"Don't let them in, don't let them see
Be the good girl you always have to be
Conceal, don't feel, don't let them know"
An enigmatic emotionless female character, which is practically unheard of.
Emotions are an essential part of humanity. Controlling those emotions is often a sign of maturity and rationality. This character goes beyond that and enters a disturbing, perhaps even creepy, realm of emotional numbness. Be on the lookout for another character making an "is she even human
" comment about her.
Making the character female accentuates the dissonance, as women are traditionally associated with being closer to emotions, in both positive and negative ways. See Mother Nature, Father Science
, Hysterical Woman
, The Chick
, The Heart
, Defecting for Love
, Security Cling
, Manic Pixie Dream Girl
, and many, many more. Characteristics (The Stoic
, The Hermit
) that might be excused or even praised in a man can become disturbing when applied to a young woman, especially once they are extrapolated to become the emotional numbness shown by this character.
As emotions are a major part of social interaction, the emotionless girl is usually depicted as Not Good with People
and having No Social Skills
. Which often leads to her being isolated or even ostracized. Even when not physically isolated, this girl is very likely to be Alone in a Crowd
, aloof from the rest of the group.
The rare Emotionless Girl that can handle social interaction is usually depicted as a cool manipulator who, while unable to empathize in a normal manner, has learned through experience that most humans have emotions, and these emotions can be triggered by certain actions. She mimics social conventions by heavyhandedly triggering the desired emotions and behavior in others. People
who do not react in the expected manner can really confuse her.
Being an emotionless girl is not all negatives though. She can be cool in a crisis, i.e., "she's all business." She may have some sort of secret special power
linked to her otherworldly detachment. Whether she is an anchor in the midst of chaos, or just quietly mysterious, she's a deviation from the norm.
Sometimes used by animators as the Straight Man
or comic foil
, especially in noisy, chaotic situations. She may take on the role of The Snark Knight
(particularly if she is the manipulative type of emotionless girl).
Not necessarily a fan of pure logic and reason like The Spock
, or as compassionate under the skin as the Tin Man
, or wise and profound as Silent Bob
, nor necessarily as strong and badass
as The Stoic
. She just stands out for lacking emotional reactions.
In certain instances, she may be an actual Robot Girl
. See also Rei Ayanami Expy
and The Quiet One
. Often contrasted
with a more Hot-Blooded
partner to form a Red Oni, Blue Oni
An common twist on the Emotionless Girl is the Emotionally Repressed
Girl. This girl feels the emotions but doesn't express them openly or vividly. Most likely because of a Dark and Troubled Past
. These girls can draw the viewers into the scene by forcing one to pick up on her subtle cues - so that when the seemingly Emotionless Girl finally does smile, there's a tremendous amount of satisfaction. In such cases the return of emotions symbolizes a return to humanity, and a healing of whatever trauma
they had been carrying. They are the type of character that lends themselves to Did You Think I Can't Feel?
They may suffer from Bad Dreams
and/or find it difficult to express gratitude
. Contrast Sugar and Ice Personality
, who may initially appear emotionless but in fact has a cute inner side. Will often be the subject of Must Make Her Laugh
and/or When She Smiles
Polar opposite of the Hysterical Woman
and the Genki Girl
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Anime and Manga
- Yuki Nagato, from Haruhi Suzumiya, is also the The Spock, The Stoic and the Badass Bookworm. The tenth novel reveals that she's surprisingly bitter about being designed to be so unemotive and that the IDTE could have made her more expressive like they did Asakura, but didn't. It's implied she was created without the capability to express emotions...in the same sense a computer might not have a printer. All the Humanoid Interfaces seem to have one emotion setting they can't deviate from, (which is...none for Yuki). Asakura is always cheerful, Kimidori is always a polite Ojou. They could be considered subversions of this, as they don't have any other emotions. This largely confirms the point below, which prior to this were based mostly on Kyon's interpretations.
- Though as the series progresses, it is clear that (due to Character Development) in spite of her lack of apparent feeling, Yuki is a warm, caring and kind-hearted girl. It could be said that Yuki and Asakura are subversions of this trope (and by extension, Red Oni, Blue Oni). Yuki appears emotionless and coldly logical, while her inner workings are clearly fighting in the other direction. Asakura is what could best be described as a Purity Sue on the outside, while she is the creepy, emotionless Knife Nut whose attempted murder of Kyon was actually a calculated act designed to reach a specific goal.
- Somewhat subverted by the "official-but-not-exactly-canon" Haruhi-Chan, which shows Yuki staring into space after completely finishing an anime/game series, and monotonously telling Kyon that "It was an emotional game." Aside from this, she actually laughs at one point, but it is hidden by her arm.
- Yuki smiled at one point in the movie, and it was completely visible. It was a major event, as it was what made Kyon consider staying in the Alternate Universe.
- Eureka from Eureka Seven. The girl is literally close to emotionless since her birth until she met her destined partner Renton and gradually fell deeply in love with him. Although 3 years ago she did experience her first emotion which is "surprise" when she realized she orphaned the three children she would later adopt.
