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    Films — Animated 
  • The Fabrication Machine (a.k.a. The Brain) from the 2009 9 was created by the Scientist using solely his intellect as an instrument of human progress. However the Chancellor took it away from him so he could use it to mass produce war robots. Like a child taken away from their parent and without a soul to withstand corruption and tell from right and wrong, and producing machines beyond his limits, the Fabrication Machine finally snapped and reprogrammed its machines to kill off every life form as punishment for its tormented fate. Word of God even described it as an abused child who finally got the power to fight back.
  • Bowler Hat Guy (aka Michael 'Goob' Yagoobian) in Meet the Robinsons. The best friend/roommate of the main character, he is a gloomy boy who has endured a lot of the shenanigans his friend caused, but after being blamed for losing a game (due to falling asleep since he's often kept up), he's consumed by bitterness and becomes a bitter adult who never got adopted and became a pawn in a bigger scheme.
  • At the climax of My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Friendship Games, the human Twilight Sparkle, having come from a Friendless Background and been ostracized by her classmates, gives in to peer pressure to "Unleash the Magic" she has gathered from the Humane Five with her amulet, which transforms her into "Midnight Sparkle", a raging she-demon even worse than Demon Sunset Shimmer, and proceeds to tear apart the dimensional fabric between the human world and Equestria, threatening the destruction of the former if not both.
  • In Rise of the Guardians, Pitch Black, AKA the Boogeyman (as especially revealed in the prequel novels), believes that the fear he embodies is necessary and that the approach the Guardians take is foolish. But, since he hasn't been believed in for centuries, thanks to them, he tried to destroy everything they represent, just showing that his bitterness has destroyed any decency he once had. And when he tries to reach out to fellow loner Jack Frost, he is brushed aside. The look on Pitch's face says it all.
  • In Toy Story 2, Stinky Pete, the prospector, spent his whole life on a dime-store shelf, watching every other toy be bought by kids. This agonizing experience caused him to become bitter and willing to manipulate or outright force his "friends" Woody, Jessie, and Bullseye into going along with what he wants, whether they like it or not. Ironically, when he winds up being taken home at last by a little girl who defaces all her toys by drawing on them with crayons, he considers this the worst fate imaginable. However, according to the producers, it was stated that he accepted that fate and thus, averts the worst fate imaginable.
  • Steven Universe: The Movie has Spinel, who has become extremely bitter and miserable over being left to collect dust by her beloved master Pink Diamond for 6000 years under the guise of playing a game. The only reason she found out she wasn't even alive anymore was because Steven made a galaxy-wide broadcast catching everybody up on what had happened to the Diamond Authority. You can imagine how hard she snapped once the realization sunk in.
    Steven: I can't believe Mom did that to you... Actually, I can totally believe it.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Oswald Cobblepot in Batman Returns: disfigured since birth, his aristocratic parents attempted to drown him in the sewers. He was found by a traveling circus, and was raised in the freak show as "The Penguin". While the public views him with sympathy, he has become a warped sociopath, plotting to murder all the firstborn sons of Gotham City. When Batman foils him, he straps rockets to his hundreds (thousands?) of pet penguins, intending to use them in a suicide bombing to kill all of Gotham, which, as the only setting we see, is extremely omnicidal in context. And yet, you still can't help but pity him at his death.
  • Bite: Casey. As if getting infected with a mutagenic virus and turned into a bug wasn't bad enough, her best friend betrays her and her fiancé cheats on her with said friend. It's no surprise therefore that she eventually rips the former's throat out and stings the latter several times before finally dying.
  • In Chronicle, Andrew is bullied and made fun of constantly through the movie, in addition to a sick mother and an abusive father. After he gets his superpowers, he begins to snap, and starts to get involved in crime to save his mother's life, stealing money for her medicine and such. By the end of the movie, during the climax, he nearly destroys the city.
  • The Dark (2018): You'd be angry too if you were Mina. She's a zombie who was murdered after fighting off her rapist, and buried alive. Having to feed on humans, she's been filled with rage toward humanity ever since.
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them introduces us to the concept of an Obscurus, which is a rare and powerful magical parasite that is the end result of a powerful magical child being abused and forced to repress their abilities until they can’t be contained anymore. At which point the resulting Person of Mass Destruction goes on a rampage destroying everything in its path, scared and angry after a lifetime of pain. A specific example would be Credence Barebone: He’s abused and controlled by his Fantastic Racist of an adoptive mother (along with his adoptive sisters, though he gets the worst of it), which has left him shy, deeply insecure and emotionally stunted. He has no friends besides his youngest sister Modesty and is mocked by the Shaws (particularly Henry Shaw Jr, who has no qualms about calling him a freak). This leaves him open to manipulation by Percival Graves/Gellert Grindlewald, who baits him with affection and the promise of teaching him magic so that the older man can use him for his own selfish reasons. And once Grindle!Graves gets what he wants, he has no issue throwing the poor guy away or calling him worthless. This leads to Credence hitting the Rage-Breaking Point and willingly unleashing his Obscurus on New York City, which is as tragic as it is terrifying.
