"Solve a man's problem with violence, help him for a day.
Teach a man to solve his problems with violence, help him for a lifetime."
Kindness is a highly valuable trait in people, but, if taken to extremes
, also a potentially dangerous
one to have
. In episodes where the Nice Guy
and Friend to All Living Things
will unavoidably have to face danger, friends will try to teach them assertiveness, a few self defense moves, or actual fighting techniques to face threats. The problem lies in that they are too timid, half hearted, Weak-Willed
or kind to avoid their Extreme Doormat
tendencies, much less actually learn to fight.
The solution is to teach him or her anger and rage; rather than dealing with their anger in a healthy way (or more likely, sublimating it) instead channel it into their words and fists. In extreme cases, even going so far as to instill a killer instinct.
This can have two outcomes, one good and one bad.
The good outcome results in the character taking a level in badass
and gaining a backbone along with the combat skills thanks to this training, which may take the form of anything from simple self defense classes to outright maddening them into misanthropy
. Their nature and demeanor as a kind/caring/friendly person will otherwise remain unchanged, but now they'll stand up for themselves and the weak rather than simply caring for them.
The bad outcome
happens when they learn anger only too well
. In some cases, these kind and caring pacifists subconsciously knew they were carefully balanced over a dormant volcano of potential violence and chose to keep it dormant at all costs. And then their friends went and woke it up.
is involved then it is likely paired with An Aesop
against changing others to suit you...because
they'll turn into Brainwashed and Crazy dynamos of destruction
who revel in their new Superpowered Evil Side
. There may be a cry of "What Have I Become?
"/"My God, What Have I Done?
" if someone they care for is hurt, or killed
On the bright side, these usually end in Pygmalion Snapback
Compare Did You Think I Can't Feel?
, Killing Intent
, Rage Breaking Point
Contrast We Want Our Jerk Back
and Tame His Anger
. This may be applied to large groups in the form of Training the Peaceful Villagers
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Anime and Manga
- Bruce Banner has Aesop Amnesia about this. The Hulk, of course, doesn't need to be taught anger. But the Hulk is usually considered a product of Banner's repressed rage, childhood abuse, and generally screwed-up psyche. Trying to control or get rid of the Hulk usually involves helping him with those issues, often meaning not bottling things up so much. Sometimes this results in fewer Hulk episodes, sometimes it results in a smarter Hulk, and at least once it resulted in a Banner with the Hulk's strength.note
- Megatron's backstory in The Transformers IDW. Once a pacifist miner who wished to change the corrupt system of his world through peaceful means, he is unintentionally taught hatred after being brutally beaten-up by Whirl to have him silenced. After this, Megatron no longer believes peace is possible, and that violence is the best and only solution for change. This leads to a devastating war leading to the deaths of billions throughout the galaxy.
Films — Live-Action
- Wizard's First Rule has Zedd teach Richard how to channel his anger instead of suppressing it, which allows him to use the full power of the Sword of Truth.
- Tortall Universe
- Emperor Mage, the third book of The Immortals quartet, Daine learns to use her anger to focus her power, though admittedly she has plenty to be angry about already.
- Subverted in Provost's Dog. Four-year-old Prince Gareth learned how to hate on his own after witnessing his guards' murder, being abused as a slave, and seeing some of his slave friends murdered too. Beka says now that he's learned how to hate, he has to learn how to forgive, which can be a lot harder.
- In Carpe Jugulum, the Magpyr family are vampires, the patriarch of which has extensively trained to resist all the classic vampire weaknesses because he doesn't see why they have to do it the stupid way and lose some of the time when they can win all the time with training. When the old Count de Magpyr returns, he's encouraged to take his grandchildren under his wing and teach them stupid, because biding your time, dead, for a few decades, is how a vampire really gets ahead.
- Dialed Up to Eleven in The Fionavar Tapestry by Guy Gavriel Kay. The race of Giants are the ultimate pacifists, unable to hate and unwilling to defend themselves. All but one refuse to even so much as ask for aid when they are being slowly tortured to death, because it would mean someone else has to battle on their behalf. When they are rescued from the brink of extinction, they are still unable to hate on their own behalf — only being forced to witness the brutal rape of someone else finally undoes their absolute pacifism. And even undone, they still never shed blood or directly fight in any way.
- The novelization of Revenge of the Sith makes the Sith efforts to do this to Anakin more explicit - Count Dooku thinks that the plan is that he kills Obi-Wan, then Darth Sidious talks Anakin into joining the Sith, then Dooku surrenders and gets to sit out the war and become part of the developing Empire. It doesn't work quite like that.
