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TVTropes: Sympathetic Sue examples - October 10, 2011

Korodzik May 22nd, 2012 67 Never
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  1. !! FanWork Examples:
  3. [[foldercontrol]]
  5. [[folder:Anime and Manga]]
  6. * Fay of ''TsubasaReservoirChronicle'' has a tendency to turn into this type of thing if written badly, and needs his {{seme}} Kurogane to help fix him. This type of characterization ignores the fact that in canon he's more or less gotten over what caused said wangst, and even when it was effecting him it wasn't anywhere near the level most fans seem to think it was. (I.E., ''Fay is not a cutter''. Anyone who thinks that needs to reread the bloody story!)
  7. * In ''AxisPowersHetalia'' fanfic, Lithuania is the character most prone to this treatment by people who forget that there's more to his history and personality than being TheWoobie victim of Russia's abuse. Canada also gets this kind of portrayal at times (when he's not being [[JerkSue taken to the other extreme]], that is), with America becoming the Evil Token Abuser.
  8. ** China, too. While he ''is'' one of the biggest {{Woobie}}s in the cast, there's a limit to the {{wangst}} one can take in China-centered fics, and many of them twist him into a whiny mess who wails 24/7 about how horrible his life is, how Japan completely ruined everything, and how his siblings are terrible people for not wanting to live with him anymore -- while generally treating the one who ''does'' aknowledge him, Korea, like a BrattyHalfPint idiot whom China hates.
  9. ** More than one OriginalCharacter nation-tan ends up like this, and double if they're coupled with DieForOurShip or RonTheDeathEater. There was a memorable but apparently LostForever bad fic in ffnet that was supposed to portray ImperialJapan's KickTheDog treatment of the Okinawa citizens at the end of WorldWarTwo... and did it by making the fanmade Okinawa-tan a helpless, useless and whiny SympatheticSue DamselInDistress who was constantly tortured by CompleteMonster!Japan and needed KnightInShiningArmor!America to save her fron Japan's [[{{Narm}} so-over-the-top-it-was-ridiculous]] abuse. The fact that post-war American military bases in Okinawa are a constant problem for American-Japanese relationships ''and'' for the Okinawan people (specially after ''stationated American soldiers kidnapped and raped Okinawan girls at least twice'' in TheNineties) was completely ignored by the author. (And guess what she said when some reviewers ''did'' point it out.) Made absolutely HilariousInHindsight by the fact that the canon Okinawa-tan has recently showed up [[http://i.imgur.com/U3uqG.jpg in the]] [[http://hetalia.livejournal.com/11173119.html strips]]... and '''[[{{Keet}} he]]''' [[{{Jossed}} has turned out to be anything BUT]] {{wangst}}y, [[DamselScrappy helpless and weepy]] as of now.
  10. [[/folder]]
  12. [[folder:Film]]
  13. * Several ''RockyHorrorPictureShow'' fanfics tend to portray [[BrotherSisterIncest Riff Raff and Magenta]] in a more sympathetic light than they really should. More often than not, they're portrayed as either A.) Being outcasts amongst ALL other Transylvanians due to their incestuous relationship, B.) Being abused/harassed by Frank N Furter to absolutely unrealistic levels (Frank is only shown physically harming Riff only ONCE in the film and he's othewise apathetically indifferent towards Riff and Magenta), C.) Having some sort of tragic backstory, or D.) All of the above. Keep in mind that this is ''Riff Raff and Magenta'' we're talking about, two characters who MURDERED three of the main characters (IE: Rocky, Frank, and Columbia) without so much as a second thought.
  14. ** Then again Riff Raff and Magenta spared Brad, Janet, and Dr. Scott, and their actions are the only reason those three make it out of Frank N. Furter's castle without being further victimized. Arguably they are the ''heroes'' of the story, as Frank's death at least is a pretty clear-cut case of LaserGuidedKarma.
  15. ** Just as often, there are fanfics that portray Dr. Frank N Furter in a ridiculously sympathetic light. Nevermind the fact that, in the movie/stage show, Frank is [[AxeCrazy completely and utterly psychotic]] and has few, if any, morals whatsoever. This could be due to the fact that his final song, ''I'm Going Home'', is a desperate attempt to make everyone feel sorry for him (The fact that it DOESN'T work and he ends up being killed anyway speaks volumes about the character).
