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Insulted Awake
Transformed Susan is a little too fascinated with her reflection

Professor Dr.: Breaking a hypnotic trance by sharp shock to the feminine self-esteem. Novel concept.
Snuka: But effective!

Apparently, a strong emotional reaction is enough to break hypnotism, brainwashing, amnesia, or just plain depression.

When something (or someone) has entranced one of the heroes, they'll often be in a hurry to get the victim moving. Fortunately, friends, teammates and co-workers often have a talent for making each other angry.

For some reason, that's especially true if they're completely different from each other and have been repeatedly forced by circumstances to endure each other's company...

Warning! The victim will remember the insult, and it probably won't be erased by having saved them. Be prepared for a (potentially violent) backlash unless you explain yourself. Heck, the backlash could be immediate if this trope involves hitting a Berserk Button.

Even More Than Mind Control isn't always enough to resist this. However, they can't be Insulted Awake if they're really Not Brainwashed.
Examples:

    open/close all folders 

     Anime/Manga 
  • In an early arc of Ranma 1/2, Ranma manages to cure Akane of a Shampoo-induced memory loss technique that made her forget him by insulting her so much she gets mad and goes after him. In the anime, his dad even has it repeating on a large stereo and does some freestyle DJing with it.
    Akane: Ranma? Ranma, wake up! You didn't you didn't need to save me RANMA YOU IDIOT!!
    *snap*
    Ranma: Who are you calling an idiot?! I save you and this is the thanks I get?!
  • Kakeru from Fruits Basket wakes up the one-quarter awake Yuki by commenting that he was probably "brought up as a spoiled little rich girl." Since Yuki is also deceptively strong when he's sleeping, it backfired slightly.
  • In Medabots, Ikki uses this to kick-start Metabee near the start of the series. After Metabee is kidnapped and his medal used in a doomsday device, Ikki manages to wake him up using the same tactic.
  • In History's Strongest Disciple Kenichi, Miu has been driven into a berserk rage state from thinking than Shou Kanou has killed her friends in the Shinpaku Alliance. Kenichi tries to hold her and talk her down, but repeatedly gets beaten up for trying. Eventually he uses Ma Kensei's Shock Technique ... which consists of grabbing her by the hooters. She immediately goes from silently trying to kill everyone near her to slapping Kenichi and berating him for being a pervert.
  • Similar: the only way to wake up Komui Lee is to tell him "Lenalee (his sister) is getting married". This will either wake him in a state of profound grief that she didn't tell him, or will wake him instantly, fully alert.
  • Full Metal Panic! has Sousuke use this to drag Kaname's suppressed consciousness out from under the "Sophia" personality in the last light novel, thereby preventing a Reality Rewrite.
  • The edited-for-TV dub of YuYu Hakusho has Yusuke claiming he got awakened in the Dark Tournament (and for reference, he'd been sleeping through the cruise to the island venue—a fight in itself—and the first three fights) by Chu's trash talking. As the unedited version reveals, it was really the booze on his breath, which was an insult in itself because it reminded him of his alcoholic mother.
  • At one point in One Piece, Luffy, Zoro and Sanji are all put into comas when their shadows are stolen by the Big Bad of the arc. To wake them up all up at once, Usopp shouts that a beautiful lady swordswoman has boarded the ship with lots and lots of meat.
  • Played with in Fullmetal Alchemist: Ed is unintentionally awakened by train hijackers referring to him as runt. In a fit of rage, he wipes the floor with every bandit in the train car. Afterward, he has no idea what is going on, and asks who the unconscious bandit he's holding by the collar is. Turns out that he was just subconsciously reacting to the word "runt".
  • Subverted in Naruto when Ino, Shikamaru, and Choji are fighting a resurrected Asuma. Choji is going through a Heroic BSOD because he doesn't want to hit Edo-Tensei!Asuma until he calls him fat. It still doesn't work.
  • In the Saiyuki Reload manga, Hazel Grosse is possessed by a demon who has resided in him most of his life. Hakkai, who has never gotten along with Hazel very well, proceeds to repeatedly taunt him about how weak he must be to allow this to be happening, until Hazel is provoked into taking back control.
  • In Tiger & Bunny, hearing his Embarrassing Nickname brought Barnaby to his senses, though this was unintentional; Kotetsu didn't even think he'd hear it. When it seemed impossible to stop Barnaby's super-powered attack, his partner Kotetsu muttered in despair "Bunny", which at last worked. Cue the usual "My name is not Bunny, it's Barnaby."
  • In this special of Bakaand Test Summonthe Beasts, Yoshii wakes up Princess Minami this way by pointing out her underdeveloped chest region.

     Comic Books 
  • In the Tintin story "Tintin Destination Moon", Captain Haddock cures Professor Calculus' accidental amnesia by complaining about "acting the goat", a remark that had earlier served as a Berserk Button for Calculus.
  • Batman Adventures #3 has The Joker given a radical form of shock treatment that renders him non-violent, good natured, and even affectionate to Harley Quinn. She can't stand him being this way, and declares that she is leaving him for Batman. Whereupon Joker snaps back to his usual psychopathic self and declares that he'll just have to rip Batman's lungs out.

     Fan Fics 
  • In Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, Hermione restores Harry to normal after a Dementor assault by kissing him. His first words upon his return to normal are (outraged): "I SAID NO KISSING!"
  • In the MGLN Crisis, Signum uses this method when Fate is depressed over Arf making a Heroic Sacrifice for her, claiming that Fate is a pitiful master to Arf. The two fight for several hours, and it ends with Signum telling Fate to "Mourn her passing, but don't betray the meaning of her sacrifice."