- This is Played for Laughs in the Thursday Next novel Something Rotten, where Hamlet himself gets some life-coaching on how to take action and be more assertive.
- On 30 Rock, Kenneth of all people takes it upon himself to push new guy Danny Baker to anger so that he doesn't get stepped on by Tracy and Jenna.
- Doctor Who. One of the Doctor's companions does this to the Thals to show them there are some things they're willing to fight over. The Thaals had previously been willing to be exterminated by the Daleks rather than break their pacifist ways. 
- The "bad outcome" of this occurs in an episode of Farscape, "That Old Black Magic." Zhaan must revive her old sadistic anarchist ways in order to defeat Maldis. It takes her several episodes to fully regain her self-control.
- In one fourth season episode, where an evil spider alien stole the most important aspects of the main cast's personalities (John's determination, Aeryn's self-control, Chiana's sex drive, Rygel's greed, D'argo's anger), Chiana proves it by trying to teach D'argo anger again by beating him up. It doesn't work, which is a really big problem.
- Star Trek: The Original Series has Kirk have to anger up Spock (who's on the feelgood spores) and then let himself get smacked around by an enraged Vulcan until he gets it all out of his system.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In "Get It Done" Buffy has to do this with both with vampire Spike (after he got a soul) and witch Willow (after briefly turning evil at the end of the previous season). At the same time over on the Angel spin-off, Wesley has to do the same thing with vampire slayer Faith, who also turned evil and was now regretting it.
- Alphas plays with this in a very complicated way. When Bill trains with Kat in the second season, her training is mostly based around getting him to relax so that he can access his superstrength without having to force himself to get angry. The reason why this isn't a straight reverse example is that it's strongly implied that the reason why he had to get angry in the past was down to inhibitions and guilt about being violent, and that the training has also reduced his inhibitions about violence in a way that might not be entirely positive.
- Jade Empire allows an evil character to do this to Dawn Star.
- This is part of Master Xehanort's plan in Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep. After seeing Terra lose his cool during the Mark of Mastery Exam he sets up a plan. After disappearing he sets up an encounter with Maleficent to make his friends question his hold over the darkness. Afterwards Terra is convinced to hunt down Vanitas and stop the darkness in his own way knowing his friends would not understand. During this Xehanort sets up the climax. By setting him up to defeat Master Eraqus, the last thing that would stop him and throw Terra off the slippery slope at the same time. Terra loses it and defeats the Corrupt master, however all had gone according to plan for him, Terra had lost himself to the darkness and he was then ready for Xehanort's Grand Theft Me.
- In Planescape: Torment, the Nameless One can teach an NPC how to get angry. The goal is to get her annoyed enough at her co-workers to gossip about them, though. It's a notable Funny Moment in a game that was already full of them- you have to start by getting her to "practice" insulting you, which she does by first telling you that she thinks that you're a less than perfectly wonderful person, then working herself into a full-on scenery chewing rant.
- In Sword of the Stars, the second variant describes the training of Black Swimmers. The Liir are a species of Empaths who are pacifistic as a result, but because they need to defend themselves somehow a special caste of volunteers known as the Black Swimmers keep them safe by teaching themselves how to hate and kill. Black Swimmers are basically irredeemably Ax-Crazy by Liir standards and both sides are all too aware of this, but are nonetheless necessary for the race as a whole to survive. Their Initiation Ceremony involves 'drowning' the aspirant in liquid oxygen until they black out and abandon all hope.
- In Phantasy Star IV, the main character can go to the Anger Tower and learn, arguably, the most powerful technique in the game, which happens to be fueled by anger; this trope comes into play when Re-Faze puts Chaz to a Secret Test of Character: forcing him to confront and then kill a specter of his deceased mentor and surrogate mother, and then taunt him for his pain after realizing it was an illusion, then offer to teach him the Forbidden technique to taunt him with how incredibly powerful it would be.
- The Beast does this to Will in Days of Ruin in order to make him a satisfying opponent. His method of doing so? Killing civilians. It works well enough that the Beast is never seen again after that mission (presumed dead based on Caulder's lines).
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: The Sith Warrior has an easy job doing this to Jaesa Wilsaam.
- Namco High: the Meowkie path involves helping her deal with anger in a healthier fashion than repressing it and pretending she never experiences it. Then, during the final battle against Evil Namco High, she deals with it in very cathartic fashion by shredding the evil robots.
- Murray attempts to teach Bentley in Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves how to be angry in their efforts to scare out the locals in a local bar. Needless to say, it doesn't work
Bentley: I'm not sure I can do it. How do you get angry?
Murray: Find the match deep inside you: light it, and let the fire burn up your guts AND BOIL YOUR BLOOD!
