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Trauma Conga Line / Live-Action TV

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  • Poor James and Abba got hit hard with this in Season 21 of The Amazing Race despite being one of the front runners for the first half of the season. In four consecutive legs: Abba hurt his knee, James’s wife called him and told him that his dad’s cancer was entering its end stages, they got their money stolen by another team, and then both of their bags and Abba’s passport got stolen which ultimately got them eliminated the next leg. When they finally got home after spending two weeks in Russia because of the passport issue, Abba found out that he’d actually broken both of his tibias.
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  • Arrow: Oliver. First, while on his dad's boat, it suddenly tears apart and his friend is ripped away by a current. He makes it to a life raft with his dad and the captain. Subsequently, with supplies dwindling and Oliver refusing to take them all for himself, his father shoots the captain and then himself. Oliver nearly dies of exposure regardless, then makes it to an island and has to bury his father's body. It goes downhill from there. Five years of hell, including watching a child he cares for die horribly and painfully, and he morphs into a cold-blooded killer. Even when he finally returns home, things only get worse: the next four years see him lose his best friend, his mother, his First Love's sister (again), and eventually said First Love herself.
  • Played for Laughs in a Black Books episode when Manny is mugged after having punched through the glass of a phone booth to avoid a bee. When Fran is looking for Manny, Bernard advises her to "become a terrible event and happen to him."
  • Black Mirror loves putting its protagonists through this:
    • Black Mirror: Playtest: This episode is about a breezy American guy testing out an experimental horror video game that interacts with your brain to produce realistic (and crucially, safe) holographic projections of your fears. First the game starts with tame Jump Scares, but then it starts to adapt and the horror becomes too personal. It starts with Sonya stabbing him In the Back, then his Mission Control turns on him and traps him in a room, then the game starts erasing his memories (a year before the events of the episode the protagonist lost his father to Alzheimer's and it's all but stated that the world trip stems from a desire to gather as many happy memories as he could, while he still could). At this point, the game developers burst into the room and inform Cooper that the malfunctioning game has left him with his memories permanently erased and trapped in an Alzheimer's-like state. To top it all off, at this point the developers finally get him out the game and he flies home to America, and finds to his horror that his mother has contracted Alzheimer's in his absence and she doesn't remember who he is. Then we find out everything we watched so far was a Dying Dream as the game in reality malfunctioned due to his mother phoning him. The poor guy died alone in pain and terror, crying out "MOOMM! MOOOMM! MOOOOMMM!".
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  • Shawn Hunter in Boy Meets World, even the showrunner has mentioned how nothing good ever happens for Shawn throughout the entire 7 season run. His mom abandons him, driving away with their trailer (his home) and all his possessions and his dad abandons him trying to get her back. He's basically homeless for a bit before finally settling in with his English teacher for the year (who, of course, gets into a car accident and is never heard from again), then both parents come back only to abandon him AGAIN at some point between seasons 4 and 5 (the muddled timeline makes "when" unclear). Things finally appear to be looking up for him after he starts college; until, in quick succession, he breaks up with his long term girlfriend, his father dies and he learns that the woman he THOUGHT was his mom, wasn't and his real mom was a hooker. It's no wonder he started drinking again.
  • Breaking Bad
    • Nobody really fares too well in this series, but Jesse Pinkman seems to get the absolute worst of it starting from season 2: he has to deal with his parents giving up on him and kicking him out, leaving him homeless; the death of his girlfriend Jane to an overdose that he feels responsible for; Hank beating him into unconsciousness, leaving him hospitalized; having to go on the run after he reaches his rage breaking point and tries to kill a group of men who murdered a little kid; having to murder an unarmed person in order to save the life of an increasingly abusive surrogate father, which causes a Heroic BSoD so strong he pretty much gives up on his life for a few episodes afterwards; having to deal with a kid he's befriended being poisoned and thinking said surrogate father is the cause; seeing a kid get killed unnecessarily again and finding out that his partner has killed a whole bunch of other people as well; and figuring out that his partner actually did poison the kid, which drives him to a self-destructive rage so intense he comes very, very close to burning Walt's house down. And just when you think things couldn't possibly get worse, he's forced into slavery by the same guy who killed the kid earlier, and when he tries to escape one time they react by murdering Andrea, the woman he loves. And all the while dealing with continual threats to his own life and abuse from Walt. It's no wonder he's so often considered a Woobie despite being an Antivillain.
