"First, you deny the grief. Then,
Imagine you found yourself Trapped in Another World
, removed from everything you knew with no promise you could ever go back. And just as you started to come to grips with that, you discovered you were The Chosen One
and this world depended on you. And then your band of quirky companions
, who had been your support, started to disappear one by one
, leaving you alone with The Mole
. And then
the person you thought was your last friend betrayed you to the Big Bad
, who threw you into his dungeon and promised to execute you at dawn. As you sit there in your chains, how do you feel?
If your answer is "well, a little sad — but who cares about that, it's escapin' time!", you might be a fictional character. Angst? What angst?
The polar opposite
, this is when a character has been given every reason to fall into depression or go Ax-Crazy
, but... just doesn't, and life goes on. They aren't The Stoic
or the Determinator
; they aren't holding off their real feelings by an effort of will. Nor are they putting on a brave face because they can't endure pity
. They're just sort of rolling with it, riding out the adventure as it comes and looking ahead to the next plot event.
This trope appears frequently in children's media, particularly adventure stories featuring young heroes who never Freak Out
when piloting a burning biplane into a T-Rex's
gaping maw. These protagonists take everything in stride; if anything, they think it's all impossibly cool and wish it would never end. Real children would be forgiven if they burst into hysterics, but it isn't fun
for real children to read about other kids screaming in terror as their lives fall apart. So fictional children don't. That said, it doesn't have to be an adventure story or a work specifically aimed at children; any genre with horrible suffering is a good environment to show off this trope (except the ones that thrive on the characters angsting, like soap operas
version of this trope exposes the calm protagonist as a Stepford Smiler
, showing nothing on the surface but breaking inside. It is also possibly to combine this trope with the Law of Disproportionate Response
, creating a character who overreacts to little things and underreacts to big things, all to show how fragile their sanity is.
As disliked as Wangst
is, you'd think this would be preferable, but any trope can be mishandled
. A character shrugging at trauma that would reduce a Real Life
person to emotional collapse (or at least a few honest tears) can definitely strain the audience's Willing Suspension of Disbelief
. A character who does not react to suffering can come across as a sociopath — hardly what this trope is meant to express. Of course, similar to Wangst
, this trope
can be Played for Laughs
Possibly Truth in Television
for the more extreme cases. If you're fighting for your life, you don't have time to think about how awful it is — not at that very second, anyway. Afterward, all bets are off.
Compare Plot-Powered Stamina
, where characters shrug off physical (rather than emotional) trauma and stress like it's nothing.
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Anime and Manga
- Minorin in Toradora! lives by the principle that she shall always be happy, no matter what happens. Although she doesn't have any actual tragedy in her past, this still leaves her feeling a bit... hollow, at times. She might even fool herself, but she isn't fooling the viewers.
- In Fruits Basket, Tohru is usually extremely cheerful and amiable, despite having a dead mother, working to pay for her own tuition and having been ostracised by her peers from an early age. She has a few lines, especially in the first couple of chapters, which reveal she's forcing herself to be strong because her mother wouldn't want her to be sad. As it turns out, it's a justified; she is hurting inside and had closed up everything in a box that she didn't want to open, continuously happy so she can make other people around her glad. The anime however, which did not adapt the manga's latest chapters (and therefore cut out a lot of Tohru's Character Development) left out this bit in favor of making her a Purity Sue with no motivation.
- Even though the Naruto has no family and everyone around him hates him just for existing, he doesn't seem to have any angst at all, and further displays this trope in regards to being the jinchuriki of the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox, expressing little angst over the matter after he initially found out. Probably the most shocking instance is in an arc where he is confronted with the villain that's the direct reason he grew up an orphan and had the fox sealed inside of him. Considering his reaction when he had the chance to talk to his father about it, one would expect him to pissed, but he treats it the same as every other fight. However, as to the former, the first arc where they actually do some fighting spells out that he'd gotten over it after angsting non-stop for several years, and one of Naruto's teachers steps up as a father-figure, mainly because he grew up in similar circumstances.
- Fellow Jinchuuriki Killer Bee embodies this even more than Naruto. His relationship with his beast is actually quite friendly and his brother is protective and caring.
- Meet Ayasaki Hayate from Hayate the Combat Butler. He's worked since he was eight years old to support his happily unemployed parents who enjoy: gambling, stealing his money to keep gambling and selling him to "very nice people" to pay off their gambling debts. He's also constantly plagued by the most ridiculous misfortunes and despite his best efforts things almost never go his way. If anyone has the right to whine about how unfair life is, one would think he does but he simply grins and bears it. Why? Because Santa told him to!
- In the Houshin Engi manga, Taikoubou hardly angsts about anything. Sure, Dakki throws a bunch of humans he was trying to protect into a pit filled with carnivorous alligators and snakes, and he feels a bit bad about that, but he gets over it within a few pages (in the anime, it took a bit longer - around maybe 10 minutes?). The closest thing to angsting was when his best friend Fugen Shinjin was killed, but even then, he quickly changes his attitude to becoming determined to immediately avenge his death (which he does quickly). In the end, when Jyoka causes him to start crumbling and dying, saying, "My last bit of selfishness... please vanish with me..." his reply is to look slightly irritated and calmly say, "Well, fine..." This might be partially because he is a Sennin immortal, and most of the horrible violence and happenings occur to humans that he doesn't empathize as much with. Considering that a large part of the series revolved around him doing his very best to keep the Sennin out of mortal affairs, even if it involved destroying both Sennin worlds in the process, this seems an unlikely motivation.
- In Magic Knight Rayearth, the girls are summoned to Cephiro and cannot return home to their families until their task is complete — which, for all they know, could take the rest of their lives (if they aren't killed first). Hikaru and Fuu have very little trouble with this, and Umi doesn't angst, but she whines a lot about missing her fencing tournament and because there's no Haagen-Das in Cephiro.
- Given that she belongs to a royal family that's full of members constantly at each other's throats and will do morally questionable things for the sake of power (especially with her cousin Alfred, who requests help from two members of an Always Chaotic Evil race of demons), Princess Amelia doesn't seem very phased by the tragedies that happened to her: when her uncle Randionel is killed in the first season after a botched act of treason, she moves on as if nothing happened. However, it's implied that the assassination of her mother and her sister's disappearance upset her greatly, but the angst implied behind it is appropriate and never exaggerated.
- It's implied that Gourry had a horrific family life; outside material notes that his family had a massive personal war over the Sword of Light. He runs off with it, meets a man who instills him with purpose (he was actually Lina's father), and from there, became the happy-go-lucky swordsman who strives for the future that he's known as.
- One Piece: Every single Straw Hat Pirate has seriously angst-worthy moments in their pasts. However, you rarely see them angst about these issues in the present. The exceptions are the female members of the crew when their pasts caught up to them. But their crewmates' willingness to fight on their behalf turned them around.
- Considering Nami's home was taken over by evil pirates who also killed her mother and basically enslaved her, and Robin's was flat out destroyed by the government along with everyone she ever knew. It's not surprising that they angst the most. Hell, Nami only became free 'after' the Straw Hats followed her to her home and defeated the Fishman Pirates still occupying there.
- Usopp, with some fans finding it quite odd that he harbors no resentment towards his father Yasopp whatsoever, even though the guy left to go be a pirate when his son was still very young without ever returning while his wife dies a couple years after he left. It probably helps that his wife told him to do it, and Usopp thinks being a pirate is the greatest thing in the world.
- Shanks. He takes his arm being bit off very well, being mainly glad that Luffy is safe.
- Horribly subverted in 7 Seeds for Team Summer A. Some of the teachers thought this would be their reaction after the Final Test, given how they had raised them, but... it's the complete opposite.
- Kagura Tsuchimiya from Ga-Rei. Even after her sister figure betrayed her and her peers, killed her father and became an evil spirit dead-set on destroying Tokyo, she still maintains an upbeat attitude and is a fun-loving girl, as Kensuke can attest.
- Sakai Yuji from Shakugan no Shana, considering how he handled being a Torch/Mystes and fated to perish, he is more concerned of people he will leave behind and relieved no one will be sad because they will forget about him. Shana, Alastor and Lammie compliments him for staying sane from the revelation.
- In the Black Cat manga, interestingly enough, the series depicts Train's progress of maturity to be going from wangsting about the past to becoming very carefree. In the second half of the series, Train gets over Saya's death and stops stressing about a lot of things (most of which are pretty important and angst-worthy). For example, when shot accidentally by Creed with the Lucifer bullet, while everyone else (including Creed) panics and tells Train that he'll transform into a monster, Train just brushes it off and says he'll handle that when it comes. When Train turns into a kid, everyone stresses about it while he actually thinks it's kind of fun (his more immediate thoughts being whether they can save money on kid's meal and metro ticket prices). This is even lampshaded later by one of his past Chronos superiors, who asks him if he even cares that Creed is trying to bring about the End of the World as We Know It. Train's answer is no, and that he only cares about what's for lunch tomorrow.
- Miaka Yuuki of Fushigi Yuugi shows remarkably few psychological aftereffects from the multiple sexual assaults she endures over the course of the series, although one could argue she expends enough angst over Tamahome that she doesn't have any left to spare.
- In Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ, Judau Ashta goes through hell. He inherits a battle he never had any interest in, he seemingly loses his little sister even when one of his friends promised to keep her alive, nearly every attempt he has at keeping his enemies from throwing their lives away fails miserably, and his primary love interest is the leader of the enemy faction and he has to not only kill her, but also the fact she deliberately threw the duel. He does a very good job getting over the various problems with only short instances of depression, but in the end he finally hits the breaking point. Bright Noah uses a reverse Brightslap to get him out of it.
- Mobile Suit Crossbone Gundam: Tobia Arronax continues the tradition in the UC 0130s, being one of the more well-adjusted characters in the Universal Century. As an interesting sidenote, Judau as Grey Stoke also makes an appearance around this time period and seemingly unchanged from his ZZ days, although there are signs that he hasn't quite gotten over some of the trauma.
- Paula Sis of After War Gundam X. For context, she lost her parents when so young that she cannot remember their faces, and has been raised by what amounts to an armed rebel group. After this group is wiped out, she sheds a few tears, but almost instantly bounces back to her usual cheery self. One would think she would react a bit more strongly to the loss of everyone she had ever held dear in her life.
- Fullmetal Alchemist:
- Edward has relatively little angst given that at age 11 he lost two limbs and was exposed to These Are Things Man Was Not Meant to Know in an effort to bring one of his parents back to life, which comes out wrong. He half-believes that he has condemned his brother to a Fate Worse Than Death, and in order to correct this joins the military, despite knowing that they previously used people with powers like his to commit genocide. That's all in the prologue. Someone like that should be worrying less about angst and more about if they have any sanity points left.
- His brother as well. To sum up: His father leaves, mother dies, and they decide to bring her back. This fails, and he's temporarily trapped in the screwed up body that they ended up making and loses his body to the Truth. Al then blocks the Truth from his memory out of shock, taking away the good (clappable transmutation) that was supposed to come with the bad. His brother manages to bring back his soul and attach it to a suit of armor, leaving him unable to sleep, eat, feel, and all around keeping him from leading a normal life. Al blames himself for all of this. Now, once we start on the main storyline, well, let's just say that things didn't get any better from there.
- Saito of Zero no Tsukaima. He is trapped in a world which is the complete opposite of his own, demoted to something akin to a dog, whipped and beaten by his tsundere mistress Louise, for who he gave up his only chance to return to Earth. His reaction? To drool over other girls' tits, even though he's been beaten black and blue for it. This is eventually, partially, Justified in the novel: the familiar's seal Saito was given suppressed his inclination for homesickness. When Tifania removes the seal, his reaction was all the Angst bottled up for about a year. He does get better.