  16. ** Also, there are fanfics that portray Columbia in this way. More often than not, the writers of said fanfics often depict her as having some sort of "tragic past" before she ended up being Frank's groupie.
  17. [[/folder]]
  19. [[folder:Literature]]
  20. * The SoBadItsGood ''HarryPotter'' {{wangst}}-fest ''FanFic/DarkSecrets'' has one of these as the lead character. She discovers that [[RonTheDeathEater her boyfriend, none other than Ron, is a Death Eater]], and in order to prevent her from spilling his dark secret he... [[FridgeLogic antagonises her]]. With a ridiculous string of DeusAngstMachina abuses. Of course, [[DracoInLeatherPants Draco Malfoy]] is there to [[HurtComfortFic make it all better]].
  21. ** Also includes elements of PuritySue. ''Of course'' she was a virgin before RonTheDeathEater [[RapeAsDrama dragged her to the Shrieking Shack]].
  22. ** She's also ''[[AntiSue completely and utterly useless]]'', a passive [[PinballProtagonist observer]] and [[TheChewToy victim]] of the fic's events. The only spell she casts the entire fic is to attempt suicide. Immediately prior to the climactic battle she breaks her foot kicking a chest in frustration (!) which gets [[NegativeContinuity promptly forgotten]] but she's useless anyway.
  23. * Ebony Dark'ness Dementia Raven Way from ''MyImmortal''.
  24. -->'''Ebony''': Why couldn't Satan have made me less beautiful?! [[SoBeautifulItsACurse It's a fucking curse]]!!
  25. [[/folder]]
  27. [[folder:Music]]
  28. * There is a sub-genre in {{Real Person Fic}}s starring TheBeatles: "Paul in Pain." [=McCartney=] doesn't ''have'' to be a SympatheticSue for this to work, but it helps. John Lennon hurt/comfort happens as well, and breeds Sympathetic Lennon Sues.
  29. ** Does this have anything to do with the occasional instances of Weepy!Max in ''Film/AcrossTheUniverse'' fanfic? No matter that he's a drug-addled, emotionally crippled veteran already, as well as distinctly averse to being emo and mopey. Throw some {{Wangst}} at him and see what sticks. It opens the door for a ''lot'' of potential hurt/comfort.
  30. [[/folder]]
  32. [[folder:Video Games]]
  33. * One of the most popular character mods for ''[[BaldursGate Baldur's Gate II]]'' is Kelsey, a handsome young sorcerer from Baldur's Gate who will happily fall head over heels for a female protagonist-or for the protagonist's sister if the protagonist is male or is female but rejects him. To listen to him, you'd think he's the only sorcerer in the world with issues controlling his powers, unpleasant circumstances surrounding his discovery of his powers, parental issues, other family issues, and a strong dose of IJustWantToBeNormal, all of which gets exceedingly ironic [[SuperPoweredEvilSide in]] [[CainAndAbel light]] [[DoomedHometown of]] [[WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity the]] [[DoomMagnet protagonist's]] [[NeverGotToSayGoodbye own]] [[DeusAngstMachina issues]].
  34. * ''KnightsOfTheOldRepublic''. The actual implications of the horrific deeds Revan committed in the past tend to be very lightly glossed over in some fanfics. Usually justified as Revan being a WellIntentionedExtremist so Revan doesn't actually have to face any genuine responsibility, but it's juuuuuust morally questionable enough to qualify for bucketloads of gratuitous angst. Of course ''all'' the other characters will be quick to flock to Revan's side with sympathetic hugs to cheer the poor widdle mass murderer up. Oh and if Carth dares to bring up his dead wife, [[NoSympathy he'll be chewed out for being such a big meanie to poor Revan]].
  35. [[/folder]]
  37. [[folder:Western Animation]]
  38. * There was a time in ''CodenameKidsNextDoor'' fandom where you couldn't take a step on your average fanboard without hitting nine or ten stories about how chaste, vulnerable, depressed [[GenkiGirl KUKI]] [[FunPersonified FRIGGING]] [[MeaningfulName SANBAN]] has a deep dark secret and needs the healing love of Numbuh Four to cure her anorexia/rape-induced post traumatic stress/cutting/chronic wangst.