    • Mike Ehrmantraut doesn't fare much better. He learns that his boss has been killed while recovering from gunshot wounds in Mexico thus costing him his comfortable job as Gus's muscle. After that, the slush funds his boss left behind for hazard pay to keep his imprisoned associates silent, along with his granddaughter's inheritance, are seized by the DEA, thus forcing him to ally with Walt, whom he trusts about as far as he can throw. When the DEA puts pressure on him later, he's forced into retirement with a five million dollar buyout: a lot of money for most, but likely not much after paying off aforementioned imprisoned associates. Then the DEA gets his money again, and one of his associates flips on him, selling him out and forcing him to flee without even a chance to say goodbye to his granddaughter. Not that he gets very far, anyway: he has one final argument with Walt where he chews him out for being a prideful and selfish son of a bitch, pushing Walt's Berserk Button and driving him to shoot Mike to death. Then, as a final insult to injury, his body is placed in a barrel and dissolved in acid, so no one, much less his family, will ever know what became of him.
  • Jake Peralta from Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Starting it off, in season one, it was revealed that Jake's dad abandoned him when he was 7 and his mom was a workaholic and was never there for him. In one episode, he was bankrupted and was being evicted from his apartment. Then the writers gave him no mercy in season two: He has been rejected by Amy, a woman he has a mad crush on, because she's dating someone else. He finally met another woman, Sophia, whom he really clicked with, only for her to break up with him, because Jake arrested her boss and it turns out that she wasn't all into him, despite Jake developing some serious feelings for Sophia. He was the main suspect for the mole investigation and was suspended when an Internal Affairs agent saw him in the evidence lockup, has been outed by the Pontiac Bandit twice, had a major falling out with his best friend, had his crushing debts from his friends and colleagues bite him back, lost in his Halloween bet with his captain after his friends betray him, because they just want to see Jake get humiliated. His dad came back to visit him, only for him to use his son's cop status and abandon him again. Jake also suffered from a string of bad luck in one week that ended with him getting suspended from the NYPD then kidnapped by Sophia's ex-boss. He also sustained multiple injuries (broken ribs and toes, hairline fracture) within a month, and when it looks like something is finally right in his life... Captain Holt, his father-figure and mentor, suddenly leaves the Nine-Nine.
  • Bron|Broen: Saga gets one of these in series 3: Saga witnesses her first partner lose a foot in an explosion and feels responsible. Then her abusive mother, who had Munchausen syndrome by proxy, shows up and starts a campaign of intimidation, including blaming Saga for her sister's suicide. Saga's father, from whom she was also estranged, dies. Then Hans, her boss and friend, who always had her back, is kidnapped and tortured. Then she's mismanaged to the extreme by her new boss, who assigns an incompetent colleague who has a grudge against Saga to investigate her. Then her mother commits suicide in a way that frames Saga for murder. Hans dies. She forgets to search a suspect for weapons, and her colleague's daughter is consequently shot. Her new partner, whom she grew close to, turns out to be a drug addict. She inadvertently provides the murderer with the means to kill himself. And finally, she's suspended while being investigated for her mother's death. All this leads her to a very bad place.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Writing everything that happened to Buffy over the series would result in several massive Walls of Text, but the major ones: briefly dying and resulting PTSD, Angel turning evil and killing Jenny, having to kill Angel, Angel leaving, her mother's death, her sister's the Key, dying again and then being dragged out of Heaven, and the attempted rape.
    • Tara was brainwashed by her sexist family into believing she's a demon, had her mother die at age 17, had her mind messed with by Glory, memory-wiped by Willow (twice), and just as she reconciled with Willow, she was accidentally killed when a bullet that Warren meant for Buffy hit her instead.
    • Drusilla, though a lot of it takes place off-screen, with bits and pieces shown in flashbacks. Her mother told her her psychic ability was evil, and when goes to confessional, Angelus impersonates a priest and tells her she is the spawn of Satan and God would use her and then smite her. After stalking her for a while, he slaughters her whole family in front of her, and when she flees to a convent, kills the nuns there, driving her insane. For good measure, he has sex with Darla in front of her and then turns her into a vampire.
