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G-Rated Mental Illness
Similiar to G-Rated Sex
and G-Rated Drug
, this is when a type of insanity is represented in a child-friendly manner, such as depicting the character simply in a straitjacket or wearing a hat with a big red N
on it whilst rolling his eyes in strange directions.
May or may not be accompanied by whacking oneself/others over the head with a large mallet, giving gratuitous kisses, laughing uncontrollably while jumping around like a superball, and an inability to keep one's tongue in one's mouth at any given time.
Needless to say, this doesn't help people's real-life perceptions of mental illness, and it's difficult to imagine races or the mentally handicapped being ridiculed like this.
The Eccentric Townsfolk
usually have at least one such G-rated madman (or more!) among the residents. See also The Mad Hatter
and Ambiguous Disorder
- Batty from FernGully.
- Ed from The Lion King his eyes often point in different directions, his tongue is almost always hanging out, and his most of his dialogue consists of laughter (and not just because he's a hyena, because the other two are slightly more sane).
- Psycho the weasel from Who Framed Roger Rabbit. His eye balls spin around constantly, he's wrapped in a straight jacket, his tongue hangs out, and most of his dialogue consists of either laughter or "kill the rabbit!".
- Happens to Alvin in Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet Frankenstein when Dr. Frankenstein makes him drink a potion and he starts acting like a typical insane cartoon character laughing manically, his tongue hanging out, spinning eyes, and pulling pranks.
- Monty Python's Flying Circus often portrayed "loonies" as being whacked-out and acting in a completely random and bizarre manner. From YouTube:
- In the finale of Blackadder Goes Forth, Blackadder decides that he can do a convincing impression of insanity by putting underpants on his head, sticking pencils up his nose and saying "wibble." However, Melchett stated he shot an entire platoon attempting the same stunt.
- After being bitten by a particularly dangerous insect, Kelly Bundy graduates from her normal blonde ditziness to full-blown loon. She's still generally perky and happy, just completely removed from reality.
- All inhabitants of the Shivering Isles in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.
- Some of the characters in Psychonauts, at least on the surface, are like this. Fred Bonaparte, a stereotypical Napoleon wannabe, remains like this through most of the game. Gloria van Gouton starts out like this, but as you see more of her mind, it gets darker, while Edgar Teglee starts out tragic and becomes more silly and pathetic, and while his issues are serious Raz helps him accept that he needs to move on.
- Half the cast either plays this straight or subverts it, really...
- Ripper Roo from Crash Bandicoot, complete with straight jacket, while he did go to therapy, and became more sane, he returns to his straightjacket self when he gets in an explosion.
- Little Big Planet 2: During his meanie infection, Dr. Higginbotham had the habit of eating socks and trying to lick his eye balls.
- Muzzle in Road Rovers is usually straitjacketed, muzzled, and strapped to a gurney. However, when he's let loose from the restraints the resulting scene is always offscreen but heavily implied to NOT be G-rated.
- The image in Western cartoons of people sitting in a rocking chair wearing a Napoleon hat, and often playing with their lips.
- Especially the original Screwy Squirrel. Yes, that one.
- Ren from The Ren & Stimpy Show is an aversion. Despite the cartoon being aimed at kids, his manic moments weren't always Played for Laughs and often stepped into family unfriendly territory. For starters, the episode "Stimpy's Fan Club" contains a very long and elaborate scene of Ren rambling psychotically and considering killing Stimpy. His Freak Out in "Sven Hoek" after Sven and Stimpy wreck the house is quickly replaced with his Tranquil Fury accompanied by a To the Pain monologue.
- The original portrayal of Daffy Duck in his late 1930's-40's appearances he'd laugh constantly, his eyes would point in different directions, his tongue would sometimes hang out, and he'd click his heels together and do flips around the pond shouting "woo hoo, woo hoo, woo hoo!"
- Pinkie Pie dances between this trope and just plain terrifying in some episodes of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.
- There was a background character staying in a hospital. The fans dubbed her “Screw loose” because she seemed to think she was a dog. Note
- Pops from Regular Show is pretty clearly off his rocker; the other residents of the park take care of him and are affectionately condescending toward his Cloudcuckoolander behavior. Leans toward Ambiguous Disorder since varying explanations have been given in-universe as to why he's like this.
- The Ice King of Adventure Time, whose mental instability is not Played for Laughs. An early episode has him casually say that his crown makes him hallucinate all of the time, so he is unable to discriminate between the hallucinations and reality. "Holly Jolly Secrets" reveals he was once a human, but wearing a mysterious magical crown drastically changed his personality and got rid of most (if not all) of his prior memories of his life. He also had a fiancee; Betty, who he affectionately called his "princess", left him after he started wearing the crown. This may explain why he's obsessed with kidnapping princesses. Many, after watching "I Remember You", have compared the relationship depicted between The Ice King and Marceline to that of someone coping with having a family member or friend with Alzheimer's Dementia. She knew him before he lost his memories and they still have an emotional connection so she is friends with him, but it breaks her heart to be around him because he doesn't remember. He's so far gone at this point that he doesn't even recognize his own name.
- It is safe to say that Spongebob isn't the most sane person you met; from crying uncontrollably to unstable panicking when he gets fired or is driving a car.
- Lampshaded in an episode of Kim Possible. Drakken uses his "silly hats" to make the world's most brilliant scientists turn into galloping loons. When Shego is trying to think of a word to describe it, Drakken interrupts her by suggesting the word "silly." She remarks that it is not the name she would have chosen.
- The character of Freaky Fred in Courage the Cowardly Dog is a surprisingly somber version of this, effectively terrifying children with slow, meticulous speech, uncomfortably Uncanny Valley movement patterns, and bizarre fixations, particularly with hair.
- The trope is interestingly invoked with Fred, since the character is being used to scare kids by tapping into their natural discomfort with people who are different. It turns the whole episode into something of a Family-Unfriendly Aesop, but it is highly successful at being scary, despite the fact that he seems relatively harmless. Of course, there are other ways of interpreting Fred's "naughtiness" that paint him as less benign...