"Don't tell me to calm down. Calm was killing me."
Sometimes characters have every reason to be angry, but they try to hold it back for various reasons. Sometimes, the reasons are selfish; sometimes, they are because they know it would be wrong to get angry or that blowing their top would have bad consequences (such as losing their job, or getting arrested, or even people may die); and sometimes, the reason is just for the sake of appearances.
Eventually, there will be a last straw. It could range from a minor thing
, to out-and-out hitting the character's Berserk Button
. But, now, the flood of anger comes pouring out like water from a burst dam. It usually involves Unstoppable Rage
, but in some cases, it can even be Tranquil Fury
. Some stories might even have this trigger a Heroic Second Wind
. Also, if the character's Berserk Button
is hit, this character might even be twice
as berserk as usual.
of OOC Is Serious Business
, You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry
A Super Trope
to Rant Inducing Slight
(in that the trigger is very minor). Suddenly Shouting
often goes hand-in-hand with this.
Compare Trying Not to Cry
, Not So Stoic
, Teach Him Anger
, Break the Cutie
, Beware the Nice Ones
, Sudden Principled Stand
(principle is handled similarly), and Moment of Weakness
(which the Rage Breaking Point can provoke).
Contrast Hair-Trigger Temper
, The Stoic
, Passive-Aggressive Kombat
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Anime & Manga
- Minoru Shiraishi from Lucky Star. His moment was even made the page image for Beware the Nice Ones.
- When Naruto learned of the harm he caused by using the Nine-Tail's power to the point where he can't even control himself, he restrains his anger to avoid transforming again. After what seems like a month or so, his beloved mentor Jiraiya is killed, his village is destroyed while he is away, and his teacher Kakashi has died from overuse of chakra. All have been caused by one guy, Pain. Naruto goes to defeat Pain with his new power, but is quickly brought down. Of all times, Hinata decides try to be brave enough to attack Pain, but she is thrown around and then stabbed. Naruto, now an over-pressured boiler filled with rage, gives himself to the very power that harmed his comrades before... but it also, for the first time, scared Pain because he suddenly found that even his vaunted power was No Sell against the power of Nine-Tails. By the time Naruto finally came back out of it, Pain was not as confident as before.
- Bleach: Having been in a state of Tranquil Fury for many chapters ever since his Number Two Choujirou Sasakibe was killed, Yamamoto finally hits his Rage Breaking Point in Chapters 503-505. In the story's most epic It's Personal Berserk Button moment to date, the entire shinigami city feels his rage explode like a volcano triggering an Heroic Second Wind in the captains that had been struggling until that point.
- Possibly the most tear jerking example happens to Gohan in Dragon Ball Z. First off, he and all his friends (and family) are fighting against the super powerful Cell, and one after another, they all fall. Eventually, Android #16 decides to try and perform a Taking You with Me Attack that doesn't work, because the bomb inside him was removed by Dr. Briefs. Cell then completely destroys him, save for his still-alive head, which Mr Satan tosses to Gohan. #16 then proceeds to tell Gohan to unleash his rage, as it's for the greater good. Then Cell crushes his head. Let's just say things didn't go well for Cell.
- An earlier and particularly iconic example would be when Frieza killed Krillin on Namek, finally infuriating Goku enough to trigger his first Super Saiyan transformation.
- Natsu from FairyTail has reached this point more often than not involving slights done against his friends and guildmates.
- Erza reached a big one in the Grand Magic Games against Minerva who piled on many rage-inducing incidents. The build-up to it was when she and Kagura finally fought to an agreement and the latter was going to concede the fight (and the resulting points) to Erza, only for Minerva to steal Kagura's own sword and run her through from behind, stealing the points and gravely wounding one of Erza's oldest acquaintances. She then dumped the bloodied body of Millina in front of both of them, citing her boredom at having to wait for the previous fight to finish. This face says it all.
- In the Arcos special Chapter of Honor Trip, Kaji's story begins with a flashback to another soldier egging him on and insulting him. He wouldn't have succeeded in getting to Kaji, if he hadn't first implied that Kaji didn't deserve his rank, and then attacked his weak points. Also, Kaji probably wouldn't have beaten him to death.
