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[[quoteright:347:[[Webcomic/QuestionableContent http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/MartenisOOC_5159.png]]]]

->'''Chuck:''' Does this seem like a particularly awkward silence?\\
'''James:''' Dude, ''Miriam's'' not saying anything. It's the end times, man.
-->-- ''Webcomic/OutThere''

The title should be read as "Out-of-Character Is SeriousBusiness."

[[CharactersAsDevice Some characters have strong traits that they are known by]]. This is for when a character [[SubvertedTrope momentarily breaks away]] [[OutOfCharacterMoment from their normal habits]] to make a point or because the plot demands it. Often causes the other characters to do a DoubleTake and [[LampshadeHanging mention why this event]] is SeriousBusiness. When most or all of these [=OoC=] moments happen at once, you can be sure that [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt the world is ending]], or at least the DarkestHour, leading characters to behave in ways they normally wouldn't, because they know they might not have another chance to do so.

It's also a pretty good indication the GodzillaThreshold has been crossed.

This is a trope for when a somewhat-OutOfCharacter action is used to draw extra attention to the scene (similar to a TitleDrop). It isn't HiddenDepths because it isn't telling us something about the character we didn't already know; it's similar to an OutOfCharacterMoment in that this is specifically the usage of such a moment to draw attention to a scene. If they're doing this deliberately to make another character think something is amiss, see OutOfCharacterAlert. Compare LetsGetDangerous and WeirderThanUsual.

Some classic {{Archetypal Character}}s who might be the cause of this:

* The ActualPacifist starts a fight.
* TheAlcoholic[=/=]HardDrinkingPartyGirl puts down their drink for the time being (or dumps it out and [[NoMoreForMe swears to never drink again]]).
* The AllLovingHero [[BewareTheNiceOnes wants to kill someone]].
* A {{Badass}} gets scared.
* TheBerserker[=/=]HotBlooded guy calms down, or goes into TranquilFury.
* The BigEater states that they're not hungry, double points if they turned down their TrademarkFavoriteFood.
* The BloodKnight suggests a peaceful solution or is repelled by violence.
* The ClingyJealousGirl, CrazyJealousGuy or {{Yandere}} doesn't act out when someone makes moves on their love interest.
* The ClockKing or the CreatureOfHabit deviates from their routines ''purposely''.
* The CloudCuckoolander begins to talk and/or act logically.
* The CoolMask wearer suddenly [[TheReveal removes it]]; one normally in makeup being without also fits this.
* The DeadpanSnarker [[SarcasmFailure is at a loss for words]].
* The {{Determinator}} gives up.
* A DirtyCoward[=/=]LovableCoward stands up to fight.
* A practitioner of DissonantSerenity loses their cool.
* TheDitz does something distinctly intelligent and/or sensible.
* A character who DoesntLikeGuns [[BatmanGrabsAGun uses one]].
* One whose [[EyesAlwaysShut eyes are always shut]] opens their eyes, even if only for a second.
* The ExtremeDoormat [[GrewASpine stands up for themselves]].
* TheFettered or TheUnfettered compromises on their ideal or goal.
* TheFundamentalist thinks [[EveryoneHasStandards someone on their own side is too extreme]]. Bonus if it's BigBad and/or TheHeartless one [[EvenEvilHasStandards being disgusted]].
* The GloryHound lets someone else take the credit.
* The GoshDangItToHeck person [[PrecisionFStrike swears for real]].
* The character with a HairTriggerTemper waves off a slight. Double points if they didn't react or even [[ActuallyPrettyFunny laugh at their]] biggest BerserkButton
* The character who HatesBeingTouched allows someone to touch them (almost always in the form of [[SecurityCling a hug]]).
* The CuddleBug or person with NoSenseOfPersonalSpace respects someone's personal space.
* The ItsAllAboutMe or [[MoralMyopia Morally Myopic]] person shows concern for others, however grudgingly; the former tries to avoid the spotlight.
* The {{Jerkass}} [[TookALevelInKindness becomes very kind]].
* A LargeHam tones it down.
* The MotorMouth shuts up.
* The NiceGuy [[TookALevelInJerkass takes a level in Jerkass]].
* TheNicknamer calls another character [[YouCalledMeXItMustBeSerious by their real name]].
* The person with NoIndoorVoice whispers.
* The OmnicidalManiac tells someone that YouWillBeSpared.
* The PerfectPacifistPeople rise up in arms.
* The PerpetualFrowner stops frowning [[TheUnsmile and/or]] [[SlasherSmile starts]] [[WhenSheSmiles smiling]]...
* The PerpetualSmiler stops smiling and/or starts frowning...
* The PickyEater eats [[DoesNotLikeSpam a food they hate the most,]] and starts liking it.
* The PluckyComicRelief becomes dead serious.
* ThePollyanna admits to despair.
* The ProperLady [[PrecisionFStrike uses improper language]].
* The ProudWarriorRaceGuy says a plan of action is too dangerous.
* The ReluctantFanserviceGirl lets loose.
* TheScrooge suddenly gives something away.
* The ShamelessFanserviceGirl dresses conservatively, and not for health reasons.
* The ShrinkingViolet[=/=]FragileFlower becomes confident.
* SirSwearsALot doesn't drop even a single, mild swear.
* The SmugSnake loses all of his haughtiness and becomes ashamed of himself.
* TheStoic becomes NotSoStoic.
* The StrawCharacter demonstrates actual tact, respect for their opponent, and logic.
* The SugarAndIcePersonality or {{Tsundere}} is upfront about their affection for the love interest.
* TheTeetotaler [[INeedAFreakingDrink needs a drink]].
* The TerseTalker speaks in ''complete sentences''.
* The TricksterMentor clearly and directly tells their protege what they want.
* One who practices ThouShaltNotKill takes a life.
* One who TurnTheOtherCheek [[RejectedApology rejects someone's apology]], double points if they said to their offender on that what they did is [[ThisIsUnforgivable unforgivable.]]
* TheUnapologetic gives out a [[SincerityMode sincere, heartfelt apology.]]
* The one with a VerbalTic, spoke normally without dropping a single tic.
* TheVoiceless or TheSilentBob [[SuddenlyVoiced talks]].
* The WalkingShirtlessScene puts on a shirt.
* The character's who bemoans WhyDidItHaveToBeSnakes doesn't react to one even when it's right in front of their face.
* The YouNoTakeCandle speaker talks with normal syntax.
* The ZanyScheme maker comes up with a sound and logical plan.

A SuperTrope of:

* BatmanGrabsAGun
* BewareTheNiceOnes
* BewareTheQuietOnes
* BewareTheSillyOnes
* EvenEvilHasStandards (more so the more evil the villain expressing this sentiment is)/ EveryoneHasStandards
* MomentOfWeakness
* NotSoStoic
* OldMaster (who doesn't break into fights for just ''anything'')
* PrecisionFStrike (when it involves a character who normally doesn't swear)
* RageBreakingPoint
* RantInducingSlight
* SarcasmFailure
* StutterStop
* SuddenPrincipledStand
* SuddenlyShouting
* SuddenlyVoiced
* TooSpicyForYogSothoth (sometimes)
* TranquilFury
* WhenSheSmiles (sometimes)
* YouAreACreditToYourRace (for racists)
* YouCalledMeXItMustBeSerious



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* Tetsuya Tsurugi from ''Anime/MazingerZ'' and ''Anime/GreatMazinger'' is serious, grim-looking and moody, and he seldom smiles. So when he grins, everyone freaks out and dons OhCrap stares. Mainly Warrior Monsters, since it usually means they are about to die horribly and painfully.
* Mark Ibaraki from ''Manga/SevenSeeds'' is usually very upbeat, friendly and goofy, with a [[PerpetualSmiler constant smile]] on his face. When that smile disappears off his face? You ''know'' things are looking really, really bad.
* ''Manga/SoulEater'':
** Inverted with Death -- if he starts acting ''in'' character, you know you're in some serious shit. He does occasionally put on his old scary voice just to scare his staff into paying attention, and is even more likely to treat the most dire of circumstances (Asura's resurrection, Kid's abduction) casually, even jokingly.
** Also played straight: if Black☆Star is [[ChewingTheScenery not yelling]] and Death The Kid is not [[SuperOCD OCD'ing over symmetry]], prepare for an asskicking. Kid's an interesting example because the occasions he faces disorder and doesn't have a fit over it tend to be when he instead fixes on another inherent characteristic, that of him being a {{Shinigami}} (e.g Mosquito, minor point in his second fight with Black☆Star).
** The death scene of Crona's mother Medusa definitely fits, their mother [[AbusiveParent Medusa]] who welcomed them back and praised her child with open arms along by [[YourFavorite offering Crona's favorite dish]]. Finally, she then hugged Crona, who knows that their mother would never be so nice to them, freaked out and killed her. [[spoiler: Which is what Medusa wanted]]
** Crona themself is a weird two-in-one example; [[TheWoobie Crona's]] [=OOCness=] has different meanings depending on what side [[AmbiguousGender they're]] on. When evil, if Crona stops [[TalkativeLoon rambling like a lunatic]] then [[AxCrazy it's time to run]]. When good, Crona dropping their [[TheEeyore usual gloominess]] means that they're about to kick some ''serious'' butt. A possible ''third'' [[spoiler: in the penultimate chapter of the manga. There, Crona calmly considers what has happened, what [[TitleDrop 'fear' is]] and what they can do about it and Asura. No fighting, no evil influence from Medusa. Just Crona. And it is awesome.]]
* ''Anime/AngelBeats'': [[{{Ninja}} Shiina]] (who is TheQuietOne) says something in the 10th episode. ''Everyone'' is shocked by this.
* In ''Anime/InuYasha'', as noted by Jaken, when [[PerpetualFrowner Sesshomaru]] smiles, some serious shit is about to go down.
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'':
** Gin Ichimaru never opens his eyes. When he does, expect the fandom to ''react''. It goes double for when he stops smiling.
** Then there's seeing Isshin Kurosaki as anything other than an [[OverprotectiveDad Overprotective]], [[BumblingDad Bumbling]], PervertDad.
** [[MartialPacifist Shunsui]] (or [[SpellMyNameWithAnS Syunsui]]) [[BrilliantButLazy Kyoraku]] never loses his temper, and his general demeanor never really elevates beyond "mildly concerned"--even when fighting his mentor who is implied to be thousands of years older than he is. However, when his HeterosexualLifePartner Ukitake appeared to have been killed, he [[BerserkButton lost it]]. For extra emphasis, even in the context of that story arc, his reaction was pretty extreme.
** Chizuru Honshou is the local GenkiGirl and PluckyComicRelief. She has only cried twice in canon,: the first happened when [[spoiler: she and others were subjected to BodyHorror and forced to attack Tatsuki and Orihime thanks to Numb Chandelier]], and the other was during her HeroicBSOD when [[spoiler: Aizen was chasing her, Tatsuki, Keigo, Mizuiro and Mahana through Karakura Town.]]
** When Ichigo [[spoiler: decides to murder Tsukishima (despite never having killed anything other than hollows at this point) on the off chance it will reverse his [[{{Brainwashed}} Fullbring's effect]] on his friends and family]], you know he's pissed.
** The usually cool-headed Byakuya completely loses his composure when [[spoiler:As Nodt steals his bankai.]]
** Much earlier on, on June 16, Ichigo begins acting oddly friendly to his classmates, and Orihime immediately picks up on the change, impressing her best friend and Ichigo's long-time friend Tatsuki, who took three years to figure it out. It's because it's the day before the anniversary of Ichigo's mother's death, which he blames himself for.
** When the Vandenreich have invaded Society, you know the situation is bad when Yumichika [[CoverBlowingSuperpower publicly uses kido and his true shikai.]]
* At the ending of ''LightNovel/DemonKingDaimao'': The student council member [[VerbalTic who always says "guga"]], said something else than guga.
* ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'':
** Similar to the ''Bleach'' example is Kaede; when she opens her eyes, something big is going down.
** Similarly to that, when [[spoiler:[[CuteMute Zazie]]]] shows up and starts talking in multi-syllabic sentences, you know there's something weird going on. [[spoiler:Actually, turns out that it wasn't her.]]
* Again like Gin, when Xelloss from ''LightNovel/{{Slayers}}'' opens his eyes, stops smiling, or [[EnigmaticMinion volunteers unambiguous information]], things have already gone completely downhill.
* ''Anime/{{Monster}}'':
** There are exactly two moments where Johan isn't [[DissonantSerenity smiling softly,]] and you will crap your pants both times.
** The show has a habit of doing this with drink orders -- for instance, the workaholic decides against ordering a coffee, because he's chosen to vacation in earnest.
* The phenomenon is examined with a "scientific experiment" in ''Manga/CromartieHighSchool''.
* Most fans of ''Anime/SailorMoon'' recognize protagonist Usagi to be something of TheDitz. So when she tells classmates to stay out of an impending fight ''and study instead,'' everyone present wonder if she's coming down with something. No one at this point realized that concern for her friends happens to be the one thing above all else that makes her [[LetsGetDangerous start taking things seriously]].
** An instance of the trope starts the series of events that triggers the major [[TheReveal Reveals]] in [[WhamEpisode episode 34]]. Usagi runs into Mamoru on the street and slaps him on the back (mostly to annoy him), but to her surprise, not only does he react in pain (she hit him right on the spot where Zoisite wounded him in the last battle), he doesn't talk his usual snide towards her. This immediately sets off alarm bells in Usagi which become klaxons when she discovers the blood on her hand. Which shows something since, in spite of all the grief he'd given her in the past, the moment something serious happens to him, she drops all her past animosity to figure out what's wrong. And things just start to come together from there.
* In an episode of ''Anime/SamuraiPizzaCats'', space-cadet Emperor Fred (who normally communicates by saying "Fuh-red!" and scat-singing) catches a nasty cold, and apparently upgrades from TheUnintelligible to TalkativeLoon ("This is to certify that kung pao chicken containing MSG may cause your BMW to have a headache...") This leads Al Dente to conclude that the emperor is ''very'' sick.
* Pippin, the GentleGiant of the Band of the Hawk in ''Manga/{{Berserk}}'', has his EyesAlwaysShut and usually remains silent during missions. He only opens his eyes twice in the series, both times to indicate his alertness during situations of mortal peril. And if he raises his voice and tells you to do something, you had better believe it's your only chance for survival.
* ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'':
** One episode of the anime has Happōsai, the resident DirtyOldMan, acting extremely despondent and unlike himself. It culminates when Female!Ranma is forced by the fathers to put on a swimsuit and give the OldMaster a show in order to raise his spirits... and he just tells her to PleasePutSomeClothesOn. At this point, everybody know there's something very wrong with Happōsai.
** Akane, when Ranma does something silly, but she doesn't make him pay by [[RunningGag punching him to the sun or hitting him over the head with her hidden mallet]]. When she's ''really'' angry at him, she gives him the silent treatment. Ironically, Ranma is the main one who gets bothered by it.
* In the Sinnoh seasons of ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'', how can you tell that [[TheDreaded Team Galactic]] is coming? Croagunk does nothing but stare at the door, and doesn't even move when Brock hits on Nurse Joy.
* Kenshin of ''Manga/RurouniKenshin'' has a couple versions of this. The most obvious is that his entire demeanor changes, but more subtly he'll drop the use of [[JapanesePronouns the extremely humble "sessha" and use the aggressive masculine "ore"]][[note]]In the translation, Kenshin refers to himself as "this one", and when he is in "Battousai mode" refers to himself in the first-person, using "I"[[/note]], which is when you know what the [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast Hitokiri Battousai]] is present. Also, any time Kenshin the ThouShaltNotKill MartialPacifist seems to be seriously out for blood is cause to be very, ''very'' worried.
* ''Manga/{{Trigun}}''. Vash's reaction to Monev the Gale's wholesale slaughter of a small town in the anime is a definite example of this. Vash is usually a goofball and kind to the point of preferring to be injured himself [[ThouShallNotKill rather than hurt anyone else]], even when people are ''actively'' trying to kill him, but after seeing what happened to the town he puts a gun to Monev's head gets ''this close'' to just blowing his head off.
* ''Manga/OnePiece'':
** As a result of massive DespairEventHorizon, [[TheHero Luffy]] becomes so depressed that he [[spoiler:admits his own weakness and renounces his worthiness for the title of the Pirate King.]]
** PlayedForLaughs in an earlier moment, when Nami gave treasure to Lola. Luffy and Usopp were shocked, and actually shouted "A STORM IS COMING !" !
** Arguably any time that Luffy stops joking around and being a total moron it's clear that shit is about to go down.
** It is actually applied for every member of the Straw Hat AND the Straw Hat crew as a whole. They are usually very goofy and would get into fighting with each other for very silly reasons. But if you manage to make them stop fooling around, you know a lot of shits are coming down on you.
** If Luffy [[TheNicknamer stops calling a character by the nickname he's arbitrarily given them]], you know he's serious.
** Another moment where it was played for laughs is during a TV special: As the Straw Hats were performing a play, [[TheStoic Robin]] started overacting, [[NotSoAboveItAll dancing around and singing as if she was in an opera]]. Understandably, Chopper was completely freaked out.
** At one point in the Alabasta arc, Vivi says three words to Crocodile: "IllKillYou". Mind you, this is coming from a young princess who is such a NiceGirl that she can't stand the idea of ''a single person dying in a war''.
** Luffy actually uses this on purpose to relay a secret message to his crew after they've been separated [[spoiler: to meet up in Sabaody [[TimeSkip after two years.]]]]
** Corazon is thought to be mute by everyone, including his own brother. Which makes it so surprising when he [[SuddenlyVoiced finally talks]] to tell [[spoiler:Law that he needs to get away from Doflamingo.]]
** When Luffy points out the very harsh, but necessary truth that it's naïve to hope that all people involved in a war will survive, Nami gets angry at Luffy for being so blunt and not considering Vivi's feelings. It's extremely telling that ''Sanji'' is the one to tell Nami to shut up and not cut off Luffy. Usually, he would ''never'' show agreement with his male crewmates if he can please his female crewmates instead, but in this situation he apparently agreed with Luffy so much that he forgot his principles.
* In ''Manga/TsubasaReservoirChronicle'', it's clear that [[StepfordSmiler Fay's]] mental state has taken a turn for the worse not because he grows his hair out after [[EyeScream losing his eye]] and takes on a generally more gloomy disposition, but it's because he [[TheNicknamer drops the cutesy nicknames]] and actually calls Kurogane by his name. Later on when he starts using them again it's a huge relief to everyone since it indicates that he's getting better.
* ''Manga/{{Bakuman}}'':
** [[BrilliantButLazy Hiramaru]], infuriated over the reasoning behind putting Detective Trap on hiatus until Mashiro graduates, storms off ''to work on his manga''.
** Eiji Nizuma is a manga enthusiast who reads everything in Jump, especially the main characters' work, since they're his rivals. When he says he isn't reading Tanto, it's proof of how strongly he believes that it's inferior to their work and they are not living up to their potential by working on it.
* ''Anime/MaiOtome'':
** Arika's friends take note of how she isn't eating sweets when she's thinking about love, and become worried about her.
** During Nagi's coup, when Natsuki objects to [[YouShallNotPass Shizuru holding off the enemy forces herself to allow her to escape]], Shizuru angrily tells Natsuki not to act like a spoiled child and that she, as headmistress, has a duty to escape and help retake Garderobe and Windbloom, raising her voice for the only time in the series.
* ''Manga/ShinryakuIkaMusume'': Similar to the ''Bleach'' and ''Negima'' examples -- when Chizuru opens her eyes, you're screwed. Except for the one time she was trying to be friendly instead of intimidating. And it was ''[[WhenSheSmiles adorable.]]''
* ''Manga/DragonBall'':
** There is just ONE time in which [[BigEater Goku]] refused a meal. [[spoiler:When he sensed that his best friend Krillin was in danger and rushed to help him. It was too late: Krillin was ''already dead''.]]
*** Later on in the same arc, the typically happy-go-lucky Goku screams that he'll murder Tambourine, and rather brutally [[spoiler:does just that. He then fights King Piccolo and eventually strikes an honest death blow on him.]].
** Any time Gohan goes from "reluctant warrior" to "enraged doombringer" (or even worse, [[TranquilFury "calmly confident badass"]]) you better believe someone is about to be hurt.
** Vegeta was the BigBad of the first story arc of ''Anime/DragonBallZ''; one arc later, he breaks down, reveals his dark past, and cries during the Frieza Saga just as Goku arrives to fight Frieza.
** Another Vegeta example involves him blowing himself up in order to destroy Majin Buu and save the world, while expressing his love for his wife and son.
** Rounding out the trifecta, one of Vegeta's most recognizable character traits is his overwhelming arrogance; even against people who vastly outclass him, and he's aware of it, he tends to enjoy the challenge and trash talk them like none other. Therefore it is a major shock in two of the movies when Vegeta is so terrified of his opponent that he initially cannot muster the will to fight (against [[TheJuggernaut Broly]] and [[PhysicalGod Beerus]]), and a sign that these characters are ''seriously'' bad news. In both cases he eventually does get up to fighting, but the difference in what spurs him defines this even more. Specifically, the Beerus case is even worse than the Broly case: in the Broly case it was an appeal to his pride that eventually kicked in and finally got him to show his guts, but in the Beerus case it required that he [[AwLookTheyReallyDoLoveEachOther loves Bulma enough that Beerus slapping her into the ground would piss him off]].
* ''Anime/MawaruPenguindrum''
** The few times Shouma does ''not'' attempt to solve problems via words, things have got [[FromBadToWorse really bad]]. [[spoiler: Specially the last one.]]
** Similarly, his penguin #2, a BigEater ExtremeOmnivore, only once decided to share his meal with his "sister" #3. [[spoiler:She refused it and left him all dejected -- a {{foreshadowing}} of her and Himari ''leaving the Takakura family home'']]. And later, the "HandsomeLech" older brother penguin, #1, [[NotDistractedByTheSexy ignoring the sexy pictures]] that #3 is waving at him, and #2 cracking raw eggs on his forehead instead of cooing and eating them. This foreshadows [[spoiler:the GrandFinale, where Shouma and Kanba will be {{ret gone}}d.]]
* This is a general (but important) plot point in ''Anime/DarkerThanBlack''. Contractors are completely emotionless and self-serving, so when some of them ''aren't'', people always make note of it. Likewise, Dolls are so completely empty that they won't even eat without proper programming. At one point, one uses her [[{{Telepathy}} specter]] to call for help, which is about the same as your cell phone calling to tell your friend you're getting mugged.
* In the season 1 finale of ''Anime/CodeGeass'', the typically whimsical Lloyd freaks out when he notices Nina ready to detonate a homemade nuclear bomb. The Black Knights' chief engineer Rakshata immediately calls for a ceasefire because she was college classmates with Lloyd and realizes that if ''he's'' scared enough to act serious, it's definitely something to be afraid of.
* In ''Anime/AquarionEvol'', there's one way to make even the seemingly unflappable Zen Fudo [[OhCrap go stiff in horror]]: [[spoiler:the sight of Mykage killing off Jin, supposedly his ally, for pulling off a HeelFaceTurn]].
* In ''Manga/KatekyoHitmanReborn'', Reborn always pushes Tsuna to succeed in any given situation and never gives him a break because he knows that Tsuna has the potential to pull it off. So it's a huge shock to Tsuna when Reborn tells him that he has ''no'' chance of defeating [[spoiler:the strongest member of the Vindice]].
* Once in ''Manga/AxisPowersHetalia'', Germany joined Japan on a diet and gave up [[TrademarkFavoriteFood beer]]. This leaves various Germans completely stunned and his older brother Prussia is nearly brought to tears out of fear. Of course, this being Hetalia, it's all [[PlayedForLaughs presented as hilarious]].
-->'''Random German Guy:''' ZE VORLD IS COMING TO AN END!!!!
* ''Manga/OuranHighSchoolHostClub'': Kyoya Otori is a very cold, calculating, selfish man who never does anything that he can't gain from (at least, [[HiddenHeartOfGold nothing that he'll admit to.]]) So when he [[spoiler: blows up in Yuzuru Suou's face near the end of the manga and delivers an angry [[TheReasonYouSuckSpeech Reason You Suck Speech]] to him for forcibly wresting control of the Suou family businesses from Grandmother Suou ''and'' dashing Tamaki's hopes of someday reconciling his entire family in the process,]] despite there being nothing to gain and everything to lose from it, it comes off as a serious CrowningMomentOfAwesome for him.
* In ''Manga/SangatsuNoLion'', the normally meek Rei eventually becomes irritated over Nikaidou's taped lecture over his MHK Cup loss and is vocal about it as he shouts back at the screen. Someji and Momo's reactions play it off like a joke as they look in amazement and surprise over Rei actually getting angry. However, Hina, in a slightly more serious moment, is happy to see a side of Rei that she never gets to see.
* In ''Anime/LegendOfGalacticHeroes'', Alex Cazerne is renowned for his NervesOfSteel even in the deadliest conflicts (being a DeskJockey undoubtedly helps). However, he broke down once over the [[spoiler: death of Yang Wen-li]], showing the seriousness of the situation.
* ''LightNovel/{{Bakemonogatari}}'':
** In Hanekawa's arc, when told that she knows everything, she responds "I don't know everything, I don't know anything." By comparison, her catch phrase is "I don't know everything, I just know what I know."
** PlayedForLaughs in ''Nisemonogatari''. Araragi is so freaked out by seeing his tomboyish little sister Karen wear a skirt that he assumes she was bullied into it.
* ''VisualNovel/HigurashiWhenTheyCry'':
** In the first arc, Rena and Mion [[spoiler:or so we're lead to believe]] act... [[LaughingMad oddly]], prompting Keiichi to become defensive, ignore them outright, and to even carry a weapon around. [[spoiler:This in itself triggers a very serious reaction from Mion and Rena, who believe what's happening to him is what happened to Satoshi a year prior -- just before he vanished]].
** Those little moments where [[TokenMiniMoe Rika]] acts [[WiseBeyondHerYears oddly mature]]? [[spoiler:It's not a product of delusion or [[UnreliableNarrator faulty narration]]. It's because she's a '''major''' StepfordSmiler, and [[Really700YearsOld really ''is'' centuries older than she looks]]. It's not eventual [[TheReveal reveal]] that makes this important; it's the fact that if she's willing to break her persona, it's damn important.]]
** When Satoko (a.k.a. the Master of Traps) doesn't respond well (or at all) to her friends' playful jokes, it means [[spoiler:it's [[EvilUncle her turn to]] [[BreakTheCutie break]].]]
** If [[{{Cloudcuckoolander}} Rena]] is serious, it has two possible meanings: [[spoiler:she's snapped from HatePlague and is about to kill (or has already killed) someone]], or one of her friends is in serious danger.
** If Mion's [[GenkiGirl genkiness]] goes away for a while, she's either acting more girly (read: impersonating her twin sister) to get closer to Keiichi, or if it's played for horror, [[spoiler:''it's not her at all''; it's [[TwinSwitch Shion instead]]]]. And, like Rena above, she becomes very serious when her friends' lives are in danger, or when attending family meetings.
* ''LightNovel/HaruhiSuzumiya'':
** Throughout the Endless Eight arc, Yuki is frequently seen looking mildly bored or sad, which is pretty much the equivalent of a HeroicBSOD for her [[spoiler:from being trapped in a GroundhogDayLoop for almost ''[[AndIMustScream 600 years.]]'']]
** In the story "Snow Mountain Syndrome", when the Brigade gets lost on a mountain and finds a mysterious mansion, Yuki is even more listless and detached than normal, not saying a single word to anyone and [[BigEater barely nibbling her food]]. When pressed, we find out [[spoiler:her link to the Data Overmind has been cut, and she has no idea how]]. So this is her ''freaking out''.
** Later during "Snow Mountain Syndrome", Yuki actually ''faints'', which shocks Kyon, Koizumi, and Mikuru so much they can't even move to catch her when she falls. Thankfully, Haruhi (who is unaware that Yuki is a PhysicalGod in all but name) isn't quite so stunned, and is there to grab her before she hits the ground.
** One good way to check the seriousness of a situation is to check whether or not Koizumi is smiling. There have been two major times his perpetual smile has broken: when Mikuru accidentally began firing actual lasers from her eyes (nearly taking off his head with them), and when [[spoiler:Kyon nearly strikes Haruhi in anger when she ''seriously'' crosses the line, which Koizumi fortunately steps in to stop.]]
** In the anime, the last one involves maybe three other OOC moments: [[spoiler:the usually deadpan Kyon being angry enough to go from snark to physical violence (which he lampshades)]] and [[spoiler:the cheerful and selfish Haruhi [[CryCute being brought to tears]].]] Even [[spoiler:Tsuruya, who's almost always smiling and yukking it up, is shown totally silent and with a serious expression as Kyon and Haruhi almost come to blows]].
* ''Anime/GirlsUndPanzer'':
