Follow TV Tropes


Woobie / Undertale

Go To

  • Flowey manages to get hit with the jerkass variation. His resurrection as a flower began with him waking up in Asgore's garden, terrified and alone, calling in desperation for his parents to help him, only for nobody to come to his aid. When his father finally did find him, crying, Flowey soon discovered that he was unable to feel anything despite his father's attempts at consoling him, and after running away, discovered that he similarly couldn't feel his mother's love. Missing the ability to feel love, and missing his deceased friend the Fallen Child, he lost all hope and was Driven to Suicide. He was saved from death via his determination, the realization of what could potentially happen to a being without a soul when they die, and his fear of dying, which is where he learns about the ability to save and reset, but reset after reset left him severely jaded as he realized that without the ability to care for those around him, everyone may as well have been nothing but a scripted actor, which eventually led to him turning towards killing out of sheer curiosity as to what would happen (up until this point, he had used his powers for good, trying to help solve everyone's problems). His initial wakeup in the garden seems to have deeply affected him, with him attempting to torment Frisk with the same fate during his boss battle, and similarly he seems convinced that his mother had forgotten and replaced him prior to his resurrection.
    Flowey (speaking into an Echo Flower): "(imitating Toriel's voice) Where oh where could that child be...? I've been looking all over for them..."
    Flowey (speaking into an Echo Flower): "(his own voice) Hee hee hee. THAT'S not true. She'll find another kid, and instantly forget about you. You'll NEVER see her again."
    • On top of all this, the No Mercy route has him attempting to rekindle his friendship with the Fallen Child — seemingly the one person he still cares about — only to mercilessly be slaughtered by them in the end.
    • Asriel. His kindness and love led to his death and unholy reincarnation, due to the manipulation of the first child. He has suffered more deeply than any other character. Literally every scene with him is a Tear Jerker. And he's the only one you can't save. At least Frisk visits him.
  • Advertisement:
  • Asgore, as well. Fighting a war he started out of sheer rage over the deaths of his son and adopted child, then couldn't end when he cooled down, he was abandoned by his own wife over his actions and ends up spending his days confined to his palace. When you do finally confront him, the way he says that he only wishes to be reunited with his wife and son suggests he has broken under the trauma and become a Death Seeker.
  • Toriel. As she puts it when the player character asks to leave the Ruins, she's seen humans come, leave, and die, because Asgore will kill them. If "I can't even protect one child" doesn't break your heart on a Pacifist Run, it's knowing she failed to save potentially seven of them, one of which was her adopted child, the Fallen. Because of her Thou Shalt Not Kill policy, she won't Do Wrong, Right and merge with one dead child's soul to go above and reap the remaining souls needed to break the barrier, as she pointed out Asgore could have done, and that policy isn't popular with the rest of the Underground. Add in the player potentially killing her, either accidentally or on purpose, and you have Adult Fear incarnate.
  • After finding out you (the Anomaly) and Frisk are two totally separate entities, then Frisk becomes this. They were once a kindhearted child whose personality and desires were independent from yours. Unlike Asriel, who had the power to resist the Fallen's control, you (whether you believe you're playing as the Fallen or yourself) can flat-out force Frisk to kill absolutely everyone against their will. While most of the main characters have a Dying Moment of Awesome, Frisk's SOUL just fades away over the course of the story as it's replaced with that of an inhuman monstrosity — and, for whatever time they have left, the other characters won't know Frisk as anything else. The one person that comes even slightly close to realizing it — Sans, who asks you whether or not there is anything gentle left in you during his boss fight — gets just as brutally slaughtered as everyone else. And what do they get in their end? The world is destroyed by the Fallen, and the only way to bring it back is sell Frisk's soul. And whenever you get the Pacifist Ending, the Fallen will be there to remind everyone who's really in control.
    • To make matters all the more worse, if you believe you and the Fallen are separate entities, then the Fallen becomes a woobie, too. While it is said that they "[Aren't] the best person", they were at least a good enough person for Toriel, Asgore, and Asriel to love them like one of their own. And then YOU come around and control Frisk through Chara. You force Chara to murder EVERYONE, including their adoptive parents and brother, after you make them crack.
  • The other humans that fell. It's heavily implied that at least half of them, possibly more, were children, and mere mortal children at that, children without the protagonist's power to reset, stranded far away from home with only one life in a land full of creatures who hate them for daring to breathe, and faced with the prospect of being hunted down, murdered, having their souls harvested, and then kept in jars for decades, if not centuries, forced to contemplate their seemingly-inevitable fate of being forcibly used as a weapon to destroy everyone they have ever loved. Is it any wonder a few of them were implied to have snapped and racked up a huge body count? It's a miracle that wasn't all of them.
