Ariel: The Little Mermaid
Oh, Ariel you poor, unfortunate soul. In the original fairy tale by Hans Christian Anderson, the little mermaid we all adore suffers a truly horrible fate and is a far cry from the story we know thanks to Disney.
For example, if she were to lose the bet she wouldn’t just be forced to return to the ocean like in the movie, she would just die. Since mermaids are basically immortal creatures, dying means turning into sea foam and not being able to live forever in a heaven-ish world after passing.
Also, the fin-splitting wasn’t just a quick, glowing transformation from tail to legs. In the source material, she bleeds and every step she takes is like walking on broken glass. Her version of Prince Eric is really awful and forces her to dance through the pain laughing all the while.
If going through all of that wasn’t bad enough, Eric ends up leaving her for another woman. Ariel is given the option of killing him so she can live on like a mermaid, but she loves him too much. The story ends with the Little Mermaid turning into a little patch of seafoam. I guess life isn’t always better down where it’s wetter.