** Mako is typically coolheaded at her most energetic and lethargic and lazy at worst. When she hears about [[spoiler:her grandmother collapsing]], she becomes especially determined to reach [[spoiler:the hospital]] as soon as possible, even considering swimming an impossible distance if necessary.
** Mako, who detests having to get up early and is often shown napping, is said to be losing sleep over [[spoiler:her grandmother's condition, since the previously mentioned collapse is not the first one]].
** Mako typically snarks at Sodoko, [[AccidentalMisnaming calls her by her nickname against her wishes]], and displays a calm and stoic personality. When Sodoko [[spoiler:deletes all of Mako's tardinesses and absences, ensuring that she will be able to graduate on time]] Mako lets out a whoop and [[TheGlomp glomps]] her.
** Katyusha is quite arrogant, and enjoys sitting on the shoulders of [[HugeSchoolgirl Nonna]] to seem taller than everyone else because of her short height. When she's [[spoiler:defeated by Oarai]], she gets off Nonna's shoulders and shakes Miho's hand, something she had refused to do earlier, to congratulate them.
** In the ''Little Army'' prequel manga, Miho, upset by Maho's aloof behavior after [[spoiler:admitting to having shot an enemy flag tank when it went to rescue one of hers]], questions her mother on whether it was necessary, despite her timidity and unwillingness to [[CallingTheOldManOut call her own mother out]]. Her mother shrugs this off, but Maho makes note of this and later comes to speak with Miho privately to apologize and tell her to pursue her own style of tankery.
--->'''Maho:''' I was surprised today, to see Miho talk to Mother like that. [[LampshadeHanging That shows you were quite desperate]]... I'm sorry.
** Momo typically alternates between being relatively calm and getting comically angry over things like missing or being called "Momo-chan". On some occasions, though, she seems genuinely upset, such as when the team doesn't care whether or believe they can win, [[spoiler:especially considering the school will be shut down if they don't win the tournament]].
** Miho is generally a polite girl who can't find it in her to say anything bad about other people, even the [[JerkAss Jerkasses]]. When Emi begins saying she hates Miho's sister despite never having gotten to know her, Miho loses her temper and, in her anger, declares she hates Emi. Miho's friends are shocked at how Miho got angry, and [[ParentalSubstitute Sakuyo]] notes that it's rare for Miho to get angry.
** Anzu is typically a PerpetualSmiler, generally loses the smile under similar circumstances as Momo's own OOC Is Serious Business behavior.
--->'''Anzu:''' (''not smiling'') Losing is not an option for us...\\
'''Yukari:''' (''thinks'') The president became serious for once.
** After Saunders loses to Oarai, Kay, typically a cheerful LargeHam who likes competition, walks up to Arisa, whose unsportsmanlike [[spoiler:intercepting radio transmissions]] backfired and cost them the match, and tells her in a calm, yet stern tone of voice that they will be discussing what happened, prompting an OhCrap reaction from Arisa.
* During ''Manga/UruseiYatsura'', Ataru usually has either a goofy look or a perverted look on his face. When he's caught looking serious, things just got real. It's even pointed-out during the Anime itself.
* In ''LightNovel/ShakuganNoShana'', when Shana goes out of her way to avoid saying "[[{{Catchphrase}} Urusai! Urusai! Urusai!!!]]" for the most part, you know that some very serious shit is going down.
* In episode 9 of ''Manga/KotouraSan'', Daichi stops [[FrozenFace puffing up his lips strangely]] in front of people (he previously only stops doing that in front of ChildhoodFriend Yuriko) in order to discuss a series of serial muggings [[{{telepathy}} Haruka]] might have psychically picked up on.
* ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'':
** Ling Yao typically has his EyesAlwaysShut. When he does open his eyes, it's either because he means business or [[spoiler:after about the halfway point, Greed is currently in control of his body.]]
** In the [[Anime/FullmetalAlchemist 2003 anime]], you know [[ExtremeOmnivore Gluttony]] is upset over [[spoiler:the death of his [[PlatonicLifePartners platonic life partner, Lust]]]], when the thought of [[BigEater eating]] ''doesn't even cross his mind''.
* ''Manga/AttackOnTitan'':
** In chapter 23, Reiner is surprised that Jean is looking out for others.
** Likewise, [[spoiler:Annie's usual dreary-eyed expression giving way to [[VillainousBreakdown wide-eyed, cocky, high-pitched laughter]]]] should make people ''[[OhCrap very very afraid]]''.
** Related to the above, Eren, is a guy who swore to exterminate every single Titan on the planet because they killed his mother and destroyed his home town, and generally has a world view bordering on BlackAndWhiteInsanity. Upon learining his friend [[spoiler:Annie]] is a traitor responsible for the deaths of a large number of people including some of his teammates, first reacts with denial. Even after he gathers the resolve to use his special ability, he still shows [[spoiler:her]] a surprising amount of compassion, and seems willing to hear [[spoiler:her]] out. In other words, he simply cannot bring himself to completely dehumanize [[spoiler:her]] like he does any of his other enemies.
* ''Manga/XxxHolic'': If [[UnlimitedWardrobe Yuuko]] is wearing something she's has ''ever'' worn before, things are getting serious. [[note]]And yes, Creator/{{CLAMP}} designed ''that many outfits'' for Yuuko.[[/note]]
* ''Manga/ACertainScientificRailgun'':
** In the second season, after first discovering the Sisters, Mikoto is sufficently rattled that the next morning she fails to punch Kuroko for groping her and pays for something from the evil vending machine instead of kicking or electrocuting it. Kuroko becomes concerned that she may have been replaced by an impostor.
** When Mikoto is suffering from [[spoiler:a Level 6 Shift attempt, and is destructively mutating into an angel]], the extreme {{Cloudcuckoolander}} and IdiotHero Gunha Sogiita starts talking clearly and calmly, and defers to Touma to come up with a plan, since the situation is that serious.
* At the end of episode 12 of ''Manga/ServantXService'', [[TheSlacker the perpetually slacking]] Yutaka Hasebe comes into the office on Monday and... settles in to work with barely a word. His colleagues are massively creeped out to the point of staging an intervention to find out what's going on with him. Turns out there ''is'' some serious business afoot - [[spoiler:he's just recently learned that his own father is the civil servant who approved Lucy's OverlyLongName, i.e. the person that the girl he's in love with wants {{revenge}} on. And worse, his father's justification for approving such a ridiculous name is that he was distracted because Yutaka was ill with a fever at the time, making Lucy's situation indirectly ''his fault''.]]
* ''Manga/{{Saki}}'':
** Mihoko keeps her right eye constantly shut, since [[MismatchedEyes it's a different color from her left one]], and she's sensitive about it. When she becomes surprised, she sometimes opens that eye, such as when she played Hisa for the first time three years ago.
** In the quarterfinals, an interesting case happens when Hisa's teammates notice that she's not herself. Saki becomes worried when Hisa isn't trying for her "hell waits"- Hisa has a strategy for choosing waits that are unlikely to work, knowing that she's only likely to win with them- while Nodoka, who plays more logically, is happy that Hisa is not playing that way. Mako notices that Hisa was less than confident going into the match, and wonders if she really is alright after seeing her with a suddenly renewed confidence.
** In ''Manga/SakiShinohayuDawnOfAge'', Kanna is a short-tempered and fairly abrasive girl. As such, when she declines Kyouka's offer to hang out together with a smile and an apology, Kyouka knows something is amiss; Hayari had hoped to apologize to her friends for upsetting them, but none of them showed up, leading her to think she had driven them away.
* ''Manga/SkipBeat'' has spent a lot of time developing Ren's (psychotic) HiddenDepths, but mostly from the reader's perspective. In chapter 194 we have a ''literal'' out-of-character be SeriousBusiness when he freaks out at Kyoko for a personal matter while they're supposed to be the Heel siblings, and Kyoko is more astonished that he's breaking character while acting than that he's going full-on BastardBoyfriend [[DomesticAbuser psycho]] on her. Even though they're alone in a hotel room. And they are not a couple.His breaking character as "[[BecomingTheMask Tsuruga Ren]]" and letting suppressed emotions and behaviors like rage appear was used this way at first, but it became enough the norm that it's gone to the next level. Earlier in the course of being Cain Heel he ''actually'' lost his temper while rehearsing a fight scene as a psychotic murderer and enjoyed the attempt to kill his co-star much more visibly than the character would, but luckily at that point he was about four cover identities deep, so no one was able to accurately interpret what had just happened. Though some came close, even working with false information.
* In a story arc near the end of ''Manga/AnatoliaStory'', when [[spoiler:Urhi fakes holding Nakia hostage to keep everyone from learning about her involvement of the previous king's assassination,]] he whispers to her that he wishes they could start over where they first met. This initially just seems like him expressing sorrow at missed opportunities, but Nakia is confused over the uncharacteristic sentimentality Urhi is showing. [[spoiler:She realizes that it's a hint from him to go back to the pool where they first met. He hid Yuri's present-day clothing there, which she can use to magic Yuri to a different time period.]]
* ''Manga/FruitsBasket'': While Tohru Honda is normally sweet and upbeat to the point of silliness, there are a handful of times when she truly breaks down and shows despair. The first is when she admits to Kyo that she secretly thinks her father was a "bad man", even though she ''knows'' he loved her and her mother and took good care of them. [[spoiler:A later one would be when Kyo rejects her, causing her to run from the house in sorrow and run into an insane Akito]]. This is lampshaded at one point by her friend, who says that "hell would freeze over" if Tohru became overcome by sadness and stopped smiling. Also, alongside sweet and upbeat, Tohru herself is incredibly polite and well-mannered. The moment she pushes someone away from another person ''with her own hands'' happened when a very uncomfortable-looking Yuki was passive-aggressively harrassed by [[spoiler:someone Tohru had never been before until then -- '''Akito'''.]]
* ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'':
** Asuma is almost always seen [[SmokingIsCool smoking]], except for a few occasions. One instance is around the time his father, the Third Hokage, died. Another is when two Akatsuki members kill his friend Chiriku, and the rest of the members of his temple.
--->'''Shikamaru''': It's been two days since your last cigarette. When a chain smoker like you lays off, something's always up.\\
'''Asuma''': Sharp eyes, Shikamaru. If the likes of you can read my heart, then I'm still a rank amateur.
** Kakashi usually acts like a total flake, but when Guy tells him he taught Lee the [[DangerousForbiddenTechnique Hidden Lotus]] Kakashi is almost too mad to speak.
* Alucard from ''Manga/{{Hellsing}}'' is incredibly [[LargeHam hammy]], especially while fighting. The one time he acts completely solemn during a fight is when he ''begs'' Anderson not to become a monster like him.
* PlayedForLaughs during the HotSpringsEpisode of ''Manga/SayonaraZetsubouSensei''. When the class and Nozomu learn about a hot springs' detoxifying qualities, Nozomu goes on a rant about the dangers of recklessly detoxing. Cue the students coming out of the spring without any of their character flaws, like the lawsuit-happy MsFanservice tripping and revealing a wetsuit underneath her towel, while just asking for a band-aid instead of threatening to sue, and the StalkerWithACrush respecting Nozomu's personal space and staying away from him. Nozomu, being Nozomu, is horrified by all of this.
* In ''Manga/DeathNote'', Near figures out Light's otherwise brilliant plan because Light's [[TheDragon Dragon]], Teru Mikami, otherwise an obsessive CreatureOfHabit, goes to the bank two days in a row, when he would normally only go once a month.
* In ''LightNovel/FullMetalPanic'' Kaname begins acting completely differently after visiting [[spoiler:the ruined lab at Yamsk 11, including pulling a voluntary FaceHeelTurn]]. It turns out she's doing this because [[spoiler:it's ''not'' Kaname.]]
* ''Anime/RebuildOfEvangelion'' 2.0: Rei says "Good Morning". The entire classroom flies into a panic.
-->'''Toji:''' Well ''that'' was unexpected.
* In Chapter 75 of ''Manga/MyMonsterSecret'', an incident happened which causes the weather to get worse whenever someone acts out-of-character, and gets better when they act normal. When [[JerkAss Akane]] starts being nice, there were [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt a huge storm with ''meteors'' falling down from the sky, as well as the Emperor of Fear descending to earth]]. Everything went back to normal, however, when [[ChristmasCake Akari]] shows up in a homely outfit. The chapter is also a BigLippedAlligatorMoment, as it was never explained what caused the phenomenon.
* ''VideoGame/KantaiCollection'':
** Fubuki is normally obsessed with Akagi. So in episode 10, Kaga points out how weird it is for Fubuki, who has become obsessed with training in order to [[spoiler:get her remodel]], to just run past Akagi with only a perfunctory greeting.
** In episode 12, Haruna and Hiei are surprised when Kirishima does a GlassesPull.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Skalman from ''ComicBook/{{Bamse}}'', a Swedish comic series, almost never showed emotion, and always obeyed a strict schedule. When he stopped obeying that schedule for a bit, or snapped at his friends, you knew it was serious.
* In the recent comic book adaptation of ''ComicBook/DarkwingDuck'', the Liquidator, who has the VerbalTic of speaking in ad slogans and bogus claims, suddenly drops it just long enough to warn someone about Quackerjack's BerserkButton. Which turned out to be SeriousBusiness indeed.
* ''ComicBook/SwampThing'': "The [[MonsterClown Joker]] has ''stopped laughing.''"
* ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'':
** Speaking of SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker, he is ''completely straight faced'' in ''ComicBook/TheKillingJoke'' during the moment he's trying to actually ''reason'' with Batman.
** He finds no humor in tossing a baby to Sarah Gordon to get her to drop her sidearm then putting one through her head. It's the closest thing he has to a redeeming moment.
** And with Batman, the one time to date (not counting his [[EarlyInstallmentWeirdness very early comics]] and alternate universes) that he's actually [[BatmanGrabsAGun used a regular gun]] on someone to kill them was with ComicBook/{{Darkseid}} in ''ComicBook/FinalCrisis'', because the situation was ''that serious''. Also, whenever he seems to be seriously considering just offing someone it generally means that person has either [[PapaWolf threatened or hurt one of his adopted kids]] or just done something ''that bad'' if Batman's even considering JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope.
** ''ComicBook/DeathOfTheFamily'': Joker has always used Joker Venom, which kills a person and leaves them with the creepiest grin on their face. But this time, his venom kills a person, and leaves them with a ''frown'' on their face. Something is wrong...
** The Joker has always had a fondness for jokes, tricks, and gags in his various schemes and murders, but in ''ComicBook/ADeathInTheFamily'' he forgoes his usual methods and simply opts to beat Robin (Jason Todd) half to death with a crowbar and let a bomb finish the job.
** In the magnificently [[MindScrew mindscrewy]] ''ComicBook/WhateverHappenedToTheCapedCrusader'', when Joker gives a eulogy for Batman, and reminisces about his death:
--->'''Joker:''' It should have been funny... but it wasn't.
** While Dick Grayson was the sole Batman in the DCU, he let security cameras record him beating up thugs, so that criminals would know that Batman was back in town. However, Two-Face sees him smiling in one of these recordings, and this tips him off that the Batman he's watching is not ''the'' Batman, as ''Batman does not smile''.
** Similarly, during ''ComicBook/{{Knightfall}}'', Joker takes one look at [[FanNickname Azbats]] and realizes it's not the real Batman, walking away from the fight. Commissioner Gordon, Catwoman and Superman all take similar notices.
* Here's a tip if you're a villain in the Franchise/MarvelUniverse. If Franchise/SpiderMan is fighting you and is not making [[YouFightLikeACow wisecracks, puns, and derisive comments about your intelligence, looks, or mama]], you're not going to have a good day. Because you did something to make Spidey ''very'' pissed off at you, and you will notice you are fighting a super-strong [[BigCreepyCrawlies Big Creepy Crawly]] in human form.\\\
Some writers claim that part of the reason Spidey quips mid-battle is because his enhanced nerve conduction velocity (reflexes and spider-sense) actually allows him to think at superhuman speeds... which means that to him, the world is moving in slow motion during a fight, and he fills in the extra time by making jokes. If he's not making them, not only is it frightening that he's strong and angry, it's frightening that he's dedicating 100% of his genius intellect and enhanced processing power to deciding how he's going to hurt you in the most personally satisfying manner possible. Probably the best way to tell that you have made a ''terrible'' mistake is if he's not making jokes and he's coming at you wearing the black costume.\\\
A theory put forward by Stan Lee himself is that Spidey is making jokes to cover up that he actually is terrified, so the bigger the danger, the lamer the jokes. So when he stops it usually means that no matter how terrifying and dangerous you are, he is not buying it anymore. Now all he feels is that he ''really'' wants to beat you unconscious.
* In ''ComicBook/TheSandman'', there is one scene in which Delirium pulls herself together. Delirium, as her name suggests, is the AnthropomorphicPersonification of ''insanity''. She even comments that it ''hurts'' to be sane. ("I ''[[GoMadFromTheRevelation know things]]''.") And from a brief moment of chilling clarity in ''Brief Lives'' to her brother Destiny:
-->'''Delirium:''' Do you know why I stopped being Delight, my brother? '''''I''''' do. There are things not in your book. There are paths outside this garden. ''You would do well to remember that.''
* In ''ComicBook/{{Lucifer}}'', when Duma, [[TheSilentBob the Angel of Silence]], starts talking. Well. We already know the [[ApocalypseHow end of all creation]] is imminent, but that's still the point where we're forced to consider maybe [[StatusQuoIsGod Status Quo Isn't God]], and nothing will ever be the same again.
* ''ComicBook/{{Watchmen}}'':
** Rorschach is gruff, insulting, and arrogant most of the time, and also doesn't usually use pronouns or proper names. When he says, "Daniel, I apologize. I know it's difficult being my friend," you know he's being dead serious.
** When Dan/Nite Owl finds out that his friend and mentor, Hollis Mason/the original Nite Owl was beaten to death by members of a gang, he starts beating the ever-living crap out of a gang member, to get information about the murder. Even though Nite Owl has no aversion to violence, the raw viciousness makes ''Rorschach'' of all people stop him. (Although his rationale is to tell Dan, "Not in front of the public.")
* Any time that the pre-ComicBook/{{Crisis|on Infinite Earths}} SelfDemonstrating/LexLuthor, the version who used to be ComicBook/{{Superboy}}'s friend and a pretty nice guy, would have a PetTheDog moment, it represented his earlier decent nature showing through, and (rightly or wrongly), it gave Supes hope that someday he might come back to the side of the angels. One of the very last pre-ComicBook/{{Crisis|on Infinite Earths}} stories, "The Ghost of Superman Future,'' indicates that in at least one [[DistantFinale possible future,]] Lex did eventually reform and they became friends again in their old age. It was by Creator/ElliotSMaggin, who was very fond of Luthor. He later wrote a short story along similar lines called "Luthor's Gift."
* Then there's Franchise/{{Superman}} himself. When Supes gets pissed, which is rare, beware, because the Boy Scout is about to test his ThouShaltNotKill credo.
* Franchise/WonderWoman has her own version. When she puts aside her lasso and other tools meant to disable, and actually takes up a sword or axe, it means she has declared ''war'' and someone's going down- or possibly somearmy. It doesn't really apply to the Nu52 version who's, well, sword armed almost all the time, but it used to be a big deal for the champion of peace to take up a weapon meant to kill.
* In the 3rd book of ''ComicBook/{{Bone}}'', while the world slowly crumbles due to the Rat Creatures and [[spoiler:Thorn learning she is a princess]], Grandma Ben, whose [[EyesAlwaysShut eyes are always closed]], opens them for a split-second when she finds out that she has [[spoiler:partially doomed the Valley by not telling Thorn that she is a princess.]]
* SelfDemonstrating/{{Deadpool}}, [[NoFourthWall the fourth-wall breaking]] WildCard to end all wild cards, has his speech bubbles and thought rectangles shaded yellow, to show that he's the one guy in the entire comicverse who knows he's in the comicverse and is perfectly okay with it. On the rare occasions where his speech bubbles go to the normal white shading, meaning he's taking things seriously, you know it's ''significant.'' The plot of ''ComicBook/DeadpoolKillsTheMarvelUniverse'' involves the yellow and white voices getting somehow killed... and the [[OmnicidalManiac red voice]] replacing it. Let's just say it doesn't go well for the world. Also anytime you don't see the yellow and white voice boxes, and Deadpool is acting calm, you're going to die horribly, [[EvenEvilHasStandards because you did something even Deadpool thinks is monstrous]], and he's doing this job pro bono.
* In ''ComicBook/{{Nodwick}}'', when ''Piffany'', of all people, [[http://nodwick.humor.gamespy.com/nodwick/dragon/nodwick07.html wants to kill the princess they've rescued]]...
* In a ''[[ComicBook/TheSimpsons Simpsons]]'' comic story, Bart [[PrinceAndPauper trades places with a celebrity who looks like him]]. One day, Marge takes "Bart" to a meeting with Principal Skinner about the "A" the he got on a test, with Skinner saying that Bart is, was and always will be an underachiever.
* In the ''Marvel vs. DC'' crossover, there comes a moment when the universe genuinely looks like it's going to end. The sky is ''bleeding''. Spider-Man turns to J. Jonah Jameson, and says,
-->'''Spider-Man:''' You gonna take one last shot at me before the lights go out?\\
'''Jonah:''' ...For what it's worth, I'm sorry.\\
'''Spider-Man:''' ...Oh.
* In the Ultimate Universe, JJ snaps at young Parker and fires him after Parker calls him on his BS. But he shows up later on and ''apologizes'' to Peter for his behavior and goes on to explain calmly and sensibly what his problems are with Spider-Man.
* ''ComicBook/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicIDW'':
** When the Cutie Mark Crusaders aren't interested in cutie marks, you ''know'' something bad has happened.
** Scootaloo turning down an offer to hang out with Rainbow Dash is so upsetting that RD has to tell her friends about it. (Whether she's worried for Scoot, is just nursing her bruised ego, or both is uncertain.)
* The Caged Demonwolf in ''ComicBook/{{Empowered}}'' drops his alliteration and wordiness at one point for a genuinely touching discussion with a character about how he'll always remember her. After five or six volumes of "Bah!" it's an attention-getting moment.
* During the final battle between Sonic and Robotnik in ''ComicBook/ArchieComicsSonicTheHedgehog'', Sonic is so pissed off about Robotnik seemingly killing Sally that he doesn't quip any jokes and even refers to Robotnik by his real name. The comic itself [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]] this.
* The fourth issue of ''ComicBook/TheTick'' comic book, "The Night Of A Million Zillion Ninjas" seems much like the previous chapters, until The Tick's friend and partner Oedipus gets stabbed by two ninjas, seriously enough that she falls unconscious and starts losing blood. At this, the wheels come off -- rather than his usual bombast and style, The Tick quickly, silently, and violently dispatches the two ninjas, and all he can say as he carries Oedipus is "This isn't supposed to happen." He [[HeroicBSOD barely registers the paramedics who come to help Oedipus]], and is later seen with paranoid delusions of the various buildings taunting him over his failures. Unlike most [[CloudCuckooLander Cloudcuckoolanders]], he doesn't suddenly become sane... he just [[AxCrazy stops being the "fun" kind of insane]].
* ''ComicBook/FantasticFour'':
** In the arc "True Story", when Reed and Sue Richards' daughter Valeria (who loves bedtime stories) loudly declares that she doesn't want a story before bed, Sue is convinced that this is the work of an enemy. The Fantastic Four soon discover that recurring ''Comicbook/DoctorStrange'' villain Nightmare has been attacking the Lands of Fiction, causing people to lose interest in stories.
** In the story arc "The Fall and Rise of the Fantastic Four", Sue goes to retrieve Valeria from SelfDemonstrating/DoctorDoom after Valeria pulled a ScrewThisImOuttaHere following learning why her family went on a time-traveling family trip. When Valeria refuses, noting that Doom is starting to actually reform and she wants to finish it, Sue flips out and when Doom steps in, she tears him a new one. Doom ends up [[spoiler:sensing the entity Malice]] within Sue, but she ignores him. It's when Valeria throws herself between the two and outright states that she's scared of Sue that Sue ends up backing down.
* In issue 25 of ''ComicBook/PocketGod'', the [[TheDitz ditzy]] Nooby is at the mercy of his EvilTwin, Newbie. When things seem dire, Nooby drops his usual [[ThirdPersonPerson third person speak]] and talks in articulate sentences to level with his more intelligent twin. The sudden change shocks everyone and it really [[VillainousBreakdown gets under Newbie's skin]].
-->'''Nooby:''' Nooby knows how it feels to not be accepted. Noob... I know what it feels like to be the odd pygmy out.\\
'''Ooga:''' He's making sense?!?!
* In the third issue of IDW's ''ComicBook/{{Ghostbusters}}: Mass Hysteria'' (issue 15 of the 2013/2014 series), Peter takes a phone call for help while discussing the current problem with Walter Peck and immediately leaves via motorcycle without a word, much to Peck's surprise. Considering the caller was [[spoiler:Dana Barrett]], it's understandable.
-->'''Walter Peck:''' Ms. Melnitz, after taking that phone call, Peter Venkman ran out of here without a ''single smart-assed remark.'' That kind of character inconsistency is, in my experience, the ''reddest'' of red flags.
* During ''ComicBook/KravensLastHunt'', Spider-Man realizes something is decisively wrong when Kraven comes at him with a rifle after capturing him with a net.
* Most times, Comicbook/{{X 23}} is TheStoic. Even while slaughtering mooks by the dozens she does it with complete, emotionless, and automatic detachment. If she's ever ''visibly'' angry when she comes after you, however, you better run. ''Fast''.
** It's immediately clear just how badly [[Comicbook/AvengersArena Murderworld]] and subsequent torture by Purifiers affected her when Laura throws herself in [[Comicbook/AllNewXMen Teen!Cyclops's]] arms despite how she HatesBeingTouched when Stryker shows her footage of herself in a trigger scent-fueled rage.
* In ''Comicbook/NewAvengers'', DoctorDoom isn't his usual prideful hammy self when he embarks on his attempt [[spoiler:to foil the Beyonders' attempts to wipe out the multiverse.]] He's serious, surprisingly humble, and all too aware of the stakes.
* Paperinik, both the classic and the ''ComicBook/PaperinikNewAdventures'' versions, is usually wisecracking or, when pissed, shouting. If he's neither, hope he looks bored instead of having a psychotic smile: if he looks bored [[LetsGetDangerous he's just too annoyed at you to joke and is going to beat the crap out of you]], but if he's smiling he's going to ''kill'' you and whoever's stupid enough to try and defend you.