- Dragon Ball Z:
- Gohan's screentime can be summarized thusly. Four years old, kidnapped by screaming crazies twice in one day, learning second-hand that his father was dead, gets abandoned in the wilderness for months, then goes through Training from Hell until he develops what a particularly cruel critic might identify as Stockholm Syndrome. He then loses a father figure in a hideous battle against space aliens, battles some more space aliens in an attempt to revive him, loses biological father again when he gets lost in space and won't come home and doesn't tell anyone why. Biological father finally comes home a year and a half later, they go through three more years of Training from Hell (four, if you count the time chamber) and then Dad dies again and decides to stay dead. This is six or seven years of consistent, repeated emotional trauma, yet Gohan never stops acting like a happy, well-adjusted little nerd boy. ...Except for that whole "Saiyaman" phase, which was noted as being weird and unhealthy.
- Vegeta, at least in the beginning. When he first hears of his home world's demise and near-extinction of his race as a child in the Bardock special, he brushes off the message and continues eating from one of the corpses he killed. And then there's his reaction to Raditz's death, where he says "Meh. He deserved it." However this might be a subversion: when he first dies at the hands of Freeza he begs Goku to avenge their race, meaning that deep down he might have cared about the Saiyans' demise.
- Goku is this even from the very early chapters of the original Dragon Ball, not overly concerned that the adopted grandfather who raised him got squashed flat by a weremonkey, leaving him, a small child, alone in the woods without human companionship until Bulma comes by. This is part of the reason that the moments he snaps are all the more terrifying.
- Allen Walker of D.Gray-Man. The universe has put him through an incredible amount of crap, including Parental Abandonment, the death of his surrogate father, his turning said surrogate father into an Akuma because he didn't know any better, his freaky left arm going berserk and re-killing Akuma!Mana after he got his face slashed up, getting adopted by an abusive Trickster Mentor who smacks him around and leaves him to pay debts upward of tens of thousands of dollars, and then having to find the Black Order headquarters with absolutely no clue where it was, and no help from Cross, who knocked him out and left so he wouldn't have to report back to his bosses. And that's just the backstory. Despite all this, and the fact that his disfigured left eye makes him see the tortured soul of every Akuma he comes across, he's cute and perpetually cheerful, and while he does get upset about some of what happens during the series, he always defaults back to his usual Wide-Eyed Idealist self eventually.
- Now and Then, Here and There takes this to its logically absurd extreme, but probably for the better. Shu is quickly abducted from his world and his main beef with the new world is its war. For eleven episodes, his abduction doesn't faze him in the least and any mention of "Earth" is mere background information or due to the introduction of Sara Ringwalt. He returns to Earth in episode thirteen and—that's all. Fortunately, almost everyone else in the show balances out his vacuous optimism.
- Characters on Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds who have lived most if not all their lives on the poverty-stricken streets of Satellite claim they've gotten used to dealing with pain and hardship, explaining why they spend less time angsting than you'd expect.
- Genki in Monster Rancher is often like this, combining it with Sand In My Eyes in some cases. He breaks down in the season 2 ending.
- Lyrical Nanoha:
- Fate, rather than being emotionally devastated by her mentor and mother figure Linith disappearing as a result of fulfilling her contract with Precia, feels mostly gratitude toward her, and Fate only regrets that her training was the only thing Linith could do for Precia. Unfortunately, this marks the point where Precia goes from being cold and distant to actually physically and emotionally abusive.
- Several protagonists have Dark And Troubled Pasts, but they tend to have very little angst in the present. Dark Magical Girls like Fate and Lutecia overcome their tragic circumstances and become much happier after being befriended. Nanoha herself loves being a magical girl, despite how dangerous and difficult it is. No matter how daunting the opposition, she never once wavers or bemoans her situation, and the only time in the series she broke down was when Vivio was kidnapped. Even then, she didn't let it affect her performance.
- Ichise from Texhnolyze. He grows up as an ostracized outsider, works as a fighter in an underground ring, has his limbs cut off, has to go through the agonising pain of learning to use new limbs, watches his entire world deteriorate, realizes that the entire human race is effectively dead, and then watches the only human he actually has a connection to have their head stuck on the body of his enemy. When he and his mother discovered his father's dead body he didn't show any emotion and looked surprised when he saw his mother crying at the sight. He goes a little insane in the very last episode, but apart from that, he copes a little too well...
- 07-Ghost: After having had his country invaded and everyone he knew, including his adoptive father, murdered while still a small child, being made a combat slave and forced to kill people daily for training during years and seeing his only friend die after having been possessed by the man who killed his father Teito Klein holds himself remarkably well. He still angsts once in a while, but who wouldn't in his place?
- The fact that the main characters in Peacemaker Kurogane manage to be as cheerful as they are is actually quite impressive especially considering how the terrorists they're fighting kill their friends, are trying to destroy their capital, and yet actually believe in all the same ideals as them. And that Okita's dying of tuberculosis. And that the three executive and Okita had to assassinate their founder because he used his power for racketeering, a mere year before the first part of the series. And the fact that, for them, the penalty for any violation of the Shinsengumi rules or Bushido in general, was ritual suicide.
- Seras Victoria from Hellsing. She's unnaturally cheerful, upbeat, and goofy for someone who's had all of her police partners killed, was nearly raped and killed by a vampire and then is actually turned into one. Also, during her childhood her father was murdered by burglars, her mother hiding her in a cupboard to protect her, and her mother was immediately murdered by them. It was because of this trope that Alucard had the interest in turning her into a Vampire, that she would still wish to live even after being through all of that.
- Deconstructed with Elmer Albatross, whose perpetually cheery attitude in the face of everything and blithe expectation that everyone else will act the same comes across to other characters as callous and sometimes downright creepy.
- The novels subvert it with Firo. While he initially seems pretty chill about acquiring the Ghost Memory of a 300-year-old villain, the mask eventually cracks after a couple of years and he admits that he's not only confused and disgusted by some of the things that he remembers, but also terrified that Szilard's sadism will eventually become his own.
- Sailor Moon:
- A lot of the characters have Parental Abandonment issues. Makoto was orphaned at a young age when her parents both died in a plane crash, and a car crash took Mamoru's. Neither of them are seen angsting about that, though Mamoru does have some outstanding issues with the amnesia it left him with that are resolved as part of the manga's first story arc. The manga does have a side story which shows that Makoto still has issues from her parents' deaths, namely that she panics and hides behind the curtains if she even sees an airplane on the television.
- Usagi doesn't seem to angst much when confronting the first Big Bad Queen Metalia, who was responsible for the death of her and everyone she cared about in her previous life. In either version, the only one of the Senshi that displays any anger towards Metalia or Beryl is Minako, the case with the latter is justified since she's the only one of the senshi when they confront Beryl in the manga that regained her memories from their previous life. Everyone else, in both versions, there's no excuse.
- In the anime, Naru experiences the death of her first love as he is impaled in front of her and bleeds to death in her arms. Furthermore, because he wasn't even human and his body apparently disintegrated on death, she can't confide in pretty much anyone (including her family). While she clearly reacts to this in the episode itself and two episodes later its shown she was out of school to grieve, she resolves it rather quickly at the end of that episode and is pretty much her old self again.
- Juudai/Jaden Yuki from Yu-Gi-Oh! GX. Until season 3, he laughs at everything. At the end of season 2, while he's fighting the epitome of evil, with nothing but a children's card game standing in the way of the destruction of the universe, he still tries to convince Evil Sartorius that card games are all about fun. In the manga however, he's never quite as innocent as in the early anime, but he never gets as broken as in the late anime. He's seen his friend and dueling idol, Koyo, go into a coma, had to once fight a duel with Sho/Syrus in which either he would lose his deck or Sho would get expelled, and has had to fight several Shadow Duels over the course of the series. He angsts over his issues when he takes the time to reflect on them.
- Yokaiden: The main character, Hamachi, had his parents die when he was just a little kid and was sent to live with his Grandma, who appeared to hate Hamachi and calls him demon-spawn. A creature whose life he saved then kills his Grandma, so Hamachi goes on a quest to track down the creature. How does he deal with all this? By cheerfully treating it like one big adventure.
- The manga version of Kanamemo starts with Kana's grandmother dying and her running away thinking she is going to be taken away like the furniture. After the first chapter it doesn't really get mentioned again. The anime throws a realistic amount in though.
- Subverted in the first episode of Kimba the White Lion where Kimba is forced by his mother to leave her trapped on a boat while he escapes. Fast-foward to Kimba surviving a storm while lost at sea and seeing wreckage of the boat he and his mother was on, he realizes that his mother is gone for good.
- It seems that every high school student and elementary school kid in Detective Conan is completely unfazed by witnessing grisly murder scenes almost every day. Even bystanders and single-arc characters who would logically be less desensitized to trauma have often just lost someone and tend to describe horrific personal events with uniform slightly worried faces.
- Most of the cyborgs of Gunslinger Girl have their memories or their pre-Agency lives erased in order to remove the pain of past traumas (or make them easier to control, if you're cynical). Rico is unique in that she has full recollection of her time before she was given over to the Agency - which was not in itself a happy experience, with years crippled by birth defects and beset by quarrelling parents - and is not at all troubled by years wasted in a hospital bed or being possessed by the Agency and used as a killing machine.
- In SHUFFLE!, Rin hardly reacts at all to both his parents dying, in contrast to Kaede, who went into a Heroic BSOD and nearly died after losing her mother in the same car accident.
- Justified for being Played for Laughs, but the nations of Axis Powers Hetalia shrug off being shot in the head, tortured, abducted, and having the shit beat out of them pretty well. It's pretty heavily averted with the depiction of the American Revolution (both England and America were very upset by it, and it's implied that they still are) and the webcomic's depiction of the first Sino-Japanese War (after Japan attacks China, China is seen crying in a bar, telling Russia how much he misses Japan). This trope is played very straight in Paint It, White!, where the nations are clearly upset at the sight of their major landmarks being attacked by the aliens, but promptly begin bickering when they try to fight together. Also, while they were all very panicked and upset while being turned into Noppera, upon being turned back, they act like the entire thing never happened.
- In My Lovely Ghost Kana, the titular character killed herself in a gruesome manner more than a decade before the start of the story, Daikichi lost his job, home, and over half his possessions, before the only place he could find to live was a haunted apartment, considering suicide himself, and Utako went through some horrible tragedy before she showed up. By all rights, could be a freight train full of angst there. But with the help of Kana forgetting her reasons and being so happy to be around others again, they rise above and find a a happy way to live without it.
- In Black Butler, Finny's backstory includes him being locked in a stone room and experimented on for an undetermined amount of time. The amount of times he complains about this? ZERO. Every character with a Dark and Troubled Past is subject for this except for Ciel. Ciel's other servants are a mild example, as well as Madam Red and the circus kids.
- Subverted with Mikasa in Attack on Titan: when it looks like Eren was devoured by a Titan, everybody expects her to freak out (knowing how close they are), but instead, she quickly collects herself and rallies the surviving soldiers to a counterattack against the Titans. Very soon, however, it becomes obvious that far from shrugging it off, Mikasa instead went straight to the Death Seeker stage of grief and her "counterattack" is basically a Self-Destructive Charge in order to at least die fighting.
- Satsuki Kiryuin of Kill la Kill very much qualifies for this trope after her Freudian Excuse is revealed. It's pretty unbelievable that an eighteen year old girl can have her father and sister killed by her own mother, and spend a good chunk of her life being physically, psychologically, and sexually abused by her mother and come out of it relatively unscathed.
- This is Ryugu Rena's world view at the start of Tsumihoroboshi-hen in Higurashi: When They Cry. It doesn't work out.
- A story in X-Men featured a villain trying to psychically possess Jean Grey's corpse. To stop her, Cyclops secretly had Jean's body dug up and replaced with somebody else's. Oddly, despite all the truckloads of Wangst that Cyke has had about Jean's death over the years, digging up her corpse didn't seem to disturb him that much. He got over it in about two pages.
