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So, I'm a little unsure how to make my case here, but I was wondering if Tigra, a minor Marvel Comics character most prominently associated with The Avengers, might be a worthy candidate for Woobiedom?
Edited by WanderingBrowser on Apr 7th 2019 at 4:44:33 AM
So here's the second Outnumbered candidate, and it'll probably be a surprise after the last one: Angela.
Who is Angela?
Angela is Sue's older sister. A New Ager/hippie type, she spends a lot of time exploring the world, but frequently returns - and generally manages to cause trouble whenever she does.
What is her predicament?
In the third season, Angela comes to stay with her new husband, an American therapist named Brick, and her youngest stepdaughter Taylor-Jean (whom I'll be talking about later). When asked about her own mother, Taylor-Jean proudly declares that Angela is her mom. They all go out for a meal together. Brick appears charming, if rather loud-mouthed and arrogant, but it's obvious that something is off about him and his daughter. Eventually Karen presses the question further, and Brick claims that "sadly there are some mothers so damaging that kids prosper best without them." Angela adds, proudly, that Brick fought long and hard for his kids, and we get this:
Can she defend herself?
As I noted, she does attempt to stand up to Brick and get Misty away from him, but ultimately fails, although she does get away herself in the end.
Is she a Jerkass?
Honestly? Yes. Pretty much. She likes to paint herself as a free spirit, but it's largely just an excuse for her selfishness. As I already mentioned, during the first season she proudly claims she's going to become a full-time carer for her father, and convinces Sue she won't have to worry about him any more, only to run away when it gets too much. It's also notable that she drops frequent barbs about the kids, heavily implying Sue is a bad mother, despite the fact that she has no children of her own. This doesn't get any better when she returns briefly in the second season for a cousin's wedding - she reacts angrily when Sue suggests that perhaps she should try and keep up the commitment she had previously made, and comments to the other people at the table about how she "couldn't do what Sue does". At the end of the episode, Sue learns that she openly trash-talked Pete and the kids to the bride, which results in her kicking Angela up the backside. These tendencies don't really improve over time, either. During the dinner with Brick and Taylor-Jean, Angela comments that she started liking kids "when I found out they weren't all like yours". While fleeing her husband she writes a self-help book about "surviving families", in which she characterises her sister (she doesn't actually use her name, obviously) as a Manipulative Bitch who "hooked my mom[sic] like a drug pusher, gave her love until she got used to it. Then she took it away and forced my mom to buy it hit by hit." While we obviously haven't seen anything of Sue's relationship with her mother, unless she had a complete personality transplant before the series began, this is a total lie. She returns in the fifth season finale after her father takes a turn for the worse, but claims he was "fine" when she saw him and implies they were overreacting. She even claims he recognised her (he can't remember Sue any more), which is implied to be a lie, and it's clear she just wants to run away again. Sue tries to persuade her to at least contribute to his care, but she insists that she doesn't have the money (claiming that her club-class airline seats were an upgrade from economy). When Sue tells her outright that she has a responsibility to her family, Angela outright snaps "Why? Why do we have responsibilities to our families? Families are just like strangers you get stuck in a lift with!" However, while she does indeed depart, she leaves behind a large cheque, enough to cover Frank's care for ages. While she's still unable to face her problems, she does at least seem to have developed something of a conscience. In the finale it's mentioned that Angela attended her father's funeral and it's implied she and Sue are now on somewhat better terms, although she was still picking fleas; she suggested, given Frank's opinion of the Germans, it was perhaps inappropriate that the hearse was a Mercedes and the ceremony was performed by a Reverend Schweinsteiger. Finally, and this is important: None of the above in anyway diminishes, much less deserves, what she went through.
Well, she starts out as easily the least sympathetic character on the show, but it's hard not to feel for her after Season 4; she thought she'd finally found her soulmate, only for him to turn out to be a monster. Even after she gets away from him, she's still clearly deeply unhappy and insecure. (Her now former step-children aren't mentioned in Season 5, although it's pretty obvious that she wouldn't have been able to do anything more for them - they weren't her kids and Brick has very expensive lawyers at his disposal.)
I'm leaning yes overall - although I will add that if Angela does count as a Woobie, she's still pretty much a Jerkass Woobie.
