"...How wasteful... Such emotions are but mere illusions. And, like all illusions, they fade over time until death banishes them forever. That is why I have abandoned all emotions as useless sentimentality."
He can be in the middle of a gunfight, his best friend's bachelor party, or a helpless witness to the death of everyone and everything he holds dear... and he'll show all the emotional reaction of a victim of a Botox overdose. They can be Heroes, antagonists or anti-heroes. On The Team he will contrast the Hot-Blooded. His quiet demeanor tends towards the brusque or outright rudeness, though there are a few polite Stoics. Mostly writers (ab)use it to give the impression of a lot going on inside and cultivate an air of mystery and to confuse other characters with cryptic one-liners.
The Stoic sometimes displays emotion when under extreme stress or in other highly emotional situations, but their usual repertoire consists of mild boredom, detached interest, Dull Surprise or dignified disdain. He may be a Deadpan Snarker, or have No Sense of Humor. If he ever shows true emotion, it's likely to be explosive in its intensity or incredibly subtle and full of Emotional Torque. The tougher sort of stoic may hide it so thoroughly that only his Bad Dreams show any of it. Opposed to Frozen Face, where the emotions appear absent because they do not alter his expression, even in the highly emotional situations. A few stoics might calmly pipe up that they have feelings and opinions too, they just aren't effusive about it.
Masculine pronouns are used throughout this trope because quiet women in fiction tend to be the Emotionless Girl or Stoic Woobies. Men who use stoicism to hide their pain are more likely to indulge in mangst. Either way, expect them to be the phlegmatic member of their group.
The Stoic is not necessarily The Quiet One. While the Stoic may be low key and quiet, more often than not he's just as talkative as anyone else. Another difference is that while The Quiet One does feel and display emotion (albeit less vocally and regularly, and makes up for it with deeper pathos), the Stoic is so devoid of any semblance of human emotion that he borders on being a true Tin Man. Whether he has emotion or not varies, but he will invariably refuse to ever show it.
There are three types:
The Aloof Big Brother type, seen mostly in anime, chooses to act this way either as a personal philosophy or as an outgrowth of his base personality.
Shell-Shocked Veteran: Either before the series or during it, the character suffers a particularly nasty case of Heroic BSOD, after which the character enters a Heroic Safe Mode and never leaves. The lights are on, the computer's running, but all the games and fun stuff are offline. (Not to be confused with Heroic Safe Mode, which uses the same metaphor to describe something different.)
This last one has real world examples in Flat affect, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Shell Shock.
The silent warrior has roots stretching back to The Drifter in Westerns and farther back. TheStoics in ancient Greece were philosophers who believed that self-control is the highest virtue, and detachment from strong emotions and passion would give them greater insight in their quest for truth. They also thought that emotional reactions to the inevitable were silly; given that We All Die Someday, what is grieving over death but a judgment that the inevitable was somehow wrong? Stoics would later be criticized for denying themselves and others any kind of earthly pleasure or silliness in life.
Characters of this type include:
Yuki Nagato from Suzumiya Haruhi has NO facial expressions. Ever. This isn't even a question of why she doesn't do it, it's more like she does not have expressions because her body is an interface and wasn't programed for it. If she talks, it's always monotone. She avoids being creepy, by bringing loads and loads of badass-ness and hug-urges. As we know from Character Development, she has emotions (Which is an important aspect of her characterization), but only Kyon can "read" her. Pondering what she is feeling and why are questions for both Kyon and the reader.
Silver Knight from .hack//SIGN fits this trope perfectly, breaking character only once during a funny conversation with Mimiru near the end of the series. And then there's .hack//Legend of the Twilight...
Jyu Viole Grace from Tower of God. His emotions can only be read from his actions and the rare occasions when we catch a glimpse of what is going on in his head. He has his reasons.
Killy from Blame! takes this trope to new and completely emotionless heights. The fact that he has as many lines in 10 volumes (the entirety of the series) as most protagonists have in a single chapter is testament to this.
Gendo Ikari and his subordinate Fuyutsuki from Neon Genesis Evangelion. Rei initially seems like one, but is soon revealed to be more of a Kuudere. Here's a few key examples: When Unit 00 was undergoing a test and went berserk, it started punching the wall that Gendo happened to be right beyond, shattering several layers of bulletproof glass, and Gendo, who was less than three feet away from the glass, didn't move an inch, nor did he show any emotion. Also, when Shinji fought Zeruel in Unit 01, Zeruel shot a beam that cut off Unit 01's arm, splattering enough blood on Gendo (Who miraculously only had half his body soaked) to fill up at least one pool. And Gendo, while he looked noticeably worried, never spoke or changed his facial expression from that one.
Paptimus Scirocco, the Big Bad of Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam. In spite of his ability to manipulate emotions and his extreme sensitivity to them as a Newtype, he displays open contempt for the emotional and prides himself on his stoic nature.
MOVIE! Major Kusanagi from Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex rarely displays much emotion at all. If you do manage to make her angry, though, be very afraid. In the series and manga she's snarky and amused by the antics of her squadmates. She becomes this trope only when things get really serious.
Kenshiro from Fist of the North Star may be the archetype from which many other stoic anime heroes came from, as he is first introduced as a man of few words and only mild kindness. As the series progresses, however, he is shown to be quite empathetic.
Keith Gandor of Baccano! has a perpetual frowning expression throughout the entire series, as well as never ever talking in the anime. This is taken even farther in the light novels, where it's revealed that he's known for going years without speaking.
