Getting Smilies Painted On Your Soul


(permanent link) added: 2010-08-20 17:06:41 sponsor: Xzenu (last reply: 2010-08-22 06:15:06)

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  • Formerly known as: Forced To Be Happy

A character is made happy against his will. Although maybe unwelcome, the happiness is real: The character is actually happy, not merely forced to pretend. This may be done by drugs, Psychic Powers or simple persuasion. This trope comes in many flavores: The happiness can be blissful, romantic, purely sexualized, or whatever.

Related to Lotus-Eater Machine, but the character is aware of what's happening to him and isn't entirely disconnected from the surrounding world. Also related to Love Potion, although that one is usually not pleasant. Not to be confused with Happiness Is Mandatory, which doesn't actually help people to be happy.

Sometimes done by a Totalitarian Utilitarian person or organisation. When done on a sufficiently large scale, it usually result in a Crapsaccharine World or Assimilation Plot... or both.

A subtrope of Emotion Control.

Examples

Anime and Manga
  • Somewhat benevolent example from Karin... the titular un-vampire has an affinity for unhappy people, and when biting them (which INJECTS blood instead of sucking it out, hence the 'un-'), she induces a temporary state of wellbeing, overflowing energy and general happiness. From what we've seen, this effect can linger for well over a week.
    • Fortunately, the rest of her family can perform Laser-Guided Amnesia, and will generally 'clean up' after her, so her 'victims' don't remember anything - they just wake up somewhere feeling really, really happy!

Comic Books
  • Manaras "Click" albums revolves around a remote control that can somehow control how turned on any certain person is.
  • Delirium, the Anthropomorphic Personification of madness in The Sandman, once encountered a little girl who paid her a compliment. "So I did something to her. Something so that she'll always be happy. Always be happy forever and ever and ever." Different from most examples of this trope, in that Delirium did this not for ulterior motives, but because of her Blue and Orange Morality borne of madness.

Film
  • Ella from Ella Enchanted is under a blessing curse that makes it impossible for her to disobey an order. She is once ordered to be happy about this curse.

Literature
  • The aphrodisiac used in Slave World to induce compliance and severe Stockholm Syndrome.
  • In Douglas Adams' Mostly Harmless, Ford befriends a security robot by replacing its emotional control chip with a short piece of wire, thus forcing it to be happy whatever it did.
  • In Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick, there's a home consumer product called a "mood organ" which allows you to change your mood, and most people use it to be happy all the time. Technically, they do that voluntarily, but really their lives are so miserable they don't have much choice. (Although there is one character who makes a point of setting aside a regular time, twice a month, to succumb to utter despair for a couple hours.)
  • In Larry Niven's Known Space series, an alien Pierson's Puppeteer uses a Tasp, which is a device which activates the pleasure center of the brain of anyone he points it at. You are happy when he uses it on you. It is very dangerous, because if used on you long enough, you become willing to be the slave of whoever is using it on you. Addiction is a real problem.

Live-Action TV
  • On Sliders, the group ends up on an Earth where everyone has to wear a drug injection device on their arm that keeps them calm at all times. The promo for for that episode was great: "The Sliders land on world where the government controls drugs...BY GETTING EVERYONE HOOKED ON THEM!"
  • In one episode of Genie From Down Under where the protagonist hands the Literal Genie a 27-page wish, highly-detailed to basically create her preferred life, complete with good things for all the people she cared about.
    • Amongst them is the nanny/housemaid character, who is generally The Eeyore. The girl wishes for her to 'be happy'. And she IS happy, merrily singing a tune while dusting the mansion.
    • ...by the end of the episode she's been carted off to a sanitarium for being ceaselessly, irrepressibly, and even ANNOYINGLY happy, all the time, no matter what. Good thing the show's titular character happens to be a walking Reset Button with an Australian accent.

Tabletop Games
  • Paranoia. The Acute Paranoia supplement introduced the drug Gelgernine. The Computer often requires citizens to use it, which causes the victim lucky recipient to be blissfully happy until it wears off.

Western Animation
  • The Happy Happy Joy Joy episode of Ren and Stimpy. The episode is called "Stimpy's Invention". Realizing that Ren is always unhappy, Stimpy gives him a Happy Helmet that makes him perpetually happy against his will.
  • In Invader Zim, one of Zim's prisoners has a thing stuck in his brain that makes him happy at all times. It's hilariously creepy.


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