Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!
"When a man strays from the right path, a kind man needs the courage to raise his fist and correct him."
The Hero has just gone off the deep end under stress
. Proving himself to be Not So Above It All
, he grows increasingly hysterical
, at a time when his team needs his unaffected ability the most. How do you fix him?
With human-centered Percussive Maintenance
, of course!
, Distaff Counterpart
, right-hand man or woman
, love interest (specially the ladies of the Tsundere
or Broken Bird
kind) or superior
jolts him back to his senses with a sharp slap or a straight-up punch to the face, and occasionally a retort for him to get his head out of his ass already (see entry title for the archetypal one). The shame-faced hero says something along the lines of "Thanks. I needed that." Less appreciatively he'll say "Not even my dad hits me!
", but still calm down.
Alternatively in a program wanting to limit the potential for imitation violence, a glass of cold water may be used to bring the subject back to their senses.
Might overlap with the Dope Slap
. May also be used on a Hysterical Woman
— even by a man
. Similar in spirit, but not so much in execution, to Don't Make Me Take My Belt Off
. Compare with Quit Your Whining
, in which it is verbal, but this trope can be used to spice it up. If you need to lay a full-on beating to snap someone out of it, see Beat the Curse Out of Him
. A form of Tough Love
tested a myth based on this trope and found that — at least when dealing with someone who's merely tired and frazzled
— a slap to the face does
help the slapped person regain his or her focus. Apparently the surprise and minor pain of a slap kicks in the 'fight or flight' response and temporarily boosts adrenaline and related hormones. Nevertheless, it should be applied with extreme caution, as smacking someone when you don't know what's wrong with them can easily do more harm than good.
For reassembling after destruction, see Pulling Themselves Together
. Also not to be confused with A Date with Rosie Palms
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- In the Direct-to-Video Muppet Classic Theater, during the Rumpelstiltskin rendition, Piggy's father gets a little overboard trying to introduce himself and his daughter to the king.
Miller: She is Piggy, Miller's Daughter. And I am her father, Miller, Piggy's Father, your Majesty. No, wait I am not the majesty, You're the majesty, and this is my daughter, Piggy, and this is—
(Loyal Royal Advisor backhands him)
Miller: Thanks, I needed that.
- And it's done again at the end of the Intermission.
Gonzo: Intermission!? Wait a minute!! Why wasn't I told about this?! This is an outrage!! OOF!! Thanks, I needed that.
Rizzo: Don't mention it.
- On an episode of the short lived MTV series Super Adventure Team, Chief Engineer Head literally slapped Dr. Criswell blind trying to get him to snap out of his funk.
- In the "Give Me Your Money" number from Avenue Q, Nicky refuses to give up his money by ranting "I can't! I need it! I'm homeless! I can't! I need it! I'm homeless! I can't...." until Princeton slaps him. Nicky calmly hands over the money then.
- Parodied in the Hamish And Dougal episode "Trapped!":
Hamish: Help! We're trapped between floors! Help!
Dougal: Hamish, you're getting hysterical.
SLAP! SLAP! SLAP!
Hamish: Well, don't just stand their applauding, do something!
Dougal: All right!
SLAP! SLAP! SLAP!
Dougal: Now, control yourself. Or next time it's the face.
- General George S. Patton once famously slapped a young soldier who seemed to be suffering from shell shock (it turned out later he had malaria). It almost ended his career, proving that this isn't a good idea to try for real.
- As a side note, the soldier Patton slapped later said, "He was probably pretty well worn out himself." Combat can do strange things to people. Patton's popularity saved him.
- It doesn't work if it is "shell shock" (PTSD) either. Anyone who's been in the Armed Forces can tell you that, combat experience or not. A person that far gone has usually spent themselves keeping a hold for as long as they have.
- This was parodied during the extensive Patton movie pastiche in The Simpsons episode "Bart the General". Bart does it, but Grampa scolds him:
Grampa: You can push them out of a plane, you can march them off a cliff, you can send them off to die on some God-forsaken rock, but for some reason you can't slap them.
- MythBusters tested this trope on their December 22nd 2010 episode. Their result? Confirmed. While not up to control, all three testers did better in practical tests when frazzled and then slapped than when unslapped.
- At least when the subject isn't suffering from PTSD, as above.
- Depends, if the subject is already in a situation which can trigger a psychosis episode, it can actually snap them out of it. Largely due to the endorphins that get released from the sudden shock.
- This is because being slapped activates the flight-or-fight response. PTSD is this response having caused too much stress leading to a mental breakdown, so activating it could actually make it worse.
- Even earlier than this episode, they examined this trope in terms of a "sobering up" technique after getting drunk and deemed it plausible. Cue Adam getting slapped by Jamie (Cue to 1:47).
- In some sects of Zen Buddhism, a monk walks the room during meditation sessions with a light, flat stick. When a meditating monk loses his focus because he starts to get tired, he will lean forward to get a light slap between the shoulder blades with the stick, which triggers the reaction to make him fully awake again.