Much of Full Metal Panic! is spent having Sagara Sousuke slowly get over this trope. In canon, he's repeatedly shown to be one of, if not the most stoic characters in the series (shown to start breaking from it only closer to the end). Even the villains of the series are not as stoic as him (as they are either psychotically gleeful and have a lust for violence, or they're depressed individuals wangsting in their emotional turmoil).
Uryuu likes to believe himself to be the Stoic, and works hard at maintaining an aloofsnarky mask. However, given his fussiness, his genuine (and blindly obvious) concern for his friends, and how often Ichigo gets under his skin, he's far more Not So Stoic than he'd like to admit.
Byakuya Kuchiki. He has smiled on-screen only once. If Byakuya shows any serious emotion at all, it is treated as something very surprising. Characters were amazed when he made a joke.
Ulquiorra represents the emptiness of death and is very emotionless. His character journey is about uncovering the meaning of emotion to humans.
Uryuu's father Ryuuken is a genuinely stoic snark knight: he barely reacts at all to his son talking back to him or even running off to Hueco Mundo. However, the more of his Mysterious Past that gets revealed, the more obvious it becomes that he's actually a Stepford Snarker.
Nico Robin of One Piece. Even when she is just as freaked out as the rest of her crew mates are, her expression is normal and neutral. Even Eiichiro Oda states that she is the only one with normal expressions. Though it seems that she is allowing herself to open up more since the Time Skip.
Zoro as well, though he tends to have more outbursts than Robin.
Rasen of Flame of Recca. Ridiculously pale complexion, an expression as vacant and empty as that of a corpse, and incapable of speech, so much that he requires telepathy to communicate with others when his deathly stare is insufficient.
Jo from Burst Angel/Bakuretsu Tenshi. When she's fighting, she's the biggest badass in the world. When not, she's usually quiet and inexpressive.
Byaku from Kekkaishi is rarely shown exhibiting any emotion, even when fighting for his life against an enemy.
InuYasha: Sesshoumaru is an Aloof Big Brother who faces the world with such detached equanimity that he doesn't even hate his brother for lopping off his left arm (he still hates Inuyasha for being a half human though). About the only emotions he'll show are a bit of anger or contempt, and the latter is inherently such a mild, passive emotion it doesn't really contradict being stoic. His humorous little servant Jaken actually sometimes claims to display reactions that are beneath him in his stead.
Aoshi Shinomori from Rurouni Kenshin. Even while he is winning in an intense battle, he shows no facial expressions or emotions.
Although he does pull off stoic quite well among friends. It's made better by his teammates, who both overreact to everything. If something shocking or undesirable is mentioned, it's a sure bet that Naruto and Sakura will start yelling, objecting, and generally flipping out. Sasuke will just sit there impassively. Unfortunately, he loses it when confronted by someone who insulted or attacked the Uchiha clan.
Later on, Sai. Though he smiles, it's just a technique he learned to put people at their ease. He's more of a Spock than The Spock. The fact that he continually puts people down could be his ego fighting to get out.
Kakashi and Yamato are also fairly Stoic most of the time.
As are Shino and Neji. The former was demonstrated quite humorously when he tried to let Naruto know he was mad at him for not recognizing him after the Time Skip.
Nagato/Pain and Konan definitely fit since the death of Yahiko.
Gaara is a perfect example of this.
Surprisingly, Naruto tends to pull this off whenever he takes a level in badass.
Madara Uchiha. From curbstomping the five Kages to the revival of the Ten Tails, the (quite frankly, crazy) events happening around him rarely evoke much more than a "Meh." and disdainful expression from him.
Jotaro Kujo from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Part 3. This is intentional on his part: he thinks people will know his mood no matter what he does, so he's very unemotional, except when he's pushed too far.
Lucy from the anime Elfen Lied, despite (or because of) her traumatic life.
Legato Bluesummers from Trigun, over the course of the show, is completely cold and impassive, even during such exploits as brutally massacring a gang, annihilating a city, and forcing a man to shoot him in the head.
Trowa Barton from Gundam Wing. After losing his family in the war, Trowa was on his own until about age four and didn't even know how to talk until other humans found him. Even a decade later, he seems surprised when something affects him emotionally (as seen when he cries after being ordered to destroy his friend Duo's Gundam.
Protagonist Heero Yuy is stoic, but calling him The Stoic isn't quite right (Kuudere is more appropriate). While he thinks that emotions get you killed on the battlefield, he says they're needed the rest of the time. He exhibits a normal (if subdued) emotional range (surprise◊, fear◊, and happiness◊), and his self-stated life philosophy is "Live by your emotions". Most of the confusion stems from English voice actor Mark Hildreth being told to play the character as stiff and robotic, combined with Flanderization; this is obviously less of a problem in the Japanese version, where Hikaru Midorikawa delivered a subdued but still emotional performance.
Rin Asougi from Mnemosyne, in addition to being a moderate tsundere. Being an regenerating immortal helps a lot, but it doesn't make her quipping stuff like "Count your tools!" to a surgeon who previously vivisected her without anaesthesia before killing him with his own scalpel (which he forgot inside her body, apparently) any less badass. Let alone muttering "It may be too much even for me..." before being sucked into a running airplane jet engine...
Satoru Toono of Bukiyou Na Silent has passionate internal emotions, but is incapable of actually showing them on his perpetually indifferent face. His love interest can figure out what he's actually thinking to an extent, but Satoru's inability to express or say what he's feeling is the major cause of misunderstandings between them. It's so bad that when he's provoked into raising his voice at one point, he ends up fainting from oxygen deprivation.