- Chane Laforet from Baccano!, who actually is mute. Series main Ax Crazy Awesome instantly falls for her because of that.
- Kazuo Kiriyama from the Battle Royale manga is an Emotionless Boy. He was rendered incapable of emotion when he was brain-damaged at the age of six (since birth in the original novel), and is described in-story as a sociopath. Add to this his phenomenal analytical ability and intelligence and you've got a very tough match-up.
- Ai Enma from Hell Girl. Subverted in that she does have emotions, but she must repress them to carry out her atonement for the revenge she carried out on the villagers who buried her alive.. Or else, she'll wind up in Hell. We first see it when she snaps before Hajime towards the end of the first season, and it's not a nice sight to behold.
- Tsukiko from Hentai Ouji to Warawanai Neko becomes this after she wishes she didn't show her emotions so easily and obviously. Her actual feelings about things remain unchanged, but she's literally unable to make any emotional reaction at all.
- R. Dorothy Waynewright from The Big O. She's an actual Robot Girl. On at least one occasion, she expresses relief on never being programmed with emotions, although arguably she didn't need to be — she demonstrates disgust, loyalty, nostalgia, and numerous other emotions, just not at what a human would call full intensity.
- Sometimes her actions suggest she's far more emotive than she lets on but holds back because it annoys/unnerves Roger.
- Ran-Mao from Black Butler is Lau's bodyguard and by far had little-to-no emotion and lines than any female character of the series.
- Nemu, Mayuri Kurotsuchi's Lieutenant in Bleach, is not just emotionless but seems to have no free will of her own. She exists almost as an extension of Kurotsuchi's will; no matter how horribly he treats her, she never reacts. Mad Scientist Kurotsuchi CREATED Nemu. His "daughter" is really just an Opposite-Sex Clone.
- Nemu may not be able to disobey direct commands but she does have free will as shown when she cures Uryruu after he was poisoned during his fight with Mayuri.
- Fiore from Chrono Crusade, although it's hinted throughout the series that she may not be as emotionless as she claims—and her relationship with Joshua is a partial reason.
- Anya from Code Geass. Maybe she was just traumatized from seeing Marianne killed in gory fashion and then getting Marianne's consciousness put into her head against her will..
- Vanilla from Galaxy Angel. Used in the anime to comic effect. In the games, her story arcs deal with her coming to terms with expressing emotion.
- Kanna from InuYasha most certainly fits this trope, as she was created to be emotionless so that she would be undetectable by any trace of Demonic Energy or Scent. In fact, the translation of her name quite literally means 'void'. By the end, it is subverted as she actually has emotion as her heart can feel.
- Toyama Sachi from Jubei-chan. In the dub, she is referred to as "the strange, emotionless girl" once.
- Eucliwood Hellscythe from Is This a Zombie?. On top of showing little emotion, her main means of communication is writing in a notebook as opposed to talking. The reason for this being that her magic is so powerful that any of her words can trigger devastating magic. Subverted and justified in that she's not really emotionless, but her magic requires her to be in control of her emotions.
- Rei Ayanami from Neon Genesis Evangelion is frequently mistaken for being emotionless and is mass-production cloned throughout other anime to identify who is the Emotionless Girl character, but in actuality, she's just heavily repressed due to deliberate deprivation of stimuli (and possibly drugged). As many Emotionless Girls are based off Rei, this makes this a bit of an Unbuilt Trope (although it did exist before Evangelion). Much like the "Spock eyebrow", the subtle hint that Rei is actually having an emotional reaction is if she bothers to make eye contact with something, which she normally doesn't do.
- As the Rei Ayanami Expy in Dual!, D fits this until the final battle. She's actually frightened about showing emotion.
- Ruri from Martian Successor Nadesico is one, arguably. Though she's far cry from being actually emotionless - just emotionally repressed, and sometimes not even that - her voice never seems to reflect her emotions, making her always sound like she just doesn't care. This is a big part of why she used to be the Trope Namer for the Little Miss Snarker.
- Karin's little sister, Anju, in Karin. Although Anju is more the 'doesn't emote but is certainly feeling a lot' type, rather than truly unemotional:
Anju: "I'm not crying."
Bge: "Yes, you are. Your voice doesn't crack. Tears don't fall. But all the same, you're crying."
- Kirika from Noir acts emotionless, but hides deep concern about her apparent amnesia. She becomes truly emotionless when her memory is restored.
- Angel Densetsu's expy to Claymore (Ikuno/Claire) is a Deadpan Snarker too.
- A very, very rare male version of this trope: Mytho from Princess Tutu, who is literally emotionless, thanks to a spell that shattered his heart.
- Now and Then, Here and There has Lala-ru, although she does start to emote more as the story progresses.
- Fate in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha. Fate actually does have emotions, but keeps them suppressed as a defense mechanism against her mothers insane demands and even more insane punishment for failure. Although she recovers later, Fate remains quieter and more reserved than the rest of the Improbably Female Cast, albeit also considerably more sensitive.
