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[[quoteright:336:[[VideoGame/{{Touhou}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cimo_cleaned_1867.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:336:[-[[{{Pun}} Windows]] [[WindowsOfTheSoul of the Soul]] has encountered a problem and needs to shut down. We are sorry for the inconvenience.-] ]]

->''"Well, lad, the brain be a funny thing. Sometimes, it just stops workin' right when ye've been through a bad scene."''
-->-- '''Durkon''', ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'', [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0247.html Strip #247]].

A stunning revelation or horrible event affects a character or someone they care deeply about, leaving them shocked to the point of mentally shutting down for a while, analogous to the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Screen_of_Death Blue Screen of Death]]. The effect is similar to passing a DespairEventHorizon, but is temporary rather than permanent. Alternatively, if, say, this occurs during a fight, a hero may have a [[FoeTossingCharge violent outburst]], killing EvilMinions and hurling their own companions aside. They may run off and have to be tracked down by their friends for EpiphanyTherapy. AloneInACrowd typically represents a milder, non-disabling form of BSOD; a related trope is HeroicSafeMode, wherein the hero "defaults" to a fight or flight mindset before rebooting in safety. A ShellShockedVeteran may have a BSOD in their back story.

The trope name notwithstanding, [[TropesAreFlexible the character suffering a Heroic BSOD may not necessarily be a fully-fledged hero]]. However, if something like this happens to a more ambiguous or mundane character, it is ''much'' more likely to be PlayedForLaughs or just taken less seriously. But a BSOD is never brief or trivial; the effect must involve some kind of total mental shut-down to qualify. Also, an outright ''villain'' suffering a similar effect will usually experience a VillainousBreakdown (often involving them going completely crazy instead of shutting down) or a VillainousBSOD (whereby they gain a conscience).

Possible triggers include [[MyGreatestFailure failing in something crucial]] such as [[ILetGwenStacyDie saving a loved one]], being [[EtTuBrute betrayed]] by [[HeartbrokenBadass a close friend]], being forced to make an "impossible" choice (e.g. having to choose between using "evil" methods or laying friends open to attack), or being hit with a BreakingSpeech or ArmorPiercingQuestion. Other tropes such as TheseHandsHaveKilled often overlap. When the trope is PlayedForLaughs or used for {{melodrama}}tic effect, the cause can be less substantial; deranged behavior from someone supposedly sane, seeing something completely surreal, or being hit with a WallOfText, say.

Other people can attempt to [[HaveYouTriedRebooting reboot]] the character; GetAHoldOfYourselfMan may work (especially in the stories where violence is always the answer), as may telling them to QuitYourWhining. The best thing that can happen to a hero suffering from a BSOD is meeting a friendly WarriorTherapist; the ''worst'' thing is meeting a ''hostile'' WarriorTherapist, as such a foe can BreakThemByTalking.

Even after regaining some function, a BSOD sufferer may evince a ThousandYardStare, or go into TenMinuteRetirement. In the longer term, a hero may become [[TheStoic emotionally comatose]] (entering an AngstComa), [[OutDamnedSpot obsessive and guilt-ridden]], [[DumbStruck mute]], or in really bad cases, a [[JadeColoredGlasses jaded]] violent [[AmnesiacDissonance amnesiac]]. A really long-term BSOD would be catatonia; GoMadFromTheRevelation is the worst case. Those who remain functional but don't find a cure for the problem may eventually find SafetyInIndifference or EmotionSuppression; other people may fear that they have become a FallenHero. Comedy and melodramatic uses of the trope are far less likely to lead to long-term problems; the character simply snaps back after a few minutes. A character in a {{slapstick}} comedy show may be thrown into ''several'' blue screens in one episode, as a RunningGag.

If opponents discover a character's BSOD trigger, they may employ it as a weapon -- although if they over-use it, the victim may wise up and seek treatment. Even comedy characters can find that a BSOD leads to CharacterDevelopment, marking the start of a series of new experiences, or causing them to revise their world-view. HopeIsScary is a frequent reaction to the beginning of recovery for any character. HesBack often marks a character's full recovery, perhaps accompanied by a WorldOfCardboardSpeech. Conversely, a character who never recovers has fallen over the DespairEventHorizon.

Compare HeroicRROD (the physical equivalent), FreakOut, and DeerInTheHeadlights. One common reaction is IThinkYouBrokeHim. In RealLife psychology, this sort of thing is known as an [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acute_stress_reaction acute stress reaction]], and is related to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

The trope is named in honor of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BSOD an infamous Microsoft Windows error]] that indicates that the system has screwed itself big time. A particularly literal version could involve a character (preferably a supercomputer or other ArtificialIntelligence) literally displaying a Blue Screen Of Death.

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!!Examples go on subpages:

* HeroicBSOD/AnimeAndManga
* HeroicBSOD/ComicBooks
* HeroicBSOD/FanFiction
* HeroicBSOD/{{Film}}
* HeroicBSOD/{{Literature}}
* HeroicBSOD/LiveActionTV
* HeroicBSOD/{{Music}}
* HeroicBSOD/{{Mythology}}
* HeroicBSOD/ProfessionalWrestling
* HeroicBSOD/{{Roleplay}}
* HeroicBSOD/TabletopRPG
* HeroicBSOD/{{Theater}}
* HeroicBSOD/VideoGames
* HeroicBSOD/WebAnimation
* HeroicBSOD/WebComics
* HeroicBSOD/WebOriginal
* HeroicBSOD/WesternAnimation
* HeroicBSOD/RealLife

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