    • Angel: Pretty much Connor's entire life up until Season 4 was one long Trauma Conga Line. (Not that his life was great after that; there was a brief pause, but only so we could see the damage.) In fact, things get even worse in season 4. The pleasant part of his life before a total memory wipe was the time period between seasons 3 and 4, which lasted about 3 months.
    • If Connor thought he had it bad, at least he got superpowers and a Happy End in the end. Wesley Wyndam-Pryce's life from Season 3 onwards to the series' final episode became a downward spiral of losing baby Connor while trying to save Angel's son from a prophecy, having his throat cut nearly fatally, nearly being choked by an enraged Angel, losing his friends' trust, his idealism, his happiness, seeing the woman he loved die horribly, falling into despair, cynicism and alcoholism, and finally being killed by an ancient sorcerer in a magical duel he had no reasonable chance of winning.
  • Cobra Kai: The end of season 2 is one for Johnny. First, the rivalry between Cobra Kai and Miyagi-do, which he was to some extent responsible for fuelling, breaks out into an outright war on the first day of school with multiple injuries on either side. His estranged biological son, Robby, whom he has spent the entire season reaching out to and almost succeeded in building a budding relationship with, throws his prize pupil Miguel off a balcony and leaves him in a coma with a broken spine, and is now on the run from the law. Then Johnny's girlfriend, Miguel's mother, blames him for her son's injuries and cuts him off. Then his students also blame him for Miguel's injuries, saying Johnny weakened Miguel by teaching him "honor", and abandon him in favor of his Evil Mentor, John Kreese. In one fell swoop, Johnny has lost his job, his girlfriend, his students, his son and his self-respect, everything he spent two seasons building.
  • The Doctor from Doctor Who. Before the series even begins he's on the run from his own people, who never regard him as anything more than a madman and a renegade (and that's before he becomes the Last of His Kind). Every single person he loves or is close to in any way dies or leaves, though not before being inflicted with the horrors of the universe thanks to their association with him, and he always ends up alone. No matter where he goes he frequently lands in the middle of wars and invasions and general misery, enduring every pain and torture imaginable, including dying again and again in horrible ways, and witnessing the deaths of uncountable people. And no matter how much good he does or how many people he saves, his worst enemies always survive and half the universe either hates him or fears him. It's nothing short of a miracle he hasn't just given up.
    • The Tenth Doctor attracted both extensive praise and criticism for suffering everything that could possibly go wrong at every possible opportunity. By "The End of Time", everyone close to him had moved on, voluntarily or otherwise, the closest thing he had to a friend was one old man who still believed in him (who he dies to save), and his almost maniacal desire to Screw Destiny and avoid his "song" ending was less about self-preservation and more desperately trying to keep hold of the last thing that hadn't been taken from him.
    • Amy Pond is the trope's poster girl for the series, going through severe emotional trauma every two episodes on average. Every possible kind of hardship seems to find its way into her life, and her husband Rory is forced to live with every bit of it as well. The Doctor eventually realizes this, dropping her and her husband Rory off home before he gets them killed, but they're confirmed as returning in the following season and Amy's having severe My God, What Have I Done? feelings over killing Madam Kovarian.
    • River Song has been through her share of this. Or will be. Or both.
    • Clara gets one during Series 8. First, the Doctor she had come to know and be mildly attracted to disappears and is replaced by someone with a much different personality and appearance, then she has a violent fallout with the Doctor (they reconcile later), then is helpless as the man she loves dies a stupid death, returns as a Cybermen zombie, and sacrifices himself twice afterward. Finally, the Doctor leaves her to return home...and both have actually lied to each other to facilitate this. Things get better, though.
    • In Series 9, the final stretch of the season features this for the Twelfth Doctor: In "Face the Raven" it's not only that Ashildr betrays him to an enemy and Clara dies for good when her heroics go awry, but also that he's sent away to another world with his TARDIS left behind on Earth afterward. "Heaven Sent" picks up where that leaves off: He is trapped and alone — save for a Monster of the Week — in a Mobile Maze, with his enemies trying to drive him insane if he won't give them what they want. As a result of all this torment, the season finale "Hell Bent" reveals he is insane as he becomes a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds ready to defy his own people and give up the homeworld he wanted so badly to return to and risk the destruction of the universe if it will allow him to save Clara, and only a Heel Realization convinces him to recross the Despair Event Horizon and be his best self again — and to do that, he must lose both Clara and key memories of her — the ones that made him love her — to lose the burden of his anguish and restore his sanity.