[[folder:Comic Strips]]
* In ''ComicStrip/CalvinAndHobbes'', as Calvin is lying sick in bed, [[UnnamedParent his mom]] tells him she's going to call the doctor. She also adds that it's Saturday, so he won't miss school, and he responds with a weak "I know." Since Calvin is a kid who usually is overjoyed at the thought of not going to school, his mother is convinced this is serious and races for the phone.
* A similar joke happened in an early ''ComicStrip/ForBetterOrForWorse''. Michael complains of feeling sick, and when Elly tells him to go to bed, he says "okay" and goes right upstairs. She tucks him into bed, convinced that he's sick.
* In the final week of dailies of ''ComicStrip/USAcres'', LovableCoward Wade achieves peace with the world... sending Orson, Roy, and Booker away screaming in terror.
* Every Christmas, Jon's mother sends ComicStrip/{{Garfield}} a HomemadeSweaterFromHell. But [[http://www.gocomics.com/garfield/2012/12/27 in one strip]], the sweater is both tasteful and fits well on him. Jon immediately heads for the phone to call and check on her.
* Whenever [[ComicStrip/{{Peanuts}} Charlie Brown]] breaks his NiceGuy attitude and gets genuinely angry at someone, it's when he delivers a TheReasonYouSuckSpeech, and/or a WhatTheHellHero speech, and it's ''always'' a CrowningMomentOfAwesome for him.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* ''Fanfic/ACrownOfStars'': Shinji manages to surprise Asuka several times:
** In chapter 24 Asuka wakes up and finds Shinji hugging her. Shinji (believing he is dreaming) calls her beautiful, says that he’ll make her breakfast in bed and wash her back when she is in the shower, kisses her, winks at her and leaves. She remained stunned for several minutes:
--->''Asuka kept staring at the door he’d left through for a long time. “What the fuck just happened?” she finally asked the empty room.''
** In chapter 49 Asuka is very, very, ''very'' angry. Shinji decides to try to placate her (even if he has never manages to calm her down when she is exploding)… and he manages to tell the exact right thing for once.
--->'''Asuka''': "Pretty smooth, Baka-Shinji. Who are you and what having you done with the Third Child?"
** In chapter 54 they have to decide the punishment of a bloody dictator, mass murderer and rapist that their army has apprehended. Asuka thinks that Shinji will want to be merciful because he hates to kill… and then he told that he wanted to kill him because he was like the people that hurt Asuka. She got shocked and puzzled:
--->'''Shinji''': “We… when we were talking about Don Barceló, and what to do with him? And you said he was like the ones who hurt you? When you said that, I… I wanted to burn him.”\\
'''Asuka''': “That is… not very like you, Shinji,”
* ''Fanfic/AdviceAndTrust'':
** In chapter 4, when Shinji learns his father took Rei in after abandoning him, he is so furious it gets Asuka shocked:
--->''Asuka blinked in surprise. Shinji was… furious. She'd never seen him this angry. The usual calm expression he gave the world, or the warm and loving one he showed her when they were alone was gone. His face was twisted in a violent combination of anger, pain, and betrayal. She'd seen the Third Child without his clothes a lot in the last two weeks, but she'd never seen Shinji this naked.''
** In chapter 8 Rei is undergoing a memory scan. It is a long, tedious process, but Rei never complains, gets bored or tired. So that when she actually displays resignation and impatience, Ritsuko -who oversees the scan- becomes startled and wonders if the emotion suppressants they fed Rei with are not working.
--->''Ritsuko flicked another momentary glance at the First Child. That reply had been... no, that couldn't have been resignation. Rei didn't get bored.''
* ''Fanfic/TheChildOfLove'':
** After her initial –and very angry and volatile reaction-, after coming to terms with the idea of becoming a mother, Asuka starts displaying a mellower, kinder attitude gradually. It disconcerted Shinji, Misato and even Rei.
--->''Misato and Shinji are completely amazed by their roommate's bizarrely calm (for her) behaviour. As usual, the First Child could think of nothing to say.''
** In chapter 2 Maya is surprised and amused when Ritsuko tells her that Misato is panicking.
** In chapter 4 Asuka woke up early, tied her hair behind her back, put an apron on and made breakfast. Shinji and Misato were left speechless.
--->'''Shinji''' (seeing Asuka cooking):''"Gulp..."''\\
'''Asuka''' (frowning at him):''"Hey! I CAN cook sometimes!"''\\
'''Asuka''':''"Oh, stop that! I have the right to dress any way I want and to tie my hair so you won't be hurt by its divine beauty!"''\\
'''Misato''':''"It's just...so unusual..."''
** In chapter 4 Asuka tries to be nice to Touji and Kensuke. They can not believe it.
--->''She then smiles warmly and bows to them. Toji and Kensuke are floored yet again. To see such a display of politeness from the most arrogant girl they've ever known, who couldn't let a day pass without calling them some insulting name or other...they're on the verge of fainting.''
** In chapter 6 Asuka gives Shinji a chocolate box stating it was a Japanese tradition… something she usually does not care about at all. Shinji gets shocked.
--->'''Shinji''' (surprised):''"You...? Obeying something? Let alone a tradition? You must be feverish!"''
* ''Fanfic/ChildrenOfAnElderGod'': Rei is usually calm, quiet and soft-spoken. It is hard to get her angry. Then in chapter 4 she saw Asuka wrapping her arm around Shinji's. She was so consumed with jealousy she actually growled and clenched her fists while she glared at Asuka. When Touji and Kensuke saw she was actually ''mad'', they freaked out.
* In ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11000411/1/Castle-Cleanup Castle Cleanup]]'' the second story in Fanfic/TheReluctantFatherUniverse, [[JerkAss Saix]] starts ''being nice to Xion.'' This is a divergence point that Axel confronts him on and which affects his entire character the rest of the series.
* In Fan-made ''Manga/AxisPowersHetalia'' video game, ''VideoGame/HetaOni'', at one point, Italy starts acting seriously [=OoC=], and then he [[spoiler: locks everyone up in a cell so they won't 'get in his way'.]]
* ''Fanfic/HigherLearning'': In chapter 34, during a tense confrontation, [[spoiler:Kaoru]] manages to get [[NervesOfSteel cool, stone-faced Gendo]] shocked and confused. Kaji stepped back when he saw that because he did not know what to expect.
-->''Gendo's eyes widened behind their glass shields. Kaji had never seen such a reaction, and took a step back, not knowing what to expect.''
* ''Fanfic/ScarTissue'': In chapter 8 Toji, Hikari and Kensuke start to berate and insult Asuka in front of [[ViolentlyProtectiveGirlfriend Shinji]]. Shinji is usually [[ShrinkingViolet a quiet, shy and non-confrontational pushover]] but after [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt the Third Impact]] [[BerserkButton he could not stand when anyone -anyone- insults Asuka]]. So [[BewareTheNiceOnes he exploded and started to shout at them]]. The three of them stood petrified.
* In ''[[FanFic/SovereignGFCOrigins Origins]]'', a ''MassEffect''[=/=]''StarWars''[=/=]''VideoGame/{{Borderlands}}''[[spoiler:[=/=]''[=Halo=]'']] MassiveMultiplayerCrossover, Thalia Tediore, known to be an UpperClassTwit who is so incompetent that in her thirties, her parents ''created an entire company to appoint her head of'' so she would be happy, suddenly becomes threatening and principled. [[spoiler:It's because she's under the control of the Flood, acting as a priestess in a Corrupt Church.]]
* In ''Webcomic/AkiChansLife'', sequel to ''Fanfic/TheSecondTry'', Touji and Hikari see [[EmotionlessGirl Rei Ayanami]] smiling, and they decide they must have somehow landed in an alternate universe (and technically speaking, [[PeggySue they were right]]).
* ''Manga/{{Evangelion 303}}'': [[http://eva303.smackjeeves.com/comics/1347545/040/ In chapter 6]] Asuka (who usually is angry and confrontational) praised Rei. Rei was so startled than she blushed.
* In chapter 10 of ''Fanfic/OnceMoreWithFeeling'', Asuka admits that she screwed up in front of Rei, Rei apologizes for Asuka, And Shinji goes slack-jawed for a bit wondering why nobody told him that the Earth had started rotating from West to East overnight.
* In ''Fanfic/UndocumentedFeatures'', Azalynn, who's been shown to be extremely forgiving, finds herself holding a grudge against Liza for [[spoiler:calling the Psi Corps on Devlin]], even when everyone else has forgiven her. She is extremely shocked when she realizes how spiritually off-balance she is.
* In ''Fanfic/HarryPotterAndTheMethodsOfRationality'', when Dumbledore asks Harry what Quirrell could be plotting that requires him to bring a Dementor into the castle, Harry argues that this is completely in-character for him, and naturally, [[InvertedTrope in-character is business as usual]]. But he realizes that something is wrong anyway, because even coming out of his own mouth it's a SuspiciouslySpecificDenial.
* In the ''Manga/DeathNote'' fic ''FanFic/ACureForLove'' Matt realizes things are serious when he hears that Mello gave L his chocolate.
* This quote from ''Fanfic/CalvinAndHobbesTheMovie'':
-->''Hobbes stared at Calvin. Never in his entire life had he saw Calvin break down sobbing.''
* {{Exaggerated}} in ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/7563143/4/I_Cannot_Tell_a_Lie I Cannot Tell a Lie]]'' when [[Manga/AxisPowersHetalia England]] is unable to properly insult France at a meeting ([[AWizardDidIt it was because of a spell]]). Almost all the characters reacted to this by passing out, going catatonic, or panicking and screaming (their theories for this [=OoC=] moment include the apocalypse and an alien invasion). Oddly, the only person to remain calm is America, who just thinks England's sick.
* In ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/2149801/6/Out_of_Time Out of Time]]'', when [[Manga/RurouniKenshin Kenshin]] is mystified by the burnt soup [[LethalChef Kaoru]] made and says it tastes bad, Yahiko asks him, "Who are you?", stating that Kenshin would never insult her cooking (and is also probably thinking that her legendarily bad cooking shouldn't be news to anyone).
* ''Fanfic/FrozenMoonlight'' has a scene where [[MotorMouth Misao]] is struck speechless when she meets [[LoveInterest Aoshi]] for the first time.
-->'''Sano:''' Wow, guys, check it out; the Weasel's gone speechless...\\
'''Megumi:''' Please don't say that. I think I read somewhere that that's a sign of the impending Apocalypse.
* When Nepeta drops her cat puns and other typing quirks in ''Fanfic/HerdingCats'', that means she's ''really'' upset.
* In ''Fanfic/FromShizunesPerspective'', midway through the fic, Shizune notes that Misha is chewing her lip like she does during tests she expects to fail, and is not snarking at her like she usually does. Misha claims that it's out of sensitivity toward Shizune, who is upset over Emi not responding to her text messages, but the truth is that [[spoiler:Misha and Hisao have a SecretRelationship, and are worried about how Shizune will react]].
* In ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/8729912/35/Snowflakes Snowflakes]]'', the [[Film/RiseOfTheGuardians Easter Bunny]] realizes Jack's fever is making him delirious when he starts talking about his insecurities (normally, he would have been a stubborn DeadpanSnarker).
* ''Fanfic/ThingsWeDontTellHumans'':
** [[TheStoic Prowl]] has a loud, public, and surprisingly violent [[NotSoStoic breakdown]] when he finds out who died in ''Film/{{Transformers}}''. And we learn to pay very close attention to out-of-character moments from Megatron (both in the present and in the flashback arcs) and from ''[[spoiler: Mikaela]]''.
** Two words from Megatron: [[spoiler:"Save me."]]
* ''WebAnimation/TurnaboutStorm'':
** While he's generally a goofball, Cruise Control turns dead serious for a few seconds to tell Apple Bloom that older siblings always care for their younger siblings. [[spoiler:It's later revealed that that side of him is his real personality, [[ObfuscatingStupidity his doofus side being an act]]]].
** Trixie drops her ThirdPersonPerson act a few times, perplexing Twilight. When she finally gets around calling Trixie out on it, [[spoiler:she discovers [[Franchise/AceAttorney black psyche-locks]] on her; in other words, she's hiding a great secret and sorrow, and she's not even consciously aware of it]].
* ''Fanfic/MyLittleAvengers'': You know Rainbow Dash has become a Thor fangirl when she's so excited about attending a party in his honor that she ''forgets the Wonderbolts are going to be there too''. Pinkie and Big Mac are left rather stunned.
* ''Fanfic/{{Hivefled}}'': Equius had been rapidly losing his respect for Gamzee as Gamzee slipped further into his rages, to the point that he was willing to insult him to his face and strife without letting him win. When [[spoiler:their conflict indirectly leads to Nepeta dumping Equius]] and he screams at Gamzee that he intends to "wring your scrawny neck", he's over the edge.
* One ''Franchise/ScoobyDoo'' fic starts with Velma reading a letter from Shaggy asking for the gang to get back together to help him with something. Velma becomes concerned when [[BigEater he doesn't mention food in the entire letter]] and outright freaks out when he signs it [[OnlyKnownByTheirNickname Norville instead of Shaggy]].
* In the ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' fanfic ''FanFic/{{Insontis}}'', [=McCoy=] not insulting his alien biology indicates to Spock how badly he damaged himself going through a faulty transporter.
* In ''Fanfic/MassEffectHumanRevolution'' chapter 36, Hannibal is very concerned when Johann loses his normal calculating ManipulativeBastard behaviour on Noveria and becomes an even more bloodthirsty than usual LeeroyJenkins.
* ''Fanfic/WarriorsOfTheWorld'':
** For someone who isn't afraid to swear, Valkron appears to be limited to "hell", "arse(hole)", "damn" and "bloody". This is because he only does a PrecisionFStrike when he is ''seriously'' angry.
** InsufferableGenius Samaroh drops his entire pompous smarter-than-thou attitude for a more gentle and softspoken bedside manner when caring for the injured. The biggest DeadpanSnarker of the story is surprised at this.
* Combined with PrecisionFStrike in ''Fanfic/TheNextFrontier''. If Bill Kerman uses a real swearword, the situation is serious. The first time he does it in the fic, the normally unflappable Jeb is appreciably freaked out.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/{{Megamind}}'' fanfic ''FanFic/RainOnTheJust'', Megamind has been working hard to say "hello" at least closer to correct way. So when he comes to rescue Roxanne from the Beetle-Bomber/[[spoiler:Fire Bug/Owen]] and says "Ollo," she knows that her boyfriend is serious ticked off.
* In the ''Manga/XxxHolic'' fic ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/3157708/1/Transitions Transitions]]'', when one of the main characters switches universes without realizing it at first, Doumeki wonders if he should get a doctor for [[{{Tsundere}} Watanuki]], because after spending several minutes in his presence he wasn't insulting or yelling at him. He ''really'' begins to freak out when Watanuki starts holding his hand. Meanwhile in the neighboring universe, Watanuki gets weirded out when [[TheStoic Doumeki]] is smiling and acting affectionate. In both chapters, the alternate universe versions start panicking when they realize the other is suddenly on a LastNameBasis.
* In the [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic MLP]] Fanfic ''FanFic/WhatHaveYouDone'', Twilight Velvet, Twilight's mother goes to talk to Twilight, who was kicked out of her brother's wedding. She gets ''very'' worried when she can't find Twilight in any of the libraries or bookstores in town, which is where Twilight goes when she is upset. When Velvet learns about her fight with the Mane 6, and the fact that they don't know where she is, she starts ''panicking''.
* ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/6401057/1/Getting-It-Right Getting it Right]]'' has several, though the main one is when [[{{Anime/Bleach}} Ichigo]] goes from a [[CheerfulChild Cheerful Teenager]] and MommasBoy to a PerpetualFrowner {{Badass}}, seemingly out of nowhere. Later, Orihime gets worried when Ichigo switches back to smiling, as she's the only one to suspect he's gone StepfordSmiler on them. Other incidents include [[TheQuietOne Chad talking more than usual]], [[LipstickLesbian Chizuru saying that a guy is hot]], and [[BumblingDad Isshin acting serious (twice)]].
* In ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8019130/1/PnF-Stolen-Identity PnF: Stolen Identity]]'', Ferb begins acting rude and hostile towards Phineas, quickly disturbing the redhead to the point of terror. Phineas realizes fairly quickly that something's wrong; [[RightForTheWrongReasons however he assumes that Ferb is just tired and then has lost his mind when actually he's been replaced by an]] EvilTwin.
* ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8984362/19/Alpha-and-Omega Alpha and Omega]]'':
** Joker becomes extremely worried when EDI starts drinking, using contractions, and violating regulations frequently. This turns out to be caused by EDEN's hacking of EDI having scrambled their programming together.
** In the [[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/10050327/7/Alpha-and-Omega-Book-2-The-Fallen sequel]], Misato surrenders much easier than most of the Wunder crew expected. That's because she's been replaced by EDEN.
* Jinx in ''Fanfic/TheMeasureOfATitan'' can't even imagine how bad things must be for Starfire to rip through about a foot of solid metal and explicitly threaten the Hive Five with death. Answer: [[spoiler: Robin got shot in the chest.]]
* In xLilyStarkx's ''Avengers'' fanfiction "Chained", Tony manages to [[spoiler:make Loki cry]]. Everyone who [[spoiler:sees Loki in this state]] reacts with this trope.
* ''Fanfic/Gensokyo20XX'':
** Yukari leaves without telling (20XXIII) and, when she does, it is made note of how worrying that is because it's unlike her to do so, as she would usually be sticking around to suffer with them and/or for them and that if she did leave, she will have told someone and, if she had wandered off, being so mentally unstable, they would have found her. Naturally, their prompt assumption is that she left to die so she would be one less mouth to feed when food is so scarce.
** In chapter 93, 20XXV, Marisa did note that Reimu typically didn't talk much and not once swore (specifically, she said "ass" to them) at Ran and Ren and neither did she go against them and hold her ground, instead of submitting, be that reluctantly, as seen in earlier chapters. Eight chapters later, she [[TheReasonYouSuckSpeech says something shocking]], during which she challenges Baka to ''kill'' her.
** In ''Foundling'' (a branch off), chapter 13, when Reimu becomes sick, Yukari opts to leave the house without her veil, an escort, doing her hair, putting on some makeup, decent clothes or even shoes, which meant the situations was serious, doubly so since Yukari is mentioned to hardly even leave the house.
* [[ComicBook/CaptainAmerica Steve]] realizes that he's done something bizarre or wrong after breaking some robots in ''[[http://archiveofourown.org/works/435654 The Joke]]'' when even [[SeenItAll Agent Coulson]] is gaping at him.
* In ''[[http://archiveofourown.org/works/425136/chapters/766286 The Many Doors of Níu Heimar]]'' Steve draws a caricature that Loki finds so funny he bursts out laughing. Everyone else, particularly Thor, stares at him in concern.
* In ''[[http://www.tthfanfic.org/Story-6868-3/GreyMatter+Marching+Orders.htm Marching Orders]]'', [[Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer Xander]] makes a nurse and doctor understand just how serious the situation is when he explains that as Sunnydale residents, they have an idea of what goes on at night. He and his friends dealt with it everyday for years and they're leaving Sunnydale immediately.
* In ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/9512698/7/Master-of-Death-and-What-it-Means Master of Death and What it Means]]'', the Avengers realize just how [[WhoWantsToLiveForever terrible immortality is]] when Loki (Who's Death's father) apologizes to [[Literature/HarryPotter Harry]] for him having to be the Master of Death.
* Played for laughs in ''Fanfic/MonstersInParadise''. Marisa, the setting's local KleptomaniacHero who never returns the things she "borrows", admits to returning a book ''and'' entering the Mansion through the front door. In response, Patchouli and Sakuya both decide who will inherit their belongings in the event of their deaths, while Koakuma tearfully denounces her prank-loving lifestyle. Since the situation wasn't all that serious, their comments annoy Marisa and nothing more.
* In ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/5571816/14/Win-Some-Lose-Some Strength Envisioned]]'', Naruto runs out of Ichiraku leaving his bowl of [[TrademarkFavoriteFood ramen]] completely untouched, causing Ayame to wonder what in the world could cause a thing. The answer? Naruto just [[EurekaMoment pieced together Madara's next move from Karin's interrogation]]: killing Konan and stealing Nagato's Rinnegan.
* A ''Manga/OnePiece'' story has a villain known as Koto the Shark, an ex-marine who wants to destroy the World Government and is rumored to be almost on par with a Yonkou. She's also [[AffablyEvil exceedingly polite]], [[LadyOfWar highly formal]], and [[PerpetualSmiler always has a small smile]] on her face. More than one character notes that if she ever stops smiling or worse, [[SlasherSmile smiles with teeth]], it's already too late to run.
* ''Fanfic/RosarioVampireBrightestDarkness'': Tsukune is well-known amongst those in his inner circle as a NiceGuy who is always willing to extend forgiveness to those who wrong him... so it's a ''very'' bad thing when he puts aside his forgiving capacity. Case in point: during Act IV chapter 31, after all of the atrocities Hokuto has committed, not the least of which includes [[IHaveYourWife holding Tsukune's family hostage and threatening to kill them]], Tsukune outright says that [[ThisIsUnforgivable he will]] ''[[ThisIsUnforgivable never]]'' [[ThisIsUnforgivable forgive him]] before [[CurbStompBattle curb-stomping]] Hokuto and completely pulverizing him to dust with a MegatonPunch.
* ''Fanfic/TheFifthAct'': Angeal cherishes his honour and takes pride that he will do the right thing. That goes out the window when he slowly starts to die of degeneration. Then he deliberately tricks Cloud and sells him out to Hollander in search for a cure.
* In ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/9746816/4/A-Different-Path A Different Path]]'', Soi Fon (normally LawfulNeutral at best and a KnightTemplar at worst) starts contemplating disobeying orders, and indirectly helps Ichigo's friends by informing Yoruichi, when Yamamoto declares Ichigo's arrancar allies are to be killed and Ichigo brought in for questioning. If Ichigo resists, he's to be killed as well. Even Soi Fon admits Soul Society owes Ichigo too much to go through with such madness.
* In the ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer''/''Franchise/StargateVerse'' story ''[[http://www.tthfanfic.org/Story-4301-26/Kei+Trick+Or+Treat.htm Trick Or Treat]]'', O'Neil realizes something very ''very'' bad happened when Xander calmly asks, "Who is Kinsey?" when, upon being asked if he knew the man a day prior, Xander showed no recognition at all. The reason: Kinsey ordered a raid on Xander's place and got one of his Slayers killed.
* In ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11114613/1/Rewriting-Mistakes Rewriting Mistakes]]'', [[WebAnimation/{{RWBY}} Glynda]] realizes that something's wrong with Ozpin when he starts drinking coffee, which he hates. [[spoiler:The reader knows that Ozpin just foresaw a BadFuture.]]
* Enforced in ''[[http://www.tthfanfic.org/Story-31008-4/HeatherSin+Butterflied.htm Butterflied]]'' when [[Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer Xander]] tells his padawan [[Franchise/StarWars Obi-wan]] that they're on Obi-wan's quest and Xander will only step in to save his life, thus making every decision Obi-wan's. So when Xander prevents Obi-wan from entering a cave, the young padawan is notably alarmed.
* True to the Bat-series, Stephanie Brown/Spoiler is one of the most upbeat, goodhearted characters in FanFic/AngelOfTheBat... With two notable exceptions. During her rematch (from her time as Robin) with Scarab, when the villainess openly taunts her for her failures as Robin and Black Mask sexually assaulting her, she flies into an ExtremeMeleeRevenge and it takes Batgirl's pleading for her to not kill Scarab with her bare hands. Later, [[spoiler: when Cassie is capture by the resident ChurchOfEvil, she confronts Jason Todd/Red Hood, the only person who knows her location. Steph is almost unnervingly quiet throughout their fight, and, recalling the experience to Cassie, is pretty sure Jason pissed himself towards the end.]]
* In ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/2369586/41/The-Nighthawk-Chronicles The Nighthawk Chronicles]]'', Xander realizes the [[WesternAnimation/TeenTitans Slade]] he's fighting isn't the real one because his fighting style is too flashy and relies too much on raw power.
* In ''FanFic/BadFutureCrusaders'', Apple Bloom being terrified for her first time in the entire story is your first clue that [[TheDreaded Captain Rumble]] is a deadly threat. Your second clue, of course, is when he [[CurbStompBattle pounds the ever-loving crap out of her with no effort on his part]].
* In ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/10724053/24/Code-Geass-The-Prepared-Rebellion-V2 Code Geass: The Prepared Rebellion]]'' Euphemia, normally the friendliest and least confrontational character in the story, [[WhatTheHellHero rips Cornelia a new one]] for both her attempts at recreating the Shinjuku Massacre and for hiding it from her. Euphy coldy tells her that Cornelia's refusal to perform her own duties as Viceroy and not informing the Sub-Viceroy (Euphy) of military operations within her jurisdiction are both serious crimes, even for an Imperial Princess. Likewise, Euphemia is sick of Cornelia monitoring her finances, reading her mail, and having her Knights follow Euphemia everywhere.
* Whenever [[Manga/LoveHina Keitaro]] becomes [[ImmortalImmaturity serious]] in ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/5463805/1/Ancestor Ancestor]]'', he's talking about something very important/serious, even more so when he raises his voice. Such topics include having to disown Kanako if she stops training before she's mastered their style and massacring an entire village for [[ColdBloodedTorture what they did]] [[RapeIsASpecialKindOfEvil to his daughter]].
* In ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/10574684/27/Naruto-The-Gamer-Files Naruto: The Gamer Files]]'' the normally laid-back Kakashi becomes dead serious when he warns Sasuke that if he uses the Chidori against Naruto or any other Konoha shinobi, Kakashi will kill him.
* In any Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer story, if [[MadOracle Drusilla]] starts acting lucid (such as in ''[[http://www.tthfanfic.org/Story-30757-6/crazyaolguy+Gamer-X.htm Gamer-X]]'' when she warns Spike to kill Ford or "Kitten will burn the world"), people pay attention.
* In [[Fanfic/TheCATverse [=TheCATverse=]]], [[OriginalCharacter Captain, Al, and Techie]] are generally cheerful [[GenkiGirl Genki Girls]] whose antics as the Scarecrow's henchgirls are usually played for (sometimes dark) laughs, and they're generally relatively fearless around him and deliberately tease him with the EmbarrassingNickname "Squishykins". When the Scarecrow [[KickTheDog tortures his younger sister]] in ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/5999604/1/Small-World Small World]]'', they cry and are genuinely frightened and upset by his behavior.
* In ''[[http://ficwad.com/story/213011 Eroninja]]'', [[Manga/{{Bleach}} Tier Harribel]] the Gobi deeply values her subordinates and is generally a fairly peaceful person, so it shows how deeply she cares for Manga/{{Naruto}} that when Apacci threatens him (thinking he'd somehow subverted Harribel into sleeping with him), Harribel warns all three that if they do anything to harm Naruto, her retribution will be swift and terrible.
* ''Fanfic/LucinaReacts:'' [[spoiler: Maribelle spots [[DarkMagicalGirl Tharja]] crying. This is revealed to be due to Tharja being heartbroken to having permanently lost Robin to someone else.]]
* In one chapter of the ''Fanfic/WeasleyGirl'' trilogy, Neville Longbottom stuns the entire house of Gryffindor into a shocked silence when he loses his temper with them and delivers a furious TheReasonYouSuckSpeech. As the narrative points out: "This was ''Neville Longbottom.'' Neville Longbottom did ''not'' get angry and start yelling at people. It was like a natural law had just been broken or something."
* In ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11449951/1/Through-Thick-and-Thin Through Thick and Thin]]'', chapter 4, when Ryuuko ties a red a ribbon instead of the usual blue one, Satsuki immediately thinks that the former's illness (subtly implied to be cancer) has begun to hit terminal.
* [[Literature/HarryPotter Dumbledore]] is generally a polite and friendly old man who will generally just sternly warn someone when they go too far. So it says just how tired he is of Snape's prejudice against Harry in ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/7206553/4/Heir-To-Zod Heir to Zod]]'' when he essentially Snape to shut up before Dumbledore makes him shut up.
* After [[Comicbook/{{Superman}} Clark Kent]] implies he's a gypsy in ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/10665658/5/Uncharted Uncharted]]'', one of the other reporters notes they better watch their stuff around Clark, Fredrickson (a [[CardCarryingVillain card carrying member of the KKK]]) chews him out for his remark.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/FairlyOddparents'' story "''Tales as Old as Time''," sequel to ''FanFic/NeverHadAFriendLikeMe'', [[NoIndoorVoice Crocker]] has such a moment when he sees Poof. When he does not [[SuddenlyShouting shout and flail]] at the words "fairy godparents," there is something important going on.
* Given that Tabitha only rarely shows emotion and never raises her voice, it shows just how furious she is in ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/9421918/8/Soldier-of-Zero Soldier of Zero]]'' that she's driven to murderous rage at the revelation that her mother has been poisoned regularly for the past few years (Tabitha thought she'd been poisoned once saving her life). Saito has to tackle her to the ground to keep her from killing her staff until she finds the traitor.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* Very notably in ''WesternAnimation/SouthParkBiggerLongerAndUncut'', when Kenny takes off his hood to say goodbye after [[HeroicSacrifice sacrificing himself]] to an eternity in Hell to SaveTheWorld, [[SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong altering the past to avert a war]].
* ''Disney/TreasurePlanet'': When [[LovableRogue Silver]] stops trying to sweet-talk TheCaptain, you know he's serious. She does, too.
-->'''Silver:''' You heard the boy! Get this blasted heap turned 'round!
* In ''WesternAnimation/AnExtremelyGoofyMovie'', Max is convinced that he wants to transfer schools after being defeated by his own dad at his best event, because there's "only room for one Goof." [[FatBestFriend PJ]] is devastated at the news--temporarily relapsing to the insecure and worrisome personality [[CharacterDevelopment he'd just broken out of]]-- and Beret Girl tells Max that he can't admit defeat, but nothing helps... until Bobby, the PluckyComicRelief, in a dead-serious, emotionally-charged tone, gives Max a RousingSpeech.
* ''Disney/{{Frozen}}'':
** The difference between Anna, the PluckyGirl and Anna, the Princess. Notice her commanding tone when she ''demands'' her horse be brought to her after Elsa runs away; it shows just how important finding and helping her sister is to her.
** [[{{Snowlem}} Olaf]] displays this when he lights fire to keep a freezing Anna alive; he drops his position as comic relief (''very'' briefly) to assure her that he knows full well what will happen to him, but that it's worth it for her.
--->'''Anna:''' Olaf -- you're melting!\\
'''Olaf:''' ...Some people are worth melting for.
* ''Franchise/{{Bionicle}} 3: Web of Shadows'': Matau, {{Jerkass}} PluckyComicRelief whose bickering drove team-leader Vakama to a FaceHeelTurn, gives a serious IKnowYoureInThereSomewhereFight speech to try to win him back, even dropping the [[WeWillUseWikiWordsInTheFuture Chutespeek slang]] he always talks in. Vakama first refuses to believe his sincerity, but eventually gives in and returns to the good side.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TransformersTheMovie'', Kup has SeenItAll and uses any situation as an excuse to mention some previous adventure of his. When the Autobots see Unicron standing ''astride the entire planet of Cybertron'', Hot Rod asks if this reminds him of yet another one of his war-stories. Kup's only response is a quiet "Nope... Never seen anything like this before."
* In ''WesternAnimation/KungFuPanda'', Shifu, after learning that Po can be trained using his BigEater tendencies, takes him through a series of exercises using food as a motivator, culminating in a long fight over a single dumpling. After Po bests him, he tosses the dumpling right back at Shifu and says "I'm not hungry."
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheLionKing'' Ed is usually giggling and grinning insanely. After Scar turns on them and is defeated by Simba, Ed is not laughing or grinning; he is visibly ''pissed''.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Franchise/TheViewAskewniverse'':
** When Silent Bob speaks, ''you listen.'' Though this tendency begins to annoy Jay after a while. This tradition is itself subverted in ''Film/ClerksII'', when Bob's cue to speak arrives and he can't think of anything to say...
** Lampshaded in ''Film/ChasingAmy'' by Jay, who comments that Bob stays silent so often in order to make people pay attention whenever he does speak, and to make whatever he says sounds deeper because of that.
* ''Franchise/PiratesOfTheCaribbean'':
** Towards the end of the first movie when Jack shoots Barbossa and Barbossa thinks that Jack wasted his shot. Clever viewers can tell from Jack's cold, steely glare that this is not the case; it's the one time in the entire movie that he's not doing something eccentric.
** Speaking of Jack acting OOC; it can be hard to tell what is and isn't out of character for a guy whose methods are so mercurial. The only certainty is that ''anything'' he does is (virtually) always with the ultimate goal of furthering his own interests.
--->'''Elizabeth:''' Whose side is Jack on?\\
'''Will:''' At the moment?
** Jack gets one at the climax of ''At World's End'' when Jones stabs Will through the heart and Jack, who has has his self-serving objective ''literally'' in the palm of his hand, goes from cruelly gloating over his imminent victory to looking mind-screwed by despair, almost to HeroicBSOD level. It's brief, but is big enough to make his sacrifice afterward make perfect sense without hefty foreshadowing.
** In a deleted scene Jack shows that [[EvenEvilHasStandards even he has standards]] when he solemnly tells Beckett, who is asking about when Jack worked for the East India Trading Company but got on their bad side when he refused to transport slaves, that "People aren't cargo mate" with none of his usual wackiness.
** Jack's refusal to turn the ship around to go back for his hat early in ''Dead Man's Chest'' is a sign that he's very afraid of [[KrakenAndLeviathan the Kraken]]. When he tells them to leave it behind, his crew looks at him as though he's grown a second head.
* ''Franchise/StarWars'':
** What would it take to get quiet, innocent, ancient little Yoda to pull out his lightsaber and suddenly become a living blender? Something ''really'' serious, that's what.
** More pointedly, when the relentlessly optimistic and noble Luke gives in to despair (''Film/TheEmpireStrikesBack'') or anger (''Film/ReturnOfTheJedi''), the entire galaxy hinges on it.
* In ''Film/EastIsEast'', George is clearly shocked when even TheDutifulSon Maneer sides with the rest of the family against him.
* In the final scene of ''Film/PennAndTellerGetKilled'', Teller (who has never spoken to this point), finally breaks his silence to ask what the hell is going on.
* In ''Film/GalaxyQuest'', ClassicallyTrainedExtra Alexander Dane hates being known as a character from a sci-fi series, and hates his CatchPhrase even more, spending most of the movie trying to get out of saying it, or saying it in monotone. However, when a Thermian who's always looked up to Alex's character is shot and mortally wounded, Alexander says, sincerely, "Quellek... by Grabthar's hammer... by the Sons of Warvan... you shall be... avenged" before opening a can of whoop-ass on the bad aliens.
* ''Running Scared'' (1986)
** A humorous version can be found when the two main characters call for backup. They come out of the building [[CrowningMomentOfFunny without their pants]] (having had to give them to the BigBad of the film), only to find that a [[BadassArmy huge number of cops]] -- including the SWAT units -- have shown up to help.
--->'''Danny Costanzo:''' I said "one backup"! One!\\
'''Cop:''' (''trying not to laugh'') You '''never''' called for backup before! We... (''barely keeping from laughing'') [[ApocalypseHow We thought that it was a riot...]]
** There's another: When Danny Costanzo (Billy Crystal) soon-to-be-ex gets kidnapped by the BigBad, Danny (who up until this point has not slowed down the wisecracks for a second) gets a call from the crook letting him know his girl's in trouble:
--->'''Danny Costanzo:''' (''in a dangerous, low tone'') You hurt her, you'll never be dead enough.
* Tiffany spends almost all of ''Film/HellboundHellraiserII'' as TheVoiceless. Her only line, when first encountering [[spoiler: Dr. Channard in cenobite form]], is [[OhCrap "Shit!"]].
* In the Creator/MaryKateAndAshleyOlsen movie ''Film/ItTakesTwo'' (a rip-off of ''Film/TheParentTrap''), the girly girl of the TomboyAndGirlyGirl duo is trying her first sloppy joe. After doing so, she claims it's her favorite, "for a [[GoshDangItToHeck durn]] good reason." After a {{beat}}, the camp counselor turns to the girl and asks "Did you just say 'durn?'" Then quickly checks the girl's temperature, clearly fearing an illness.
* ''Franchise/HarryPotter'':
** In the film of ''Film/HarryPotterAndTheDeathlyHallows'', Harry is running around looking for the diadem. Luna is trying to tell him he needs to ask a ghost, but Harry won't listen. Luna, usually the gentle {{Cloudcuckoolander}}, shouts "HARRY POTTER! YOU LISTEN TO ME RIGHT NOW!" Harry, suitably shocked, turns around and listens.
** In the fifth movie, when Hermione observes that it's kind of exciting breaking the rules, Ron demands "Who are you and what have you done with Hermione Granger?"
* In ''Film/SuddenImpact'', Harry is tipped off to a robbery in the coffee shop that is his usual haunt by the waitress breaking a years-long routine and dumping a large amount of sugar into his coffee.
* ''Film/EasyA'':
** [[TheFundamentalist Marianne]] is shown to never swear. She constantly uses euphemisms like "rhymes-with-witch", and other [[GoshDangItToHeck gosh-dang-it-to-heck-isms]]. But when she hears the rumor that [[spoiler: Olive gave Marianne's boyfriend Micah chlamydia,]] Marianne completely loses it, and yells, even ''screams'' "That... that BITCH!"
** Also, Marianne is shown to be a bit snide, condescending, and utterly dedicated to attempting to correct other's supposed sins, but she does it without being out-and-out confrontational. But after she snaps, she full on slaps Olive across the face. Which is most decidedly ''not'' a typical Christian value.
* In ''Film/SherlockHolmesAGameOfShadows'', Watson deduces that something serious is going on from the fact that Mycroft is missing an appointment at the Diogenes Club, especially since his favorite dish, potted shrimp, is on the menu that night. Holmes stops his wisecracking during his first meeting with Moriarty once the latter reveals [[spoiler:he killed Irene Adler and plans to do the same to Watson and Mary.]]
* ''Film/{{Unforgiven}}'': When William Munny, who'd been sober for many years, starts downing that bottle of whiskey before going after Bill Daggett, you know things are about to get serious as a heart attack.
* ''Film/{{Serenity}}'':
** When the crew land on Haven and find [[spoiler: that it's been razed]], Mal [[TranquilFury loses it.]] After telling his crew to strap bodies to the front of the ship, threatening to kill any of his crew that gets in his way and shooting dead an Alliance soldier trying to surrender, the crew know that it's all just hit the fan.
** Mal invokes this to prove to his crew that a call from Mal's [[SlapSlapKiss love-hate-love interest]] is actually her being coerced by the villain to lure them in to a trap.
--->'''Mal:''' Y'all were watching, I take it? ''(everyone sort of admits it)'' Did you see us fight?\\
'''Kaylee:''' No...\\
'''Mal:''' ''Trap.''
* ''Manderlay'' (the sequel to Lars Von Trier's ''Film/{{Dogville}}'') features a double-dose of this towards the end. After the freed slaves celebrate their first harvest, they discover that the money they worked so hard to get has been stolen -- and it could have only been done with the help of one of the ex-slaves. Following a massive off-screen riot that gets two people killed, Grace finally arrives on the scene to ask questions: [[WastelandElder Wilhelm]], the man [[MrExposition usually relied upon to explain things]], is too [[HeroicBSOD shell-shocked]] to speak of what happened. This leaves [[CloudCuckooLander Mark]] holding the exsposition ball; for once, he doesn't bother dithering around with longwinded tangents, and provides a straightforward explanation.
* Most of ''Film/StarTrekIITheWrathOfKhan'' is HamToHamCombat between Kirk and Khan, each trying to outmaneuver the other into certain defeat amid shouting matches and grand gestures. It's Kirk's LittleNo that stands out.
* ''Film/StarTrekVITheUndiscoveredCountry'':
** A small, but powerful moment. After apparently firing on a Klingon battlecruiser carrying the Klingon Chancellor on a diplomatic mission, the battlecruiser recovers, rights itself, and prepares to retaliate on the unshielded ''Enterprise''. Kirk watches this for a full ten seconds in silent, slacked-jawed horror. He doesn't raise shields, or order evasive maneuvers, or any of the other things that fans expect him to do; he just ''watches''... and then he surrenders. This is the first time in the history of ''Franchise/StarTrek'' that [[TheCaptain Kirk]] is ever seen to falter in the command chair, and it's terrifying.
** Spock, the paragon of emotionless logic and reason, very ''angrily'' smacks a phaser from the hand of [[spoiler:his protegé, Valeris]], who had just been exposed as a conspirator in Gorkon's assassination. He later uses the Vulcan Mind Meld to try and pry the identities and plans of the conspirators, which ends up becoming, based on the reaction of the receiving party, dangerously close to MindRape.
* In ''Film/TheGreatDictator'', Creator/CharlieChaplin opts out of his usual comedic persona in order to deliver a deadly serious [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5IvPIWzQcUYspeech speech condemning Nazism]] [[RousseauWasRight and praising humanity's virtues]], [[LeaningOnTheFourthWall aimed directly at the audience]].
* ''Film/StarTrekIntoDarkness'':
** When Scotty resigns [[ScrewTheRulesImDoingWhatsRight in protest]] of their mission to [[spoiler:Qo'noS]], he makes a last desperate appeal for Kirk to reconsider and calls him "[[FirstNameBasis Jim]]" instead of Captain.
** Spock's reaction when [[spoiler:Scotty calls him down to the reactor room]]. He doesn't even know what happened, only that [[spoiler:something terrible has happened to Kirk]]. He rushes out of the bridge, forgetting to give ''the legally required order'' that someone takes command. And as he runs through the halls, there is sheer ''panic'' on his face. Which leads to his ''rage'' when [[spoiler:Kirk dies]].
* ''Film/{{Scrooged}}'': With [[YetAnotherChristmasCarol each of the ghosts]], Frank has a moment which causes him to break from his DeadpanSnarker attitude.
** In the past, he cries when his mother wishes his childhood self a Merry Christmas.
** In the present, he sees Herman, a homeless man who'd asked him for $2, frozen to death inside a storm drain, and goes ballistic.
--->'''Frank:''' You moron! You jerk! Why didn't you stay at Claire's? She would have taken care of you! You would have eaten and been warm! You might be alive! You'd be a prettier color, I'll tell you that!
** In the future, he sees his old flame [[WideEyedIdealist Claire]] has become detached and cruel.
--->'''Claire:''' I wasted years on pathetic little creatures like those. Finally, thank God, a friend said to me, "[[MeaningfulEcho Scrape 'em off, Claire. If you want to save somebody, save yourself]]."\\
'''Frank:''' (''to Christmas Future'') [[TranquilFury That was a lousy thing to do.]]
* [[BigGood Optimus Prime's]] first spoken line in ''Film/TransformersAgeOfExtinction''? [[spoiler:Screaming "I'LL KILL YOU!" to a human, who's just tried to save his life]]. Later on, when he finds what the humans did (and are still doing) to [[spoiler:Ratchet, he goes into an UnstoppableRage, swearing to kill every human involved.]]
* Beautifully understated example at the end of ''Film/AvengersAgeOfUltron''. After his [[spoiler:rampage through the city under Scarlet Witch's hypnosis, Hulk refuses to return to the Avengers, abruptly ends his video call with Natasha and flees civilization for good. Note that he doesn't smash the panel or run off in a blind rage - he just calmly and gently flicks the switch. This is ''Hulk'' we're talking about. [[HeroicBSOD He just seems completely traumatised and defeated at the realisation that he can never fully control his urges and live a normal, happy life]]]].