- Lutecia in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS. Likely a result of Jail's experiments and/or of growing up without her mother. She becomes more emotional by Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Vi Vid.
- The youngest Combat Cyborgs- Otto, Deed and Sette- also count. Deed doesn't even change expressions while asking Wendi to get her hands off her breasts, and when she and Otto don't react as Wendi celebrates her victory over one of the Einherjar installations, Wendi gets annoyed and complains about having to be in the same group as them. The youngest, Sette, is almost completely devoid of emotions to the point of seeming robotic, and Tre tells her to put some life into her daily routines.
- Lila from Najica Blitz Tactics showcases many characteristics of this trope, being an Artificial Human, although she can fake emotions to some degree if needed to achieve a certain goal (like seducing men). Later in the series she starts to genuinely warm up toward the protagonist though.
- Mahou Sensei Negima!:
- Asuna was emotionless in the backstory. She was still emotionless upon arrival, but ten years of being bugged by Ayaka taught her emotions, albeit mostly emotions regarding irritation.
- Zazie Rainyday is emotionless to the point of Cute Mute. Although she speaks up in the endgame of both the first anime and the manga, she still shows very, very little emotion. The manga makes you think she's showing a playfully humorous side- but no, she isn't. That's her twin sister. She herself is still mildly altruistic, infuriatingly mysterious, and as emotional as a dead yak.
- Otome from Koi Koi 7. It probably comes from being the oldest of the group, but stuck at a young age, since she was the first to become a cyborg.
- Anthy Himemiya from Revolutionary Girl Utena is a variant on the Emotionally Repressed Girl, in that she is effectively anesthetized by the circumstances of her... very complicated connection to her brother.
- Tomoe Yukishiro from Rurouni Kenshin plays this for tragedy, since she couldn't show her fiancé Akira how happy she was when they got engaged, so he thought he wasn't good enough for her and went to search for his fortune to Kyoto... where he got killed.
- Zefiris from Scrapped Princess. Also a Robot Girl - kind of.
- Yin, July and all other dolls from Darker Than Black play this straight as empty, programmable shells, though the dolls seem to slowly regain emotions (and free will) as the series progresses.
- Yami from To Love-Ru, although she has shown the barest hint of emotions other than "I hate ecchi people" on occasion.
- Layla from Venus Versus Virus, in contrast with her somewhat livelier twin sister, Lola.
- Miyabi "Professor" Oomichi of GA Geijutsuka Art Design Class is extremely subtle in her expression of emotion, but her friends seem able to pick up on her emotions sometimes: during the yaminabe arc, there's a panel with a closeup of Miyabi's face looking stoic as ever, yet Tomokane can tell she looks happy. Also, the reader can see an expression of sadness — mostly in the eyes — when she realizes that the chick she had been caring for had fallen silent.
- Shinigami Trilogy: Himeka, a Devil in Plain Sight, basically Mandy (specifically Bleedman's teen version). She may have been a terminally Ill Girl but thanks to a love-struck Grim Reaper she will rule the world with an iron fist.
- Eve from Black Cat and pretty much any character dubbed by Brina Palencia. She appears to be a specialist at playing monotonous and emotionless girl characters and gets typecast as such.
- Sabrina (or Natsume in Japanese), the Psychic Gym Leader from Pokémon Red and Blue, appears as an Emotionless Girl in the Pokémon anime. In the first episode in which she appears, she has that trademark creepy blank stare and a doll who sits on her lap and does all the talking for her. She beats Ash easily, then lets her doll "play" with him and his friends in her dollhouse. Later, the viewers find out she had a rough childhood and reacted by stuffing all her emotions into her doll (who represents her childhood self) and having no mercy on the trainers who come to visit her. Ash teaches her to laugh again and by the end of the second episode she's a normal girl (well, with psychic powers). In the Pokémon Special manga she almost qualifies as one, but still cracks a smile or a glare every once in a while.
- Child Soldier Jonah from Jormungand displays these tendencies, likely due both to the trauma of seeing his parents killed in a bombing when he was a small child, and all the violence and strife he has witnessed since.
- Vampire Knight gives us two: Seiren and Rima.
- Tenshi Ni Narumon. In the first season, Silky is an emotionless puppet under Dispell's control, merely repeating whatever he says. In the second season it gets subverted, as it turns out that it was Dispell who was really a puppet and Silky's real personality emerges which is an exact opposite of the term 'emotionless'.
- Temporary Sky Girls Aisha. Somewhat justified in that she's actually fused with nanotech which may or may not influence her brain functions.
- In Wild Rose, because Mikhail's full-body markings manifest whenever he feels emotion, his mother raised him to feel nothing so he could pass for normal. As a result, he doesn't even understand what separates "loved ones" and strangers from each other. Bernt is a less severe example, simply being the utterly unflappable butler.
- Eve No Jikan:
- Outside the eponymous cafe Sammy and Akiko behave this way. They transform into a Shrinking Violet and a Genki Girl, respectively, when given the opportunity to express their emotions. However, behaving like humans in public would draw unwanted attention, and they are very good at suppressing their feelings.