  39. * A ''ton'' of angsty ''DannyPhantom'' fanfics contain at least one of these. Usually it's going to be a canon-character like Danny, Sam, or Vlad... though Fan-characters show up from time to time. IE: Danny's parents will NEEEEVER accept him as a ghost-boy or Sam's parents are too meeaaaan to understand her gothic lifestyle or Vlad just wants luuuuuuv....
  40. ** Danny thinking his parents will never accept him seems justified by their constant (and advertised) desire to catch all ghosts and rip them apart "molecule by molecule!"
  41. *** But in the series itself, Danny knows his family will accept him, even if his identity was revealed, and in ''Reality Trip'', it's not brought up, but confirmed that, in general, they don't care if their son is a ghost at all, they still love him.
  42. * In ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'' fanfics, there is a tendency to have Raven become one of these, especially if it is a HighSchoolAU. After the series finale, there were a lot of fics like this about Terra as well.
  43. [[/folder]]
  45. !![[CanonSue Canon]] Examples:
  47. [[folder:{{Anime}} and {{Manga}}]]
  48. * Chris Thorndyke of ''{{Sonic}} X''. While he's got good reasons to feel lonely sometimes, he constantly whines about having 'No real friends besides Sonic' much more than his life really warrants. [[InformedLoner He has genuine friends at school]], a loving Grandpa with Tails-esque intelligence, a genuinely doting housemaid and a loyal butler for company. And while his parents aren't always around, they do love him, show up on numerous occasions, and they're BOTH famous and rich.
  49. ** Not to mention his PuritySue moments, such as when he convinced Shadow to reform from his wicked ways because ''he looked like Maria.'' That was AFTER Shadow beat the hell out of him. What makes this even worse is that on Sonic Adventure 2, this was Amy's most important role.
  50. ** Cosmo is also this, but she had a better execution due to being LastOfHerKind.
  51. * In the ''{{Cyborg 009}} 2001'' series, the adaptation of the manga chapters concerning Princess Ixquic (a PaleSkinnedBrunette [[spoiler: RobotGirl]] who befriends Joe aka 009 when he gets into an area of ancient ruins) was ''so'' badly handled by the writers that Ixquic became [[TheScrappy the most hated character]] of the series, either because [[DieForOurShip 009 x 003 fans were out of her blood]] (009 completely ignored 003's woorries over [[BroughtDownToNormal being temporally depowered]] to swoon over the "Princess"), or because fans couldn't stand how 009 was simply ''NotHimself'' when around Ixquic.
  52. * You could be forgiven, perhaps even justified, for considering Lelouch of ''CodeGeass'' one of these, though be off the mark by quite a bit, because he actually does have [[DeusAngstMachina a lot to grief over]], whether [[ByronicHero deserved]] or [[CosmicPlaything otherwise]]. The show's true prime case would be Villetta Nu, who starts out as a proud member of a racist faction in hopes of attaining nobility (though she hoped to become a noble to help her family), yet in the final episode, she says that she wanted somewhere to belong. This is following, and in addition to, her [[AmnesiacDissonance amnesiac]] stint and her resulting relationship with Ohgi.
  53. ** Rather arguable, as unlike a true SympatheticSue, Viletta [[SpotlightStealingSquad doesn't steal the spotlight to herself every time she's in the screen]].
  54. *** True as that is, she also [[SpannerInTheWorks makes things way more complicated than they would be otherwise for Lelouch]], especially given that she is partly responsible for [[spoiler:the Black Knights' betrayal of him, which eventually gives way to Lelouch, [[DespairEventHorizon in a final act of despair]], enacting the [[ThanatosGambit Zero Requiem]]]]. Not to mention that she was also partly responsible for Shirley's FreakOut. By the end of the series, both of those characters [[spoiler:are dead, while Villetta is the bride of the HappilyMarried photo]]. So while she doesn't steal the show, [[spoiler:[[KarmaHoudini she does steal the HappyEnding from more sympathetic characters who instead meet bad ends, which is egregrious enough]]]].