  • Godzilla:
    • Godzilla himself in the original film. He was a normal dinosaur mutated by the Castle Bravo test in 1954, which gave him powers. This clearly made him stronger and angrier, not to mention in constant pain from his radiation burns. While destructive, he nonetheless is depicted as a Tragic Monster who just wanted to be left alone. After he destroys most of Tokyo, he goes to the ocean to have peace, but the humans won't let him be, and he dies rather in a Tear Jerker manner.
    • And again in Shin Godzilla. For a giant mutant monstrosity, this incarnation of Godzilla possesses a similar amount of tragedy to the original, with a ton of keloid scars, a mouth range that should not be physically possible, and glowing wounds all demonstrating this is perhaps the most miserable Godzilla to exist. It would not be an entirely inaccurate statement to say that he's essentially a giant cancer.
    • Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019): It's implied that Emma Russell is actually this (whether or not one considers her Unintentionally Unsympathetic is technically irrelevant to this trope). Though they use Utopia Justifies the Means to justify their Eco-Terrorist actions, they've actually undergone some Sanity Slippage and it's implied she's actually (whether she knows it or not) lashing out against humanity over Outliving One's Offspring with their plan to release all the Titans. Emma is also stubborn in their plan and refuses to recognize that they're not entirely in her right mind, but they still draws the line when they realize that King Ghidorah is going to kill everyone along with most of the planet's biosphere if Ghidorah remains in charge.
  • Gremlins: One particular Mogwai, stated as Earl in official media, is hinted in the film and novel as being one of the few Mogwai blessed with a more docile personality similar to Gizmo, that is until he is taken to the high school to be experimented on and then happening on that sandwich, condemning him to become another psychotic Gremlin and (presumably) suffer the same ill fate as all his other brethren.
  • J.D. (Christian Slater) in Heathers. For starters, his father is a sociopathic bastard who doesn't care for him (when asked if he even likes his father, he responds that he "[hasn't] given the matter much thought"), and his mother killed herself in front of his eyes to get away from her husband. His entire life was spent moving around from town to town and school to school wherever his father's demolition job took him, where, it is implied, he saw the same scenario of clique groups bullying other students at every high school he's attended. He starts out by murdering Jerk Jocks and Alpha Bitches and making their deaths appear as suicides (also implied as something he's done before), but he ultimately resorts to trying to blow up the entire school. He explains his intentions are such because he believes that nobody loves him, and that "the only place different social types can genuinely get along with each other is in heaven", somehow seeing the school as a representation of society itself.
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas!: As part of the film's Adaptation Expansion, the Grinch is given this treatment. He was adopted by two elderly Whos as a baby, and bullied for his appearance, particularly by Augustus May Who, the current Mayor of Whoville. During one Christmas season, he made a gift for his crush, Martha May Whovier, but after being made fun of for having a "beard" at his age, tried to shave his face, cutting himself in the process. When his classmates ridiculed him yet again for his shaving cuts the next morning, that was the last straw: he went berserk and went on a rampage, destroying the gift he made and throwing a Christmas tree across the classroom before fleeing to the top of Mount Crumpit, declaring his hatred of Christmas.
  • Jurassic World: Owen makes a case for the Indominus rex being this, pointing out that being raised in total isolation with no other creatures to bond with, and possibly not even knowing what she is, likely contributed to her insanity and seeing the world outside her paddock as one big hunting ground.
  • Don Gallico in The Mad Magician. A quiet and peaceful man, his driving ambition is to become a successful Stage Magician. Just as he is on the cusp of seeing his dream comes true (as in literally standing on stage about to perform his greatest trick for an audience on the edge of their seats), his Mean Boss shuts down the show with an injunction that essentially means Gallico can never perform agaib, steals his greatest illusion and sells it to Gallico's greatest rival. Then his Gold Digger wife leaves him for the boss. Little wonder he snaps and starts murdering everyone who has wronged him. However, by movie's end, he is trying to murder his friend Lt. Bruce, who is merely doing his job and trying to apprehend a murderer, and admits to Bruce that he can no longer stop killing.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Loki in Thor. He wanted to to show his father that his brother wasn't perfect, and then found out that he was a Frost Giant, after being raised by Asgardians to hate the Frost Giants as monsters. He's the natural son of his adopted father's greatest enemy. Convinced his family has never loved him and Odin only kept him alive for some ulterior purpose, he sets out to prove himself as an heir. He was passed over in favor of Thor a lot during their childhood. He becomes a literal example in the film's climax when he tries to use the power of the Bifrost to destroy Jotunheim.