Muta from The Daughter of Twenty Faces fits this to a T, whether teaching Chiko to not let her guard down, checking to make sure she's ready for her first cat burglar job, or taking a bullet for her.
Chrono of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha has the same serious expression when he's giving orders, instructions, jokes, compliments, and criticisms, though he mellows out after the Time Skip. According to the Sound Stages, he was even more of a stoic before meeting Amy. He subsequently lightens up more after Fate is adopted into his family as his younger sister, and in Striker(s), it's suggested that he's closer to being like a kid than he was in his actual childhood.
Nanoha's older brother Kyoya apparently used to be one, as Nanoha notes that before meeting his girlfriend Shinobu, he didn't smile nearly as much, and afterward, he's considerably more serious than his younger sisters.
Hazuki Sakurazaka, the head Meido, from Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu usually puts up a stoic appearance and monotone voice. Even when she's drunk, and accidentally bashing her head to the wall (or the electric post), she always had the same stoic feel around her.
Fate Averruncus from Mahou Sensei Negima!. Even on the one occasion when he actually starts laughing he maintains his bored expression and arrogant disdain for the heroes.
Inspector Lunge of Monster appears to have entirely shut off his emotions — Something that makes him an excellent detective, but a horrible husband and father.
Thorfinn of Vinland Saga likes to think he's the Stoic, being gruff and rude to nearly everyone, but in his heart he's as much of a Hot-BloodedScreaming Warrior as any of the other Vikings. His father on the other hand, now he was a true Stoic.
Tsukasa Takamine from Sasami Mahou Shojo Club is passive to the point of almost never blinking. One can't even tell if she's really in a relationship with pseudo-Clingy Jealous Girl An-An or if she's just too passive to even notice.
King Bradley, as well. He loves to monologue about how much something angers him while his voice betrays no emotion whatsoever. The only time his facade breaks is in a funeral. His hands were shaking because he was enraged by the crying of the dead man's daughter. That said, he can put on a convincing cheery dictator face, especially when fleeing his body guards. His facade is so strong the 2003 anime switched him from being Wrath to Pride without any issues whatsoever.
Then Yusei Fudo from Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds is stoic from the start, but will occasionally let out a small smile. Ironically, his rival Jack, another Kaiba expy, is more emotional at times than the main protagonist. Yusei does show more emotion as time goes by, though.
This gets lampshaded as it is his main draw for being in the Host Club.
Reiko, the antisocial mangaka from Kannazuki no Miko, hardly ever displays emotion, even with fighting. However, she does not qualify as an Emotionless Girl, because despite her stoic nature it is revealed that the reason she became a member of the Orochi was that she was a failed mangaka and the pressure to succeed was too great, thus showing she did have strong emotions, just does not display them.
Most of the protagonists of Claymore, but especially Deneve.
The Prime Minister's personal assistant Nike in Appleseed does not just not show any emotions, but is actually an artificial being genetically engineered specifically to be unable to feel anger or hate. But she's not particularly cheerful, either.
Shinji aka Paul from Pokémon fits this trope to a T.
And Bashou/Hun from the Legend of Thunder special...unless he's trying to kill something, in which case he just gets freakily happy.
That's more Atilla's thing. Ash's Treecko/Grovyle/Sceptile from the Hoenn region also counts, as it's always found relaxing somewhere. One of the movie shorts had it resisting the involuntary urge to break into a dance for most of the short, though in the end it starts dancing more energetically than any of the other Pokemon.
In every region, Ash will have at least one Pokemon who is always calm and seemingly oblivious to anything happening.
L and his eventual successor Near from Death Note.
Eyes Rutherford from Spiral. The anime version is this: angsts a lot but has absolutely no facial change. In the manga, his first appearances make him a snarky brat who takes glee in creeping out people, but later on he becomes more this. Although he does smile a few times, the one time he cries one tear is a big fucking deal. He in fact decided, as a child, that since crying didn't help at all from losing important things, he was better off a "bloodless, tearless demon". Thus, his much more emotional "best friend" Kanone agreed to cry in his place.
Shugo Chara!: Hikaru "This is my normal face. :| This is my face when I am sullen. :| This is my face when I'm having fun. :|"
Toward the Terra pushes this trope to the extreme with Keith Anyan, who only ever seems to emote significantly when being mentally tortured while unconscious. Even when psychics note that his heart is "overflowing with tears," he maintains a cool facade. The most disturbing manifestation of this may be when his subordinate takes a killing blow for him. When Keith revives from his state of near death, his reaction to the dismembered corpse bleeding on the floor next to him is impassive and apparently insensitive, but we later see that the event has fundamentally affected his misanthropic worldview and eventually leads at least in part to his Heel-Face Turn.
Kannami Yűichi in The Sky Crawlers seems laid back more than anything, but never acts any differently, whether he's gulping beer with his buddies, in the middle of a dogfight or learning that he is an immortal clone-soldier, and has been killed countless of times, only to be resurrected with full set of skills but no personal memories.
Machi Kuragi from Fruits Basket is a version of this. Most of her stoicism stems from being groomed to be "perfect" since a young age, resulting in a seeming lack of any personality or individuality. She's eventually able to show more emotion, but stoic calmness remains as her default.
Levi wears a look of near-constant boredom, whether he's in the middle of a battle or beating a teenager senseless. The few moments when he does express greater emotion are terrifying, either because of his Unstoppable Rage or because things have just gotten that bad for the heroes.
