"Kill them all."
"Hmm, are you sure?"
It seems that in fiction split personalities
can talk to each other, manifesting as Hearing Voices
. Never mind that only one of them is "awake" at one time, the other(s) being separated until they think they need to come "forward". Never mind that they are completely different people, with different opinions, experiences, and beliefs caused by each only seeing one part of the picture.
A character with split personality also seems to be split between good and evil, like an Evil Twin
, even though split personalities are often many "people" — such as the protector, snob, scared one, bitter one, etc.
Not to be confused with Talking to Himself
or Thinking Out Loud
. Compare Holding Both Sides of the Conversation
, where one person is pretending
to be two different people (at the same time, in conversation) in order to maintain some charade.
Very important: do not
confuse Thinking Out Loud
with this. Thinking Out Loud
is not a symptom of mental illness in most cases (and is actually a recommended coping mechanism
for ADD/ADHD, some learning disabilities, those recovering from a stimulant drug addiction, or similar persons with attention or concentration deficit issues), and is instead a way of maintaining focus or processing information on a task.
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Anime and Manga
- Agito, Akito and Lind of Air Gear all inhabit the same body and talk to each other occasionally.
- The song "Morning Dreamer" from Angel Beats! is about Yui (the one singing the song) not wanting to get up in the morning, but having to, and asking someone to heat the bath, buy a new guitar string to replace a broken one, etc. The song ends with Yui saying "Anyway, who have I been talking to when I live alone?"
- In Birdy the Mighty, Birdy and Tsutomu often talk to each other, and characters around them tend to think that they've gone crazy and are talking to themselves, but entirely retain their own personalities. In the manga this is even taken so far as Tsutomu not understanding Birdy's superior's speaking, while Birdy herself can.
- Change 123: Motoko has three other personalities that are master martial artists. When they emerge, they are fully aware of the two others, but Motoko herself is unable to communicate with them. This frequently causes problems when she 'wakes up' and has no idea of her current situation.
- Viro in Elemental Gelade is a spy with the bad fortune to fall for her target. Even worse, he's already an Official Couple with Ren. Just when things look like they can't get any worse, she gets the order to kill him. Faced with killing her new friends or a lifetime of unrequited love as a Sting Raid, she gets into an argument with hallucinations of herself as a Sting Raid (complete with a hot outfit) and as a human.
- In Mobile Suit Gundam 00, Allelujah's personalities talk and yell at each other during times of stress. The more violent one has a tendency to torment the calmer personality if he can't seize control or thinks it would be funner to watch the calmer one squirm. It is implied that the violent personality was somehow artificially implanted.
- Subverted in Kara no Kyoukai: a key part of the plot revolves around Shiki's split personality (and the consequences of its death), but Tohko correctly notes that what she has cannot be called split personalities, as they're far too independent and separate from each other (see quote).
Shiki: There's nothing funny about having a dual personality.
Tohko: No, no. You know, you two don't have anything as pleasing to look at as dissociative identity disorder. Existing simultaneously, each having their own unique will, and on top of that your actions are coordinated. That sort of complex personality shouldn't be called a "dissociated identity," but rather a "united independent personality."
- In Keroro Gunsou, Momoka and "the Other Momoka" do this sometimes. We later learn her mother Ouka has a similar situation.
- Zetsu from Naruto also has a easygoing, carefree side, and a very calculating side, both evil. In the dub, they originally even had their own individual voice actor. And can even split apart.
- Naruto and his shadow clones talk to one another as if they actually have the same personality but different identities. It's never clearly explained exactly what a shadow clone is, other than the solid version of a clone technique note .
- In One Piece, during the Thriller Bark arc, Usopp has a conversation with his alter ego Sogeking.
- Yaya gets this with Nana in Othello after she is aware of her split personality.
- A woman in Paranoia Agent receives messages on her answering machine from her other personality. Later, as her grasp on reality becomes weaker, she gets actual phone calls, and hallucinates a physical fight.
- In Princess Tutu, after Mytho's heart is poisoned by the Raven's blood, he often asks "what the other him inside of him wants," and protests its actions.
- Moka in Rosario + Vampire occasionally communicates with her inner self via her Power Limiter.