* Is [[TheTrickster Anansi]] doing actual work? He's probably got some ulterior motive. You'd better watch that fish haul like a hawk, or he'll likely help himself to some of it.

* ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'':
** Mac TheBartender is also TheQuietOne. The seriousness of any particular book is proportional to the number of words that he says. A complete sentence or two is enough to scare Dresden. In ''[[WhamEpisode Changes]]'' he goes on for a good sized paragraph.
** Also, in ''Blood Rites'', Lieutenant Murphy meets Harry's mentor, Ebenezer [=McCoy=]. As they are on a hunt for vampires in Chicago, Murphy tells him (rudely) to get out of the driver's seat. Harry tells him to do it, slipping in the word "sir". Murphy [[DramaticDrop drops everything she's carrying]], mainly because hearing the anti-authority Dresden using the word "sir" is something that you only hear once. Also justified, as Ebenezer is the only one to whom Harry will apply an honorific. Being Harry's [[TheObiWan Obi Wan]] has its perks.
** In ''Dead Beat'', Harry asks Bob about Kemmler, the author of a book that the visiting group of Necromancers are all hot and bothered about. Bob has a minor freak-out, and tells Harry that Kemmler was straight up, capital-E Evil. This immediately catches Harry's attention, mainly because Bob's view on morality is... [[BlueAndOrangeMorality sketchy]] [[WhatIsEvil at best.]] This happens again later in the book when Harry talks to Mab, [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast Queen of Air and Darkness]] of the Winter Sidhe, who also calls Kemmler a madman and a monster--which makes an impression coming from someone who Harry knows has spent more than three ''years'' on the last person who betrayed her, ''crucifying'' him the entire time.
** Toot-toot the dewdrop faerie is normally fearless and a ravenous junk-food addict. When Toot tells Harry to run, it's serious; when he tells Harry to ''forget the doughnut'' and run, it's dreadfully-so.
** The one time in his life that Morgan calls Harry by his first name [[spoiler: is when he tells Harry to stand down and let the Wardens arrest Morgan for murder, rather than get himself killed defending a man he knows to be innocent.]]
** Two incidents related to Harry himself and mental magic: In ''White Night'', Murphy [[WhatTheHellHero points out]] that he's been [[RageBreakingPoint flying into a rage and burning things]] more than usual lately, which points out how [[spoiler:Lasciel has been influencing him subtly]]. In ''Small Favor'', Harry spends most of the book getting into sticky situations full of monsters and ''not'' [[KillItWithFire incinerating them out of hand]]. This is because [[spoiler:Queen Mab removed his memory of how to do so (and took away his blasting rod for good measure), ostensibly for his own good.]]
* ''Literature/ToKillAMockingbird'' is full of these: Scout notes the only time she ever heard Atticus raise his voice (when he's defending his parenting style to Aunt Alexandra) and the only time she ever heard him call something a sin ([[TitleDrop to kill a mockingbird]]). Jem decides to follow Atticus the night the mob threatens him outside the jail because Atticus took his car instead of walking as usual. Scout and Jem are shocked at Tom Robinson's trial when Atticus takes off his jacket and loosens his tie, because they've never seen him do that during the day. Scout knows that Aunt Alexandra is seriously shaken when the children have been attacked at the end, because she brings Scout her overalls to put on, after spending the entire book trying to get her to stop wearing them. And, of course, there's [[MisunderstoodLonerWithAHeartOfGold Boo Radley]] leaving his house for the only time in living memory in order to protect them from Bob Ewell.
* ''Literature/LoyalEnemies'':
** The plot kicks off when Shelena encounters a shaggy, nocturnal predator, in the middle of the road in the middle of the day. Instead of showing off first as any shaggy would do before a fight, he attacks her immediately, and thus she begins her investigation.
** Veres is seriously freaked out when Shelena throws him on the bed and starts smooching and undressing him in the middle of investigating the room. Turns out, [[spoiler:somebody was watching them and she feigned the effects of love potion to get him to lower his guard]].
* ''Literature/HarryPotter''
** In the earlier books, moments when Hermione was in favor of breaking the rules were this.
*** Most notable was when Harry and Ron save Hermione from a cave troll. She saves them from getting into trouble by lying and saying ''she'' thought of going after the troll and they were only rescuing her (when really, the troll found her by chance and Harry and Ron broke the rules and went after it, instead of going to their dormitories). Not only did Hermione lie to a teacher to cover for Harry and Ron's rulebreaking (something which she ''refused'' to go along with earlier), but she used a cover story that made ''her'' out to be the rulebreaker. Harry compares the situation to Snape giving out candy.
*** In ''Prisoner of Azkaban'', Hermione slaps Malfoy across the face for insulting Hagrid. It scares Malfoy enough to shut him up and get him to leave.
** A rather terrifying example happens at the end of the first book. [[spoiler: when Harry finds p-p-poor s-stuttering Professor Quirrell in front of the Mirror of Erised -- and he isn't stuttering...]]
** In ''Prisoner of Azkaban'', Dumbledore loses his temper for the first time in the series [[spoiler:when a pack of Dementors nearly kill Harry.]] Hermione mentions that it was absolutely terrifying.
** And again when confronting [[spoiler:the fake Moody]] in ''The Goblet of Fire'' - Harry realizes just how much of a threat Dumbledore is to the Death Eaters, as he sees for the first time that Dumbledore isn't just a harmless old man, but is a powerful and dangerous wizard capable of magic that Harry can't even pronounce.
** Sweet, motherly Molly Weasley reacts [[MamaBear rather badly]] when [[spoiler:Bellatrix tries to kill Ginny.]]
--->'''Molly:''' [[spoiler:NOT MY DAUGHTER, YOU BITCH!]]
** The Weasleys in general are a fun, happy family, but they generally share a BerserkButton of hearing someone insult one another. In ''The Order of the Phoenix'', Fred and George (who had previously gotten revenge via subtle trickery) began punching Malfoy in front of the school after a Quidditch match, because he was insulting their parents. Meanwhile, one of the things that truly breaks Ron out of his snarky, laid-back personality is hearing someone insult his family, Harry, or Hermione.
** A rather frightening example happens in ''Deathly Hallows'', where it turns out that the corrupting power of Horcruxes can cause this sort of thing to happen. Between a combination of low self-esteem and his wearing the locket, Ron sinks into a suspicious, depressed state which in turn dampens the hope of Harry and Hermione.
** Another one in ''Deathly Hallows'' is when Lupin, who is usually the calm voice of reason, starts shouting about how [[spoiler:he should never have married Tonks, how guilty he feels about potentially passing on his [[OurWerewolvesAreDifferent condition]] to his unborn child, and how his new family will be much better off without a father and husband they should be ashamed of.]] Fortunately, a WhatTheHellHero from Harry sets him back on track, but it's quite jarring to see just how low an opinion of himself Lupin has, especially since he's one of Harry's few remaining parental figures and looked up to by a great number of other characters.
* In ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfNarnia'' series, this happens in ''Literature/TheVoyageOfTheDawnTreader''. When the ship is attacked by a giant sea serpent, Reepicheep yells at everyone to push the serpent off the boat rather than fight it. Since Reepicheep usually leaps at any opportunity for glory in battle (at one point earlier in the book he had to be restrained from challenging a dragon to single combat), this is unusual enough to startle the rest of the ship's crew into helping him.
* In ''Roadkill'', the fifth book of the Literature/CalLeandros series, [[spoiler:Robin Godfellow]], aka lust incarnate, seriously considers becoming ''monogamous''. All of his friends instantly assume he must be seriously ill.
* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}''
** Rincewind is an inept coward who would much rather run away from most problems rather than face them head-on. In ''Discworld/{{Sourcery}}'', Rincewind [[spoiler:challenges the most powerful source of magic on the disc with a half brick in a sock, and then holds off a swarm of {{eldritch abomination}}s long enough to escape, armed with only a sock full of sand.]] [[Awesome/{{Discworld}} Holy shit]].
** Conversed by Twoflower in ''Discworld/TheLightFantastic'', when he reasons that Rincewind's uncharacteristic lack of fear about the Red Star implies that [[spoiler: it's not the world-ending threat most people assume it to be]].
** He does it again in ''Discworld/InterestingTimes'', when faced with the horrors of the Agatean Empire. Rincewind concludes [[spoiler: that there are times you have to stop running, even if it's because there's nowhere left to run to.]]
** Death almost never ends his sentences with an exclamation mark, so you ''know'' he's pissed off when he shouts at the New Death for setting himself up as a ruler over mortals, in ''Discworld/ReaperMan''.
** This is also invoked for Death when he speaks emphatically of the Auditors' hatred for humanity in ''Discworld/{{Hogfather}}'' (represented as italics), shocking Susan.
** Death's first major role in ''Discworld/{{Mort}}'', where he is throughout the book made to be TheStoic, and is even explained to lack the physical capability for feelings, but in the climax of the book he expresses extremely human rage, unlike ever before or after, and when Mort is at his mercy, he does a mocking, cruel EvilLaugh, which also is a completely unique expression of negative emotion -- [[spoiler:right before revealing that he decided to spare Mort and his friends after all.]]
** [[MagnificentBastard Vetinari]] takes pride in his ability to play Sam Vimes like a fiddle and get him to do the best job imaginable... all by keeping him suitably pissed off. Vimes even tends to punch the wall outside Vetinari's office as he leaves, sometimes hard enough to require repair. Until one day Vimes departs, and Vetinari doesn't hear the telltale thump, and realizes that he might have gone too far.
** The Librarian ''[[BerserkButton hates]]'' to be called a monkey (orangutans are apes), and will apply a great deal of physical violence to remind people when they forget this. That's why, when the Senior Wrangler calls him one in ''Discworld/TheLastContinent'' and gets away with his head still screwed on, the other wizards become quite concerned.
** There's another occasion when someone calls him a monkey, ''and he pats their hand comfortingly.'' Although that latter one is because the character in question was so mad that they might have literally out-murdered the Librarian if the Librarian had tried to "correct" him.
** In ''Discworld/CarpeJugulum'', Agnes knows that [[DirtyOldWoman Nanny Ogg]] is ''really'' worried when she ignores an opportunity to point out an AccidentalInnuendo Agnes made.
** In ''Discworld/InterestingTimes'' we see PerpetualSmiler Twoflower actually ''lose his temper''.
** In ''Discworld/AHatFullOfSky'', Rob Anybody is so worried about the hiver going after Tiffany that he starts to lose interest in hunting, fighting, and other activities typical of [[BoisterousBruiser the Nac Mac Feegle]]. When he refuses a drink of [[GargleBlaster Special Sheep Liniment]], the other Feegles are briefly convinced he's ''dead''.
** In ''Discworld/TheFifthElephant'', while searching for Angua, Carrot not only raises his voice when Gaspode tells him a wolf has been caught in a nearby village, but actually ''uses deception'' to acquire the animal so it can help them locate her. For straight-laced, inscrutable Carrot, that's tantamount to any other man having a full-on nervous breakdown when his girl goes missing.
** In ''Discworld/NightWatch'', when a young Corporal asks Sgt. Colon where he, Vimes and Nobby (and we find out later, Reg Shoe) are going and why they were all wearing sprigs of lilac. The usually jolly Colon rounds on the youngster and tells him that anyone who had the right to ask that already knew and was headed in the same direction. Vimes has to lead him away to calm him down.
** In ''Discworld/MakingMoney'' Mr. Bent has personally checked every clerk's work with amazing speed and total accuracy for years. When he incorrectly marks one calculation wrong the junior clerk ashamedly looks over it, then pulls out a notebook to work it out on paper, then has one of the senior clerks check his work herself, then she calls over all the other senior clerks to check it as well. Then they write a note saying that the junior clerk appears to be correct and put his work back in Mr. Bent's in-tray, and the room holds its breath while they wait for him to get to it. When he runs out of the building screaming, the entire bank shuts down. [[spoiler: Not long after Mr. Bent dresses up as a clown and strangles two would-be assassins with balloon animals.]]
* In ''Literature/GoodOmens'' Aziraphale the angel may no longer be completely uncorrupted by humanity, but he's still angelic enough that he's the undisputed master of GoshDangItToHeck. Then, he swears. And shit just got serious.
* ''Literature/GauntsGhosts'':
** Daur is considered the most straitlaced and disciplined of the lot. In ''Only In Death'', he nearly hits Rawne, which is taken as a sign of the insidious effects of Hinzerhaus. In ''Blood Pact'', when [[spoiler: he is caught helping out in one of Rawne's scams]], Hark thinks that the regiment's discipline and morale has hit a new low.
** ''Only In Death'' has some more of these. Normally unflappable Mkoll gets spooked, chatty Maggs is unusually silent...
* E.E. Smith's ''Literature/SkylarkSeries'': The reason Dick Seaton knows the scientific knowledge he needs to save the Earth exists is because of independently-evolved legends from two worlds of a large and complex star cluster, which describe their gods ''stunning'' mortals who attack them. This is despite ''ten thousand years'' of strike-to-kill conditioning in both races. ''Ergo'' the legends must contain a grain of truth to have lasted for that long without "stunned" being changed to "killed", and the "gods" must be the SufficientlyAdvancedAliens he's looking for. He turns out to be right.
* In Creator/LarryNiven's short story "[[Literature/KnownSpace Flatlander]]", our hero Beowulf Shaeffer has just finished doing some scans outside the spaceship. He turns to his companion:
-->'''Beowulf:''' Elephant, have you noticed a tendency in me to use profanity for emphasis?\\
'''Elephant:''' No, not really.\\
'''Beowulf:''' Well, it's [[PrecisionFStrike goddamned]] radioactive out there.
* In second ''Literature/BlackCompany'' book when Goblin doesn't way to play tricks with One-Eye as he usually does and instead of smiling and humilating his rival he actually gets provoked by him -- worse, attacks him with his bare hands -- everybody knows there is something wrong.
* In the first chapter of ''Literature/WorldWarZ'', Dr. Kwang Jing-shu says he knew that something very bad was happening through a combination of this trope, MeaningfulEcho, and OutOfCharacterAlert. An old army comrade renowned for seeing the worst in any given situation, Dr. Gu Wen Kuei, once had a rare non-curmudgeonly moment when they were performing extremely difficult surgery in the middle of a dangerous border clash in Russia, and said to the nearly-disembowelled patient, "Don't worry, everything's going to be all right." Years later, when Jing-shu calls him about a small outbreak of unusual symptoms, Kuei, who knows what's going on, repeats the familiar reassurance, and that's when Jing-shu realizes that the outbreak is not isolated and the situation is much worse than he thought.
* ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'':
** Marco is known for being such a fountain of snark that whenever he's serious, it's safe to assume that something pretty upsetting is going on. At one point, during a mission that [[spoiler: involved his mother]], when he was understandably preoccupied, Jake had to take him aside and tell him to start cracking stupid jokes because he was scaring the others.
** Jake did the same thing to Rachel in another book when she was acting too cautious.
** [[LampshadeHanging Commented on]] when Ax starts screaming at everyone to book it during an infiltration attempt:
--->''Ax never yells. So when he does, it's usually a good idea to pay attention.''
** This was how the kids realized that [[spoiler:Jake had been made a Controller]] in book 6: When Ax touches Jake’s cheek, [[spoiler:the Yeerk in Jake’s head can’t handle it and screams, “Get your hands off me, Andalite filth!”]], thus blowing his cover. He immediately tries to play it off as stress, but the others aren’t having it, and Rachel {{lampshades}} it.
** The sole time one of the [[ActualPacifist Chee]] fight, [[BloodKnight Rachel]] is later seen crying. This more than anything convinces Marco how horrific the slaughter was.
** Very early on Jake's older brother Tom is talking to him about joining The Sharing (A front for the Yeerks) when Jake notices while Tom looks and speaks normally, his eyes are showing pure terror. It's the ''real'' Tom warning Jake away.
* In the ''Literature/DarkNestTrilogy'', Luke Skywalker (whose job it is to exemplify tranquility and serenity) drops the GFFA equivalent of the F-bomb.
* In ''Literature/WarriorCats'', Jayfeather invokes this by saying he's glad that the cranky elder Mousefur isn't acting all sweet and kind because that would mean she was getting heat stroke from the recent hot weather. Later when she starts acting mopey [[spoiler:because of Longtail's death]], Jayfeather gets really worried about her well-being.
* In the Creator/DaleBrown novel ''Sky Masters'', normally composed Jon Masters lets the pressure get to him, up to the point of RantInducingSlight, something his chief assistant notices immediately.
* In the final novel of the ''Literature/CodexAlera'', [[GuileHero Tavi]] is rather shocked when his lover [[ProudWarriorRaceGirl Kitai]] becomes furious with him for carrying on a relationship with her without marrying or courting her. Note that Kitai has never given a damn about Aleran laws or customs (or really ever noticed them, except to snark about them) and her own people's view on this sort of thing is rather more... relaxed. So why is she so bent out of shape? [[spoiler: She's actually pregnant with her and Tavi's child, and while perfectly happy to flout Aleran rules herself, Kitai does ''not'' want her child to have to deal with the major social stigma Alerans place on illegitimacy]].
* Vivenna from ''Literature/{{Warbreaker}}'' believes that women should dress modestly with high-necked dresses, with skirts that come down to the calf at least. However, when she decides to become more of an ActionGirl, she dons a man's trousers and shirt.
* Ham from ''Literature/{{Mistborn}}'' spends the better part of three books mired in interminable ponderings, dilemmas, and hypotheticals. Finally he answers a question with "No", and is believed out of the shock value.
* ''Literature/HonorHarrington'' is generally portrayed as a military professional: killing is an unfortunate consequence of her career, she takes no pleasure in it, and she can be courteous to former military opponents who tried to kill ''her'' [[PunchClockVillain because that was their job]]. Those who have known her long enough instantly recognize (and are scared shitless by) her change in bearing when she really, truly wants someone to die. [[spoiler: When she discovered that an enemy had not just permitted, but ''ordered'' the rape and murder of her subordinates, she turned right around and tried to shoot him. Her friends had to physically hold her down to keep her from killing a prisoner. Later, she legally executed the men who had her lover assassinated in the most painful way she could manage.]]
* ''Literature/AlbertCampion'':
** Any time the self-professed [[DoesntLikeGuns anti-gun]] Campion [[BatmanGrabsAGun picks a gun]] over a less lethal weapon.
** When the very [[TechnicalPacifist anti-killing]] Campion informs a mook who helped kidnap one of his friends that if she was hurt, he'd "break his rule" and kill him.
* In ''Literature/ArtemisFowl'', Julius Root apologizing after referring to another fairy as 'human-blooded' is used to convey just how serious an insult [[HumansAreTheRealMonsters 'human-blooded']] is amongst fairies. In the second book, the LEP realise just how screwed they are when the usually gung-ho Captain Kelp orders a retreat.
** At one point, Artemis (usually very serious and very articulate) calls Butler and simply shouts [[ItMakesSenseInContext "Lollipops!"]] This makes Butler even more worried than he already is.
* Literature/KittyNorville is a chatterbox by nature who prefers to avoid violence and tries to get any fellow lycanthropes she meets to let the human aspects of their psyches call the shots as much as possible. So when she (in human form, mind you) lunges at an unarmed normal man on sight and does nothing but literally snarl when bodily restrained, the first question out of the mouth of someone that has known her for a couple of days is [[ItsPersonal "What did you do to her?"]]
* In ''Literature/ASeriesOfUnfortunateEvents'' Aunt Josephine is extremely obsessed with grammar. When the Baudelaires find her apparent suicide note Klaus begins to analyze the grammatical errors, but Violet disgustedly asks who would care about grammar in their situation. Klaus points out that Aunt Josephine would and realizes the mistakes are actually a coded message.
* In the Literature/PaladinOfShadows book ''A Deeper Blue'', Mother Lenka laughing heartily is recalled with horror.
* ''Literature/TheElenium'':
** Talen is found to have followed the knights on their mission to Zemoch. When questioned, he stammers and stutters, eventually giving an incredibly unbelievable story about why he followed them. Since Talen has never once been shown to be at a loss for words and has proven the ability to make up believable lies on the spot, this clues the knights in that Aphrael, the Child Goddess, is influencing Talen, since She had wanted him on the mission in the first place and is known to be a horrible liar.
** This trope is the clue to Sparhawk that someone is using magic to influence the various kings of Eosia into confining the Pandion knights, as they are believing outlandish claims without any evidence and have turned aggressive towards their allies. It is revealed to be a spell that induces belief being cast by [[spoiler:Annias, which is another example because as a church man, he is not permitted to learn magic.]]
** In the sequel saga ''The Tamuli'', whenever Sparhawk stops being his short-tempered self and goes eerily calm, you know shit is gonna go down. The first time it's humorous, when he doesn't yell at Elhana for [[spoiler:making it so she'll go to the Tamul Empire - which is currently at the gates of a civil war]], although this time it was because Kalten took Sparhawk to a crypt and [[CrowningMomentOfFunny made him yell and wave his arms there]] so he'd have a clear head to confront his wife. The second time, less so, since it was caused by [[spoiler:the kidnapping of his wife.]]
* ''Literature/GalaxyOfFear'':
** AT one point Lando Calrissian, teaching Zak about playing cards, tells him "A good rule to follow is that if the other guy is acting normal under unusual circumstances, you can bet he's bluffing".
** ''Army of Terror'' has TheStoic PapaWolf Uncle Hoole, confronted with the Kivan wraiths menacing him and his charges, just... stop fighting completely, take a PoseOfSupplication, and wait for death. When someone else drives them away, he who is so good at DissonantSerenity is profoundly shaken. [[spoiler: He is TheAtoner and blames himself for their deaths, just as they blame him.]]
** In ''Spore'', well, here's a quote.
--->''Hoole touched the gash delicately. "I will live." The stern Shi'ido tried to look as light hearted as his stony face could manage. "It was [[ComingInHot not my best landing]], but all things considered, I would say it wasn't my worst."\\
Tash grimaced. Hoole never joked. The fact that he was trying to probably meant he felt worse than he looked.''
* ''Literature/{{GONE}}'' series:
** In ''LIES'', [[BigBad Caine Soren]] is visibly disturbed by the fact that his girlfriend [[DarkChick Diana Ladris]] A) isn't beautiful anymore and B) Isn't being snarky and sarcastic. He notes that this is a sign that she's finally lost ''her will to live.'' Serious business, indeed.
** This trope is lampshaded in ''FEAR'', when [[LovableCoward Quinn]] says that he knows everything will be alright as long as [[OnlySaneMan Edilio is ever the calm, sane hero.]] In this book, he isn't.
** In the same installment of the series, [[BrokenBird Lana]] seems to lose hope when she notices [[BigBad Caine]] isn't being a cocky, arrogant sociopath, actually seeming quite insecure and timid, and remarks; '' "You gotta give he guy some credit; he has a genius for doing the wrong thing. We actually need him to be the bad guy, and now he's mr. meek and mild." ''
** Devout Catholic [[InsufferableGenius Astrid]] loses her faith in God...[[spoiler: And Promptly decides thats a good excuse to throw her brother out a window.]]
* The first sign Alys gets that something is wrong in ''Literature/TerraMirumChronicles'' is that the sheriff arrives at the restaurant she works at an hour ahead of his usual time. It turns out he was at her best friend Charlie's house where Charlie committed suicide the night before.
* This is the only way to detect Changed Ones in ''Literature/{{Hometown}}''. Sometimes the symptoms are subtle, but when the local BigFriendlyDog starts acting more like a rabid wolverine, you know something's wrong.
* In ''Literature/AcrossTheUniverse'', Amy only knows Elder as a sweet, somewhat awkward teenage boy trying to do his best to lead ''Godspeed''. Therefore, when she [[spoiler:suspects he snapped and murdered [[AssholeVictim Luther]], in the second book, she is severely shaken at the thought.]]
* [[TheStoic Kopaka]] has a few such moments in the ''Franchise/{{Bionicle}}'' books. First, when believing Pohatu to have died in a cave-in, [[NotSoStoic turns sappy]] and offers the mask they've been trying to find to Pohatu's people. In a later book, after being beaten by the bad guys, robbed of his mask and tools and attacked by a bunch of innocent villagers mistaking his team for villains, he breaks down and attempts to kill the villagers without hesitation.
* Literature/WhenYouReachMe: Wheelie is the school secretary who knows all of the students, what class they are in, and even who is absent. But when the police come looking for Marcus, Miranda realizes just how bad the situation is when Wheelie asks them to repeat his name and ask what grade he is in.
* ''[[Literature/CiaphasCain Caves of Ice]]'': When Ciaphas Cain [[note]]Hero of the Imperium!!![[/note]] realizes that his squad just found a Necron tomb and is giving orders to seal it, he knows that his "everything's under control" mask slipped big time. This actually reinforces his orders to the troopers.
-->''[Grifen] no doubt thought that anything bad enough to leave a hero of the Imperium [[BringMyBrownPants in need of clean undergarments]] was something she didn't want to meet.''
* In ''Literature/{{Murderess}}'', [[JerkassWithAHeartOfGold Déaspor and "Hat Lad"]], who usually have a rather smug and somewhat condescending yet benign attitude, become very angry when Lu [[spoiler:or Hallwad and Aucasis]] refuse to take on their mission.
* ''Literature/TheWitling'' takes less than two pages to establish that Parapfu Moragha views Thengets del Prou as a smug, self-satisfied twit. Moragha commissions him to "seng"--to use clairvoyance to scout--an area in the first scene in the book, and Prou claims not to have found anything, but says it without smirking or being snarky; based on this, Moragha correctly guesses that Prou is lying.
* In Donnelly's ''Rogue Wave'', while Neela is telling her parents about [[SealedEvilInACan Abbadon]]'s return, she repeatedly refuses offers of sweets. This furthers their belief that she is mentally ill, as the 'old' Neela had a problem with emotional eating.
* In ''Literature/{{Noob}}'', Arthéon figures out that the new update to the FictionalVideoGame he's palying is probably going to make acessible a continent that was so far protected by a PerpetualStorm. One of Arthéon's leads to figure out if he's right is to go pay a visit to the BoldExplorer NonPlayerCharacter that is known to have mapped the continent's shape and see is the game's update has caused any change of behaviour in him.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/{{Arrow}}'': Since returning to Starling City, Oliver Queen has staked his name on his decision to never wield a gun. In season three, he uses one with expert precision due to a lack of other options, explaining "I never said I didn't know how to use a gun."
* In ''[[Series/NeverWipeTearsWithoutGloves Don't Ever Wipe Tears Without Gloves]]'', when Bengt's [[FagHag best friend]] Madde is identified as [[TheBeard "Bengt's girlfriend"]] by the priest at Bengt's funeral (after Bengt had killed himself after learning that he was dying of AIDS), [[CampGay Paul]] answers not with his normal glibness, but with genuine tear-filled offence:
-->'''Paul:''' Girlfriend?!... It is one thing that this beautiful young man wasn't allowed to live his life -- but must they deny him that short life that he had?!
** Not to mention Benjamin at [[spoiler:Lars-Åke's]] funeral when the family has asked for donations to be made to the Cancer Fund rather than to AIDS research. Benjamin's reaction is to curse repeatedly, which shocks the other members of [[TrueCompanions the family]].
* ''Series/{{Smallville}}'':
** If the mild-mannered [[Franchise/{{Superman}} Clark Kent]] starts speaking and acting rough and is sexually aggressive, you could bet your lucky stars that he is on red kryptonite. On the other hand, seeing him being overly cheerful and completely without {{Wangst}} is not a good sign either ("Hypnotic")... Oh, and whenever he is not crazy over [[SatelliteLoveInterest Lana]], something is ''definitely'' wrong.
** If [[IncorruptiblePurePureness Chloe Sullivan]] wears black, run away as fast as you could. She had donned a black outfit on three occasions -- in "Rush" when [[spoiler:a parasite makes her do all sorts of crazy things]], in ''Exodus'' when [[spoiler:she betrays Clark]], and in "Identity" when [[spoiler:she renders the bad guy of the week catatonic in a truly terrifying scene]]. Also, if she does ''anything'' to hurt Clark in any possible way, something is very, very wrong.
* ''Series/BurnNotice'':
** There's an episode where Michael sends Sam to escort Madeleine to safety. Madeleine isn't hearing of it, offers Sam a beer. Sam refuses the beer, at which point Madeleine starts taking him seriously.
** In another episode, one of Sam's old "buddies" comes to him for help. Madeleine can tell something's wrong because Sam stops drinking for the duration of the episode. And in a DVD special feature, Bruce Campbell states that you can tell something is serious when Sam isn't drinking. Though he can be seen drinking during the planning stages of a mission, he almost never does it during an actual operation. So, since it's another (and not infrequently invoked) character trait for him, it might not exactly qualify as out of character.
* In ''Series/{{Lost}}'' when Locke and Ben are discussing moving the island after [[spoiler:Alex's death]], the normally well-mannered [[AffablyEvil Ben]] warns Locke off his destiny-searching path with the warning "Because destiny, John... is a fickle [[PrecisionFStrike bitch]]!"
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** The Ninth Doctor is cheerful, silly, happy, and above all, calm. Nothing fazes him. Then in a secret lab, he sees a heavily damaged, barely-alive Dalek (in the episode by the same name) -- and immediately loses his shit in a big way. In the old show, and in public consciousness even more so, Daleks were often played for laughs. This signals very effectively that on the new ''Doctor Who'', Daleks ain't funny -- as everyone else learns quickly enough.
** By a similar token, the Tenth Doctor is very decidedly anti-gun, turning one down repeatedly when Wilfred tells him to take one and kill whatever it is that has been predicted to kill him in "The End of Time". The mere mention of the possibility of [[spoiler:the Time Lords returning]] causes him to pick up the gun without a second thought. It's how we know shit just got serious.
** He picked up the gun before that in "The Doctor's Daughter" when [[spoiler:Jenny is killed.]]
** Ten is also known to allow terrible things to happen because they represent a "fixed point in time", i.e. something with far reaching consequences that needs to happen lest history be royally screwed. He even [[spoiler:destroyed the city of Pompeii himself, and let (nearly) everyone die]] because it ''had'' to happen. But in "The Waters of Mars" he's finally had his fill, declares himself the "Time Lord Victorious", and proceeds to screw up a major historical event. It's rather frightening, and the consequences for him are indeed dire.
** "Forest of the Dead": As she's about to make her HeroicSacrifice, River Song remembers her last meeting with the Doctor -- how he turned up on her door with a [[SignificantHaircut haircut]] and a [[ChangedMyJumper new suit]], and left her his [[IconicItem sonic screwdriver]] -- meaning that the Doctor had known River was going to die.
** When the Doctor [[spoiler:allowed Solomon to die]] in "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship", it was an immediate sign to Amy (and the fans) that something was wrong and cemented the theme that the Doctor shouldn't travel alone.
** It comes to a head in the next episode, "A Town Called Mercy". [[Recap/DoctorWhoS3E8TheGunfighters Last time he visited the Old West]], the Doctor claimed that "nothing will ever induce me to raise a gun in anger." This time, he decides to send a man to his death at gunpoint. [[WhatTheHellHero Amy lets him have it.]]
** In "The Snowmen", the Doctor [[AchillesInHisTent spends the first part of the episode wearing a regular tie]]. When his bow tie returns, [[HesBack it marks a turning point]] in the episode.
** Sarah Jane Smith calls the Fourth Doctor out for this in "The Masque of Mandragora", telling him she knows when the situation has gotten apocalyptic because his jokes get more strained.
* When ''Series/ProjectRunway'''s Tim Gunn calls season eight contestant Gretchen a manipulative bully, it's certainly one of these moments.
* ''Series/ICarly'':
** If it's Carly or Freddie that starts to suggest breaking and entering, vandalism or general mayhem, and not Sam, then the situation has definitely got out of hand.
** Sam acting considerate and helpful worries Carly and Freddie, and they start to believe Sam is in love with their new intern.
* In one episode of ''Series/ClarissaExplainsItAll'', Clarissa senses something is wrong when she sees her brother Ferguson acting nice, missing some of his favorite possessions, and unable to properly insult her.
* ''Series/TheVampireDiaries'': When [[ChaoticEvil Damon]] stops [[DeadpanSnarker Deadpan Snarking]] and starts actually being helpful, you know things are pretty bad.
* ''Series/YesMinister'': Jim Hacker is dead set on a course of action that won't do anyone any favours, and won't be swayed. It's serious enough that Sir Humphrey even drops his incredibly elaborate SesquipedalianLoquaciousness and tells him "If you're going to do this damn silly thing, don't do it in this damn silly way." This stops Hacker in his tracks.
* ''Series/NedsDeclassifiedSchoolSurvivalGuide'' has Buzz Rodriguez (guy that never speaks) in Loomer's gang makes a point/ delivers some kind of lesson on the good things volunteering. Everyone currently on scene [[LampshadeHanging Lampshades]] it.
-->'''Mose:''' Did he just say something? He never says something!\\
''(aforementioned speech)''\\
'''Jerry:''' So THAT'S what he sounds like!\\
'''Loomer:''' Dude, you haven't said anything since we've known you.\\
'''Buzz:''' Everything's been fine up to this point.
* ''Series/{{Dollhouse}}'':
** In the first season and earlier second season, anything Topher is against on moral grounds goes well beyond just being wrong. This is lessened with time as Topher develops more of a conscience.
** Wacky stoner AlanTudyk suddenly and wordlessly [[spoiler: carving someone's face up in Alpha's signature style]].
* In the second season of ''Series/TeenWolf'', while the main cast tries to keep a BrainwashedAndCrazy Jackson contained by keeping him locked in, Stiles (who's on guarding duty) sends a text from Jackson's phone to his parents so that they don't worry when he doesn't get home. The thing is, as Allison tells Stiles when he informs her what he did, Jackson hasn't told his parents he loved them since he was a little child, from the moment they told him he was adopted, and Stiles included an 'I love you' at the end of his text. Sure enough, minutes later, we're shown Jackson's father arriving to the police station to tell the Sheriff he's terribly concerned about Jackson because of this very reason and the police start immediately looking for Jackson.