  • Advertisement:
  • Napstablook is a pitiful character who is very passive and obviously depressed. When one finds out their friend (Shyren) has become more reclusive due to her sister "falling down" and their cousin (Mettaton) has abandoned them to pursue stardom despite his promises not to, you can see why they're so depressed.
  • Snowdrake's Amalgamated mother. She is corrupted almost beyond recognition, barely able to attack or speak, is accompanied by a heavily distorted version of the peaceful "Snowy" music, and manages to hang onto just enough of her original self that she speaks of her missing son. Everything about her is played for tragedy, like Asriel.
  • Sans. After gaining awareness of the fact that he exists within a world where time can be reset and manipulated at any point, he tried in vain for who-knows-how-long to fight it until he devolved into a pit of despair and nihilism. He can't bring himself to fully enjoy anything except the company of his dear brother (who you can murder in cold blood, by the way) and drinking, so much so that even making it to the surface doesn't really appeal to him anymore; why bother if it's all going to be reset anyway? The way he acts during the battle, smiling and chatting dismissively despite the pain and exhaustion in his eyes, makes it seem like even the idea of dying barely fazes him anymore. On top of that, assuming he has subtle memories of previous timelines like most monsters do, his mind could potentially be flooded with half-formed recollections of anything from losing everybody he loves and dying with the knowledge that he failed, to finally achieving his happy ending only to have it be snatched away like a toy, except unlike everybody else, he knows that they actually happened. The worst part about all this? Unlike nearly every other character on this list, the average playthrough would give you practically no indication of this. While a normal playthrough does drop hints that there's more to him than meets the eye, It's only at the end of a genocide route where the full magnitude of his Hidden Depths is made apparent. Only then, where he's been pushed to the absolute end of his rope, does he finally bare his soul in a last-ditch attempt to get the player to go back on their evil ways and reset. Somebody, please, give this poor guy a hug...
    • As an extra kick in the teeth, the little information we can gather about his backstory strongly suggests that he's carrying even more baggage that we don't even know about yet. The contents of his secret room all but outright state he used to be a far different, far happier person some unknown time ago, and had many more close and meaningful relationships before something took them all away. Nobody but Toby knows exactly who the "people you don't recognize" in the photo album were, what exactly their relationship with Sans was, or what happened to them, but considering the fact that Sans also has an unknown connection with Gaster, a character who was shattered across time and space in a terrible accident, who exists and yet doesn't exist, there's little room for any interpretation that isn't horribly, horribly tragic. What's even worse is that Toby once made a tweet that heavily suggested Sans worked tirelessly for a very long time trying to fix the machine in his room, which many fans believe has something to do with the disappearance of these people, only to have it all be in vain and him to eventually just throw in the towel and give up trying. Bearing all this in mind puts a lot of his dialogue in the game in a darker light, especially his Lost Soul segment, where he's not only speaking without his usual speaking font (which even Papyrus is doing at that point), but the text is actually wavering and shaking, which suggests it's full of emotion unlike anything else he's ever said before. Considering the fact that the lost Soul Segment is all about the characters baring their souls and revealing their deepest and darkest fears and pains, it's safe to say whatever the hell happened to him is still a very heavy weight on his mind.
    just give up. i did.
    why even try?
    you'll never see 'em again...
    • Not to mention that while all the other souls contradict what they say when you've brought their memories back, Sans doesn't do so. He simply says that he's rooting for you, while everyone else says that they're wrong, or say something that indicates that they're wrong. Sans does not.
  • Just about anyone on a No Mercy playthrough qualifies, really. Some of the monsters are kind of jerks, but did any of them really deserve to have someone they don't even know burst into their homes and murder them for no reason except "I was bored and wanted to see what would happen"?
    • It gets worse when you realize that every important character you murder (Papyrus, Sans, Undyne and so on) has a MAJOR revelation that completely changes their outlook on life SECONDS before you cut them down sadistically for the sole purpose of "seeing what happens."
  • Although she doesn't get much recognition for it, Alphys also falls pretty squarely into this trope in literally every playthrough type.
    • In the True Pacifist, Netural, and Genocide playthroughs alike, she's been forcing herself to hide in her lab with her tragically failed biological fusion experiments for an excruciatingly long time because she's too terrified of what their families might do to her if she were to tell them and is heavily implied to be suicidal because of this. The death of Undyne (in a non-Genocide playthrough) or Mettaton will push her over the edge.
    • In one of the near-Genocide playthroughs, if you complete the game after halting your Genocide run at the Mettaton NEO fight, Alphys becomes the new Queen of the Underground as an effective replacement for Toriel; saddened by the fact that there's hardly anyone left to rule over, she deeply regrets the fact that she didn't murder you in cold blood when she had the chance.