- In Runaways, six teenagers discover that their parents are supervillains and have to go on the run. They handle it remarkably well, barely complaining about being betrayed. But there are hints dropped that they've been traumatized like real teenage runaways — they just show it less. (Their motto is that no adult, ever, is to be trusted, and some of the kids — especially Karolina and Molly — approach Stepford Smiler territory in the early issues.) The use of this was lampshaded by Karolina and Xavin when the team is indulging in some (mostly appropriate) angst after Gert's death, where Xavin points out that Karolina's homeworld and at least one Skrull colony world have all but been destroyed in a war the two of them failed to stop, and everyone is angsting more about the death of one girl instead of two whole worlds.
- Lady Blackhawk of Birds of Prey is mind controlled in a squick-inducing fashion by a villain. When one of her teammate later suggests that she should seek therapy, Lady Blackhawk responds that breaking the villain's face was all the therapy she needed.
- Beast Boy/Changeling (DC Comics) spent most of his life as a glutton for punishment. Details aside, most people tend to assume he's miserable and pity him. In Geoff Johns' Teen Titans, he makes it clear that the problems in his life don't bother him nearly as much as they think; but what he can't stand is when people feel sorry for him.
- Strong Guy of X-Factor is one of the "hurts on the inside" variety. He's always cracking jokes, despite emotional pain and physical pain (because of the way his powers warped his body).
- Static of the Milestone Comics was created in an attempt of capturing a more modern interpretation of Spider-Man. Virgil carries similarly wit and banter but none of the angst. He becomes a Super Hero, not because of dead parents or to follow in his mentor's footsteps. He does it just because he knows right from wrong. The animated series plays with it a bit more. Virgil still is a superhero because of a sense of justice, but he also occasionally angsts over his dead mother, who he only just remembers and misses, at least until a Time Travel episode.
- In Superman Family #165, Krypto the Superdog travels through time and emerges in the past, almost immediately transformed into a cow (thanks to some Red Kryptonite). He finds himself milked, and he gets so upset over his situation he knocks a lamp over, causing a fire. Krypto soon turns back to normal and leaves the farm, only to overhear the farmer calling for Mrs. O'Leary. It is that moment that Krypto realises that he traveled to the beginning of the Great Chicago Fire in 1871. Krypto's reaction upon realising that he's the one who caused the greatest fire in history? "Well, I'll fly back to my own time-era!"
- In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (IDW) the Cutie Mark Crusaders don't seem to think being fillynapped by a monstrous Queen is a big deal, nor did they seem bothered by the fact that said queen killed a luvcat in front of them. Also Fluttershy is gleefully fascinated by two creatures fighting over the right to eat her and her friends.
- The most reaction we get from Tim Drake about the death of Stephanie Brown was the story where she was revealed to be Not Quite Dead.
- in Green Lantern: New Guardians, Glomulus is essentially a living construct made my Larfleeze. As in he can be dispersed whenever Larfleeze feels like it. Kyle Rayner asks if Glomulus is truly alive or not. Glommy's response? "Glomulus is Glomulus." It's kind of endearing that he can brush off something like that.
- Captain Marvel was made of this trope. Billy Batson had his parents murdered when he was around 8 years old, lost his sister, and was given over to his uncle Ebenezer Batson, who was his only living blood relative. Ebenezer only kept Billy around long enough to legally secure the boy's inheritance as his own, and then threw Billy out onto the street, leaving him homeless. But instead of becoming bitter about his circumstances, Billy instead became more empathic to the suffering of others, maintained his positive outlook, and refused to let his bad situation ruin his ideals or his sense of wonder and hope. It was precisely these qualities that made him worthy to wield the power the wizard Shazam bestowed upon him. It's also one reason why many fans dislike the Nu-52 Billy Batson, who has done a complete 180 and is an angry, petulant little brat consumed by Wangst.
- An issue of the detective agency -era X-Factor was all about Doctor Leonard Samson going through the team in his role as a psychiatrist. This revealed that Monet kept all her feelings bottled up inside because she feels she needs to put up a brave face, and she is afraid of losing control of herself, especially with how her brother ended up evil. Meanwhile, Siren appeared to take her father's death in Deadly Genesis oddly lightly. She explained that he was bound to come back from the death, given how that happens constantly in the Marvel universe. Whether that is a perfectly reasonable stance or unhealthy denial is up to the reader to decide.
- In this Girls und Panzer, fan comic, Miho's reaction to hearing from her mother, Shiho, about her being disinherited (something she has not heard about in canon, even assuming Shiho didn't change her mind in the last episode) is to get somewhat annoyed at Maho and Shiho sneaking onto campus, although the entire issue is Played for Laughs.
Miho: Why are you two here?
Shiho: To tell you about your disinheritance..
Miho: Just give it to me and go home already.
- Escape from the Hokage's Hat: Naruto like in canon is like this. At least until he realizes the village had multiple blood seals placed on him by the village ninja to limit his growth (mental and physical). Then he ever so slowly comes to the realization of how bad his life is.
"Now while he was embarrassed, Naruto found that he rather enjoyed being tickled by Tsunade. In all honesty this was the most human contact he'd had in his entire life. He promptly shoved that thought aside as it sounded too morbid."
- In the Girls und Panzer fic "Of Blood And Steel", this is zig-zagged. Erwin doesn't feel much angst over her father's death from liver failure two years ago, saying that "the pain is largely gone", but is quite bitter over having to move as a result of her mother getting a new job in America. Henrietta's lack of reaction to being ostracized due to being the daughter of a Private Military Contractor is similar to Erwin's glossing over her father's death, saying that she's dealt with it for long enough.
- Subverted in A Spark of Genius. Xander doesn't seem terribly bothered about being ripped out of his home dimension and being prevented from returning most of the time, but this is shown to be because he keeps himself too busy to think about it. After his friends manage to contact him (but still can't bring him home), Xander breaks down crying from being reminded of what he's lost. He's broken down a few times since, mostly after a spectacularly bad day or when he's left alone to his thoughts and can't invent something to take his mind off things.
- Happens in Derailed, due to it being a collaborative story with minimal communication between the different authors. Celestia explains to Octavia the relationship they had before Octavia's injuries and amnesia. Octavia is somewhat taken aback, and she tells the hospital staff that she doesn't want Celestia to visit again in the next few days. The next section is written by a different author—it's less than a day later, and Octavia is hanging out with Celestia in the castle like it's no big deal.
- Considering all the War Is Hell and utterly terrible things the Sonic characters face in Sonic X: Dark Chaos, none of them (except for Cosmo) angst about it very much. The rewrite has more angst though, and this trope is somewhat justified considering Sonic's heroic nature - and the fact that the author doesn't like writing lots of angst.
- While the rest of the Touhou Ibunshu cast have much justifiable angst about various things, Reimu and Marisa get over things remarkably quickly and soon start reacting to being in constant mortal danger with the equivalent of "not this again". Even getting stabbed to death and resurrected in the second arc barely registered; Alice ended up being more upset about that than they were. This is presented as being a virtue and part of the reason why they're so heroic compared to the more morally questionable characters, as they are more concerned with making a new future than dwelling on the past.
Film - Animated
- In Rise of the Guardians, when Jack regains his memories, he learns that he drowned in a frozen pond whilst saving his sister. He proceeds to focus on the fact that he saved his sister, rather than the fact that he died. In one way it makes sense, considering that Jack's purpose is to literally be Fun Personified.
- In An American Tail: Fievel Goes West, Fievel's parents really don't seem sad or concerned enough when Fievel falls off the train on their "way out west", leaving him stranded in the middle of the desert and possibly gravely injured. When they get to the town of Green River they're more concerned about where they're going to be living than the whereabouts of their son, handwaving it with something like "He'll find his way here on his own". And when Fievel finally is reunited with them, they're happy, but they don't make a big deal out of it. It's like "Oh, Fievel's lost. It must be Tuesday again." This is probably because executives wanted Fievel Goes West to be Lighter and Softer than the first movie, which had more than enough angst to go around after Fievel got lost.
- In Aladdin, the genie says he's been trapped in his lamp for 10,000 years, a fate that would have driven any of us insane with boredom. But he seems fine apart from a "crick in the neck." Although, being a genie, maybe he has ways to amuse himself that we don't. The number of anachronistic jokes he makes over the course of the movie would indicate that at the very least, he doesn't perceive time and space the same way we do.
- In Gnomeo and Juliet, Featherstone the flamingo just instantly dives out of his shed and goes bananas with happiness upon being released. He was trapped inside for 20 years. And separated from his lover for all that time.
- In Treasure Planet, Silver gives one of the best lines that describes this trope After he left almost all of the treasure behind to save Jim.
Silver: Just a lifelong obsession, Jim. I'll get over it.
- A humorous example from The Emperor's New Groove, following a mass Baleful Polymorph:
Guard: Um, I've been turned into a cow. Can I go home?
Yzma: You're excused. Anyone else?
Other guards: No, we're good.
Film - Live Action
- Invoked and Justified in Defending Your Life. The recent dead are relieved of the worry and angst of having died and the loved ones they'll never see again so that they can focus on their trials.
- The Mask of Zorro: Elena quickly getting over how easily Zorro stripped her could count.
- Harry Potter:
- A lot of characters, major and minor, both in the books and the films seem to have no trouble getting over accidents, mutations and near death experiences that should have traumatized them for life or for a very lengthy period of time that would have required a lot of counseling for most people.
- In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Barty Crouch is found dead in the woods and... no one cares. It's never mentioned again. Not that his death should inspire all that much angst note , but it's a fairly important plot point in the book, and besides, a Ministry official showed up dead in the forest. Someone want to... look into that?
- Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix: We see Sirius die, in a super dramatic, gut-wrenching scene. Then we finish the battle. Then we see Harry and Dumbledore have less than a five minute conversation. Harry barely looks upset. That's it for the rest of the series. In the book however, Harry trashes Dumbledore's office and yells at him. He then spends most of the remainder of the year in solitude, until Luna comforts him.
- In The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy, Arthur Dent watches as everyone he ever loved or cared about (except Trillian) plus the human race destroyed right before his eyes. He is half of the existing human race, with absolutely no hope (at that point) of rebuilding the species or ever going home. All over a bureaucratic snafu by an uncaring galactic government, and he receives absolutely no sympathy from other characters for the genocide of his race. And this is played for laughs. The story rolls on, Dent doesn't seem too broken up about it (it might not have even happened as far as Trillian is concerned) and its all Hand Waved at the end.
- The Horror of Party Beach. Less than a month after his girlfriend gets killed by a monster, Hank returns to the very beach she died on and comments to a band member, "Pretty dead tonight, huh, Ron?" They play a spritely tune to get the moods up.
- Star Wars:
- Luke Skywalker in A New Hope regarding the deaths of his family. What's that you say? He certainly did wangst about Obi-Wan and Darth Vader? No, I don't mean them. I mean Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen. You know, the people who raised him from a baby. Okay, he grieved for them for... 15 seconds screen time? He seemed over it by the time they reached Mos Eisley. In Legacy Luke finally talks about his Aunt and Uncle's deaths to Cade who's in their old home. More or less, at first he wanted to make the Empire pay but knew he couldn't stop and angst about it. Later, when he become a Jedi, he accepted their deaths and knew they're part of the Living Force now, which they are.
- Leia watched her entire planet get blown to smithereens before her eyes. Leia's only subsequent (onscreen) comment on the destruction of her home, her family, most of the people she's ever known, everyone she's never known, all that history, all that culture, all those people is "We have no time for our sorrows." Granted, Leia already had a certain amount of time to grieve in her cell, and maybe force herself to put the matter aside for the time being. The Star Wars Expanded Universe talks about it; Leia turns any angst into hating The Empire even more, and`at one point flips out meeting an Alderaanian Stormtrooper. It's illustrated by this quote from Shadows of the Empire:
She felt the emotions well, felt them threaten to spill out in tears, but she fought it. She was Leia Organa, Princess of the Royal Family of Alderaan, elected to the Imperial Senate, a worker in the Alliance to Restore the Republic. Alderaan was gone, destroyed by Vader and the Death Star; the Imperial Senate was disbanded; the Alliance was outmanned and outgunned ten thousand to one, but she was who she was. She would not cry.