Sly: Uh, yeah, that's kinda what I do too...
- In Red vs. Blue, Caboose (a very nice, but exceptionally dumb member of Blue Team) was possessed by the AI O'Malley. Later, Caboose and Sarge are fighting two armies of flag-worshipping zealots. Caboose claims that "O'Malley taught me how to be mean"; by concentrating on things that make him angry (red bull, kittens with spikes on them), he proceeds to go crazy and wipe out both teams; before waking up with no recollection of his actions.
- Caboose never really displayed that sort of capability afterwards. Until Episode 21 of Season 10. When facing an army of Tex copies, Church needed Caboose to get angry; and Caboose revealed that he forgot how. Church helped him remember.
- SCP Foundation: One piece of advice given out by Agent Dimitri Arkadayevich Strelnikov in his helpful guide to integrating the Mobile Task Forces is to learn to hate the enemy. Go to the cafeteria and pick someone to hate, and practice hating them, and then you can [[REDACTED]].
- Family Guy does this when Peter decides to train Cleveland after his wife leaves him for Quagmire. It has unfortunates results as Cleveland rampages around Quagmire's house chasing him and revealing beds that pop out whenever he hits something. Hilarity Ensues but Cleveland finally snaps out of it (after a Return of the Jedi makes him realize what he's doing) and goes back to being his old self.
- Oh, yeah, except he's divorced now.
- In "Patriot Games", Peter tries to do this with a team of stereotypical British boarding school types. In a deleted scene, he hits on the solution of showing them the American version of The Office.
- Storm Hawks has Junko pose as a wrestler to get the team into the Cyclonian's enemy base. Since he's normally a Gentle Giant, Piper uses a hypnosis crystal to give him a confidence boost. She then gives it to Finn along with instructions to only use it sparingly, along with the code phrase to turn off the conditioning should an emergency arise. Finn of course uses it so strongly Junko actually believes he is the Masked Masher and can't recognize his friends. It all comes to a head when Master Cyclonis puts them all in a cage match against the Brainwashed and Crazy Junko. Luckily Piper manages to remind Finn of the code phrase.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender:
- In the ninth The Land Before Time film The Big Freeze, Ducky asks Cera this, who delivers it in song.
- Accidentally invoked by Megatron on Beast Wars when Scorpinok's mind-altering bug took away Optimus Primal's self-control and inner peace. His reasoning was that Optimus' calm exterior was a fašade for a cowardly streak, but in fact it was a safety mechanism to control his Unstoppable Rage. With his inner peace removed, Optimus goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge, taking out the entire Predacon force single-handed before the Maximals manage to remove the bug that was slowly killing him. Beware the Nice Ones indeed.
- Plankton attempts to invoke this on Spongebob Squarepants as part of a Batman Gambit to make Goo Lagoon a site for a new Chum Bucket. Spongebob, in response, decides to be "aggressively nice".
- Dexter, from Dexter's Laboratory. In one episode, Deedee encourages the titular character to see how good it feels to break stuff, but he goes mad and Deedee becomes terrified of how destructive and psychotic he became, and she gets him to revert back, apologizing and saying that maybe it's better he remains emotionless.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Iron Will, a minotaur self-help guru in the episode "Putting Your Hoof Down", teaches this as a technique of getting one's way. It particularly applies when the student is Fluttershy. It works too well.
- In Codename: Kids Next Door, Numbuh Four is trapped on an island with a giant rainbow monkey who would rather hug and kiss him than pummel him. Numbuh Four then tries to teach the monkey how to act ferocious, but becomes increasingly frustrated when it doesn't seem to work. After Numbuh Four is finally rescued, the giant rainbow monkey follows them home to get him back, and is now extremely pissed.
Numbuh Four: Maybe he was paying attention to me.
- In The Simpsons episode "Hurricane Neddy", Ned Flanders suffers a mental breakdown in which he furiously chewed out Springfielders as a whole, and checks into a mental hospital. His psychiatrist Dr. Foster realizes the best way to help him out of his breakdown is to have him intentionally angered by the person who annoys him most, namely Homer.
- In Dan Vs. "Anger Management", Chris and Dan are forced to anger management after one of Dan's criminal revenge schemes. Chris is told by the consoler that he represses his anger too much which is bad as being unable to control it. So Chris tries to become more openly angry. But at the end of the episode, he ends up getting scared out of it and everything goes back to normal.
- This is how the South Park dodgeball team overwhelms its opposition and beats the Chinese dodgeball team: sending cockney stereotype Pip into a rage by calling him French. Even Pip hates the French.