It’s a bit odd to feel sorry for a fictional character since one knows that as soon as the credits roll they don’t exist any longer, unless of course one is so obsessed with the character that they blur the line between fiction and reality. While watching said characters though some people actually do feel quite sorry for certain characters, and while there are plenty on TV that people tend to feel for there are those that have had a worse life than others and those that don’t really deserve the empathy or sympathy largely because they put themselves in situations that eventually went sour for them. For instance, putting Earl Hickey from My Name Is Earl on the list was tempting, but since the main character was responsible for a lot of the wrongdoing that came his way it’s kind of obvious that he’s not as deserving as some of the others on this list for the kind of sympathy that people are so willing to give. But for those on the list it’s pretty easy to see why they were picked and why they’re some of the most deserving of some sympathy when you take into account their story.
Here are just a few individuals that might be able to gain sympathy from fans.
5. Butters Stotch – South Park
Where to start with this kid? To be fair a lot of kids in the South Park saga have had their ups and downs, but Butters is basically the whipping post that a lot of bad stuff tends to happen to since even Kenny didn’t have to deal with the kind of garbage that Butters does. How many 4th graders could say that they have a criminal record that they don’t deserve? How many could possibly state that they’ve been part of one elaborate scheme or prank after another? Butters is that poor kid that a lot of people pick on and is underestimated horribly throughout his life, and the type that might snap one day because of it.
4. Meg Griffin – Family Guy
Meg is the kind of individual that might willingly break from her family simply to get a little bit of respect since in reality she gets none, not even next to none, just none. The only time that Meg has been looked at with favor is when someone has a joke to pull on her or when she’s been entirely made over and looks nothing like herself. To say that she’s completely innocent in her own way is kind of false, but to think that she might be better off with another family is exceedingly easy. It’s as though she was written in just to have someone to torment on a daily basis and use as the butt of the joke without fail.
3. Arya Stark – Game of Thrones
Some might want to argue about Arya’s inclusion to this list since she did grow up to be one of the toughest and deadliest fighters in the entire show, but before she got that far she was a scared young girl that had no idea how to fight and had to survive by being kind of a sneak and just running away when there was nothing else to do. Once she toughened up and became a truly lethal fighter however it was still easy to feel a bit sorry for her since she came home to a world in which she only had a few people left in her life that meant anything, and she’d been exposed to a world that had once made sense but had turned on her in nearly every direction.
2. Timothy McGee – NCIS
Tim was by far the least respected member of the NCIS team, or at least it felt that way since Tony would constantly harass him, Gibbs would continually find fault with something, and Kate and Ziva kind of looked at him like a lost puppy at times. The truth of the matter was that Tim was a valued member of the team for quite a while, but he did have to prove himself in a lot of ways since he didn’t come from the same background that the others did and wasn’t quite as tough as any of them. Once he gained their respect the ribbing still didn’t stop, but it took on a completely different tone.
1. Johnny Lawrence – Cobra Kai
This was a character that a lot of people didn’t expect to feel sorry for back in the day since he was such a jerk, but by the time the second movie rolled around it was obvious that Johnny wasn’t really the problem. While it might feel like a copout, Johnny didn’t have a stable role model to look up to as his sensei was an arrogant and abusive creep, while his stepfather didn’t appear to care that much either. Plus, in Cobra Kai it’s easy to feel sorry for the guy since he’s lost just about everything at this point.
Sure they’re fictional characters, but they still pull at our emotions.