She would not cry.
She would get even.
- In the live-action Transformers movies, Optimus Prime has been criticized by fans for practically not giving a crap when Jazz dies.
- In Rebel Without a Cause, Judy falls in love with Jim and seems to forget that her boyfriend died in a horrific car accident not even two hours beforehand.
- They Live!. The hero learns that the world is a vast lie created by aliens in human guise that live among us. So he stares one of them in the face and says, "you look like your face fell in the cheese dip back in 1957!"
- Subverted in the TV movie of A Wrinkle in Time. Upon getting home, the protagonist is terrified that her mother is more interested in talking about proper nutrition for kids rather than the fact that her children have disappeared for days to fight evil disembodied brains in another dimension. It's also what makes her realize she's just in a Lotus-Eater Machine.
- By the end of Face/Off, Eve Archer has been effectively sleeping with Castor Troy (wearing Sean Archer's face), and Jamie has stabbed Castor in the leg - an act which rarely leaves people unscarred in Real Life. This family really should be falling apart any second now - but we are asked to accept this as a Happy Ending.
- In Zombieland, Columbus shoots and kills Bill Murray by mistake. He suffers no angst at all about this, but in fairness Bill Murray himself takes it pretty well all things considered. Tallahassee, on the other hand, is in tears.
- A minor problem with Mars Attacks!, as the President's daughter is seen at the end, only days after her parents have been killed, presenting Richie with his medal and seems unaffected. She even starts to ask him out. Arguably, Richie himself, who is only briefly affected by the death of his brother.
- In A Kid in King Arthur's Court, Calvin has been transported to Camelot without warning. He spends his first few days in another time period commissioning rollerblades from the local blacksmith and making Big Macs somehow.
- In 2012, given that something like 99.995% of the world's population died less than a month ago everyone on the arks seems to have got over it rather quickly. Adrian and the President's daughter deserve special mention, flirting carefree just after both their fathers (and presumably the rest of their families) died.
- James Bond
- Diamonds Are Forever. The film opens with Bond hunting down his wife's murderer, Big Bad Ernst Stavro Blofeld, with the permission and support of MI6 and apparently getting his revenge by making Blofeld drown headfirst into superheated mud. While that should have given him some satisfaction to help him recover, the fact remains that his wife has just been killed on their wedding day, and yet he's back to his old womanizing and deadpanning days in an instant, even laughing at a few cracks Miss Moneypenny makes about engagement rings. This could be due to the Negative Continuity of the series.
- In Skyfall, Bond doesn't seem too concerned when Severine was shot, despite saying he would protect her.
- At the beginning of Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, Austin's new wife and heroine of the previous film Vanessa Kensington is almost immediately revealed as a fembot who tries to kill him before Austin soon subdues her. He is initially heartbroken, reflecting on the loss of his first true monogamous love, before realizing he is once more single and free to womanize in a recovery so sudden it's somewhat lampshaded.
Austin: I can't believe Vanessa, my bride, my one true love, the woman who taught me the beauty of monogamy, was a fembot all along...wait a tick. That means I'm single again! OH BEHAVE!
- The Room: "I got the results of the test back... I definitely have breast cancer". This is never mentioned again, leading many to just assume the woman is straight-up lying.
- In Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Elsa is severely traumatized, screaming her head off, as Donovan dies right in front of her eyes due to something she delibarately did, and yet in the next scene she acts as if nothing happened.
- In Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, Percy's mother is killed right in front of him by a Minotaur. It's later revealed that she's not really dead and is eventually brought back, but during the time he thinks she's really gone Percy is remarkably blasé about it and just throws himself into learning about his powers and his sea-god father. This trope is half the reason it's considered an In Name Only adaptation by most of the fans, as Percy's entire Character Development in the book involved him mourning his mother, hating the gods for getting her caught up in this, and then gradually coming to accept that there was a bigger picture.
- Portrayed in the most unintentionally hilarious way ever in Battle: Los Angeles: during the Alien Invasion, Nantz gives a long speech in which he reels off the names and serial numbers of all of his men who were killed on the last mission, making it clear he remembers each one of them. After a Melodramatic Pause, he growls "But none of that matters now" because they can't dwell on the past and have to get back to killing aliens. Cue laughter and applause from the audience.
- Lampshaded and subverted in Last Action Hero when Jack Slater (whose onscreen character plays this trope straight) confides in Daniel: "Let's throw his son off a building. Oh sure, it will give you nightmares for the rest of your life, but you're fiction, so who cares?"
- Parodied by Officer Doughy in Shriek if You Know What I Did Last Friday the Thirteenth.
"Well, that about does it. I killed my cousin, my heart is broken, my sister's dead. Dammit, I love this job."
- Even though the message of Star Trek: Generations was to move on with your life after past failures/tragedies, Picard seems unusually subdued about the fact that the Enterprise was destroyed in his absence. He even picks up a priceless artifact he got from a friend during the series that was completely ruined and sets it aside as if it meant nothing.
- In Robin Hood: Men in Tights, Robin returns from the Crusades to find his family home repossessed and all his loved ones dead (including his pets). He gets a distressed expression for a second or two and then is off to his life of adventure.
- The eponimous heroine of a Danish film "Katja and the falcon" is a 10 years old Danish girl who gets stranded in Rome with no money, no acquaintances, and no knowledge of Italian language. She never reminiscences on her predicament, instead quickly bonding with a bunch of local kids and concentrating on freeing the titular falcon.
- In World War Z, a small boy sees both his parent get turned into zombies, try to attack him, and then get gunned down by the military. Despite this he seems mostly unfazed.
- In Star Trek (2009) it is practically deconstructed, as McCoy chastises Spock over not acting as though the destruction of Vulcan, his home planet, was an important deal to him. Spock responds with a curt, "If you think crew morale would be better served by me wandering the hallways in sorrow, please tell me." As a Vulcan he is trained from birth to suppress his emotions, and his point is valid still as they still had to confront the Big Bad heading towards Earth. But as a ploy to gain control of the Enterprise Kirk antagonizes him so his emotions explode, proving it did have an effect on him.
Live Action TV
- Star Trek:
- Star Trek: The Next Generation tends to have this as a result of the Reset Button. In a typical episode, Picard experiences the planet he grew up on destroyed and everyone he loved killed via implanted memories. There's a brief shot at the end when he looks sad, but then it's like it never happened. Ronald Moore said that the episode was sort of an accident; they were just concerned with making a good hour long story (and it is considered one of the best of the series) and didn't realize until it aired just how traumatized Picard should have been afterwards. They resolved to make a few continuity nods and then just continue.
- The episode "The Wounded" introduced Chief O'Brien's former CO, Captain Maxwell, whose wife and children were killed During the War with the Cardassians. Picard believes Maxwell's current unauthorized attacks on Cardassian ships are motivated by vengeance, but O'Brien insists Maxwell remained stoic and in good humour after his family's deaths and he must have a good reason for attacking the Cardassians. Turns out they're both right.
- In Star Trek: The Original Series Captain Kirk was pretty bad about this. The most grating example had to be in "Operation: Annihilate" where Kirk's only brother and his sister-in-law died horribly, leaving their young son an orphan, only a week after Edith Keener's death. Not only does the episode end with on a bright, chipper note but we never even find out what happened to Kirk's nephew.
- T'Pol in Star Trek: Enterprise, after her mother's death. Then again, she's a Vulcan, so she was probably repressing it. On the other hand, Trip still feels the death of his sister several episodes later and has nightmares about it.
- In an alternate future episode, Earth has been destroyed by the Xindi, but everyone seems fine with it. Archer feels sad for about a minute.
- Interestingly, Soval, despite being a Vulcan, seems genuinly sad about Admiral Forrest's death. For about an episode. Of course as a Vulcan, the fact that it lasted that long is really saying something.
- Hoshi is Mind Raped by the Xindi Reptilians but suffers for no more than an episode after this.
- In Smallville, Chloe has a tendency to be this, as a Foil to Clark's Angsting.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
- In the second episode Xander and Willow's so-called best friend gets turned into a vampire, and Xander is forced to slay him. Neither Xander nor Willow seem that affected by this event, especially over the long term. Said friend is never mentioned again; indeed some people (like the original writer of this entry) couldn't even remember his name (it's Jesse). Worse, this was their first exposure to the fact that vampires are real. The situation might have been different if the development plans for Jesse had come through, since a proposed line was for him to become a recurring, unapologetic vampire opponent (like vamp!Xander and vamp!Willow in the Wishverse).
- While there is plenty of angst throughout both Buffy and Angel, mostly from the two title characters, the usage of this trope is about equal to those instances; everyone is almost indifferent to anything less than an Apocalypse, most commonly reacting to endless threats against their lives and the lives of everyone around them with bad jokes. This is also probably a major reason why Season 6 of Buffy was so despised, as Xander leaving Anya and Dawn shoplifting were given more attention and handringing from The Scoobies than mass murder and mayhem.
- Doctor Who:
- The Doctor himself has gone back and forth on this. Often serials would have a very Bittersweet Ending with a high body count, and the Doctor mourning the senseless tragedy of it all. Next serial he'd be up for a bit more fun sightseeing, even when it's made clear that little time has past between stories. One explanation running since the First Doctor days and made more explicit in the new series is that the Doctor feels the angst all too much (especially the destruction of his own people between the original show and the revival), but must keep running. To dwell on all the horror he has faced would mean a one way trip across the Despair Event Horizon. Like the First Doctor says hugging Dodo after "The Savages", he must never look back!
- The first companion to leave in the whole show is Susan, the Doctor's own granddaughter. He quietly misses her for a few moments during "The Rescue", but then he picks up Vicki, a Replacement Goldfish granddaughter who, unlike Susan, tends to be the Doctor's chirpy sidekick instead of the Screaming Woman. This suits the Doctor's selfishness and Blue and Orange Morality, but isn't exactly sympathetic to consider in any depth. Susan presents all sorts of problems in this regard as she was a companion from a very different show to what the show eventually became and being the only companion the Doctor has no reason never to go back for - the show did its best in the old days to deal with this by simply forgetting she ever existed. The Expanded Universe even suggests that the Doctor even forgot all about Susan, but the revival series has both the Ninth and Tenth Doctor mention being a grandparent in a far more angsty way.
- "Doctor Who and the Silurians" is a harrowing story with a colossal body count where the Doctor is stuck mediating between the Silurians and the humans, both of whom are trying to kill each other out of racist paranoia even though the Doctor is convinced they could talk it out. At the end of the story, hundreds of humans are dead from the Silurian plague, and the Brigadier's misguided attempts to protect humanity from further warfare led him to simply murder all of the defenceless Silurians in suspended animation, metaphorically stabbing the Doctor in the back in order to do so. The final image of the story is the Doctor looking down at the explosion in horror, declaring that the Brigadier had committed murder. The following story, "The Ambassadors of Death", opens with the Doctor in a new house making the TARDIS console do Timey-Wimey Ball tricks and still working for the Brigadier like nothing has happened, with the exception of one throwaway barbed comment about the Brigadier being bored because he can't find more Silurians to shoot.
- Averted as strongly as the Classic series ever really really managed in the aftermath to "Inferno" (the finale of Season 7), in which the Doctor's failure to save the Mirror Universe Earth (and being forced by the laws of time and space to abandon the versions of his friends he met there to die) strongly affects his personality from that point on - he becomes colder and shorter-tempered and alludes to it often. His Establishing Character Moment in the next season is him singing "I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire", and when getting a Mind Rape from the Keller Machine in "The Mind of Evil" he hallucinates fire and explains to Jo that it's trauma.
- Implicitly averted in Season 14 which suggests the Doctor has spent a year brooding after the events of "The Deadly Assassin" in which he had to dump Sarah, decided he hated his former Friendly Enemy, got tortured by his own people and had to endure a harrowing battle in a Year Inside, Hour Outside Cyberspace in which he continually experienced terrible nightmares. Meeting Leela helps snap him out of it.