I see that MasterJoseph cut most of the Woobie entries on Miraculous Ladybug. While I won't contest most of the cuts, there is one character I think honestly is a Woobie.
What's the work?
Miraculous Ladybug is a cartoon about two teenage superheroes who defend
Paris from the evil Hawk Moth, who seeks to steal the source of their powers to gain unlimited power.
Who is Nooroo?
Nooroo is the kwami of the Butterfly Miraculous, which grants its wielder the power to create superheroes.
What is his predicament?
Nooroo is currently bound to the service of the supervillain Hawk Moth, who abuses his powers to drive innocent civilians berserk in order to steal the Ladybug and Cat Miraculouses. Nooroo often displays sorrow that his abilities are being used for evil purposes. His appearances consistently show his relationship with Hawk Moth to be emotionally and occasionally physically abusive; Hawk Moth yells at Nooroo whenever he questions his decisions, does not allow Nooroo to be more than a few feet away from him at any given moment, and completely forbids him contact with the outside world. On at least two occasions, Hawk Moth actually seals Nooroo's mouth shut when he says things he doesn't want to hear: in "Sandboy", he does so when Nooroo asks for permission to go out and celebrate his birthday (before playing it off as a "joke"), and in "Stormy Weather 2" he does so when Nooroo points out that his actions have driven a wedge between him and his son.
Can he defend himself/is he a Jerkass?
Nope. Nooroo is not a jerkass at any point (even if his situation would probably warrant some snide remarks at Hawk Moth's expense). He is bound to the will of his wielder and cannot act against his interests, forcing him to wait for Ladybug and Chat Noir to rescue him from his plight.
Nooroo is one of the most pitiful characters in the series due to being Forced into Evil for the entirety of the series' run.
Easily a standard Woobie.
Fate/Extella Link takes place in an artificial supercomputer called the Moon Cell where heroes of history and legend known as Servants battle for the Holy Grail in hopes of achieving their dearest wishes. The battle has long since ended and the last surviving Master, Hakuno Kishinami, attempts to live out a peaceful life with the remaining Servants. However, the threat of the Rex Magnus threatens that fragile peace, setting the stage for a new war of epic proportions.
Who is s/he?
Charlemagne (called "Charlie" by his friends) is a newly summoned Saber-class Servant who arrives to save Hakuno and Altera Larva from a small army of attack programs. A cheerful Knight in Shining Armor, he rushes to Rome to warn Hakuno and the others of the impending threat of the Rex Magnus, who wishes to assimilate everything in SE.RA.PH., the digital datascape where the Servants reside.
What is their predicament?
Charlie is secretly the fictional "shadow" of the Rex Magnus, Karl der Grobe, his historical counterpart. Because of this, his Spiritual Core is cracked and every day of his existence becomes more and more difficult. Charlie knows that he will cease to exist once Karl's plans are foiled. Due to being recorded as the same Servant as Karl, he will also never be summoned again under normal circumstances.
Can they defend themselves/are they a Jerkass?
Charlie is a powerful Servant on par with the strongest Servants of the Moon Cell, melting attack programs with every sweep of his blade. However, his conditions is gradually deteriorating over the course of the story and he's clinging to a thread by the story's end. He's also a Nice Guy who gushes over other Servants and embarrasses them with his praise.
Despite knowing that his crusade to defend the innocent programs of the Moon Cell will be a fatal one, Charlie marches on with a smile on his face, seeking to do something good with his life rather than fade away uneventfully. He keeps his deteriorating condition a secret from Hakuno and the others until his subordinate, Astolfo, admonishes him and informs Hakuno about it. Even after this, Charlie insists that they continue on to defeat Karl, going so far as to jump in front of a Fantastic Nuke to buy time for Arjuna to defeat Karna.
Charlie is a textbook case of an Iron Woobie who presses onward towards his death for the sake of others. He doesn't feel sorry for himself or his condition and just wants to secure the best outcome for everyone else, calling the week he spent summoned the most exciting time of his life. Even though he knows he's but a fleeting fantasy, he continues to be the hero his story represents but doesn't want to hurt the people he's befriended, deciding to Go Out with a Smile even as he's fighting back tears.
Edited by reppuzan on Apr 10th 2019 at 2:37:08 PM
Angel, Noo, and Charlie
Angela, Nooroo and Charlemagne.