- Actually, half of the robots in-series (the female half) qualify. Sammy and Akiko just happen to have been given the most character development.
- Maria, manager of the Hakushuu Dinosaurs in Eyeshield Twenty One was originally a Sugar and Ice Personality. Sadly, her relationship with team captain Marco has left her in this state, and she only begins to recover after his defeat.
- Hanaukyō Maid Tai. To varying degrees, the maids Grace, Konoe, and Mariel all fit this trope.
- Homura Akemi from Puella Magi Madoka Magica starts out as this. She never smiles, has a completely toneless voice, and acts like she's made of stone when Mami dies and Sayaka turns into a witch. It is subverted as we find out that she invoked this trope on purpose after watching her friends die again and again while stuck in her "Groundhog Day" Loop. She went from being a Shrinking Violet with glasses and a heart condition to a coolheaded stoic in a desperate attempt to finally save Madoka from her terrible fate.
- Key from Key the Metal Idol seems to be emotionless initially, claiming to be a robot, but is eventually revealed to be a severe case of emotional repression prompted by merely being convinced and, as a result, convincing others that she is a robot when she is, in fact, a human to prevent her potent extra-physical abilities from awakening.
- Kanade Tachibana, the titular Angel of Angel Beats! is, at least on the surface, an example of this. She's quiet, and impassive seeming even when dishing out violence or receiving grievous injury. She has emotions, but she rarely shows them.
- In the first Cardcaptor Sakura movie, Syaoran's mom is usually this, though she does become a Defrosting Ice Queen around Sakura.
- The "Imouto" Misakas in A Certain Magical Index (except Last Order). Because they wereproduced in a lab for the sole purpose of being slaughtered, they never learned how to express emotions, though it is clear that they do have them by the way they act.
- The cyborg assassins in Gunslinger Girl, as a result of the use of drugs and conditioning they're emotionally stunted.
- Beatrice is more emotionless than the others. Triela is even surprised when another cyborg dies and she feels very little emotion about it.
- Invoked with extreme prejudice in the case of Henrietta, when her deteriorating emotional state caused the Agency to, for lack of a better expression, 'reset her to factory settings'. She's the perfect assassin again, but her personality is little more than a robot soldier.
- Shiori from Tamako Market initially appears this way, due to her inability to express her feelings. However, she manages to overcome this by becoming friends with Tamako the end of Episode 3.
- Attack on Titan has Annie Leonhart. It's not that she lacks emotions, it's just that she doesn't care about the world around her. When Armin (correctly) suggests that she's the female Titan, however, she smiles.
- Reincarnated Griffith from Berserk is a Rare Male Example. Lacking empathy, Griffith shows no emotion, sans a soft smile that is meant to be more unsettling than endearing.
- Origami◊ from Date A Live.
- Kami-sama no Inai Nichiyoubi has the gravekeeper Scar. When she does start to experience emotions after adopting Ulla's twin sister, it leads to a Freak Out.
- Mother in Mother Keeper is this, though she is a computer so it's understandable why.
- Durarara!!: Anri is supposedly incapable of loving, so has the Saika do it instead.
- Evangelion 303: Rei suffered brain damage because of a trial flight gone wrong. She survived, but the stopped being cheerful and warm and became unemotional and quiet.
- Pretty much any Jack Rudd-written Neighbours fanfic starring Lisa Jeffries.
- The eponymous heroine of legolas by laura seems remarkably unconcerned about being tortured and raped by orcs, even though she's only ten.
- In X-Men fanfic Guilt Trips, Northstar (Jean-Paul) is an Emotionless Boy, having asked his empathic friend Manuel da la Rocha to prevent him from feeling strong emotion. His reasoning for this is because here Manuel is an Emotion Eater and needs to fed off something, and he himself doesn't have the energy to deal with emotions.
- In the Sherlock fanfic Baker School Blitz, Sherlock fits the model of the Emotionally Repressed Boy, in that he can express appropriate emotion (unlike his friend Jim), but often doesn't, instead preferring to be blunt, Literal-Minded, and calm.
- In the Frozen modern AU fanfic A Snowflake In Spring, Elsa hasn't displayed emotion - or spoken, or acknowledged another person's existence - for ten years, earning her the nickname "Ice Queen" among her fellow asylum patients. When the story switches to her perspective, she's shown actively trying to repress her feelings, attempting to "conceal, don't feel", though the reason remains unclear. The only person capable of breaking this pattern is Anna, whose mere presence transforms her into a flustered, Moe Cute Mute.
- In Despair's Last Resort, Miyako Morino acts like this. The only times she's noted as actually expressing any emotion is after witnessing Kaito's execution and when the remaining students are fighting among each other.
- Turns out it was a ruse to keep her from revealing that she still has her memories.
- Tsuku from Infinity.
Films — Animated
- Elsa from Frozen is a deconstruction. Because her magical powers are controlled by her emotions, Elsa has grown up trying to be as emotionless ("Conceal, don't feel") but it's taken a massive emotional toll on her (and her family) until an intense argument with Anna causes her to snap and lose control of her powers, thus exiling herself to the mountains.
