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Woobie / Gravity Falls

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The show has a lot of sympathetic characters:

  • Dipper fits this. In "The Inconveniencing", for example, he spends the entire episode trying to impress Wendy, but almost loses it when Mabel mentions the "Lamby Lamby Dance." Also, in the convenience store, Wendy's friends accuse him multiple times of being a scared little kid. On top of that, he is forced to do the "Lamby Lamby Dance" to save them and on top of that, Wendy is watching him do it. He does get saved from complete embarrassment however, when Wendy decides to keep the dance secret from her friends.
    • On top of that, Wendy's facial expression when she sees Dipper do the "Lamby Lamby Dance" can be interpreted as a form of squee. So, while Dipper feels absolutely humiliated, it's not all bad.
    • In "Fight Fighters", the poor kid seemed genuinely, realistically terrified that he had to fight with Robbie.
    • His struggling to tell Wendy how he feels about her and ultimately having his feelings unrequited puts him firmly in this territory during "Into the Bunker."
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    • In "Sock Opera", when Bill tricks Dipper into letting him possess his body the poor kid ends up so beat up that at the end of the episode he insists on needing to go to the hospital.
    • By a little more than halfway through the second season it's clear he's quietly been an emotional wreck for awhile. It's been noted that he has an extremely low concept of self-worth and is quick to blame himself for things that go wrong, even if it's not his fault. He's also extremely lonely (he still misses Tyrone, his clone, "the only one who ever understood") due to his only close friends being members of his family, most of whom pick at his insecurities in moments of insensitivity just for the sake of jokes. The major exception is currently Ford, who validates and even shares Dipper's interests and feelings and passes no judgement on the quirks that others have often alienated Dipper for. But as of "The Last Mabelcorn", it's very clear Dipper's been mentally traumatized by Bill's abuses towards him, and unfortunately Ford seems to have unintentionally added to the nightmare fuel. To top it all off, he's been put in charge of protecting a McGuffin that, if broken, would end the world, and has very little idea what the right thing to do is in terms of protecting it. All of this adds up to one incredibly confused, hurt, frustrated, and lonely child.
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    • During Weirdmageddon, he spends three days wandering a post-apocalyptic wasteland not sure if any of his family or friends are still alive. He goes "to heck and back" to rescue Mabel, to the point where he was dragging himself along the ground after a car wreck and that still didn't deter him, and when he finally reunited with her, discovered that she'd replaced him with a new "improved" version of himself; for a kid whose self-esteem is in the negatives anyway, that's gotta be incredibly painful. Not to mention the flashback to the twins' fourth grade Valentine's Day, when Dipper didn't receive a single card and ran from the classroom to hide in a janitor's closet when the class laughed at him for it.
    • The reveal in Gravity Falls: Legend of the Gnome Gemulets that Dipper, not even 5 minutes old, nearly suffocated in the hospital because of his umbilical cord. How can you not feel bad for the kid?
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  • Mabel can be this as well, especially in "The Last Mabelcorn" and "Dipper and Mabel vs. the Future". Additionally, "Weirdmaggedon 2: Escape From Reality" depicts her as having been an All of the Other Reindeer prior to her time in Gravity Falls, though to a lesser extent than her brother.
  • Blendin Blandin from "The Time Traveler's Pig." He wasn't a bad guy, yet he was reprimanded and punished for just doing his job. Clearly, he had been overworked and was a nervous wreck, and the minute he decided to take it easy, two kids stole his time machine. This was all Played for Laughs (and in no way was his story as sad as poor Mabel's when she lost Waddles).
    • If it's any consolation, his only punishment was to finish doing the job he was trying to do in the first place, so no harm no foul with any luck. Though he is on his boss's bad side now.
    • He did get sent to time jail for life. But then again, he did establish a combat match to get a wish to wish the kids out of existence (rather than just using it to undo the damage done to him). Also, from a managerial standpoint, a guy who lets himself get tricked by 12 year olds out of a time machine does not make you look good at all.
  • Li'l Gideon's mother. "Just keep vacuuming... just keep vacuuming..."
  • Bud Gleeful is a Jerkass Woobie who's clearly being victimized and abused by his nine-year-old dark-magic-using son.
  • Mermando in "The Deep End." Just a twelve year old kid, and he was separated from his family, just barely escaped from sailors who were going to feast on his flesh, and wound up trapped in a swimming pool for an undetermined amount of time.