All the above, especially Angela
candidates I missed
Angela, Nooroo, and Charlemagne
To Angela, Nooroo and Charlemagne.
Nooroo and Charlemagne.
Third Outnumbered candidate: Sue.
Who is Sue?
Sue is the mother of the family. She is generally the most level-headed of them, although that's not saying a great deal.
Well, let's get the basic stuff out of the way first. Even at best, Sue is generally the one who carries the can for the family. Pete means well, but he's a bit of a Bumbling Dad and can be pretty immature at times (classic example: in season 5, Sue has finally managed to get everyone round the table to eat dinner together and comments on an article she's read about the dying art of dinner-table conversation, only to look up and discover all four of them are now staring at their smartphones). Despite being a working mother, she's generally stuck with the housework, too. She complains about this in one Season 4 episode and takes Karen for a girls' day out, ordering that the house be clean when she gets back. It is, mostly, but the washing machine is now broken (Ben put two loads in at once, and then Pete attempted to fix it, making it worse) and there is a pot full of unidentifiable grey sludge for dinner. (Though, one episode where all the kids are away for the night leaves her with premature empty nest syndrome.) So that's pretty much her ground state. However, it's not the main source of angst for her on the show. Throughout the first season, Sue is working (theoretically) part-time for a demanding boss who keeps on summoning her to deal with some crisis or other, and is also clearly worried about her father. While he's still living on his own at this point, she has had to go round there frequently to help with one problem or another. When Angela announces she'll be taking over his care, Sue is sceptical. Pete doesn't make the situation better when he suggests she feels "supplanted" by Angela. Gradually, though, she starts to think maybe things will work out, and even starts to speak optimistically about Pete's plan to go on a round-the-world tour with the family. (Spoiler: this never happens.) She even quits her job, believing they'll be able to keep going on Pete's salary, and commenting that she feels "free". Then Angela announces she's leaving. The two of them erupt at each other. When Sue rightly takes Angela to task over letting her and Frank down, Angela calls her judgemental. Angela departs, leaving Sue to tidy up the mess. In Season 2 her concern for her father grows as his condition clearly deteriorates - although she tries to deny it at first - and has new financial woes to boot. She does manage to find a new job, but even with her income, they're still in severe debt. She thinks things are getting better when she starts her job, which she enjoys, and gets on well with her boss (which makes Pete jealous), but it turns out that he's a scam artist with a history of setting up fake businesses and running off with the cash. She realises Pete knew about this, as he'd researched the guy online; he admits he knew he'd once been investigated, but didn't say so because she'd accuse him of being jealous. She accuses him of gloating, which leads to an argument. Later they worry that the excitement has gone out of their marriage. At the same time, Sue has to come to terms with her father's condition. She eventually accepts that he's just going to get worse, not better, and they have the power of attorney talk with him, but it's clearly agony for her. It only gets worse when she has to talk about him going into a nursing home - although he manages to convince her that's what he wants. A side-arc during this season involves the seemingly-perfect family next door. Seeing the polite, perfectly-turned-out kids happily filing in and out of the house all day clearly drills straight into Sue's concerns about her own boisterous family. It turns out, though, that they're not so perfect after all - the husband has been sleeping with both his PA and his boss - and they end up in a furious argument, which climaxes in her hitting him over the head with a Le Creuset frying pan, sending him to the hospital with a cracked skull. In the Christmas 2009 episode her concerns over her father continue to mount, as does her guilt over putting him in care; she seems to feel as though she's abandoned him, and a documentary about abusive care homes only makes this worse. When she learns that he keeps skipping out from the place he calls "Colditz", she becomes more worried still - although it turns out the name is purely in jest and he actually likes the place. Sue is not amused. In Season 4, Sue now has to work full-time on top of everything else. Pete, following a dispute at work, tried to bluff by offering his resignation - which was accepted, leaving him with only supply work. She tries to persuade him to beg for it back, but he stubbornly refuses to grovel. After attending his uncle's funeral (which she tried hard to avoid, as it turns out she has an unfortunate tendency to break down in giggles at funerals), she decides life's too short and tells him not to worry. Angela's return near the end of the season does nothing for her mood, and neither does the crap she wrote about her in her book. In the Christmas 2011 episode Sue's dad has forgotten her, which understandably causes her some distress. She actually tries to put off going to see him as a result, but this doesn't last. It gets worse in Season 5, and Angela's claim that he still remembers her doesn't help. Tries to put off going to see her dad in the hospital, after he forgot who she was. Pete and Jake end up going to see him instead. They've got a family holiday planned, but she's worrying about him. In the Christmas 2016 episode, Frank has died six months earlier. Sue seems to have come to terms with this, but now she has to deal with the future. Jake, now 21, has accepted a job in New Zealand, and will be moving to the other side of the planet for two years - at least. Sue worries that he may even settle down over there and she'll hardly ever get to see him again. She accepts his decision, but is clearly sad about it, and while it's not stated, the fact that the other two kids will also leave one day is likely preying on her mind.
