Look, we all go through cringeworthy periods. There’s nothing to be ashamed of (other than photos and social media posts from such times, that is). And fictional people are just like us -- after some time upon this Earth they go, “There has to be more to life than this,” and start trying new stuff. As they operate by their own rules, though, this new stuff isn’t a sports car or a radical haircut -- instead, it takes the form of unusual storylines and weird reinventions. As it happens, these often don’t stick -- and in fact, most of the time they really shouldn’t.

We’ve collected a few disconcerting creator-induced midlife crises of fictional characters, so you’ll feel better about having only gotten a gym subscription you never used.

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