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aka: Crouching Support Hidden Batshit
A psycho supporter follows someone else's beliefs simply because the supporter is nuts
Used a lot to deconstruct other tropes, most notably the Genki Girl
, The Dragon
, and Sycophantic Servant
. If this character is initially a good guy, a Face-Heel Turn
will most likely happen.
May also intersect with the Poisonous Friend
, and Lady Macbeth
. A lot of Psycho Supporters also suffer from Mad Love
or the Subordinate Excuse
if they're really
devoted to the leader in question. Contrast Stepford Smiler
Do not confuse with a character who supports a psycho; that's Friend to Psychos
In real-life situations, they will usually be seen as a liability to the movement they support, and will constantly be told to Stop Being Stereotypical
No Real Life Examples, Please!
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- Itsuki from the YuYu Hakusho anime loves Sensui because... Sensui is beautiful. In all kinds of senses, with a stress on the functional beauty of tremendous power.
- Dilandau in Vision of Escaflowne.
- Misa and Teru from Death Note.
- Baron Ashura and Count Brocken from Mazinger Z loyally followed Dr. Hell. The remainder Hell's Co-Dragons do not count because Pygman and Gorgon followed their own agendas.
- Sasame from Prétear.
- In Bleach, Tousen plays this to Gin's Stepford Smiler.
- Ralph Werec from Soukou no Strain is one of these, and relies on the expectation of Mad Love as a motive; he only pretended to be in love with Vivian Medlock and to have made his Face-Heel Turn for her sake. His motivations were far more scarring (in more ways than one) and left him flat-out insane, and once Captain Medlock outlives her usefulness, he turns on her too.
- Lady Une from Gundam Wing and her not-so-hidden adoration of Magnificent Bastard Treize Khushrenada, whom she serves as his Dragon. Her pacifistic "Saint" personality is the one that is most in love with him, but her "bun and glasses" personality is exceedingly cold and ruthless.
- Treize explains to his friend Zechs, and the audience by proxy, that Lady Une developed split personalities due to her feelings for him. She gets better, possessing a combination of "Saint"'s compassion with "Iron Une"'s competence.
- Another Gundam example is Yazan Gable of Zeta Gundam, originally introduced as a Psycho for Hire Blood Knight. He's eventually recruited by Manipulative Bastard Paptimus Scirocco, but unlike most of Scirocco's supporters, Yazan has no illusions about Scirocco's goals and seems to be following him purely for the long green.
- Rurouni Kenshin's Yumi Komagata and her love for the (literally) flaming Makoto Shishio.
- At least Yumi is secure in the knowledge that, in his own twisted way, Shishio does love her back He does fatally injure her, but then he cradles her in his arms as she dies so she can pass away in peace.).
- Villainous Crossdresser Kamatari Honjou, on the other hand, is fully aware that he'll never be loved like Yumi (because he's not a real woman) or favored like Soujirou (because he's not as good a fighter), and yet he is still obsessively loyal to Shishio to the point that Misao has to knock him out and Chou has to lie to him in order to keep him from killing himself in disgrace after he fails to carry out Shishio's last command to him.
- And then there's Hoji, who is clearly insane. He follows Shishio out of a near fanboyish belief in the latter's ability to change the world, and kills himself at the end when he realizes that he won't be able to spread Shishio's philosophy to the rest of the world.
- But he gets to go help Shishio and Yumi conquer Hell! Look how happy he is when Shishio asks if he's coming!
- In Trigun Dominique the Cyclops seems to be following Legato like this, just as Legato follows Knives (which is far more obvious in the manga than the anime). Knives isn't exactly sane either, though.
- Dominique never gets much character development. Legato, though...even the comparatively sane anime version of him is, in fact, fucking nuts, and this is presumably most of the reason he's so dedicated to helping Knives Kill All Humans.
- Since Knives himself isn't human, his desire to kill them could be considered rational in light of his and his species experiences with them. But any human who knows the extent of his omnicidal plan and follows him anyway would be a psycho supporter. Legato hates all humans including himself and believes they deserve to die, an attitude which Knives considers enlightened for him.
- Roberto from Monster, in a thoroughly creepy fashion.