  • EastEnders: Ronnie Mitchell. Her time on the show is best described currently as God taking one giant crap on her life. All she wants is a child but if she has one, it ends up dead...and then there is the fact she was raped as a child, her husband shot in the head (although he survived albeit crippled a while), family dysfunction that the former matriarch wants her to look after, and she was recently seen banging on the door of her mother's flat screaming "Mummy!" like a scared child after her latest baby died in cot death. Her story ended with her getting married and living happily ever after... for the few hours before she and her sister both drowned.
    • Lampshaded in a dialogue between Mark and his sister Michelle. Mark has recently been diagnosed as HIV positive, and tells Michelle she just doesn't understand. She replies, “I’ve been divorced, had an abortion, had an affair with a married man and had a kid when I was 16 with my best mate’s dad. What don’t I understand?”
  • John Crichton of Farscape. To list all the things the writers put him through would take waaay too long, but the highlights include brutal torture both physical and mental, being controlled by a neural clone and forced to kill the love of his life, being cloned only to have his resurrected lover fall in love with the OTHER John and take off with her, having the other John die and Aeryn (said lover) abandon him, having her come back with his worst enemy, the man responsible for the torture and the neural clone, and being raped. And that's not even touching on all the things he's been forced to do in order to survive all of the above. Really, this trope could be NAMED for John Crichton.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • In "Fire and Blood", Joffrey shows Sansa the castle wall adorned with the heads of her family's household, most importantly her septa and her father, and he forces her to look.
    • Ned is arrested, stripped of his lands and titles, forced to falsely confess treason and conspiracy to take the Iron Throne for himself, sentenced to death after being promised he would be spared if he confessed and finally beheaded with his own sword — the same he used himself to kill criminals, no less — in front of the mob, with his head put and left to rot on a pike.
    • Over the course of three seasons, Arya's best friend is murdered for a crime he didn't commit, her father is unjustly executed, her rescuer is murdered right before she is taken captive, she witnesses murder and torture on a daily basis while living in filth at Harrenhal, her other best friend is sold out to a witch by people she thought she could trust, she learns firsthand that the "Lord of Light" doesn't give a shit about her murdered friend, and when she's finally about to be reunited with her brother and mother, they're murdered horrifically and she witnesses the profaning of her brother's corpse. To top it all off, the only ally (or the closest thing to an ally) she has left is the man who murdered her aforementioned best friend.
    • Davos outlives Matthos, Shireen, Stannis, and Jon Snow. Jon comes Back from the Dead, but the others don't.
    • Meera in Season 4. She has to deal with Jojen's increasingly bad health, getting captured by the Night's Watch mutineers and almost gang-raped, and then she's forced to kill her beloved younger brother, who's been mortally wounded. "The Door" keeps on carrying the torch, as Meera is forced to watch as the Children of the Forest, Summer, the Three-Eyed Raven, and finally Hodor are all slain by the White Walkers. To twist the knife just a bit further, Meera turns out to be unwittingly complicit in Bran's accidental Mind Rape of young Hodor. Unsurprisingly, the weight finally gets to be too much to bear in the next episode: when it looks like all hope is finally lost and the wight horde is about to be the end of the two of them despite Hodor's sacrifice, Meera pulls Bran into a shielding hug and just sobs. Fortunately, they are rescued.
    • Episodes 2 and 3 of Season 4 are nothing but this for Cersei. First, Joffrey is assassinated using a horribly painful poison, and then her father totally ignores her when she asks him not to lecture Tommen about how bad a king Joffrey was before taking Tommen away, and then she has a...rather uncomfortable sexual encounter with Jaime next to her son's corpse while she's mourning.