Films — Live-Action
- The alien Sisters of Orion of Adam R. Brown's Alterien series are an example of this trope. Their leader who does most of the talking, Vasja'ri, is particularly emotionless in her delivery of every single line.
- Estella from Great Expectations.
- The Flame Tales of an Mazing Girl as she creates fires and burns out peoples minds, all the while looking to be about 12 year old. and speaking in all in lower case.
- Susan Calvin from Isaac Asimov's many robot short stories.
- Susan Sto Helit of Soul Music, Hogfather and Thief of Time shows no outward emotion on hearing of the deaths of her parents, and otherwise fits the "cool in a crisis" model. She does occasionally get angry. Don't get in her way at this point.
- Adora Belle Dearheart in the "Moist Von Lipwig" novels also comes across as emotionless, when she's actually repressing a mountain of rage. Alternatively, she comes across as a woman burying her issues under a mountain of bitter sarcasm.
- In the Star Wars Expanded Universe novels, Winter Celchu (an aide and childhood friend of Leia's), an Intelligence agent with a holographic memory, has lost her composure perhaps once in the entirety of her appearances—when she thought her boyfriend had been killed and his fellow pilots didn't seem to care (because, of course, he was still alive).
- Kahlan of Sword of Truth has this as a public persona: A voice to freeze water. Another example is Nicci, who is more in the idea of an impassive Dark Magical Girl hardened by an unpleasant life until she no longer cares about life anymore. Richard does manage to get through to her in the sixth book, though, shortly before she does a High Heel-Face Turn.
- Actually subverted in The Dresden Files. Ivy appears to be totally emotionless for quite a while after we meet her, but it turns out that this is actually one of the Archive's defense mechanisms. Ivy herself is lonely and has to cope with the fact that she has almost no personal identity; even her name is just a nickname Harry gave her. She's also cursed with the Archive's perfect recall, so she knows exactly how her mother felt about her. (Hint: It wasn't real positive)
- It's implied that since names have power, Harry starting to call her Ivy (and asking others to call her that) instead of the Archive allowed her to find strength in her own identity and open up to people, becoming much happier.
- In the Wicked Lovely series, Leslie becomes a literal emotionless girl when she is acting as the dark court's shadow girl (her emotions are channeled into Irial) and this is part of Sorcha's mask.
- In the Lowell Bair translation of The Phantom of the Opera novel, Raoul describes Christine as "indifference personified." (He wouldn't be surprised if he knew what the poor girl was going through at that point, of course...)
- Miranda in L. Jagi Lamplighter's Prospero's Daughter. There's a reason for it, it turns out.
- Charlotte Crescent/C2 from Charlotte Powers, at least on appearance. She cannot intuitively 'read' the emotions of others, and has difficulty understanding and expressing her own emotional state.
- Kambili from Purple Hibiscus seems like a snobby version of this to her peers, but in reality she's being terrorized by her father. It's thanks to her Aunt and Cousins that she's finally able to reach out to others.
- In The Last Unicorn, the titular character can be seen as such. In fact, she's rather stoic when she's in her normal form. Even if she can feels sorrow, joy and fear, she's unable to feel some human feelings, such as regret and love. As an immortal being, she does not fear mortality. When she's turned into a human by Schmendrick, she's horrified. Following this traumatic event, she becomes completely emotionless, and slowly forgets who she was. It's not until later in the story that she's able to feel emotions again.
- Coira, the protagonist of White as Snow never shows emotions as they were, symbolically, bled out of her after a childhood illness caused by her mother rejecting her love. She is sometimes stated to feel things, such as disgust when her drunken brother asks to dance with her, but the emotion is so distant and she accepts the offer so coolly that nobody can tell. In a twist on the usual When She Smiles, the big sign of Coira opening her heart to someone is crying.
- Thérčse herself of Thérčse Raquin becomes emotionless over the course of her childhood due to living with her overbearing aunt and her sickly, petulant cousin Camille. Then she and Camille get married and it gets worse.
- Katniss Everdeen, probably as a direct result of being a Shell-Shocked Veteran.
- Lisbeth Salander in the Millennium Series. Practically a poster child for the emotionless girl. To others, she appears emotionless, cold and strange.
- Electra in Greek Ninja. She shows little emotion even when she's informed of the death of her sensei. During stressful situations, such as battles, she remains cool and stoic.
- Sasha from The Tenets of Futilism initially comes across as this. It's a facade.
- The Paradox Trilogy has Caldswell's daughter, Ren. She spends most of her time playing chess by herself, and barely even reacts to anyone except Caldswell or Rupert.
Live Action TV
- Star Trek sports a couple examples, such as:
- Seven of Nine from Voyager is a former Borg drone, so underplays emotions while focusing on efficiently completing tasks. However, she does annoyance really well.
- T'Pol from Enterprise is a Vulcan whose frustration with humans isn't veiled as well as it could be, but otherwise fits this trope. (Jolene Blalock has claimed this is intentional, but (YMMV) it does tend to come off as a half-baked Seven Of Nine impression.)