- Ren and Run from To Love-Ru: occasionally one of them will demand that the other "Turn into me!" so the one making the demand can put moves on the object of his or her affection. This demand is typically refused with the words "Go back to sleep!"
- Everyone with a Yami side in Yu-Gi-Oh! and GX: Yugi and Atem, Malik and Yami Malik, Fubuki and Darkness, Saiou and the Light of Ruin... Of course, in most cases these are actually separate characters, who inhabit the bodies of the regular ones.
- A rather odd example happened in a two part episode in GX where Mizuchi confronted Judai and Edo in a virtual world. To face them in a team duel, she used the virtual technology to divide herself into two different avatars, who were able to talk to each other despite technically being the same person.
- Sensui from YuYu Hakusho has arguments with himself on who gets to fight Urameshi.
- People who haven't touched the Death Note could easily mistake the owners of said book as doing this. Then again, it'd make sense when they're on a downward spiral towards insanity.
- In one episode of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, Saiou's sister Mizuchi traps Judai and Edo in a virtual reality arena and challenges them. In order to face them two-on-two, she uses the virtual technology to somehow divide herself into two Mizuchis. Despite the fact that they are, for all practical purposes, the same person, they are able to converse with each other this way throughout the whole duel.
- Batman's Two-Face.
- Also, the Ventriloquist and Scarface. The Ventriloquist firmly believes that the puppet Mr. Scarface is alive, but he's the one controlling and voicing him the entire time. This actually makes the character very tragic, as the Ventriloquist himself is a mild-mannered and reasonably nice person bound into an abusive relationship with himself.
- Or Scarface might actually BE alive and a vessel of the evils over 300 hanged men committed. Or something. It varies. though with the original Ventriloquist now dead and a female replacement having shown up, it's somewhat more credible, although she's visibly as crazy as the original. Scarface's explanation is simply that he was looking for a more comfortable place to sit.
- Bruce Banner and his many personalities have done this, but generally only the ones not "active" at the time. At one point it was lampshaded that it was just a metaphor for his inner struggle and he was just imagining it.
- The Badger, protagonist of Mike Baron's super-hero spoof of the same name, had several extra personalities that would sometimes communicate with each other.
- Deadpool does that in a way that Breaks The Fourth Wall: he has entire discussions with his own thought boxes. Of which he has two distinct sets: the first set was originally the standard yellow narration boxes often seen in comics, except that he interacts with them. Some time in the 2000's, a second set appeared, white boxes written in Courier, as though it was being written on a typewriter. Thus far, the two voices haven't developed seperate personalities, and bear a suspicious resemblence to Crow and Tom Servo. This being Deadpool, he is aware that the reader can see them.
- The video game gives them the personalities of "serious" and "child", though even the serious one is completely bonkers.
- Triplicate Girl/Triad from the Legion of Super-Heroes does this very often when her three bodies are separate, the three of them talking amongst themselves and even arguing at times. This is especially true for her Post-Zero Hour reboot version.(While her powers are common for the inhabitants of her planet, this sort of behavior is not; they consider it a form of insanity, although her grandmother insisted it was natural.)
- Since his rebirth as a child Loki has this. In Journey into Mystery Kid!Loki's pet magpie, and evil advisor, Ikol existed only in his head and was the remnant of his old self's consciousness. In Young Avengers and later Loki: Agent of Asgard his Body Snatcher old self has the Kid around, who acts as conscience.
- Evangelion 303: Asuka's inner turmoil and conversations are shown like two Asukas talking to each other. Usually her common sense is lecturing her -constantly on display- emotional side. It can be seen in chapters 4, 12 and 14. Here is an example.
- Luminosity's Elspeth has this as a manifestation of her witch power. And can make more if need be.
- Cruise Control in Turnabout Storm, although yelling to himself would be far more accurate. At least when he's Obfuscating Stupidity.
- Good Cop/Bad Cop does this in A Piece Of Rebellion. While the currently non-dominiant personality can communciate with the other through their thoughts, this seems to only go one way. That or the other's just used to responding vocally.
- In Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, Harry creates lots of internal voices to debate various courses of action in his head. He creates one representing each Hogwarts House along with a few more standard ones like the Inner Critic. Amusingly, at one point in the story most of the voices decide to mercilessly make fun of him when they think he's putting too much thought into something.
