Created By: Earnest on March 10, 2011 Last Edited By: Earnest on November 20, 2011

Broken Doll Syndrome

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The world is a cruel, sadistic place. Cuties are broken and Nice Guys are pushed way too far in the course of events. One of the possible long term effects of these Heroic Blue Screens of Death is the character developing Broken Doll Syndrome.

Unlike the Empty Shell who is basically a badly damaged Extreme Doormat, someone suffering from Broken Doll Syndrome is lively, happy, and unworried... just like a Stepford Smiler, but with few of their mental faculties intact. They might regress to a childlike personality, become unwilling/unable to process negative stimuli, suffer self-induced Laser-Guided Amnesia (or at least memory blockage) and generally become mentally and emotionally crippled as a surival mechanism to deal with the trauma.

Tragically / horrifically, a Broken Doll kept captive by a torturer may have the pain warp them into unthinking or even willing participants in a form of really twisted Stockholm Syndrome.

Confronting a BDS character with their Dark and Troubled Past will likely result in dumb incomprehension, a crying fit, a fit of rage, or (if done skillfully) a break that brings the old persona back.

Anime and Manga
  • Tuka in Utawarerumono has a such a traumatic Heroic B.S.O.D. that she reverts back into a 1 year old to avoid the pain.
  • Niko in Casshern Sins suffers this. For her it was the result of a traumatic event, the death of Luna, frying part of her neural circuitry. She even created a Creepy Doll of Luna out of a desire to continue to serve and protect her. Tragically, she was one of the few robots around to be shown growing flowers, an otherwise impossible feat in the slowly decaying post-apocalyptic world.
  • Heloise de Villefort in Gankutsuou ends up this way after the Count manipulates her.

  • The sex slaves kept locked in an attic in The Sinful Dwarf are often seen smiling and giggling maniacally, their minds destroyed by assault, rape, and forced heroin addiction.
  • The women kept locked in a dungeon cage in Bloodsucking Freaks have all reverted to a feral stage as a result of their tortures and captivity. There may be some crossover with Being Tortured Makes You Evil in this case, as they are all now cannibals, used to dispose of human bodies that inconvenience their captors.

Web Comics

Western Animation
  • Nurse Bendy in Moral Orel, ostensibly the airheaded town slut, who has a family of teddy bears that she uses to roleplay a normal, healthy family life. When one of the teddy bears falls out of its chair onto her backside, she has a complete emotional breakdown because she thinks it's trying to have sex with her.

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