* ''Franchise/{{Buffyverse}}'':
** The Mayor -- normally [[AffablyEvil cheerful, friendly]] and [[FamilyValuesVillain oddly wholesome]] for a villain who constantly speaks in a chipper, upbeat tone -- goes on a brief, furious VillainousBreakdown after Buffy puts his [[TheDragon Dragon]] and [[LikeASonToMe daughter figure]] [[SixthRangerTraitor Faith]] into a coma.
--->'''Mayor Wilkins:''' (''to Angel'') Yeah, well I'd get set for a world of weeping! I'd get set for a world of pain! Misery loves company, young man, and I'm more than willing to share that with you and your whore!
** Similarly, any time that meek, submissive ([[CharacterDevelopment in early seasons]]) Willow loses her temper and begins to basically force her bickering team mates to cooperate by [[WhatTheHellHero chewing them out]], typically opening up with a shout of '''''HEYYYYY!'''''
** And in the second season premiere of ''Buffy'', Buffy's attitude problem causes her to get baited easily by the vamps, leaving her friends unprotected so that Willow, Cordelia, Giles, and Miss Calendar get kidnapped by the vampires working for the Anointed One. Xander, normally Buffy's biggest fan, lays it out for her:
-->'''Xander:''' If they hurt [[ChildhoodFriend Willow]], IllKillYou.
** In the season 5 finale of ''Buffy'', Giles is trying, as gently as possible, to explain to Buffy that it may be necessary to kill Dawn to save not only the world but all of reality. Buffy point-blank says she's not discussing the matter until Giles jumps to his feet and shouts, "YES WE BLOODY WELL ARE!"
** In Season 6 of ''Buffy'', when Anya doesn't open the magic box for a long time after Xander left her, he is genuinely scared.
** While in early seasons of ''Buffy'' Giles often chided the Scoobies for their immature behavior, he did have a certain respect for their talents and tried to speak to them like rational adults. When he eventually calls Willow out on her magic by referring to her as a "rank amateur" and an idiot, you know that the line has been crossed.
** Heck, Giles in general could be a poster-boy for this. While most of the series showed him as a bookish, nerdy Watcher, some of his most terrifying moments come when he taps back into his days as a hardcore magic-user named Ripper and wipes the floor with his opponents.
** If Buffy ever willingly kills or attempts to kill another human being, you know things are getting bad.
** If Angel does this it's usually a sign of Angelus returning. It can also be a sign of TranquilFury, as Wesley finds out.
** Lorne's the smiling, happy, carefree member of the team. When he begins to crack in Season 5 of ''Angel'', it's a sign that everything's about to fall apart. He never really recovers.
** Drusilia is certifiably off her rocker, driven insane by Angelus and in most every appearance was a CloudCookoolander. In season five however when Spike tries to reunite with her she is the picture of sanity, and is clear headed enough to be hurt and upset over him falling for Buffy.
* ''Series/{{Psych}}'':
** In an episode, Shawn and Gus find a missing camp counselor's bloodstained pajamas. Later, when Shawn [[TheSummation explains how he knew]] her disappearance had been staged, he mentions how Gus didn't [[ScreamsLikeALittleGirl freak out like he usually does]] when he saw the "blood," meaning he must have been in on the secret.
** The first episode involving the Yin-Yang serial killer (who kidnaps Shawn's mother) involves this trope as well. Shawn has to get serious to deal with the dangerous case so he asks Gus to pick up the slack on the wacky jokes and bizarre antics for two reasons: 1) to keep anyone from noticing Shawn himself is taking this deadly serious ([=OoC=] for him), and 2) because Shawn ''needs'' those hijinks or else he'll crack under the pressure of a case this serious. What's completely ''in'' character however, is that Shawn gets Gus to agree to not tell anyone ''why'' he's acting like an idiot during a life and death struggle, earning him some confused and angry looks from other characters as it continues.
** In season 7 when [[spoiler: Henry gets shot]], Shawn lets his emotions get in the way rather than acting rationally. When he investigates the suspect's home, instead of discreetly sneaking in and analyzing the evidence like he usually does, he breaks a window to get inside and trashes the place to vent his anger and frustration.
* ''Series/TheThickOfIt''. When Malcolm Tucker stops swearing and speaks in a measured, reasonable tone, tremble. When Malcolm Tucker [[HeroicBSOD admits that things aren't going so well for him]]... ''run''.
* ''Series/WhiteCollar''. Mozzie is an extremely paranoid ConspiracyTheorist who hyperventilated simply from walking into FBI headquarters. His friend [[ConMenHateGuns Neal]] [[BatmanGrabsAGun grabbing a gun]], however, is serious enough for him to call up [[ReasonableAuthorityFigure Peter, an FBI agent]], to try and stop him.
* ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'':
** The framing device is that mad scientists Prof. Forrester and Frank are showing the Satellite of Love crew bad movies as part of a twisted experiment. One movie, ''Film/ManosTheHandsOfFate'', was SO bad that the villains broke character, apologized to the crew, and tried to cheer them up to get them through the movie. It doesn't really work, as the bots are reduced to blubbering pools of tears. In the same episode, at one point the normally laid-back Joel shouts "''DO'' SOMETHING! ''GOD!''" It's a telling indicator of how trying the movie is.
** Another moment of Joel losing his cool at a movie took place was "Lost Continent", during the infamous "Rock Climbing" sequence.
** We get a similar moment in the ''Film/TheWildWorldOfBatwoman'' where during the final pointless dance scene Tom Servo starts screaming "END! END! END!" Tom is not as laid back as Joel but he rarely screams like that.
** He screams again during ''Mitchell'' when the title character descends to a child's level to have a prolonged argument.
** Joel, despite all the Mad's torture, has always treated them as {{Friendly Enemies}}. That is until "The Castle of Fu Manchu", when the Mad's revel in some EvilGloating after the bots reach the DespairEventHorizon. Joel goes into full PapaWolf mode and unleashes a ReasonYouSuckSpeech so powerful, [[HoistByHisOwnPetard it drives the Mads to try and watch the movie themselves.]]
* ''Series/{{Leverage}}'': One of Eliot's catchphrases is "I don't like guns," usually said while reflexively unloading one after taking it off someone else. [[spoiler:When he shoots someone (instead of killing him hand-to-hand) in ''The Big Bang Job'' it's a fairly good indicator of how seriously he takes this particular mark.]]
* The writers of ''Series/MadMen'' do this on a meta level in Season 4 (which begins a few months after Don Draper's divorce). Don had previously established himself as a moderate drinker who never got more than just a bit lubricated; when Season 4 starts, he's seen stumbling home from bars, being drunk on duty, and being called an [[TheAlcoholic alcoholic]] by at least two other characters. Furthermore, he had previously been a ChivalrousPervert who would never hit on or be creepy toward any of the women in the office, let alone have an affair or even a one-night stand with one; Season 4 brings on the occasional pass and finally an ill-advised affair with his secretary Allison. Things only start getting better for him when he finds a relationship (first with statistician Faye, and then with his secretary Megan[[note]]A relationship that had started platonically when he needed a babysitter to supervise his kids when he took them to California.[[/note]]). However, by this point, everyone -- and particularly the audience--has gotten the message: Don's marriage was really important to him despite his seemingly cavalier attitude, and despite his womanizing, he needs a girlfriend/wife to keep him on level.
* One episode of ''Series/MalcolmInTheMiddle'' had a short gag where Reese was lying down in bed. Dewey walked in front of Reese and started doing AnnoyingYoungerSibling things. Reese simply stares at him. The gag ends when Dewey walks outside of the room where Lois is waiting and says "He really ''is'' sick."
* ''Series/StargateSG1'':
** In the episode "Prototype", the team stumbles upon Khalek, a seemingly-innocent, newborn clone of [[BigBad Anubis]], and TechnicalPacifist scientist Daniel Jackson flat-out says that they should kill him. Not imprison him, not study him, not try to reason with him. ''Kill him''. Kill him before his Goa'uld genetic memory kicks in and he remembers who he is. His reaction is understandable given the circumstances: Khalek is physiologically closer to an Ancient than an ordinary Human, with all the superpowers that entails, and furthermore he will soon be able to Ascend -- and it took nothing short of a DivineIntervention to stop Anubis the first time. Daniel even lampshades this in dialogue: if he, of all people, says this is the only option, then it must be. And yes, Daniel is the one who ends up shooting him, while Khalek is busy deflecting Mitchell's shots.
** In the episode "Shades of Gray", O'Neill and Hammond's unusual actions at the beginning of the episode are really the only way to tell that there's more going on than meets the eye.
** In one episode, a [[BigEater gluttonous]] Goa'uld who had up until that point been giving information in exchange for some of Earth's food (after having been starved for an unstated amount of time), refuses any more food and demands his freedom for any more information. He tells Landry, "I don't get to say this often General, but at the moment, I'm full."
* ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'':
** In the episode "Do I Know You?", Barney, who has recently fallen in love with Robin, takes her out to dinner on Lily's advice to make a good impression so that Robin will take him seriously and not dismiss him as the sleazy, womanizing idiot he usually is. His attempt at being chivalrous and tasteful is ''so'' impressive (he doesn't even bat an eye when the buxom waitress practically dangles her breasts under his nose) it completely weirds Robin out and she tries to make Barney act like himself again:
--->'''Robin:''' Hey, so I went to the chiropractor yesterday... [[DoubleEntendre That guy bent me over the table and pounded me for a good hour...]]\\
'''Barney:''' Insurance gonna cover that? Sometimes they don't.\\
'''Robin:''' That's it?\\
'''Barney:''' ''(polite smile)''\\
'''Robin:''' Okay... Well, um, today, I was at the dentist, that guy drilled me. All day long.\\
'''Barney:''' ''(polite nod)''\\
'''Robin:''' He drilled me hard.\\
'''Barney:''' ''(polite nod)''\\
'''Robin:''' He filled all of my cavities... Come on, man!\\
'''Barney:''' Well your teeth look fantastic.\\
'''Robin:''' Who ''ARE'' you?!
** Barney [[spoiler:burning the Playbook]] in season eight was treated by the rest of the gang as a sign that he was serious about being in a relationship with Patrice. [[spoiler:It's later revealed he burned the book as part of his "The Robin" play, but it's no less shocking because he genuinely meant it since "[he doesn't] need it anymore".]]
* ''Series/{{Monk}}'':
** Adrian Monk has severe OCD and a host of other phobias, such that he frequently needs sanitary wipes. During a garbage strike in San Francisco, he is so disturbed by the trash bags piled around that he is unable to function as a detective. By the climax of the story, he's driving a garbage truck around, ''picking up the garbage himself'', and fingering Music/AliceCooper for the crime in a summation that's more implausible than usual. His friends get him to a clean room, and he gets back to normal. Relatively speaking.
** There's one episode where a radio host is a suspect in a crime, and Monk appears on his show to interview him. The story of Trudy's death comes up, and one of the hosts offers his condolences. The suspect, who's a serious {{Jerkass}}, starts making tasteless jokes. You ''know'' Monk is pissed when the normally mild-mannered detective who abstains from physical contact ''jumps across the table to tackle the man.''
** And Natalie is not immune either in "Mr. Monk Gets Lotto Fever". Normally, she's very accepting of Monk's OCD behaviors and has a bubbly personality, but when she becomes a lottery hostess, Monk observes her becoming a full-tilt diva. For example, in one scene, she gets incredibly pissed when she trips over some sound wires, getting into a heated argument with the sound engineer, which culminates in the station manager being involved, and said engineer being fired because he's got a hot streak. Monk even says he's observed it when he talks to Dr. Bell:
--->'''Dr. Neven Bell:''' But I see your point about the monkey.\\
'''Adrian Monk:''' All I'm trying to say is... it's ''not'' the same Natalie! If you knew her you wouldn't know her! Last night after the show, she got somebody fired!\\
'''Dr. Neven Bell:''' Really?\\
'''Adrian Monk:''' One of the crew, sound guy! There were some wires on the floor, and she was just like (''leans back in his chairs and snarls like a raptor'') you know, complaining.
* Subverted in "The Concert", during ''Series/TheMiddle'''s third season. After an early exit from a spelling bee, an event he had gone all the way to the regionals in the previous season, Brick, usually cool and unflappably optimistic, is angry and then depressed, remaining in his room the next day and vowing never to return to school. His parents are actually happy because it's an emotionally appropriate response from a child not known for them.
* In one of the DVD Commentaries for ''Series/{{Firefly}}'', Joss Whedon points out that Alan Tudyk has a great ability to sell the gravity of situations just by looking upset.
* ''Series/RedDwarf'':
** When Rimmer seems against filming women in the showers, Holly remarks "Alright, who are you, and what have you done with our Rimmer?"
** In Season Six finale "Out of Time", the Starbug crew is facing what appears to be certain death in a fight with their morally-repugnant but technologically-superior future selves. When asked whether to capitulate or fight, Rimmer's response? "We Fight! Better dead than smeg!"
* In ''Series/TheATeam'', when "Howlin' Mad" Murdock drops his psychosis of the week and takes a turn for the serious, you know something big is going down.
* Penny pinching patriarch [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold Jim Royle]] of ''Series/TheRoyleFamily'' never misses an opportunity to complain at his mother-in-law or save money. So what does he say to his wife Barbara at her Nana's funeral? "I'd give all the money in the world to have one last drink with her." And when he wins £100 on a scratch card he hides the fact from Barbara and seems to spend a little ''too'' much money out drinking, it looks to us and Barbara that Jim is being a selfish miser again. But come Christmas Day, just after Barbara shouts at him for hiding the money in front of the whole family, she finds that Jim had bought her a new wedding ring to replace the one she lost a few months back.
* Dr. Cox of ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'' is TheNicknamer to the rest of the cast and never lets any of them in emotionally. But once in a blue moon, he'll drop the nicknames and talk from the heart. Though he rarely ever calls J.D. by his name (and even then, it's always by his last name), one episode has him address him as J.D., while thanking him for helping him out of his HeroicBSOD. Another example would be when, furious at J.D. for ditching his interns, he yells "Where the hell is Dorian!". Yelling isn't OOC, but calling him Dorian definitely is.
* ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'':
** "Improbable Cause": after three years and an entire episode full of [[BlatantLies blatant]] [[SelfProclaimedLiar cheerful]] [[ConsummateLiar obfuscation]], when the crew realises the Romulans are trying to assassinate him, Sisko asks Garak why they'd want to. Garak responds with a simple "I don't know" and the entire room falls silent in shock as they realise he's ''telling the truth''. It emphasises how ominous the situation actually is: as the show's resident MagnificentBastard and KnowledgeBroker, Garak either knows everything or can guess what he doesn't know. To see him so stumped that he's actually cooperating with the truth is as stunning for the audience as it is for the crew.
** Quark's chilling line in "The Siege of AR-558" regarding how even the nicest humans can turn into [[HumansAreWarriors bloodthirsty killers]] if they are deprived of their normal comforts and placed in danger over a long period of time. Then later in the episode he's tending to his wounded nephew when the Jem'hadar attack, one of them barge in the room, and Quark turns around and shoots him. This after spending 6+ seasons mainly as a comic relief character.
* ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'':
** The episode "Q Who?" features Starfleet's first encounter with the Borg, thanks to Q's machinations. When he is blamed for the deaths of 18 crew members in a confrontation, he drops all pretenses of being a TricksterGod {{Jerkass}} and utters a chilling, "Oh please." With those 2 words, the audience (and the crew) realize that Q's amiable persona is simply one aspect of his being, which he can discard at will.
** In the episode "I, Borg", an away team discovers that the wreckage that they're investigating is that of a Borg ship, [[OhCrap and there's a survivor]]. Honor-obsessed ProudWarriorRaceGuy Worf recommends killing it, [[MakeItLookLikeAnAccident making it look like an accident]], and running like hell. The compassionate, unflappable Captain Picard ''seriously'' considers doing it.
** Data is an android with an emotionless robot brain. Any deviation from his normal personality is treated by the other characters as a code-red emergency. [[GenreSavvy They're always right.]] For example, in "The Most Toys", that Data failed to transmit a bit of shuttle flight information to ''Enterprise'' is the first bit of evidence [=LaForge=] finds that Data's shuttle accident was staged. The transmission was so trivial that any other pilot might have just skipped it without arousing suspicion, but Data ''never'' takes shortcuts.
** Another, more dramatic example from "The Most Toys": Data has a fundamental respect for life, especially sentient life. So if a character is evil and dangerous enough to ''drive him to attempt cold-blooded murder''...
** More commonly, if Data uses a contraction, it's usually either a sign that [[EvilTwin Lore]] is around, or that you're stuck in an illusion.
* In the ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' episode " The Devil in the Dark", Spock, the TechnicalPacifist scientist of the group, takes aim at the LastOfItsKind Horta with a phaser when he catches it near [[TheNotLoveInterest Kirk]].
* ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'' features one episode which reveals The Omega Directive, which is activated when a particular particle (which may have triggered the Big Bang, and has phenomenal destructive power) is detected. Known only to those ranked Captain or higher, it requires that the Captain disregard all other Starfleet protocols, including the Prime Directive, in order to destroy the particle as quickly as possible.
* ''Series/TopGear'':
** In the Bolivia special, there's a scene where Jeremy Clarkson tells his fellow hosts to stick together as they cross the Andes while suffering from altitude sickness (not surprising as they are traveling at 17,000 feet, well above the altitude where supplemental oxygen/pressurized cabins are required for aircraft). Considering that this is pretty much the complete inverse of how they usually behave, it drives home exactly how dangerous the situation with the high altitude is.
** The trio a traversing a dangerously narrow mountain road with no railings, and James "Captain Slow" May tells the others not to ram him as they usually would. Normally he would take such taunts on the nose. This time, though, he gets out of his car, goes over to Jeremy's, leans in the window, and proceeds to ''threaten Jeremy with a machete''.
** Normally, if one of them fall behind due to the car malfunctioning in some way, the others leave him to spite him. On the death road, the headlights on James' car stop working and he asks Richard to not abandon him. Richard ''listens''.
** The first overseas special in the US has two instances of this: [[labelnote:First Instance]]The trio drive through Alabama with offensive slogans scrawled on their cars. This stunt almost gets them attacked by, to put it bluntly, rednecks. The gravity of the situation is driven home by Clarkson being ''unflinchingly polite'' to the gathering mob in a desperate attempt to defuse the situation.[[/labelnote]] [[labelnote:Second Instance]]When the trio arrive in New Orleans, which was ravaged by Hurricane Katrina a scant year before and still hadn't shown any sign of recovery, they immediately stop the joking and [[PetTheDog decide to quit the last part of their challenge in favour of donating their cars to needy families for free]][[/labelnote]]
** In the Syria special, when James [[spoiler:suffers a serious head injury that requires medical attention]], they immediately rush over to help him.
* In the final season of ''Series/TwentyFour,'' Jack Bauer snaps after [[spoiler: Renee Walker]] is killed and goes on a RoaringRampageOfRevenge in an attempt to kill all responsible after the President betrays him by covering it up. Realizing that he isn't in his right mind at the moment, Chloe refuses to go along with him and says that he needs to be brought in, causing Jack to actually threaten her. Chloe lampshades it herself later on that he's never done that before.
* ''Series/{{Sherlock}}'':
** When Sherlock meets Irene Adler, she says "Brainy's the new sexy" and his normally perfect enunciation fails for a second and he mumbles his next sentence. John's expression shows how big a deal this is.
** Sherlock offering to do the groceries or making coffee should have tipped John off that something was wrong.
** In "The Hounds of Baskerville", it's a huge deal to see Sherlock and, to a slightly lesser extent, John, experiencing and expressing devastating levels of fear:
--->'''Sherlock:''' (''clutching a glass of whiskey and shaking badly'') Look at me, John. I'm afraid.
** With [[WhamLine one line]] Sherlock lets the audience know how bad things are in "The Reichenbach Fall".
--->'''Sherlock:''' You were right. I'm not okay.
* ''Series/{{Blackadder}}'':
** For the entirety of the first season, the only line not [[LargeHam screamed, bellowed or roared]] by [[Creator/BrianBlessed Richard IV]] is the one where he softly says to his son, [[spoiler:"If you cross me now... or ever... I shall do to you what God did unto the Sodomites."]] In the whole dark, bitingly cynical world of the series, it's possibly the one time when one of the buffoonishly over-the-top characters ever qualifies as being genuinely scary.
** More touchingly, he [[YouCalledMeXItMustBeSerious refers to Edmund by his name and not a malapropism]] in the finale.
** In the finale of the last episode of the fourth series set in the trenches of The First World War, George, who has been all full of bravado and impatience to "go over the top" for the entire series, admits that he's scared now that they really are going over the top and doesn't want to die. And later on in the scene, Blackadder, who has continually insulted and ridiculed his comrades, especially Baldrick, says, in response to Baldrick's last ditch "cunning plan" that we never get to hear: "Well, whatever it was I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad, I mean who would have noticed another madman round here? (''sincerely'') Good luck everyone."
* ''Series/{{Castle}}'':
** Castle is normally a charming, witty, up-beat, [[NonActionGuy mystery novelist]] who spends most of each episode geeking out about something. When [[spoiler:his daughter Alexis is kidnapped]] he asks very quietly to be left alone in a room with one of the people involved, who has repeatedly refused to give the police any information. After some of the scariest things Castle has ever said are said, the next thing anyone outside the room hears is a long, high-pitched scream. Castle got the information he wanted.
** In another episode, Castle is being held hostage by that week's killer. He's tied up to a chair and the guy's pointing a gun at him, when Castle's phone rings. It's his mother calling. When Castle ends the call with "I love you," she IMMEDIATELY knows something is wrong.
* In the ''Series/GameOfThrones'' episode "The Rains of Castamere", the normally stoic and to-the-point Lord Roose Bolton is acting increasingly festive and merry during a wedding, even though he refuses alcoholic drinks throughout. [[spoiler:The wedding is going to end in a massacre, and Bolton is part of the conspiracy. He finds the happiness of the wedding guests who are about to die incredibly amusing. Catelyn notices, but by the time she puts it together and realizes he's wearing chainmail under his robes it's already too late.]]
* In season 4 of ''Series/{{Warehouse 13}}'' Mrs. Fredrick arrives to help solve a problem, but seems somewhat confused. Artie and Steve aren't particularly concerned until she starts walking away instead of her usual OffscreenTeleportation.
-->'''Steve:''' She didn't just disappear, she walked away. Walked!
* ''Series/{{Chuck}}'':
** When Morgan calls Devon by his real name, rather than Awesome, it clues him in ''immediately'' that something is out of sorts.
** Chuck under the influence of Laudenol. Even when he's using the Intersect to kick ass and take names Chuck is still his generally affable self, while the drug turns him ''ice cold''. Even without knowing why, you'd realize something was very wrong seeing him in such a state.
** Subtly used in "Chuck Versus the A-Team" with the two Intersected Gretas, Captains Dunwoody and Noble (Stacy Keibler and Isaiah Mustafa, respectively). Both are ''noticeably'' more arrogant and cold when in possession of the Intersect than in their previous appearances. Immediately after the Intersect's removal, they revert to their more affable original personalities.
** When Decker attempts to interrupt Chuck's unauthorized mission to approach Volkoff about a cure for the Norseman weapons system, Casey turns white when he recognizes the voice. Chuck ''immediately'' points out that Casey doesn't react that way.
** Morgan forgetting pop-cultural references like Franchise/IndianaJones and ''Franchise/StarWars'' is the first clue that [[spoiler: something is very wrong with the version of the Intersect he uploaded]].
** Throughout the first half to the series finale, Chuck notices small details that [[spoiler: show something is wrong with Sarah. He dismisses them initially, but it ultimately leads to the reveal (to the cast, the audience having already been made aware of this in the preceding episode) that she has been mind-wiped by the Intersect]].
* ''Series/AgentsOfShield'':
** Phil Coulson, TeamDad who's SeenItAll, is very rarely rattled by anything and hardly ever has cause to even raise his voice. When he does, you know something has gone very wrong. When he straight-up ''yells'' at you, then you know you ''really'' screwed up.
** This is used to [[{{Tearjerker}} heartbreaking]] effect in [[WhamEpisode "The Magical Place"]] when Coulson [[spoiler:starts ''crying'' when [[MagnificentBastard Raina]] tells him how upset his cellist girlfriend was by his "death", and then is seen ''begging to be allowed to die'' during the operation on his brain to rewrite his post-death memories.]]
** Another heartbreaking example is in "Yes Men", when he [[spoiler: ''breaks down'' when telling Skye the truth behind the drug that saved both their lives. He then says that he's [[ScrewTheRulesImDoingWhatsRight chucking out the rule book]] in order to go after the people responsible for everything that was done to him and Skye, something quite at odds with his very [[LawfulGood lawful]] nature during the movies.]]
** Melinda May gets this in "T.A.H.I.T.I." when she beats the ever-loving ''crap'' out of Ian Quinn while he's in S.H.I.E.L.D. custody for [[spoiler:shooting Skye.]] She is normally TheStoic, so her intense display of emotion is a sign that the situation is deadly serious.
** Use for comedic value in "I Will Face My Enemy" when May is undercover as a cheerful, flighty, laughing wife. Hearing her laugh and talk so much freaks Coulson's team out.
* ''Series/HellsKitchen'':
** Gordon Ramsay is usually the definition of MeanBrit; not because he's a bad person, but because seeing people squander their talents or potential is his BerserkButton. So the few times when he's polite or complimentary to a contestant, it's [[SincerityMode 100% whole-hearted]], and generally produces a heartwarming moment.
** In Season 6 of the US version, Gordon refers to contestant Robert as "Bobby", which greatly upsets the normally jovial man. During a private meeting later, Robert explains that Bobby was the name of his abusive father, who always told him he'd never amount to anything. Gordon apologizes for unintentionally bringing up painful memories and promises never to use that name again.
* On [[GrumpyBear Toby's]] "Day of Jubilee" in ''Series/TheWestWing'':
-->'''Margaret:''' Hey, Toby.\\
'''Toby:''' Hey there, Margaret.\\
'''Margaret:''' Are you okay?\\
'''Toby:''' Yeah. Why wouldn't I be okay.\\
'''Margaret:''' You don't usually say, "Hey there, Margaret."\\
'''Toby:''' (''giggles'') What do I usually say?\\
'''Margaret:''' You usually growl something inaudible.\\
'''Toby:''' Not today.\\
'''Margaret:''' I see.\\
'''Toby:''' You, on the other hand, should turn that frown upside down.\\
'''Margaret:''' I'm sorry.\\
'''Toby:''' Let a smile be your umbrella, Margaret.\\
'''Margaret:''' Okay, now you're scaring the crap out of me, Toby.
** More dramatically, Josh's impending [[HeroicBSOD PTSD breakdown]] is preceded by him becoming increasingly snappy and irrational around the people he works with, culminating in a disjointed rant to the President while in a meeting at the Oval Office.
* In episode 3 of ''Series/TheMusketeers'', the normally calm and stoic Athos simply [[HeroicBSOD shut down]] after discovering [[spoiler: his wife Milady whom he had executed was actually alive]]. When he dazedly tried to explain to D'Artagnan and became more and more frantic, D'Artagnan was noticeably alarmed and frightened.
* This is invoked by Philip on ''Series/TheAmericans'' when he approaches Arkady in a bookstore. Philip is a highly trained, highly competent KGB sleeper agent and Arkady is the embassy's KGB resident. The FBI knows who Arkady is and regularly has him followed. For Philip to approach Arkady in a public place, where they can be easily spotted by the FBI, is a gross violation of operational security and risks destroying decades of espionage work. A spy with Philip's experience would never do it under normal circumstances. Philip does this deliberately to send a clear message to his bosses in Moscow about how extremely upset he is about their plan to recruit Philip's daughter as a spy. If Philip is willing to risk exposure merely to send a warning, there is no telling what he would do if the KGB actually tries to go forward with the plan.
* In the ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' episode [[Recap/SupernaturalS02E22AllHellBreaksLoosePartTwo "All Hell Breaks Loose, Part Two" (S02, Ep22)]], [[BigEater Dean]] does not want to eat after the death of his brother. Happens again during the [[Recap/SupernaturalS09E23DoYouBelieveInMiracles season 9 finale]] when [[spoiler:the depths of the Mark of Cain's effects on Dean are illustrated when he leaves his cheeseburger entirely untouched, again saying he isn't hungry.]]
** Crowley, SmugSnake and MagnificentBastard extroardinaire, trembling with terror and on the brink of panic in the mere presence of [[TheDreaded Cain]]. Though pretty much anyone watching could have assumed how deadly ''the'' [[CainAndAbel Cain]] would be in this show, this pretty much hammered home the point that you ''do not piss this guy off''.
** Castiel became a rather shady and morally ambiguous figure during Season 6, but even at his worst he refused to let [[MoralityPet Sam and Dean]] get hurt. So in the Season 6 finale, we know [[spoiler:he's ''really'' gone off the deep end when he threatens to kill them if they will not bow down before him and profess their love of him.]]
** Dean is never afraid to show his disrespect for anybody, [[DidYouJustFlipOffCthulhu however powerful.]] The only person intimidating enough to get him to show some respect is ''Death himself.''
** The Season 9 opening shows [[FamedInStory how much of a legend Sam is in the supernatural world]]: Death, who up until this point has acted totally apathetic towards humanity, says that he considers it an ''honour'' to [[spoiler:pick up Sam's soul.]]
* Series/PunkyBrewster's friend Cherie is normally sweet and effervescent, but in "The Anniversary," she suddenly becomes introverted and quiet. Punky finds out the day marks when Cherie parents were killed in a traffic accident. Punky persuades Cherie to visit the graves at the cemetery, and there Cherie has a cathartic heart-to-heart with her departed parents that even moves Punky to tears.
* ''Series/MrYoung'':
** At the end of "Mr. Space", Adam realizes he has changed Finnegan for the better when Derby and Slab, who ordinarily can barely spell their own names, start spouting off science trivia.
** In another episode both Derby and Ivy are visibly disturbed when the latter compliments the former.
* ''Series/BabylonFive'':
** When Delenn first sees a Soul Hunter in the first season, she [[BerserkButton grabs a gun and tries to kill him]]. Sinclair is taken aback and notes that he'd never seen this in the time they've known each other.
** In the fourth season, Londo and Vir are on Centauri Prime discussing the need to remove [[TheCaligula Cartagia]] from the throne. [[NiceGuy Vir]] is hoping they can do it without resorting to bloodshed but then they meet Cartagia, just up from personally torturing G'Kar and watering plants in the garden with his blood. Vir decodes right then and there he needs to die.
** Two seasons before, Earth and the Minbari lodge protests over the use of [[ColonyDrop mass drivers]] by the Centauri against the Narn homeworld, but so do the ''[[{{Precursors}} Vorlons]]'', who normally consider the affairs of the "younger" races to be beneath their concern. That should tell you how bad it was.
** When Lyta Alexander returns claiming someone on the station is an unwitting [[TheMole mole]], [[TheHero Sheridan]] is trying to convince [[TheLancer Ivanova]] to take the accusation seriously. He notes that [[ProperlyParanoid Garibaldi]] trusts her. Ivanova starts to wave him off saying "Garibaldi doesn't trust anyone," but as she speaks, she recognizes this trope in play.
* Creator/KimKardashian and her mother Kris are well-known (and mocked) for their performances as zany, melodramatic and dim-witted socialites in the ''Keeping up with the Kardashians'' reality show and spinoffs. In a recent episode, Kim and Kris visited Vienna, where a {{blackface}} performer pretending to be Kim's husband Music/KanyeWest was at an event they attended. Both of them, especially Kim, dropped their "act", stopped smiling and made it very clear that the situation was in no way funny.
* In the ''Series/TwoAndAHalfMen'' episode titled "That Pistol-Packin' Hermaphrodite", Charlie tells Rose (his stalker) he's getting married. Rose visibly forces a very calm response and, for the first time in the series, leaves the house ''using the front door''.
* ''Series/{{Cheers}}'': On one episode, Norm is asked if he'd like another beer and demurs, saying he hasn't finished the one he has. The entire bar falls silent to look at him, leading him to explain "Sorry, I'm full!"
* ''Series/HouseOfAnubis'':
** Whenever Victor acts kind and protective over the Students, you know things are getting serious.
** Similarly, it's a bad sign when Fabian gets [[BewareTheNiceOnes genuinely angry at someone else]], being the NiceGuy he is. Plus, when Alfie finds out he had been mean to the heartbroken Joy, it was enough to prove to him that Fabian was a sinner.
* ''Series/PersonOfInterest'': This is what clues the rest of the team in to the fact that The Machine has [[spoiler: completely stopped talking to Root because of [[EvilAI Samaritan]]]]. Instead of being an upbeat lunatic, she's unnervingly quiet and subdued. It actually scares the others more than her psychotic behavior does.
--> '''Shaw:''' Hey Eeyore, where's the perky psycho? You're creeping me out.