While Sue bends, she never actually breaks. She's someone who has to carry a lot of emotional burdens, but she always keeps her head (unless Angela is involved, but she does forgive her in the end). It's notable that, while she is tempted to try and avoid dealing with it after her father forgets who she is, she eventually faces up to the situation, and continues to support him right up until the end. She doesn't run away from a problem. Oh, and don't insult her kids. Ever.
Not at all. She's the nicest character on the show. The only person who can really push her to rage is her sister, and it's indicated that they've been pretty much at each other's throats for years - and it's clearly Angela's fault.
As one of the main characters, she has a great deal of screentime, and we get to see the toil and torment she has to go through in life. I'd say she's pretty sympathetic.
Edited by CloisterTheStupid on Apr 12th 2019 at 8:38:13 PM
Angela, Nooroo, Charlemagne, and Sue.
Yes to all the candidates I missed.
I have not posted here for a while (I likely will be an occasional poster than a full time one), but I think I have another one-shot Star Trek character who counts, in the episode Drumhead:
Who is Simon Tarses? What is his predicament?
Simon Tarses is a young crewman aboard the starship Enterprise. Tarses works in Sick Bay and gives medical injections to a Klingon exchange officer named J'Dann. However, J'Dann has been using a medical injection device to secretly give information about the Enterprise to the Romulans, an old long-standing enemy of the Federation. Later the ship's Warp Core (the ship's engine) explodes and the crew blames J'Dann.
Star Fleet invites admiral Nora Satie to the Enterprise, an expert in discovering conspiracies. Satie and the Enterprise crew get J'Dan to admit he spied for the Romulans, but claims he did not blow up the engine. Satie has an assistant named Sabin is a telepath who tell when others lie and he determines that J'Dan is telling the truth. Since Tarses gave J'Dann his injections, Satie targets Tarses as a co-conspirator.
Satie and Sabin interview Tarses about J'Dan and these injections. Tarses also answers a question about his grandfather, who Tarses claims is a Vulcan (important note, Romulans and Vulcans were once the same civilization, so they are very similar biologically) Sabin determines that Tarses is lying about something and think he blew up the engine, demanding Captain Picard limit his movements on the ship.
The ships scientific experts, Data and La Forge determine that the explosion was an accident, but that does not matter for Satie, who is convinced there is a conspiracy on the ship. Sabin and Satie grill Tarses in a public trial. Sabin lies and claims the engine explosion was caused by chemicals found in Sick Bay. Sabin accuses Tarses of being guilty and being a liar, stating that Tarses lied on his Star Fleet application, that his grandfather was a Romulan, not a Vulcan and that fact makes him guilty of treason and demands him to tell the court if he lied on his application. Tarses refuses to answer the question on the grounds it would incriminate him, emotionally collapsing in the process.
Satie and Worf, the ship's chief of security, want to investigate Tarses even further, wanting his family and friends interviewed to gather more evidence of his guilt, with it seeming like Satie wants to see Tarses in prison, after ruining his career.
Picard later tries to comfort Tarses, but Tarses knows his career in Star Fleet is over, a dream he has had since a boy and he will have to live with his mistake for the rest of the life. Anyway because Picard was defending Tarses, Satie goes after him and Picard takes her down with a few Kirk Summation speeches, making her lose her cool and discrediting her in front a major Star Fleet admiral. The trials stop, Satie is discredited, but Tarses's career has still been ruined the process.
Can he defends herself?