Mikasa Ackerman is an Emotionless Girl much of the time, thanks to the traumatic loss of her parents as a child. She rarely expresses strong emotion, unless it directly relates to Eren. When she does lose her cool, even her True Companions are not safe.
Bertolt Hoover doubles this with being The Quiet One, rarely speaking up and generally observing things with at most a slightly uneasy expression. When he does actually speak up or express emotion, it's startling to the characters and audience alike. It turns out that he's actually Not So Stoic, and desperately keeping his emotions tightly under wrap so no one will realize just how messed up he actually is.
Kazuyoshi "Switch" Usui from SKET Dance. Ever since he caused a misunderstanding with a Yandere that got his brother killed, his facial expression never changes. The only emotion he shows is through his text-to-laptop.
Judge Dredd is so stoic that he is immune to fear from both the Dark Judge of Fear and Alien Fear Guns.
In X-Men, Cyclops. To such an extent that he was able to beat Evil Psychic Superman in a mind fight through sheer self-control.
Professor X: Amazing. Scott, you've... you've completely contained the Void in some kind of psychic prison.
Cyclops: What can I say? I'm an expert at repression.
Laura "X-23" Kinney from X-Force tends to be this, no matter what the situation. Until someone she cares about is threatened, then not so much. She has four basic emotional states: stoic, sad, angry and confused.
Fans prefer to consider it: Happy, Sad, KILL and Confused.
Subverted in Quantum and Woody by Quantum. He wants to be the Stoic, but inevitably fails when his partner Woody goads him into overreacting.
Wallace from Sin City is probably the only protagonist in that series that doesn't lose his cool. Miho comes in at a close second but she is more like The Voiceless.
The New52 version of Superboy. He's largely introspective and calmly rationalizes everything around him.
The titular badger from The Urthblood Saga. This is one of Urthblood's main traits, and he almost never shows any strong emotions, or any emotions at all, throughout the saga.
Minato in Fairly English Story has brain damage from the car crash that left him orphaned. It results in his face being unable to react to his emotions and show them so he has to actively make the face that he is feeling. These also leads to the more emotion/pain he's in the more stoic he is.
Helyse Blake from the A Nightmare on Elm Street fanfic "Tainted Dreams" (at the beginning she was really unable to feel much emotions. Recently she is being able to feel more than in the earlier chapters, but she still doesn't show them too much. Maybe she has forgotten how to?).
The author has confirmed that there is a reason for her to be like this (not just because "it is cool") and that it will be told in future chapters.
Lieutenant Commander T'Var in The Wrong Reflection reacts with typical Vulcan stoicism to being involved in a battle where the fleet her ship was in suffered 92% casualties* counting ships that were damaged and repairable as well as those destroyed. She basically says they gave as good as they got and that she's satisfied with their performance.
Subverted by John Preston in the movie Equilibrium. He starts the movie feeling no emotion, but by the end, when he goes off the emotion-inhibiting drug, he feels the full spectrum of human emotion while having to hide it from his superiors.
Pick any movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger shortly after he switched from body building to cinema. However, since Arnold is from Austria, this might be more because he still had to polish his English, so this is more like one of those times when Real Life Writes the Plot.
The Man Who Fell to Earth has Alien Among Us Thomas Jerome Newton, who is much more stoic than in the book. Despite him slipping into alcoholism, failing his planet, letting his family die, and losing the only thing he has left to love he never sheds a tear; when emotions crack his facade they are most often borne of fear and/or physical pain.
In Edge of Darkness, the protagonist Craven is a former Vietnam vet who can't understand why others "make such a big deal" out of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and shows little outward signs of his emotions during his Roaring Rampage of Revenge aside from a brief breakdown after his daughter Elle's murder.
Buster Keaton. There's a reason why he was called The Great Stone Face.
Twilight has Bella. You can count her different facial expressions on one hand and she raises her voice a grand total of twice during the first movie. It's probably because in the book she's a self insert character. As a result, in the film, she's left as blank as possible so the viewer can watch and project her own feelings into the character.
An example of a female protagonist who is both stoic (badass) and emotionless (otherworldly) simultaneously: Matsu from the Joshuu Sasori series. In this case, she's the type whose stoicism complements her mental invulnerability.
Owen Davian in Mission: Impossible III. He doesn't even register emotion when Ethan dangles him out of an airplane and starts cutting the straps holding him in.
In Iron Man 2 Ivan Vanko is extremely calm and collected, even when held in captivity or being scolded by his billionaire employer. When Hammer tells his guards to start taking Ivan's bird and other comforts away, you can see when he stops protesting and when he starts just going with it silently. It's like flicking a switch.
In Pacific Rim, Marshall Pentecost is calm and controlled.
When Gipsy Danger's Plasma Caster activates, the Russian pilots, who are standing right in front it, calmly and unhurriedly walk away.
Invoked (yes, really) in Robocop 2014. When the police database of unsolved crimes gets downloaded into Alex's brain, he freaks the hell out when he comes across the car bombing that mutilated him. In order to make him get over it, his brain chemistry is tinkered with, which has the side effect of suppressing the rest of his emotions.
Lampshaded in the Mystery Science Theater 3000 presentation of Castle of Fu Manchu. The title character is utterly impassive, even when his castle starts exploding around him.
Crow: You know, if he were ever going to express an emotion of any kind, this would be the time.
In X2: X-Men United, Lady Deathstrike barely changes expression or talks. Justified since she was being mind-controlled by Stryker.
