Created By: AgProv on June 16, 2012 Last Edited By: Arivne on June 5, 2015

The Comedy Blow On The Head

The blow to the head that completely transforms the personality

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Trope
Has this already been done? The Comedy Blow to the Head, where somebody is knocked out in a fight or by accident, and wakes up with a wholly new personality often radically at odds to the person they were before. Often only another Comedy Blow on the Head in the same place restores them as good as old...

A couple to start you off.


Examples

Anime and Manga
  • Dragon Ball has this in the protagonist's backstory. When he first landed on Earth, Goku was a typical, Always Chaotic Evil Saiyian, causing his adopted grandfather no end of trouble. One quick tumble down a cliff and landing on his head later, he's the happy-go-lucky protagonist all minions of evil will come to know and fear.

Comedy
  • Christopher Titus joked about how if anyone saw his kids running around crazy in a store and he wasn't doing anything to keep them in line, they had permission to thwack them on the top of the head cause "It's still soft there and it's like a reset button."

Live-Action TV
  • Sergeant Dori Doreau in Sledge Hammer! gets one of these. When the formerly liberal and gentle-minded policewoman wakes up, she has become a carbon copy of Sledge. Her impeccable dress sense goes and she starts to affect ill-fitting garish jackets and sunglasses and carrying an unfeasibly large gun. Captain Trunk is delighted.
  • In short-lived sitcom Terry And Julian, the very gay Julian Clary takes a Comedy Blow To The Head and wakes up offensively and unmistakeable heterosexual, becoming the worst type of chav leery "lad".
  • An episode of My Name Is Earl made a joke about Earl knocking Randy in the back of the head and he became an instant genius, only to revert back to his stupid nature upon a second blow.
  • In It Ain't Half Hot Mum, the very effeminate and pacifistic Gunner Beaumont - a female impersonator who would have won applause from Klinger in M*A*S*H - gets knocked out in a grenade explosion and wakes up as a fighting maniac demanding to be allowed out on patrol to kill Japanese . Sergeant Major Williams resolves not to waste this and takes him up jungle...
  • Batman: Supervillain King Tut is a perfectly nice professor of Egyptology, except when he gets a tap on the head he thinks he's Tut. Practically every one of his appearances ends with him getting another knock on the noggin which switches him back. Neither personality knows about the other.
  • Charles in Charge. In one episode a tap turns Charles into Chaz, a slimy-smooth ladies man with a personality nothing like Charles's. Chaz gets married before he reverts to Charles. Everyone is worried that he won't be able to get an annulment, but it turns out the marriage isn't valid: Chaz didn't fill in his last name on the certificate.

Western Animation
  • Happened periodically in The Flintstones. Often Fred would go for most of an episode with the altered persona, his friends increasingly bemused at his change in behaviour, until some object happened to fall on him.
  • This was mocked in Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law when Fred was charged with being a Mafia leader because that was the persona he had lapsed into.

Community Feedback Replies: 19
  • June 16, 2012
    TonyG
  • June 16, 2012
    chunkay
    It's a Subtrope of Tap On The Head, where the character suddenly changes. I'm pretty sure there's a suptrope of Applied Phlebotinum wherein exposure makes the character suddenly change in the short term where thereafter Hilarity Ensues
  • June 16, 2012
    Generality
    • Happened periodically in The Flintstones. Often Fred would go for most of an episode with the altered persona, his friends increasingly bemused at his change in behaviour, until some object happened to fall on him.
  • June 16, 2012
    reub2000
    • On In Living Color, during one of the Men On... sketches Blain gets hit in the head and becomes straight.
  • June 16, 2012
    KJMackley
    The current name is too broad, it sounds like simple Slapstick. Maybe Personality Altering Punch. But as for examples:
    • An episode of My Name Is Earl made a joke about Earl knocking Randy in the back of the head and he became an instant genius, only to revert back to his stupid nature upon a second blow.
    • Christopher Titus joked about how if anyone saw his kids running around crazy in a store and he wasn't doing anything to keep them in line, they had permission to thwack them on the top of the head cause "It's still soft there and it's like a reset button."
  • June 16, 2012
    Omeganian
    The Dreamstone had an episode where Zordrak temporarily changed to good after some rejuvenation ritual. Since Status Quo Is God, a few minutes of screen time later, a rock dropped on his head.
  • June 16, 2012
    randomsurfer
    • Batman: Supervillain King Tut is a perfectly nice professor of Egyptology, except when he gets a tap on the head he thinks he's Tut. Practically every one of his appearances ends with him getting another knock on the noggin which switches him back. Neither personality knows about the other.
    • Charles In Charge: In one episode a tap turns Charles into Chaz, a slimy-smooth ladies man with a personality nothing like Charles's. Chaz gets married before he reverts to Charles. Everyone is worried that he won't be able to get an annullment, but it turns out the marriage isn't valid: Chaz didn't fill in his last name on the certificate.
  • June 17, 2012
    Arivne
    Related to Easy Amnesia, which is usually caused by a blow to the head.
  • June 30, 2012
    planswalker
    • Dragon Ball has this in the protagonist's backstory. When he first landed on Earth Goku was a typical, Always Chaotic Evil Saiyian, causing his adopted grandfather no end of trouble. One quick tumble down a cliff and landing on his head later, he's the happy-go-lucky protagonist all minions of evil will come to know and fear.
  • July 1, 2012
    MorganWick
    Take a look at Identity Amnesia as well.
  • July 11, 2012
    JohnDiFool
    Bloom County: IIRC Steve Dallas turned from a womanizing misanthrope into a sensitive New Agey type guy from a blow on the head.

    [Edit]-No, apparently Aliens Did It.
  • July 11, 2012
    nitrokitty
    See also Non Sequitur Thud.

    Real Life:
    • The famous case of Phineas Gage, a railroad worker who had a steel bar driven through his head after some TNT went off prematurely. Gage survived, but had a dramatic personality change afterwards, going from a responsible and serious foreman to impulsive, temperamental, and mercurial.
  • June 4, 2015
    AgProv
    Reading Tap On The Head and wondering if this material could be incorporated there as a fifth sub-category. Ideas?
  • June 4, 2015
    eroock
    This trope focuses on the aftermath of a Tap On The Head. Not close enough to merge.
  • June 4, 2015
    Prfnoff
    I think this trope needs work, especially on the name.
  • June 4, 2015
    robbulldog
    Western Animation
    • The 1947 Disney Donald Duck cartoon "Donald's Dilemma" has the title character hit on the head by a flowerpot. The side effects include an awesome singing voice, and complete disinterest in Daisy Duck. A second flowerpot, dropped by Daisy herself, acts as a Reset Button.
  • June 4, 2015
    StrixObscuro
    I've added proper formatting to the examples listed at the top...
  • June 5, 2015
    Arivne
  • June 5, 2015
    Rjinswand
    Needs a better name, I think. It should indicate that the blow on the head isn't just comedic, but that it changes the character's personality. Head Trauma Personality Change?
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