Created By: MrMous on May 2, 2011 Last Edited By: Unknown20Troper on May 17, 2011
Troped

Suppressed Rage

When someone is angry but shows it through subtle ways.

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Alice is upset. She hasn't told Bob this, but he has a hunch. Maybe it's because she's chopping those carrots a little too hard. Maybe it's because she's pressing down on that pen so hard it's torn through the paper. Or maybe it's because she just gave her coworker a broken jaw when he asked how she was.

In short, this is where a character cannot or will not express their feelings, so they try to let it out a bit by being...overenthusiastic about whatever they're doing.

This may be because the person annoying them is their boss, or if they are trying to appear professional in, say, a law court to avoid Courtroom Antics. Alternately, our hero could be taunted by a villain who would gain from his anger, such as a certain Mr. Mr. Palpatine

Not exactly like Tranquil Fury. There, someone is being angry in a very calm way. Here, someone is trying to appear calm by suppressing their anger (though it is not necessarily anger; it can be any kind of emotional distress that causes destructive feelings), but doesn't quite succeed.

Related to Yangires and Yanderes, who look nice but are completely insane on the inside rather than simply upset, though they can have moments of this when the cracks in their nature start to show. Stepford Smilers have this long term and are much better at hiding their feelings.

Examples:

Anime
  • In Air Gear Ringo is upset that Ikki has a crush on Simca. She says the following line while furiously chopping carrots.
    Ringo: Angry? I'm not angry. Why do I care if Ikki wants to hang out with some skank?

Literature
  • In the fifth Harry Potter book, Hagrid is said to be chopping some things up "as if each had done him a great personal wrong" because he's angry about Harry et al (and everyone else) dropping his class, though he's actually upset that Aragog is dying.

  • One of Hercule Poirot's short stories: A rich man was murdered in his study and people from his house were suspected. The wife, who was a bit of a loony, and had a violent argument with her husband on the night of his death, kept putting the blame on the man's Butt Monkey assistant, but couldn't quite tell how. Finally, she was hypnotised and then she remembered seeing him write, while his employer ranted, trying to look calm but pressing the pencil so hard it broke
Films

  • My Super Ex-Girlfriend: When Matt first mentions "needing space", his girlfriend's OK with it...until he mentions dating other people, when she slams the knife she is chopping carrots with into the board.

  • The Diary of a Wimpy Kid film:
    Greg: *writing in the diary* So what if Rowley has a new friend, it's not like I can't make new friends, as if I even ca-*his pencil breaks*
Western Animation

  • Homer Simpson pulled a funny one once. Bart was stuck across the country after renting a car without permission and Lisa had to tell Homer, but first she makes him promise not to get mad. After she explains, Homer manages to say "My, that is quite a pickle" calmly, as a Luminescent Blush formed on his face... until he excuses himself, puts on the mask of his hazmat suit, and starts ranting and raving incoherently until the mask is all fogged up.

  • The Tick: The Superman Expy is frequently angry with The Tick while in his Clark Kentish disguise, constantly quietly crushing typewriters in annoyance.
Community Feedback Replies: 22
  • May 2, 2011
    elwoz
    I can't tell how much of the description is Sarcasm Mode. Is this trope about people who consistently undersell their rage? Or is it about people who appear to consistently undersell their rage until finally someone manages to hit their Berserk Button?
  • May 3, 2011
    MrMous
    The second one, where someone has been having a bad day and keeps trying to keep their rage and frustration in check until something triggers a full on Berserk Button. Kind of like a Berserk Button, except that this is where it builds up slowly with many, many annoying things (or people), causing this trope (pressing down with pen etc.), until it blows your self control.(And this is a sign that they are having a bad day and may blow any second, rather than the actual annoyances and subsequent emotional explosion.)
  • May 3, 2011
    elwoz
    I think you should maybe just say that in the description rather than trying to imply it and leaving readers confused. Also, may I suggest "Pressure Cooker Rage" as a better title?
  • May 4, 2011
    SirPsychoSexy
    If this isn't Tranquil Fury, it's at least related.
  • May 5, 2011
    jate88
    Anime
    • In Air Gear Ringo is upset that Ikki has a crush on Simca. She says the following line while furiously chopping carrots.
      Ringo: Angry? I'm not angry. Why do I care if Ikki wants to hang out with some skank?
  • May 5, 2011
    Bisected8
    In the fifth Harry Potter book, Hagrid is said to be chopping some things up "as if each had done him a great personal wrong" because he's angry about Harry et al (and everyone else) dropping his class. Subverted when it's revealed he's actually upset that Aragog is dying.
  • May 5, 2011
    dalek955
    • Many, many characters in Discworld. For example:
      Astfgl had passed through the earlier stage of fury and was now in that calm lagoon of rage where the voice is steady, the manner is measured and polite, and only a faint trace of spittle in the corner of the mouth betrays the inner inferno.
  • May 5, 2011
    MrMous
    No, no, that's Tranquil Fury.
  • May 7, 2011
    Mozgwsloiku
    Used to identify the killer in one of Hercule Poirot short stories.
  • May 7, 2011
    originalhobbit
    • In the Diary Of A Wimpy Kid movie:
      Greg: *writing in the diary* So what if Rowley has a new friend, it's not like I can't make new friends, as if I even ca-*his pencil breaks*
  • May 7, 2011
    MrMous
    @Mozgwsloiku, I'll need more detail than that: the name of the story and the actual sign of anger, at least.
  • May 7, 2011
    Kuzlalala
    Would this be a common trait in Tsunderes?
  • May 8, 2011
    MrMous
    @Kuzlalala I'm not very familiar with the Japanese tropes- I'll take a look.
  • May 8, 2011
    MrMous
    Mmmm...from what I can tell, they get angry very quickly- previous to that, here is no rage to hide.
  • May 8, 2011
    JusticeReaper
    I think The Resenter covers this.
  • May 8, 2011
    Mozgwsloiku
    Mr Mous: Unfortunately the title escapes me. A rich man was murdered in his study and people from his house were suspected. The wife, who was a bit of a loony, and had a violent argument with her husband on the hinght of his death, kept putting the blame on the man's Butt Monkey assistant, but couldn't quite tell how. Finally, she was hypnotised and then she remembered seeing him write, while his employer ranted, trying to look calm but pressing the pencil so hard it broke.
  • May 8, 2011
    TonyG
    Although not one known for restraint, Homer Simpson pulled a funny one once. Bart was stuck across the country after renting a car without permission and Lisa had to tell Homer, but first she makes him promise not to get mad. After she explains, Homer calmly says "My, that is quite a pickle", as a Luminescent Blush formed on his face from all the repressed anger. He then excused himself, put on the mask of his hazmat suit, and starts ranting and raving until the mask is all fogged up.
  • May 9, 2011
    TwoGunAngel
    This one's also related to Rant Inducing Slight.
  • May 9, 2011
    MrMous
    @Justice Reaper: The Resenter deals with the reason why a character is angry: this deals with what any character might do when they're angry.
  • May 11, 2011
    Damr1990
  • May 14, 2011
    Lavalyte
    The Superman Expy from The Tick, frequently angry with The Tick while in his Clark Kentish disguise, is constantly quietly crushing typewriters in annoyance.

  • May 14, 2011
    MrMous
    @Lavalyte: Can I have a bit more detail than that?
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