Sherlock Holmes. He gets shaken up only twice in all of canon, once when he is exposed to a hallucinogenic drug and once when Watson gets shot.
There's also that moment at the end of "The Six Napoleons," when Lestrade tells him that Scotland Yard is proud of him. Watson's narration: "...it seemed to me that he was more nearly moved by the softer human emotions than I had ever seen him."
Though Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe does have his more human moments, these mainly occur when he's been truly pushed over the edge, as when, in one novel, he is kidnapped and shot full of narcotics by a quack doctor. The rest of the time, though, he manages to remain completely deadpan even as he's being beaten up by crooked cops or having guns waved in his face.
Rand Al'Thor from the Wheel of Time series is slowly transforming into this. His reaction to having his hand burnt off is "I'll have to learn the sword again". A old friend who had not been present to witness his transformation as it occurred over time assumed he was simply in shock, to be sadly told otherwise by someone who feels Rand's emotions. He just knew the hand was gone, he could do nothing about it and so felt nothing more about it.
Even from the beginning, there was Lan, who generally doesn't show any emotion; he once laughed, and Rand thought it was like a stone laughing. Then there's the Aiel, who are a race of stoics in the classic sense, having the attitude that the world is going to do terrible things to people and the only sensible thing to do is endure them without complaint; Perrin once cut the hand off a captive Aiel, who only grunted softly.
On the villains' side, Demandred is noted for his stoicism; he never smiles or laughs, and most of the other Forsaken are of the opinion that he's so full of hate for the Dragon that he simply doesn't have room for any other emotions, and other characters will often note his lack of expression. Then, when he feels his revenge is actually in his grasp, he finally lets all that hate out and turns into a Large Ham.
Shadow from American Gods is a stoic who sees the most remarkable things and doesn't even care enough to wonder about what they are or why they happen.
Roose Bolton from A Song of Ice and Fire is notable in a series full of stoic characters, speaking with a quiet monotone and having a face that looks like a pale timeless mask for which all emotions appear similar. Bolton uses leeches to suck away the "bad blood" of anger and other messy emotions, and calmly mentions the certainty of his future sons being killed by his bastard intent on succession. He's not concerned by this as he knows he will not live long enough to train his future sons to manhood, and "boy lords are the bane of any house."
Anasurimbor Kellhus is both a straight example and a subversion. He's a ruthless, completely rational human calculator who's so good at simulating social interaction he comes across as a passionate, friendly, inspiring leader.
Drizzt Do'Urden is often described in-text by his author as being stoic. While he does indeed power through setbacks and defeats, he feels quite deeply, and in battle will wear rage on his sleeve. Further, while he doesn't talk to many outside of his friends, he is very eloquent when speaking with them.
This is a type Wright is fond of: from his Golden Age series, we have Helion, who unflinchingly faces being repeatedly burned to death in pursuit of a memory and Atkins, who only loses his temper once.
In Dan Abnett's Gaunt's Ghosts novel Only in Death, we are explicitly told that Ezsrah's people show no emotion and particularly no sorrow. Then, this is borne out by his actions throughout, and in particular in that scene. Ludd, his eyes red and tearful, told him of Gaunt's death, and he just nodded and walked away.
Sleepwalkers showed no emotion. It was part of their way.
Captain Ed Morris of the US Navy frigate USS Reuben James (formerly of the USS Pharris), as depicted in Red Storm Rising by Tom Clancy. After losing his ship to a Soviet submarine, he assumes command of a new ship. Though he plays his role as The Captain to a stoic extreme, he is plagued by Bad Dreams and his performance suffers. After a near experience with a Heroic BSOD, the helicopter pilot takes him to a waterfront bar to Drown His Sorrow, in true Sergeant Rock fashion. After reliving his experience and letting his sadness and anger out, Captain Morris gets his He's Back moment and sails again in fighting form to deliver death to Dirty Communists.
It may have something to do with the fact that many of them are centuries old, while others are thousands of years old, and some are even older than God, but probably the main reason that Merry Gentry's immortal guards seem so stoic is the fact that they've been at the mercy of a sadistic autocrat for several thousand years.
Lonesome Dove has Woodrow Call, who makes a good foil to Gus McCrae, the boisterous cowboy.
Major McNabbs from Jules Verne's "In Search of Castaways".
Keladry, protagonist of Protector of the Small, spent her first ten years in Yaman, where overt displays of emotion are shameful. She acts like a stone to avoid blowing up or melting down in the face of the vicious misogyny and regular training woes she has to endure. Her peers mockingly call her a "Yamani lump," but the trait serves her well as a leader. In the final book, she argues but remains calm when Wyldon orders her not to pursue the abducted refugees. Having avoided rousing suspicion, she very quietly turns her horse and rides into Scanra.
Junai of Daughter of the Lioness (a.k.a. the Trickster books) makes a total of three facial expressions. Each time, everyone is shocked.
Mildmay from Sarah Monette's series Doctrine of Labyrinths. Even in an underground labyrinth made by ancient worshippers of an evil goddess, he stays completely calm.
Perhaps the greatest example of this trope is Hans from Journey to the Center of the Earth. He not only agrees on the spot to go with the main characters down a giant lava tube to hell, but isn't even fazed by it. He saves the two other explorers several times, and manages to remain deadly calm even when almost dying of thirst.
