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  • In the Danny Phantom fanfic Checkmate, Vlad puts Danny through one of these. After first injecting Jazz with nanomachines that kill her red blood cells, and only sparing her if Danny leaves behind his friends and family to join him, Danny is forced to live at Vlad's mansion. Due to disuse while there, his ghost powers begin to go out of control, eventually leading to them going completely berserk and forcing Vlad to use a device to short out his ghost powers to get him under control. Due to not only the agony of the powers going wild, but the dream he had throughout the whole thing (it mostly occurred while he was asleep), he ends up backing into a corner and sobbing with terror, ending up in a state that caused even the almost entirely heartless Vlad to ask himself; "What have I done?"

  "Danny sat at the edge of the pool, crossed legged, watching carelessly the variety of fishes swimming about in the pool's surrounding aquarium. The tired and defeated expression on his face made him appear as if he had aged several years. There was no happiness or vigor in his eyes, leaving them a dull, lifeless blue. In short, he looked everything a broken hero would; and there was nothing more heartbreaking than that sight."

  • The Sun Soul does this with Ash to no end. The story's overall feel is Darker and Edgier in pretty much every regard, but it seems like Ash was made for nothing if not to suffer one loss after another. It also contains multiple examples of Hero-Killer vilians, Wham Episodes, and HSQ in general.
  • Thrythlind's explanation for Kodachi's personality in the Ranma One Half fanfic Control, which is set in the same world as but prior to The Amazon and the Moneylender.
  • The One Piece fanfic Dark Truth. One night, Luffy is tortured and nearly killed by his crew, who are possessed by the ghosts of a long-dead pirate crew who seek revenge on all captains traveling through their haunting grounds. He survives, but is a lethargic shell of his former self, and his crew can't remember what happened that night. Also contains Squick, Nightmare Fuel, And I Must Scream, To the Pain, Fate Worse Than Death, and especially Et Tu, Brute?.
  • For some reason, Jim Kirk is given a Break the Cutie back story to explain his Jerk with a Heart of Gold behavior. Witnessing a massacre on Tarsus IV, child abuse, mentally ill mother, and rape as backstory are all favorite plotlines. There is even a link on the Star Trek fanfic recs to a Hurt!Jim site consisting entirely of fics involving Kirk getting hurt. Chekhov tends to take alot of pain, too.
  • The Firefly fanfic Forward manages to break River all over again after she started healing at the end of the movie by having both River and Jayne captured and tortured by Niska, effectively undoing nearly a year's worth of mental healing for her.
  • Forcibly United is a sort-of cheesy look at Ranma One Half crossed-over with Black Lagoon. Then the Rock's Little Sister arc drops.
  • The Naruto fanfic Quotidian is basically one long exercise in Hidan driving Temari to the breaking point by messing with her first mentally and then physically, (She contributes by taking so many stimulant shots her body pretty much breaks down and fails * just after* he decides he's not going to kill her yet. It works so well that she ends up attacking her brother Kankurou after hallucinating he's Hidan and then ending up in hospital and under psyche review (which she passes through merit of knowing the correct answers). Of course, if Hidan could be seen as a cutie, this could also work both ways as he ends up so obsessed with the idea she can kill him that he breaks down when he finds out she can't, and that his obsession is no sign from his god, just him being a bit of a Stalker with a Crush, even if he doesn't see it himself. Oh and he managed to agonize about betraying his beliefs in order to keep her alive (because he wants her to kill him later, naturally.)
  • The Lucky Star/Fallout 3 crossover fic Falling Stars has this in spades. Kagami, Konata, and Tsukasa all get their turns being broken, and it is extremely jarring for anyone who enjoyed Lucky Star to see it happen.
  • In the Kingdom Hearts fanfic Omega Dawn, Both Ruxik, Riku's Nobody, and Maleficent attempted to break Kairi by killing Sora, defiled his body, attackig Destiny Islands, force her to fight a war against the Heartless, including Omegasis, the biggest and most ruthless heartless, who represent all evil, and later told her that they could bring back Sora, in order to make her stab herself with her own keyblade so she would become a Heartless and so, having the ultimate powers of the Princessess of Hearts at their hands. They almost succeeded on making her insane, but luckly, she regained her senses and fought back.