- In the Pony POV Series, Dark World!Derpy's life has basically been a living hell not including the last thousand years she's lived in a Dystopia. But she's still a cheerful ditz most of the time (despite being the new Element of Loyalty and one of the group's main fighters). Then the Valeyard decides to basically tap-dance on her Berserk Buttons as he tries to painfully kill the group. She finally takes her entire life out on him in a moment of Tranquil Fury, beating him to death after his regeneration template is destroyed, killing the Valeyard incarnation of the Doctor for good.
- Shinji in TheSecondTry. Having been sent back in time, Shinji has been suppressing rage at his asshole father and SEELE for the stuff that went down in End of Evangelion. He also keeps calm even though him and Asuka resolved their issues, got married and had a child after Third Impact but lost that when both went back in time. Shinji then watches Eva-02 (piloted by Asuka, again) blow up. Shinji becomes Death incarnate and mows down an army of Evas before almost causing Third Impact.
- Inevitably happens in the Hunger Games fanfiction Some Semblance of Meaning with Career tribute Deuteragonist Obsidian. He is willing to put up with the other Careers' indifference to the death of one of their own. He's even willing to keep his mouth shut when they maliciously joke about killing Vale next, just after the death of her district partner, Kit. But when they kill a defenseless fawn for the fun of it, that's going too far for him.
- In Mass Effect Human Revolution, Adam has a Tranquil Fury-fueled Heroic Second Wind when Toombs calls him an Illuminatus.
- In the novel The Bishop's Heir, after Morgan and Duncan fail to save Sidana's life when Llewell slashes her throat just after she exchanged wedding vows with Kelson, Morgan looks up and sees Llewell's triumphant expression, leaps to his feet, grabs Llewell by his tunic, yanks him downward and shouts, "On your knees before your king, Mearan excrement!" He wants to kill Llewell and says so. Cardiel has to grasp Morgan by the wrist and forbid him from acting.
- In a form of Teach Him Anger, in Mercedes Lackey's Storm Breaking Karal has to bring An’desha past this point to prove to him that he can release his emotions without losing control of his powers.
- In Small Favor, from The Dresden Files, Harry is tired, angry, scared (mostly for his friend who is being eyed intently by a Valkyrie) and being chased by fallen angels. When one of them shoots his friend with an AK-47, Harry flips out and blasts a massive hole in the shooters chest (the shooter being a 2000 years old, demon possessed and a heavy weight sorcerer to boot) with a fire blast that is described as so intense it was almost a solid object.
Harry: Fuego. Pyrofuego! BURN!
- Earlier, in Grave Peril, Harry quickly discovers that he's been manipulated into a losing position: if he acts, it's bad. If he doesn't act, it's bad. In addition, he's found out that his lover has been cursed, his friends are in peril, and his lack of forethought and planning might spell doom for the Knights of the Cross. On top of all that, his discovery was planned for all of this to have maximum psychological impact. He responds thusly:
Harry: Fuego! Pyrofuego! Burn, you greasy bat-faced bastards! BURN!
- In White Night we get a flashback to Harry at a Warden training camp. Some ghouls attack one morning, and take two of the trainees(who are teenagers) captive. Harry rushes to rescue them, but not only are they already dead they are being eaten as he finds them. His reaction is... chilling. He flies into Tranquil Fury and brutally slaughters some ghouls, maims another and sets it to run back to its superiors and horrifically tortures the last before executing him in front of the rest of the trainees and Wardens.
Ramirez: "What happened to not hating them?"
Harry: "Things Change"
- And after the final execution...
Harry: "That's the only way to serve it up. Cold."
- The Worlds of Power novelization for Ninja Gaiden explains the "art of the fire wheel" as a weapon Ryu was taught to create through his anger. He unleashes it when struggling against a difficult enemy gets heaped on top of the other issues currently plaguing him — becoming a CIA lackey, failing to protect his father's old associate, and having no leads on his father's whereabouts.
- In the Dale Brown novel Tiger's Claw a Drill Sergeant Nasty has it in for Bradley, accusing him of nepotism and insulting Patrick to his face. Bradley tries to rein in his anger at having his father badmouthed, oh he tries, even swallowing his pride and apologising for near-assault even when the other guy stuffs in a bunch of deliberately humiliating extra conditions... but when the Drill Sergeant Nasty just refuses to let it go and sneaks in one last barb sotto voce, oh, it was on.
Live Action Television
- One episode of Malcolm in the Middle had Malcolm deciding to keep his opinions to himself. However throughout the episode he constantly gets annoyed by his family and the idiocy of his basketball team that we hear his rage in his thoughts which gets more and more distorted. Eventually he holds it in so much that he gets sick with a peptic ulcer and has to be taken to the hospital. His mother demands to know what he's so stressed about at his age. Malcolm decides to just let loose right then and there.