- In Code Geass, Diethard Reid, a TV producer who joins La Résistance not because he agrees with them, but because they're epic. Rolo and V.V. — murderous yandere — count, too.
- Now now, lets be fair. Diethard was also bored at the time.
- As Diethard explains in the second season, he hates the way the world has gotten and simply wants it to change, meaning he'll latch onto whoever can change it. When Lelouch/Zero is chased out of the Black Knights, Diethard gloms onto Schneizel with the same fanatical devotion, which causes his death when he pulls a gun on Lelouch and is shot by a Geassed Schneizel.
- For a more literal interpretation of "Psycho Supporter": Amamiya Yuuhi of The Lucifer and Biscuit Hammer instantly pledges his complete loyalty to Princess Sami after she vows to stop the mages' plot to destroy the world so that she can do so herself with her own fists.
- Although after fighting the mage's golems, befriending his fellow beast knights, and coming to truly love both Sami and the world, he decides to stop her by his own hands.
- Mahou Sensei Negima! has Dark Action Girl Tsukuyomi, though she doesn't seem actually devoted to Fate himself: she seems to be following him solely so she'll have an opportunity to kill people. Oh, and have her way with Setsuna...
- Ni Jieni in Saiyuki. Interesting in that he is both a Psycho Supporter of Gyokumen.
- Arguable since it's very possible that Ni Jieni is the one manipulating Gyokumen.
- At any rate, just using her. He's psycho, and he's backing her up, but his psychosis doesn't instill loyalty or associate him with her cause.
- Shaiapouf from Hunter × Hunter. His goal is to make the Chimera Ant King's plans a reality, and, when Komugi, the human girl the King has taken in and played Gung-gi against, threatens to have the King turn back on his original plans by having him develop human emotion towards her, Pouf◊ has◊ an◊ epic◊ breakdown◊ and decides that it would be best to kill himself for the King's former ideals. Like Itsuki from YYH, his character seems to also have elements of Mad Love and Happiness in Slavery added in.
- It's especially funny because what he melts down about is that he almost just killed the girl to get her out of the way, before realizing that if she died his king could never beat her, never get over her, and never forget about her, and it would be the worst thing he could do. Therefore suicide pact with himself and screaming while he plays the violin.
- The other two Royal Guards are comparatively sane, though they have basically the same worldview. They're just...a lot more matter-of-fact and less romantic about it. Although when Pitou was on the ground in front of Gon, begging to be allowed to save the life of the blind girl who was "of importance to one who is of importance to me" before Gon proceeded with the revenge killing attempt, that was pretty...impressive.
- Yuno from Mirai Nikki.
- While there are plenty of zealots in Hellsing 'verse, the Iscariots are prepared to commit any sin in the service of the Lord.. because their ultimate goal is to continue the fight in Hell.
- Excel from Excel Saga is a psycho supporter of Lord Il Palazzo. Il Palazzo may be using mind control to gain supporters, but Excel is the only one who acts unhinged around him. She also uses the Subordinate Excuse to hang around him.
- Michiko of Texhnolyze is a seemingly quiet secretary/driver for Onishi. Then we see her collecting the Texhnolyze parts, many of which are still attached to living people...
- Oddly, some of Shibuya Yuri's most avid followers in Kyou Kara Maou are open to this accusation; i.e. following someone because of your own insanity rather than the merits of their position. Yuri's a Demon King, but his goals involve "world peace through people not fighting any more," "not doing his own paperwork" and "playing baseball."
- Gunter—apparently actually an extremely competent academic, highly skilled swordsman, and powerful majutsusha, despite coming off as a brain-damaged Shotacon Squishy Wizard. Being around Yuri just makes him dopey as hell, but also means he intently supports whatever Yuri wants, even when it's counter to every custom of the land.
- Conrad—almost as hypercompetent as he seems, and in fact a decent guy, but insane. Hard to say whether that first comes through when he tells Yuri that if Yuri gets killed Conrad will 'see him again soon' or when he is firm that to protect Yuri he will kill absolutely anyone, but that's just in the first dozen episodes, and by the end the level of his lifelong codependency issues have been thoroughly plumbed.
- He doesn't really believe in this peace thing, but he believes in Yuri. Because it's Yuri. And Yuri is the center of his universe. Because someone has to be.