  • Cosmo from Sonic X is broken enough in the series but Tails Returns breaks her further.
  • Tiasal, from Order of the Stick Fanfics, the Oneiroi Series, was really raked across the coals until she was finally insane, then she proceeded to break some Cuties herself, starting with Redcloak.
  • The Transformers Animated OC Stand In fanfic Paths Less Traveled By has the adorable, child-like Cosmos watch his father figure die horribly four different times. The fact it's All Just a Dream doesn't help.
  • Irya's first case. It involves the murder of her friend.
  • Chiyobreak plays this straight with Chiyo, hence the name. Literally, in the downer ending.
  • The Dead are Undead has Karin Kurosaki subjected to nightmares unlike anything imaginable. Her world is turned upside down by a Zombie Apocalypse and worst of all Yuzu is shot in the face, right before her eyes. Then it just goes downhill as each new friend she makes dies in horrific ways including having their guts yanked out, being torn to shreds, being eaten alive and also Driven to Suicide.
  • The early Hooker Verse does this to everyone, from the Original Characters to That Guy With The Glasses people. With the existence of the club, however, while things are still pretty bad, it's definitely a step up from the streets.
    • Hell, even if we don't count the Hooker Verse, That Guy With The Glasses fandom is evidentally composed primarily of sadist fangirls who take delight in breaking the haracters as much as they possibly can. The most common victim tends to be The Nostalgia Critic, as per the whole 'everyone likes seeing him in pain' thing. Hell, one AU even managed to break Giggling Villain Insano via gratuitous amounts of More Than Mind Control, Linkara as the Rival Turned Evil, rape, and killing his son. Lets put it this way- the more the TGWTG fans like you, the more they will probably torture you.
  • The author of the Kingdom Hearts fanfic Fill the Moon adores this trope and uses it whenever possible. From her own OC, Senayax, who gets it the worst in incidents ranging from being forcibly impregnated by her lover, Zexion, who is also five years older than her and being forced to eat her own grandfather to survive, things like being Driven to Suicide and almost dying after her lover's Heroic Sacrifice after holding him and begging for him to Please Wake Up seem almost trivial in comparison.
    • After what happens to Demyx, both as a Nobody and as a "somebody," you just want to give the poor kid a hug. While his breakdown isn't as triumphant as Senayax's, trying to clean the entire castle even as your hands are bleeding, chemical-burned wrecks underneath you is sob-worthy.
    • And considering that he was emotionally and physically abused basically from cradle to grave as Myde, when Xigbar finally--finally--snaps, so does the reader. Good thing there's an adorable and Fetish Fuel-laden scene after Xigbar snaps.
    • Considering Larxene was raped and abused by her husband of three years, and is implied to have had many other abusive relationships, she doesn't really catch much of a break, either. While she's still the same sadistic, snarky Larxene that is recognizable from Chain of Memories, there's a definite air of Stepford Smiler about her, especially during her rape-based breakdowns.
    • To sum it up; everyone in this fic has horrible things happen to them. EVERYONE.
  • The Takotsuboya K-ON Trilogy, over the course of three interlinked stories, breaks most of the K-ON! cast, though it does give them some hope at the end. Mio's is mostly self-inflicted, Azusa's is the primary focus. Only Mugi escapes relatively unscathed.
  • The Harry Potter fanfic "Dumbledores Army and The Year of Darkness" is all over this...poor, poor Colin and Dennis!
  • In The Ollivander Children, Mark probably gets this worse than any of the other characters. An American Muggle who happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, ends up mired in the British Ministry of Magic and charged with the crime of Presuming to be a wizard. He's imprisoned, found guilty, when he goes on the run he faces a Dementor attack, and then his Love Interest is kidnapped, and when he tries to rescue her, he ends up in jail again, which brings us to the start of The Ollivanders At War, where probably even more fun awaits.
  • In the Code Geass/Warhammer 40000 crossover Code Geass: There Is Only War, the sole fact that Shirley is in the cast makes you expect this trope. And it happens in the first chapter, Shirley accidentally kills Rivalz.
