TVTropes: Depression Fuel - July 14, 2011

Korodzik May 10th, 2012 124 Never
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  1. Depression Fuel are things in media that you found very sad, or depressing even though it wasn't meant to be sad at all. This is usually invoked by applying further thought to plot points (FridgeLogic) or something being clumsily handled to the point where it does seem very sad. Or a show with a {{Butt Monkey}}'s misfortunes (that are SUPPOSED to be funny) but make you feel depressed for the character. Either way, you're reaching for a hanky. Akin to NightmareFuel, and may actually be found in the same references as the aforementioned NightmareFuel.
  3. So in short, if something in a work (or an entire work) is:
  5. * not intended to be sad or depressing
  6. * made you sad or depressed anyway
  8. Then it is Depression Fuel.
  10. For further reference, see's list of [[ depressing happy endings.]]
  12. See InferredHolocaust and EsotericHappyEnding for supposed happy endings. This can also cross over to NightmareFuel, for when things scare children despite not meaning to. Also see FridgeHorror, for things that seem a lot scarier with further realization. TearJerker refers to things that are supposed to be sad.
  13. ----
  14. !!Examples:
  15. [[AC:{{Film}}]]
  16. * [[ This CNN Report]] details people feeling depressed after seeing ''Film/{{Avatar}}''. Not due to any sad part in the movie but the fact that the utopia Pandora makes the real life seem downright depressing.
  17. * This is so embarassing, but when I read and watched ''TheNeverendingStory'' and ''TheLastUnicorn'' as a kid, I cried because I so wanted to be a part of those worlds. Also, while we're on ''TheBreakfastClub'', Allison's transformation from weirdo to hot chick depressed me. Same thing again in ''She's All That''.
  18. * If you're not versed in the Book of Job [[hottip:*:And even if you are, considering the MoralDissonance of a god toying with a guy's life and betting on it]], the film ''ASeriousMan'' will just seem like one depressing catastrophe after another. [[spoiler:Among the things that happen to the main character- his wife tries to divorce him and kicks him out of the house (along with his handicapped brother) forcing him to live in a hotel, his wife's lover dies in a car crash and he's forced to foot the bill for the funeral, his brother gets in legal trouble for gambling and alleged sodomy, his kids hate him, he's bribed by a student and then he's threatened with a defamation suit for accusing the student of bribing him, his wife empties his bank account, and if all this (and more) wasn't bad enough, he might have cancer.]]
  19. * [[{{TwentyTwelve}} Roland]] [[TheDayAfterTomorrow Emmerich]] movies. [[AMillionIsAStatistic Millions and millions of people die]], and [[EsotericHappyEnding we're supposed to be happy]] because the LittlestCancerPatient got out okay.
  21. [[AC:{{Literature}}]]
  22. * Ack... there was a kid's book, whose title I have forgotten. Featured a boy and his dog (the dog's name was Rags, I remember that much), and in one of the books in this series the dog gets separated from the boy and has to wander around the town trying to find him. At one point, the dog gets taken in and fed/bathed/etc. by this old woman who really seems to care for the dog. Eventually, while the old woman is out walking the dog, she encounters the boy. We're supposed to be happy the boy got his dog back, but I remember feeling sad and wondering what the old woman was going to do now that her doggy wasn't there anymore.
  23. ** Sounds like ''Ribsy'' by Beverly Cleary. Rags was what the old woman named him, Ribsy was the dog's given name.
  25. [[AC:{{Music}}]]
  26. * ''Rudolph The Red-nosed Reindeer'': Happy Christmas song? [[AllTheOtherReindeer What if your childhood or even entire life has been like that]], without the happy borderline DeusExMachina ending?
  28. [[AC:NewMedia]]
  29. * I've always felt that the worst fate one can have is to be one of those people who end up on sites like [[ Computer Stupidities]]. Too stupid to be respected, but too smart to be pitied, which leaves them being ridiculed and hated.
  31. [[AC:NewspaperComics]]
  32. * [[{{Peanuts}} Charlie Brown. Lucy. Football.]] And with Schulz's [[AuthorExistenceFailure death]] in 2000, the day Charlie finally gets to kick that football is never going to happen.
  33. ** When he was still alive, [[WordOfGod Schulz said]] [[FailureIsTheOnlyOption he was never going to kick that football]]. Anyway, there's always fanon.
  35. [[AC:VideoGames]]
  36. * Probably one of the best known examples of this trope are the GameOver screens for the DonkeyKongCountry series. They're accompanied by eerie music that also qualifies them as NightmareFuel. The third game in the series [[ takes the cake]] with [[ReplacementScrappy Kiddy Kong]] making a very sad face at the camera right before the door shuts on them for good. And after you feel sad for the Kongs, the FridgeHorror kicks in when you wonder just what happened to them afterward. Talk about a reason not to fail.
  37. * In the ''{{Pokemon}}'' series, Absol is a prime example of this. It's always blamed for causing the disasters that in fact it is actually trying to save people from.
  38. * Also, in ''PokemonMysteryDungeon Explores of Time/Darkness/Sky'' there are quite a few moments that may be intended to just be scary, but end up being major depression fuel. The future is a great example of this. Not only have most of the usually fun loving creatures gone totally bonkers, but to top it off, the sun never rises.
  39. * Ever died in ''Yoshis Story''?
  40. * Damn You ''DuckHunt'' Dog!!
  41. * Detective Gumshoe's salary in ''AceAttorney''. The [[ButtMonkey poor guy]] has to resort to eating nothing but instant noodles. To some people, it may be funny, but this troper could just imagine poor college students and those on similarly tight budgets sympathizing with him.
  42. * ''SpaceInvaders'', when it was first released, caused a moral panic (particularly amongst Americans), with people decrying its EndlessGame elements that, to them, carries the depressing message of impossible victory.
  44. [[AC:WesternAnimation]]
  45. * FamilyGuy's Meg Griffin went from normal teenager to a [[{{Flanderization}} complete and utter punching bag for everyone in the cast.]] The show [[PlayedForLaughs plays this for laughs]] due to the fact she is completely uninteresting compared to the other characters but still certain fans feel completely awful for the character and her life. So much so, that she's quite popular online, especially on
  47. [[AC:Other]]
  48. * Works that are [=~So Bad It's Horrible~=], especially those that had a lot of potential (i.e. ''JurassicPark Trespasser''). Think about a work you really like, one you practically can't live without. What if, instead of becoming what makes you love it, it ended up being one of those failures?
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