- In Lois McMaster Bujold's Mirror Dance, when Mark develops split personalities, they not only talk but actively choose which personality will be in control at a given time.
- In The Truth, Altogether Andrews of the Discworld beggars has eight personalities (none of them, oddly enough, named Andrews). Each one gets a vote when the crew is deciding something. Except for Burke. Nobody wants to see Burke again.
- And Agnes Nitt can't have a single thought without Perdita arguing with it.
- One memorable sequence in The Lord of the Rings features Gollum arguing with himself — a concept transferred rather successfully to the movies.
- In the Doctor Who Expanded Universe novels, the different incarnations of the Doctor have been known to pop up and argue with each other.
- Edgar of Edgar & Ellen doesn't have a split personality, but he starts doing this in Split Ends to keep himself company.
- In Beyond the Barrier by Damon Knight a creature that has spent many years hiding inside, and as, a human can no longer shake that side of himself. He is challenged to do what the human would do and not what he wants to do
- In Michael Flynn's Up Jim River, Donovan. His multiple personalities were induced deliberately, but the manner was bungled — also, perhaps, deliberately.
- Ransom briefly develops this in Out of the Silent Planet, with his body seeing his rational mind as a second person who helps him find a place to sleep.
- In Galaxy of Fear Tash speaks to a ghost who is Invisible to Normals - no one else can see, hear, or otherwise perceive him. Since she tries to get his help while being threatened by the Big Bad, said Big Bad assumes she's doing this and says it won't save her.
- Variation in the New Jedi Order. Tahiri and her Yuuzhan Vong alter-ego Riina have several conversations inside Tahiri's mindscape, but never talk to each other out lout- Tahiri is shown to black out whenever Riina takes control of their body, making this sort of interaction impossible (Riina, for her part, states that she is aware, but impotent while Tahiri is in the driver's seat).
- A big part of Geoph Essex's Jackrabbit Messiah: at least half of Jack's dialogue is in his conversation with God, the fussy voice in his head (Jack is schizophrenic). Their relationship is full of snarky insults (mostly on God's part), but when push comes to shove, both would admit that they're each other's best friend.
Jack: How come I don't have any friends?
God: Maybe because, outside of your uncle, you never have more than one conversation with a single person.
Jack: I have a lot of conversations with you.
God: If you're going to count imaginary friends, you're going to run out of fingers.
- Harry Potter does this himself on occasion.
Live Action TV
- In Smallville, the good Alexander and the evil Lex Luthor does this and even get into a fight.
- In the final episodes of season 5 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer the arguments between Glory and Ben, though in this case they are distinct characters with different actors who just happen to be sharing a body. They've been turning into one another back and forth for years, but only in that instance are they able to interact this way because the mystical barriers keeping them separate were breaking down. Their personalities also started bleeding into one another just before they are able to interact.
- Alpha from Dollhouse regularly engages in arguments between the various imprinted personalities within his mind.
- More justified than most, because he's not a normal case, but rather somebody with multiple artificial personalities. As such all of them are constantly "on." Also, he actually does have a few personalities with schizophrenia or multiple personality disorder, but it doesn't seem that the personalities with actual mental disorders can talk to themselves.
- Niki/Jessica from Heroes.
- In Volume Four, Sylar starts to have conversations with his dead mother. And since he has Voluntary Shapeshifting, he assumes her form for her side of the conversation, too.
- Liz in 30 Rock gets a case of Acquired Situational Narcissism after getting her own talk show, leading to a confrontation between "Performer Liz" and "Backstage Liz".
- Happens occasionally in Kamen Rider Den-O as a consequence of four spirit creatures Sharing a Body with the main character.
- And also in Kamen Rider Double, where the titular hero is made by having the consciousness of one person join with the body of another; this is represented by having Double's eyes flash on the side representing the person who's talking.
- In an episode of Lie to Me, a girl with multiple personalities is able to share information, between one personality that witnessed a murder, and another that is capable of communicating with the team.
- Jekyll: After being drugged, Jackman is more than a little surprised when Hyde is able to contact him.
"How could you be phoning me?"
"Jesus! I'm not phoning you. I'm in your head."