  • In a prologue story for The Legend of Spyro: Zonoya's Revenge, Ember gets put through this due to her attempts to win Spyro's love. However, it ultimately does end up being for the better, as she realizes that Spyro isn't her true love after all, letting her move on and be with Flame, who really does love her.
  • Broly's Alternate Character Interpretation in the Fanfic Worthy of Legends pretty much had it broken quite a bit ever since he was a child. He was taken by Cooler so he could be raised as a killing machine under Cooler's command, and it is also implied that Broly is really an unwilling grunt of Cooler's army and views several of Cooler's actions as being completely dispicable (e.g., forcing females to sleep with him or else he destroys their planet, or destroying a planet shortly after his troops enjoyed themselves). Shortly thereafter, Cooler tries to get Broly angry enough to actually fight him and unveil his strength by murdering his mother in front of Broly. It worked too well, as Broly also ended up giving Cooler a serious injury towards his knee that also resulted in Cooler placing a c-plate on his head. Later on, he was framed by Frieza during the latter's visit to Cooler's ship for murdering two dignitaries in a restroom (worse still, this happened right after Broly was sent to get red wine that was apparently something Cooler was saving up for an occasion, implying that Frieza sent Broly to get the wine specifically so it could match blood), and because of Frieza's control over the courts, he was sentenced to a hellhole planetary prison, specifically to break Broly enough to actually allow Broly to become a psychopathic killer under Cooler's control. The guards also injected him with a drug that acted as a poison that would cause his Ki to rot as a security measure to ensure he doesn't escape, and was denied any instance of a cure. His friend, Sauzaa (who, unlike in the movie, was also secretly against Cooler) also ended up sacrificing himself to save Broly by cutting himself (as his species' blood was necessary to cure the drug). He then goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge where he does a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown on Cooler that cumulated in tossing Cooler into the core of the planet, before taking Sauzaa's corpse and the director of the prison who was also the half-sister of Cooler and Frieza (the latter because she asked to escape with him, and was implied to have done a Heel Face Turn, although Broly didn't entirely trust her), and it was also implied that the fight as well as his transformation resulted in the planet starting to explode. Afterwards, he went to a planet to free some Nameks who were enslaved by a despot, and eventually murdered the despot quite brutally due to the latter giving off a smirk that was far too similar to Cooler in Broly's mind, which caused Broly to break down.
  • Twilight Sparkle goes through this in Frigid Winds and Burning Hearts after Princess Luna comes to her for help. Though she tries her best, she doesn't fully trust Luna, in no small part because Luna insists her beloved mentor Celestia is actually a manipulative tyrant who rewrites history on a whim. ...And as much as she'd love to deny this, it at least partly explains the discrepancies she'd discovered in her own research. To make matters worse, she's immediately labeled a traitor by a cruel captain of the Royal Guard who wants nothing more than to watch her break under extreme torture... and one of his soldiers happens to be an old childhood friend.
  • Another interesting My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic fanfic example is from After The Gala. It's interesting because of what event from the series, Fluttershy's eruption of anger at the Gala, is turned into one of these. When she calms down and realized what she did, the poor girl is hit with this hard and reduced to a sobbing wreck to the point her friends can't even begin to think of how to comfort her. Thankfully, she's unbroken by her friends and Princess Celestia.
  • Break the Cutie seems to be a trope invoked in general by the "My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic" fanart and fanfiction community. Many of the longer stories out there invoke this plenty, and more than a few do so as a method to provide Fetish Fuel.
    • Collection of Sacrifices is a good example of Break the Cutie. A little filly is kidnapped from her family, forced to join the army, watches a sadistic torture session and gets no sympathy or friends. The author has said that's nowhere near as dark as it will get.
    • The Pony POV Series is notable in that, thanks to Discord, this has happened to every mane and side character in the show! This includes Trixie, who was broken personally by Discord to the point Twilight had to enter her mind and manually free her. Later on, and unreleated to Discord directly, Fluttershy gets broken and turns into a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds named Princess Gaia/Nightmare Whisper who serves as the second Big Bad.