* ''Magazine/{{MAD}}'' features the eternally grinning Alfred E. Neuman, whose CatchPhrase is "What, me worry?" Except once. Alfred's reaction to the Three Mile Island nuclear accident in 1979: A look of terror on his face, and the comment, "Yes... me worry!"

[[folder:Myths & Religion]]
* Literature/TheBible:
** In the New Testament, Jesus has a very serious [=OoC=] moment known as "the cleansing of the temple". While some people may argue that Jesus [[IncorruptiblePurePureness could never have acted out of character]], there is no doubt that even (and especially) His friends and followers were shocked by what they saw. He was literally the poster boy for patience and [[TurnTheOtherCheek forgiveness]]. But everybody has at least [[BerserkButton one thing that really burns them up]] and makes them want to break something/someone; for Jesus, it seems, it was taking advantage of poor and ignorant people in the name of God (the corruption in the Jewish church was along the same lines as the selling of indulgences in Martin Luther's time). When He saw what was going on, He just stood there, looking around and [[DeathGlare emanating so much anger]] that [[TranquilFury He didn't even have to raise His voice]] for everybody in the temple to know that Jesus meant serious business and they were in it deep. [[FlippingTheTable He flipped over a money-changer's table]], and the priests and merchants ran for it. If you read the account carefully, you'll note that this wasn't a hot-blooded moment of rage. No, Jesus "made a whip out of cords" (John 2:15), which takes a good bit of time. TranquilFury with extreme deliberation. Not as OOC as one might think. Jesus' one true BerserkButton is hypocrisy, in any form.
--->'''Jesus:''' It is written: "My house shall be a place of prayer." ''But you are turning it into a den of thieves.''
** Another example would be when Jesus curses the fig tree, causing it to wither and die. This is the only time that He is shown to use His gifts/talents/powers in a way that does not cause life and healing for the recipient (certain Apocrypha notwithstanding).
* There is even a saying about Buddha, the poster boy for patience, serenity, that goes like this : "Even the Buddha will get angry if slapped thrice in the face" for TheStoic finally snapping. Basically, the threshold is high, but if you are stupid enough to repeatedly annoy them, even a Saint is going to snap at you, and it's going to be SeriousBusiness.

[[folder:Pro Wrestling]]
* Since wrestling announcers are supposed to be loud and talking all the time, it was always a pretty safe bet that when they went completely silent, it was a sign that someone was ''legitimately'' hurt (instead of when they kept talking, which showed it was part of the show). However, that's not quite as accurate now, since the people behind the scenes have caught on to this, and have started to use dead air when trying to sell a Kayfabe injury.
* While announcers do use the "Owen Voice" as it is known by internet fans, they will make it very clear when a real injury or accident happens, by repeatedly dropping all pretenses of kayfabe and telling the audience that it is not part of the show. This was most recently seen during Wrestling/JerryLawler's heart attack during the show. He got drowsy, passed out, started snoring, then there was a silence for a while. While he was being attended to by [=EMT=]s, the crowd reacted to it, and Wrestling/MichaelCole tried to carry on commentary for a few minutes while the match went on. Then he went completely silent for the rest of the match. When they came back from commerical, he (in tears) related to the home audience that Jerry Lawler had a heart attack while at the desk and that it was not part of the show. All updates through out the rest of the show were prefaces with "this is not part of the show". Being pro wrestling, it eventually became part of the show when he returned after 10 weeks and top heels Wrestling/CMPunk and Wrestling/PaulHeyman made fun of it by having Paul fake a heart attack in the ring. This was followed up by every heel on commentary making some kind of joke about his heart attack.
* Wrestling/JohnCena is almost always above everything, just laughing off anything resembling a threat. Until Wrestling/TheWyattFamily came after him. Thus far the Wyatts have proven to be the only thing that can make Cena show actual fear.

[[folder:Puppet Shows]]
* Gonzo the Great is such a {{Cloudcuckoolander}} that when he opts out of a Bar Mitzvah appearance in ''Film/MuppetsFromSpace'', Kermit is quick to take notice.
-->'''Kermit:''' You never miss the chance to shoot yourself out a cannon, is something wrong?
* In ''Series/{{Dinosaurs}}'', Baby always hits Earl over the head and calls him "Not-The-Mama" instead of "Daddy". When he becomes seriously ill, he starts calling Earl "Daddy" and tells him he loves him. The family freaks out and get him cured as quickly as possible. Everyone is relieved when Baby hits Earl and calls him "Not-The-Mama" after he is cured.
* In the ''Series/FraggleRock'' episode "Marooned", perpetually paranoid Boober and energetic Red are BuriedAlive in a cave-in; facing imminent death, Boober is calm and collected, while Red is a nervous wreck.

* Yankees first baseman Lou Gehrig never missed a game ever since the day he filled in for Wally Pipp; not even injury stopped him from at least getting in an inning as a pinch hitter. So when he had his manager bench him for one game in 1939, it was a sign something was wrong, confirmed by an ALS diagnosis a short time later.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* A number of character-driven [=RPGs=] give characters compulsions to act in certain ways and require expending resources to ignore them, effectively making Out-of-Character a form of HeroicBSOD. For example, ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'' calls it "Limit Break"[[note]]No relation to the trope[[/note]] and forces the Solars to either take their greatest Virtue to extremes or invert it, Lunars to act animalistic and Sidereals to stubbornly force Fate into a path dependant on their caste. Similarly, ''TabletopGame/{{Scion}}'' has Virtues (such as Loyalty, Duty, or Courage); every pantheon reveres four of them, and their Scions are expected to uphold them. If a Scion resists his or her Virtues too hard, they can explode into Virtue Extremities, causing the Scion to burst into extreme behavior; a Loyal Scion will throw herself into the line of fire for her friends even if they beg her not to, a Courageous Scion goes into an UnstoppableRage, an Expressive Scion will quite literally [[MadArtist bleed for his art]], and so on.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'':
** [[HordeOfAlienLocusts Tyranids]] are such a threat to the galaxy that the Ultramarines, a chapter of {{Space Marine}}s who [[ByTheBookCop religiously follow the]] ''[[BigBookOfWar Codex Astartes]]'' and take pride in fielding balanced, tactically-flexible forces, have started training cadres of Tyrannic War Veterans ''specializing'' in combating the menace that nearly devoured their homeworld.
** Speaking of Tyranids, when the vast eternally hungry HiveMind leaves a certain light-years wide area of space alone, it's probably for [[RobotWar a good reason.]]
* ''TabletopGame/OnMightyThews'': characters have what is called a "D20 trait", since each skill is assigned a dice value. By acting in concert with your D20 character trait, you earn a reroll token in a scene; but if you act ''opposite'' to it, you can roll a D20 for one skill roll, which means quite a bit when D12 is the largest available die.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/DisgaeaHourOfDarkness'', Etna's final episode preview does not focus on her and is actually an accurate portrayal of the final chapter. The other characters promptly freak out.
* ''VideoGame/BaldursGate II'':
** [[CloudCuckooLander Jan Jansen's]] reaction to virtually any situation is to regale the party with long, rambling and [[TheMunchausen highly implausible]] stories about his supposed past adventures which have a (highly tenuous) connection to their current predicament. Except when everyone gets dragged down to [[{{Hell}} The Abyss]], where after much searching he [[IveNeverSeenAnythingLikeThisBefore admits to being stumped]]. Haer'Dalis immediately [[CueTheFlyingPigs predicts the arrival of the apocalyse]].
** A more serious example shows up in his side-quest. Jan is approached by his cousin and the two chat merrily about the family and said cousin's life at the circus. Then said cousin mentions that [[FirstLove Lissa]] is living in the Jansen home at the moment. Jan immediately drops his regular persona and states "[[DomesticAbuse did he hurt her]]". The ensuing quest, which is fairly dark by ''Baldur's Gate'' standards already, contains Jan making absolutely zero jokes and [[WifeBasherBasher several death treats towards Lissa's abusive husband]].
** There's another one when the resident BoisterousBruiser ranger Minsc, who will otherwise go LeeroyJenkins on anything he sees as evil, advises the player character to "come back later with a bigger sword" when confronted by the red dragon. Even the most novel player should get the hint that dragons are {{Bonus Boss}}es which you don't fight until you are very, very sure of your abilities and equipment.
* ''Videogame/FinalFantasyX2'':
** Whenever Rikku and Brother agree on something, the general reaction is "take cover."
** This trope is why "I don't like your plan. It sucks." became one of [[ExtremeDoormat Yuna's]] most famous lines. In-game, the camera cuts to the other characters suddenly looking to her in shock.
* ''Videogame/FinalFantasyVIII'':
** Fujin's sole line of dialogue that isn't HulkSpeak is pleading with Seifer to reconsider his loyalty to Ultimecia.
** There are several scenes where Squall, normally keeping himself completely under [[TheStoic tight emotional control]], will [[NotSoStoic suddenly flip out with little warning]] when something happens that deeply upsets him. Early on it is after he's told Seifer was killed and he starts wondering what others would think about him if he died. Later on, he flips out when NORG tells him that Garden and the [=SeeDs=] were nothing but expendable troops, and he finally starts jumping violently at anything that threatens Rinoa after he admits his feelings for her.
* It's generally a bad sign whenever a member or former member of the [[QuirkyMinibossSquad Omega Team]] in ''VideoGame/LastScenario'' changes expressions. Helios really takes the cake, though--no matter what you do to him, he never stops smirking, right up until [[spoiler:the sequence in which he sacrifices his life to let Castor escape.]]
* In ''Videogame/FinalFantasyX'', Auron is the [[TheStoic perpetually stoic]] CoolOldGuy par excellence. He [[NotSoStoic loses his cool]] three times: [[spoiler:when Seymour kills Kinoc, when he sees the sphere image of [[MyGreatestFailure himself failing to save Jecht and Braska]], and when the group confronts Yunalesca]] and it's never a good sign.
* In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII'', after [[spoiler:Sazh's son enters crystal stasis and [[FourEyesZeroSoul Jihl]] [[FauxAffablyEvil Nabaat]] reveals that it's technically [[GenkiGirl Vanille's]] fault]], [[spoiler: Vanille]] breaks down and [[spoiler: literally begs Sazh to kill her, and is visibly angry when he refuses.]] Though this is not the first time [[spoiler: Vanille's]] cheerful persona has slipped, this marks the first time her [[StepfordSmiler true]] [[DeathSeeker personality]] is fully revealed.
* In the ''Shivering Isles'' add-on for ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion'', your biggest clue that things are about to go bad is when [[spoiler:Sheogorath tells you you're out of time with an explaination of the concept of time, which is a bit too orderly and lucid for the usually chaotic and wacky Sheogorath, indicating that he's about to become Jyggalag and begin the destruction of the titular isles.]]
* ''Franchise/MassEffect''
** The MotorMouth salarian doctor Mordin Solus never uses personal pronouns. It is part of his general personality, which focuses on conveying the most information possible in the shortest amount of time, but is also his way of depersonalizing what he is talking about to deal with the guilt of the things he has done. Except once, in [[VideoGame/MassEffect3 the third game]], [[spoiler:if, when trying to talk him out of curing the genophage, you point out he was the one who previously helped strengthen it.]]
-->'''Mordin:''' I MADE A ''MISTAKE''!
** This is a double [=OoC=] moment, as Mordin normally never shouts. Makes the moment all the more poignant. On a lesser scale, he says "My mistake" on his loyalty mission when he finds out that [[spoiler: Maelon was not kidnapped and instead was voluntarily helping to cure the genophage]]. The key word in both of these examples is "mistake." Mordin is never insensitive to the consequences of his actions, but his tremendous intelligence and pride make it difficult for him to acknowledge when he's made a bad decision, [[spoiler:which means he'll defend the genophage modification as [[WellIntentionedExtremist distasteful but necessary]] every time you confront him about it up until you reach the Shroud.]]
*** He does also use a personal pronoun on at least two other occasions, one time being a callback to the previous time
-->'''Mordin:''' Had to be me, someone else might have gotten it wrong.
** In the second game, he gets a line if you're romancing someone where he talks quickly about the medical consequences of a one-night stand, such as suggesting biotic suppressors for a romance with Jack or cautioning that oral contact with Thane could cause hallucinations. These are usually lighthearted and semi-comedic, unless you're romancing Tali, who is of a species with an extremely weak immune system and has to spend most of her time in an environment suit, in which case he sounds a lot more sober because, well, if she lets you into her suit without extreme preparation, ''she could die''.
** Shepard themself has one [[spoiler:after the fall of Thessia]]. Normally, when Shepard responds to someone saying something inappropriate, they will have at least one option to say something that's at worst, mildly chiding, or ignoring it. After Joker makes a very unfunny crack, Shepard's ''Paragon'' response is snapping at him, indicating just how near the DespairEventHorizon s/he's come. An earlier Shepard moment occurred in the ''Project Overlord'' DLC. You know Shepard's pissed off when the usually noble Paragon interrupt is to pistol-whip someone. In the same vein, Zaeed's loyalty mission involves him setting a refinery on fire while there are still innocents inside it, at which point Paragon Shepard punches him in the face and yells at him.
** These can happen if you play a mostly paragon Shepard, but act "Out of Character" by [[http://www.nerfnow.com/comic/710 taking a Renegade response later in the game]].
** There's a popular saying that goes, "You will only see a turian's back when he's dead," which makes their retreat from Palaven near the end of the game show just how serious and hopeless the situation against the Reapers is.
** The usually calm, if eager for a fight, Wrex will snap completely if [[spoiler:you sabotage the genophage cure]] in the third game. It's actually ''scary'' seeing him shouting at the top of his lungs and firing a shotgun at [[spoiler:Shepard]] - but then again, [[spoiler:his unborn son just died as a result of you stabbing him in the back]].
** Female!Shepard gets one herself near the end of the if you speak to Garrus. When saying their goodbyes before the final push, the conversation starts out light-hearted enough, but near the end, Shepard, yes, the same Shepard who kept her cool as she sacrificed a teammate on Virmire, ran a suicide run on the Collector base, and watched helplessly as Earth fell to the Reapers, actually begins to ''break down into tears'' if you take the Paragon interrupt. Bonus points to the fact that this isn't just Shepard's reaction; Creator/JenniferHale stated that this line was one the most emotional moments for her in the game. It really helps to drive the point home about just how much pressure is mounting on Shepard and her team, not to mention the fact that she knows that she's likely not going to come out of this alive.
* In ''VideoGame/SabresOfInfinity'' Elson, a friendly {{Perpetual Smiler}}, gets EXTREMELY angry at you if you break the rules of engagement, particularly if you disobeyed his direct orders in order to do so.
--> '''Elson''': I shall write to Grenadier Square of this. Next time, if there is a next time, you will follow orders, or I will see your sword broken, your career in tatters and what's left of you on a ship southwards so that you may live the rest of your life in infamy. Am I understood?
* In ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss'', [[DeadpanSnarker Jade]] says, after weighing the possible benefits of Luke [[spoiler:sacrificing himself]], tells Luke that "as (his) friend" he feels compelled to stop him, prompting Luke to point out that he never called him his friend before. Jade then apologizes, something that's equally uncharacteristic of him. Much earlier in the game, Jade gets visibly angry when he realizes that the villains are using fomicry.
* In ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia'', Colette is a PickyEater and loves puppies, and undergoes a process that pretty much takes away all of her senses. When she starts liking foods she doesn't, the characters think she's maturing... but later on she ''kicks a dog'' that comes up to her. Red flag, there's definitely something wrong.
* ''VideoGame/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaAsPortable: The Gears of Destiny''
** Kyrie Florian is a flirty, coy, and playful character with a manipulative streak who doesn't seem to take things too seriously... unless if something she really cares about is brought up, [[spoiler:such as her [[DeathWorld dying planet]] or her dying [[RoboFamily father-creator]]]], then that personality drops, showing [[spoiler:TheUnfettered {{Determinator}}]] underneath.
** Levi the Slasher acts like a hyperactive CheerfulChild practically all the time, save for near the climax of the game [[spoiler:when she decides to join Stern in her SuicideMission to stop the growth of the Unbreakable Darkness]]. Here, she expresses a rare moment of seriousness and thoughtfulness that surprises Stern and ultimately convinces her to allow her fellow Material to help her with her plan.
* Given the tragic ending of ''VideoGame/SuperMetroid'', this appears to have been the intended trope for Samus Aran throughout much of ''MetroidOtherM''. However, no previous personality had been properly established for her outside of an obscure manga, so most people interpreted it as the norm for her, [[BrokenBase and were not pleased.]] She does display some NotSoStoic moments in the game though.
* In ''StarCraft Brood War'', protoss campaign, when Razhagal orders the extermination of a dissenting group of Aiur survivors, Zeratul remarks that she would never act so malevolently, and was able to figure out that she was under the sway of Kerrigan.
* In ''WorldOfWarcraft'', Thrall's teacher Drek'thar has been gradually becoming senile, so whenever he becomes lucid, it's a sign that he feels strongly about something. He does so in ''Literature/TheShatteringPreludeToCataclysm'' when he hears about [[spoiler:Cairne Bloodhoof]] dying, demanding to know how he could have been killed. He does so again in a quest in which the player asks him to help the Forsaken war effort; since he is a repentant Old Horde war criminal who is haunted by the memories of the atrocities he committed, he is horrified that the Forsaken could commit similar atrocities without feeling anything.
** In [[VideoGame/{{Warcraft}} Warcraft III]], Medivh is perpetually calm while trying to subtly unite the mortal races against the Burning Legion. The sole exception is when Jaina calls him [[YoureInsane mad]] for suggesting she ally with the Horde, at which point Medivh angrily yells, "Have you heard nothing I've said!?"
* In ''VideoGame/{{Borderlands}}'', Angel never cracks a joke, remains somewhat aloof, and is constantly flattering the Vault Hunters. In ''VideoGame/{{Borderlands 2}}'', she takes a much snarkier, more conversational tact. [[spoiler:This is because Handsome Jack was feeding her lines in the first game, while she's speaking naturally in the second. In fact, when she goes back to talking like she did in the first game during the battle with Wilhelm, it's a sign that Handsome Jack is ordering her to deceive the Vault Hunters.]]
* In ''VideoGame/BatenKaitos Origins'', [[{{Tsundere}} Milly]] and [[DeadpanSnarker Guillo]] are constantly VolleyingInsults, even after they [[VitriolicBestBuds become friends]]. [[spoiler:At the end of the game, Milly starts a fairly serious conversation with Guillo about her feelings for Sagi. Guillo quickly picks up that something's wrong, and it's right - she's about to make a HeroicSacrifice.]] It also counts as one for Guillo, who is completely at a loss for words.
* In ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil6'' Sherry spends all of her first chapter with Jake being calm, collected, and {{Adorkable}}. So when [[ImplacableMan Ustanak]] shows up and she loses her nerve and screams "RUN!!!" you know he's a ''serious threat''.
* In ''VideoGame/VampireTheMasqueradeBloodlines'' you meet Nines Rodriguez, a Brujah who leads the Anarchs in Los Angeles and is as tough and fearless as someone can manage to be. Close to the end of the game, both of you meet a certain type of creature that anyone who has any previous knowledge about the setting will fear. Those who don't know the setting will learn to fear it when your character asks "Are you afraid?" and Nines answers "Yes. Yes, I am afraid".
* ''VideoGame/StarControl II'': there is '''one''' thing that will break the Ur-Quan's demeanor of self-assured superiority and authority: [[spoiler:telling them that a fully sentient Dnyarri has emerged]]. If you know their backstory, you know exactly why this makes the Ur-Quan practically soil themselves with apprehension and fear. This is also the only way in the game to talk to an Ur-Quan and avoid battle with them afterwards: as thanks for informing them of the threat, they will let you go free.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Warframe}}'' the normally calm and collected [[MissionControl Lotus]] shouts for you to DontAskJustRun when the [[HeroKiller Grustrag Three]] approach.
* ''VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening'':
** Owain is a boisterous, loud, LargeHam of a character, who spends his time parodying a number of anime and JRPG tropes and generally being hard to take seriously. In his support conversations [[spoiler:with his father]], he breaks down crying when it's revealed that [[spoiler:in the BadFuture, his dad died protecting him from an enemy ambush]] when a similar event occurs. This happens again in the Harvest Scramble [[DownloadableContent DLC]] map, when Owain suddenly and very seriously asks Inigo how many people he's killed, with both revealing how horrible they felt killing for the first time. Being a TurnBasedStrategy game, the player will almost certainly have cut down innumerable foes by this point with no consequence, making the conversation incredibly jarring.
-->'''Inigo:''' Wha—?! Owain! What kind of a question is that? If this is more of your usual fun and games, it hardly seems appropriate.\\
'''Owain:''' [[LampshadeHanging Do I sound like I'm playing]]?\\
'''Owain:''' In [[BadFuture our time]], human life was the most precious thing imaginable. But the moment we arrived here, that all changed... We began claiming it. [[RealityEnsues You can't just flip a switch, like magic, and be able to kill the very next day]].
** In the ''Future Past 2'' DLC, [[spoiler: an alternate version of Owain speaks normally almost the entire time, when he, Inigo, Yarne, and Brady are faced with a life-or-death crisis. He only goes back to his usual, boistrous self at the end of the mission if everyone made it out safely.]]
*** Similarly, in the same level, [[spoiler:Yarne will actually embrace his death if it will save his friends! A far cry from the timid bunny that fears extinction in the main game]].
* ''VideeoGame/{{Persona 4}}''[='=]s protagonist, Yu Narukami, is normally calm and very level-headed...but in late November, when the rest of the Investigation Team is [[spoiler:discussing tossing alleged TV murder perpetrator Namatame into the TV]], he gets so irritated by the team's anger-clouded judgement that, in his only fit of anger in the game, he tells everyone to "Calm the [[PrecisionFStrike hell]] down!"
* ''VideoGame/JurassicParkTheGame'': John Hammond in [[Franchise/JurassicPark the films]] is a kindly old man, who deeply respects the dinosaurs and desires for them to be able to live and flourish in the world he gave them. [[spoiler: Which means you know he's not joking around when he says that the Troodon are far too dangerous to be kept at the Park and orders them euthanised. To add an additional comparison, the Velociraptors were considered too intelligent and dangerous to be public park attractions and yet despite Muldoon's insistence, he kept them alive]].
* The titular ''VideoGame/{{Bayonetta}}'' is a level-headed girl who's default mode is DeadpanSnarker and she generally has a nonchalant and carefree attitude towards everything. However, one of the few things that can get her to ''stop snarking'' is when her friends are in danger. And should ''you'' be the reason they're in danger, start running. Cause it means you have ''severely'' pissed her off and your death will be agonizing. Only three characters in the series have triggered such a reaction. To say it didn't end well for them would be an understatement.
* ''VideoGame/KidIcarusUprising'':
** Pit is, by default, an all-around NiceGuy and BoisterousBruiser who loves to banter, snark, and break the fourth wall. But then comes [[spoiler: Chapters 18-21, where Palutena is brainwashed by the Chaos Kin into attacking the humans.]] Throughout the majority of the chapters, Pit is coldly serious and unusually quiet.
** [[spoiler:[[BigBad Hades]]]] is a villainous example. For most of the game, he is a likeable, flirtatious, and eccentric. However, there are three moments in the game where he drops the constant jokes and perpetual ham to remind everyone why he's [[spoiler:the God of the Underworld.]]
** Doubling as a PetTheDog moment, Viridi gets one in Ch 19. [[spoiler: After the Chariot Master is defeated and Pit is visibly distraught that he had to kill him, Viridi, in a rare display of emotion, comforts Pit by telling him that the master was an honorable warrior and that he should not let his death be in vain.]] It's the ''nicest'' you will ever see Viridi.
* ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog'' has Dr. Eggman. Eggman is normally a LargeHam by default, but it's the very few moments he ''stops'' being a LargeHam that lets both characters and players alike know he is ''pissed''.
** In ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure'', when Tails manages to disarm Eggman's missile and completely ruin his desperate attempt to salvage ''something'' from his plans having completely fallen apart in the last few hours, Eggman, in the most threatening voice he can make, simply tells Tails he will make him suffer before summoning his Egg Walker.
** In ''VideoGame/SonicLostWorld'', when Zavok and Zazz taunt Eggman about how [[spoiler:their world will soon be destroyed by Eggman's energy draining machine]], Eggman coldly threatens to destroy everything they love and make them watch before cutting the connection by punching the ice wall the Zeti used to communicate with them. Both Sonic and Tails are visibly freaked out by this.
* At the end of ''VideoGame/MegaMan7'', the titular hero actually threatens to '''kill''' Dr. Wily, even though he had never harmed a human up to that point, and Wily notes that the First Law of Robotics should prevent him from doing so. He doesn't make good on the threat, but he was clearly intending to. This is probably because the game starts with Wily escaping from prison (proving that he is too dangerous to keep alive). It likely does not help either that the Wily Capsule in this game is widely considered as '''[[ThatOneBoss the hardest, most infuriating, most unfair fight in a Mega Man game ever]]''', so the player would probably have about the same reaction as Mega Man did.
* When [[spoiler:Prince Leon and Princess Thea are kidnapped]] in ''VideoGame/LufiaCurseOfTheSinistrals'', the normally jovial and goofy Dekar becomes completely serious. Tia even comments on this, before noting that it's probably not the best time to tease Dekar about it.
* ''VideoGame/TheHouseOfTheDeadOVERKILL'' brings us Isaac Washington, a [[SirSwearsALot foul-mouthed]] agent who laces his zombie exterminations with [[ClusterFBomb shameless uses of the word "motherfucker"]]. If he stops swearing, it means something ''really'' bad has happened, as demonstrated when he [[spoiler:confronts [[BigBad Clement Warden]], who among other things [[ParentalIncest "loves" his mother]]--i.e., a literal motherfucker--and not ''once'' does Isaac drop the MF-bomb in Warden's presence.]]
* ''VideoGame/SaintsRow2'': Johnny Gat normally never backs down from a fight. It reflects the gravity of the situation when he offers [[spoiler:Shogo Akuji]] a chance to walk away when the latter [[spoiler:crashes Aisha's funeral]].
* In ''VideoGame/{{Undertale}}'', Sans the skeleton normally talks in AllLowercaseLetters and doesn't even bother to capitalize. When he actually capitalizes properly, you know he's serious. [[spoiler:Doubly so when he finally stops being lazy... and starts being ''the hardest boss fight in the game''.]]
** Nominally, Undyne is always HotBlooded in her demeanor. [[spoiler:Especially on the No Mercy route, when she becomes Undyne the Undying.]] But if you're on the Neutral Route, and [[spoiler:kill Papyrus]], all her hot-blooded antics go right out the window, and she takes the fight absolutely seriously.