- The Twilight Zone episode "Nervious Man in a Four Dollar Room", and The New Twilight Zone episode "Shatterday" starring Bruce Willis... and Bruce Willis.
- Rutland Weekend Television had the fictional talk show 'Schizophrenia', in which the host regularly talked to himself regarding if it was his turn to present the guest or the other personality's turn.
- Michelle did this in the final episode of Full House after she lost her memory and she ended up to talking to her inner self.
- Criminal Minds. The season 2 episodes "The Big Game" and "Revelations" dealt with a man named Tobias Hankel (James Van Der Beek) who was abused by his psychotic father after his mother left for another man, telling him that everything he did was a sin and abused him by claiming he's doing "God's work". He ended up killing his father but he remained as a split personality of his, and when he murdered people he called himself "Raphael" which is one of the archangels. Sometimes he would argue with himself as his father and switch between the three personalities at random: as himself he was friendly and helpful, as Charles his father he was abusive and gave lectures, and as Raphael he would murder someone or force his hostages to choose which victims would live or die.
- The Andromeda Ascendant and her avatar Rommie occasionally talk to each other. As do her holographic and monitor selfs.
Hunt: "You know, talking to yourself is the first sign of insanity."
Andromeda/Rommie (simultaneously): "Only for wetware."
- A third-season episode of Babylon 5 has Doctor Franklin get stabbed while stopping someone from being killed in Down Below, and being left for dead. As he calls for help, he is answered... by a hallucination of himself, in all his Doctor Jerk glory. What ensues is a withering "The Reason You Suck" Speech, with Hallucination!Franklin telling Bleeding!Franklin that he is a failure, that he always runs away from his problems rather than face them, that if he had another chance, that he'd screw it all up anyways. This turns into a Rousing Speech after Franklin refuses to give up, even if it does mean failing more, as his hallucination drives him to drag himself, bleeding, to a populated part of the station to seek help.
- The Tok'ra of Stargate SG-1 can do this, since they are a variation on Puppeteer Parasite that forms a symbiotic relationship with their host instead of controlling it. "Seth" features an instance of Jacob Carter's symbiote Selmak telling Samantha Carter that Jacob has some unfinished business with his son Mark (Sam's brother), and that Mark not visiting Jacob while he was dying hurt him greatly. Jacob contradicts Selmak almost immediately.
- In Season 7, episode 13 of Doctor Who the Doctor seemingly talks to himself when the Cybermen attempt to take over his mind. He even plays a game of chess with himself while in this state.
- Overtones by Alice Gerstenberg.
- The musical Jekyll & Hyde has "Jekyll" and "Hyde" do this. And, of course, they're both played by the same actor, who has to go through quite a bit of effort to make it feel like a dialogue between two different people.
- Medea debates with herself out loud about whether or not to murder her children. She doesn't actually have multiple personalities but the scene bears striking similarities to many of these.
- Equipping The Second Opinion on the Medic in Team Fortress 2 will cause this.
"Do you ever think that you might be going mad?"
"Oh, all zhe time. I don't zhink it's anyzhing to worry about."
- Fred/Napoleon Bonaparte from Psychonauts, the latter being more a manifestation of Fred's crippling insecurities and low self-esteem. Fred's completely aware that Napoleon is a figment of his imagination; he just can't make him go away. And he should know all about insanity, he used to be the orderly.
- In Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines Therese and Jeanette Voerman have protracted and extremely noisy arguments - most of which are held behind closed doors.
- At one of the main climaxes in Santa Monica you can find her as half Therese and half Jeanette. With a gun to "their" head. You have to talk them down so they can coexist (which is extremely difficult this early in the game) or influence the "death" of one of them, only leaving the other.
- Vayne Aurelius and his Superpowered Evil Side at the end of Mana Khemia Alchemists Of Alrevis.
- Pat (Tsukasa) in Mega Man Star Force has split personality disorder, and his hateful emotions manifest as a dark alter ego called Rey (Hikaru). When merged with Gemini, Pat and Rey become Gemini Spark White and Gemini Spark Black, respectively. (In the second game, he's able to wave change even though he's banished Rey from inside of him.)
