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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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Decade: Rating: List Type:
People who added this item 4790 Average listal rating (3171 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 8.2
John Nash.
Lex's rating:
People who added this item 2699 Average listal rating (1791 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.7
Simon Bishop.
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People who added this item 1617 Average listal rating (1085 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 8.7
Kara "Starbuck" Thrace.

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People who added this item 456 Average listal rating (327 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 8.4
Boston Legal (2004)
Alan Shore.
Lex's rating:
People who added this item 209 Average listal rating (138 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 7.3
Boston Public (2000)
Harry Senate.
Lex's rating:
People who added this item 3249 Average listal rating (2448 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 8.2
Xander.


Spike.
Lex's rating:
People who added this item 708 Average listal rating (487 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...
Lex's rating:
People who added this item 1284 Average listal rating (895 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 8.2
Chuck (2007)
Chuck.

People who added this item 1240 Average listal rating (874 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 8
Spencer Reid.


Aaron "Hotch" Hotchner.
Lex's rating:
People who added this item 2632 Average listal rating (2050 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.6
Nick Stokes.
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People who added this item 750 Average listal rating (442 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 6.7
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!)
Lex's rating:
People who added this item 248 Average listal rating (133 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 6.2
Foxfire (1996)
Legs Sadovsky.


To a lesser extent, Goldie Goldman.
Lex's rating:
People who added this item 6564 Average listal rating (4654 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 8.5
Gladiator (2000)
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...
Lex's rating:
People who added this item 3900 Average listal rating (2536 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 8.3
Will.

Abused prodigy with anger issues and a fear of commitment? Come on people...
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People who added this item 434 Average listal rating (308 ratings) 5.9 IMDB Rating 6.6
Growing Pains (1985)
Luke Brower.
Lex's rating:
People who added this item 1246 Average listal rating (772 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)
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.
Lex's rating:
People who added this item 4561 Average listal rating (3403 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 8.7
House M.D. (2004)
*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...
Lex's rating:
People who added this item 255 Average listal rating (149 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 8.2
In Treatment (2008)
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People who added this item 82 Average listal rating (58 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 7.9
Chava.
Lex's rating:
People who added this item 62 Average listal rating (32 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 6.5
Jack the Bear (1993)
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.

Lex's rating:
People who added this item 1277 Average listal rating (718 ratings) 7.5 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...
Lex's rating:
People who added this item 1422 Average listal rating (926 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 7.4
K-PAX (2001)
Prot isn't a woobie, but the human being whose body he is using is. The distinction is VERY important.
Lex's rating:
People who added this item 619 Average listal rating (393 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 6.7
Kalifornia (1993)
Brian Kessler (DD plays a lot of woobie roles!)
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People who added this item 602 Average listal rating (455 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 7.3
Bobby Goren.
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Olivia Benson.

Elliot Stabler. Nuff said. ;)
Lex's rating:
People who added this item 372 Average listal rating (203 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).
Lex's rating:
People who added this item 1872 Average listal rating (1260 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.7
Man on Fire (2004)
Creasy.
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People who added this item 685 Average listal rating (419 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.2
Manhunter (1986)
Will Graham.
Lex's rating:
People who added this item 273 Average listal rating (179 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 8
Millennium (1996)
Frank Black.


For a kid, "Jordan Black" was really a woobie, especially later on in the show.
Lex's rating:
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.
Lex's rating:
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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People who added this item 4399 Average listal rating (2927 ratings) 8.5 IMDB Rating 8.7
Billy Bibbit.
Lex's rating:
People who added this item 166 Average listal rating (98 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 8.2
Parenthood (2010)
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).
Lex's rating:
People who added this item 294 Average listal rating (208 ratings) 5.2 IMDB Rating 4.9
Jeff.


Feels guilty about the death of his mother.
Lex's rating:
People who added this item 572 Average listal rating (357 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 6.4
Pete's Dragon (1977)
Yeah. Even kid shows have woobies and in this, it is Pete.

Lex's rating:
People who added this item 285 Average listal rating (117 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.1
Phoebe Lichten.
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People who added this item 90 Average listal rating (57 ratings) 5.2 IMDB Rating 5.6
Playing God (1997)
Dr. Eugene Sands.

Feels guilty for losing a patient while high, has substance abuse problems.
Lex's rating:
People who added this item 1046 Average listal rating (682 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.7
Primal Fear (1996)
Martin Vail.
Lex's rating:
People who added this item 651 Average listal rating (345 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 6.7
Proof (2005)
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.
Lex's rating:
People who added this item 904 Average listal rating (712 ratings) 6.1 IMDB Rating 7
Roseanne (1988)
David Healy.
Lex's rating:
People who added this item 32 Average listal rating (18 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 6.9
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...
Lex's rating:
People who added this item 59 Average listal rating (38 ratings) 5.9 IMDB Rating 6
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.
Lex's rating:
People who added this item 1762 Average listal rating (1138 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 8.7
Nate Fisher.

Feels guilty for the death of his wife, Lisa, and for leaving his family (in season 1).
Lex's rating:
People who added this item 25 Average listal rating (11 ratings) 8.1 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.
Lex's rating:
People who added this item 2539 Average listal rating (1904 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 7.5
Smallville (2001)
Lex Luthor.
Lex's rating:
People who added this item 2647 Average listal rating (1718 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 8.1
Stand by Me (1986)
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.
Lex's rating:
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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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