- Director Ben Wheatley cited this trope as the reason why he found Fourth Doctor stuff so dark:
"If you look at the Tom Baker stuff, it's especially dark. When he leaves Leela — who's a very beloved assistant — he just laughs after it. There's none of the [breaking down and crying]. He just laughs, and "on to the next one," you know."
- Companions run the gamut in how well they cope with their adventures, from Action Girl to Screaming Woman. The companions who freak when they're running from homicidal Daleks would seem to be more realistic than the ones who stand and fight (not to mention saner), but the fans always prefer the ones who don't angst. Realistic or not, which one do you want to spend a half-hour watching?
- Matthew Waterhouse (Adric) thinks this was the reason the show treated much of the universe as a Throw-Away Country after its destruction in "Logopolis" - there was no way to deal with the implications of what had happened, and the characters' participation (however unwitting) in it, without derailing the show. (The third option would have been not to have such a huge catastrophe in the first place, but anyway.) Nyssa, who was from that part of the universe, is visibly choked up, her voice breaking (or shaking with suppressed rage, its hard to tell which) when watching Traken's destruction. After that, events moved with enough speed and desperation that she wouldn't have had a chance to emotionally break down until the end of the story arc, at which point she presumably did her mourning offstage in the time gap between episodes. It's also entirely in-character for Nyssa to not go around emotionally freaking out; unlike some of the more higher-strung Companions, Nyssa's hat was being the calm and intelligent one.
- Amy displays a blase attitude towards adventuring, danger, and her fiancé's safety, and is especially blatant after the previous regime's more realistic depiction of extreme trauma. Halfway through her second season, she has her month-old baby taken to be made into a human weapon, and while at the end of the episode she's seen shaking and crying, come the next episode and everything is business as usual. On the other hand, the actress describes Amy as a Stepford Smiler, so she just isn't showing it.
- Claire on LOST, after Charlie's death.
- Fawlty Towers lost a good joke because of John Cleese's unwillingness to do this. In an episode where a guest dies and Basil and Manuel have to carry the body around without anyone noticing, the original ending was that the guest's twin brother arrived, greatly upsetting Basil who thought he was the guest and had been pranking him. Cleese realized that at some point the man would have to catch on that his brother was dead, which would ruin any comedy.
- Niki in Heroes does not show much angst about being responsible for her husband's death.
- On Top Gear, the three presenters allegedly have a pact that, should any of them die while filming the show, the remaining pair would appear at the beginning of the next episode, make a mournful comment, pause for a moment of silence, and then say "Anyway," and cheerily continue with the show. When Richard Hammond was seriously injured in 2006, Jeremy Clarkson commented that the joke didn't seem funny anymore, but after he recovered the pact seems to be back on.
- A few of the characters of Degrassi The Next Generation have this, but Toby especially. He is consistently picked on, ignored by his unrequited crushes, and has two of his only friends killed by school violence, but seems no worse for wear by the next episode he's in.
- The Dolls in Dollhouse seem to be like this on the surface. When not programmed, they are essentially childlike and complacent to those in authority over them, with not much will outside that, to a dangerous degree. For instance, Sierra seems to be able to shake off being repeatedly raped by her handler pretty well.
- Showa Kamen Rider series usually has the riders treat their angst relatively quickly, Heisei Riders on the other hand...not so much (Yuusuke and Eiji being notable exceptions).
- Some of the Showa series (for non-Japanophiles, "Showa era" means "up to nearly the end of The Eighties.") have angst as an Informed Attribute; sometimes the episode ends with Kotaro hoping to get Nobuhiko back someday but laughing and having fun with his friends for now at the end of an episode as the narrator assures us that despite the soul-searing agony that is the torturous existence of a Kamen Rider, our poor tragic hero shall valiantly soldier on. It's frankly hilarious.
- Eiji, on the other hand, is an upbeat guy, but the deeper wounds left on him by his experience in that war zone are very much important to the plot.
- In Kamen Rider Kiva, Wataru has a party over his broken heart.
- Robin from Robin Hood BBC's retelling of the legend spends two seasons head over heels in love with Marian. Then when Marian is murdered, he gets over his grief in one episode. And in Series Three, the hero who declared he'd love Marian forever gets two new love interests without any sign he misses his first. Also, when he was a little kid, there seems to have been no long-term effects after his father is burnt to death in a fire; approximately two minutes after it occurred, Kid!Robin is throwing a party for the peasants.
- When the gang in Seinfeld hear that Susan, George's fiance, has died from licking low-grade wedding invitation envelopes, they all shrug and go back about their business. Especially George, who angsts far more about the work he needs to do because of her death. This is a case of Crosses the Line Twice.
- On True Blood, perhaps as a result of the break-neck pace of the series (they're halfway through Season 3 and it's been—just over a month?—since Bill first met Sookie), no one really has the opportunity to deal with traumatic events for more than half an episode before the plot train comes to take them to the next station. Not that there aren't moments of angst (e.g., Eric's response to Godric's suicide), but they rarely have any long-term effects.
- On No Ordinary Family, during Steph and Jim's first outing together as heroes, they accidentally cause the death of an insane pyrokinetic. The angst over his death lasts about five minutes on the car ride back, then they're back to normal.
- In the first episode of the UK version of Queer as Folk, Stuart narrates to camera how he lost his virginity: to his PE teacher, when he was eleven years old. While he comments that "I must have been scared to death", he doesn't seem to believe the man raped him (he tells it as though he was the one who instigated the sex), and it's never mentioned again.
- Misfits falls into this category at times, probably due to the fast-paced nature of the show - what with there being only six episodes per season, and a lot of ground to cover in that time. Although characters do angst briefly when something traumatic happens to them, the angst is either rarely mentioned in later episodes, or it leads to them immediately taking a level in badass. For example, Nikki's death instigated the closest thing to a Misfit Mobilization Moment the show has ever had.
- There were many instances of abuse, death, etc. on Friends where the characters' lack of a sympathetic reaction made them seem very unlikable or tactless:
- When Chandler and Joey are robbed of just about everything they own, Monica's reaction is a mundane "What happened?" then telling Rachel about her date with Chip.
- Despite having had what most would consider a traumatic life, Phoebe is usually very throwaway about it, even using her mother's suicide to get the last muffin.
- Monica and Chandler aren't quite as bad, but seem blase about their absolutely horrible childhoods. (Both involving Parental Neglect and borderline Abusive Parents). Then again, she is a Control Freak and he a Stepford Snarker, so their responses are subconsciously present.
- In one episode, Monica discovers that her Aunt Sylvia died. Instead of being sad about it, she jumps up for joy and cheers, because she can now have her dollhouse.
- The whole gang also get over break ups pretty fast. Even Ross and Rachel go back to happily being friends after they split. The only characters who react realistically are Monica and Chandler, as the fall out from their various break ups last several episodes. (Both characters seemed to be more romantically vulnerable than the others, though that made them more sympathetic rather than needy). Otherwise characters would shrug it off and be fine by the end of the episode.
- River does not angst anywhere near as much as one would expect her to, considering what the Academy did to her. That isn't to say she doesn't have her moments, but she doesn't appear to fall into depression or mention any of the horrible things that were done to her. She does have a couple of sobbing fits, but these have as much to do with her mental instability as they do with her experiences. She gives off an impression of someone who is trying, in her more lucid moments, to move on from the horrible experiences she's had. Simon notes in one episode that she seems to be happier on Serenity than she was anywhere else.
- The crew in general seem to try to get over various betrayals and deaths as quickly as they can, probably because as outlaws there isn't much chance for mourning. (In Serenity for example, Mal tells the crew to stop mourning the deaths of Shepherd Book and his people because all they can do now is avenge their deaths.
- Frequently in Professional Wrestling. Your brother turns on you, destroys your entire life, kills your dog? Some little creep from your past tries to cripple your entire family? Your best friend mauls you to the point of hospitalization and tries to steal your son from you? Some freak with a beard killed your unborn baby? Eh, within a few months you'll have forgotten all about it and probably be best friends again (and again and again). Maybe you can even get Beard-Boy to read a poem at your wedding!
- In Supernatural season six, soulless Sam is a good example of this.
Sparrow: Your brother was abducted by aliens?
Sparrow: Oh my god!
Sam: It's ok, I've had time to adjust.
Sparrow: Did it happen when you were kids?
Sam: No, like, a half hour ago.
- Played with in Lost Girl. Lauren has spent 5 years as a slave to a species that despise humans, in a desperate attempt to find a cure for her comatose girlfriend. She later learns the Fae deliberately cursed Nadia into a coma, just to get her services. She really doesn't take that well. Said girlfriend is eventually revived, and in short order possessed by the Big Bad, given a Mercy Kill from Bo (Lauren's other love interest), and dies in Lauren's arms. Lauren spends the next episode going through a realistic process of grief. She's hostile to Bo, admits to having nightmares, looks like she's about to break down any minute, gives a scientific reason for Sex for Solace (but doesn't carry it out), and expresses a desire to simply run and leave it all behind her. It is gone by the next episode, but given how reserved she is (which is heavily implied to be how she got through said 5 years) she probably just isn't showing it. Ultimately averted in Season 3; after being assaulted in her home, she finally breaks down and talks about the toll the past few years has had on her. She mentions Nada's death, and the problems with her current relationship with Bo aren't helping.
- Power Rangers S.P.D. gives us Sam, the Omega Ranger who is from a Bad Future where Emperor Grumm won and B Squad was killed, so he went back in time to Set Right What Once Went Wrong. What makes this a particularly bad offender is that the members of B Squad were some of his only friends when he was a kid, and you'd think that combined with The Bad Guy Wins would traumatize him so badly, it would border on Wangst, but he never shows a trace of angst. Then again, Executive Meddling caused him to be Demoted to Extra, with only a small number of cases where he got to be a Spotlight-Stealing Squad, so he was pretty much shafted in terms of Character Development...
- Lennier on Babylon 5 lost family during the Earth/Minbari War when the Minbari warship Drala'fi (Black Star) was destroyed. Despite this, he holds no grudge against the person directly responsible for destroying the ship (Sheridan), nor the person who gave the order that started the war in the first place (Ambassador Delenn).
- School Shock's heroine Liu Li has no parents, almost everyone she got attached to was mentioned to have died and she herself has become dependent on drugs to prolong her short life. She is calm, cool and collected most of the time and also downright adorable in other and overlapping moments. Then again, she spent all her life in the military. It's just life to her.
- Modest Mouse's "Float On" is the musical epitome of this trope. ("A fake Jamacian took every last dime with a scam/It was worth it just to learn some slight-of-hand/Bad news is coming don't you worry cuz when it lands/Good news will work its way to all them plans") The whole reason the song even exists is because frontman Isaac Brock wanted to take a break from writing depressing, angsty music.
- Amanda Palmer's "Oasis" plays this for laughs. Very dark laughs.
- 9 Chickweed Lane: Gran revealed to her daughter Juliette that her biological father was an artistic ex-Nazi, not the conservative man who raised her. The announcement would have a bit more weight if both Gran and Juliette's daughter didn't accompany the word "lovechild" with fist-pumping motions.
- Pearls Before Swine loves to play this for dark laughs. Various crocodiles, Rat and Pig's roommate Leonard, and even Stephan Pastis himself have died (and undied) in the series, with little if any mourning.
- Vyse from Skies of Arcadia, to a really, really amazing degree. To the point where crashing on a deserted island after seemingly losing his friends in a burning vessel...Vyse just shrugs and treats it as a vacation. At one point, after his base of operations is razed to the ground, the player has an option to have him claim to one of his builders that they needed a renovation anyway, which completely shocks her due to how bizarrely optimistic his statement is. The game's script treats his demeanor as out of the ordinary even for the universe it's in, but also points out several times that his attitude is also what makes him an effective leader and captain. In the Gamecube "Legends" release choosing the most noble and optimistic statement in any scenario is scored and affects the unlocking of some of the new content. Notably towards the very end of the game, he does have a moment where he nearly does crack though it took an apocalyptic genocide for him to get that far. Fortunately, before he does snap, all the people he helped immediately show up to vow to fight with him and break him out of his funk.