- Charon, a Ghoul companion the player can recruit in Fallout 3, is not canonically stated to have multiple personalities, but his back story is traumatic enough to allow for it and he does talk to himself as if more than one person is involved. He can be heard to say, "Over here!" and "Keep firing!" to himself when in conflict with enemies, and when sneaking or waiting for the player, he mutters indecipherably.
- The main character in Deadly Premonition, Francis York Morgan, is continuously talking to the invisible "Zach", who appears to be an alternate personality and who may or may not be the player as well.
- Best Friend Tabitha in Fallout: New Vegas. It's heavily implied that this is the case on her radio show, where she claims to be doing an interview with "Rhonda", only to say mournfully to herself later, "I still miss you, Rhonda, after all these years." Raul also refers to Rhonda as "Tabitha" briefly before hastily correcting himself.
- Two-Face briefly goes through this in the first level of Batman: Arkham City as his two sides argue over whether to dunk Catwoman in a vat of acid, or put her on trial with a Joker Jury first, then dunk her in said vat of acid.
- Xel'lotath, the Ancient of Madness in Eternal Darkness, speaks in two voices: one imperious and rational, the other whispering and paranoid. When talking to Pious the second voice starts doubting his loyalty, and she has a short conversation with herself as she decides whether to drive him insane, kill him, or first one, then the other.
- In Umineko: When They Cry this turns out to be the case with Shannon, Kanon and Beatrice, who are all personas of Yasu, and whose discussions symbolize the conflicts that exist in Yasu's heart. This is done so seamlessly that you most likely won't notice it until much later in the story, and when you reread the series with this trope in mind every conversation between them changes completely.
- Eva also does this with her imagined younger self, who later becomes EVA-Beatrice.
- First off, there's been one occasion in Ansem Retort where Aerith's split personalities have addressed each other. And then there's the time Axel and Zexion hijack a plane and try to negotiate with the governor...Zexion. Who talks to his chief advisor... Axel.
- Cerene of Suppression does this in just about every scene where there's more than one of her. Probably doesn't help that she's naturally kind of a chatterbox and tends to argue with and snark at herself. This trope is especially prominent when she uses Mind Prism: Red Cerene and Grey Cerene tend to butt heads, and nobody seems to like Blue Cerene.
- Tina of Wapsi Square does this a bit. She even argues about pizza toppings.
- John and Poor Trotmann of The Word Weary have entire issues devoted to their one-man conversations, even going so far as to refer to themselves in the second person.
- Jix and Remula and Lamerix and the Ambis do this a lot.
- Dan Shive author of El Goonish Shive sketched this after arguing with himself on Twitter.
- In Life, Felicia/Natalie converse with each other on several occasions, occasionally to their/her discomfiture.
- Haley in The Order of the Stick loses her ability to speak coherently, and the longer she is unable to communicate with others, the more she holds internal conversations with aspects of herself, especially her hypercritical teenaged self.
- Anna and Susan do this in Web Comic/Sire when they want to discuss private matters, such as Emilie being descended from Inspector Javert or how none of the other characters know that they were the ones that murdered Paul.
- Jen Delaney of The Jenkinsverse originally starts talking to herself to stave off loneliness during four months alone on an alien world. Over time, "Old Jen" - the embodiment of her timid nobody former self - becomes a fully-fledge mental voice with her own opinions, who carries on conversations with "New Jen".
- In Survival of the Fittest, Kaleigh Jones, Nessy Guthrie, and arguably Cillian Crowe go through this. Oddly, Kaleigh seemed to be able to decide which of her personalities was in control at any given time.
- The Whateley Universe has Jade. Justified in the fact that Jade's main power is in splitting off telekinetic manifestations of her soul/spirit - which makes it a lot easier for her to do that than it would for most people. Also either justified or subverted in that each manifestation does have the same memories and experiences as Jade when they first split off from her - it's only time that changes this. Too long away from each other tends to lead to Jade passing out when they reunite, due to Sensory Overload while her brain assimilates the memories.
- Each page on TV Tropes (except for discussion and Troper Tales) is supposed to look like it was written by the same person and therefore, tropers are not supposed to refer to themselves individually (by saying "I" or "This troper") or have arguments on trope pages. However, some tropers do this anyway, making such pages look like they were written by someone with a Split Personality who is Talking to Themself.