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* ''Franchise/AceAttorney'':
** Phoenix is always flustered or worried about his cases in some way. But sometimes, he stands perfectly still and and speaks calmly and with absolute confidence. When this happens, not only will he find the killer, but they'll probably be convicted of half a dozen other crimes too. The first time is in game one case four. After Phoenix clears his client of one murder, they admit to another. Naturally, he doesn't believe they did it. In the ensuing recess, Maya freaks out and then asks Phoenix why he's looking at a photograph. Phoenix's response? [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome "I'm preparing our case."]]
** At one point in 2-4 he actually manages to intimidate the judge, something usually reserved for the prosecution or certain witnesses.
** In Case 1-3, Edgeworth starts to morph from being a {{jerkass}} to a JerkWithAHeartOfGold when he [[spoiler:helps prevent Dee Vasquez from escaping the court by demanding she testify about after finding the body (which Phoenix hadn't thought to ask her).]] The only reason Phoenix can think of for why he did this was [[spoiler:because he agreed that the evidence was compelling enough that Vasquez was the real murderer,]] but this was the first time that he put finding the true criminal above maintaining his perfect trial record, which had been shattered in the previous case.
** In ''VisualNovel/ApolloJusticeAceAttorney'', Klavier is typically laid-back in court, even when Apollo pokes holes in his arguments, and enjoys using [[GratuitousForeignLanguage Gratuitous German]]. When Vera Misham's testimony indicates that [[spoiler:she was responsible for forging the page out of Magnifi's diary, which Klavier uncovered on a tip from his brother and got Phoenix disbarred]], Klavier is visibly shocked, and calls her "Ms. Misham" rather than "Fraulein" or other variants thereof.
*** Later, [[spoiler:when Kristoph is on the stand, Klavier becomes much more hardcore in his prosecuting, blocking most of Apollo's arguments. Trucy speculates that he wants to impress his big brother.]]
** In general, most of the witnesses will have a breakdown point where, if they're pretending to be sweet, naive, innocent, or any other personality type, they'll drop the act altogether. In the case of characters like April May or [[spoiler:Dahlia Hawthorne]], it can be pretty scary. In the case of [[spoiler:Yanni Yogi, who completely drops the braindead routine he'd been using for the entire case, Maya even comments that he seems to be a different person entirely.]]
** After she and Edgeworth almost get shot by [[spoiler:Callisto Yew]], Franziska's confident front fades and she is visibly frightened.
** In case of characters like Edgeworth and Franziska, as well as any other aloof prosecutors, any moment during a trial when they suddenly act flustered or look dumbfounded (promptly changing to their most funny courtroom sprites) can be considered this. Sometimes lampshaded by Phoenix's inner monologue along the lines of ''"I wonder what happened to that calm composure he had earlier..."'' or ''"Edgeworth stuttering...? This is not like him at all"'' in 2-4, when Edgeworth was to announce that the next witness is [[spoiler: [[CourtroomAntic a qualified assassin who is willing to testify through a tranceiver]]]].
** The beginning of case 5-4 in ''Dual Destinies'' has both Apollo and Blackquill acting weird. Apollo is wearing an eyepatch for some reason, but insists that [[CatchPhrase he's fine]] and demands that the trial get started. [[spoiler:The victim in this case is Apollo's close childhood friend, and the defendant is an acquaintance who Apollo trusts wouldn't hurt a fly.]] Blackquill, who always wears shackles to court, usually breaks them when things start to get serious. In this case, he breaks them as soon as the trial begins. [[spoiler:He believes the defendant is the phantom, the one who committed the murder he took the fall for.]] The judge notices that there's something up with both of them.
* ''VisualNovel/KatawaShoujo''
** [[spoiler: Lilly]] letting out something that sounds [[PrecisionFStrike like a swear word]]? She's PISSED.
** Similarly, the single time when [[spoiler: Kenji]] calms down enough to speak reasonably and offer [[spoiler: Hisao]] emotional support, you ''know'' it's gonna bring up a TearJerker.
** In Emi's route, when Emi and Hisao [[spoiler:meet after she throws Hisao out of her house]], [[CloudCuckooLander Rin]] becomes surprisingly direct and to-the-point.
-->'''Rin:''' Hisao is kind of worried about you, Emi. I don't think he can decide, or maybe I don't believe him, but I think I'm going to go somewhere less awkward now.
-->'''Hisao Narrates:''' I'm so surprised by Rin's being so suddenly forward about well, anything at all, that I merely watch her head through the door.
** Hanako [[spoiler:exploding at Hisao]] in her bad ending. She also tells him to "...Go away" when he tries to check on her in Lilly's route, surprising him.
** In Lilly's route, Shizune, a typically blunt girl who has a rivalry with Lilly, responds to Hisao telling her that he's going out with Lilly by saying that it's his business who he dates, and she hopes they go well together, which Hisao implies is her not saying what's on her mind. She then is about to say something more, but has Misha not translate her signing, which makes Hisao wonder why Shizune would pull a punch or speak without forethought.
* In ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'', in the Heaven's Feel route, it is the first cue for the player who went through Unlimited Blade Works and witnessed firsthand [[spoiler: the insane determination Archer puts into accomplishing his goal, killing his younger unwitting self Shirou]], that some VERY SERIOUS shit is about to hit the fan when [[spoiler:Archer witnesses the damage done, and at the drop of a hat, postpones his personal vendetta with Shirou, to switch back into full Counter Guardian mode, and deal with the more pressing, in the end literally world-threatening, issue of the Shadow.]]
* In ''VisualNovel/SteinsGate'', Okabe only drops his MadScientist persona when things are at their most serious. When he [[spoiler:{{Mental Time Travel}}s a few days back to prevent Mayuri's death]], the other characters [[YouCalledMeXItMustBeSerious pick up on his sudden sincerity]] and are appropriately worried, even if they don't know what's troubling him.
* When [[spoiler:Snake]] from ''VisualNovel/NineHoursNinePersonsNineDoors'' [[spoiler:opens his eyes,]] you know not to fuck with him.
* This is used to solve a mystery in ''VisualNovel/FleuretBlanc''. One subplot involves everyone coming down with food poisoning after eating [[LethalChef Grams]]' cooking, including Le Neuvieme... except that he previously did nothing but express ire and disgust at Grams' concoctions, to the point that he goes out to town to buy all his food. If Grams' food ''was'' unhealthy, he should be the last person to display any symptoms. [[spoiler:Of course, he's faking it, and he poisoned the food himself to make Grams look irresponsible, in the hopes that she would be removed from cooking duty.]]

[[folder:Web Animation]]
* ''WebAnimation/ZeroPunctuation'':
** Meta-example: When Yahtzee [[CausticCritic gives a game an even]] ''[[CausticCritic remotely]]'' [[CausticCritic positive review]], his fanbase explodes.
** If he ever [[MotorMouth pauses mid-rant]], you know things have gotten serious, such as when he was [[HeroicBSOD discussing]] ''VideoGame/SpecOpsTheLine''.
* In Season 10 of ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'':
** In Episode 12 the LazyBum Grif, who usually tries to find time to nod off, can't.
--->'''Grif:''' I never thought I'd say this, but I can't sleep.
** In Episode 13, the pervert Tucker, who always finds a DoubleEntendre for anything said, doesn't say it.
--->'''Tucker:''' Church, just because you want to get close to someone doesn't mean that you have to end up inside them!\\
'''Church:''' ...Oh come on. Aren't you gonna say it?\\
'''Tucker:''' No, because I'm pissed off!
** After [[spoiler:Church]] rages at the crew in Episode 18, [[spoiler:Caboose leaves Epsilon-Church despite his prior UndyingLoyalty]], driving home just how crushed the Blood Gulch Crew is at that point. That said, he does get over it quickly enough, so it's probably more that he was upset that Epsilon-Church was alienating his friends than anything else.
** In the same episode, who is the first to leave? [[spoiler:Lazy Grif, who typically just goes along with whatever crazy scheme everyone else comes up with because it's too much work to disagree with them.]]
** [[spoiler: After Caboose, Simmons, Grif and Tucker escape from the canyon in Season 11, being forced to leave Sarge, Donut, Lopez and Wash at the mercy of their enemies, Tucker, well known for his [[LovableSexManiac behaviour]], doesn't try and woo Vanessa Kimball, the leader of [[LaResistance the New Republic]].]]
** In episode 6 of season 12, [[spoiler:when Kimball has talk with Tucker, she ends their conversation by telling him he can drop by her office at any time. The thought of making a joke and/or hitting on her doesn't even seem to cross his mind. Instead he goes straight to Grif, Simmons and Caboose and tells them they're leaving because he doesn't want her, or anyone else, getting hurt on their personal mission.]]
* In ''WebAnimation/IfTheEmperorHadATextToSpeechDevice'', the Emperor realizes that something's up with the Tau when normally-calm, serenity incarnate Kitten bursts into furious rant about them. Turns out [[spoiler:he was in love with one of them and she dumped him]].
* ''WebAnimation/{{Dreamscape}}'': Whenever [[TheStoic Keela]] loses her cool, or when [[AllLovingHero Ahjeen]] loses his NiceGuy attitude.
* ''WebAnimation/{{RWBY}}'':
** When the normally quiet and aloof Blake gets into a shouting match with [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold Weiss]] over her discrimination of the [[LittleBitBeastly Faunus]], you know that something's wrong. [[spoiler:[[DarkSecret This is because Blake is a Faunus herself.]]]]
** Dr. Bartholomew Oobleck, prior to his role upgrade in Volume 2, was known as a [[MustHaveCaffeine coffee-guzzling]], [[MotorMouth fast talking]], and [[CloudCuckooLander overall strange]] history teacher at Beacon Academy, focused on the idea that history is, and always will be, important to the events of today. But when he explains to Ruby ''why'' history is important, he does so with a gentle voice, and a clear explanation without taking a single gulp of caffeine.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/{{Erfworld}}'': [[MasterOfIllusion Jack]] [[CloudCuckoolander Snipe]] [[PungeonMaster never,]] ''[[TheJester ever]]'' stops cracking jokes and speaking in riddles, even to [[LadyOfWar Wanda]]. Except when [[http://archives.erfworld.com/Book%202/120 she's just barely recovering consciousness]] after [[spoiler:killing her own mount, plummeting hundreds of feet to the ground and just barely getting healed back from the brink of death]]. Once Wanda's back on her feet, though, Jack [[CrowningMomentOfFunny picks it right back up again.]]
* ''Webcomic/{{Sinfest}}'': [[BewareTheNiceOnes Sweet]], [[IncorruptiblePurePureness caring]], [[TheSmartGuy smart]], [[ShrinkingViolet shy]] little boy. FantasticRacism [[http://www.sinfest.net/view.php?date=2010-09-19 against Fuchsia]].
-->'''Criminy: [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome Enough.]]'''
* ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}''
** Dave Strider is normally an [[TheStoic unflappable]] {{Badass}}, so when he [[HeroicBSOD stares at his blood-stained hands for ten minutes]] [[spoiler: after throwing the corpse of an AlternateTimeline version of himself out of a window]], the audience knows that the CerebusSyndrome has kicked into high gear.
** The trolls all have a characteristic quirk or two when it comes to communicating through their messaging system. When [[spoiler: Gamzee's changed from "[=hOnK=]" to "honk HONK", signifying that he's now sober and completely AxCrazy]], Karkat [[OhCrap freaked out.]] (Along with the rest of the readers.)
--->[[color:#626262:CG: OH MY GOD]]\\
[[color:#626262:CG: NO NO NO NO NO NO NO]]
** Feferi and Eridan typically have very distinctive typing styles, but drop their quirks briefly to have a serious conversation about Feferi being Eridan's MoralityChain.
** Vriska blushes and covers her mouth in embarrassment the one time she accidentally types ''nine'' exclamation marks in a row, instead of her trademark eight.
** As of Act 6, you know something's up when ''Terezi'', who is normally the resident HandicappedBadass and TheChessmaster who is obsessed with [[TheNoseKnows smelling and tasting]] everything as replacement for her missing eyesight, suddenly starts hiding her eyes behind her dragon hood and acts more withdrawn. It would seem that meeting [[spoiler:the pre-scratch version of her ancestor]] made her feel more self-conscious, and some of her behavior could also be caused what is revealed sometime later that [[spoiler:she and Gamzee are [[FoeYay filling a black quadrant together]], and at some point she had Aranea fix her eyes.]]
** Later in Act 6, when ''Gamzee'' is staring with a blank expression at something, you know it's weird.
** Dave again . . .
--->DAVE: jade this is STUPID\\
JADE: omg\\
JADE: youve really spent way too much time alone with karkat havent you\\
DAVE: ...\\
DAVE: i need help :(
* ''Webcomic/ThisIsTheWorstIdeaYouveEverHad''
-->"Oh my God! She's letting him drive her car!"
* ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance''
** When [[CloudCuckoolander Torg]] starts to actually ''think'' (or simply stops acting silly), you know business has just got serious. Often coupled with LetsGetDangerous.
** In "Oceans Unmoving", Honest Stu ''always'' tells the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth -- no matter how awkward or dangerous the occasion or rhetorical the question. The one time he actually lies, and [[ItAmusedMe just for the fun of it]] too, is [[spoiler: when he is dying, very nearly with his last words.]]
* ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'':
** [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0141.html The first time]] [[QuirkyBard Elan]] proves he can actually be useful, it comes as a shock to his teammates. Belkar, naturally, also takes advantage of this to trick Roy.
** [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0591.html Vaarsuvius passing on a perfect opportunity]] to say "IToldYouSo" gets Durkon really worried.
** Belkar is a HeroicComedicSociopath BloodKnight at all times, so when he suddenly starts [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0620.html advocating the most peaceful solution to a conflict]] to reduce the bloodshed... it seriously freaks out Haley and Celia. ([[GenreSavvy Which was of course his intention all along.]])
** [[TheNicknamer The Monster in the Darkness]] finally [[YouCalledMeXItMustBeSerious calls O-Chul by his real name]] when he breaks out of his cage to try to kill Xykon.
** [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0880.html Belkar again]] after [[spoiler:Malack kills Durkon and turns him into a vampire spawn]]. Roy is so furious and disbelieving at Belkar's account of the events he threatens to kill him. But after he tells them about [[spoiler:Durkon asking Malack to spare the rest of the Order]], Haley believes him because she doesn't believe the canonically ChaoticEvil Belkar [[EvilCannotComprehendGood is capable of making something like that up]].
** And [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0922.html Belkar yet again]], this time forgoing [[KnifeNut his usual style]] for [[FluffyTamer something a little nicer, though bloodier]].
--->'''Roy:''' OK, now I know we're doomed. Belkar's acting like a ''ranger''.
* ''Webcomic/EightBitTheater'': Black Mage takes a serious hit during the fight with Lich. When the [[TheDitz thickheaded and childlike]] Fighter realizes he's not getting up, he starts becoming visibly scared and a whole lot less cheerful, [[PleaseWakeUp begging the corpse to yell at him for being stupid]]. When Black Mage ''doesn't'' get up, he then proceeds [[UnstoppableRage attack Lich like it's the only thing in the world that matters]]. It's the only time in the ''entire comic'' that Fighter doesn't even think about heroics or niceties or even being polite, continuing to hit Lich until he's satisfied.
* From ''Webcomic/HeadTrip'', Mal is an unapologetic ChaoticNeutral ComedicSociopath. But when [[http://headtrip.keenspot.com/d/20080505.html confronted with]] ''Literature/{{Twilight}}'', she breaks down crying and ''begs'' a priest to come over and exorcise the book.
* In an arc of ''Webcomic/TheAdventuresOfDrMcNinja'', Mitzi [=McNinja=] gets cursed [[ItMakesSenseInContext to slowly disintegrate into ash, like a mummy.]] After she gets far enough along, she has a talk with her son, Sean, and apologizes for the way she raised him. Leading to this exchange.
-->'''Dan [=McNinja=]:''' (''returning with a method to cure his wife'') How is she?\\
'''Sean:''' Well... She gave me the "I'm sorry I was a horrible mother" speech.\\
'''Dan [=McNinja=]: ''DRIVE FASTER.'''''
* A subtle but effective one from ''Webcomic/GirlGenius''; Airman Higgs is normally composed and nonchalant about everything, with an almost bored facial expression. Except when [[spoiler:Zola runs Zeetha through with a sword]]. [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20101018#.Vbza4dhQZ8c The next strip]] features a close up of his face, eyes open, and delivering a OneLiner with [[OohMeAccentsSlipping the slightest hint]] of the [[FunetikAksent Jäger accent]] (something he'd never shown before). This comes moments before he [[UnstoppableRage punches someone across the room]] so fast that [[LeaningOnTheFourthWall sequential art cannot capture it]]. The effect, whilst subtle, is rather frightening.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Freefall}}'', [[http://freefall.purrsia.com/ff2400/fc02301.htm Max Post calls Raibert, and is polite.]] Raibert asks what's wrong, as usually Max calls Raibert to rant at him.
** Much later, during Florence's recovery from the secret base, she knows Sam was really worried about her when she finds out he was in the company of another person for more than twenty seconds and didn't take their wallet.
* In ''Webcomic/QuestionableContent'', the normally-calm-and-passive Marten is furious after Dora flips out on him and Faye for thinking they were fooling around[[note]]actually Marten calming Faye down from a panic attack[[/note]], which startles Faye.
* ''Webcomic/{{Precocious}}'':
** The kids once [[http://www.precociouscomic.com/archive/comic/2009/10/12 broke Ms. Monster]] by pretending to have been acting constructive and cooperative when she arrived late.
** Also, the reaction when Tiffany is [[http://www.precociouscomic.com/archive/comic/2009/11/16 seen without her button]].
* ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary'':
** Captain Tagon is being briefed on an A.I. that was found in the massive space station where their mission is taking place. After Tagon is told the AI's name is translated to "Broken Wind", he asks if [[PluckyComicRelief Ennesby]] made a "fart joke" before diving into the computer to fight the AI. When told he did not, Captain Tagon [[LampshadeHanging says]], [[http://www.schlockmercenary.com/2014-02-15 "We ARE in trouble"]].
** Tagon himself falls under this every time he would reject the chance for (more) money. One time, it was simply his hatred for a certain FatBastard overpowering his greed (slashing the local reverend's hopes for any salvation of Tagon's soul when he learned of that), and the second time, his employer was getting ''incredibly'' annoying, by mercenary standards at least, with his restrictions imposed on the crew. Though he quickly snapped out of it, turning it into an extra profit opportunity (in the form of purchasing infinite Yell at the Captain rights), and lampshading it for good measure ("I don't know what came over me").
* In ''Webcomic/GunnerkriggCourt'', Ysengrin is a YesMan who is wholly devoted to Coyote. When he learns that [[spoiler:Coyote knew all along that the Court tricked Reynardine and imprisoned him and did nothing to help him]] he immediately calls him out on it, asking him how he could leave Reynardine trapped there. Especially notable since previous interactions between Ysengrin and Reynardine indicated that they were not particularly fond of each other.
* In ''Blog/SliceOfLife,'' when Pumpkin Cake passes up the chance to make mischief, her parents (and Pinkie Pie) can tell she's ''really'' upset.
* In ''Webcomic/TheDragonDoctors'', Aki is sweet, gentle, and lighthearted almost all the time ... but every once in a while, [[http://dragondoctors.dhscomix.com/archives/comic/ch-22-page-20 shows the iron faith and determination that underlies that gentleness.]]
-->[[TheRant Speedball:]] Aki is full of love. Some of it is TOUGH love.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Vixen of the ''Website/DesuDesBrigade'' is very relaxed, informal and happy in most of her reviews, even in a lot of the shows that {{squick}} her out. Then came her Film Fox review of ''The Literature/{{Twilight}} Saga: New Moon'', where she's in complete distress with no escape throughout and screams more than once.
* It has been noticed recently in ''WebVideo/MarbleHornets'' by many that [[TheDragon Totheark's]] [[MindScrew videos]] have become disturbingly more coherent.
* When WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic doesn't express joy, anger or depression through swearing and instead goes for GoshdangItToHeck ("holy smokes" is the usual), you know it's even more SeriousBusiness than usual.
** His CutenessProximity-overload review of ''Series/SesameStreet'' is probably the only episode with no swearing whatsoever.
** After selling his soul in ''Film/TheCatInTheHat'', his PapaWolf trait disappears and he spends the review being an abusive babysitter to Evilina.
** In the WebVideo/BumReview of ''Film/TheAvengers'', Doug breaks character twice (pulling off Chester's trademark wool cap and wig) to give a NotMakingThisUpDisclaimer and assure the viewers that yes, the movie is '''that''' awesome, and they really should go out and see it.
** In-Universe example: When Bum reviewed ''Film/TheDarkKnight'', Bum was ''completely'' serious. And in the end, instead of using his catchpharse "Change! You got change?!", he tells to viewer ''to keep the change.''
** How deranged is Bennett the Sage? When he had a crossover with ''WebVideo/AskThatGuy'', his answers sent That Guy, who almost never shows visible signs of emotion, ended up curled in fetal position on the floor.
* WebVideo/TheNostalgiaChick:
** She never apologizes. So when she tells Nella that she's sorry for not including her in a review, you can see the manipulation coming a mile off.
** More seriously, ''The Christmas Shoes'' was so awful about having the kid (whose mother was dying) being taught the values of earning money that she -- a self-admitted ChildHater -- ended up screaming at the adults for how monstrous they were acting.
* Creator/BradJones has done this on several occasions when playing WebVideo/TheCinemaSnob.
** He starts his review of ''Caligula'' out of character claiming that it's his favorite movie and that it's going to be hard to "Snob" it.
** During the film ''Elves'', the main character's stepmother kills her cat. Brad (a well-known KindheartedCatLover) snarls, "I'd kill her. I'd fucking '''kill''' her!" -- without ''any'' of the Snob's usual tone.
** At the end of his review of ''Goldengirl'', Brad Jones went so far as to take off his glasses and unslick his hair before telling his viewers to seek out the film, just to make it clear he was serious.
** The review of ''Gross Out'' starts with Brad almost ''begging'' his viewers not to watch the review. To put it in perspective, he didn't do this before the review of ''Film/PinkFlamingos''.
** On a similar note: the moment when the protagonist of ''Rock: It's Your Decision'' reveals decidedly homophobic tendencies. Brad's previous cheery mockery vanishes instantly, as he coldly, calmly states: "Kid...''go fuck yourself''."
* Burt from ''AudioPlay/WereAlive'' usually can't resist an opportunity to quote from his favorite movies. But in chapter 23, he and Angel are trapped in a hospital room with zombies at the door and their only escape, a BedsheetLadder, broken. Burt yells for the other two characters, who got out, to leave them and run for the helicopter on the roof of the hospital by saying "Get to the chopper!" Angel asks if that was a quote from Film/{{Predator}}. When Burt "What?...Oh, no, it was just a coincidence." Angel goes into OhCrap mode.
* In ''WebVideo/ToBoldlyFlee'', amoral NightmareFetishist Dr. Tease is actually ''scared'' of what's going on.
* ''WebVideo/TheSpoonyExperiment'': Spoony gives off one in the middle of his ''VideoGame/UltimaIX'' review. His normal vitriol and hot-bloodedness fades away during the scene as he simply reminisces quietly to the audience on his history with the ''Ultima'' series and the value it had to him growing up... before throwing the cases of those individual games against a wall. The entire scene serves to illustrate not only how far the game itself had broken him, but arguably also [[CreatorBreakdown the state of mind of Noah himself at the time]].
* [[ThePollyanna Koden]] from ''DSBTInsaniT'' falling into despair whenever things go wrong.
* The horror game [[LetsPlay Lets Player]] {{LetsPlay/Markiplier}} usually tries to make a conscious effort to keep his language [[GoshDangItToHeck PG]] so when he starts [[ClusterFBomb swearing up a storm]], you can bet he is either scared or frustrated.
* ''Series/{{Noob}}'' has the well-established fact that Arthéon is afraid of Game Masters. He does quite a few uncharacteristic things after reaching his RageBreakingPoint, but the act that ended up having most of his [[spoiler:soon to be former]] guildmates as an audience was him asking for a Game Master [[spoiler:so he could officially disband the guild]].
* Creator/AchievementHunter's Gavin Free is a certified {{troll}}, doing things to screw over his fellow AH players for shits and giggles, but trying his damnedest not to out and out cheat. When Caleb was caught cheating and it's ''Gavin'' calling him out, you know that you dun goofed.
* Creator/MarkKermode is a avid hater of [[ThreeDFilm films in 3D]] and is more than willing to rip apart the technology, finding extremely gimmicky and is nothing more than a ploy for studios to make more money. Then ''Film/{{Gravity}}'' came along and on his blog, he posted a [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJu7Ov8IN1c video]] announcing that "''Gravity'' is worth seeing in 3D". He then [[FacePalm face-palmed]] for saying those words.
* ''WebVideo/AtopTheFourthWall'': The [[MilestoneCelebration 300th episode]], featuring Creator/FrankMiller's ''ComicBook/HolyTerror'', has a moment where after about an hour of [[{{Angrish}} enraged screaming]], Linkara [[AlterEgoActing drops his reviewer persona]] and speaks as his real self (Lewis Lovhaug) in order to calmly explain why the book is one of the worst he's ever read because it blatantly goes against everything he believes comic books should be.
* ''Wiki/SCPFoundation'':
** The Foundation very rarely actively attempts to kill supernatural entities, as they don't know what effect it might have. So SCP-682 must be a ''serious'' threat to warrant a file that begins with "SCP-682 must be destroyed as soon as possible."
** The Foundation members are usually portrayed as {{Determinator}}s who will go to any length to find a way to insure that any entities that could pose a danger are safely contained. [[spoiler:Except for [[http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-2317 SCP-2317]], who they have explicitly given up on containing and what procedures they do have are merely to keep up morale.]]
** SCP-682 ends up on the other end of this trope several times. It's an OmnicidalManiac that tries to kill pretty much anything that gets left out in front of it. So something must be seriously, intrinsically ''wrong'' with [[http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-173 SCP-173]] (which it is too scared of to attack), [[http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-053 SCP-053]] (the only being it has ever acted legitimately friendly towards), and [[http://www.scp-wiki.net/drclef-member-page Dr. Alto Clef]] (whom it doesn't attack for some unknown reason).
* ''WebAnimation/IfTheEmperorHadATextToSpeechDevice'':
** Marneus Calgar, GloryHound extraordinaire, not just from [[AllThereInTheManual reading the fluff]] but from a previous scene [[OnlyAFleshWound playing the part of Monty Python's black knight]] during a battle. When we're shown his current whereabouts, we learn the man's undergoing ''serious'' depression, and absolutely hates his own beloved marines' Sue-like exploits. We don't know what's happening, but we do know ''something'' has to be, and it's serious.
-->''Nothing is satisfying anymore...''
** The Emperor catches on to something odd being up with the Tau when the Custodian, who has been polite and quiet to the point of being a YesMan, and has put up with every last bit of his GrumpyOldMan ruler or his fellow MachoCamp custodes' antics without much fuss, starts flipping his shit when he's asked to talk about them.
-->''[[AC:[[ClusterFBomb You're starting to sound like]] [[SelfDeprecation your father.]]]]''
* Community radio host and narrator of ''Podcast/WelcomeToNightVale'', [[CozyVoiceForCatastrophes Cecil]], is always pleasant and smooth in his delivery. When he's not? Something is very wrong, like his on-air breakdown when he thought [[LoveInterest Carlos]] had died, or the terror in his voice upon seeing the gorefest in [[spoiler: Kevin's studio]]; or very serious, like the sheer venom with which he wished that [[spoiler: rebel leader Tamika would find [=StrexCorp=] before they found her]].