- Wolfram—well, okay, he's just an eighty-four-year-old teenager in love. Pass.
- Hube—his The Atoner thing seems weirdly noble and is totally crazy, especially with the Death Seeker element. Especially crazy when you find out that the sin he was banished for was being a gung-ho commander during the last war and being careless with the troops. Which people don't even hold against him because of all the soldiers who died, they hate him because the blind White Magician Girl everyone loved knowingly worked herself to death trying to heal his casualties. So he's basically a scapegoat for the whole ruling class' guilt about everything that went wrong in that effed-up war. And then he follows Yuuri with dedication for not entirely buying into that, even though he still does.
- Eyeshield 21: Hiromi Kisiragi of the Hakushuu Dinosaurs is a Weak, but Skilled cornerback who is absolutely dedicated in his support of team leader Marco and centre Gaou. He is also very quietly insane, preaching a Blood Knight Fighting Narcissist philosophy that claims only strength is beautiful. This stems from his past as a weak, bullied chump, and plays directly into his support of Gaou and Marco.
- Kirika Kure from Puella Magi Oriko Magica is willing to do absolutely everything for her best friend Oriko (who she's in love with), to the point where she kills other magical girls because Oriko tells her to.
- Ukuleleman from Space Dandy is a huge fan of Space Dandy (the character), particularly in awe of his smile. Ukuleleman likes Dandy's smile so much that he invites Dandy to come visit his planet, where he intends to kill Dandy while he's smiling and preserve him as a statue so that Ukuleleman can admire Dandy's smile forever.
- In One Piece, Bartolomeo was once a crime syndicate leader, but soon became a fan of Monkey D. Luffy, setting out to sea in hopes of finding him one day. He keeps up to date with all the news regarding Luffy, even knowing of information that the World Government does not want leaked. Bartolomeo finally catches up to Luffy in Dressrosa—while he is normally quite villainous, causing death and destruction wherever he goes, he will gladly support the more heroic Luffy in everything he does (and has thus far been of great help to Luffy). He also cuts the tongues off of or otherwise maims anyone who speaks ill of Luffy within earshot.
- Some comics have played with the idea that Harley Quinn of Batman was at least slightly cracked before she met The Joker and that he simply unleashed her inner crazy, or that she'd still be just as nuts were he out of the picture...
- Glory to the chaos king in The Incredible Hercules
- The Dark Knight incarnation of the Joker's various minions have a healthy proportion of madmen among their numbers, who follow him because of his own crazed will.
- The photojournalist played by Dennis Hopper in Apocalypse Now.
- Repo! The Genetic Opera has the three Largo children for their father Rotti, and later, Luigi and Pavi for Amber in her bid to get control of Gene Co. In both cases, the leader isn't really outright evil until you take into account that not only do they turn a blind eye to the activities of their supporters, they actively enable them. Pavi Largo is the creepiest example of this; he seems fairly well adjusted as far as scarred sex addicts go until the crazy comes out to play.
- Shooter McGavin is more than happy to use his borderline stalker as a weapon against Happy Gilmore, up to and including running him down with a VW Beetle on a fairway, so long as he can get away from him as fast as possible afterwards.
- Implied with Le Fou in Beauty and the Beast. Not only does he continue to follow Gaston and like him despite being treated like trash, but the literal translation of his name is "The Fool" or "The Madman".
- In From Dusk Till Dawn, Richie is unquestionably devoted to his more mature brother Seth. Of course, this could be simply because they're brothers. On the other hand, Richie seems to enjoy - really enjoy - being a criminal in ways that even Seth finds repellent. When Richie rapes and murders a woman the brothers were holding hostage, for instance, it's hard to tell if Seth is upset because he's ashamed of Richie or because Richie's psychosis has put a crimp in their carefully-laid plans.
- The Dennis Hopper character in Apocalypse Now was modeled on "The Harlequin", a young Russian man in a harlequin-like suit in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness. He views the Anti-Villain of the novella, Kurtz, as some sort of religious cult figure (of course, Kurtz is plenty psychotic himself) — and it is implied (cautiously, as the story was written in 1899) that he and Kurtz have been in a homosexual relationship.