- T'Pring and T'Pau from the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "Amok Time".
- The first officer of Captain Pike, known only as Number One, was one of these.
- Of course, Vulcans are not emotionless, but simply suppress them because their genius and titanic strength makes an out of control Vulcan a supremely Bad Thing, and they once nearly destroyed themselves with war. As such, nearly every Vulcan can be described in similar terms as T'Pol, being mostly emotionless but not as completely as they'd claim they are, and often annoyed with those races that let their yucky emotions just hang out there, which looks sloppy at best and dangerous at worst to a Vulcan.
- Cameron, the female Terminator of The Sarah Connor Chronicles fits this quite accurately, though she is quite capable of simulating human emotions when she needs to. The rather sudden shift from emotionless blankness to a laughing, smiling teenage girl is....creepy.
- Of course, some of us have a reaction other than fear.
- Cameron's creepy stoicism gets played brilliantly in the premiere for the second season, when John is trying to remove her processor chip after it gets damaged and she goes berserk. She slowly switches from an emotionless, Implacable killer to begging and pleading with John to not remove the chip, even going as far as to cry out that she loves him. The simulated emotion is disturbingly real, and even more so because the audience and John know it's simulated yet real. And according to Summer Glau, who plays Cameron, that might not have been simulated...
- This is further pronounced in the same season's eighth episode. Before Cameron enters John's room to discourage him from seeing Riley, she removes her jacket, leaving her in shorts and a tight white shirt with a visible red bra underneath. She then lies on his bed next to him. The audience and John know that neither of these actions is casual, but a calculated decision by Cameron's internal logic. It is this knowledge that creates the tension in the ensuing exchange.
- Prior to this, there are a very few but very deliberate moments where Cameron shows inexplicable emotion - for example, when she hits Charley with a Death Glare for calling her a "very scary robot" in "Dungeons & Dragons", and a momentary tightening of her lips and nervous flicker of her eyes in "Vick's Chip" when John is removing her processor.
- Then it gets completely inverted in "Allison from Palmdale," where Cameron adopts the personality and memories of Allison, a girl her personality was based around. Seeing Cameron suddenly acting like a normal person, showing honest emotions, just amplifies the creepy factor.
- The Actives in Dollhouse, when in their wiped state. Although they seem happy in a non-thinking way most of the time.
- Although this is deliberately encouraged by keeping them in a calm and peaceful place. If exposed to more dramatic stimulus they gain emotions quite quickly - terrified and freaked out.
- Irina from Vintergatan 5B, a Swedish children's sci-fi comedy show. Lampshaded in this dialogue:
Henrik: But—how can you be so cold?! Don't you have any feelings?
Irina: Cosmonauts don't have any feelings, Henrik!
- Effy from Skins.
- Aeryn Sun in Farscape has shades of this character early on due to her military training that advocated against feeling pain or showing emotion. It is commented on in "Twice Shy" when each character's strongest trait was amplified: Scorpius says Aeryn is colder than usual.
- Fringe's Agent Olivia Dunham became this when being experimented on as a child caused her to suppress her emotions in preparation of becoming a cross-universal supersoldier.
- Averted in Boston Legal. In the episode "Smile", lawyer Alan Shore tries to get a prestigious school to accept a little girl (actually a child prodigy) lacking the facial muscles to smile. The child has strong positive emotions, she's just completely unable to express them facially.
- Parker on Leverage is a bizarre example in that while she does show emotions, they are typically wrong for that situation. Played with in "The Twelve Step Job" when she goes on anti-depressants as part of her cover and suddenly becomes a more or less normal, well-adjusted human being.
- In "The Snow Job", Parker has to pretend to be a patient dying of a brain tumor and Sophie is trying to help her prepare for the role.
Sophie: Think about something sad. Like, think about when your father died.
Parker: (laughs hysterically)
- Miranda in Mysterious Ways, very much.
- Parks and Recreation: April Ludgate/Dwyer usually has a stoic expression on her face and often talks in a tone of voice that lacks emotion.
- Person of Interest: Shaw. Justified as she's revealed to have a disorder affecting her this way. One flashback shows her being in a car accident where her father was killed, and calmly asking for a sandwich from the fireman who rescued her afterward, unaffected.
- Doctor Who:
- Zoe, when we first meet her; as the serial progresses, she becomes concerned about how undeveloped her emotional side is.
- Gia Kelly in "The Seeds of Death" resembles a grown-up version of Zoe in this respect. The novelisation remarks that her co-workers think of her as a 'cold-hearted witch'.
- Jerry on Seinfeld once dated a woman who appeared emotionally normal in most ways, but never laughed. Needless to say, as a comedian this bothered him. At one point he even tells her a joke, and she responds in a dead monotone that "That's very funny."
- On The 100, Lexa wants to be this, believing that feelings are a weakness. She's fooled many people into believing she's heartless, but Clarke sees through it and is able to get emotional reactions out of her.
- Vera Linus, in Veritas, generally shows no emotion except when dealing with something that has to do with Lightning Tiger, the guy who taught her the meaning of "fear".