  55. * Maphohetka from {{Bizenghast}} is probably a deconstruction of this. Her tragic past and alienation from the [[AllOfTheOtherReindeer villagers]] led to her being wrongfully hanged for being a witch. She comes back as a sparkly, beautiful ghost who all the Vault Guards love, and everyone else is only too happy to follow on her mission to spread her message to the world. She's the BigBad. The villagers were completely right about her, and she came back to life as a borderline HumanoidAbomination who forces everyone to feel sorry for her by destroying their free will.
  56. * Matou Sakura of [[VisualNovel/FateStayNight Fate/stay night]] would probably count, [[spoiler:([[at least in the Heaven's Feel rote.]]
  57. [[/folder]]
  60. [[folder:Comics]]
  61. * YourMilageMayVary, but [[{{Batman}} Tim Drake]]. He goes through one DeusAngstMachina after another, TookALevelInJerkass like there was no tomorrow at the start of the Batman Reborn stories ([[IGotBetter he got better]]), and constantly wallows in {{Wangst}} in more recent works. Like Lelouch in the Anime/Manga folder, he has indeed been though a lot (BreakTheCutie, DangerousSixteenthBirthday, TenMinuteRetirement that contributed to his girlfreind's death, ect.).
  62. ** Also, whether or not he's upposed to be sumpathtic [[DependingOnTheWriter depends on who's writing him and for what series]]. In Batman and Robin he comes off as more of a jerk becuase Damian and he bring out the worst in each other. In Red Robin he comes off as cold, but able to do an amazing job and power-though his issues. In Teen Titans he's more at ease with his old Comicbook/YoungJustice buddies. And he's been happier since [[spoiler: Bruce came back]].
  63. *** Plus, one of his main reasons for hating Damian was that Damian got the Robin suit. Dick ''justified'' giving Damian the costume, saying that Robin is a sidekick (like it was for Dick) not a partner (how it was for Tim in the later years) and that he sees Tim as too much his equal to have him as Robin. If they had focused more on the fact that Damian had seriously tried to kill him a few times in the past, the sympathy might have worked better.
  64. *** His being a jerk to fan-favorite Stephanie Brown isn't helping his sympathy rating either.
  65. [[/folder]]
  67. [[folder:Film]]
  68. * Tommy Wiseau's character in ''TheRoom'' is almost transparently a stand in for himself so that audiences can feel pity for him. The whole movie is almost certainly his passive aggressive attempt to get back at an ex by painting her as a motiveless jerkass (Who is SO BEAUTIFUL) who spreads her legs for everyone and frames him as an abuser, despite him being, as the film constantly reminds us, A WONDERFUL PERSON.
  69. * Bella Swan from ''Twilight''. She supposed be a normal girl that's a fish out of water, but everyone she meets is ready to be nice her. She's a jerk to her father (who is generally regarded as the only likable character), and acts psychologically tortured even though she's fine, but makes it everyone's problem.
  70. [[/folder]]
  72. [[folder:{{Literature}}]]
  73. * Rhiannon [[spoiler:[=NicAhern=]]] (of the ''Rhiannon's Ride'' trilogy): She's a HalfHumanHybrid who starts out being reviled for looking too human. Once she's ''among'' humans, she gets grief for having been RaisedByWolves. In the second book, she's on death row for having killed a royal guard in self-defense. But she ends up [[spoiler:not only going free, but in a position of respect...and everyone who started out disliking her (including a romantic rival) has had a change of heart, died, or both. She also turns out to be the [[RagsToRoyalty long-lost bastard daughter of a nobleman]]]]. And on top of all that...she's got a [[CoolHorse flying horse]].
  74. * Laciel from Sharon Green's ''Far Side of Forever'' series is a [[GodModeSue powerful sorceress]] that can imitate her teammates' abilities, has a pet demon, and spends an entire book not understanding that every male teammate of her is in love with her. Because she has no experience with men, you see. ''And'' she was raped. More than once but the second time was [[RapeIsLove to teach her her place]].
