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Added by Lex on 17 Jan 2012 11:20
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Fictional "woobies": they suffer well!

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John Nash.
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Simon Bishop.
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People who added this item 1577 Average listal rating (971 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 8.7
Kara "Starbuck" Thrace.

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People who added this item 448 Average listal rating (312 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 8.4
Alan Shore.
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People who added this item 207 Average listal rating (134 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 7.3
Harry Senate.
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Xander.


Spike.
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People who added this item 645 Average listal rating (443 ratings) 5.5 IMDB Rating 5.8
He wasn't a woobie so much in the first movie (he was starting to become one about the time he was put in the funny farm) but by the beginning of the second movie Andy Barclay is well into woobie territory.

He has every reason to be scared of the dark, but he is still a total woobie kid...
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People who added this item 1263 Average listal rating (803 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 8.2
Chuck.

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People who added this item 1185 Average listal rating (770 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 8.1
Spencer Reid.


Aaron "Hotch" Hotchner.
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Nick Stokes.
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Debra.
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All of the kids, but the character of Jacob. Definitely!


Here is part 1 of this movie (its on youtube!)
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People who added this item 244 Average listal rating (125 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 6.2
Legs Sadovsky.


To a lesser extent, Goldie Goldman.
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People who added this item 6396 Average listal rating (4389 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 8.5
Maximus, of course.

And no, woobies are not always main characters. But in movies they tend to be the main character or very close to the top. Some movies have no woobies and just tragic characters, but I like woobies... so...yeah...
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Will.

Abused prodigy with anger issues and a fear of commitment? Come on people...
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People who added this item 422 Average listal rating (297 ratings) 5.9 IMDB Rating 6.6
Luke Brower.
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People who added this item 1233 Average listal rating (754 ratings) 6.1 IMDB Rating 6.2
Hannibal Lecter (but only in this movie, and only for a bit, once he starts killing he loses his woobiness...)
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Harry Potter.


Draco Malfoy.


Severus Snape (I am not into HP but these 3 seem to pop up a lot on h/c boards)
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All the kids in this show are pretty Woobie-ish in their own ways, but the two that take the cake are:

Scott Barringer.


And Shelby Merrick.


Why, you might ask? The others are, indeed, messed up but Scott and Shelby are the two characters that are most ashamed about their pasts to the point where they won't even talk about them for most of the time the show was on. They try the hardest to appear "untouchable" and are actually the most fragile in some ways because... well, you'd have to watch the shows. Woobies tend to be types that repress a lot until they crack or explode.
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People who added this item 4475 Average listal rating (2875 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 8.8
*cough* Gregory House *cough*. He's almost not a woobie because he is such a bastard, but his softer moments put him in that camp.


Wilson. To a degree, but not as much as House...
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People who added this item 242 Average listal rating (138 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 8.3
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Jack. Feels MAJOR survivor guilt over the accidental death of his mother, and feels partially responsible for his father's alcoholism. I just love this character so much.

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People who added this item 1211 Average listal rating (663 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.5
Jacob Singer.

Feels guilt over the accidental death of his son and has been traumatized by the Vietnam war, for starters...
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People who added this item 1411 Average listal rating (907 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 7.4
Prot isn't a woobie, but the human being whose body he is using is. The distinction is VERY important.
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People who added this item 603 Average listal rating (377 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 6.7
Kalifornia (1993)
Brian Kessler (DD plays a lot of woobie roles!)
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Bobby Goren.
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Olivia Benson.

Elliot Stabler. Nuff said. ;)
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People who added this item 348 Average listal rating (189 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 6.4
Ralph (especially at the end of the movie!)


(in case you are wondering, Simon and Piggy are both "tragic figures" but not woobies).
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People who added this item 1847 Average listal rating (1237 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.7
Creasy.
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People who added this item 642 Average listal rating (389 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.2
Will Graham.
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People who added this item 264 Average listal rating (170 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 8.1
Frank Black.


For a kid, "Jordan Black" was really a woobie, especially later on in the show.
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Kes Madigan.


Feels guilty and angry his mother, Jude, abandoned him. Most introspective, brooding and pensive of everyone in the film, and most psychologically damaged by his mother.
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People who added this item 9 Average listal rating (9 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 8.1
Declan.

"The poor man's Fox Mulder". ;)
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Billy Bibbit.
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People who added this item 162 Average listal rating (98 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 8.2
Have only seen a few episodes, but Max Braverman, the kid with Asperger's is probably the woobie of the series.



As a general rule high-functioning autistic kids are almost ALWAYS woobies in films, unless someone else trumps them (like in Silent Fall, the woobie is the Doctor- the kid is merely there to highlight his woobiness).
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People who added this item 273 Average listal rating (194 ratings) 5.3 IMDB Rating 4.8
Jeff.


Feels guilty about the death of his mother.
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People who added this item 549 Average listal rating (344 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 6.4
Yeah. Even kid shows have woobies and in this, it is Pete.

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Phoebe Lichten.
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People who added this item 85 Average listal rating (56 ratings) 5.2 IMDB Rating 5.6
Dr. Eugene Sands.

Feels guilty for losing a patient while high, has substance abuse problems.
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People who added this item 1007 Average listal rating (650 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.7
Martin Vail.
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People who added this item 659 Average listal rating (350 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 6.8
Catherine.

A genius that cared for her ailing, demented mathematically gifted father. Feels guilty about hating him and is scared of becoming crazy like "him".
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Jake Winters.

Feels guilty over the suicide death of his wife.
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David Healy.
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People who added this item 27 Average listal rating (16 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 7.1
Second Best (1994)
James (while Graham seems more emotional, it is James that is the technical woobie. In fact, the more emotional the character, the less likely in general they are to be a woobie... hard to explain).