    • Season 5's Stannis arc becomes almost a Black Comedy for how much successive misfortune it piles on the man. After he spent the previous two seasons sulking on Dragonstone following his defeat at Blackwater Bay, Stannis and his forces heroically come to the rescue of the Night's Watch at the end of season 4 to defeat the Wildlings. Then in season 5, Stannis: tries to convince Jon Snow to join him when he takes back Winterfell from the Boltons, but fails; tries to convince Mance Rayder to bend the knee so he can recruit his men, who refuses; tries to execute Mance to make an example of him, only to be interrupted by Jon Snow killing him prematurely; marches on Winterfell, but gets stuck in a snowstorm; finds his supplies destroyed by Ramsay Bolton and his twenty men; executes his own daughter as part of a human sacrifice at Melisandre's urging; wants to march on Winterfell after the snows melt but half his men have abandoned him and taken ALL the horses; is told that his wife committed suicide and Melisandre has fled; is crushed with his remnant army in a spectacularly one-sided battle; is finally hunted down by Brienne of Tarth, who kills him for his previous murder of Renly. Yeesh.
    • Selyse Baratheon. First, there's the high number of stillborns she's produced. Then the one child she does produce ends up being a girl who gets afflicted with dragonscale. Unable to believe in the old gods, she devotes herself to the Lord of Light instead, only to find out that his priestess had an affair with Stannis. Although she claimed that it wasn't a problem, it's strongly suggested that she's hurt deep down. Then finally, the people she had Undying Loyalty to (her husband and the aforementioned priestess) burn her daughter alive, who she had always previously scorned but tried to save at the last moment. All of the guilt and trauma are too much to bear for her and she commits suicide.
  • Kurt Hummel from Glee comes to mind, incidents including but not limited to: His mother dying at a young age, being bullied by his peers, his dad almost dying, getting sexually harassed and threatened with death, getting humiliated at prom, getting sexually assaulted by his boyfriend, not being accepted into his dream school while his friend/rival is, said boyfriend cheating on him, his dad almost dying again, the death of his step-brother and most recently getting gay bashed and hit over the head with a brick. Despite all this, he is more often than not a kind and compassionate person.
  • Izzie Stevens in Grey's Anatomy, who can fall into categories A, C and E at times. She started off being sexually harassed at work by her peers for being beautiful and minor hazing stuff from other doctors including a rather cruel learning experiment from a doctor she looked up to by giving her a patient she knew was going to die and making her responsible for seeing the patient through the night. Later on in the season, Izzie lost the love of her life a heart patient at the hospital. She quit her job and became catatonic for days. She also went through a very realistic process of grief. A few seasons later they gave her cancer, killed off her best friend, fired her from her job, dissolved her marriage and then put her on a bus to never been seen again.
  • House doesn’t exactly make it easy on himself, even admitting in the last season that he’s self destructed most of his chances to be happy, but his life really genuinely sucks: abused as a Military Brat, kinda suicidal even before the infarction, the infarction itself where he was Mistaken for Junkie and the doctors didn’t catch it in time, and Stacy/Cuddy decided Takes a Third Option without consent, leaving him crippled and in pain (said pain gets worse when he has emotional pain), he tries ketamine which heals his leg but it fails and starts hurting again by the end of the second episode of the third season, he intentionally overdoses on Christmas, there’s the bus crash with Amber and both he and Wilson (who is hurting and doesn’t know about the Survivor's Guilt) think he should have died instead, his abusive (non bio) dad dies, he tries Methadone which helps his leg but degrades his observation skills a little which is too much for him, he actually tries therapy but crashes his bike and quits the therapy as soon as Wilson finds out, Kutner dies which increases the Survivor's Guilt and induces psychosis – Amber hallucinations and not being able to tell what’s real – and he goes into Mayfield. He admits to a patient that she needs to amputate because he wishes he had as the pain’s made him a worse person, and she dies due to a fat embolism because of that amputation. After a failed relationship with Cuddy he goes right back to the Vicodin, and an experiment drug for his leg ends up with it having tumors and having to commit Self-Surgery to get them out. After the awful crashing through Cuddy’s house by his car, he rightfully feels guilty and turns himself in to jail, spending a year there and suffers the Humiliation Conga (including offscreen a month in solitary and Prison Rape on some level) cos he feels like he deserves it after what he did. He loses Dominika after some more self sabotage and struggles to deal with Wilson’s cancer, coming through for his friend by faking his death/ending his career to be with him in his final months. And if you believe Hugh Laurie, he dies not long after Wilson does.