    • Warming Up is an sexually explicit fanfic (the kind with an actual story) where Twilight and Spike starts having a relationship. What was initially a light-hearted (abet with explicit sex scenes) romantic fic takes a dark turn, when Spike is separated from Twilight, then due to him being in heat he starts attracting unwanted attention from the rest of the Mane 6, even getting raped by Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie.
    • Ace Combat: The Equestrian War takes a darker turn since chapter 7 where Firefly meets Black Star, a griffon who burned her home, killed her parents and destroyed her dreams of becoming a Wonderbolt. Fluttershy is clearly traumatized in chapter 10 after she killed Razor while trying to save Cloud Kicker's life, but that's nothing compared to Rainbow Dash suffering a heartwrenching Heroic BSOD after being beaten up and betrayed by Gilda.
      • And that's not counting many nameless ponies who experience the horror of the war.
      • Turned Up to Eleven in chapter 15. Two of Derpy's best friends die, with Carrot Top dying in her arms. In fit of grief and rage, she attacks Firefly (who tried to sympathize with her!), but due to Fluttershy's intervention, she calms down. After Derpy leaves to see Dinky, Cloud Kicker, unable to damp her emotions any longer, bursts into tears, scared of hearing about several ponies dying and the scene mentioned ealier. Additionaly, she fears her best friend, Lightning Bolt, may die in the war as well. Yes, the most cheerful pony among the main heroines is briefly reduced to a sobbing wreck.
    • Hormones chronicles Spike's descent into the depths of depravity. He begins the story like a normal sexually frustrated teenager, and through a series of inviting opportunities, ends up committing some very perverse acts. This culminates in chapter 4 (titled: "Last Resort") where Spike molests Winona and is caught by Applejack. Fearing the consequences, he hangs himself.
  • Hunting the Unicorn is a Glee fanfic that was literally made to pulverize Kurt and Blaine, the latter especially through a fleet of Cerebus Retcons. Blaine's Relationship Sue status is slowly broken down to show the emotional damage it would take to become one: His family lives at 432 Dysfunction Junction (and most of them aren't even home), he constantly makes excuses for his father's Parental Neglect, and he suffers a Paralyzing Fear of Sexuality because at sixteen, he had a horrific breakup with the first guy he slept with. Who was never that serious about him, and didn't realize that Blaine thought Sex Equals Love(!). That's not even getting into his incredibly low self-esteem and the Fridge Horror of his characterization.
    • Or, you know, the plot. Which involves Blaine's stalker Alex, who has a very warped idea of Kurt and Blaine's relationship. In the nineteenth chapter after several background appearances, he kidnaps Blaine, Wes, and David and locks them in his basement. Blaine accidentally got concussed, and has woken up with no memory of this.
  • The Channel Awesome team in the AU That Guy with the Glasses in Space were essentially broken by the beginning of the fic. It's prequel, though, explores this breakage in much more detail.
  • Super Sentai vs. Super Sentai, the story provides a Crossover between old school and new school Super Sentai team members, and one of the team members is Dai Sentai Goggle Five's Miki Momozono/Goggle Pink, who in her original series kept being a cheery and caring but still responsible and headstrong girl in a Sentai series considered still Lighter and Softer. Then in the 11th chapter... she witnessed her mother (who was added solely for the fic) brutally murdered in front of her eyes by someone considered one of the worst Complete Monsters in Sentai history, Radiguet. It left Miki completely broken and started realizing fully that this time the enemy is much more brutal than Deathdark. She still tried to keep a strong face, but every of her friends knew she has been broken from the inside.
  • Happens to poor Yuyuko in Touhou Tonari. Boy did she break.
  • The main OC in this Scream fanfic goes through this. At the beginning of Arc One, she's a happy, if sarcastic teenage girl with friends and a caring family. By the beginning of the final arc, she's just...sad. And a bit mutilated.
  • In Stars Above, Kagami goes through this in the 2012 timeline. Tsukasa is killed right in front of her eyes, with her death serving as a Start of Darkness that culminates in the destruction of the entire world.
  • Daneel Rush, the author of the Tamers Forever Series is absolutely viscious in his psychological torment of Rika.
    • And even Mimi's detractors would have to admit that what happened to her was absolutely horrible.

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