  75. ** Even worse is that her 'no experience with men' was actually a magically-inflicted [[LaserGuidedAmnesia mental block]]. Because her master thought that was the best therapy for her original rape, you see.
  76. * In ''{{Perelandra}}'', the Un-Man tells Tinidril stories of [[SympatheticSue Sympathetic Sues]] as part of his temptation scheme. Of course, nearly all are, in realty, [[DesignatedHero Designated Heroines]].
  77. * BJ Vaughan, in Nick O'Donohoe's otherwise-good ''Crossroads'' trilogy, is insecure but seems to almost never be wrong. She's nearly unfazed by seeing various mythical creatures for the first time. [[spoiler:Early in the series, she's diagnosed with Huntington's Chorea...and if she leaves a magical safe zone for too long, it'll progress at an accelerated rate and kill her]]. And by the end of the second book, [[spoiler:she's effectively become a [[GodModeSue goddess]]]].
  78. * Flinx, the main protagonist of AlanDeanFoster's ''HumanxCommonwealth'' [[TheVerse universe]]. [[ParentalAbandonment Orphan]]. {{Wangst}}s over finding his parents, and even more when it's revealed that [[spoiler:[[GeneticEngineeringIsTheNewNuke he doesn't have any]]]]. PsychicPowers in a world where most humans don't have them. {{Wangst}}s about [[IJustWantToBeNormal having the aforementioned powers]]. Always, ''always'' has the particular skill or power (especially in the later novels) to save the day; or when he can't save it, his magical allies show up to do it instead. Has a CoolStarship and an [[RichIdiotWithNoDayJob infinite bank account]], thanks to his SufficientlyAdvancedAlien allies. Has an incredibly rare and lethal [[BondCreatures Bond Creature]] for a pet. [[{{Omniglot}} Fluent]] in several extremely difficult languages. Explores {{Death World}}s by himself with little preparation, [[PlotArmor inexplicably survives]] things that would kill any other character, ''and'' [[MightyWhitey befriends the natives]]. Gets the coolest girls in the story to fall for him despite being an avowed [[LonersAreFreaks loner]]. Out of nowhere, suddenly becomes the ChosenOne to deal with the UltimateEvil. {{Wangst}}s even more about ''that''. On his journey, ancient [[{{Precursors}} Precursor]] artifacts and {{Lost Superweapon}}s respond to his presence and his alone. Singlehandedly negotiates peace between TheFederation and TheEmpire with an ExpositionBeam. Oh, and everyone who opposes him throughout the entire series ends up dead, insane, or having a change of heart. Despite (or perhaps because of) all of these, the ''Flinx and Pip'' series still manages to be a very entertaining bit of SpaceOpera.
  79. * Those who don't like JodiPicoult's ''MySistersKeeper'' often accuse the main character, Anna, of being one of these.
  80. [[/folder]]
  82. [[folder:LiveActionTV]]
  83. * Telema Duke from ''{{Tinsel}}''. It's so, so sad for her that she and her fiancé Soji broke up on her wedding day. Even though she called off the wedding. After having sex with another man. And feel sorry for her that her ex-fiance refused to speak to her for weeks after the wedding and broke her heart when he slept with [[TheRival Bimpe]] even though she was dating Kwame at the time. And feel happy for her when she gets back with Soji even though that breaks Bimpe and Kwame's heart. And feel sorry for her in Season 3, for being torn again between Kwame and Soji!
  84. * Captain Jack Harkness, but only in his ''{{Torchwood}}'' incarnation. For series one of the new ''Series/DoctorWho'' he was a lovable rogue. Once the ''{{Torchwood}}'' writing staff got their hands on him, he became tortured and angsty after [[WhoWantsToLiveForever being granted eternal life from Rose and reaching 170 years of age]], had pretty much the entire team making googly eyes at him, and by the end of the series had become an almost messianic figure. Note that his later guest appearances on ''Doctor Who'' brings him back to the original characterization, regardless of what happens to him on Torchwood.
