Created By: Goldfritha on August 4, 2012 Last Edited By: Goldfritha on January 12, 2014
Troped

Mess of Woe

A character's living quarters go to pot in the throes of grief.

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Trope
A character is growing the Beard of Sorrow and indulging Drowning My Sorrows in his woe — both so seriously he Forgets to Eat. Naturally, he's not going to be picking up after himself.

May overlap Men Can't Keep House, because this trope is more male than female. Can also involve Rage Against the Reflection.

Compare Trash of the Titans.

Examples

Film
  • A rare female example occurs in PS. I Love You after the protagonist's husband dies. She stops leaving the house, eschews bathing or cleaning up the piling trash and dishes in favor of slumping around in her dead husband's shirts, reenacting old movies line-by-line. ((Luckily he knew she'd react this way and has set a plan in motion to snap her out of it.))
Literature
  • Happens to Harry Dresden in the space between the books Grave Peril and Summer Knight in The Dresden Files due to traumatic events in Grave Peril.
Theatre
  • In The Rose Tattoo, Serafina dresses very properly for husband, but after he dies she descends to hardly dressing at all.

Video Games
  • In Deus Ex: Human Revolution Adam Jensen's apartment is a complete mess. although the game implies he's also depressed about his unwilling augmentation as well as finding out his dog got euthanized not just about Megan's death.

Visual Novel
  • Happens to Takayuki in Rumbling Hearts after Haruka falls into coma. If it weren't for Mitsuki, his place would have been even worse off.

Web Comics
Community Feedback Replies: 18
  • August 4, 2012
    Andygal
    Happens to Harry Dresden in the space between the books Grave Peril and Summer Knight in The Dresden Files due to traumatic events in Grave Peril.
  • August 5, 2012
    Koveras
    Happens to Takayuki in Rumbling Hearts after Haruka falls into coma. If it weren't for Mitsuki, his place would have been even worse off.
  • August 9, 2012
    MrRuano
    This happens near the end of The Room, once Johnny finds out that Lisa's breaking up with him. He makes an effort to break just about every thing in his house before grabbing a gun and committing suicide.
  • August 9, 2012
    NoirGrimoir
    How about Miserable Mess?
  • August 11, 2012
    Goldfritha
    That's not clear whether the woe stems from or causes the mess.
  • August 26, 2012
    Andygal
  • August 26, 2012
    TBeholder
    Maybe more generic Does Not Care Anymore?
  • August 27, 2012
    Goldfritha
    Way too broad. Lots of tropes already existing under that.
  • September 2, 2012
    MrRuano
    The way I interpreted this one, I was under the assumption that the mess is triggered by the depression.
  • September 8, 2012
    abk0100
    Mess Of Woe is a great name
  • September 9, 2012
    Sheba
    A rare female example occurs in PS. I Love You after the protagonist's husband dies. She stops leaving the house, eschews bathing or cleaning up the piling trash and dishes in favor of slumping around in her dead husband's shirts, reenacting old movies line-by-line. ((Luckily he knew she'd react this way and has set a plan in motion to snap her out of it.))
  • September 12, 2012
    Arivne

  • September 28, 2012
    TBeholder
    @Goldfritha: true, but there's a Missing Supertrope incoming.
  • September 28, 2012
    Goldfritha
    Hey, no reason why we can't have a supertrope and include this one as a subtrope
  • January 13, 2013
    Prfnoff
    Theatre
    • In The Rose Tattoo, Serafina dresses very properly for husband, but after he dies she descends to hardly dressing at all.
  • January 9, 2014
    Djanchorhead
    In Deus Ex Human Revolution Adam Jensen's apartment is a complete mess. although the game implies he's also depressed about his unwilling augmentation as well as finding out his dog got euthanized not just about Megan's death.
  • January 9, 2014
    arbiter099
    May be combined with Rage Against The Reflection
  • January 12, 2014
    screenstorming
    Compare/contrast Room Full Of Crazy? What about a scenario where the cause of the mess is, say, too much focus on TV Tropes, rather than depression or woe?

    Maybe that leads to a possible Supertrope regarding "room out of order," with subtropes for variations?

    Compare Skewed Priorities, or a Missing Supertrope or Index to that, about priorities in general.

    Also, what about a character who chronically has a messy living space, like a hoarder, Cloud Cuckoolander, someone with ADHD, etc.? Maybe woe would lead them to go on an organization spree... :)
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=nl99at198qz2yg8mw68i69to&trope=MessOfWoe