- Bellatrix Lestrange, in Harry Potter. Word Of God states that "her true love was always Voldemort," but he had no discernible affection for her, merely using her loyalty.
- The Vengeance in A Tale of Two Cities
- From the Alex Rider series:Conrad, The Dragon of General Sarov. Sarov at least has a noble goal from his mindset. Conrad just wants to kill things.
- In the sequel to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, the President's chief general is a Psychopathic Manchild. ("Let's blow everybody up! Bam bam boom blam blam!") The President and the Vice-President have to constantly keep him from going rogue...and he does respectfully, if unhappily, defer to them, thus fitting this trope.
- In The Wheel of Time there is Masema, a fanatic devoted to serving the Dragon Reborn, whether he wants it or not. He raises a rabble and mostly terrorizes the countryside. The Dragon makes some perfunctory efforts to get him under control, but in the end he has to be put down.
Live Action TV
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Caleb of the First, whom he basically sees as God.
- Beautifully subverted on an episode of Shark, when Serial Killer Wayne Callison's love-smitten publisher turned out to actually be a spy planted by Stark.
- Connor on Season 4 of Angel, regarding his loyalty to Jasmine.
- With maybe an unhealthy dose of Papa Wolf thrown in for good measure.
- A Season 5 episode of Smallville, called "Fanatic," features one of Lex Luthor's political campaign supporters going berserk and trying to kill his opponent Jonathan Kent.
- Jon Heidenreich was like this to Booker T who "showed him the light" in the form of a steel folding chair to his skull. Jon then moved on to Road Warrior Animal.
- Mickie James, until she realized her obsession with Trish Stratus was unhealthy and mellowed out.
- Rosa Mendes, who debuted on Raw assaulting Melina for "stealing Beth Phoenix's championship (as in winning in a wrestling match). Beth's boyfriend Santino had advice on how they could make the relationship work for them but Beth just took her support for granted.
- Steven Richards was like this to Victoria, even as the latter got Bored With Insanity.
- The Basham Brothers to Shaniqua, who was the "center of their universe". She treated them well, all things considered, or at least as well as you could expect, given her profession.
- Eugene to Triple H. Unlike most examples, Eugene wasn't violent, overly obsessive or a danger to Triple H's reputation. No, he was just blind to the fact Triple H was no good for him, or anyone else.
- Mrs. Lovett, the female lead of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Spurred on by obsessive (unrequited) love for the title character, she shelters him despite his tendency towards psychopathic murder and comes up with the plan of disposing of the corpses he produces by baking them into meat pies and selling them for, to her great satisfaction, a tidy profit.
- Harley Quinn from Batman: The Animated Series is an interesting take in the trope, because without someone to lead her, Harley doesn’t have the motivation to commit crimes. However, we see at Mad Love that of all the villains that compose the Batman Rogues Gallery, she is the one who was nearest to kill him... if she failed, it was simply because her motivation was to win the love of The Joker:
- The Joker abuses her with glee, until his death. After that, is implied she chose a tranquil life.
- Poison Ivy also abuses Harley and doesn’t want to give her enough credit for her part at their heists. In All There in the Manual, the The Batman Adventures comic book offers a reason why Ivy let Harley alone.
- And at Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, we see that Nanna Harley paid the Delia and Deirdre Dennis (better known as Dee Dee, Harley's grand daughters) bail to keep them out of jail. Even when Harley was calling them out, she paid their bail. In an alternate timeline, those two managed to kill all the Justice League.
- Princess Azula
- Though it's kind of unclear with her whether she follows the world-conquest thing so intently because she's insane, or because she was raised to conquer the world, or because of bad genetics Zuko managed to avoid, or...anyway, she follows Ozai as much because he's her father and she wants to please him as because she's a megalomaniac. A little more megalomania and she could have offed him at a some point.
- Maybe she would have. Once Zuko was safely dead, because even exiled he was technically first in line for the throne. But she still valued Ozai's opinion.
- Inferno, the pyromaniac fire ant from Beast Wars, is kind of an interesting case. Due to his beast mode instincts being so overpowering he firmly believes that he is an ant and that Megatron is Queen of the colony. This means Inferno is literally incapable of disobeying orders from his Queen, a trait that makes him one of Megatron's most valuable troops.