Feels guilt over his mother's suicide, was abandoned by his father, kidnapped by his father, is self destructive, etc...
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People who added this item 56 Average listal rating (37 ratings) 6.1 IMDB Rating 5.9
Silent Fall (1994)
Dr. Jake Rainer.

Guilt over the suicide death of a previous patient (an autistic child)- yes, almost all woobies have TONS of guilt, that is maybe the hallmark of the woobie. If you add in PTSD and keeping a stiff upper lip... there you go.
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People who added this item 1746 Average listal rating (1044 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 8.7
Nate Fisher.

Feels guilty for the death of his wife, Lisa, and for leaving his family (in season 1).
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People who added this item 25 Average listal rating (10 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 7.7
"Frank Joziak" (the lawyer haunted by the case).

Joziak is haunted by the case and probably other cases (we know he has trouble sleeping and bad dreams which make him woobie-ish right away).

To a lesser extent in this movie, "Karen Downs":

Haunted and terrified of her mother, who shot her. Mute for most of the movie.
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People who added this item 2476 Average listal rating (1696 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 7.5
Lex Luthor.
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People who added this item 2558 Average listal rating (1641 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 8.1
Gordie LaChance (kid being hugged).

Is rejected by his father and feels major guilt over the accidental death of his brother and like he "should have died instead".

To a lesser extent, Chris Chambers (the kid hugging him) who comes from a violent, dysfunctional home and feels like the world doesn't get him or want him. But Gordie is the main woobie in this movie IMO.
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Daniel Jackson (majorly!)

Feels guilty about his parents' death as a child, was "abandoned" by their deaths and also feels guilty about his wife, Share' becoming a gould host.

Jack O'Neill (not as much as Danny boy though!)

feels guilty about the accidental death of his young son with his service pistol. Has PTSD like issues from previous missions, was in black ops, hides his emotions with humour.
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These are the characters we like to beat up mentally, sexually and psychologically and are the stars of "h/c" (hurt/comfort) fan fiction. Or, if the fandom isn't big enough or they are movie characters, they are the characters that WOULD be quickly beat up if they were television show characters or the fandom was bigger.

From tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheWoobie

A woobie (named for a child's security blanket) is that character you want to give a big hug, wrap in a blanket and feed soup to when he or she suffers so very beautifully. Woobification of a character is a curious, audience-driven phenomenon, divorced almost entirely from the character's canonical morality.

The Woobie's appeal lies in how it allows the audience to experience catharsis. The Greek philosopher Aristotle proposed that tragedy is popular because it allows people to experience and let out their negative emotions, "cleansing" themselves. The Woobie is popular for this same reason. A story with The Woobie allows the audience to vicariously experience relief from some pain by fantasizing about relieving The Woobie's pain. (No, not that way! Well, okay, sometimes.) Woobification can also tie into a disturbing hurt/comfort dynamic, in which fans enjoy seeing the Woobie tortured, if only for the chance to wish the hurt away. This is often made manifest in the curious form of the Hurt/Comfort Fic.

An important aspect of The Woobie is that their suffering must have its genesis in external sources: a character, however sympathetically portrayed, who suffers as the result of their own actions is a Tragic Hero and does not qualify.

A properly executed Woobie inspires deep fannish devotion. A poorly executed Woobie earns scoffing and mockery, perhaps at the same time. The difference between the Woobie and such Sickeningly Sweet characters as the Littlest Cancer Patient is that the audience actually finds the Woobie compelling rather than pathetic. Where you draw the line is sometimes a matter of opinion.

Who are your woobies? Are they on the list? Please leave a note!

Some woobie characteristics I have noticed...

1. Almost all of them have had dysfunctional, if not downright abusive childhoods.
2. They tend to act "tougher" than they really are and put on a "brave face".
3. If they cry or become self-destructive in canon, they usually try to do it in private.
4. They usually feel very guilty about the tragic death or loss of someone (parents, siblings, children)- this is almost a universal rule.
5. Often are very bright, brighter than the other characters but also more "sensitive" (even if they try to appear tough as nails, they usually are "softer" than they appear).
6. Genuinely are tough and can handle a lot by anyone's standards.
7. Tend to be picked on or bullied in general, or be seen as outsiders or "weird".
8. Have a propensity for being mildly self-destructive (either obviously and intentionally or more commonly, as subconsciously like taking drugs, drinking, having poor social skills, etc).
9. Have a significant past trauma and PTSD like symptoms (and everyone is just waiting for them to break again).
10. Usually have very expressive eyes and are good at "manipulating" people into thinking they are "fine".
11. Usually are "fighters" (they are in a war, or are cops or FBI profilers hunting bad guys, etc).

In my opinion, the number one characteristic of a woobie is that they feel GUILTY about something, and usually it is misplaced guilt (in some cases, they feel guilty for simply existing, especially the woobies with dysfunctional childhoods).

In my opinion Woobies tend to be the most complicated characters, most interesting and they give you the most emotional bang for your buck. Note that the characters that are overly-dramatic and cause their own suffering are emo characters and not true woobies. ;) Sometimes the line is thin, but you know a woobie when you see one.

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Comments

Posted: 5 years, 10 months ago at Nov 25 2:36
Under Buffy the Vampire Slayer, you have a picture of David Boreanaz, who plays Angel (in BtvS and the series Angel) yet it says Spike (played by James Marsters) above his picture.
Posted: 5 years, 6 months ago at Mar 4 18:07
Do you watch Breaking bad ? Because i would say Jesse Pinkman is the ultimate woobie.
Posted: 5 years, 5 months ago at Apr 1 4:42
What about Seymour and Audrey from Little Shop of Horrors (the musical version)?

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