"Anger ... it's a paralyzing emotion ... you can't get anything done. People sort of think it's an interesting, passionate, and igniting feeling —- I don't think it's any of that —- it's helpless ... it's absence of control —- and I need all of my skills, all of the control, all of my powers ... and anger doesn't provide any of that —- I have no use for it whatsoever."
—Toni Morrison, interview with Don Swaim, 1987
So Bob is constantly angry. Maybe he has a bunch of Berserk Buttons
. Or maybe he has a Hair-Trigger Temper
. Perhaps he's prone to Hulking Out
and going into a frenzy
. Sooner or later his friends
get fed up with his temper. Or maybe Bob decides to learn to control his Temper on his own. Either way, he'll do whatever it takes to become a calmer or more peaceful person.
This Trope usually goes hand in hand with a Heel-Face Turn
, and even Anti-Heroes
, although the last one depends on how dark they really are.
There are many ways they can go about to achieve this inner peace. One of the most prominent ways is Walking the Earth
. The character leaves on a journey to learn more about themselves, the world, and their place within the world. This often involves leaving behind their posessions as well.
If the villain is the one who tames his anger, it may be because there's a bigger threat coming
. The villain will put their hatred on hold until their common enemy is defeated
A common trope in martial arts series. A new disciple will become the pupil of an Old Master
or The Obi-Wan
. The disciple will go from being a loud mouthed kid or an Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy
to a Martial Pacifist
This Trope is Older Than Dirt
. In Classical Mythology
after killing his music teacher accidentally
, Hercules is sent to a farm to become a more peaceful person. Another old example, is Moses from The Bible
. After finding out that he was a Hebrew
, Moses kills an Egyptian Slavemaster who's beating his slave and flees to Ethiopia. While there, he gets married and becomes a wiser and more peaceful person.
Contrast Teach Him Anger
, where a Nice Guy
or an Extreme Doormat
, is given a backbone.
In a comedy, this often leads to We Want Our Jerk Back
because Status Quo Is God
Anime and Manga
- In Chrono Crusade, this is the final lesson given to Chrono by Father Remington. By tame his anger, which was Fatal Flaw for his species, he can even master his body under Power Incontinence induced by Aion.
- Dragon Ball: Tienshinhan and Chiaoutzou from Dragon Ball decide to Walk the Earth after Master Roshi shows them the error of their ways and they lose that anger. Tien in particular becomes The Stoic for the rest of the series.
- Death Note: Misa Amane keeps on talking about how great Kira is. Police Chief Yagami and Aizawa try to control their temper, but after a while Aizawa can't hold it in any longer and throws her out of the room.
- In Code Geass, Lelouch Lamperouge and Suzaku Kururugi spend the second half of the series constantly in a state of rage and screwing up each other's plans. They both have their own reasons. Suzaku wants to kill Lelouch because he killed princess Euphemia. And Lelouch wants to kill Suzaku because Suzaku's fighting for the villains. However, by the end of the series they realize that their constant fighting wasn't helping them reach their original goals, and work together towards a better future. By the end of it, they're more calm and happy, and Lelouch dies with a smile on his face.
- Fullmetal Alchemist: Scar. Definitely Scar. At the beginning we're introduced to an angry Knight Templar with a terribly sad BackStory. The Amestrian Troops enter his country of Ishval for brutal slaughter of the Ishvalan people. This was largely aided by State Alchemists. Scar then decides to go on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge and kill every State Alchemist. After meeting Edward Elric and Alphonse Elric, Scar slowly pulls a Heel-Face Turn and by the end of the series he ends up saving Mustang from becoming consumed by his Wrath too. Bonus points for Mustang having been one of the State Alchemists who helped in the Ishvalan genocide.
- In Ranma ½, Ryoga Hibiki is in a constant state of rage over Ranma kicking him into the spring that cursed him with turning into a little pig when hit with cold water. At one point he meets a nice girl named Anna. They gradually fall in love, and Ryoga notes that he has never been so happy in his life. He even considers staying on the farm and settling down with her, ending his never ending training journey, but decides he can't stand the thought of being separated from his first love, Akane Tendo. The fans were not amused.
- Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy Ranma Saotome is a milder example. In one episode, he get's Laser-Guided Amnesia after Akane makes him hit his head on a rock and starts to believe that he's a girl. Because he's a girl, he becomes nicer and more peaceful.