- Jude Maverick, main character of Wild ARMs 4, prior to his mother's death, anyway.
- Slightly averted with Polka in Eternal Sonata. There is angst, just nowhere near as much as you'd expect from someone in her situation.
- Ann of Jurassic Park: Trespasser does have a few reasonable worries when she realizes she's crashed on Site B—but deals remarkably well with being attacked by a Velociraptor out of seemingly nowhere.
- Kingdom Hearts: Sora is worried for his parents (and the rest of Destiny Island civilization) for all of five minutes before setting out to save the world with a big grin on his face. Donaldand Goofy specifically ask him not to angst, and in Sora's defense many people have a pretty high level of optimism at his age — the old "you're a teenager, you can solve any problem" thing. He does slip into momentary depression throughout the series in response to events (before being cheered up by friends/distracted by task at hand), and it is implied that everything that has happened is slowly taking a toll on him.
- Aileen Harding from Alien Syndrome has every right to feel relatively down most of the time, but she usually is in good enough shape to not take it too far.
- The protagonist of Final Fantasy Tactics Advance both averts and embraces it - while he strives to go home, he does so in a manner free of angst. In Final Fantasy Tactics A2 meanwhile, the protagonist is dragged alone (at least Marche had his friends dragged with him), he kind of goes with it. At one point, he rather cheerfully admits to forgetting that the whole point of him traveling and adventuring was to go home; he was having too much fun, you know, traveling and adventuring.
- In Final Fantasy III, one of your Guest Star Party Members, Aria, performs a Heroic Sacrifice and dies in Luneth's arms. After they all black out and wake up in town later, no further mention is made, not even by Luneth, who Aria was closest to.
- Zidane of Final Fantasy IX is surprisingly well adjusted for a 16-year-old orphan with a tail that gets dragged along to multiple genocides over the course of the game. To the point where it's genuinely shocking that his true origins can actually cause a Heroic BSOD, which he still gets over rather quickly. Even the adults in this game aren't that well put-together. And while finding out his origins did freak him out a bit, he immediately pushed it aside and turned on his creator while citing The Power of Friendship. The BSOD only occurred after said creator apparently ripped his soul out, and it took the rest of the party's Friendship speeches to help him recover.
- Final Fantasy X:
- Tidus woke up stranded in a strange new land and later found out his home was destroyed, but he's always cheerful and energetic. Even when he finds out he's a ghost (of a sort) and will fade away once Sin is defeated, he faces his end with a jubilant attitude. However, he certainly manages to angst about his family issues..
- Most of the main cast is quite depressed and either repressing it, hiding it or coping in their own way. The game lampshades this after Home when a character tells Tidus to smile because he'll only worry Yuna if he doesn't. It isn't hard to imagine this is what all the Guardians are doing the same so as to make the Pilgrimage less painful. This is specifically addressed in the cutscene outside of Djose Temple: Yuna shows up late, and everyone starts making cracks about her hair and generally kidding each other. In the narration, Tidus says that at that point, he was the only one really laughing, the implication being that everyone else was just trying to keep a stiff upper lip in the face of Spira's, and more specifically their, inevitable fate.
- Spira as a whole has this feel to it, especially considering their constant terror by Sin. It's remarkable how they can continue their lives when Cthulu-Moby Dick can wipe out their lives in an instant.
- What about Serah of Final Fantasy XIII-2? At the start of the game, she's already depressed about Lightning missing and Snow somewhere in Gran Pulse. During the course of the game, she found out that she has the Eyes of Etro, meaning her life span shortens every time she changes the timeline. She also found out that Snow acquired a l'cie mark, Lightning is in Valhalla (a place she can't leave easily) and the crystal pillar is in danger of breaking. Despite all that, she stays cheerful and optimistic. Then we found out that after defeating Caius, all the time paradoxes get resolved and the only timeline they can return to is 500AF. This means that the people Serah know in 2AF are dead, Snow may or may not be in the same timeline, Lightning may or may not leave Valhalla, Noel may vanish and she may die. She probably know these but she still went ahead with a smile.
- Sonic the Hedgehog:
- Sonic just doesn't seem to "do" angst. Throw him into space, blow up his home, turn him into a werewolf, he'll shrug it off within five seconds and get back to work. The closest thing to angst we've ever seen from him is a brief moment of reflection during the ending of Sonic Adventure 2, but even then he shrugs it off pretty quickly. It's explained in Sonic Unleashed by Sonic having an amount of Heroic Willpower off the charts, so much so that it's the only reason his transformation into the Werehog only gave him a slightly enhanced aggression streak (and he never experiences any real negative influence from it) instead of turning him into a monstrous killing machine.
- Tails is an orphan that lives alone in his laboratory building things until Sonic decides to call him up whenever he needs to use his airplane. It's also mentioned in most continuities that he was heavily bullied before he met Sonic. Yet he still manages to be a Cheerful Child, despite a backstory that should make him every bit as depressed as Shadow.
- In Mother 3, every single one of the protagonists have royally messed-up lives, and don't angst a bit about it (except Flint and maybe Salsa, but that's a bit hard to tell since he's a monkey). Lucas was a crybaby before getting an angst-worthy life and then became nice, brave and almost selfless. Before the game the people of Tazmily Village were blissfully unaware of "sadness" so it's not unheard of that they wouldn't know how to angst about it.
- Baldur's Gate:
- Your party is generally made up of either psychos, megalomaniacs, or people with incredibly tragic backstories. Mazzy Fentan in particular, despite having her entire party of companions turned into life-sucking undead horrors, just picks up her blade and goes on.
- CHARNAME, over the course of the games, lost (for the sake of convenience) his father, his home and a startling number of friends (and Xzar), learned he's descended from the dead and evil God of Murder, and witnessed countless innocents meet horrifying fates at the hands of cosmic horrors and tentacle monsters. The net result, as most people play it, includes very little moping and huge quantities of snark, usually followed by a few explosions, and then carry on as always - including providing therapy for angsty comrades.
- In Live A Live, Orsted silently bears all the misfortunes his quest throws in his way as it slowly goes from a very generic "save the princess" plot into the depths of From Bad to Worse territory. He's told that as long as someone's counting on him, he should keep moving forward, and that's exactly what he does. Until said princess tells him she hates him and kills herself rather than be saved by him. Then he, uh... breaks.
- Silent Hill:
- There are a lot of people who won't even play the games alone with the lights turned out, but for some reason, none of the main characters ever just break down screaming. The only comment ever given on the situation comes from Silent Hill 3, when Heather says that she used to be bothered by the corpses laying all over the place, but barely notices them anymore. Granted, once we find out who she is, her resiliency isn't all that surprising. Harry's love for his child, James' near-suicidal need to be with his wife, and Travis' repressed violent urges are the things that drive each of them on in spite of common sense. Henry, meanwhile, seems to simply not process or react any of it, continuing out of sheer stubborness.
- Justified in Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, in which Harry is actually just a figment of his daughter's imagination. She imagines him as a Big Damn Hero (or a doormat, or an abusive alcoholic, or a philanderer, depending on how you play) and so that's what he is. He still shows signs of "oh god, what the hell is going?"
- Kyrie, the main hero of Sands of Destruction, doesn't actually stop to feel sorry about accidentally destroying his village and turning all of its inhabitants into dust. He seems to forgets all of it because he meets this girl... At first.
- Dragon Age:
Nathaniel: For a dead woman you're remarkably perky.
Sigrun: I could be less perky if you like. 'The darkness of the Deep Roads is seeped into my soul! The world is dead! My heart is black! Alas! Woe! Woe!'
Nathaniel: Let's stick to perky.
- The Grey Warden's origin can have such lovely events as being tainted by a cursed artifact, having your younger brother murder your older brother and pin the crime on you, or having your family's castle assaulted and your entire family down to your young nephew killed. Then there's the battle where you're double crossed and one of only two survivors. You'd think that would result in some issues, which it does with Alistair.
- Mass Effect:
- In Mass Effect 1, Liara takes her mother's Face-Heel Turn and death in stride, and is actually surprised if Shepard asks her if she needs any help dealing with it. She does, however, have a very anguished reaction when Benezia regains control of herself late in the fight and again as she is dying, and in the third game, fondly talks about childhood memories with the implication that she misses her mother.
- In Mass Effect 2, Shepard seems to take finding out that they have been dead for two years rather in stride. While its talked about briefly at the beginning — and again when characters from the last game react to seeing their old commander alive — Shepard seems to completely avoid any of the angst or existential crises that one might expect from someone who has killed and brought back to life; and, depending on your dialogue choices, seems downright chipper for most of the story.
- Jacob Taylor of Mass Effect 2 is almost entirely unaffected by what he discovers during his personal mission, beyond briefly getting very angry during the mission but then proceeding to cope quickly, effectively, and without any external help. This is possibly lampshaded in the Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC, where the files on Jacob suggest that, despite his combat skills, the real reason he was put on the Normandy was for the "stabilising effects of his personality" in the Dysfunction Junction that makes up the rest of the team.
- Lampshaded by Mordin: despite his loyalty mission forcing him into conflict with his ex-protege and causing him to question his entire life's work, the next time you talk to him he's as chipper as ever. He happily explains that salarians work through emotions very fast, so he's already dealt with all his angst on the flight back to the ship. Mass Effect 3, however, shows that Mordin has not quite gotten over all of it, as he leaks Eve's existence to Wrex and stubbornly goes through with the plan to cure the genophage, fully aware that doing so will kill him, declaring that "I MADE A MISTAKE!"
- Used interestingly after the Suicide Mission by your crew if you save them from liquefaction at the hands of the Collectors. Most seem just fine later, a little shaken up but generally fine. But when you ask Kelly Chambers if she's all right, she goes into a horrified flashback and is clearly, obviously not — and yet she pushes this back and doesn't show it otherwise. In Mass Effect 3 it is possible to meet Kelly again, and she explains that she's having a delayed reaction to the trauma, and can't bring herself to set foot on the Normandy again because of it.
- If you comply with Tali's request and subsequently get her Exiled from the Migrant Fleet, she's actually perfectly fine with it, seeing it as preferable to the alternative.
- Sly Cooper:
- For a guy who saw his parents murdered in front of him, saw the Thievius Racoonus torn apart, saw his friends being held captive, been captured a couple of times himself, saw his friend (Bentley) get crippled by Clock-La at the end of the second game, amongst other stuff, Sly doesn't show much angst.
- Bentley is remarkably angst-free about being stuck in a wheelchair for the rest of his life, and though he does show one instance of insecurity about it, it seems he is sufficiently confident in his abilities as The Smart Guy of the team to compensate for his physical weakness. Being fairly frail to start with, and fixing up his wheelchair with a mini-armoury of gadgets might help with that.
- Reimu is likely an orphan, and Marisa has been estranged from her family since she was young, but they never mention it, let alone to angst about it. All indications point towards them prefering it that way.
- Flandre Scarlet has spent almost five hundred years in the basement of the Scarlet Mansion because her ridiculous levels of power are a threat to everyone and everything, yet despite what fan works would have you believe she remains a Cheerful Child with no malice or resentment towards anyone.
- Byakuren Hijiri was imprisoned in Makai for more than one thousand years as punishment for thinking it would be nice for youkai and humans to stop fighting each other, yet she remains probably the friendliest, most caring person in the series. Fans almost immediately dubbed her "Youkai Jesus" as a result.
