squashed.
    • Eventually, he was made into a literal chew toy for dogs.
  • Matt from Operation Repo.
  • Bill, in the "Adventures with Bill" segments on The Red Green Show, seems to exist entirely for the sake of being the victim of physical comedy.
  • Nelson Van Alden on Boardwalk Empire. Nothing ever goes his way, and any time he tries to fix anything he just makes it worse. All of this is played for comedy (admittedly, sometimes it is very dark comedy). That the character is a complete Jerkass and the very epitome of The Comically Serious just adds to the hilarity.
  • Quinn Fabray on Glee. The one time things actually seemed to be going right in her life—she was happy with herself, she got into Yale, she was getting along with all her friends—she got hit by a truck.
  • Coronation Street
    • The luckless Tyrone. His first girlfriend cheated on him with a footballer. His second girlfriend was having an affair with his boss and carrying his boss's baby. She died in a train smash. His third girlfriend battered the crap out of him and walked out with their unborn child.
    • And before Tyrone there was Curly Watts, another unfavoured bad-luck magnet.
  • Coach Kreeton on All That.
  • Roy from The IT Crowd.
  • The Benny Hill Show
    • This is the main role of Jackie Wright — the small, bald old man, whom Benny regularly slaps the head for luck. His characters are put to constant, hilarious abuse throughout the show.
    • Benny Hill's characters come a close second, however, usually as comeuppance for their lechery or stupidity.
  • Sheriff Jack Carter of Eureka is put through the wringer on a daily basis because his primary responsibility is the safety of a company town full of scientific geniuses whose experiments go spectacularly wrong every single day and Carter is always at the center trying to fix it.
  • Rodney Trotter from Only Fools and Horses.
  • Frasier really is, but often deserves it for being a variant of Insufferable Genius. Especially during the season 6 story arc when he loses his job and becomes despondent and desperate.
  • DJBJ from Pizza always gets bashed and robbed.
    • It happened to Pauly many times as well (unlike DJBJ), sometimes Habib and even Bobo has his moments
  • Jason Todd from Titans. Season 2 has been quite unforgiving with Jason. He gets lied to, tossed aside, the adult Titans (except for Dick and Kory) mostly dislike him for no real reason, and as if all this was not enough, he gets kidnapped, tortured and almost dies at Deathstroke's hands, leaving Jason with a bad case of PTSD. Except for Rose and Dick, nobody shows any real mercy for his condition. Granted, this trope gets darkly deconstructed at the end of the episode 2x07. After getting unfairly accused of things that have nothing to do with him and having Rachel and the former Titans just taking their anger on him, Jason decides to throw himself from the roof, genuinely believing he is the cause to everybody's problems.
  • Poor George Constanza. Nothing ever goes right for him on Seinfeld.
  • Every Jackass cast member is this to some extent, but the trophy for being The Most Chewed has to be awarded to "Danger" Ehren McGehey. Hands down. (Special Mention must be given to cameramen Rick Kosick and Lance Bangs, who have never had a moment of screen time where they weren't suffering some kind of indignity.)


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