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Sometimes, heroes or heroines had a sad or dark past which they don't talk about until a villain or they reveal their secret to their friends.

Here's why they keep it a secret:

  • Terrible childhood like get bullied, unwanted, unloved, betrayed by their love one and saw their death of their parents or friends by villains, sickness or central death.
  • Afraid that their friends will hate them who they really are.
  • Afraid to lose the people they loved if they told them about their past.
  • Hoping they'll never know about their past.
  • Hoping that the villains won't reveal their secret past.
  • Used to be loved by someone until one day, everything they care of (lost family/friends, lost fame, saw the death of their family/friends, betrayed by their friends, had a ex-girlfriend/boyfriend leave them with someone else, etc.) make them to hate or don't trust everyone until the main protagonist of the story show them what they're missing in their life like love, family, working together and/or friendship.

Examples

Feature/Television Animation and Anime

  • Meg sold her soul to Hades to save her boyfriend's life, only to have said boyfriend dump her immediatley afterwards for another girl.
  • Queen Elsa nearly kills her sister Anna with her icy powers Elsa isolated herself for 18 years to prevent herself from doing it again.
  • Manny lost his first wife and son to hunters
  • Doc Hudson went out for season after suffering a horrific crash. When Doc eventually fully recovered and returned to racing, his sponsors fired him instead.
  • Barbara Gordon had Tim Drake kidnapped and mind-controlled by the Joker after torturing him for several weeks.
  • Nick Wilde wanted to join the scouts when he was young, but was cruelly rejected and had a muzzle put on him just because he was a fox and the only predator.
  • Red Action explains to Enid that she was once a member of a group of heroines from the future known as the Hue Troop.
  • Riley Flemming is lonely and she wanted to make friends, but was a school outcast, but became friends with Martin Fisherman.
  • Mrs. Georgina Leary was abused in her childhood by Tabitha Harperstein as a child.
  • Osmosis Jones induced Frank by vomiting from a oyster that had bacteria and made him barf at Mrs. Boyd.
  • After being abandoned by his parents as an infant, Maui was adopted by the gods, who gave him the enchanted fishhook. This led for him to give the humans whatever they desired but at the same time tried to cope with his trust issues.
  • Shadow the Hedgehog told Chris that he used to have a friend Maria who they promise to see the earth together, but Maria was dying after the tragic moment when the army was trying to arrest everybody on the ship.

Live-Action Film/Television

  • Rex (Babe): Tried to steer sheep in a violent thunderstorm but the sheep were too panicked to save theirselves and the hurricane killed them while Rex barely survived, only ending up losing half of his hearing ability.
  • The Grinch: He was being picked on since he was young and hated Christmas ever since when he ran away from Whoville and live at Mount Crumpet.

Literature

  • Skulduggery Pleasant: As result of Nefarian's evil action in butchered his family and also giving him the painful mortal death, Skulduggery, whom later revealed having potential for necromancer and the priest whom gave Nefarian power to killed him turned out has meddling with the said power so Skulduggery could rises as undead skeleton, Skulduggery turned to the dark side and for five years, became the evil Lord Vile whom fight alngside Nefarian and Baron Vengeous without either of them knew his identity. Once he had a chance to killed his best friend, he relents and chooses to redeem himself from his evil deeds, though since that day, he suffer multiple personality disorder where his past evil self became his alternate, twisted personality.


Video Games

  • Barret Wallace: When the Mako reactor in Corel is built, Barret tried to reason to Dyne his best friend that no one uses coals, but Dyne protest against it. However, one day his village was razed by Shinra troops due to the accident in the reactor blaming it on his people, resulting to lose his right hand along with Dyne's left hand when they are confronted by them led by Scarlet the head of Shinra's weapon and development just outside the reactor.

Quotes

(Lightning has just seen Doc's driving and follows him back to his shop) (Lightning McQueen: Doc, hold it! Seriously, your driving's incredible!) Wonderful. Now go away. (Lightning McQueen: Hey, I mean it. You've still got it!) I'm askin' you to leave. (Lightning McQueen: Come on. I'm a racecar, you're... well, a much older racecar, but under the hood, you and I are the same.) We are NOT the same! Understand? Now, get out! (Lightning McQueen: How could a car like you quit at the top of your game?) (Doc becomes shocked) You think I quit? (Doc turns on the light to reveal a framed newspaper of him in a wreck.) (Lightning McQueen: Right...your big wreck in '54.) They quit on me. When I finally got put together, I went back expecting a big welcome. You know what they said? "You're history." Moved right on to the next rookie standing in line. There was a lot left in me. I never got a chance to show 'em. I keep that to remind me never to go back. I just never expected that the world would... would find me here. (Lightning McQueen: Hey, Doc, I'm not them!) Oh, yeah? (Lightning McQueen: No, I'm not!) When was the last time you cared about somethin' except yourself, hot rod? You name me one time and I will take it all back. (Lightning McQueen looks defeated) Uh-huh. I didn't think so. These are good folk around here, who care about one another. I don't want 'em depending on someone they can't count on. (Lightning McQueen: Oh, like you? You've been here for how long, and your friends don't even know who you are? Who's caring about only himself?) (Doc gets angry at Lightning.) Just finish that road and get outta here! (drives off.)
~ Doc Hudson explaining to Lightning McQueen his tragic past of being banned from racing after recovering from a horrific accident.