Cato from Colleen McCullough's Masters of Romewants to be this. The real Cato was a stoic philosopher who was/is famous for being incorruptible and an ardent defender of Republican ideals during Rome's transition into an Empire. In contrast McCullough's portrayal of him is extremely negative. He is portrayed as a fanatical stoic who single handedly leads Italy into Civil War due to his irrational hatred of Caesar and rabid obsession with the mos maiorum. In his private life he is a deeply unhappy alcoholic who suppresses his emotions out of fear of being hurt.
Michael in Anne Tyler's The Amateur Marriage, so much so that it causes a lot of tension between him and his Genki Girl wife Pauline. He ends up divorcing her and marrying a female Stoic. Macon in The Accidental Tourist also qualifies (in fact, he comes from a family of Stoics), as does Sam in Ladder Of Years, although he's Not So Stoic after his wife walks out.
Jeeves has complete and utter imperturbability as his chief character trait, probably because he's usually fully in control of whatever Zany Scheme is going on at the moment. His rather excitable master constantly wonders how he does it. Notably, he doesn't smile—he "muscle spasms".
Tobias of Animorphs. Since he’s used to living in the body of a hawk, which has no facial muscles, people are often disturbed when he shows no reactions to anything while in his human morph. He does legitimately experience the wide emotional range one would expect from a dysfunctional teenage boy but is physically unaccustomed to demonstrating it. The one time he weeps, when Rachel is dying, she is deeply moved that he would “do that for [her]."
Colonel promoted to Lieutenant Brendig from David Eddings's Belgariad shows Flat Joy.
Ce'Nedra:Don't you ever smile?
Brendig:(perfectly straight face) I am smiling.
Lt. Kirihara Azusa in Stone King comes across as very stoic to those who aren't skilled at reading her minimal expressions.
Conrad Hensley from Tom Wolfe's A Man in Full is a literal stoic, having embraced the philosophy during his stint in prison.
Parker from the Richard Stark novels.
British statesman Lord Chesterfield recommended being this several times in Letters to His Son: "It is very often necessary, not to manifest all one feels." - "I am sure that since I have had the full use of my reason, nobody has ever heard me laugh." - "A man who does not possess himself enough to hear disagreeable things without visible marks of anger and change of countenance, or agreeable ones, without sudden bursts of joy and expansion of countenance, is at the mercy of every artful knave or pert coxcomb; the former will provoke or please you by design, to catch unguarded words or looks by which he will easily decipher the secrets of your heart, of which you should keep the key yourself, and trust it with no man living. The latter will, by his absurdity, and without intending it, produce the same discoveries of which other people will avail themselves."
Legacy of the Dragokin: Lydia Comports herself in a calm and professional matter; it's a point of pride because she is a leader of soldiers and is expected to.
In the Soviet novel Definitely, Maybe, Vecherovsky, who managed to remain calm throughout the whole ordeal and is the only one who is still resisting laws of entropy by the end.
Lord Vetinari from Discworld has only shown himself to be Not So Stoic in one circumstance; his ongoing battle with the Crossword Puzzle in The Ankh-Morpork Times. Situations he has reacted to with a raised eyebrow and a deadpan comment include being overthrown and cast into the dungeons, facing the impending destruction of the Disc as we know it, and various attempts on his life, but the crossword is Serious Business.
In Unseen Academicals, the wizard formerly known as the Dean reveals an unexpected awareness of international politics and adds "You needn't look surprised, my lord." The Patrician replies "I didn't. I am surprised, but kindly credit me with not looking surprised unless there is some advantage to doing so."
In C. S. Lewis's Till We Have Faces, the Fox is a philosophical Stoic and so aspires to this. He goes so far as to argue against grieving over the Human Sacrifice of Istra/Psyche on the ground that she escaped the miseries of life under her father's thumb, and had attained all the virtues that anyone could — before breaking down.
Haymitch Abernathy in The Hunger Games. Peeta sometimes fits the bill too, though mostly he's the emotional, sensitive one.
Oz. Whether it's finding out that he's a werewolf, a nude Buffy who can read his thoughts, or the idea of his girlfriend being turned into a vampire, he keeps his head. His reaction is "Huh" with a bemused grin when he's meditating in Tibet and a submarine is teleported outside the temple. It takes Willow being held hostage by an Ax-Crazy Faith and everyone arguing about it for him to smash something in frustration. Even then it was to force the Scoobies to trade the MacGuffin for Willow.
It's occasionally lampshaded:
Xander: For a minute there I thought you were gonna make an expression.
Oz: I felt one coming on, I won't lie.
From the same episode ("Earshot", in which Buffy can hear what everyone is thinking)
Oz: (thinking) I am my thoughts. If they exist in her, Buffy contains everything that is me. She becomes me. I cease to exist.
Oz: (speaking) Huh.
He has two freakouts in his run on the show, both in the same season. One in the "What Do They Fear?" Episode when he starts randomly going wolf, and the second when he learns about Willow and Tara.
The Chase: This is meant to be the gimmick of the Chasers. Meant to be meaning that it falls apart due to Corpsing on various occasions.
Casey could very well be the page image. He rarely shows anything of what he's feeling in the first two seasons, even when he is in an emotional state. And when he does show something, it's usually either annoyance or disdain at the antics of the Buy More staff or Chuck's struggles as a spy, amusement at tweaking Chuck and/or Sarah on their feelings for one another, or Unstoppable Rage. By near the end of the second season and moving into the third, Casey finally begins to loosen up and is more willing to express how he's feeling, as well as offer insights into others' emotional conflicts.
