History Main / ObfuscatingInsanity

22nd Mar '17 5:13:32 AM Thecommander236
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* This is played with on ''Series/{{Castle}}''. A witness in a cold case from 1978 really does believe that it is still TheSeventies and flies into rage whenever someone confronts him with the truth. After a hitman tries to kill the witness, Castler and Beckett decide that the only way to get the witness to open up is to have everyone pretend that it is 1978 and dress and act accordingly. However, the murder attempt actually shocked the witness back into reality and he quickly pieces together what really happened in 1978. He pretends to still be insane and plays along with the cops' charade so he can get close to the man he thinks killed his best friend in 1978.

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* This is played with on ''Series/{{Castle}}''. A witness in a cold case from 1978 really does believe that it is still TheSeventies and flies into rage whenever someone confronts him with the truth. After a hitman tries to kill the witness, Castler Castle and Beckett decide that the only way to get the witness to open up is to have everyone pretend that it is 1978 and dress and act accordingly. However, the murder attempt actually shocked the witness back into reality and he quickly pieces together what really happened in 1978. He pretends to still be insane and plays along with the cops' charade so he can get close to the man he thinks killed his best friend in 1978.
22nd Mar '17 5:10:31 AM Thecommander236
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* ''Literature/DonQuixote'': In Part II, Chapter XI, Don Quixote claims that ''from a child I was fond of the play, and in my youth a keen lover of the actor's art."''. Several critics [[AlternativeCharacterInterpretation have toyed with the idea that Don Quixote never lost that passion for theater and behaves like an actor]]: [[ObfuscatingInsanity Don Quixote uses this trope because he does not believe to be a knight, but pretends to be one]], as if he's on stage.

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* ''Literature/DonQuixote'': In Part II, Chapter XI, Don Quixote claims that ''from a child I was fond of the play, and in my youth a keen lover of the actor's art."''. "'' Several critics [[AlternativeCharacterInterpretation have toyed with the idea that Don Quixote never lost that passion for theater and behaves like an actor]]: [[ObfuscatingInsanity Don Quixote uses this trope because he does not believe to be a knight, but pretends to be one]], as if he's on stage.
22nd Mar '17 5:09:17 AM Thecommander236
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* In ''Disney/{{Aladdin}}'', when he first meets Princess Jasmine, Aladdin rescues her from an irate merchant who was about to [[DisproportionateRetribution chop off her hand for taking a piece of fruit]] (Jasmine never having been outside the palace in her life and unfamiliar with the concept of money) by convincing him that she is mentally unstable sister. Jasmine plays along;

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* In ''Disney/{{Aladdin}}'', when he first meets Princess Jasmine, Aladdin rescues her from an irate merchant who was about to [[DisproportionateRetribution chop off her hand for taking a piece of fruit]] (Jasmine never having been outside the palace in her life and unfamiliar with the concept of money) by convincing him that she is his mentally unstable sister. Jasmine plays along;
7th Mar '17 5:27:26 PM nombretomado
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* {{Deadpool}} also uses this trope to its full advantage, confusing and exhausting his enemies and allies alike with [[TalkativeLoon unstoppable mouth and wacky babbling]]. Like the Joker, Deadpool really is insane (a different kind of insane, though) and knows it, but he plays up and (possibly) exaggerates his insanity for tactical benefit. Also like the Joker, the fact that his personality changes regularly is part of canon. In his case, his healing factor and cancer have combined to leave his braincells constantly in flux. In some stories he's little more than an immature goofball, others he's perfectly capable of committing murders in cold blood that he doesn't even remember afterward. Of course, as a MetaGuy, Deadpool's also the first to admit that the ''real'' reason he changes is [[DependingOnTheWriter who is writing him at the moment]].
* In ''ComicBook/CerebusTheAardvark'', the CaptainErsatz of [[MarxBrothers Groucho Marx]], Lord Julius, is a sterling example of this. Cerebus explains it during a croquet game with someone else: "Insanity is the last defense of the master bureaucrat, but you have to lay the foundation early in the game. It's hard to get a refund from the salesman if he's sniffing your crotch and baying at the moon."