(Sid: Okay, where are the sloths? Y'know, you never see any sloths in these places. Hey, look, Manny, a mammoth!) Oh, somebody pinch me! (Sid: Hey, hey, this fat one looks just like you. Aww, and he's got a family. Oh, and he's happy.) (Manny's eyes widen and he walks closer to the painting) (Sid: Look, he's playing with his kid. See, Manny? That's your problem. That's what mammoths are supposed to do!) (Diego: Sid...) (Sid: Find a she-moth...) (Diego: Sid...) (Sid: ...have little baby mammoths...) (Diego: Sid!) (Sid: What?) (Diego: Shut up!) (Sid: Why--oh...) (Sid sees Manny staring at the painting. He stares at the painting on the wall and imagines the painting coming to life to retell his tragic past; His son trumpeting happily, and running around to play. And then hugging his wife once he saw his son playing. His life was perfect. And then…suddenly...the calf runs into hunters and retreats Manny tried to fend off the hunters, but was too late to save his wife and son from getting stoned to death by the humans; NOO!') (Fade to the present as Manny stares silently at the painting, as Sid and Diego sadly look on)
~ Manny's tragic past of losing his first wife and son to hunters.


Hey, I've sworn off manhandling. (Hades: Well, y'know, that's good 'cause that's what got you into the jam in the first place, isn't it? You sold your soul to me to save your boyfriend's life. And how does this creep thank you? By running of with some...babe. He hurt you real bad, didn't he, Meg? Huh?) Look, I learned my lesson, okay? (Hades: Which is exactly why I got a feelin' you're gonna leap at my new offer. You gimme the key to bringing down "Wonder-Breath", and I give you the thing that you crave most in the entire cosmos...(he whispers at her ear)...your freedom.) (Meg gasps and drops the vase she was holding and it shatters on the floor)
~ Megara's backstory: sold her soul to Hades to save her boyfriend's life--only to have said boyfriend dump her for another girl immediately afterwards.


(Atticus: It is the gods. They have a plan for us all.) Perhaps. (Atticus: What do you mean?) Tonight, I saw the man who killed my family. Perhaps the gods spared me for a reason. The Romans took my family from me, 20 years ago. At night, I try to remember their faces, but I cannot. But I know that one day, the gods will bring me back to them.
~ Milo explaining the loss of his family to Atticus.


I was small, that was true. I think I was eight, maybe nine, and all I wanted to do was join the Junior Ranger Scouts. So, my mom scraped together enough money to buy me a brand new uniform because by God, I was gonna fit in, even if I was the only predator in the troop. The only fox, I was gonna be a part of a pack. (Gopher Scout: Ready for initiation?) (Young Nick: Yeah! Pretty much BORN ready.) I was so proud... (Gopher Scout: Okay, now raise your right paw and deliver the oath.) (Young Nick, raising his right paw: I, Nicholas Wilde, promise to be brave, loyal, helpful, and trustworthy.) (Gopher Scout, with a nasty sneer: Even though you're a FOX?) (Young Nick, the words hitting him like a fist: What?) (Suddenly, the scouts overpower him and pin him down on the floor!) (Young Nick: No! No! What did I do wrong, you guys? What did I do wrong? Please, no! What did I do?!) (The bullies put a muzzle on the protesting Nick's face.) (Gopher Scout, mockingly: If you thought we could ever trust a fox without a muzzle? You're even dumber than you look!) (Nick, still muzzled, runs out of the lobby as the bullies laugh at him.) (Gopher Scout: Is he gonna cry?) (Young Nick pulls the muzzle off his head and tosses it away in anger. Then, tears welling up in his eyes, he sinks down and begins to sob.) I learned two things that day: One, I was never gonna let anyone see that they got to me. (Judy Hopps: And two?) If the world's only gonna see a fox as shifty and untrustworthy, there's no point in trying to be anything else.
~ Nick Wilde telling Judy Hopps about how, as a kid, he wanted to join the Junior Ranger scouts but was taunted by prey animals for being a fox.


