Does the abused become the abuser?

Browse movies, tv shows, books and more where the abused becomes the abuser.
I struggle with intrusive thoughts of becoming like my abuser. Its also a trigger for me when people justify abusers’ actions with “well they were abused too”
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Movie • 2023 Report
Yes
119
No
9
12
The ghost children killed by William Afton become killers and tormentors in the Animatronic suits
Movie • 2023 Report
Yes
101
No
52
21
caseghost
I've really gotta argue on this one I do not agree with all the yes votes here. (Spoilers obviously) The greatest act of violence Rocket commits in the film is against The High Evolutionary after he kills his friends and makes it clear he is going to kill Rocket as well to dissect his brain. This reads to me as self defense. People have argued that Rocket's trauma being the explanation for why he acts the way he does also counts as this, but I can't really agree. It's true that we and the other characters do understand Rocket more after finally learning what he's been through, but it's also true that Rocket throughout the films has been a growing and developing character. His arc in this film especially felt cathartic to me: he is able to indirectly tell his friends about his past, and they help him fight against that past and his abuser because they love him. Rocket is able to return to the source of his trauma and save other abused kids (or animals) from what happened to him. This in itself makes the point that I believe the film is trying to make: despite everything horrible that happened to him, Rocket lived past that point and was able to become everything his abuser said he would never be; he's finally able to be happy. That does not make this a "the abused becomes the abuser" situation in my eyes.
Movie • 2019 Report
Yes
79
No
7
9
KamiSteele
It's hard to explain without outright giving away the ending, but the gaslighting, love-bombing, drugging, and trauma ultimately culminate in Dani doing a villainous act at the climax and joining the antagonists as one of them. The script directions for the ending imply that she is 'happy,' but only in the sense she has lost her mind.
TV Show • 2014 Report
Yes
69
No
1
20
Anonymous
The whole plot
Movie • 2022 Report
Yes
62
No
2
9
saste12
(Minor spoilers) Victims of the curse are forced to traumatize other people in a similar way, not of their own will but there's an undercurrent of suicide being traumatic to other people.
TV Show • 2016 Report
Yes
60
No
0
6
thesco
Billy, Max's brother, abuses her, after being abused by his own father. This is shown in season 2, and then referenced in season 4 quite a bit
Movie Report
Yes
55
No
0
2
Pantalones
Two cases. First is Amanda, who was a Jigsaw victim in an earlier movie but has now joined him and helps him torture others. Secondly is Cecilia who, without spoiling too much, escapes from a death trap and instead forces John Kramer to play his own game.
Movie • 2018 Report
Yes
52
No
0
12
KamiSteele
It's a major theme of the movie, to the point where one potential interpretation of the title refers to the 'hereditary' nature of dysfunctional families. The film plays heavily into the specific trigger of becoming like your abusers.
8
SydneySpringer
The movie revolves around Snow’s downfall/his villain origin story
TV Show • 2011 Report
Yes
47
No
2
4
413X
The main abuser shown in the show is from an extremely abusive household
TV Show • 2023 Report
Yes
42
No
3
7
NikolasVerSteeg
See abusive parent comment, but yes.
Movie • 2022 Report
Yes
42
No
0
3
Drummerwitchakookoo
Spoilers (and mentions of sexual assault) ahead:



The Mother is someone who’s spent her entire life underground and was essentially used to bear children.

She kills two people onscreen, but is clearly trying to mother anyone who happens upon the basement. It’s made clear she’s mostly feral and views anyone who ventures into that area (and possibly into the house in general) as her “babies.”

All in all, you get the sense that she genuinely isn’t aware she’s hurting and terrifying the people she considers her “babies.”
Movie • 2022 Report
Yes
40
No
8
4
Anonymous
Main villain describes childhood abuse, was *mistreated by the people he brings to die.

*mistreated in his eyes.
Movie • 2004 Report
Yes
39
No
8
4
msegirls
not in this movie
TV Show • 2005 Report
Yes
39
No
6
2
solace
yeah this is a show about serial killers. but specifically in 10x8 a victim of pedophilia is revealed to be a pedophile himself
TV Show • 2019 Report
Yes
38
No
3
5
mimicamila
nate
Movie • 2023 Report
Yes
37
No
2
2
Pantalones
Godwin Baxter follows in his mad scientist father's footsteps. He describes being brutally mutilated by his father but then also goes on to experiment on animals and people.
TV Show • 2018 Report
Yes
36
No
10
8
violetbooklover
Yes- this is the entire premise. Joe grows up in an abusive and neglectful environment from his parents and later by Mooney. He had no healthy example for love and care in his youth.
Movie • 2022 Report
Yes
34
No
10
8
ZedAmadeus
No. Nimona is shown to be violently shunned by society, but she only ever commits acts of violence out of desperation/self-defence.
Movie • 2022 Report
Yes
34
No
6
14
nh17
This deals with themes of generational trauma but it turns out ok in the end
TV Show • 1997 Report
Yes
33
No
5
2
stickysweet_hunny
Butters is severely abused by his parents and two episodes he starts lashing out on his classmates.
Bebe is one of them in the most recent episode and another when he had to go to Hawaii for his "Culture."
TV Show • 2008 Report
Yes
33
No
4
5
Pantalones
The two brother assasins are shown being abused by their uncle Hector when they were kids. One of them is nearly drowned. The brothers eventually grow to become cartel hitmen. It can be argued Walter was treated like crap and belittled by his old boss Bogdan, and later returns the abuse by taking his business and his framed dollar bill.
TV Show • 2022 Report
Yes
31
No
25
9
Pantalones
Blackbeard was abused by his father. He goes on to kill his father and becomes a feared notorious pirate. He ends up doing some things that are not very nice to the people around him.
Movie • 2004 Report
Yes
31
No
7
2
IoriSylvor
Cady gradually becomes like Regina, and eventually even takes over her role in the 'Plastics' dynamic.
She does have a revelation of sorts, and gives up that position by the end of the movie.
TV Show • 2019 Report
Yes
31
No
0
3
mistersandman
As season 3 progresses, there is increased focus on how a main character has become verbally and physically violent like his abusive father, to the point of saying and doing things exactly the same way his father did them. Another character who speaks about how his father thought he was a disappointment goes on to call his son the same thing as they fight.
Movie • 2010 Report
Yes
31
No
1
Movie • 2016 Report
Yes
30
No
5
5
MagitekVai
A woman who narrowly escapes being murdered turns into a murderer herself
Video Game Report
Yes
28
No
4
1
connogie
c!Quackity is abused by c!Schlatt in Manberg, and in Las Nevadas he is emotionally abusive to Glatt, making him bet on his own life, saying that if he loses the bet he will be forced to work for him and can never be revived.
Movie • 1989 Report
Yes
28
No
1
2
JD is raised with a very turbulent childhood and he ends up becoming an abuser.
Anime • 2016 Report
Yes
27
No
0
5
roseswiththorns
One of the main themes of this series is the cycle of abuse. This happens with MULTIPLE characters. And these arcs are revealed throughout the entire series. If this is triggering to you, do not watch. It’s a major major theme and is touched upon in nearly every episode. Some cycles include: The original mafia boss abused Kouyou, and she goes on to abuse Kyouka. Mori, the current mafia boss, abused Dazai. Dazai abused Akutagawa. Akutagawa also abused Kyouka. Kyouka manages to escape and put an end to this cycle, as does Dazai, but there are multiple characters who don’t/haven’t yet escaped this cycle, which can be particularly upsetting.