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* {{Deadpool}} SelfDemonstrating/{{Deadpool}} also uses this trope to its full advantage, confusing and exhausting his enemies and allies alike with [[TalkativeLoon unstoppable mouth and wacky babbling]]. Like the Joker, Deadpool really is insane (a different kind of insane, though) and knows it, but he plays up and (possibly) exaggerates his insanity for tactical benefit. Also like the Joker, the fact that his personality changes regularly is part of canon. In his case, his healing factor and cancer have combined to leave his braincells constantly in flux. In some stories he's little more than an immature goofball, others he's perfectly capable of committing murders in cold blood that he doesn't even remember afterward. Of course, as a MetaGuy, Deadpool's also the first to admit that the ''real'' reason he changes is [[DependingOnTheWriter who is writing him at the moment]].
* In ''ComicBook/CerebusTheAardvark'', the CaptainErsatz of [[MarxBrothers [[Creator/MarxBrothers Groucho Marx]], Lord Julius, is a sterling example of this. Cerebus explains it during a croquet game with someone else: "Insanity is the last defense of the master bureaucrat, but you have to lay the foundation early in the game. It's hard to get a refund from the salesman if he's sniffing your crotch and baying at the moon."
3rd Feb '17 10:21:38 AM TheNicestGuy
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* ''Series/TheOfficeUS'' used this in the episode "Murder", [[FridgeLogic calling into question]] Michael's characterization for much of the series. In season 6, the office is being co-managed by [[{{Cloudcuckoolander}} Michael]] and [[OnlySaneMan Jim]]. When rumors spread that the company is about to go bankrupt, the workers begin to panic that they will lose their jobs. Jim's solution is to insist that everyone just keep working and not worry. Michael's is to drag everyone into a murder mystery role-playing game. As the news worsens, Jim gets more aggravated, and Michael tries more desperately to keep the game going. Eventually, Michael seems unable to break character, leading the others to fear that he's snapped. But after Jim ends up being the only one to know just how bad the situation is, the episode ends with these [[ConfessionCam confessionals]]:
-->'''Jim:''' I think today was a good day to have two managers, because if you're a family stuck on a lifeboat in the middle of the ocean, one parent might want to just keep rowing. But if the other parent wants to play a game, it's not because they're crazy. It's because they're doing it for the kids, and I get that now.\\
'''Michael:''' [in character] There has been a lot of murder, and a lot of intrigue. My little heart can barely take it no more. [breaking character] Today is the hardest I have worked in a long, long time.
1st Feb '17 6:39:50 PM ImperialMajestyXO
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* {{Poker}} professional Mike Caro used this during his heyday in the 1970s and 1980s to appear so insane as to frighten or annoy his opponents into poor play. He [[RedBaron earned the nickname "Mad Genius"]] by adopting [[https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTk_6sEJGdB3n9kJMzmqN-O1IQb8Q0WUj7ZAvi5CYktrcQGSm1K the look and mannerisms of a schizophrenic bum]], doing things like [[MoneyToBurn setting money on fire]] at the poker table, making strange noises or cackling when winning a pot, and [[MotorMouth chattering non-stop]]. Underneath the facade is an exceptionally sharp analytical mind, and one of the world's foremost experts on poker tells.

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* {{Poker}} TabletopGame/{{Poker}} professional Mike Caro used this during his heyday in the 1970s and 1980s to appear so insane as to frighten or annoy his opponents into poor play. He [[RedBaron earned the nickname "Mad Genius"]] by adopting [[https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTk_6sEJGdB3n9kJMzmqN-O1IQb8Q0WUj7ZAvi5CYktrcQGSm1K the look and mannerisms of a schizophrenic bum]], doing things like [[MoneyToBurn setting money on fire]] at the poker table, making strange noises or cackling when winning a pot, and [[MotorMouth chattering non-stop]]. Underneath the facade is an exceptionally sharp analytical mind, and one of the world's foremost experts on poker tells.
1st Feb '17 3:21:07 PM MasterFuzzy
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** The uncompleted story Shada had a unique variant of the trope: [[spoiler: Salyavin]] does this to himself, where he locks away that part of his mind and pretends to be the harmless, slightly barmy [[spoiler: Professor Chronotis]].
13th Jan '17 12:02:44 PM SimiOfDoom
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* It's really hard to tell if Iskaral Pust from ''Literature/MalazanBookOfTheFallen'' is faking his [[ThinkingOutLoud absolutely erratic dialogue]] and cripplingly clumsy behaviour, or if he just happens to be both rather bright and ''totally nuts''. He certainly is effective in reaching his goals despite his quirks.
8th Jan '17 10:39:36 PM MadCat221
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* In ''Disney/Moana'', Grandma Tala is the village loon... and also the mother of the Chief and grandmother to his daughter and designated heir. She also knows exactly why the village's food sources are sickly and dwindling, because she keeps the old lore everyone else dismisses and knows that it's because Te Fiti, the Mother Island, lost her [[MacGuffin Heart]] because of Maui's ill-considered plan to steal it.

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* In ''Disney/Moana'', ''Disney/{{Moana}}'', Grandma Tala is the village loon... and also the mother of the Chief and grandmother to his daughter and designated heir. She also knows exactly why the village's food sources are sickly and dwindling, because she keeps the old lore everyone else dismisses and knows that it's because Te Fiti, the Mother Island, lost her [[MacGuffin Heart]] because of Maui's ill-considered plan to steal it.
8th Jan '17 10:39:15 PM MadCat221
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* In ''Disney/Moana'', Grandma Tala is the village loon... and also the mother of the Chief and grandmother to his daughter and designated heir. She also knows exactly why the village's food sources are sickly and dwindling, because she keeps the old lore everyone else dismisses and knows that it's because Te Fiti, the Mother Island, lost her [[MacGuffin Heart]] because of Maui's ill-considered plan to steal it.
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