    • Aldritch Killian in Iron Man 3 is a downplayed example, as he's the only clear-cut sociopath in the trilogy and is by far the most abhorrent. However, a look into his backstory shows he was once a nervous, socially awkward, crippled and shy man who had big ideas to make the world a better place, but because of his disabilities and awkward demeanor, he was dismissed by basically everyone (Tony included) as being either a nuisance or a weirdo. The film even does a good job of showing how miserable he was before his revelation about creating A.I.M. and the Extremis Virus, with him even stating he contemplated suicide. None of this excuses all he's done, but it's hard not to feel a little sorry for him.
    • Erik "Killmonger" Stevens in Black Panther (2018), whose story began with him finding his father dead in their apartment. His father was an undercover Wakandan prince who'd grown disillusioned with his country's isolationism, and helped Klaue steal vibranium weapons with the goal of starting a revolution in America. Erik, aka Prince N'Jadaka, spent the rest of his life gaining the skills he needed to find and take over Wakanda, while only growing more furious with their refusal to help the rest of the world. During the movie's climax, when T'Challa tells him that the war he's trying to start could just easily destroy the whole world, he retorts that the world already took everything he ever loved from him.
    • Wanda Maximoff is this in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Nearly her entire life has been one massive Trauma Conga Line, so it's easy to understand why she'd do anything to have a happy family, like controlling an entire town with her powers as a Reality Warper so that she, her re-created husband and their children can all live peacefully, or, after long term exposure to the Darkhold, sending demons to hunt down the Multiverse's only known multiversal traveller, America Chavez, to steal her powers (killing her in the process) and jump to a world with her children in it... or straight-up killing and torturing everyone in her way to get to America, even if she has to possess an alternate counterpart to do it.
    • Gorr the God Butcher in Thor: Love and Thunder was once a devout priest and loving father who lost everything he held dear in a terrible famine that swept over his homeland, destroying his home and killing his beloved daughter. His prayers and pleads to the gods for aid went callously unheeded and he was forced to perceive the Awful Truth that his gods never cared about him and saw he and his people as pawns. It's really no wonder the Necrosword came to him, turning him into a deicidal maniac.
  • Midsommar: Dani's trauma starts off with the discovery that her sister killed herself and their parents, and then only goes downhill from there. She is highly prone to panic attacks after this tragedy, including one she has during a bad shroom trip. Between witnessing a gruesome ritual suicide of two elderly members of the cult and discovering that her emotionally distant and obliviously abusive boyfriend is cheating on her, it's no wonder she's finally pushed over the edge and becomes the cult's May Queen.
  • Ms. 45: Considering the traumatic ordeal that she's forced to endure, being brutally raped twice in a single afternoon, can you really blame Thana for having snapped?
  • My Bloody Valentine: It's hard not to feel for Harry Warden, even if he is a murderer. He was trapped in a mine during a cave-in, and forced to resort to cannibalizing the dead bodies of his coworkers to survive. It's no wonder he slaughtered the two neglectful supervisors responsible. In fact, Harry Warden isn't even responsible for the present-day killing spree, having died in a mental institution long ago.
  • Sonny from the independent, Coming of Age Story Trash. He starts off the movie as a well-intentioned, if slightly gruff young man i.e. he fights his peers to a bloody pulp as a hobby but loves looking after small animals and children, which include his infant niece and the adorable down syndrome afflicted little brother of his best friends Love Interest (whom he also seems to have a thing for). Over the course of the movie, however, he goes on to kill three people and a little dog, without seemingly any real reason to. Even after he rightly gets arrested for this, you can’t help but feel bad for him. To sum his life up; he’s the breadwinner for a family that consists of a violently drunk dad who regularly beats the crap out of him and a crack addict mother who only stops her husband by stating that their son ain’t worth it (dear old dad follows this up with a straight forward I Have No Son! tirade)! It’s no wonder that at the end his Suicide by Cop actually feels like a blessing!
  • The Big Bad dogs in The Pack (a 1977 Survival Horror) are former pets whose Jerkass ex-owners abandoned them in the wilderness, eventually driving them feral with hunger. Their Token Good Teammate newest member is especially huggable, remaining friendly and timid instead of becoming Ax-Crazy like them... and not only ending up their Sole Survivor but even getting adopted by the main protagonist's family — in a surprisingly heartwarming Earn Your Happy Ending.