Chuck makes this into an Inverted Trope this as the series progresses. Although he remains the most emotional member of the team throughout the series, he progressively becomes cooler under fire as he grows more accustomed to the spy life, even shocking Devon with just how easily he's able to lie to Ellie's face. By the end of the series even without the Intersect he's able to face down mooks with confidence.
Sarah is a master of shutting off her emotions, and her ability to mask her feelings is lampshaded multiple times throughout the series.
Beckman takes this to Comically Serious levels. She rarely reacts at all, and the most change in her reaction will be a slight raising of her voice. It becomes outright Crowning Moments Of Funny when Beckman is shown with the same emotionless expression while wearing a cocktail dress or bathrobe, and the episodes in which she is visibly upset or distressed become downright jarring.
Daniel Shaw's lack of expressiveness is a large contributor to his place as The Scrappy in the third season. For most of his tenure he showed practically no emotion at all, (arguably justified by trauma over the death of his wife and his firm belief that emotions are a liability to a spy) even in episodes where it was meant to be clear that he was attracted to Sarah. Ironically, he was much better received after his Face-Heel Turn turned him into a bit of a Large Ham arch-nemesis.
Community: Upon being told to just sit and wait in the episode "Social Psychology" , while everyone else around him ends up throwing childish tantrums and storming out, Abed just calmly, without expressing any apparent emotion, sits and waits. For twenty-six hours.
Professor Duncan: [Watching video footage of Abed sitting perfectly still, staring into space] ... Is it on pause?! Annie: Nope. That's just who he is.
SSA Aaron Hotchner. Has been known to occasionally crack a wry smile or get sniffly with/about his young son, but when he's on the job? All business, to the point where he doesn't even blink when a serial killer fires a gun at him from point-blank range.
In an interview from the first season one of the writers said that if Hotch was ever to get emotional on the show, the audience would probably be sobbing by that point. Cue season five and the Reaper arc, and this was definitely the case.
Dollhouse: Laurence Dominic wears this badge for a while:
Topher Brink: [laughs nervously] There's no way Dom would consciously try and have fun!
Aeryn Sun, especially at the start; though she gradually moves away from this, she periodically reverts to the Stoic as a defense mechanism. No matter how dangerous the situation is, she remains calm and in control. In a war zone, carrying her newborn baby, with a psychopathic Scarran pointing a gun at her husband's head, she simply shoots the Scarran and deadpans "It's a boy. In case you were wondering."
This is canonically Aeryn's strongest character trait, as revealed in "Twice Shy." When the Alien of the Week heightens everyone's strongest trait, Scorpius and Sikozu note that the rest of the crew is behaving in a very exaggerated manner but that Aeryn is colder than usual. Later, when the alien steals these traits, it is INCREDIBLY disturbing to see Aeryn panic.
Wash: Right. Less talking. She's terse - I can be terse. Once, in flight school, I was laconic.
Highlander: A few of the Immortals, especially Methos:
Methos: I haven't felt guilt since the eleventh century.
House: House is borderline: he's stoic most of the time, but then every so often is given to some pretty extreme mugging. True stoics don't do things like holler with exaggerated passion "YOU CAN'T STOP OUR LOVE!!!" over a room full of hospital execs in order to embarrass their intended object.
Sarah MacKenzie Is mostly portrayed, as part of the Marine persona, as the Stoic.
Mac:I'm a Marine, a devildog, we don't back down from anything!
However, at times such as in "Second Sights" when finding her estranged father on his deathbed at a hospice in a state of coma, and at the same time meeting her even more estranged self-centred white trash mom, she turns out to be Not So Stoic. But it turns out to be a Double Subversion: after her father has passed away Mac tells her mother stoically that she never wants to see her again because it was she, not her father, who once abandoned her.
Gibbs and Ziva. For example, in the season six episode "Dead Reckoning," Ziva and Tony are protecting a witness, and hitmen are on their way to the safehouse. Ziva calls Gibbs to inform him of the situation, putting the phone on speaker and setting it down as she pulls out two handguns. Her voice never changes:
Ziva: We have a situation at the safehouse.
Gibbs: Well, yeah, Ziva. What is it?
Ziva: Just a second. (The hitmen break in through two different doors, and Ziva shoots them both dead before they can react.)
Gibbs: Ziva? Ziva! Ziva, talk to me!
Ziva: Under control. (hangs up)
Gibbs' only reaction is to smile slightly before he hangs up as well.
Primeval: Douglas Henshall's performance as Nick Cutter is much more restrained in the second and third series than the first. The altercations to the timeline and revelation of Stephen and Helen's affair could make him qualify in the Shell-Shocked Veteran category.
Revolution: Early on, Miles Matheson and Sebastian Monroe. A Justified Trope, because both of them served as marines before the blackout. However, Miles ends up proving to have emotions, like when he cried over Nora's death in the first season finale, while Monroe proves to be incredibly deranged and hammy.
Octavian. He cannot remember the last time he made a joke.
Adult Octavian also likes to stare for long periods without blinking. Chilling.
And then there's Vorenus, Antony had a memorable remark about him: "You won't turn to drink, will you? You stoic types often do when disappointed in life."
Strictly speaking, Antony was probably using the term in the political/philosophical sense and not the general modern term, as Vorenus, a largely-unreconstructed Catonian, does subscribe to a Stoic philosophy.
Subverted when Marc Antony compliments Julius Caesar on his calm demeanor while they're (illegally) marching on Rome. "You look as calm as a cup of water." Caesar replies with a touch of irony, "I'm glad I appear so..."