- Another example from one Rumiko Takahashi's works. In InuYasha several demons went around with a chip on their shoulder. They were cruel, vicious, and only wanted power. Prime examples being Inuyasha, Koga, and Sesshoumaru. By the end of the series, Inuyasha settles down and is married to Kagome. He is a much happier and more peaceful person. Sesshoumaru is still aloof and still wanders the Earth with Jaken at his side. However, Rin has clearly changed him for the better, helping him move from being a cold-blooded killer to a stoic but caring individual. And Koga, at least in the anime, settles down and marries his betrothed.
- Fairy Tail has Laxus Dreyar, the resident Psycho Electro of Fairy Tail's guild. He was an arrogant Social Darwinist who rebelled against authority. He was in a constant state of rage over the weakness of many of the guild members. He threatens to kill the other members of the Fairy Tail guild, but finds out that he can't... because even though he would vehemently deny it, they were like family to him. He realizes what a JerkAss he was and when he is kicked out of the guild, he gladly accepts it and leaves with a smile. After Walking the Earth, he becomes a much nicer person and is eventually accepted back into Fairy Tail's guild.
- Yusuke Urameshi and Kuwabara Kazuma from YuYu Hakusho. Both characters start out as angry teens who rebel against authority. By the end of the series both characters end up happy with their lives. Kuwabara changes his ways and gets serious about school. He gets into a prestigious high school through hard work. Yusuke didn't have it as easy, but he ended up happy in the end (despite not getting passed a Junior High Education).
- Done more than once in Donald Duck comics: Daisy Duck tries to force him to control his temper at one point. Donald's nephews take advantage of this and misbehave, knowing that he won't spank them. They keep on pushing his buttons. Daisy tells Donald that it's okay to spank them as long as he does it with a smile. He spanks them in the end.
- In the Classic Disney Short "Cured Duck", Donald is told by Daisy to control his temper. He answers an ad on the paper about a cure and gets a machine that doles out indignities at him for ten minutes straight, and if he can sit through the ordeal without losing it, he's cured. Donald is eventually cured, only now Daisy is the one who loses her temper.
- Another Donald Duck example with the short "Bellboy Donald", he is forced by his boss to be pleasant and control his anger around customers, with the threat of being fired otherwise. Following this, Pete's son Junior begins exploiting this mercilessly and pranks him at every turn. Donald finally snaps and drags Junior to the manager, who fires him on the spot before a satisfied Donald spanks Junior mercilessly.
- The Incredible Hulk tries this a lot. It doesn't work very often. Usually because his enemies won't, 'Leave Hulk Alone'.
- Just like the Hulk, Wolverine tries to do this a lot. And just like the Hulk, it doesn't last. Notable examples include the volume where Wolverine and Rose work at a mine in British Colombia and Wolverine finds peace and tranquility. That peace is interrupted when Dog kills Rose. Wolverine later meets a Native American woman called Silver Fox and they fall in love. Sabretooth, jealous of the peace Wolverine found, kills Silver Fox. Yeah. He tends to do that a lot.
- In the The Death of Captain America, many heroes deal with the Death of Captain America in different ways. Ms. Marvel and Spider-Man deal with their anger over Captain America dying. Ms. Marvel decides to take out her anger by thrashing Tiger Shark, and Spider-Man takes out his anger by attacking Rhino. Funnily enough they're both stopped by characters who are well know for having HairTriggerTempers. Namor lectures Ms. Marvel on controling her anger, and Wolverine talks to Spider-Man about dealing with loss. Ms. Marvel even calls Namor out on this.
- Subverted with Black Manta. Aquaman tries to use magic to make Black Manta a kinder and more peaceful person. And it seems to have worked, for a while. But in the end, at a critical moment Black Manta stabs him and tells him this:
Black Manta: "Y'see, deep down, in my most secret heart of hearts, I'm still a totally depraved sonuvabitch whose main goal in life is to watch you die. Slowly and painfully. Just like your kid."
- Batman: In Batman Bratty Half-Pint Damian Wayne starts out with almost little to no respect for anyone besides Batman and Talia Al Ghul. His anger leads to him nearly killing Tim Drake to replace him as Batman's sidekick. He's still a little bit of an angry Jerk Ass, not even showing his grandparents respect on the anniversary of their deaths, but he's a lot better.