He is a lowly crewman in a giant organization, where one of the higher-ups is actively gunning for him, there is not much he can do to stop Satie from ruining his life on his own.
Is he Jerkass?
No, he may have lied on his application, but given the fact that Satie used his heritage to declare him guilty by association, you can see why he did it, even if it was a mistake. Besides that Tarses is presented as a very nice, enthusiastic young man.
He may not be the biggest victim in Star Trek history and having your career ruined is not the worst fate in the world, but this career was his dream since he was a young boy and Satie was actively prosecuting him, hounding his family and friends in the process. Satie seems to want him to be in prison or at least be a pariah in the Federation. I think someone minding their own business and having their life ruined by a paranoid bigot.
I think he is a straight up Woobie.
Yes to Simon, Angela, Nooroo, Charlemagne, and Sue
Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box is the second game of the Professor Layton series. The title refers to the Elysian Box, which is rumored to kill whoever opens it. But as it turns out, the box was not always cursed, for my candidate had the box made as a gift to his beloved when they were together.
Who is Anton Herzen?
The Big Bad of the game, the current duke of Folsense, the older brother of Mr. Beluga / Friedrich Herzen, and the fiancÚ of Sophia. He's rumored to be a vampire partly because of his apparent eternal youth.
What has he endured?
The first entry of his old diary reveals that his status as the older son of Duke Herzen made most people "overly polite and fawning towards [him]" and that he fell for a young nobleman named Sophia because she treated him like a genuine human being. She eventually accepted his proposal of marriage, much to his joy. As "people are falling ill with a disease that has no name", he wrote in the seventh entry that "As the only son remaining to watch over Folsense [since my younger brother has had enough of Father's selfish ways], I can't even think of leaving. The thought would be more disturbing were it not for her. As long as she's by my side, I have the strength to stay and protect this town". The next entry shows how heartbroken he was when she ran away for the sake of someone she loved who needed her more than him.
He spent the last fifty years waiting in Herzen Castle for her return, with only his butler, Nigel, by his side. At one point, he sent a letter to her in Dropstone by the Elysian Box, but her reply didn't reach him until after Layton comes because people wanted to get this valuable box.
Near the end of the game, after his duel with Layton, Katia, whom he mistakes for Sophia, reveals herself to be the granddaughter of Anton and Sophia (through her mother, the late Mrs. Anderson). As she explains, Sophia left him not for another man as he thought, but to protect their unborn child from the toxic, hallucinogenic gas that turned Folsense into a ghost town. Layton then explains that the gas makes everyone there believe that Folsense and its inhabitants keep their appearances from fifty years ago. The last straw is the news that Sophia died before him, which leads to his Villainous Breakdown.
Is he a Jerkass?
It's complicated. He plays the role of a vampire to scare away would-be thieves, hence why he ties Layton and Luke (who, unknown to him, are not trying to steal his fortune) up in his basement after showing them to their bedrooms. He's Affably Evil enough to allow Layton a fighting chance when angrily trying to kill the Professor out of misunderstanding that the Professor stole "his Sophia". During his aforementioned Villainous Breakdown, he throws such a temper tantrum that it destroys Herzen Castle with a Falling Chandelier of Doom. But by the end of the game, he's a total gentleman who wants to spend the rest of his life with his granddaughter, waiting to reunite with Sophia in the afterlife.
Can he defend himself?
He's quite nimble for an old man, easily putting Layton into the defensive and making impressive leaps. If he had been any younger, the professor would have had a much more difficult time.
The game greatly focuses on his predicament, especially in his old diary and the finale. I don't think that those of anyone else get so focused on like that.
I think that he's The Woobie.
Edited by IukaSylvie on Apr 16th 2019 at 8:52:18 PM
Sounds more like an Iron Woobie to me. If a woobie has jerkish tendencies but isn't a true jerkass they are generally an Iron Woobie.
Yes to Herzen. Though I Think he would be an Iron Woobie.
Yes to Herzen as an Iron Woobie.
I do not have enough votes yet to give Simon Tarses a write-up.
Having watched "The Drumhead" a while back, to Simon.
Herzen as an Iron Woobie.
I would like to know why Anton is an Iron Woobie instead of The Woobie.
I'd like to propose a new entry (previously added to iron woobie without checking the cleanup thread OTL)
What's the work/who is she?
Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice is a third-person historical fantasy (maybe) RPG (kinda) that focuses closely on the titular character, a Pict warrior, as she quests to resurrect her murdered lover via a trip to the Norse underworld. It's also a very well-researched, humanizing portrait of mental illness in a setting where this is rarely explored.
As the player, we start with the basic premise that a) Senua is in love with Dillion, b) Dillion is extremely dead, c) Senua is not going to take that lying down, and also a'-c') Senua hears voices, and they don't always have nice things to say. As the game goes on, we get more and more context, and most of is tragic. First, we learn that Senua's mother was a strong positive influence in her life, one who shared her experience with the voices. However, she died when Senua was quite young - according to Senua's father, the clan's druid, she 'gave in to the darkness', which implies that she committed suicide, except the endgame involves the discovery that in fact Senua's father burned her alive with Senua watching (when he says 'gave in to the darkness', he means that she continued to hear voices in spite of his disapproval, as he feels her reverence of them was a defiance of the gods). Speaking of dad, he was hellbent on 'curing' Senua as well, which involved isolating her from the rest of their village, trapping her in a dark pit as punishment, and impressing upon her that her auditory and visual hallucinations were a curse.
Finally, she meets Dillion, who treats her different perspective as a gift and invites her to participate in a warrior trial that will allow her to leave her clan for his if she passes. She musters the courage to tell her father she's leaving (including threatening him with a sword after he punches her to the ground), passes the trial, and gets to start a new life! Except that shortly after the move she notices something wrong with the water, but can't put it in words. Since no one else can detect anything off, they drink it anyway, and half the clan promptly comes down with a plague - including Dillion's father, the headman, who dies of it. For bonus points, this starts her new clan whispering that she may be cursed, just as her old one did, and this time she starts to believe it. Dillion talks her down from the edge of a cliff, but following a dissociation episode where she wanders into the forest with no memory of how she got there, she decides to go into a self-imposed exile to try to 'defeat her darkness'.
While in the wilderness, she meets Druth, a badly burned and traumatized ex-slave to the viking raiders that have been picking off coastal villages. He recognizes her darkness and his own, and begins help her learn to cope with herself while telling her the legends he learned from his northern captors. With her help, and she with his, they both learn and live a little more comfortably in the wilds, but he ultimately succumbs to his injuries. Senua returns to Dillion's clan, a little more at peace with herself.
This serves to set us up for one of the most viscerally painful moments in the game. While Senua - one of the warriors, who was meant to defend the clan - was off finding herself, they were attacked by raiders. We find Dillion's body, not just executed, but sacrificed via blood eagle; his back was flayed, his ribs broken, and his lungs torn from his chest, the whole bloody tableau suspended between two posts in a pose resembling a more grotesque crucifixion. He still has his head, which just means further fridge horror; the fact that Senua carries it (she believes that, as the seat of the soul, it's vital for his resurrection) means that she must have cut it off herself.
And this is all just to kick off the events of the game itself, which see Senua inflicted with a potentially deadly, gangrenous rot, and forced to face everything she fears while hallucinating the horrors of her past as her physical condition slowly deteriorates and her she descends deeper into the depths of Hel and her own strained mind on a quest she fully believes will lead to her own death.
As far as jerkassery goes, she exhibits very little - though to be fair we only see her interact in short bursts with about five characters, three of whom she loves, one who abused her for years, and the last is either the goddess of death or her own self-concept.
As a clan warrior, Senua is very capable of defending herself from physical threats, and she struggles much more with the battles inside herself. At the very least, she learned swordplay primarily by observation, passed the warrior trials to join another clan, extracted herself from her abusive family at swordpoint, and survived alone in the wilderness during her self-imposed exile. If we read the game literally, she also slew multiple gods and scores of demons. Yet her eventual response to most of her peers and her own father insisting that she is a curse to herself and those around her, condemned by the gods, is captured just before the endgame when she's finally face to face with death herself: "Fuck the gods!"
Hellblade is an extremely close character study, and the player is clearly separate from Senua - the game often feels less like you're playing 'as' her and more like you're playing 'with' her. However, this actually makes the impact stronger, by simultaneously trying to help the player understand her experiences while empathizing with her as a person.
Solid Iron Woobie.
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