  • The Killing: Bullet, over the course of Season 3. She begins the season as a homeless teen, and it goes down from there. Her only friend is abducted (and presumably killed), the girl she has a crush on rejects her after using her for brief comfort and shelter, she is beaten and raped by a pimp at knifepoint (while she was searching for her missing friend no less), and after inadvertently driving away the only cop that gave a damn about her with bad info, her final fate is to be brutally murdered by the same serial killer that took her friend, with her body left in a car trunk for the police to discover.
  • The sixth and seventh seasons of Law And Order Criminal Intent become this for Bobby Goren. His partner is kidnapped and nearly killed (by someone he knows, no less), his mother is diagnosed with cancer, causing him to lose his temper (and very nearly his job) in the middle of a case. His drug-addict brother takes advantage of him (again, or so it's implied), and then he finds out that he may be the product of an affair between his mother and a notorious serial killer — in the same episode in which his mother dies. Then, shortly thereafter, his brother reemerges and tells Bobby he has a son who is in prison and afraid for his life; Bobby goes undercover to rescue his nephew and nearly dies, an act which gets him put on indefinate suspension and ending with him being forced to take part in a dangerous undercover in order to get his job back, which leaves Eames steaming at him well into the next episode. And then, as if that weren't enough, his brother is murdered and he finds out that his mentor is responsible. It's a wonder he was still sane by Season 8.
  • In M*A*S*H, this happens to every main character at least once. Hawkeye and Margaret, in particular, get it the most, partly because they've been there the longest.
  • The title character in Monk has been a textbook Type C for years by the time the show begins, having dealt with phobias and OCD his whole life and finally breaking down and leaving the police force to lock himself in his house after the murder of his beloved wife. He does slowly recover throughout the series, however.
  • Mr. Robot:
    • Elliot Alderson. He lost his father to leukemia. He suffers from depression, anxiety, drug addiction and possibly PTSD after suffering years of abuse at the hands of his mother. As the series progresses, he also loses his best friend/girlfriend at the hands of a psychopathic serial killer, he finds out that Mr. Robot, the man who recruited him into fsociety is actually a figment of his imagination and his split personality that manipulated him into starting 5/9 hack. And while he is prison, he gets emotionally and mentally tortured by Mr. Robot, gets beaten to a pulp, almost gets raped, etc. But as he gets out, it doesn't end there. He gets shot in the belly by his stalker for trying to stop a terror attack from happening, gets psychologically and later emotionally abused by his only best friend/crush, tries to work hard to stop the said terror attack only to find out that it was successful in 71 other buildings, almost tried to kill himself and almost got killed along with his sister by the terrorists. People watching this show wonder how is he able to survive the hell he is put through.
    • Dominique "Dom" Dipierro. She's dealt with crippling social anxiety and depression all her life and has a history of sabotaging her relationships with others due to a fear of commitment. As her investigation into fsociety delves deeper, she survives two separate mass shootings that were at least indirectly intended to kill her, forcing her to cope with witnessing firsthand the deaths of her coworkers and few friends. She finally manages to forge a genuine connection with someone, only for the object of her affection to betray her and reveal that the only reason she ever feigned interest in her was to steal her FBI credentials. Dom is then kidnapped, subjected to psychological torture, and forced to work as an informant for the Dark Army (the same group that organized the hits on her and is behind the terrorism she's been investigating for the entirety of the show) under threat of them tracking down and murdering her family - made all the more dire by the Dark Army dismembering her boss with an axe right in front of her. It's safe to say that she really isn't having a great year.
  • Happens to Tommy in Rescue Me nearly every episode, although some are worse than others. He's a Type F and remains a lying, scheming, womanizing, short-tempered, alcoholic, self-centered asshole for seven seasons.
  • While not technically the hero, Dollhouse's Topher seems to be the definition of this trope. Nothing seems to go well for the poor bloke.