- Spider-Man: In the comics, he has a symbiote suit that turns him into a total angry Jerkass. Being that it's his Super-Powered Evil Side and Spider-Man's a hero, it doesn't last and he goes back to being the Nice Guy that he usually is. It should be noted that it is only in recent adaptations that the symbiote suit does that. In the original story it had no effect on his personality aside from taking him for joyrides when he was asleep, and he wore it for quite some time. The Clothes Make the Maniac portrayal started with the 1994 animated series as a means of introducing the suit and quickly moving on to Venom.
- The armor that Darkhawk uses comes with the side-effect of increasing his temper, and he has to struggle to control it even under the best of conditions. It later turns out it's due to incompatibility, since the armor wasn't designed for humans.
- Spider-Man 3: In the film, Spider-Man has the same issue with the suit as in the comic. It makes him very temperamental. A good example of this, is when he slams a guy to the wall just for touching him.
- The Avengers: The secret on how Bruce has been able to control his anger and keep himself from hulking out most of the time?
Bruce: I'm always angry.
Mythology and Religion
- In the novel Windflower, by Gabrielle Roy the Deuteragonist Jimmy was always angry. However, after he started living in the wilderness, and by the ways of the Native Americans he becomes a much more peaceful person.
- As mentioned above Moses and Hercules, are some of the oldest examples of this Trope. They make it Older Than Dirt.
- In Hamlet, the titular character spends much of the play angry over Claudius murdering King Hamlet. In his anger he kills Polonius which sets off a chain of events including Ophelia going insane and Laertes wanting revenge. By the end of the play, Hamlet has more or less come to accept the mistakes and enemies that he's made.
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Wise old guys are always going on about this to jedi characters who are being impatient. And there's one personality-imprinted hologram on Dromund Kaas who will say this to Sith and Imperial characters as well.
- An episode of South Park deals with angry characters including Eric Cartman and Randy are forced to go to anger management classes. It turns out their anger was about something else.
- In Drawn Together Ling-Ling goes to anger management after he kills Xandir.
- There is an episode of Arthur where Francine is told to control her anger and so she bottles it up inside and almost loses a street hockey game for them.
- Classic Disney Shorts: Donald Duck is possibly the Trope Codifier for this one. He does it all the time. Needless to say, it doesn't last.
- Daisy Duck, frequently tries to tame Donald Ducks anger, but it never works. Daisy has quite the temper herself, but she usually controls it. At least in comparison to Donald.
- Looney Tunes: Daffy Duck to a lesser extent than most of the other examples. He tries to keep his cool in cartoons putting him up against Bugs Bunny, but he hardly ever manages in the end.
- Marvin the Martian is an example of a Looney Tunes character who can and does control his temper, however it's mostly because he's meant to be Affably Evil.
- Done hilariously in Family Guy. Brian Griffin finds out that Glen Quagmire doesn't like him. He goes out of his way to try and win Quagmire over, with each attempt failing miserably and Quagmire mostly puts up with it. At the end of the episode, Brian asks Quagmire why he doesn't like him. So Quagmire unloads on him every grievance that he (and the fans), have had with Brian over the years in one hell of a long reason you suck speech.
- The Simpsons Did It! In an episode of The Simpsons, Bart Simpsons creates a comic book about Homer called Angry Dad, which become a popular internet series. At first Homer's mad about it, but after talking to the family he decides to try and become a less angry person. Needless to say, it doesn't last.
- Spongebob Squarepants: Squidward Tentacles is always angry. Seriously. The Word of God is that he was meant to symbolize Wrath of the Seven Deadly Sins. However, one episodes has Squidward shocked by an electric fence and becoming nice. Just like most of the other comedy examples, it doesnt last because Status Quo Is God.
- King of the Hill featured this as the plot for an episode, where Hank is forced into anger management therapy due to blowing up at his dumbass neighbors one too many times.
- Dan Vs. "Anger Management": It's played straight with Dan & inverted with Chris. Dan and Chris are forced to go to anger management. There, Dan learns to control his anger and Chris learns not to repress anger. This results in their roles getting reversed. Dan becomes a nice pushover helping the anger management teacher get revenge on people. While Chris becomes more confrontational. Everything goes back to normal at the end of the episode.