- Dino Attack RPG has Silencia Venomosa and Michelle Glados. The former uses this trope to heighten her terrifying nature, due to being in part inspired by the Terminator. The latter believes that emotions are weakness and so appears to strip herself of emotions.
- Aselia and the minor spirit Nanaru in Eien no Aselia are both rather emotionless. The latter isn't even an exaggeration or merely based on her behavior, since her profile indicates that her sword has eaten away most of her personality. She genuinely feels very little until she gets to know Yuuto.
- Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney:
- Lana Skye, who had shut herself off to the outside world. Her control cracks when it appears her sister Ema is being accused of murder; she throws herself on the witness stand in a desperate panic. At the very end, when everything is settled she finally smiles.
- Vera Misham in Apollo Justice is of the repressed type. She never changes her facial expression, instead drawing smilies on a notebook she always has. In the good ending, she gives a proper smile at last.
- Agent Shih-na in Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth is always wearing a stern, vacant expression and speaks in very short, to-the-point phrases (presumably in a very flat voice, if the game had real voices). This is to mask the fact she is actually a mole who infiltrated Interpol and her actual personality is quite jovial.
- Hisui seems to follow this trope at first, though it becomes apparent fairly quickly that she just suppresses her emotions very well. The real emotionless girl is actually the ever-smiling Kohaku.
- Shiki discusses this at the end of her route, saying that despite Hisui seemingly emotionless demeanor, she actually shows a full range of emotions from sadness to fear to occasionally happiness, while Kohaku can barely express herself beyond her smile.
- You also learn in the first route that Arcueid Brunestud started out as one, until Shiki killed her and, by her own admission, broke 'something' inside her, resulting in the energetic, friendly version we're familiar with.
- Unan of Under The Moon is a Spear Counterpart, although his looks, and often his mannerisms, are very feminine.
- Setsumi from Narcissu starts out this way, but she starts to open up toward the end.
- Mio from Little Busters! is almost always found stoically reading books on her own away from others, and even when she's brought into the group she speaks with a very soft, calm bordering on apathetic tone and very rarely shows any extreme emotion. It does happen now and then, though, and Mio is an example of the Emotionally Repressed subset as deep-down she holds a shit-load of guilt based on an imagined sin she committed against an old friend of hers.
- Bernkastel from Umineko: When They Cry is this, having literally no expression on her face aside from her eyes moving. But starting at the end of EP4 she becomes more expressive, and her true nature is revealed.
- In Ascension there's two races who's females are this. First are the female Nobles and second are the female Moon elves. However the first is because they have no feelings whatsoever, while the second simply don't show them.
- Kyouko Kirigiri of Dangan Ronpa has a calm voice and blank face at almost all times. She mentions, if the player decides to get to know her better, that she actually intentionally evokes this image, as it both makes her hard to read and gives other people someone to lean on in times of emotional stress.
- Grisaia No Kajitsu has Sachi Komine, who only seems to have one emotional setting: polite friendliness. And nothing else. She was formerly a Genki Girl, but this part of her personality was utterly destroyed when she watched her parents get run over by a car in front of her.
- Misaki in Canvas 2 initially speaks in a very deadpan manner, but warms up over time.
- Gunnerkrigg Court:
- Antimony is both stoic due to a recent tragedy and unflappable in the face of weirdness due to a very unusual childhood. She soon begins opening up to her best friend, but her unnervingly emotionless demeanor shows no sign of abating. Recent events suggest that the appearance of emotions on Antimony's face is directly related to her friendship with Kat. Because she gets really creepy when Kat is in trouble. Also, it turned out that there is a limit to how far she will try to look blank, but pushing her to this point is not only mean, it violates basic fire safety.
- Then there's Jones, who is even more of a blank slate. Whether she's expositing, flirting, intentionally ticking her student off, or even affirming that something was "hilarious", her expression does not change. Antimony herself has speculated that Jones might be a robot masquerading as a human, but Jones denies this. Later developments have shown that Jones is neither robot nor human, but an immortal being who's been around since the planet's birth.
a forum fan
: It almost looks like Jones is doing something somewhat resembling the idea of a smile in that second panel.
- For an example of an Emotionless Girl who doesn't overlap with the Shrinking Violet in romantic situations, see the 'Su Cool' LovSit story from the Tsunami Channel. Saki dearly loves the protagonist, but doesn't see why being embarrassed about it - or indeed, why calmly confessing in the middle of the classroom when everyone is having lunch - is likely to give Kei a heart attack.
- Sara Amraphel from Errant Story, often lampshaded. And made disturbing in a recent sequence where for the purposes of subterfuge, she assumes an appearance and attitude that are very OOC.
- Ditto for Wanda Firebaugh from Erfworld, who also lampshades her status.
Wanda: "I don't laugh."
- Flore in Frivolesque never smiles, and has heavy bangs hiding her eyebrows, making her look quite emotionless and distant, and a tad creepy as well. Everyone in-universe seems to think she is totally adorable though.