- Even though Gensoukyou is cut off from the outside world, sometimes stuff from the outside world falls through holes in the barrier and some of the stuff includes scientific scriptures. This, it turns out, is like a plague in the setting. Yamabiko, the youkai race responsible for shouting your echo back at you, used to be common in Gensoukyou, but following a rumor that started to spread in the human village that echoes are actually just sound waves being reflected back at you from surfaces, the yamabiko are losing their purpose in life and essentially facing extinction via Puff of Logic. Kyouko Kasodani is a yamabiko but you really wouldn't believe any of the above information from her friendly and cheerful demeanor.
- In inFAMOUS, Cole loses Trish, gets backstabbed by Zeke, discovers that his future-self is a huge asshole, and learns that there is an unstoppable world-destroying monster on the way that only he can fight. In the sequel he's back on good terms with Zeke and seems all-around fairly chipper. This may or may not be a façade depending on your interpretation. Zeke had to work to prove that he was still Cole's friend, bringing up the topic of Trish around Cole is a Bad Idea and in the good path he never shows interest in any other woman, he will react very poorly to the mention of his similarities with Kessler, and he spends almost every waking moment trying to find ways to fight back against the Beast. His lack-of-angst about the destruction of Empire City is still very strange, however.
- In The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Link doesn't seem the least bit upset over opening the gate to the Sacred Realm, allowing Ganondorf to seize the Triforce and plunge Hyrule into darkness. Then again....
- Invoked, discussed, and turned into a Crowning Moment of Awesome in Endless Frontier. When Haken learns the shocking secret of his birth (that he's an artificially-created Super Soldier made to wage war in alternate universes), he spends all of zero seconds angsting about it before moving on to the task at hand. His companions actually have to press him on the subject before he finally just says I Am What I Am and compares it to boobs.
- Dwarves in Dwarf Fortress have an odd way of measuring their moods; it's a strict positive/negative thing. Did their wife and children just get killed by a Forgotten Beast? This can be balanced out by a eating in a really nice communal dining room, sleeping in a nice bedroom, and obtaining a well-made pair of socks, leaving them at least "quite content" overall. Some Alternative Character Interpretation is that quite content is more "coping with life" than it is "sort of happy"; at anything below "quite content" Dwarves are at risk of snapping in one way or another, throwing a potentially Fortress destroying tantrum, being Driven to Suicide or going permanently Ax-Crazy. Or going into a fell mood and killing some random dwarf.
- In the little known game Brave: The Search for Spirit Dancer, the main character Brave sees his home destroyed, his best friend Meadow Flower turned into a sort-of zombie... thing, has his mentor, Grey Bear, die in his arms, after shielding Brave from an attack, and is forced to flee for his life. All in the same scene. Brave is upset about it for about a scene or so, but then cheerfully goes on his way to find the Spirit Dancer.
- Half-Life has the one and only Gordon Freeman, a young physicist who never saw combat before the Black Mesa Incident and afterwards has spent almost a week straight fighting for his life, with any respites lasting no more than an hour at a time. Granted, as a Heroic Mime the player never gets to see his reaction, but at this point he should be huddled in a corner somewhere, not facing the next deadly monstrosity guns blazing.
- Corpse Party deconstructs this. While Seiko Shinohara is secretly a bit of a Stepford Smiler, her apparent lack of angst despite being trapped in a nightmarish situation causes her best friend Naomi Nakashima to accuse her of being creepy. This leads to an fight between the two and they separate. The next time they meet, Seiko is hanging from a pillar in the girl's bathroom. And there is no way for Naomi to save her.
- In Baten Kaitos Origins, Sagi is surprisingly optimistic and agreeable throughout most of the game, despite the various misfortunes and defeats he suffers. He does have a few moments, but his default mood seems to be very cheerful.
- Two of the three playable Servants in Fate/EXTRA, Red Saber and Fox Caster have shades of this, (the third servant is Archer yes, that one) despite having Broken Bird level histories neither one of them really laments on their past lives. It might be because they have had time to deal with it, but even over the course of the game, where things keep going From Bad to Worse, they are the rock that keeps the protagonist going.
- In stark contrast to many other vampires, Valvatorez from Disgaea 4 spends very little time on brooding over tragic events. He's even cheerful about his fall from Tyrant to the lowly position of Prinny Instructor.
Plus, by falling into Hades, I discovered sardines
: an excellent source of nutrition. Actually, I should be thanking you for that. Artina:
Oh, Mr. Vampire... I'm trying to be serious right now. Valvatorez:
I'm being serious too.
- Subverted in Spec Ops: The Line. After the white phosphorous incident, Lugo and Adams start freaking out and yelling at Walker. Walker's reaction? A brief silence, then "We need to keep moving." In reality, the guilt over what he has done causes him to experience a mental breakdown and start hallucinating.
- Prince Alexander of King's Quest spent most of his life as a mistreated slave, but you'd be hard-pressed to tell in King's Quest VI where he seems to be a appropriately well-mannered and gracious gentleman, other than a few wistful comments he makes alluding to the matter. (He is rather quiet and reserved, but not more so than you might expect someone who's a scholarly bookworm by inclination would naturally be.) The Expanded Universe and fanworks almost invariably respond to this by altering his behavior in some way to be more "realistic".
- The Heavy of Team Fortress 2 fame has a Dark and Troubled Past, but you'd never know it by looking at him. Meet the Director has the titular character attempting in vain to wring some pathos out of him.
Director: Your father was a counter-revolutionary. When he was killed, you, your mother, and your sisters were transported to a North Siberian gulag. Paint me the picture.
Heavy: No. This is my gun. I like to shoot this gun. Is all you need to know.
- Nina of Breath of Fire II is gradually revealed to have the darkest past of any of the player party, including being excommunicated by her family, raised half a continent away from her home, and generally shunned from returning thanks to her black wings. Apart from being a bit depressed when she explains the symbolism of the latter, she never shows any angst over it, due to a stable upbringing, a healthy set of coping mechanisms, and willpower that impresses even her ancestor.
- Ace Attorney:
- In Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, Trucy Wright gets over both the disappearance and the murder of her father surprisingly quickly. In fact, Apollo seems more shocked than she is. Towards the end, however, it's revealed that she is upset about it, she just avoids showing it to most people.
- Phoenix gets over his shock at Mia's death in the first game rather quickly, considering how much she meant to him. He may be channeling his grief into determination to bring the (real) murderer to justice within the three-day trial, however. The effect is also softened somewhat by the fact that Phoenix still gets to see Mia occasionally by way of Maya channeling her, though it is still weird during the case itself.
- There's some sort of Law of Diminishing Grief at play in the AA-verse. Maya reacts somewhat realistically to Mia's death in the first game, and is similarly shown to still carry grief for her missing mother. However, when her mother not only appears but is brutally murdered, Maya seems far more hand-wavey. This is explained as her being strong for Pearl's sake, and she does seem pretty upset during her testimony in the final trial, so after multiple installments showing that Maya has kind of a crazy threshold for emotional and physical trauma (being kidnapped and held for ransom, diving in front of a taser, etc.), it's believable. However, in later games, both Trucy and Kay Faraday seem to immediately recover from the deaths of their fathers at breakneck speed — in the former case, the character had been estranged from her father for years, but in the latter the two characters were apparently inseparable and the father had died about two hours before, creating a strange jarring effect. Like... seriously, we're talking about Swiss rolls right now? Your dad is dead.
- If Franziska von Karma is upset that Phoenix sent her father to jail for murder, she doesn't seem to show it. Her main concern is defeating him where Edgeworth failed in order to prove herself superior.
- Perhaps, given the high Parental Abandonment rate in the Ace Attorney world, people just get over the loss of their parents very quickly. Right after her mother is arrested, Pearl Fey is happily going to the circus and hanging out with the guy who caused it. Though it is later implied that she didn't really understand what that all was about. She was 8 or so at the time, so that is possible. Also, Phoenix had her channeling Mia on the last day so she wouldn't see the trial and verdict herself.
- Speaking of Parental Abandonment Apollo is abandoned by his mother who re-marries and carries on with her life, yet no one, including him, seems to care all that much, except for that one brief comment by the journalist Spark Brushel who called Trucy 'lucky' compared to Apollo in that she was kept while he was abandoned. During the fifth game he helps his best friend out with his own mother's death by using his own background as his example, so he's clearly handling it very well.
- Klavier Gavin has a lot of things to be down about. During the fourth game his police detective bandmate had smuggled contraband into the country and killed the Interpol agent who was tracking him and his own brother turned out to be a twisted psychopath who is responsible for two deaths, used Klavier to sabotage a talented lawyer's career, and has a severe case of Disproportionate Retribution. In the fifth game you can add his instructor from high school, a perfectly upstanding and honorable individual, is killed simply because she was trying to be upstanding and honorable to the wrong person. Even if he's able to put aside friend and familial relationships to see justice done, there was no justice in Constance Courte's murder, which would surely send most characters into a swill of cynicism and disillusionment. Yet in spite of all this, his personality always remains a calm, suave, debonair ladies' man full of charm and charisma with no hint of internal struggle or pain.
- Arcueid is the last remaining sane True Ancestor (until the Nasuverse needs more, anyway) and the strongest one ever. Why? Because she's a living weapon. No life experiences, no memories, no friends, no family (except a 'sister' that she does not get along with, and her father the... moon? Skip that one for now) and then we get to the first person she ever really talked to, Roa, who tricked her into drinking his blood, causing her to kill all the True Ancestors and stole some of her power, then goes around being all vampirey just so she comes and chases him. 800 years later she has so little life experience that she's ecstatic over a simple conversation. Oh, and before that she never spoke to anyone nor had anything she thought of as fun. Yet she's probably the sanest/most well adjusted character in the series (except when she goes yandere) apart from Arihiko. She doesn't even really care and is a big goofball all the time.
- Shiki, which was intentionally done and is noted upon several times. Presumably it was done in order to contrast him with the likes of Kohaku, Hisui or Ciel who just can't leave the past alone, and it kinda helps that his memory is Swiss Cheese due to his stepfather's actions, to the point that he doesn't really remember two of the most traumatic instances of his childhood except subconsciously. Though the one time he realized that he was suppressing his guilt over murdering Arcueid, he was completely horrified with himself and immediately began apologizing to her.
- Looking at Arihiko's behavior in the main storylines, you'd never guess that his backstory involved almost his entire family being killed in an earthquake and guilt over wishing that his crushed grandmother would die faster so that she wouldn't cause the rubble to shift while trying to reach him where he was pinned for days in the wreckage.
- Sayaka in Suika, which only serves to make her an even bigger woobie somehow.
- Lilly of Katawa Shoujo does not bear any resentment toward her parents for leaving her behind in Japan with her sister, prompting Hisao to point out that she's "too kind" to them. She is, however, also a Stepford Smiler and The Stoic who rarely lets her emotional guard down, so it's difficult to tell whether this is how she actually feels.
- Lily in Mia's route from Duel Savior Destiny after seeing all her friends outside of Taiga turned to stone (forever, for all she knew), Mia seemingly fall to her death, and her mother being arrested. Though it's more that she can't, since breaking down would cause Taiga's horrible mental state to become even worse, which would almost certainly lead to Ruin winning.
- In Ship in a Bottle, Ship takes being stuffed away for a century oddly well, mainly because she's immortal. Alan provides the requisite lampshading, but Ship does hint she's hurt that her former master, Ronald, forgot about her.
- Last Res0rt:
- Daisy's had her leg amputated and has been held prisoner/tortured for at least the past three months prior to her arrival on the show. We can justify some of her dissonance by assuming if she IS Scout Arael, she's been conditioned previously to withstand some of what happened to her and that on top of this, her Autistic traits make it harder to notice if she's angsting.
- Jigsaw's also been hiding away from her family and everyone else in the three months between turning into a vampire (and believing she murdered her sire). She's been surprisingly calm since.
- Slick's been in jail for six years for a crime he didn't do — though there's at least a couple on the list he probably did do, he most definitely didn't kill his own father.
- White Noise has been in jail for forty-seven years although in his case he definitely did the crime, he just claims he was ordered to do it. Granted, he also became filthy rich while he was locked up, but still.