- A rather scary example occurs in season four of Merlin, when Arthur confronts Gwen about kissing Lancelot on the night before their wedding. He starts out speaking quietly and calmly, listing reasons for her behavior. When she doesn't agree with any of them he completely loses it, starts yelling, and grabs her by the shoulders. Almost immediately, though, the rage subsides and he apologizes.
- In Season 3 of Boardwalk Empire, agent Van Alden (living under the alias of George Mueller), is trying to make a living as Chicago's least successful door-to-door salesman, and puts up with no end of abuse and humiliation from his coworkers. Then one of them brings up the subject of his wife. The result is this.
- In this strip of Hanna is Not a Boys Name, Lamont tries to shake hands with a ridiculously stressed out Conrad. It does not go down well.
Conrad: Stop. Just Stop.
I ran all the way here and I had to do it completely by memory because it's not like this dingy place has a f#cking listing
. I got lost and a hooker tried to kiss me and you're damn lucky I no longer run out of breath.
And I finally find this hack's hole in the wall that somehow passes off as a clinic, and whoa! Lucky me!
Some shady greasy
guy is dropping off organs like it's goddamn takeout. No I do not want to meet you. NO
, I do not want to shake your hand
- Bittersweet Candy Bowl sees Mike eventually reach this point when he thinks Lucy is passive-aggressively Playing the Victim Card and trying to guilt him into feeling bad that his long distance girlfriend Sandy is visiting over winter holiday. Instead of lashing out physically, he lays out a devastating "The Reason You Suck" Speech, which takes her to task for ten years of abuse. Made all the more painful by the fact this calling-out comes while she's trying to improve and stop being such a hot-headed Tsundere.
- Happened in Gunnerkrigg Court twice, to Antimony, who is usually nice and calm to the point of seeming emotionless. The second time was very unhealthy and prompted her to jump on the first proposal of teaching her some self-control.
- Piro from the webcomic MegaTokyo. Normally the nicest guy you could ask for, wouldn't hurt a fly. But he's been shown to have a violent temper, so push him over the edge at your peril. See also Beware the Quiet Ones.
- Aranea Serket from Homestuck is one of the most patient characters in the comic, dedicated to spreading knowledge to an almost unhealthy extent, but if you abridge something complicated down to one sentence or throw a gathering she's arranged into chaos for no reason, she will flip out - nonviolently, but spectacularly.
- Jane is a cheerful kid, but when Jake talks about his dating life once too often having lost track of the time until her birthday, she completely loses it, delivers a massive "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Jake (who still remains a clue-free zone), revokes his invitation, tramples her computer headset into a thin film on the ground, and throws a table off a roof.
- Billy Thatcher from morphE has been kidnapped from his successful reality TV show while training for the oncoming Chess World Championship. He is forced to fight an idiot college kid in a battle to the death and is nearly killed by him before awakening as an Obrimos mage. His captor flirts with him relentlessly and downplays his objections to the situation. He barely sleeps because of a nightmare about his fingers being cut off and stuffed in his mouth. He cannot remember the last time he had anything to eat or drink... And then Amical refuses to let him read a newspaper.
- Played for Laughs when Brows Held High reviewed A Serbian Film.
- Happens when Arthéon ends up losing it in the Season 4 finale of Noob.
- In To Boldly Flee, 8-Bit Mickey has been abducted (again) by The Nostalgia Critic and roped into yet another wacky adventure. However, it isn't until a minor villain, Lame R. Prick, starts making short jokes that Mickey snaps and shoves Prick's head into a weed wacker.
- Speaking of The Nostalgia Critic, the title character can get very annoyed by a movie and it will usually be a stupid line or action that sets him off on one of his trademark tirades.
- Fred Clark, the author of the Slacktivist blog, has a distinct tendency to get pissed off when the Left Behind "books" trumpet their fidelity to Biblical literalism. Sixty pages into Tribulation Force, for example, there is actually a picture of a page of that novel torn out, screwed up and unfolded so you can see what it is, accompanied by a rant.
- Brain Scratch Commentaries: Part 5 of Johnny's Sonic Genesis playthrough. After spending hours suffering through the game's sporadic slowdown and horrendous collision detection, a surprise death on the last boss finally sets him off. The part is even titled "And now, RAGE."