A Darker Me

You, only cooler, edgier, and often ruder. A Darker Me is generally the person you would be if you weren't the more cautious, inhibited and boring person you actually are. Most online personas include at least a little bit of A Darker Me, and some, most notably the Troll, include a lot of it. A Darker Me is like the GIFT in that it allows people to say things they would never say in real life, but is not limited to profane or offensive statements.

A Darker Me is one of the main appeals of the Internet in that it allows users to leave behind their normal fears and speak their minds. Most posters eventually learn that too much A Darker Me by those involved derails even the most steadfast discussions and begin to revert to their mundane selves, in action, if not persona.

It should be noted that A Darker Me is not limited to the Internet, as most people do the same thing when they are talking to strangers — albeit generally to a lesser extent, since the stranger can still punch them in the face if they go too far.

See also: G.I.R.L., GIFT, Beneath the Mask, Troll, Griefer, and Mean Character, Nice Actor. Closely related to What You Are in the Dark. Compare Became Their Own Antithesis and Maddened Into Misanthropy. Not to be confused with the other kind of Darker You. Or the other other kind for that matter.

General examples:

  • Many internet trolls. Do not get us started on Anon, SA Goons, and various others.
  • The Resident Freak may not be entirely lying about the crazy things they do and believe - which just makes them even weirder.
  • Pretty much the entire purpose of Videogame Cruelty Potential; you can choose to be a complete and total, uninhibited psychopath, with no consequences.
  • Griefers and Munchkins. This is pretty much everything that motivates/enables both types.
  • In Fan Fiction, overlap this with a failed Author Avatar and you get a Mary Sue. A Jerk Sue or possibly even a Villain Sue, if they're heavy on the "darker" and/or "ruder" parts; emphasizing the "cooler" part can result in any kind of Sue.
  • Very common in music genres, for instance metal and gangsta rap, where someone will put on a persona of being evil and tough in their songs, because they are too nice to do it in real life.

Media examples:

Anime and Manga
  • XXX Holic featured a sub-story about a woman in Hideki's school who, thanks to a winged parasite, slowly lost her inhibitions. Instead of being nice and sociable, she became progressively more angry and violent until she nearly killed a person.
  • Sword Art Online has a group of players of the eponymous MMORPG that go around killing other players. What makes this a lot worse is that all of the players are stuck in the game until they beat it or die, which would kill them in real life. Lampshaded when Kirito remarks that online players act very different from how they would in real life.
    • That said, a couple of the PKers end up becoming murderers IN real life. Turns out, they weren't just GIFTS after all...

Comic Books
  • In A Voice in the Dark, when Zoey goes to a costume party dressed as Cleopatra she deliberately makes herself unrecognizable so she can observe the party without being recognized. She acts different as well, flirting with boys, making small-talk, and dancing. This is all in stark contrast to her normal reserved nature.
  • After its second retcon, the Venom symbiote makes its hosts more aggressive and less inhibited, which can range from being a little rough on crooks to outright devouring them.

  • The red pills of The Matrix. Before their introduction to the Real World, they were hackers, geeks and other freaks. This makes it obvious why, when they go back into the Matrix, they all wear longcoats and sunglasses.
  • The Dark Princess in MirrorMask.

  • Discworld:
    • Perdita is this to Agnes Nitt in Maskerade and later books. Originally just a silly Awesome McCool Name she adopted, she turns into a full-formed split personality by Carpe Jugulum.
    • The Hiver in A Hat Full of Sky is an Eldritch Abomination that is considered extremely dangerous to the humans whose minds it possesses. It actually tries to help them gain what they wish for, but it doesn't understand the difference between dark desires that are suppressed because the person knows they are not right and those that the person on the whole really wants fulfilled. Its victims are eventually driven insane and destroyed, but before that, they will presumably have become darker themselves, so to speak.
  • In the Gameknight 999 Series, Herobrine also griefs just like Gameknight999 did, but on a more massive scale.

Live-Action TV
  • On Caprica, New Cap City is a virtual environment built around this concept along with Video Game Cruelty Potential, where the whole point of the game is to have fun without getting killed by someone else's idea of fun. Everyone gets access to the guns, drugs, cash, and sex they could want, and the only major consequence being that if you're too slow, you die and can never return.
  • In Screenwipe, Charlie outright admits that his default comic persona, a misanthropic Man Child, is one of these, and while there are traces of his real self in it, his real personality is much more nice and boring. He admits this in character.
  • Several Doctors in Doctor Who incorporate the actor's personality into the basic personality of the Doctor, but with the quirks exaggerated heavily and generally darker and more dramatic. A few which heavily incorporate this are the Third, Eleventh and Twelfth, although the Fourth is probably the most extreme example. Tom Baker heavily identified himself with the character - and sometimes definitely overidentified with him - and insisted on playing the Doctor as an exaggeration of his own personality and little else, to the point where a common fan detraction of the Fourth Doctor from people who dislike the character is that quite often Tom Baker is not even bothering to act, relying entirely on his own natural force of personality to sell the performance. When appearing as 'himself', Baker usually adopts a very similar personality to the Doctor's - in some cases close enough that it's even ambiguous whether he's appearing as the Doctor or not (see his links for the BBC's Doctor Who 40th anniversary celebrations and the "Shada" reconstruction, where the character he played even became something of a Canon Immigrant Doctor later) - although he will occasionally appear with a more toned-down persona that is presumably a lot closer to his real self.

Manhwa and Manhua
  • Tower of God: Baam's new identity Viole. It is because he fears things worse than death.
  • Lan, who is a fairly normal girl in real life in Prince, is infamous in the game world for being a bloodthirsty maniac.

Video Games
  • Final Fantasy VII:
    • Cloud, new to a big city and shed of all his prior identity, spends the first few hours of the game acting like a rude, aloof, cooler-than-cool, violent asshole - something that's even an act within the context of his delusions. Later we find out that he thinks of his real personality as weak and boring, even though what we see of it is quite friendly and sweet (if awkward and self-flagellating).
    • Red XIII. When we first meet him, he's being used as a research specimen by Hojo. He makes a point of acting like an impossibly old, alien being with some cool Deadpan Snarker moments - using complicated language and refusing to give his real name to the party, suggesting they call him by what Hojo designated him. Then you return to his hometown where it turns out that, despite being 48, his long-lived species means he's actually about 15 in human years. Oh, and he still lives with his beloved grandfather. After completing his quest, he drops the act and his speech patterns and attitude become a lot more childish - in the Japanese he even changes to a childish pronoun.
  • Inverted in Weapons Shop De Omasse, where Pirate Girl Malibu acts in person with the intimidating, butch, Large Ham personality you'd expect from a lady pirate, but her posts on the Twitter-Expy Grindcast are written in a Valley Girl style and mostly about her love life.

Web Original

Western Animation