- Ash angsts constantly about the problems from his Gender Bender. But he never angsts (or even notices) that his pre-Gender Bender life was in some ways worse; he had no mother, his father was cold to him, he had a grand total of two friends (or, for that matter, people he even talked to), and so on. In fairness, the intense mental and emotional effect of a radical change in your body and having your entire life and past changed to something you don't even know everything about overnight isn't exactly easy. Furthermore, a fair amount of angst is because his life is better as a girl.
- Emily just lost the last two years of her life. Oh, and all of her former "friends" didn't make the jump back. So, she's isolated, stressed, and confused, and she rarely complains about it. She even says so, which pisses off Ash since he's NOT happy with the change. Then they have a big "I want to help you, but I like my own life" thing, where she probably was about to admit she'd love for Ash to be a boy again, because she wants in his pants, but not as a girl.
- It takes something major to keep the Sluggy Freelance cast down for long. Justified with Bun-Bun, who is noted for his great emotional resiliance, and Torg, for different reasons:
Horribus: Why can't we use his fears against him?
Psyk: The long of it is, he does not explore consequences in depth, so he has no unknown fears to confront. And his memories are limited, so he has no fears from his past. The only things he seems to "fear" stem from simpler things we would not even regard.
Torg: Hey, are you saying I'm too stupid to be afraid?
Psyk: That's the short of it.
- Sabrina Online has Sabrina learning that Zig Zag had a difficult childhood with Abusive Parents. However, Zig Zag has put that behind her and is adamant that she doesn't want to talk about it; she's doesn't want her sexual appetites to be treated as a source of pity.
- Jodie of Loserz is alright about her lack of a father and her status as an accidental baby.
- A quarter of 13-years-olds have had their homes destroyed by meteors, they're in the middle of some weird paradox land and given a mission nobody thinks they can complete, they have a much higher chance of dying than succeeding (and there are timelines in which some of them have already died), and they're destined to screw up the game even worse than they already have. The Rule of Funny seems to be the only thing keeping them from breaking down at this point. Cerebus Syndrome eventually cuts it down considerably, but John remains a good example; he watched Jade sacrifice her dream self to save him, was woken up from dreaming right before being reunited with his father, and is still being told over and over again that You Can't Fight Fate, but none of it seems to have had any significant effect on his optimism.
- In a couple panels, Nepeta is smiling even as she's sitting next to the corpse of her beloved lusus crushed in a cave-in. She may have known by then that she could resurrect Pounce, in a way, but still.
- Sollux goes as far as adopting a more casual attitude after his matespirit is killed, there are two Axe Crazy psychopaths on the loose and he's been blinded.
- Hanna from Hanna Is Not a Boy's Name seems to be this way with his illusive past. (Unless he's a Stepford Smiler.)
- In Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures , the fae are suggested to be like this in-universe (somewhat justified by their incredibly long lifespans).
- In School Bites, Charlotte's first words after discovering with shock that she's now a vampire: "Kewl!''
- Heather from Vampire Cheerleaders has the same reaction:
"Oh my god! I'm a vampire? COOL! <3"
- Anyone and everyone from Sonichu. When two characters are killed off panel, they mourn all for about one panel, before they instantly get over it and return to doing whatever they were doing. They don't even linger on it.
- El Goonish Shive:
- Elliot has to use his Gender Bender power every few hours, or it'll trigger at a random time. He also has to sleep as a girl, for the same reason. For him, this is more inconvenient than it would be for other people. He has never once complained about this.
- Grace has had the most horrible life out of all the characters. When confronted with it, she reacted appropriately, but once it's all over? It's like she never suffered years of trauma at the hands of Damien, who beat her when she displeased him, and intended to use her to breed an army of chimeras! Nope, it's all swept under the rug. She's the most upbeat, positive character in the comic.
- Played for laughs in Goblins, where Biscuit the Orc states that 600 years of demonic torture barely fazed him since members of his clan are taught to accept loss without pain or regret to become immune to emotional pain. When told that his clan was wiped out 200 years ago, he responds with a simple "Meh, oh well".
- In True Villains, cheery little girl Mia doesn't let much get her down. Not the fact that lives in squalor, nor the fact that her entire town and only home is destroyed in a fiery blaze of death and destruction.
- Gunnerkrigg Court:
- For the first several chapters, Annie treats the subject of her father's abandonment with cool apathy, at most. On of the comic's most heartwarming scenes is when she trusts Kat enough to break down crying in front of her and stop repressing her feelings of loneliness.
- Although this is played straight, weirdly enough, when she and Ysengrin talk about his attempt to murder her. Seriously, it's like five lines of dialogue and then she stops distrusting him completely and they're back to being friends. Made all the stranger because Ysengrin's motivation for doing the above spoiler was so flimsy as to be psychopathic. Of course, Annie's odd choices in who to trust and who to distrust were a well-established character trait by that point.
- In Knights of Buena Vista, Dick snarks about this In-Universe when Mary and Adriana discuss the backstory for Anna and Elsa and think a tragic event in their past would actually be an awesome thing.
- A Magical Roomate. "Hi hi, everyone! Sure my parents and sister are dead, but look at this neat machine that turns dietary fiber into plastic explosives! Yay yay, it failed!" and other happy-go-lucky statements. It probably helps that Daria's from a long-lived race and has a loving step-sister and nephew, but she NEVER angsts about her dead family.
- Called out by the main character of Captain SNES when he learns that Kevin Keene's response to his wife dying, a minute or so after-the-fact, is to mention it offhand and focus on other things, without shedding so much as a tear. Alex remarks that the reaction barely even seemed human.
- In The Dragon Doctors, Kili's life has been turned upside down at least four times that we know of — by the King of Dust as a child, by the destruction of his hometown as a teenager, by the Gender Bender at the start of the story, and by becoming a werewolf not long after that — and every time it was involuntary and unwanted. But you would be hard-pressed to know that from meeting her, because she has made it her job to know how to deal with bad fortune. Literally.
- Chaka of the Whateley Universe. Turned into a mutant, the mutation changed him from a he to a she, had to leave home and go to Whateley Academy, targeted by more than one campus villain, has fought supervillains who kill people, and never angsts. A lot of the reason is because the old Tony hated his life, because he knew he was transgender, so the change to Toni is everything he'd ever dreamed of. Everything else is just side-issues to her.
- The seventh episode of the My Little Pony: Friendship is Witchcraft Abridged Series features the song "The Gypsy Bard", essentially a musical endorsement of this trope by Pinkie Pie as a coping mechanism against life's unrelenting cruelty. It's probably simultaneously the biggest Tear Jerker and Heartwarming Moment of the entire series.
- The Winds of Change universe features this a lot. Everyone in the world is suddenly transformed into anthropomorphic animals - of various degrees too, some are even forced to dramatically alter their lives because some of the most high-degree morphs would practically be just like a standard wolf with hands! Some of the poor Aquatics got a load of people who didn't understand exactly how they function in charge and making decisions and had to alter their lifestyles the most out of anyone. Then there are those people who either got lost entirely to animalistic instincts or had lost family members to said instincts. And yet maybe 1% of the population actually seems to have any issues with those...Especially in America.
- Metamor Keep, a story universe that shares several authors with the Winds of Change, often has this too. There are people who're transformed into anthropomorphic animals, some are transgendered, and others are regressed to a child. This obviously doesn't stop anyone from enacting acts of the Renaissance in the Keep valley or enjoying themselves! Some start out whining about how they can't return to normal society or am now a woman or something, but they get over it and there are some who came to Metamor specifically so they could be transformed.
- Vindicator of the Global Guardians PBEM Universe was kidnapped via mind control by a telepathic supervillain. She was then used as a sex toy for about a week before being rescued. You'd never know she was physically traumatized by how she acted later.
- Because of Rule of Funny and Negative Continuity, That Guy with the Glasses. Dying all the time? Being killed and made into a zombie? Having your post-rape trauma spill out live on camera? Having a robot stalk you for months? Not to worry, it'll be okay the next week. Besides, you can always rely on the fanfic fandom to fill in the gaps.
- Spoony spends most of Kickassia absolutely terrified at the thought of becoming Doctor Insano. Then it finally happens, and later when he shows up as himself again, we get this exchange:
Spoony: Eh, I got better.
- In Avatar: The Abridged Series, Aang takes the extermination of his people and the fact that everyone he grew up with was probably horribly murdered fairly well. Possibly subverted as a few seconds later, when he calls Momo a kitty and gets corrected by his companions, he enters the Avatar State in a rage.
- Death Note: The Abridged Series (Kpts4tv) likes this trope:
Matsuda: My life's work has just gone up in flames! Just like Light's ex-girlfriend!
Light: No it's fine. I'm over it.
- Demo Reel usually averted the trope, playing abusive pasts and issues dead straight, but in "The Review Must Go On", Tacoma, Karl, Quinn and Rebecca are disquietingly serene over losing Donnie and finding out they never actually existed.
- Retsupurae made fun of this tendency in some of the creepypasta readings.
- In 0bl1v10n.exe, the narrator appears more upset about destroying his laptop than his best friend getting killed.
slowbeef: [narrating] "I woke up at about 7:30 in the morning feeling the best I had in months" — Your friend just died. "I couldn't believe it. It was over. It was all over. I was so happy I woke up one of the guests next door with my laughing. But I didn't care who was mad. I was having the best time of my life" — Your friend just died.
- In "Mega Man's Ladder... to Hell!":
Guy got over his dead brother pretty quickly. Diabetus:
Well, it's Mega Man 2
. It's a classic. slowbeef:
I can't believe Brandon killed himsel — Oh my god! Videogames! Diabetus:
- Hugo of Matt Santoro's web series frequently gets locked up and yelled at by Matt, but is usually happy when he's seen outside of his cage.
- This is the basis of the Japanese cultural ethic of gaman — endurance — of keeping a stiff upper lip in times of great hardship. One example is Tokugawa Ieyasu; he was allies with Oda Nobunaga, and Nobunaga ordered Ieyasu to kill his own wife and son. Ieyasu endured it and never let this become a reason against Nobunaga.
- The British used to have a heavily stiff upper lip attitude through the Victorian era until the 60's, and though it's fading, it's still present to the extent that they will still internalise and repress their emotions rather than make them known.
- It's not unusual for cultures to expect this from the male members of society - Men Don't Cry.
- Flat or blunted affect is a symptom of many mental disorders such as schizophrenia, psychopathy, and depression.
- People cope with trauma in different ways. Two people could go through the exact same circumstance, such as losing a loved one. One person could fall apart and slip into a depression, while another might mourn and be sad, but be able to handle it much better. And yet another might be twice as devastated as the first but go through the motions of life without saying a word, due to simply not being the type to show much emotion, or to forcing him/herself to maintain the appearance of normalcy to be strong for others, not appear weak in general, or a number of other reasons. Sometimes people in the third category have a finite ability to do this, and when that tank hits empty, it ain't pretty.
- In extension to the gaman example above, this is the entire point behind Buddhism, which is a major religion in Japan as well as in other Asian countries.
- Freudian psychology recognizes a quite a list of immature and mature defenses at play in the psyche. A few would fit this trope, such as the mature reactions humor and suppression (deciding to not think about a problem, but still aware of it) and the immature defenses repression (being unable to think about it), intellectualization (becoming a Straw Vulcan in response to a problem), denial (denying the existence of the problem), and so on.
- Leaving Freud behind, Conversion Disorder is a well-documented disorder where a person suffers some extreme emotional trauma and begins experiencing some physical limitation that is entirely psychogenic (which doesn't mean unreal). They then neither care about their disability nor their other problems, leading to the definitive hallmark of Conversion Disorder, la belle indifférence.
Patient: Doctor, my arm won't move at all.
Doctor: When did this start?
Patient: Oh, just last night, a couple days after I saw that cheating, no-good jerk with my sister. I can't figure out why my arm won't move.