     Film 
  • In Mystery Men, Mr. Furious is depressed and doubting his powers. His teammates try to rekindle his anger by insulting him, with jibes like "Your penmanship is atrocious" and "You dress in the manner of a male prostitute." It doesn't work.

    Literature 
  • In one of the Undead And novels by Mary Janice Davidson, in order to get Betsy out of a near-comatose state, Eric (her fiance) shouts, "I'm terribly sorry, but I cannot go through with the wedding!" She snaps and begins to yell at him before realizing what he was trying to do.
  • A rather creepy scene in an Everworld book involves The Chick trying to do this by insulting the masculinity of a (rather macho) mind-control victim, only to be told "Don't try to provoke me."
  • In The Perilous Gard the main character Kate uses this to save Christopher from becoming a Human Sacrifice.

     Live Action TV 
  • In the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "This Side of Paradise", the ship's crew falls under the influence of spores from an alien plant and stop caring about their duties and responsibilities. Kirk snaps out of it and thereby discovers that strong negative emotions can counteract the spores' effect. He then insults Spock to the point where it drives Spock into a rage.
  • Also happened in one Sledge Hammer episode, when all the policemen except for the choleric boss have become totally apathetic.
  • On an episode of JAG, a Marine in a coma is awoken by an angry bedside tirade from his Drill Sergeant.
  • NCIS does this in reverse - Ziva manages to restore Gibbs' memory by grabbing his hand and inflicting his trademark Dope Slap on herself.
  • In Firefly, when Wash is starting to lose it under Cold-Blooded Torture, Mal just escalates the argument they've been having all episode.
  • An episode of Full House featured Joey listening to self-help tapes and being so into them that the only way to snap him out of it was to pull back his headphones and insult him.
  • Jeremy Clarkson claims that the first real sign of life from co-presenter Richard Hammond after his accident was when he visited him in hospital and told him that the reason he was in that state was because he was a crap driver. Apparently Hammond smiled.

     Video Games 
  • In Super Robot Wars Original Generation 2, Seolla had been brainwashed into forgetting that her close friend Arado, who recently pulled a Heel-Face Turn, ever existed except as an enemy. Yet, when he made a crack about the size of her breasts (something he's been doing to her since they day they met), she immediately snapped "How many times have I told you not to make fun of my chest!" by pure reflex.
  • Gate Keepers: the entire crew is in a Lotus Eater-type situation, and Shun realizes before everyone else that he's in a dream. He snaps Ruriko out of it by calling her a "crybaby" (something he used to call her when they were kids).
  • In the beginning of Baldur's Gate 2, you can insult Minsc to make him break the bars of his prison. Minsc lampshades it after it succeeds.
    Minsc: You said what you did to get me mad! Mad enough to break free, ha ha! You are as smart as Boo sometimes!
  • In Star Control 2, you recruit the last surviving Shofixti by repeatedly insulting him until he realizes you can't be an Ur-Quan because they're always unfailingly polite.

     Visual Novel 
  • In Fate/stay night, calling Fuji by her nickname, Tiger, will always wake her up. The students she teaches have to do this whenever she gives herself a concussion in her haste to get to her own class on time.

    Webcomics 

    Web Original 
  • In Atop the Fourth Wall, Linkara found Spoony possessed by evil, so Linkara said "You're standing in my spot, Sir." from the game Swat 4, a Berserk Button of Spoony's stemming from his Let's Play of it. It wasn't quite the best plan, as, while it did snap him out of it, Spoony then proceeded to beat the crap out of Linkara, shouting "I'm not fucking in your way!" before storming off.
  • In Abridged On Titan, Eren's mother revealed that adopted daughter Mikasa was always her favorite shortly before dying, and that combined with the stress of seeing mom eaten by a titan and the titan invasion has driven Eren absolutely insane and makes him driven to somehow prove himself better than Mikasa. When the titans attack again and Eren's leg is bitten off by one, he passes out until he hallucinates his mother telling him that he's nothing but a disappointment and a failure. This gives him the Heroic Second Wind he needs to save Armin... and get eaten by a titan.

     Western Animation 
  • In one episode of Teen Titans, they repeatedly snapped Beast Boy out of Mad Mod's hypnotism by making him laugh. In the end, it looked like he'd finally succumbed for good — until Raven made a cleverly barbed joke about his intelligence. It was laughter that awoke him, but then he realized what she'd said and was promptly insulted.
  • This happens to Nigel Uno a lot in Codename: Kids Next Door. As one example, on being stranded on Rainbow Monkey Island for a long time, he ended up Going Native... until someone told him he had gone through all that for a keychain. He immediately returned to normal and exploded.
  • The plot of an episode of the The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 revolved around an escalating argument between the brothers, and, to get at Mario, Luigi snapped Mario's suspenders back, pulled his cap down, and plucked his moustache so hard it curled upwards. Later, Mario fell under a hypnotic tech-induced Koopa Trance, leaving it up to Luigi to save him. When the inevitable "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight between them ended up not actually breaking the trance, Luigi simply repeats what he did to Mario earlier, bringing him back by eliciting the same response as he'd gotten earlier:
    Mario: Ooooooh! I hate it when you do that!


Inspirational InsultInsult TropesInsult Backfire
Instant SedationSleep and Wakefulness TropesLap Pillow
Instant ExpertNarrative DevicesInternal Homage
Incompatible OrientationImageSource/WebcomicsJossed

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