- In StarHarborNights Perfect does this with a stuff rabbit.
- Karim Debbache does it constantly in Crossed, with his "other self" often intervening to make naive remarks or ask stupid questions.
You want to know how shitty The Nineties
were? I grew up in the nineties, and now I'm on the Internet, talking to myself.
- Animerica: Kiyone did this very often with his "evil" side until it reached the point where he could no longer hold it back and the evil side became dominant. The second time they talk, he manages to successfully defeat him due to The Powerof Friendship and The Powerof Love combined.
- In the Season 3 finale of The Guild, Cyd has a conversation with her avatar Codex in her imagination. Later in the episode, it's strongly implied that she's developing a genuine Split Personality.
- Fan-made Twilight parody Twilight The Musical uses this comically. Edward Cullen must argue his evil reflection about whether or not he should eat Bella.
- Further Hilarity Ensues in later episodes, when his schizo conversations grow to include more characters: a doll and cardboard stand-up of Robert Pattinson.
- Dragon Ball Z Abridged has Piccolo do this after fusing with Nail, who remains a voice in Piccolo's head. Nail claims he'll fade away into Piccolo's subconscious eventually, but he shows no signs of this. This just gets worse with the addition of Kami.
- Technically occurs in Red vs. Blue when Church talks to Delta, Omega, Gamma, or any other of the Freelancer AIs, as Church is actually the remains of the Alpha AI from which the other AIs were split. However, it's only at the very end of season 6 that he knowingly does this immediately before almost all of the AIs are destroyed in an EMP.
- South Park features Mr. Garrison engaged in constant dialogue with his puppet, Mr. Hat. Made even stranger by the fact that Mr. Hat would sometimes do things without Garrison's knowledge. Weirdly, Garrison understands that Mr. Twig is inanimate and only pretends to talk to him, while he sees Mr. Hat as a sentient being.
- Spider-Man: The Animated Series features Norman Osborn/the Green Goblin doing this, complete with use of mirrors. This version of Osborn is the closest the guy has ever come to being a decent man and parent, but his Goblin persona was as demented as usual.
- Blitzwing of Transformers Animated is an odd case that isn't a good/evil split, but rather calm/angry/manic. All three are evil, but they tend to argue over the correct course of action. Oddly, this doesn't make him any less effective.
- Blitzwing's arguments with himself are actually reasonably rare, as his personalities usually have the same objective. Clashes between his Icy and Hothead personas are usually solved by Random.
- Though fans often like to make use of this fact: here
- There's also the five-faced Alpha Q in Transformers Energon. Years of isolation inside Unicron drove him into insanity just to have someone to talk to. He does seem to have one core, real personality with a childlike voice. It isn't represented by a face but only manifests itself when he's got his jaws shut.
- Coldstone in Gargoyles has three souls, which not only converse, but fight for dominance.
- Mr. Fix from Around the World in 80 Days would do this often throughout the series.
- Twilight Sparkle in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic does this during a psychotic breakdown in "Lesson Zero". As a homage to The Lord of the Rings, it's done via reflective puddle, with her face representing one side of the argument and the face in the reflection representing the other.
- Minor example in "Baby Cakes" when Pinkie converses with herself during her comedy act.
- Barry Dylan, in Archer talks to himself frequently, referring to himself as "Barry" and "Other Barry."
- Foop in Fairly OddParents suffers from this.
- In the second season of Young Justice, this is how Blue Beetle's arguments with his sentient armor plays out, causing his teammates to think of him as a little bit... "special".
- This is taken Up to Eleven with the appropriately named villain Billy Numerous on Teen Titans. He has the ability to create hundreds of duplicates of himself, and the duplicates talk to each other a lot, referring to each other as "Billy" as they do so.
Man to The Shrink
: "Doctor, you've got to help me! I talk to myself!"
Shrink: "That's not that bad. Sometimes, even I do that."
Man: "Yes, doctor - but I'm such a bore!"
- In When Rabbit Howls, more or less an autobiography of Truddi Chase, who has multiple personality disorder, the author's various personalities have internal conversations with each other.
- Some writers describe having their characters talk to them and/or each other inside their heads.