  • In Rome, Lucius Vorenus goes through a hell of a one at the end of Season 1 and in the beginnings of Season 2. First, he finds out his by this point beloved wife cheated on him when he was away on campaign, then she kills herself to stop him from having to do it himself, in accordance with Roman law. Then he curses his own children, leading him to later believe they ran away. Then his patron, Julius Caesar, is assassinated. Then it turns out that his children did not run away, but were rather kidnapped by a gang boss Vorenus had insulted. Interrogating that gang boss, he is told that the boss raped and murdered his children in recompense for the aforementioned insults. After killing him, Vorenus simply slips into a Heroic BSoD, and can anyone blame him?
  • Happens twice in Scrubs, first to Elliot and then later to JD. During Elliot's crap, she doesn't try to get help from others and closes herself off. Most of the series has her personally dealing with her issues with some venting from time to time. JD, on the other hand, had become far too dependent on his friends and his constant self-pity had been going on for seven years by that point. It's when he saw just how annoying he could be by watching others does he start to really deal with his problems on his own instead of relying on others. It's easier to help someone when they're trying to help themselves then someone who constantly annoys you instead of dealing with their own life themselves.
    • More than once, JD has wryly noted that sometimes the hospital doesn't space out tragedies and disasters so that the doctors have time to pull themselves together after each one—sometimes it just piles the suckitude on until you can't take it anymore (for example, "My Lunch").
  • Dr. Jack "Boomer" Morrison in St. Elsewhere. Let's see. His wife dies, his son gets kidnapped (though later returned), he gets raped while volunteering in a prison infirmary, the rapist breaks out of prison and comes after him, his girlfriend aborts his baby over his objections...when does anything go right for Boomer?
  • Throughout Stargate SG-1, the eponymous team are on the receiving end of a seemingly endless series of pain and suffering and defeat, and it's fortunate There Are No Therapists, because if they were real people someone would be making a fortune off of their PTSD. And Daniel Jackson manages to not only suffer more than the other three members combined, but each instance is even more devastating. After all, all of them have had love interests die, but Daniel is the only one who had them shot to death in front of himnote .
  • Stargate Atlantis, while you're at it. Lots of people, but Ronon Dex especially.
  • On Supergirl, Ben Lockwood was a decent college professor who spoke for alien rights. Then he was injured by an alien while stopping a riot, his father's factory was shut down due to cheaper alien materials about, the family home was destroyed in a fight between the Martian Manhunter and a Daxamite, he was fired from his job for increasing anti-alien views and his father died in the quakes set off by the Worldkiller. It all piled up to transform the once-good Ben into the violent alien-hunting Agent Liberty.
  • Star Trek: Discovery's second season, despite reinstating Michael Burnham to rank and position, winds up being a very bad time. Two different crewmates asked her for a Mercy Kill — one being Saru, her Platonic Life Partner. He ultimately survived, but poor Airiam didn't, and someone else had to do the deed to save everyone else from being killed. Her relationship with Amanda is severely strained, her reunion with Spock is an utter disaster when he retaliates for her misguided attempt to protect him by saying a number of things calculated to emotionally wound her, she learns a couple of Awful Truths about her birth parents, her birth mother comes back through time, but attempts to forcibly maintain distance and is then stranded in the future... by the finale, she could really give Miles O'Brien a run for his money.
  • Supernatural: You would not want to be a Winchester. Or an angel on their side. Or their love interest.
    • Dean just keeps getting hit by more and more tragedies and still has to stumble to get up and go on. Let's recap shall we? First off, his mother dies when he's a kid, leaving him to be dragged across the country in pursuit of revenge, then his father goes missing, so he has to team-up with his estranged brother to find him; next his father dies exchanging his soul for Dean's leaving him with horrific Survivor Guilt; his brother dies, leaving Dean to make another Deal with the Devil and 1 year to live (being constantly tormented by his upcoming damnation); next he is ripped to shreds by hell-hounds and spends 40 years equivalent in Hell.

      Then he is resurrected by angels to serve their purpose, constantly being haunted by the memories of his soul-destroying torture with more guilt pertaining to the fact that he broke the first seal for the Apocalypse; next he tries to handle his brother becoming a junkie addicted to demon blood; and finally he fails to stop his brother setting off the apocalypse, resulting in him spending the 5th season hunting down the four horsemen of the apocalypse and trying to put Lucifer back in his cage, so far losing hope that he agrees to let Michael possess him to defeat Lucifer even though that will raze the world. His brother's faith makes him take it back, but then Dean loses his brother again. Also, his childhood was filled with neglect and emotional abuse. Natch. It's no wonder Famine told him that he was dead and empty inside.
