Created By: Xzenu on August 20, 2010 Last Edited By: Xzenu on August 22, 2010
Troped

Getting Smilies Painted On Your Soul

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Rolling Updates * Maybe Needs a Better Title * Needs More Examples
  • 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.


Community Feedback Replies: 26
  • August 7, 2010
    ChevalierMalfait
    • In a Simpsons "Treehouse of Horror" story, Homer's time travelling creates a dystopian present in which Ned Flanders rules the world and requires everyone to be happy all the time. Those who don't comply are given a "re-Neducation" culminating in a lobotomy.
    • In the Sluggy Freelance arc "758449," Riff finds himself in an alternate dimension city-state which enforces perpetual happiness with knockout drug injections at the slightest hint of discontent.
  • August 7, 2010
    BlackDragon
    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!
  • August 7, 2010
    LeighSabio
    • 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.

    Also, I am now Fapping To Tropes I Like.
  • August 7, 2010
    Xzenu
    Huh, we didn't have Happiness Is Mandatory yet? Oh well, i'm making it now, then.

    @Chevalier Malfait. Does the lobotomy/drug actually make them happy? If so, I'll list your examples in both tropes. Otherwise I'll put them in Happiness Is Mandatory only.
  • August 7, 2010
    Narsil
    This and Happiness Is Mandatory both seem to overlap pretty heavily with Crapsaccharine World. I'm not saying I object, but I think I'd like to see clear guidelines on how situations would get apportioned among the three. (e.g. "Situation X would be 'Happiness is Mandatory' but wouldn't be 'Crapsaccharine', because blah blah blah...")
  • August 7, 2010
    VampireBuddha
    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.
  • August 7, 2010
    TBTabby
    The fairy-tale kingdom of Happy Valley from Monty Python's Flying Circus. The subjects were always happy all the time because, by royal decree, anyone who wasn't happy would be put to death. One subject whose wife had just died is seen being arrested, tried, convicted, and sentenced to hang by the neck until he cheers up.
  • August 8, 2010
    Xzenu
    @Leigh Sabio, yes, I think this trope is quite common in erotica. :-)

    @TB Tabby, that's the other trope, listing it there.
  • August 8, 2010
    Kellor
    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!"
  • August 8, 2010
    ChevalierMalfait
    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.
  • August 8, 2010
    LeeM
    There's a Ronnie Barker one-off half hour about a dystopian world where everybody is forced to laugh at rotten old music hall gags.

    Monty Python's Happy Valley/Fairytale sketch, from the German TV specials, L Ps and books, is about a kingdom where everybody is forced to be happy all the time. (Of course it then goes off on a tangent about the prince who has to overcome impossible challenges to win the princess's hand.)

    (edit) I see that the Python example is listed in the Happiness Is Mandatory YKTTW. In fact the two overlap pretty heavily, so... merge?
  • August 8, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    The Ren And Stimpy episode mentioned above is "Stimpy's Invention". Realizing that Ren is always unhappy, Stimpy gives him a Happy Helmet that makes him perpetually happy against his will.
  • August 9, 2010
    Arivne
    Tabletop RPG
    • 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.
  • August 11, 2010
    Xzenu
    Anyone know a potential page quote that exemplifies the quote in a good way while still being Safe For Work and all that?

    The Slave World novels are full of good quotes on this subjects, with the main characters philosophizing over how the drugs are changing their minds for them. But I doubt any of those quotes could be made Safe For Work without butchering them completely.
  • August 11, 2010
    BlackDragon
    I remember an episode of Genie From Down Under (please tell me we DON'T have a page on that) 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.

    ...don't judge me! There was nothing else on at the time! >.<
  • August 11, 2010
    Jallen
    Another The Simpsons example would be the episode where they all have nightmares. Bart's dream is all about having physic powers and everybody in Springfield walk around thinking "happy thoughts" so not to displease him and be turned into something weird.

    Oh and of course 1984 fits this trope to a tee. A good example is when they're forced to enjoy their morning fitness exercises, with poor old Winston in pain but forcing a smile to make the annoying woman (who I imagined to be in lycra) to shut up and leave him alone.
  • August 13, 2010
    Xzenu
    Made a repair shop entry about the frequent mix-ups.
  • August 14, 2010
    Xzenu
    Ok, I made up a few options. My favorite at this time is "Getting Smilies Painted On Your Soul"

    Edit: My other facorite was "Emotion Control", but that name was too wide, so I made it the supertrope instead.
  • August 19, 2010
    SeanMurrayI
    Somewhere in between this trope and Forced To Be Happy lies one instance from the Judge Dredd story arc "The Day The Law Died" in which Judge Cal decided to rid his top aide, Judge Slocum, of his worry wrinkles by injecting him with a paralyzing agent, molding the face of a completely paralyzed yet still-conscious Judge Slocum into a nice, happy grin... and dropping into a sealed vat of vinegar for preservation.

    Also, if you don't mind me saying so, the name sounds a bit too obscure for this trope.
  • August 19, 2010
    Fanra
    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.
  • August 19, 2010
    PaulA
    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.)
  • August 19, 2010
    randomsurfer
    • Nineteen Eighty Four: "But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother."
  • August 20, 2010
    Xzenu
    The 1984 quote would be great as page quote for Stockholm Syndrome or something. But since Winston was never shown or indicated to be happy after he got caught, it's not this trope.
  • August 21, 2010
    DracMonster
    Might rename it to Getting Smilies Painted On Your Brain to emphasize the Mind Rape part of this trope.
  • August 21, 2010
    KrisMahai
    • In Dragon Age Origins, this is done to a templar by one of the Desire demons who has invaded the Circle tower. The player has the option of leaving him with the demon or killing the demon (and the templar) to free him from his forced happiness.
  • August 22, 2010
    Xzenu
    Brain was my previous working title, but I changed it to Soul because IMHO they both emphasize the Mind Rape part equally while the Brain version can be taken literally. I got a really squicky mental image of a serial killer sawing up the heads of his victims and painting the brains.

    Launching this and Happiness Is Mandatory now. letting Emotion Control stay on YKTTW a bit longer.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=enwmgppoct3887a7q8abt1yp