The world of fiction isn’t always a kind one. Sure, there are fantastical tales of love, success, and maybe even magic. But there are also some really screwed-up fictional universes, in which suffering is more common than merely existing. I, for one, didn’t understand how anyone could even play pretend without inflicting a world of pain on any of the characters. People were dying in my world, sometimes worse. And you can bet your bottom dollar that orphans were more plentiful than kids with loving parents.
Deranged childhood games aside, suffering is a pretty universal theme, almost as often in comedies as in dramas. Think about it: Even most of our favorite superhero stories have some kind of tragic element to them. Think of Batman, orphaned on the streets of Gotham. When @guslivesagain made a Twitter thread asking which fictional character had suffered the most in life, Peter Parker made plenty of appearances in the comments. And you know, they’ve got a point. Peter never seems to get a break.
The other responses range from astute to, well, kinda silly. Extra shout-outs to the users who nominated Kenny from South Park and the poor woman from those mobile game ads who was impregnated by some cruel prince or something. We’ve put together some of the winners – or at least responses that make good points. More of the discussion can be found at the thread.