  • Davy Jones from Pirates of the Caribbean doesn't seem to want to destroy everything - just everything that crosses his path. He's like this because his one true love, the goddess Calypso, betrayed him (presumably for another man, though it's never elaborated on) centuries ago. Jones' agony was unbearable, so he cut out his own heart to end it. When that failed, he adopted a different tactic—finding relief by sharing his pain with everyone he meets.
  • In a perfect example of Break the Cutie, Alessa Gillespie from Silent Hill was burned alive by the cult she was a member of, but survived by her own power and remained wrapped in bandages for 30 years, unable to move anything but her eyes (and her lips, but only enough to kind of smile, but not enough to form words). She does the only logical thing and splits her soul into 3 parts so she can kill everyone in the cult (excluding Rose, her good half, Sharon, and her mother).
  • Star Trek Into Darkness: John Harrison/Khan, while an Evil Overlord back in the day, just wants to save his crew from Admiral Marcus, who forced him into making weapons for the Federation at the risk of having them killed. Harrison even calls them his family and starts tearing up about how he couldn't save them.
  • The Suicide Squad: Though he's a giant alien starfish that kills people and turns them into People Puppets, Starro was quite content to drift in space. He would have never come to Earth on his own, and did not seem intent on conquering anything (his surname of the Conqueror is given to him by Dr. Gaius Grieves to mock his captivity), at least not before being experimented upon for 30 years.
  • Us: Red is the de facto leader of the Tethered who is in truth the real Adelaide Wilson. Having been kidnapped and switched out by her Tethered at the age of eight, Red is subjected to replicating her Tethered's actions including eating raw, bloody rabbit meat; marrying Gabe's Tethered against her consent; and performing a crude C-section on herself when pregnant with her children. Desiring vengeance on her Tethered, Red orchestrates the Untethering, convincing the Tethered to invade the surface to Kill and Replace their counterparts. When mortally wounded by her Tethered, Red whistles the "Itsy Bitsy Spider" to reassert herself as the original by reminding her Tethered that she was just a clone. (And it's strongly implied she told Jason the truth about Adelaide, shattering his trust in her forever.)
  • X-Men Film Series:
    • Magneto/Erik Lensherr. Each film of the new timeline keeps piling on the trauma that fuels his rage. In First Class he was a Holocaust survivor who had to watch his mother die in front of his eyes, and worse, it was because he couldn't consciously use his powers at the time. In Days of Future Past the Brotherhood were killed and experimented on by Trask Industries. In Apocalypse, after giving living in peace a chance, his wife and daughter are killed after his cover is blown as a mutant. All of this leads to him becoming an extremist willing to kill countless numbers of people. Highlighted in X-Men: First Class and arguably even more so in X-Men: Apocalypse, since he's quite literally out to destroy the world.
    • Russell Collins/Firefist in Deadpool 2. The tortures he went through at Essex made him angry and destructive.
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    Pro Wrestling 
  • Whenever Dean Ambrose or Jon Moxley's past (which is the real man's background) is brought up in storyline. He grew up in low-income housing and was even homeless a few times. His mother worked as a prostitute—who was frequently abused by her clients—to put food on the table, while his father is in prison. He was forced to sell drugs in high school, had his baby cousin- actually his sister; he doesn't tend to mention her, for privacy- taken away from him by child protective services, and dropped out of high school at age sixteen to attend Les Thatcher's wrestling school. A wrestling school he couldn't legally attend until he was eighteen, so he paid his dues by cleaning up the building all by himself every night while observing the workers in the ring and practicing his promos to himself—a talent that ended up making him famous. No wonder he's so violent.
  • Both the masked and Stardust versions of Cody Rhodes have been real jerks, but it's worth notng that each was brought about by severe mental anguish (a loss of self-esteem from a sudden unwelcome change in appearance for the masked "Undashing" Cody Rhodes, and then a period of being fired, being re-hired, and going on an awful losing streak for his transformation into Stardust). Maybe he'd have been alright if someone just could have gotten him a therapist.
  • Big Show, in a storyline in which he got fired by WWE General Manager John Laurinaitis for making fun of Laurinaitis's voice. Even though he pleaded and cried in front of the entire world, no one seemed to show him sympathy or come to his defense. When he managed to return to WWE with an "ironclad contract," he used this opportunity to vent his rage on seemingly everyone else in the locker room. And when you weigh well over 400 pounds, who's going to stop you? What was worst of all was that Big Show got his job back - and thus, subsequently allied himself with - thanks to Laurinaitis, the very man who had put him in his predicament in the first place! This, even though he could have easily gotten his job back had he waited for Laurinaitis to be fired and replaced. Or maybe, this was Laurinaitis's plan all along.

    Theatre 

Alternative Title(s): Film

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