Cathartic Scream

"I'm so frustrated I could just scream!"

Things have been getting crazy, the plot has been thickening, and The Hero has been keeping calm the whole time, despite the fact that the one thing The Hero wants to do is to go off and scream for a little while.

Despite the similarity in name, has nothing to do whatsoever with And I Must Scream, or The Scream (which is a Fate Worse Than Death and a horrific reaction, respectively. This is a frustration trope). May overlap with Skyward Scream and Angrish.


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     Anime and Manga  

  • In Ergo Proxy, The Stoic detective Re-l keeps her calm throughout the series until a particular episode where nothing whatsoever happens for the entire episode. This forced idleness, multiplied by her lack of understanding of the overall plot and her companions' weirdly relaxed attitudes, finally drives her frustration over the edge. She decides to take it all out on the wind, which died at the beginning of the episode, stranding them in the middle of nowhere (since they are traveling on a wind-propelled land "boat"). The wind picks up immediately after she's done yelling.
  • In 3-gatsu no Lion, Rei belts one out amidst an empty street after his post-game encounter with Yasui, venting out the frustration he gained from Yasui during and after the match. Yasui implicitly blaming Rei for not being able to have a have a happy last Christmas with his daughter (whose mother he's having an impending divorce with) is what sets it off.
  • In Daily Life with Monster Girl chapter 25, Kimihito shoves his head inside Suu's body and screams at the top of his lungs when he learns that The Organization will cover all living expenses, basically meaning he put himself through hell all throughout the chapter for nothing.
  • In Tokyo Ghoul √ A, in the episode where Kaneki comes back, Hinami, who's kept her emotions bottled up, because, since she's so young, she didn't know how to confront him about what he's doing, so she unleashes two out the window after the conflict is somewhat resolved.

     Fan Works  

  • In Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, the cast listing for Minerva McGonagall states that, in addition to desperately needing something alcoholic, she needs to go off somewhere private and scream for a while.
    • Harry decides against it after the traumatic events of Hermione's death, concluding it wouldn't help.
  • The Legend of Total Drama Island:
    • In the phobia confession scene, the contestants have cause to suspect that Courtney is afraid of green Jell-O as per canon.note  This leads to a running gag wherein various people refer to this suspected phobia in passing and Courtney vehemently denies it. The alleged phobia is finally mentioned once too often, and "[t]he camp rang with Courtney's scream of frustration."
    • Various people are occasionally described as looking like they are about to scream due to tension or exasperation. The first such incident comes when Chris, who is losing patience with the dimwitted Lindsay, addresses her by saying, "look, bra", and she responds by looking down and inspecting her straining halter top. Chris looks ready to scream.

     Film - Animated  

  • Early on in Lilo & Stitch, after an argument between Nani and Lilo, both of them retreat to scream into their respective pillows in frustration.

     Film - Live Action  


  • Yil, the main character of Tough Magic, goes off by himself to think things over. He doesn't have much success until he lets out a scream of fustration.
  • Portnoy's Complaint has a rare example of this trope at the very end of a work. After spending the entire novel monologuing, Alex asks his psychoanalyst's permission to let out a scream of frustration over his perpetual guilt. "Because that's maybe what I need most of all, to howl. A pure howl, without any more words between me and it!" There follows a scream running several lines of type. Then comes the novel's final "Punch Line":
    So [said the doctor]. Now vee may perhaps to begin. Yes?
  • Lady Angie lets out a loud and 'rather refreshing' scream upon seeing a dragon in her castle. Of course the next second she realizes it's just her husband.

     Live Action TV  

  • Played for laughs in The Golden Girls, the episode where Rose fears she has AIDS. Blanche tells her to scream or throw something or whatever to let it all out, and it appears she's going to, but it's just a loud "HECK!". Possibly a subversion. Played straighter another time when someone, I think Blanche, said "I'm so mad I could scream" and then did. Prompting a "that's the first time I ever heard someone say that and then do it" type comment from Rose.
  • In Andromeda, Rev Bem mentions that when he studied at the Wayist school, there was a cliff nearby for such screams.
  • In Breaking Bad, Lydia, put on edge by a visit from the DEA who arrest one of her men, locks herself in her office and screams in a pillow before calling Mike to inform him.
  • In Malcolm in the Middle, Hal is so frustrated over an expensive dental bill that he asks Lois for his "scream box". He screams and thrashes about after putting it on.
  • On The Young and the Restless, after the death of her daughter Cassie in a car accident, Sharon is in a Heroic B.S.O.D., unresponsive to her mother-in-law's attempts at comforting her—until she offers to make her breakfast. At this Sharon, begins babbling hysterically, eventually working herself up to screaming hysterically as her mother-in-law encourages her to "let it out, just let it out."
  • NCIS Gibbs lets out a an epic, gut-wrenching one of these after killing the man who killed his wife and daughter.

     Video Games  
  • In Final Fantasy X, early in the game Tidus states that he just wants to scream. And he does so, right in the middle of the Killika Temple.
  • There's an NPC in Pokémon Black and White that mentions it's best to scream at the ocean to vent your frustration.

     Web Comics  

     Web Original  
  • In Linkara's review of Power Rangers Turbo, he drops this little gem.
    "After a filler episode where they get baked into a giant pizza... Excuse me for a moment." *walks away from the mic, lets out a loud scream of torment, then walks back* "The story then continues in The Phantom Phenomenon..."
  • The Necro Critic does this using his cat the same way one would scream into a pillow.
  • In the Hellfire Commentaries playthrough of Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), FTA's reaction to the "Who's the Captain?" mission.
    FTA: WHAT?! You're fucking joking! Please tell me you're joking on that. Please tell me, tell me he, what, I, just... Excuse me for ten seconds, please... (walks away from his mic) WHAT THE FUCK?! GRAAAAAAAAH! (thud thud thud thud)
    NTom: All better now?
    FTA: You have no clue how close I am to wanting to kill myself, now.

     Western Animation  

  • In The Amazing World of Gumball, the school counselor tries to teach Gumball and Darwin scream therapy. Gumball can only muster up a feeble squeak, while Darwin blows a huge bubble that pops so loud it leaves the other's ears ringing and is shown with Stock Footage of an atomic bomb test.
  • Fluttershy does this in the My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic episode "Green Isn't Your Color". Because she's so timid and quiet, her scream humorously came out as more of a long squeal.
  • In the last episode of Undergrads, Brody and Krueger are studying for exam week, when the social and academic pressures become too much for Brody. He opens up a window and starts screaming. Krueger declares it brilliant, and joins in, sparking a chain reaction which eventually causes the entire city to erupt in a massive chorus of screams.
  • In Cyberchase, Hacker does this on occasion. For instance, when Buzz and Delete accidentally drop his undead monster right in the middle of his Evil Gloating, Hacker quietly leaves the room and screams.