Breaking The Heroic BSOD YKTTW Discussion

Breaking The Heroic BSOD
A hero pushes through a trauma that has left them catatonic, so that he or she may enter the fight
(permanent link) added: 2011-09-19 18:19:23 sponsor: LMage edited by: morenohijazo (last reply: 2012-01-07 09:06:18)

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"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 BSOD 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 BSOD 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.


  • 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 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).
  • 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.

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