- Aradia in Homestuck. Because she's dead. Later on, she seems to be recovering after being transplanted into a robot body, but this ends up not particularly helping: most of the time she's just as flat as before, but occasionally she'll get angry and violently flip the hell out. Even later, however, her dreamself's awakening and ascension to the God Tiers causes her to genuinely begin feeling and emoting again.
- Ozy of Ozy and Millie has been mistaken for this at times. He tries to be The Stoic, although part of it may be that he just enjoys playing a foil to Millie. And sometimes his father. And then there's his family...
- Naal, Drowtales' resident Goth. Though when she was younger, she was more expressive.
- Archipelago: Lucinda, after a powerful tragedy, agreed to serve the Raven if he would remove her emotions.
- After The Reveal in Flipside, Maytag herself is shown to be this. The story of how she got this way is currently (November 12, 2012) still being written.
- Susan, from El Goonish Shive shows very little emotion most of the time, though it's less extreme than most examples and there have been a number of cases of explosive rage. Notably, her emotionlessness has a Freudian Excuse of being nearly killed by a vamp...aberration, then having the supposedly benign immortals recruit her, as a young girl, to kill said aberration. The event, understandably, left her mildly traumatized. She's recently been shown getting better, and has even been seen to smile.
- Taffe of Pacificators fame is a mixture of this, The Stoic, and The Quiet One. And then there's her older sister Larima...
- Amanda, lab assistant from "The Horrifying Experiments of Dr. Pleasant!," is like this because she Came Back Wrong. It doesn't keep her from craking wise though.
- In Luminary Children, the author even made a note that Aurelia's lines are spoken in a cold, emotionless voice.
- Bomango: Cora May has the attitude of a cold pragmatic businesswoman. One strip shows her to be Not So Stoic, though.
- Alysia Morales from Arcana Magi must remain emotionless or she will suffer physically.
- Pathologist Madeline Frost in Shadow Unit is the adult version of this trope; no one knows if she's autistic, sociopathic, deeply PTSD, or what, but the hospital where she works has a standing rule about letting her talk to actual living people. (Another character calls her "Cthulhu's Dream Date.")
- Since The Erotic Mind Control Story Archive features, well, mind control, this trope appears a lot. (See also "Real Life" below.)
- Agent Xericka of the PPC's Bad Slash unit, who was a Nobody in Kingdom Hearts before her recruitment.
- The Nostalgia Chick blames her tiny husk of a heart on years of repression. In her review of Daria, as a Shout-Out to the main character, she dials her psychopathy down and discusses how good the show was in a Creepy Monotone.
- Raven from Teen Titans (emotionally repressed out of necessity more than choice). She becomes more and more open as the series progresses. Though Raven can actually be intensely emotional- you do not want to see her angry. She needs to stay repressed in order to avoid losing control of her powers and/or unleashing her Superpowered Evil Side.
- Mai◊ from Avatar: The Last Airbender, who finds everything in life boring and "unbearably bleak"... everything except Prince Zuko.
- The Legend of Korra has Eska and Desna, who use Spock Speak and have no idea how to behave socially. It helps that Eska is voiced by Aubrey Plaza.
- Mandy in The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy seems to have only three major emotions: Indifference, disgust, and anger. The rarity of her smiles, especially in the later seasons was lampshaded in "My Fair Mandy", where her attempt at a cheerful smile ended up destroying the universe, and put them in one of McCracken's, specifically, The Powerpuff Girls. Giving a look of genuine sadness is even rarer; she's only done it once. She's also shown shock and confusion, but that's understandable given the kind of people/things she hangs out with.
- A minor Freakazoid! villain, aptly named Deadpan.
- Daria is a rare emotionless main character. She is shown to have emotions, like when she gets into a fight with Jane, but she has no facial expressions or body language, and compared to most other people, she is indeed emotionless.
- Maud Pie in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, who is about as emotionless as the rocks she is obsessed with, which is a sharp contrast to her sister Pinkie Pie. She does show slight emotion whenever she talks about how much she loves her sister, or when Pinkie Pie is in extreme danger.
- The Brainwashed trope, and several Mind Control tropes related to it, is an example of this trope. When you hypnotize someone, this is almost always what you eventually achieve. The subject is just too deeply relaxed and her mind is too focused on the hypnotist to emote, hence the stereotypical blank stare and mouth hanging open.
- Alice Glass of the band Crystal Castles acts like this quite a bit. See their music video for the song "Crimewave"
- Those who suffer from Möbius Syndrome may seem like this, as they are not able to create facial expressions.
- People with Schizoid personality disorder. While able to create expressions, they have a "blunted affect" when it comes to their emotions. (More information)
- People suffering from aprosodia are unable to convey emotions in their communication. They have emotions, they are simply having a hard time expressing them.
- In the same vein, there is a condition called alexithymia, which literally translates as 'to be without words for emotions'. An individual is either born with this trait, or acquires it (frequently as a result of an abusive upbringing).
- Sometimes a person can appear this way without any affliction to speak of. Honestly, some people just have more muted responses than others.