Chance, stay clear of humans. You can't trust them. (Chance: Come on. What's not to trust? You're taIkin' about the species that invented the chiIi cheeseburger. They're so tasty. Jamie turned me on to them.) Who's Jamie? (Chance: He's my human.) Well, Riley says you can't trust humans, no matter how friendly they seem. (Chance: I'm pretty sure I can trust Jamie. He rescued me from the bad place. He takes me for walks, he lets me eat off his plate. He gave me a home.) Let me tell you something. When Riley was a puppy, he thought he'd found a home with humans too. (Flashback to puppy Riley in a Christmas gift) They tied a ribbon to his collar and they put him in a big basket underneath a tree. (A boy eagerly comes downstairs to the Christmas tree.) But the little boy, he didn't seem to like Riley very much. He didn't wanna hold him, play with him, or anything. So later, they drove they drove into the city and they left Riley in the gutter, on the coldest rainiest night of the year. (View to poor Riley being left in a cardboard box in heavy rain. End flashback.) So Riley found other abandoned dogs and he made a home for them to protect them all from humans. (Chance, shocked: They got rid of Riley just 'cause the kid didn't wanna play with him? Uh-oh, Jamie's gettin' tired of playing with me.) Uh-oh. (Chance: You don't think?) I dunno, Chance. All I know is, I don't trust humans. And I don't know any dog that does.
~ Delilah explaining to Chance when Riley was a pup, the spoiled boy didn't want him and his parents instead abandoned him in the rain, which is why he is so distrusting of humans.


(Barret Wallace and his friends arrive to North Corel and stop at the Ropeway station and he got blamed for the town's destruction by the surviving villagers) (Aerith Gainsborough: Barret, what happened?) I'm sorry. (Cloud Strife: What happened?) My hometown used to be around here. (RedXIII: What do yo mean 'used to'?) It ain't here no more. Heard it got buried... in just 4 years. (Aerith Gainsborough, with her hands on her wrists: But how could those people say those terrible words?) And it's all my fault. All my fault. (Flashback to Corel Town where Shinra stands guard on the mayor's house as townspeople rushes inside)...My hometown, Corel's always been a coal mining town. It's so dusty, but calm and so poor...... a real small town, this one. That's the first time I ever heard the word "Mako Reactor" mentioned since that time... (Inside the house, a group of men gathered. Scarlet and two Shinra executives stands before them) Village Headman: What are we going to do? The only one against this is Dyne... (Dyne, stands up: I am definitely against it, no matter what. There's nothing to talk about if you're thinking of throwing away our coal! Our coal's been protected for generations. Our fathers, and theirs before them, risked their lives for it. We have no right to throw it all away so easily!) (Young Barret: But listen Dyne. No one uses coals nowadays. It's the sign of times) (Scarlet: Right, everything is Mako, now. It'll be all right Dyne. Shinra Inc. will guarantee your livelihood once the reactor is now completed.) (Young Barret: Listen Dyne, I don't want my wife, Myrna suffer anymore.) (Dyne: I know how you feel! I feel the same way too, damn it! But even so, I won't give away our coal mines! (Village Headman: Dyne... you got to understand.) (Dyne sits down in sadness) That's how the Corel Reactor was built..... and completed. We all thought it would bring us an easier life. (Scene changes show the town in flames and the townspeople slaughtered) It happened when Dyne and I were out of town for a few days. Corel was burned down by the Shinra troops. All the townspeople... All my relatives...... Everyone... everything...... (End of Flashback) (Cloud Strife: Shinra troops? What for!?) There was an explosion at a reactor. Shinra blamed the accident on the people. Said it was done by a rebel faction. (Tifa Lockhart: That's so terrible!) Well, I guess that's true. But more than Shinra, I couldn't forgive myself. Never should've gone along with the building of the reactor... (Tifa Lockhart: Don't blame yourself. We were all fooled by the promises Shinra made back then.) That's why... that's why I get so pissed off!! Not only did they take advantage of me...... But I lost my wife, Myrna, too...
~ Barret Wallace explains his past to Cloud Strife and his friends about his town being destroyed by Shinra troops, after the reactor in Corel was built and completed.


(Enid: Hoo, okay, that was fun. But it also seemed... super personal? What aren’t you telling me?) Nothing, it’s just- [sighs] Alright, E, I’ll level with ya. A long time ago, a meteor crashed on Earth. Inside was the legendary Prism Crystal. A hero discovered its holographic link to the alien Ren Bo, who had the power to predict catastrophes. That hero became the first Hue Trooper. With Ren Bo’s guidance they assembled a team to prevent the disasters she foretold. As time went on, they kept the Hue Troop alive, passing the Crystal down to new teams. Until my generation. I kind of... accidentally destroyed the Crystal in the future... so now I’m here, on the run from my own team. (Enid: Red, why didn’t you tell me? Space crystals, prophecies, that’s incredible! You’re incredible!) I’m not incredible! The Hue Troopers are all like cheesy poses, and like, weird helmets. I’m supposed to take orders from a rock, and I broke it! I’m not like you! (Enid: Wha-?) You’ve got your own moves, your own style! You don’t follow anyone. Heh, I never had the nerve to comment on any of your pictures. Deep down, I wanted to hang out with the coolest person in 201X before I got dragged back to the future. But I dunno if I can keep running. (Enid: You’re right. You can’t. So let’s beat ‘em.) Huh? (Enid: No matter what you did in the future, Red, right now we’re just two cool people hangin’ out! And if the Hue Troopers won’t leave us alone, we’ll just have to make ‘em!)
~ Red Action explains to Enid the circumstances of her arrival to 201X after an encounter with the Hue Troop.


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