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Archer}}'', when constant-drinker Sterling falls in love with the [[SensualSlavs beautiful Soviet KGB defector Katya]] nearly everyone at ISIS thinks it's romantic -- until Lana points out that Katya has even gotten Archer ''to stop drinking''. Which causes fellow agent Ray to draw his guns and ask "What's the plan?".
* In ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'', the only time Sam acts really cheerful is around Christmas, even though she's Jewish. One of the kids at her school was so freaked he thought it was a sign of the apocalypse!
* Threaten ''WesternAnimation/InspectorGadget'''s niece Penny, and you'll instantly find out just how competent the normally bumbling Gadget can be.
* Happens a few times in ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'', such as when PerpetualFrowner [[DeadpanSnarker Raven]] acts cheerful for whatever reason, like in "The End Part I" (when this was just an act) and "The End Part III" (when it was genuine). Also when the HotBlooded [[TheDeterminator Robin]] doesn’t yell at his team to insist he’s fine after he breaks his arm and instead decides to give up and watch television in the episode “Fractured”, much to the shock of his friends.
* ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'':
** [[Recap/AvatarTheLastAirbenderLakeLaogai "Lake Laogai"]]: [[TheSilentBob Longshot]] [[SuddenlyVoiced speaks just once]] as [[spoiler:Jet is dying]]... and it stuns everyone who hears him because it's so rare. It stunned the fandom just as much; up until that point, nearly everyone thought he was a mute!
** Subverted in "[[Recap/AvatarTheLastAirbenderBitterWork "Bitter Work"]] when Sokka decides to give up meat and sarcasm if the universe will only get him out of the hole he's stuck in. When Aang shows up, Sokka is [[HypocriticalHumor back to his old self and asks for meat]].
** The eponymous [[TheChosenOne Avatar]] is usually a very happy-go-lucky kid. He's very peaceful and spiritual, and has stated repeatedly that he doesn't eat meat. Then in [[Recap/AvatarTheLastAirbenderTheDesert "The Desert"]], his best friend and pet since he was a kid, Appa, is stolen by Sandbenders. The normally cheerful Aang spends the entire episode being cranky, aggressive, and angry. He even kills a wasp-buzzard that tried to take one of his other friends even after the threat it posed was gone. When they run into the Sandbenders who stole Appa, you know [[PhysicalGod they're in]] [[UnstoppableRage for a world]] [[MuggingTheMonster of hurt.]]
** Katara absolutely despised the fact that she learned bloodbending, even breaking down when it sinks in that she learned it and used it. When she uses it again in "The Southern Raiders", it shows that she is letting her rage drive her more than her morality and how serious she is about possibly killing in cold blood the man who killed her mother.
*** To give it some more context, the first time she used bloodbending, the time that it horrified her and drove her to tears, she was forced into a situation where [[SadisticChoice the only choices were "bloodbend" or "let Aang die"]], and used it to save Aang's life. When she uses it again, not only is it completely unnecessary for her to do so, she's using it to TORTURE someone. It really rams home how far she's slipping in her pursuit of vengeance.
** Azula never loses her cool MagnificentBastard aura, so seeing her shouting in anger at [[spoiler:Mai and Ty Lee's HeelFaceTurn]] heralds that [[VillainousBreakdown bad things are about to happen]].
* ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'':
** [[TheMentor Tenzin]] is very surprised by [[HotBlooded Korra's]] refusal to join the anti-[[BigBad Amon]] task force. While he was glad she didn't, he recognized that her unwillingness to charge her enemy head-on was very uncharacteristic, and (correctly) guessed that [[TheAce Korra]] was truly afraid for the first time in her life.
** Varrick is an eccentric, amoral businessman who is perfectly happy to start a war with {{False Flag Operation}}s if he thinks it'll make him a profit, and who loves experimentation and invention ForScience. In Book Four, however, he [[spoiler:immediately attempts to shut down his spirit vine energy project when he witnesses the true destructive power stored within those vines, considering it too dangerous.]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/TransformersGeneration1'', Soundwave was usually [[TheStoic a stoic type]] who talks in RoboSpeak the rare times he was NotSoStoic, his EvilLaugh was ''very'' unsettling and creepy.
* ''WesternAnimation/TransformersPrime'':
** In the last story arc of the first season, Megatron [[spoiler:almost kills Rafael when he attacks Bumblebee with a blast of Dark Energon]]. Optimus Prime declares, in no uncertain terms, that he intends to KILL Megatron for what he's done. Few characters in fiction adhere as strictly as Optimus does to [[TechnicalPacifist Technical Pacifism]], and seeing him actually show a vengeful streak shocked even his fellow Autobots. He actually sticks to this policy later -- while he and Megatron are forced to ally against [[BiggerBad Unicron]], Optimus shows he is still going to terminate Megatron if he gets the chance now -- fortunately Dreadwing intervened.
** Another example, and once again with Optimus: when [[spoiler:Starscream uses his Red Energon speed serum to steal ''[[CrowningMomentOfAwesome all the Omega Keys at once]]'']] Optimus actually ''loses his cool and shouts in impotent frustration''. Ratchet and Bulkhead are actually visually ''distressed'' at watching Optimus break like that.
** The series BigBad Megatron had a rather poignant moment when he [[spoiler: ''vehemently'' refused to resume leadership of the Decepticons at the end of "Predacons Rising" film]], this came as such a shock that even Starscream was weirded out.
** Similarly, Shockwave almost never freaks out over anything at all, with TranquilFury being the most emotive he usually gets. However, when [[spoiler:Unicron arrives and begins resurrecting several Predacon skeletons to use as his undead army]] during "Predacons Rising", Shockwave has a clearly horrified, if relatively subdued, reaction.
--->'''Shockwave:''' It is... ''not logical''.
* ''Franchise/ScoobyDoo'':
** In ''WesternAnimation/ScoobyDooAndTheAlienInvaders'' , Scooby and Shaggy each fall in love. When asked what they want to eat, the normally bottomless pits say they aren't hungry. Cue IronicEcho and the rest of the gang looking at each other in shock.
** On ''WesternAnimation/ScoobyDooMysteryIncorporated'', Velma goes through this as the series concludes. She usually counts on rationale, logic and facts to guide her and the gang through their mysteries, but when the Curse of Crystal Cove sends them through a nightmare realm where those that have been associated with the search for the cursed treasure remain, Velma feels that logic and reason have failed her. As a result, she breaks down crying.
* Wade Duck of the ''ComicStrip/USAcres'' portion of ''WesternAnimation/GarfieldAndFriends'', while not literally afraid of ''everything'', is afraid of so many things that most people wouldn't even consider (e.g., he is canonically afraid of ''caraway seeds'') that the other farm inhabitants seem to think it the case. So when Wade, having his cowardice suppressed via hypnosis, passes by performing a stunt on a bicycle...
-->'''Booker:''' It looked like Wade, but it didn't tremble like Wade...
* In the ''WesternAnimation/EdEddNEddy'' episode "Little Ed Blue", Ed, who is normally the resident PerpetualSmiler, spends the episode angry, bitter, and has a huge need for isolation from everyone else, including his own friends Edd and Eddy. Edd is concerned, and Eddy is too impatient to deal with it, and because of Eddy's impatience, Ed [[UnstoppableRage goes on a rampage]], until Jonny and Plank show up and everyone finds out that Ed has a pebble in his shoe. It's very telling that Sarah, who will willingly jump on and beat the crap out of anybody up to and including Rolf (physically the strongest among the kids except for Ed), [[OhCrap looked at Ed much as the Eds look at her when she's mad]] and told everyone to back off ''the instant she realized Ed wasn't backing down.''
** In "3 Squares and an Ed", Edd and Eddy try to help Ed escape from being grounded and put up a fake dummy to fool Sarah; later, she checks up on "Ed" and sees him reading a book, which is unusual given that he's TheDitz.
-->'''Sarah:''' Look at him there, reading his little book. ''(beat)'' Book!?
* ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'':
** The episode "Going Native" has Butters become hostile towards the other characters.
** In "Cartoon Wars Part 1", Cartman seemed to be genuinely concerned about ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' offending Muslims with their portrayal of UsefulNotes/TheProphetMuhammad. It isn't until long after Kyle joined his cause that Cartman reveals he just wanted to take ''Family Guy'' off the air entirely.
** In "Fat Camp", this is what tips Stan and Kyle off that the "silm" Cartman is an imposter when he actually is ''nice'' and doesn't insult the two.
** In "Tonsil Trouble", [[BigEater Cartman]] is actually so upset about getting HIV that he '''turns down free ice cream'''.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'':
** [[FanNickname Cutie Mark Failure Insanity Syndrome]] shows up for each character in the mane cast, with that character's personality changing dramatically in response to outside stress, especially stress related to that character's talent. Seeing [[SmugSuper the showoff Rainbow Dash]] suffering from stage fright in "Sonic Rainboom" or the usually steadfast and honest Applejack lying to her friends in "The Last Roundup" is mindboggling. The issue goes to outright terrifying with [[GenkiGirl Pinkie Pie's]] lapse into depression in "Party of One", [[ShrinkingViolet Fluttershy's]] lapse into {{Yandere}} at the climax of "The Best Night Ever", and [[OnlySaneMan Twilight Sparkle's]] complete psychotic break in "Lesson Zero".
** On a much more serious note, Princess Celestia acting nervous and grave when [[GodOfEvil Discord]] [[SealedEvilInACan escapes his prison]] -- in contrast to her normal calm and collected, even playful personality -- is a big warning sign that [[VileVillainSaccharineShow Discord]] is ''much'' [[BewareTheSillyOnes more dangerous than he looks.]]
** In "Lesson Zero", Princess Celestia flies over to Ponyville right after she fulfills her sun-related duties, fixes Twilight's mess, and sternly reprimands her. This is the first time in the series that Princess Celestia has shown any disappointment in Twilight, let alone the outright anger she expresses upon first realizing what has happened.
--->'''Celestia:''' [[FullNameUltimatum TWILIGHT SPARKLE!]]\\
'''Applejack:''' [[OhCrap Whoa, nelly...]]
** And come the season 2 finale, we see [[IncorruptiblePurePureness the normally calm Princess]] get truly pissed. We're talking try and scorch the [[VoluntaryShapeshifter Changeling]] [[GodSaveUsFromTheQueen Queen]] with a FrickinLaserBeam pissed.\\\
Earlier, near the end of Part 1, her disappointment in Twilight is such that it again moves straight into actual anger. The result is even more chilling than it was in "Lesson Zero".
--->'''Twilight Sparkle:''' I...\\
'''Celestia:''' (''curtly cutting her off'') [[TranquilFury You have a]] '''[[TranquilFury lot]]''' [[TranquilFury to think about.]]
** Fluttershy does this all the time. She is normally extremely fearful, but [[MamaBear when her friends are in trouble]], she'll stand up to a manticore, a cockatrice, or a ''giant firebreathing dragon''. And if there isn't a threat around, it means trouble for her ''friends'' (see "Putting Your Hoof Down" for an example).
** Big Macintosh, who is normally calm, collected, and [[TheQuietOne quiet]], [[ReasonYouSuckSpeech chews out]] the Cutie Mark Crusaders for printing embarrassing details about him and Applejack in "Ponyville Confidential". You know you really screwed up when you get him mad enough to say more than a few words. Even more, when Big Mac is talking, Applejack, who is just as mad, becomes TheQuietOne, resorting to the same "eyup"s and "nope"s Big Mac is famous for.
** In "Keep Calm and Flutter On", when Celestia brings Discord to Ponyville in an attempt to [[HeelFaceTurn reform him]], the mane six are ''furious'' that she would bring the worst villain they've ever faced anywhere near them, even Twilight -- who is usually intensely reverent of Celestia and terrified of disappointing her -- outright ''yelling'' at her.
--->'''Twilight Sparkle:''' [[WithDueRespect With all due respect]], princess... ''[[SuddenlyShouting HOW COULD YOU BRING DISCORD HERE?!]]'' ...Your majesty."
** In [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS4E26TwilightsKingdomPart2 "Twilight's Kingdom - Part 2"]], when [[TheTrickster Discord]] starts acting solemn and serious, you know this time he truly is sorry for what he's done.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSpectacularSpiderMan'':
** In episode "The Uncertainty Principle", Jameson spends the first half of the episode being very quiet and subdued as his son, an astronaut, encounters problems that could get him and his crew killed. Once he's safely back on the ground, though, Jameson only takes a moment of serene thankfulness before instantly reverting to his usual NoIndoorVoice[=/=]MotorMouth bossiness as he orders everybody to throw together an issue praising his son's success.
** In another episode he hears that a bystander had a heart attack during a Spider-Man battle, and of course he's eager to put it on the front page--until he realizes it was Peter's Aunt May. He quietly says that he's going to call and break the news personally, but ironically Peter, wanting to avoid his usual blustery rants, isn't answering his phone.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'':
** When pre-{{Flanderization}} Ned Flanders snaps in "Hurricane Ned", it very much has this effect, since the usually mild-mannered and nice-to-a-fault Ned absolutely ''rips'' into everyone in Springfield, and all he says to Homer is that he's the worst person he's ever met. It's not especially surprising when Ned checks himself into a mental hospital immediately after.
** If there is ever a moment where Bart is studying or behaving, expect a reaction from everybody.
** The few times that Marge has proven to be greedy, the other members of the family are incredulous about it.
** When Homer shows intelligent or profound thoughts, the reaction of others is astonishment.
** PlayedForLaughs:
--->'''Dr. Hibbert:''' Why, that appears to be a Ford urinating on a Chevy.\\
'''Mrs. Hibbert:''' Don't you usually laugh at everything?\\
'''Dr. Hibbert:''' Yes. I ''usually'' do.
** Homer's usual reaction to things is [[HairTriggerTemper blind rage]], but if he enters into TranquilFury, that will scare people even more.
** In ''Curse of the Flying Hellfish'', Grandpa knows something is fishy when he hears his family comes to visit him, when they always try to avoid him. He barely avoids a knife to the head by an assassin.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/DragonTales'' episode "Hide and Can't Seek", [[BigEater Ord]] has so much fun playing hide and seek he asks if he could eat later, much to his friends' shock.
* ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'':
** In your average episode, Phineas is almost spookily optimistic and cheerful. It makes sense that a few of the specials ("Summer Belongs to You" and "[[WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerbChristmasVacation Christmas Vacation]]") and the [[WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerbTheMovieAcrossThe2ndDimension movie]] have moments in which he's sad or angry just to let the audience know that these aren't normal episodes. One line in particular became MemeticMutation, even though it would have been no big deal if someone else had said it:
--->'''Phineas:''' [[spoiler:''GET ON THE TRIKE!'']]
** This had led to a BrokenBase as of "Mission Marvel" where he is under a ''lot'' of stress and takes it out on Candace. It's probably the only thing contentious about that crossover, and for a crossover with ''comic book character'', that's saying something. Phineas actually holding a grudge for a small amount of time just feels that uncharacteristic.
** "The Lizard Whisperer": [[TheQuietOne Ferb]] must really love Steve the chameleon, because when Steve goes missing and Phineas and Isabella are on the verge of giving up the search, he delivers a long and epic speech to urge them on.
** In "Lawn Gnome Beach Party of Terror", Linda becomes very concerned when she doesn't receive a call from Candace about the boys' latest activity.
** Lampshaded in "Phineas and Ferb Save Summer".
--->'''Buford:''' This must be a special episode. He's yelling at his sister again.
* ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague'':
** A season finale sees Lex Luthor divide the League, make the public hate and fear them, and he tops it off by merging with Brainiac to be a [[AGodAmI limitless technological god-being]] who defeats the primary League members singlehandedly, leaving only the Flash left to kill. The normally happy-go-lucky Flash runs away... and returns having circumnavigated the globe in seconds to build up the speed to hit Luthor/Brainiac hard enough to hurt him. Appearing deadly serious, Flash does this nearly a dozen times becoming a literal bolt of lightning pummeling Luthor into dust. Until this episode, nobody realized that the most powerful member of the team was not Superman. The only catch is that [[DangerousForbiddenTechnique going that fast nearly makes him warp out of existence]], and after defeating Luthor and barely being saved from that fate, he states that he doesn't think he'll survive going that fast again.
** There's one episode, in all the Franchise/{{DCAU}}, where Franchise/{{Batman}} laughs, and it's one of the darkest:
--->'''Harley Quinn:''' I've never heard you laugh before... I don't think I like it...
** Superman wants to kill Darkseid. It's not a "IDidWhatIHadToDo" situation, if left alone Clark will go so far as to sacrifice his own life to ensure that Darkseid dies. It's not a case of Superman being dark, it's a case of Darkseid being just that evil.
** Multiple examples in [[Recap/JusticeLeagueS2E5And6OnlyADream "Only a Dream"]]. Trapped in their worst nightmares by Dr. Destiny, [[ProudWarriorRaceGirl Hawkgirl]] breaks down and cries in fear, begging for anyone to help, [[PluckyComicRelief Flash]] gets depressed enough to curl into TroubledFetalPosition, and {{Determinator}}s Superman and Green Lantern give up.
* So anyone who's seen ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'' knows that, in battle, Goliath is a force to be reckoned with. ''Off'' the battlefield, he's thoughtful, considerate, even downright philosophical at times. He's not afraid to pull out all the stops in the heat of combat, yet repeatedly chastises others for going overboard when it's unnecessary. But push him too far and he ''will'' get pissed. In "Hunter's Moon", the second season finale, his daughter Angela is beaten almost to death by the Hunters... at which point the noble, level-headed clan leader growls, his eyes glowing, and in a scene that's drawn like he's looking out from the very gates of Hell intones the following:
-->'''Goliath:''' [[PapaWolf On my daughter's life]], I swear I will hunt them down. And I will ''kill them''.
* In ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'', [[BilingualBonus Lady Rainicorn]] has only ever spoken one sentence in English. And [[WhamLine what a sentence it is]]:
-->'''Lady Rainicorn:''' [[spoiler:I AM PREGNANT!]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'' episode 53, "Emotion Sickness", both Kim and Shego are victim of [[EmotionBomb "Moodulator" chips]] and are subject to drastic mood swings, scaring Ron and Draken, respectively. It should be noted that both men are ''way'' more unsettled when Kim and Shego are acting very amorous toward them, as opposed to angry.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheAmazingWorldOfGumball'' episode "The Job", [[LazyBum Richard]] getting a job ''[[RealityBreakingParadox causes the universe to fall apart]]''.
* Spoofed in ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'''s "And Then There Were Fewer" two-parter:
-->'''Lois:''' (''thinking'') Peter, we've been married twenty years, please recognize when I'm acting out of the ordinary because I'm in danger! (''out loud, grabs car keys'') All right, here you go, ''Pete''!\\
'''Peter:''' (''thinking'') Why's she calling me "Pete"? We've been married fourteen years, she's never called me Pete. [[ComicallyMissingThePoint Why am I even thinking about this when I could be listening to my tapes?]] (''out loud'') Bye! (''leaves immediately'')
** Played straight in the episode "Brian and Stewie": While Stewie and Brian are trapped in the bank vault, Stewie asks Brian why he has a gun in his safety deposit box, despite being an anti-gun liberal. Brian is forced to admit that he keeps the gun in case he is ever DrivenToSuicide.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheAdventuresOfJimmyNeutronBoyGenius'' episode "I Dream of Jimmy", Jimmy goes into Carl's dream and tries to wake him up. All his attempts to convince him he's in a dream fail... until Jimmy kisses his rival Cindy.
-->'''Carl:''' Jimmy kissing Cindy? Oh, that couldn't happen in a million years! I must be dreaming....
* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/LittlestPetShop2012'', Mrs. Twombly (normally a very kind and sweet woman) was so enraged at Fisher Biskit for outbidding her on a doorknob that even the mention of his name angered her. After she hears about the open house he's having where he will be showing off his art collection, she slams her fist into the counter, causing Blythe to scream and shout "[[InvokedTrope So out of character!]]"
* In ''WesternAnimation/DastardlyAndMuttleyInTheirFlyingMachines'', The Vulture Squadron's card-carrying coward Zilly becomes brave to gung-ho levels in the episode "Zilly's A Dilly," thanks to hypnotism. However, his devil-may-care bravery becomes more of a hinderance to the squadron than when he was a coward.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/MoralOrel'' episode "Sundays", Reverend Putty has to do a sermon on "Hope." The morning after a terrible night for him and Florence (which affects her roommate, her ex-husband and their daughter by extension), none of them are in the best mood. He looks around and sees many of the townspeople (Doughy, Bloberta, Censordoll, etc) also disheartened by similar tragic situations in their lives, until he remembers Orel Puppington! The CheerfulChild {{Keet}} protagonist! But no, Orel's just as upset as everyone else. Not being able to find a HopeSpot from ''Orel'' leads Putty and the episode on a DownerEnding.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries'' episode [[Recap/BatmanTheAnimatedSeriesE25TheClockKing "The Clock King"]], Temple Fugate announces to his secretary, Ms. Perkins, that he would take his coffe break out of office. Ms. Perkins' shocked gesture shows us that this is something Fugate just doesn't do.
* In ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars'' Duchess Satine of Mandalore is an ActualPacifist, who could not bring herself to shoot a man who was threatening to blow up a starship full of innocent people, herself among them. Yet, when in the episode "Corruption", children got food-poisoning from toxic tea, bought by corrupt officals on the black market, she went into such a rage, she completely abandoned her pacifist views. She even '''threatened''' a suspect with physical violence if he didn't start talking!
** [[spoiler: Darth Maul]] is a cool, collected man who hardly ever shows a trace of fear, even when things are turning badly against him. However, when [[BigBad Darth Sidious]] comes for him in person, he has an OhCrap moment when he realizes [[WorldsStrongestMan who he's about to face]], and when he loses the subsequent CurbStompBattle he begs for mercy in a voice that sounds like he's about to ''cry''.
* ''WesternAnimation/Ben10UltimateAlien'': Near the end of Season 1, Kevin absorbs Ben's Ultimatrix energy in a last-ditch effort to stop Aggregor, and promptly [[WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity goes]] AxCrazy again. After failing to stop him several times, Ben, known for his ChronicHeroSyndrome and NoOneGetsLeftBehind tendencies, decides outright that Kevin is too far gone to be saved and must be put down. Grandpa Max even remarks that things must be ''really'' bad for Ben to go that far.
* ''WesternAnimation/KingOfTheHill'': Peggy Hill is normally [[SmallNameBigEgo the self-proclaimed smartest woman in the state]], completely unaware of her own flaws, and a genuinely good housekeeper. So, in the episode "Death and Taxes", wherein a prison convict manages to dupe Peggy into smuggling him cocaine by playing to her ego (threatening to turn her in if she refuses to continue the supply... [[ForTheEvulz or whenever he feels like it]]), Hank realizes something is seriously wrong when she manages to screw up creating a rather simple dinner, and responds by asking aloud, "How could I be so ''freaking'' stupid?!"
* In a plot akin to the ''Ed, Edd 'n' Eddy'' example, the ''WesternAnimation/UncleGrandpa'' episode "Bad Morning" shows that the usually friendly and upbeat Uncle Grandpa becomes a grouchy, violent old man that constantly shouts 'bad morning' whenever he [[LiteralMetaphor gets up on the wrong side of the bed]], caused by Pizza Steve joyriding in his racecar bed and parking it in the wrong spot.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheNewAdventuresOfWinnieThePooh'': In "Sham Pooh", when Pooh loses his appetite and doesn't feel like eating honey, everyone concludes that Pooh's identity had been stolen.
* ''WesternAnimation/CelebrityDeathmatch'': Johnny and Nick will allow all kinds of violence and torture for the sake of a Deathmatch, but even they thought Ozzy Osbourne was excessively cruel in his match with Rob Zombie.
* ''WesternAnimation/FostersHomeForImaginaryFriends'':
** In the first episode of the series, Mac realizes that Terrence must be working with someone to get rid of Bloo because he was far too stupid to come up with a plan like the one he used on his own.
** Wilt is normally [[NiceGuy kind and helpful to everyone he meets]]. But in the episode, "Room With a Feud", when a basketball-themed room with high ceilings and a ten-feet long bed becomes available to anyone who wants it, he [[TookALevelInJerkass becomes cocky and selfish]] and competes against Eduardo, Coco, and Bloo for it. [[note]] It is also revealed in that episode, that in all the years he's lived at Foster's, he's never had his own room. [[/note]]
** In "The Big Lablooski", the normally nice and sweet Madam Foster becomes very fierce with a zero tolerance for failure disposition in a game of bowling to the point that she begins calling 8-year old Mac worthless for his lack of bowling skills. Yeah, she really gets into the game.
* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheGrimAdventuresOfBillyAndMandy'', a RealityBreakingParadox is caused by [[PerpetualFrowner Mandy]] smiling. Another episode had something similar caused by Billy getting an A on a test. [[note]] Though it's worth noting that Grim had magically altered Billy's mark so maybe the scythe had something to do with it. [[/note]]
* At the end of the first part of ''WesternAnimation/BatmanBeyond'' episode "The Call", when it appears that [[spoiler:''Superman'']] is trying to kill the Justice League, Bruce shows Terry his secret weapon against this threat should it ever have arisen again: [[spoiler: kryptonite]]. TechnicalPacifist Bruce Wayne then tells Terry to do whatever it takes to stop him.
* ''WesternAnimation/ThomasTheTankEngine'':
** Sir Topham Hatt is very fond of his [[HatOfAuthority Top Hat]]. However, in the special, "Misty Island Rescue", when Thomas gets lost on Misty Island, he is so overjoyed at having found Thomas, he throws his hat into the air, not caring the least when it disappears into the mist.
--->'''Sir Topham Hatt:''' [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming I can always find another hat, but I can never find another Thomas.]]
** The [[AdorableEvilMinions Troublesome Trucks]] take delight in causing mischief to the other engines on Sodor. However, in the episode, "[[Recap/ThomasTheTankEngineS18E13MissingGator Missing Gator]]", when they roll down the hill into an AbandonedMine, they are glad when Percy finds them, and even ask him to help them out of the mine, as they don't like being left there alone.
** Toad the Brake Van is normally very polite and doesn't get mad at anything the engine pulling him (most commonly Oliver) is doing. However, in the episode, "[[Recap/ThomasTheTankEngineS18E16ToadsBrightIdea Toad's Bright Idea]]", while he still retains his polite speech, he gets angry with Gator when the latter refuses to relight his faulty lamp in the dark.
** Den is not usually one to finish his sentences, often having other engines [[PhraseCatcher figure out what he's trying to say]] (most commonly his best friend, Dart). In the episode, "Den and Dart", when Den has to work at the Ffarquhar quarry while Mavis is being repaired at the Dieselworks, at one point, he saves Toby from a runaway truck. Afterwards, he is so angry at the Troublesome Trucks, he scolds the trucks in a full sentence.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TronUprising'', Tron is generally TheStoic. However, in the "Scars" storyline, Tron acts unusually agressive when he learns that [[spoiler:Dyson]] is in town, and tries to have Beck drag him back to base to [[BlatantLies extract information]], despite Beck's protests that this isn't usually how they operate, and if it was info they wanted, it would be much easier to just secure [[spoiler:Dyson's]] Disc instead. This, combined with Tron's refusal to back down, gives Beck an OutOfCharacterAlert.
* ''WesternAnimation/BeastWars'': Whenever [[TheChewToy Waspinator]] [[ThirdPersonPerson stops speaking in the third-person]], you know something's serious or amiss. Most notably in the finale "Nemesis", [[spoiler:when he renounces his loyalty to the Predacons.]]
-->'''Waspinator:''' ''I said '''NO!'''''
* ''WesternAnimation/WhyCharlieBrownWhy'': Linus is normally a laid back, polite and philosophical little boy. While he isn't above getting angry, upset, or standing up to people (using his blanket as a whip to scare bullies away, going through withdrawal when he's separated from his blanket for more than five minutes, etc.), he usually prefers to avoid confrontation, being either a mediator or becoming passive-aggressive. This makes it all the more jarring when he [[BewareTheNiceOnes absolutely flips his shit]] after his friend [[LittlestCancerPatient Janice]] gets teased by a [[KidsAreCruel bully]] for her baldness caused by her cancer treatments. He's already sad and angry that the girl he likes even has to deal with cancer at all, and the previous scene has him being uncharacteristically aggressive towards Lucy, [[BookDumb who first thinks cancer is contagious]], and [[KickTheDog then implies that Janice did something to deserve it]]. Also, he is never shown with his blanket even once, a design choice by Schulz to emphasize the seriousness of the subject matter.
* In ''WesternAnimation/SpongeBobSquarePants'', Mr. Krabs is a CorruptCorporateExecutive with a serious MoneyFetish, which makes it all the more shocking in the episode "[[Recap/SpongebobSquarepantsS3E4NastyPattyIdiotBox Nasty Patty]]", when he claims to a couple of cops that it is "open cash register night" at the Krusty Krab, so they get all the money in the cash register. It just shows how paranoid he is that the cops suspect him of [[LessDisturbingInContext killing the health inspector]].
* ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'':
** Garnet isn't quite TheStoic, but she's calm and collected even in the heat of battle or during intensely stressful moments, so her showing any kind of strong emotion means something vitally important is happening. This can be a positive thing, like her supreme delight in "Alone Together" at [[spoiler:Steven and Connie fusing]] (foreshadowing for TheReveal [[spoiler:she's a fusion herself]]), or a negative thing, like her utter paralyzing terror in "Keeping It Together" when faced with [[spoiler:the forcibly fused gem shards.]]
** Pearl is a LadyOfWar who is more of TheSmartGuy of the Crystal Gems. However, when [[spoiler:Peridot]] insults Pearl by saying she is beneath her and [[spoiler:is nothing more than a {{servant|Race}}, shutting down the idea of her being her own Gem]], Pearl gives her ''quite'' the ShutUpHannibal moment and ''punches her in the face''.
* Owan the Oil Rig from ''WesternAnimation/TheodoreTugboat'' is normally [[NoIndoorVoice very loud and easily excited]]. However, in the episode, "Theodore and the Boat Bully", Owan becomes very quiet and unenthusiastic when he finds out that Oliver the Vast, a visiting JerkJock tug, is coming to the Big Harbor to take him to the ocean to work.
* In ''WesternAnimation/GreenLanternTheAnimatedSeries'', the perpetually (and obnoxiously) chipper LANOS drops his annoying attitude when he's about to [[spoiler: [[HeroicSacrifice warp out with the now destructively insane Aya.]]]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/RickAndMorty'' "Auto Erotic Assimilation", [[spoiler:after Unity breaks up with Rick because he's a bad influence on it]] Beth confronts him and demands that he stop keeping dangerous otherworldly beings in her garage. The entire family is shocked when Rick agrees to follow her wishes without any fuss, realizing that Rick is not in a good place emotionally.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Creator/StephenColbert testified to Congress, in character, about the terrible and paradoxical treatment of illegal immigrants in the US. When asked why he felt that this issue, as opposed to others, was so important, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cu9SSxe5bz0 he drops his act and speaks earnestly.]]
* Similarly, Creator/JonStewart is normally just a guy out to crack jokes and make fun of everything, but when he stops being funny and starts taking things very seriously, people tend to notice. Stewart was able to generate enough social pressure to get a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Zadroga#James_Zadroga_Act bill to subsidize healthcare for 9/11 first responders]] through congress.
* A soldier in UsefulNotes/WorldWarII managed to invoke this trope unintentionally; he was well known for having a very poor grasp of punctuation, and once joked with his wife that if he ever sent her a perfectly punctuated letter, she should underline the first word of every sentence and it would reveal a coded message. When he was captured by the Nazis and put into a labour camp, he remembered the joke, and sent his wife a coded message hidden inside a well punctuated one. It worked, and his wife, with the help of the British government, managed to smuggle various items to him which he used to escape the camp.
* Speaking more broadly, a sudden change in behavior can be a sign of mental illness. Or in some cases, a regular illness.
** It may also be a sign of neurological or even vascular issues as well. A sudden unexplained personality change in a close friend or family member should be treated as serious and indicative of a possible medical emergency.
** A sudden uptick in someone's mood after a long depression may be a sign that they're happy that their problems will soon be over. Because they're [[DrivenToSuicide about to kill themselves]].
** On the other hand, a sudden change in mood in someone diagnosed with major depression could actually be something more benign. Specifically, the person was misdiagnosed and actually has bipolar II disorder, which is frequently misdiagnosed as major depression, meaning the elevated mood is due to a hypomanic episode (which, due to being less severe than bipolar I's mania, is frequently mistaken for ordinary high-functioning behavior).
** Parents often become concerned if their teenager son or daughter, who has been extremely rebellious and unruly for many years, suddenly [[WeWantOurJerkBack becomes very nice, mindful and polite]] to everybody. Sometimes this may be justified, as it may be a sign that he or she has secretly joined a cult or other clandestine organization. Or that he or she is on drugs.
* Hurricane Katrina caused a couple of these:
** Before the hurricane hit New Orleans, the local National Weather Service office issued a [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Weather_Service_bulletin_for_New_Orleans_region bulletin]]. This is standard, but sentences like "PERSONS... PETS... AND LIVESTOCK EXPOSED TO THE WINDS WILL FACE CERTAIN DEATH IF STRUCK" and "WATER SHORTAGES WILL MAKE HUMAN SUFFERING INCREDIBLE BY MODERN STANDARDS" are ''decidedly not''. After the hurricane, authorities credited the bulletin with saving thousands of lives.
** Broadcast journalist Creator/AndersonCooper built his reputation on fair, even-handed, neutral coverage of even the worst tragedies in the modern era; he's broadcast from Sarajevo at the height of the Balkan civil war, Somalia in the middle of a famine, Baghdad as a war zone, and Sri Lanka immediately post-tsunami. Naturally, he was CNN's man-on-the-ground before, during, and after the storm, producing coverage that ultimately won him a Peabody Award. But this also meant that he was there, on the ground, in amongst the suffering, in the days immediately post-hurricane before federal relief efforts were organised -- so when he spoke to Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu live on air, and she spent the time thanking the President and other politicians, apparently completely unaware of the horror her constituents were going through, Anderson [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KsuRCXiYGO4 was having]] ''none of it''. The result was one of his most iconic television moments to date and spoke ''volumes'' about the harrowing situation in the Mississippi Delta at the time, and how much anger and despair the population was feeling.
-->'''Anderson''': Excuse me, Senator, I'm sorry for interrupting.... for the last four days, I've been seeing dead bodies in the streets here in Mississippi. And to listen to politicians thanking each other and complimenting each other, you know, I got to tell you, there are a lot of people here who are very upset, and very angry, and very frustrated. And when they hear politicians slap -- you know, thanking one another, it just, you know, it kind of cuts them the wrong way right now, because literally there was a body on the streets of this town yesterday being eaten by rats because this woman had been laying in the street for 48 hours. And there's not enough facilities to take her up. Do you get the anger that is out here?
* Governor Chris Christie showed how seriously he took Hurricane Sandy when he praised Democrat UsefulNotes/BarackObama and snubbed fellow Republican Mitt Romney (for whom he was a high-level spokesman) days before the election (as in, he basically told Romney to bite him, if not in so many words, at the implication that he'd use the hurricane for political purposes). He also later beat up on Republicans in Congress for declining to pass a [[http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/little_help_here_1kW6aQ8fElj4CKwbheEV0N pork-filled relief bill]].
* Usually, Creator/WaltDisney ended his meetings with his staff with "See you later." During his final meeting with Marc Davis, in the middle of a terminal illness that would claim his life before the month was even halfway out, Disney left with these words: "Goodbye, Marc." That sent a signal to Marc that Disney didn't have very long to live.
* At a Congressional Hearing in 1985, [[Music/TwistedSister Dee Snider]] spoke out against the censorship of music, including his. While he was in his normal outfit, sleeveless shirt and denim trouser, but he didn't have his usual makeup on. This footage shows how [[http://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=File%3ADee_Snider_at_PMRC_Senate_Hearing.ogv he had to be taken serious]].
* Early 20th century American William Ellsworth Robinson took his stage persona of [[YellowFace Chinese magician]] Chung Ling Soo to the point of [[MethodActing never speaking English on stage]] and even talking to the press through an "interpreter". In 1918, the gun he used in his trademark bullet catch trick malfunctioned and Robinson was shot for real. He said in English "Oh my God. Something's happened. Lower the curtain", and died in a hospital the next day.
* US President UsefulNotes/FranklinDRoosevelt, who was a paraplegic, usually refused to let the full extent of his disability be known to the public. While the citizens were vaguely aware that he had polio, they were encouraged to think he was recovering from it, as he didn't use his wheelchair outside of the White House, wore leg braces, and made all his speeches while standing and leaning on the podium. But in March 1, 1945, he consented to be wheeled into the House chamber to address a joint session of Congress, and even referred to his leg braces at the start of the speech. Needless to say, his audience was shocked, and six weeks later he was dead.
* Rick Mercer, like Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert above, is usually satirical and cracking jokes on [[Series/TheRickMercerReport his show]]. However, [[OnceAnEpisode once an episode]] he has a section called Rick's Rants, where he drops the jokes and speaks seriously on an important issue. His serious and sometimes truly outraged demeanour cues the viewer in to how seriously he believes in the topic at hand.
* [[Series/CrocodileHunter Steve Irwin]] was well known for treating dangerous (and often aggressive) animals with a [[Literature/HarryPotter Hagrid-like]] awe and cheerfulness. So when he referred to crossing a river near a group of hippos as one of the scariest moments of his career, it really sold how [[BewareTheSillyOnes dangerous]] hippos are.
* There was a story of a man's wife on ''Diagnosis: Dead or Alive'' who was sick with a terminal illness that causes loss of motor functions throwing her left arm around him, something that she hadn't done in a long time, and [[FinalFirstHug pulled him into something of a hug]] [[{{Tearjerker}} before passing away the next day]].
* Creator/JimHenson never missed a taping of his segments on ''Series/SesameStreet'', so when he didn't show up one week in 1990, something was very wrong. Also, a Christian Scientist belief he picked up from his mother saw him stay away from hospitals, and Christian Science taught that medical treatment ''was'' acceptable as a last resort. The first trip Henson made to the hospital? It was also his last; he ended up going straight to the ICU with toxic shock syndrome, which would quickly destroy him.