    • Sam went through life fearing he was some kind of freak, and then it turned out he really was. His fiance-girlfriend dies at the very beginning of the series; every other woman he has ever gotten close to has died a horrible death or betrayed him, leading him to be emotionally scarred and introverted; he never lived up to the expectations of his family; was constantly denied the chance to live a normal life because of demons; was forced into hunting and the family lifestyle; his dad disowned him for going to college; his father told his brother to kill him; he's apparently an abomination of God because his mother made a deal to sell him to a demon when he was born; he never got to know said mother as she died when he was a baby because of him.

      When Sam's murdered, Dean sells his soul to bring him back (and spends 40 years in hell because of it, while Sam spends that 4-month period suicidal and becomes addicted to demon blood); he accidentally starts the apocalypse trying to stop it, and then in season five finds out he's the vessel for Lucifer and that he was destined to be the Anti-Christ; at the end of season five, he sacrificed himself to lock Lucifer away, knowing he'd be tortured by Archangels Lucifer and Michael for averting the Apocalypse; and as of season seven had some version of schizophrenia/mental illness due to nearly two centuries of torture in which his soul was effectively flayed and then pushed back into him after centuries of mutilation done to it. Conclusion: It's not fun to be a Winchester.
  • Captain Jack Harkness from Torchwood. Between "Exit Wounds" and Children of Earth, it's no wonder he gave up and left to travel in space.
  • Tara from True Blood. She starts out as the rational, fiesty, voice of reason but complications involving her alcoholic mother, the love of her life murdered, and being kidnapped by a psychopathic vampire reduces her to a sobbing wreck. She spends almost every episode crying or contemplating suicide.
  • 24: Jack Bauer is a Type E. While he put up with a lot of crap in the first season (including the kidnapping of his wife and daughter, the police chasing him, duplicitous co-workers and obstructive bureaucrats), he arguably triumphed...until the final minutes of the season finale, when he finds his (pregnant, unbeknownst to him) wife tied up and gutshot in the CTU server room. From that point on, 24 becomes "The Tragedy of Jack Bauer"—over the course of the series, most of his friends have died (Season 5 could unofficially be called "Let's Kill Jack Bauer's Support Network"), he's been tortured multiple times, gets little respect from government agencies because he's perceived as a loose cannon and generally has to go on the run at the end of most seasons because of the circumstances leveled on him. At the end of the series, he's almost executed and forced to flee the country, beaten and battered, with his new love interest dead.
  • The backstory of Veronica Mars. A few months before the show started, Veronica's boyfriend broke up with her for no reason. Then her best friend was brutally murdered. Then her dad got fired from his job as sheriff, and the related events made her a social pariah in school. Then her mom abandoned her without warning. Then she was drugged and raped at a party, and the new sheriff refused to even investigate. The end result is that she turns from a popular, fun-loving high-schooler to a jaded misanthrope Kid Detective with no respect for authority.
  • The Wire:
    • Randy Wagstaff in Season 4, who is only 13 to 14 years old. He confesses to knowing about a murder to his school principal to avoid getting in trouble and the drug kingpin in the streets, Marlo Stanfield, finds out about it and decides to ruin his life and puts out the word that he's a snitch. Everyone avoids Randy or beats him. Then in the Wham Episode, his house is firebombed, his foster mother brutally burned, and despite all the help of a police sergeant, he is sent to a foster home where other kids, knowing he's a snitch, beat him daily.
    • Bubbles, a heroin addict and a Type I Anti-Hero, is homeless, unwelcome in his family, often gets beaten up, repeatedly fails in attempts to go clean, suffers the deaths of his two best friends (one of which he indirectly causes), and tries to commit suicide due to intense feelings of guilt. In the end, his fate is Type A, in a rare The Wire example of Earn Your Happy Ending.
    • The impulsive and idiotic Ziggy Sobotka suffers blow after blow to his self-esteem—he's routinely beaten up, his precious car is stolen and torched, his pet duck dies, and finally he's cheated out of $18,000. This finally makes him snap.


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