      • Worst of all, in the Genocide ending, she turns out to be more strong in will than the rest of the game would have you believe; after the tragic death of Undyne, it is implied that she gathers all of her fellow monsters into the True Lab as a last-ditch attempt to protect them from Chara, with everyone learning about her little Amalgamate secret. Oh, and just to top it off, the entire world ends up being erased anyway.
  • While little is known about Dr. W.D. Gaster, and he's known for his Nightmare Fuel easter eggs, he's a tragic character all around. He created the Core, which provides power to the whole Underground, and it's implied that he has ties to Sans. One day, a freak accident with one of his creations caused him, and apparently several others, to be scattered across time and space, and to make matters worse, time goes on and nobody even remembers who he is. It's also implied that he still exists and still has awareness of the world ("It's rude to talk about someone who's listening."), but there's nothing he can do to truly reach out of whatever hell he's trapped in. There's a machine in Sans's secret room that's broken and seems to have been the cause of his disappearance, but Word of God has stated that it will never be fixed, meaning that poor Gaster is doomed to be scattered across the space-time continuum for eternity.
  • If they really did want to free all monsters, then the Fallen Child, Chara, becomes this. They killed themselves (by poisoning themselves with buttercups) so they could use their adoptive brother to gather six human souls from the surface to destroy the barrier. When they got to the surface, Asriel was so terrified by their hatred that he took back control from Chara, even if it meant the humans would kill him (and Chara along with him). Not only was Chara's sacrifice in vain, but they lost their brother and best friend. You'd think this would be bad enough, but then their simultaneous deaths destroy all of the hope Chara previously brought to the Underground, Asgore declares war on humanity in revenge, Toriel (Chara's adopted mother) leaves Asgore (Chara's adopted father), Asriel's spirit is stuck in an emotionless flower who goes crazy, and finally, Chara ends up trapped dormant in Frisk: either as a voice in Frisk's head, an anomaly guiding Frisk's actions, or just merely stuck. And if they succeed and set everything right? Their only reward is ending up alone and never seeing their friends again, just like their adopted brother they were responsible for killing, while Frisk and their friends live on with their happy ending. After all that, would you really blame them for wanting to embark on a Genocide Route?
    • And with the Narrator Chara view gaining heavy traction, Chara's Woobie status is now even worse. Under this school of thought, Chara never wanted to embark on a Genocide Route to begin with. In both the Pacifist and Neutral routes, Chara is a bit snarky, but is kind and helpful toward Frisk, if a bit teasing. In a Genocide Route, however, Chara's narration is a lot more cold and distant, and when you get to the end of a Genocide Route, Chara says that the "human SOUL" and "determination" were actually yours. Chara may have hated humanity, but still wanted to free all the monsters, until the Anomaly—you—ends up being The Corrupter and tainting Chara's mannerisms and thoughts during a Genocide route. And when killing Flowey, Chara hesitates, leaving you to press Z or Enter to give that final push to kill him. So Chara is, in essence, mentally destroyed by you in order to have enough power to destroy everything that they once held dear. You Bastard!.
    • If one subscribes to the "Chara is not evil" theory, then some of the Asriel's post-pacifist dialogue implies they were abused in their village and climbed Mt. Ebott because they wanted to disappear.
  • Papyrus. His pre-battle dialogue reveals that he has a strong desire for companionship and sees joining the Royal Guard as a way to fulfill that, but not only does Undyne have no intention of letting him join, she won't admit it to him. He's frequently treated like a child and even jokes about his own death when killed on a Neutral run without changing his expression (whereas Sans drops his smile once he's hit). And that's not going into the King Papyrus end, where not only does Sans lie to him about the others' deaths (and Papyrus is implied to be aware of it), but Papyrus hides his misery from others, waiting until Sans has left to admit to the player how he really feels.
  • For a minor character, Snowdrake manages to garner a lot of sympathy. At first he's just endearingly pathetic, telling awful jokes and responding, "See? Laughs! Dad was wrong!" if you laugh at them. But if you complete the Pacifist run, you find out that Snowy's mother "fell down" and was comatose, and was sent to Alphys for experimentation. Soon after, Alphys sent a letter saying all the monsters that had "fallen down" were alive and she'd send them home soon... and then, went silent and stopped answering any letters from the subjects' families. In other words, thanks to Alphys' experiments going awry and her being too afraid to own up to what happened, Snowy and his father have no idea what happened to Snowy's mother. Not only did Snowy have to endure losing his mom, he doesn't even get the closure of knowing for sure what happened to her, much less being able to have a proper funeral. We find out from his father that soon after his mother's "passing," Snowy and his father had an awful fight, and Snowy ran away from home. Poor kid.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: