Created By: LMage on September 19, 2011 Last Edited By: morenohijazo on January 7, 2012

Breaking The Heroic BSOD

A hero pushes through a trauma that has left them catatonic, so that he or she may enter the fight

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Needs More Examples, Needs a Better Title, Up for Grabs
"I mean that's how you survive the trauma. Not by knowing it'll be all right, but by having no other choice. I don't have the luxury of breaking down right now, not when innocent lives are at stake!"
-- WITCH, Hay Lin in "T is For Trauma"

The chips are down, evil's forces are winning, The Big Bad has made his or her grand entry to a battlefield all but won, the Namaka is scattered, The Hero preoccupied, and The Cutie, who has spent the last few episodes experiencing a sever breaking, resulting in their current Heroic B.S.O.D. is the directly in the main villainís sights. The Big Bad approaches to deliver the "Reason You Suck" Speech, to taunt the Cutie while she's down, bringing up all of the recent traumatic events and tying them back to The Cutie's incompetence or weakness, eventually asking some variation of "Why not let me just kill you and put you out of you misery? It would be much easier that way."

The Cutie coldly replies something akin to "Because there are people counting on me" right before opening up a can a whoop-ass on the villain in question.

You've just witnessed standard Breaking The Heroic BSOD.

By no means confined to Cutie characters, any character that has been experiencing a extended Heroic B.S.O.D. is prone to find themselves in this situation, where they are forced to set aside their own angst and pain and focus on fighting evil. Unlike Epiphany Therapy, by no means is this a cure, rather it's a rude awakening, the character is still plagued by their issues, their pain, but they close it off and force themselves to go on, prolonging facing any of their issues until team good has won. If they just so happen to resolve their angst in the course of the main story, well thatís just a bonus.

This trope carries loads of Unfortunate Implications, as it can be seen as encouraging people to avoid rather than deal with their problems, but these can often be avoided by including phrases like "Innocent lives at stake" "more important than anything I'm going through" or "to much hinges on (insert name of conflict X here) for us to lose because I'm not doing so well"

Turns up in a lot in works that feature military conflict and war or are written by veterans, as they often include duty and obligation as strong themes.

Contrast Heroic Safe Mode, a kind of middle ground, and Heroic Resolve, in which the hero never wavers by virtue of being the Determinor. See also Get A Hold Of Yourself Man and compare Nice Job Fixing It, Villain.

Very often a Let's Get Dangerous moment.

Examples

  • Hay Lin from WITCH provides the page quote, having pushed through the trauma caused by her beloved Obi Wan Grandmother having turned evil and her boyfriend becoming a mind-slave of the Big Bad, she forced herself to get up and continue fighting, even against her own Grandmother, because innocent lives were at stake.
  • Rand al'Thor from the Wheel of Time series continually pushes through his trumas rather then deal with them believing that he needs to be "hard" to face the Last Battle. It cummliates with him havig a massive break down and nearly destroying the world, then not
  • Buffy does this near the end of season 5 of Buffy The Vampire Slayer. She goes into a catatonic state for a while after Glory takes Dawn, but eventually comes out of it to rescue her sister.
  • Saya from Blood-C Counts, as she always finishes the enemy even after the times she sees her Nakamas die in front of her eyes, that goes as far as keep trying to protect them after she discovers she's not a human, was implanted Fake Memories, is part of a Truman Show Plot and her "friends" all turned out to be Jerkasses who were acting just for money, even after all that she continues trying to protect them when Fumino decies to kill the cast for Ruinning the Mas Querade poor Saya
  • Simon, of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, unleashing Hot Blood in spades to get over the death of his bro.
  • In Fallout: Equestria, Littlepip somehow manages to pull this all. the. time. She's almost constantly internally freaking out about the horrible things she's been forced to do or is going to be forced to do or did by mistake or because she thinks she did not do enough, did not save enough, she's constantly subjected to tragic losses and grievous injury and the constant danger of losing herself to hypocrisy and becoming a Knight Templar (or of losing herself to drug addiction: she was addicted to a certain drug for some time), not to mention sheer physical and mental and emotional exhaustion... The Heroic B.S.O.D. is never far for her. Yet she still manages to pull through almost every time, and save the day (that is, avoid as much damage as possible).
  • In Metroid: Other M, Samus freaks out upon discovering that Ridley is somehow back from the dead. She breaks out of it when Ridley apparently kills Anthony.

Community Feedback Replies: 32
  • September 19, 2011
    randomsurfer
  • September 19, 2011
    Acebrock
  • September 19, 2011
    Falco
    • Rand from Wheel Of Time breaks his epic multi-book-spanning Heroic BSOD when he is finally confronted by his father and goes close to going over the edge and killing him. Not doing that breaks the BSOD.
  • September 20, 2011
    LMage
    Ten Minute Retirement covers a character giving up and possibly going into a Heroic BSOD then coming back, this trope is a character breaking through their BSOD in a time of crisis because they feel they have set their own pain aside for the greater good. Technically speaking a character involved in this trope never had to quit in the first place, just be so out of it that they were either unable or no good in a fight.
  • September 20, 2011
    Damr1990
    Contrast Heroic Safe Mode a middle ground between this and The Regular HB So D, they know they can't freeze, but try to turn off the emotions instead so they can keep fighting
  • September 20, 2011
    Damr1990
    also contrast Heroic Resolve for when they keep fighting for mere virtue of being a Determinator protecting something he deeply cares about
  • September 21, 2011
    DracMonster
  • September 21, 2011
    lars_h
  • October 23, 2011
    isk2837
    I think Buffy does this near the end of season 5 of Buffy The Vampire Slayer. She goes into a catatonic state for a while after Glory takes Dawn, but eventually comes out of it to rescue her sister.
  • October 24, 2011
    Damr1990
    I'm not completely Sure, but i Think Saya from Blood-C Counts, as she always finishes the enemy even after the times she sees her Nakamas die in front of her eyes, that goes as far as keep trying to protect them after she discovers she's not a human, was implanted Fake Memories, is part of a Truman Show Plot and her "friends" all turned out to be Jerkasses who were acting just for money, even after all that she continues trying to protect them when Fumino decies to kill the cast for Ruinning the MasQuerade poor Saya

  • November 11, 2011
    EvaUnit01
    I don't really see how this is all that different from Heroic Willpower and/or Heroic Resolve. Still, if it is worthy of its own trope, I would recommend "Heroic Reboot", in keeping with the computer theme.
  • November 11, 2011
    EvaUnit01
    Also, added Simon's rebirth. Heck, it could possibly provide the trope image.
  • November 11, 2011
    LMage
    I think the key difference was is that a person with Heroic Willpower and or Resolve would not have fallen into the Heroic BSOD in the first place. It's why I am no so sure about the Rand example.
  • November 11, 2011
    surgoshan
  • November 11, 2011
    LMage
    I like Heroic Reboot, but it has the problem of being a Snow Clone
  • November 23, 2011
    LMage
  • November 23, 2011
    TwoGunAngel
  • November 23, 2011
    ParadiscaCorbasi
    I'm pretty sure this is Hes Back but that needs a redirect like whoa, because it is not intuitive.
  • November 25, 2011
    Spitfire71
    Heroic Hard Reset?
  • November 25, 2011
    Grahami
    Wasn't this Heroic Safe Mode?
  • November 26, 2011
    LMage
    Heroic Safe Mode is something of a middle group between this and full on BSOD. As for He'sBack....I need to take a closer look at that.
  • November 26, 2011
    PacificState
    Yeah, no, "He's back" is a lot more triumphant than that, and usually overlaps with Big Damn Heroes and comes after a Ten Minute Retirement.

    • In Fallout Equestria, Littlepip somehow manages to pull this all. the. time. She's almost constantly internally freaking out about the horrible things she's been forced to do or is going to be forced to do or did by mistake or because she thinks she did not do enough, did not save enough, she's constantly subjected to tragic losses and grievous injury and the constant danger of losing herself to hypocrisy and becoming a Knight Templar (or of losing herself to drug addiction: she was addicted to a certain drug for some time), not to mention sheer physical and mental and emotional exhaustion... The Heroic BSOD is never far for her. Yet she still manages to pull through almost every time, and save the day (that is, avoid as much damage as possible).
  • November 26, 2011
    Abodos
    • In Metroid Other M, Samus freaks out upon discovering that Ridley is somehow back from the dead. She breaks out of it when Ridley apparently kills Anthony.
  • December 21, 2011
    LMage
  • December 21, 2011
    Loquacia
    Zidane from Final Fantasy IX coldly resolves, despite having found out that he's been manufactured to kill kill kill the kinds of people he's friends with to kick his creator's ass.
  • December 21, 2011
    moocow1452
    How about Trauma Break in the vein of Limit Break?
  • December 21, 2011
    LMage
    ^ That might work, but could it be considered a Bad Snow Clone?
  • December 22, 2011
    moocow1452
    I don't think so since it's just the one term and the two are related in how the mechanics work.

    Although Trauma Override or Emotional Safeties Disabled might be a good one, and if it wasn't a snowclone, Heroic Unsafe Mode would be decent.
  • December 22, 2011
    CrypticMirror
    isn't this Hes Back?
  • December 22, 2011
    LMage
    With Hes Back the effects of the Truma are never felt afterwards, here the effects and the truma itself are put aside so that the person can continue on. None of their issues are actually delt with, just put on hold.
  • December 23, 2011
    CrypticMirror
    that is a very narrow definition of He's Back, I can think of several examples where dealing with those issues are integral to the He's Back moment. It isn't a clear distinction, I don't think this is a good idea.
  • December 23, 2011
    LMage
    ^ Thats my point, sort of. With Hes Back the Hero is well...back, at 100%, and their issues are delth and will be qoute "never spoken off again" here the issues are not delt with, they are pushed aside so the hero can continue to fight/stay in the game/whatever
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