    • It's also dang near impossible not to feel awful for the poor kid stuck in solitary confinement in the same episode.
    • Again from that episode, Dipper can be considered one for giving up his new-found job as an assistant lifeguard to help Mermando. Of course, Dipper only wanted the job to reach his unrealistic desire to "eventually marry Wendy" so it might be mitigated somewhat.
    • And later, Mermando's forced to marry a manatee! Guy can't catch a break.
  • Sev'ral Timez. Let's see... they were raised in a giant hamster cage and cloned, were verbally abused by their creator/manager and were denied food if they didn't perform well, they are Extreme Doormats who are too timid to stand up for themselves and allow themselves to be controlled by people, they are now homeless and live in the forest and have to resort to eating garbage so as not to have empty stomachs, and they have no idea how to take care of themselves. The astonishing thing is that, while the episode was a Take That! towards the manufactured nature of 90s boy bands, the singers themselves were portrayed in an astonishingly sympathetic way.
  • The "Free Pizza" guy never gets anything he wants, whether it's free pizza, a package, or barbecue. And he looks so dejected every time.
  • Wendy, after she reveals that she only pretends to be constantly laid-back as a way to cope with her aggressive family, which is a burden on her emotions. This suddenly makes her rare emotional outbursts such as in "Boyz Crazy" even worse.
  • Old Man McGucket. He worked with the author, and witnessed something so horrible that he decided the best thing would be to erase his memories of it with a mind eraser gun he created. He then continued to use the mind eraser gun for every event he wanted to forget, without ever realizing he was driving himself insane. It certainly makes the fact that his family ignores him now all the more harsh.
    • Made even more sad in Journal 3, where we see that he initially created the gun to cope with the trauma of being attacked by a gremloblin. Ford's musings in the journal even suggest that McGucket was suffering from some kind of anxiety disorder, even prior to the portal incident.
  • Poor Soos, as revealed in "Blendin's Game": his dad left him at a young age and never came back, making up for missed birthdays with postcards saying things approximate to "Sorry I couldn't make it champ! Busy with work!" From the way Soos's Abuelita talks about him, it's clear the Parental Abandonment was pretty purposeful rather than neglect stemming from travel work.
  • Thompson, as revealed in "The Love God"; he deliberately allows himself to be picked on to get friends and pleaded not to be alone when his friend group split up in anger.
  • Pacifica becomes this as we learn more about her home life in season 2, especially in "Northwest Mansion Mystery" in which we learn that her parents are flat-out psychologically abusive as opposed to just neglectful.
  • Grunkle Stan if you think about it. "Not What He Seems" has dialogue that suggests that he feels directly responsible for his brother's disappearance, lamenting that he had to get involved in things 30 years ago. He's spent the last 30 years of his life looking for a way to save his brother.
    • It only gets worse in "A Tale of Two Stans". After an accident in his teen years, Stan gets disowned, betrayed, and has to run from the law. After 10 years, he finally gets to see his brother and former friend, only to be told that he still doesn't want to see him again. On top of it all, he loses his brother who he brings back after 30 years, and his brother STILL hates him (or at least is just mad about how dangerous it was to try bringing him back to begin with) even though Stanley regretted those moments his entire life.
  • Ford. He was more of a Jerkass Woobie at the at the start, but it was clear that his experiences with Bill Cipher had put enough stress on him to drive him half-mad, and who knows what he had to endure after he was sent through the dimensional portal. All of his issues also stem from a lack of self-esteem in his childhood, often being deemed a "freak" for having six fingers on both hands. As the series goes on, it's shown he's pretty much worried about what will happen to the world, which might include Stan, because of his own work that Bill had tricked him into doing.
  • Toby Determined. All he wants to do is make something out of himself, namely a professional reporter alongside his crush, Sandra Jiminez. Instead, he's constantly made out to be a wierd, pathetic loser, has his hopes and dreams crushed, is a frequent victim of bad luck, and always gets shot down by everyone, especially the main characters, mostly because his informed ugliness. Add low self-esteem into this, and you have a good example of a guy who has NOTHING going for him. If it weren't for the fact that these were just quick gags and he had a Throw the Dog a Bone at the end of the series, he'd have the worst life a person could have.

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