  85. ** ...Which evaporates the second he's back on his own show. After his Christlike antics in the finale of the first season, at the end of the second he spends some time being [[ColdBloodedTorture tortured]] [[spoiler:[[CrucifiedHeroShot in a cruciform pose]] for a while (again) then allows himself to be [[FateWorseThanDeath buried alive for TWO THOUSAND years of continual death and revival]] - OUTDOING Christ in terms of suffering by a considerable margin- by his crazy long-lost brother. [[WhatDoYouMeanItsNotSymbolic Then he ROSE FROM THE TOMB, with his sanity, clothes and haircut completely intact, to utter the words "I forgive you."]]]]
  86. *** This isn't a consistent thing, however. There are several occasions where he's [[CallingTheOldManOut called]] [[WhatTheHellHero out]] on his screw ups. He's been described by one cast member as "the biggest monster of all" after ordering said character to either [[SadisticChoice kill his cyberized girlfriend or else he'd come down and kill both of them]], and nobody was happy with him after that incident when he let the little girl go off with evil fairies. And then there's Children of Earth where everybody and anybody's idealisations of Jack are quite blatantly thrown out of the window when we find out he once [[MoralEventHorizon sent a bunch of kids]] [[YourMileageMayVary to be used as drugs by an alien race]] "as a gift" (said very casually, almost with a shrug), gets his boyfriend killed by being a [[IdiotBall cocky ass in front of a villain who's blatantly more powerful than them]] and then kills his ''grandson'' in front of his daughter leaving her understandably hating him for the rest of her life. It's been implied right from the start that Jack wasn't always a very nice guy, it just took this long for it to actually ''show up''.
  87. **** On the third hand, it's mostly during the complete Jerk-Ass moments that he is at all sympathetic. "She was my wife ninety years, ago" or "And then they tortured me to death... repeatedly" are too hard to comprehend emotionally to gain much sympathy and Jack tends to shrug off little things like everyone he knows hating him or a year he doesn't remember. When he chooses to do awful things in order to prevent worse, it is easy to see why he has acted that way and he is often visibly upset.
  88. * In the ''CriminalMinds'' fanbase, since her debut episode, new Character FBI Cadet/Agent Ashley Seaver has been criticized by many fans for being this by the constant ham-fisting of her background in her first episode. Whether she will improve in the subsequent episodes, or remain the same will be determined soon.
  89. * Prue Halliwell in ''{{Charmed}}''. The other characters constantly talk about how she had to sacrifice her own childhood to help raise her sisters despite being only six when their mother died and being brought up by their grandmother. Half the episodes from the early seasons revolve around just how awful being a witch with super powers is making Prue's life.
  90. [[/folder]]
  92. [[folder:Theatre]]
  93. * In ''{{Chicago}}'', Roxie pretends to be one of these in order to get the attention and sympathy of the public. She isn't one herself, though.
  94. [[/folder]]
  96. [[folder:Webcomics]]
  97. * Nanase from ''ElGoonishShive''. Aside from getting a raftload of {{Gayngst}} to the point of ridiculousness, she ''also'' has a homophobic EducationMama. ''And'' all of this is shoved into the spotlight ''during other characters' arcs'', just so that we know what we're supposed to be feeling for her.
  98. * Joel of ''{{Concession}}'' has about five interconnected FreudianExcuse points in his backstory. [[spoiler:When they were children, his father preferred his older brother to Joel and his twin sister Miranda. Even so, the brother was jealous enough of the attention the twins were getting when they were children to kill Miranda. Their parents assumed Joel had done it, and put him in an asylum, where he was sexually abused by a doctor. Years later, their father died, and left the entire company to the older brother, leaving Joel and his mother with nothing]]. Then again, he may not fall into this category as heavily as that makes him sound, because you're not meant to feel sorry ''enough'' for him to forgive his [[VillainProtagonist reprehensible behaviour]].
  99. ** [[spoiler: As it turns out, though, the parts about his older brother were completely made up by Miranda herself, and Joel's brother is actually happy to see him when he finally gets to having his revenge.]]
  100. [[/folder]]
  102. [[folder:Western Animation]]
  103. * From ''HeyArnold,'' Helga's beautiful and brilliant, but neurotic and dangerously out-of-reality older sister Olga. Depending on the episode, she seems to walk the thin line between being a real Sympathetic Sue and being a ''deconstruction'' of the PuritySue concept.
  104. [[/folder]]
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