The Sarah Connor Chronicles: Cameron, being a machine, shows only a simulation of emotion at particularly calculated moments where she needs to manipulate the people around her.
Scrubs: One episode featured a memorable quick-flash montage depicting various patients dealing with pain. One of them is a stone-faced Japanese sushi chef, with an enormous bloody knife sticking out of his shoulder: "Does what hurt?"
Col. Jack O'Neill is very much a Stoic, having barely ever cracked even a smirk. He makes up for it by being one darn funny Deadpan Snarker though.
Teal'c, the Proud Warrior Race Guy from the same show, is also a Stoic on par with Spock. He is capable of deep and powerful emotion, but he lets it out only when a loved one is nearby or in danger.
Teal'c apparently also has a very strong sense of humor, it just doesn't translate well.
Teal'c: I shall attempt to translate one for you. A Horus Guard, a Serpent Guard, and a Setesh Guard meet on a neutral planet. The Horus Guard's beak glistens. The Serpent Guard's eyes glow. The Setesh Guard's... nose drips.
(Teal'c bursts out laughing, but stops after a few seconds when no one else laughs)
Spock is one of the most famous examples of the Stoic (even has his own trope).
In the later series, this role is taken up by Data, Worf, Odo, Tuvok and T'Pol as the resident non-human observers of humanity. Malcolm Reed, who also fulfills this role on Enterprise, is human, but English. And Morn is only ever seen sitting in stoic silence, despite all his off-camera antics described by others.
Supernatural: Castiel. He has no clue how to show emotion, which isn't true for the other angels.
Imperial Guard regiments from Valhalla are described to generally be like this, able to shrug off even the largest losses and focus on the objective at hand, not even surrendering until the very last moment, and sometimes not even then. For a good example of this, see Gunner Jurgen, aide to Ciaphas Cain (HERO OF THE IMPERIUM!), where the majority of the Valhallan 597th Ice Warriors have very differing personalities, Jurgen fits the standard description for Valhallans as described in the Imperial Guard Codex pretty well.
In general, stoicism is a very good idea if you're a human in the 40K-verse. Not only will it help you get through the horrors of day-to-day life in the Imperium, it is also the only way to not feed the Chaos Gods.
It's not just the humans, either. The Craftworld Eldar are into this big time. And for good reason: on top of being aware that emotions feed the Chaos Gods, if the Eldar express too much emotion, their souls are claimed by Slaanesh, one of said Chaos Gods. Stoicism is a survival tactic for them.
Reaper and Shadow of Jagged Alliance, combined with the Quiet One. They do, however, break out of it occasionally (such as Shadow snarking at the Crepitus, giant bugs, or Reaper getting injured or spotting enemies).
Shadow from Final Fantasy VI. When the heroine asks him for words of wisdom about her screwed-up life, he tells he can't help and boasts about having killed off his emotions. Later, when his daughter, Relm, becomes a part of the party, he never speaks to her beyond warning that his dog will bite.
Sephiroth from Final Fantasy VII. In the original games, everyone else is usually made to run in cutscenes just to save time, and presumably you're not supposed to think they're really running. Sephiroth walks. In the movie Advent Children, he never blinks and hardly ever grunts or breathes during the whole intensive battle scene he gets. Appearing preternaturally unaffected is the most distinctive behavioural trait he has.
He cracks a bit in Crisis Core.
Cloud is also this despite that you can actually control some of his behaviour. It gets worse for him as the game continues, although he does get somewhat better after he has overcome his Angst Coma in the original game. Then Advent Children rolls around....
Cloud tends to come off as the Shell-Shocked Veteran variety in his later media appearances, in a case of Pandering to the Base. Although, in all fairness, it'd be downright absurd to think he'd just be emotionally fixed by the end of the original game. Anyone who's gone through what Cloud went through would need more than a few years before beginning to make a meaningful recovery.
Auron from Final Fantasy X practically embodies this trope (as well as a score of others, but let's not go there...). He's mainly the 'Combat Vet' version, mixing in a handful or two of the action hero variant, and a pinch of Aloof Big Brother, mostly near the beginning.
Actually, Shell-Shocked Veteran would be the best way to describe him and he has a pretty good reason for it: your two best friends die, but you try to keep it together when you learn that they died in vain and you get a Hannibal Lecture that all your life was based on a lie. If that doesn't mess you up in the emotions department, nothing does.
JC Denton from Deus Ex, although talks frequently compared to others, shows VERY little emotion when speaking. He might as well be a robot, but then again...Cybernetics Eat Your Soul
The fact he talks so much emphasises his stoicism. He seems quite philosophical and clearly has a deep understanding of the issues he's involved in.
His brother shows noticably less detachment, and the other nano-aug you meet (Walton Simons) gets quite irritated with the protagonist on a couple of occasions. Gunther Hermann, a mechanical augment, shows himself to be quite emotional but presumably hides it as best he can whilst working with his sociopathic partner Anna Navarre. So soul-eating probably hasn't happened here... these people are just damaged.
JC does briefly let his stoicism slip, ever so slightly, shortly before the denouement.
Bob Page: I will burn like the brightest star!
JC: Oh, you're gonna burn, alright.
And again when taunting Maggie Chow about the fatal mistake in the latter's Xanatos Gambit.
There's a whole race of stoics in Lusternia, the Lucidian. Their progenitor was The Spock of the Elder Gods. They're highly intelligent, made of crystal, and are coolly indifferent to most other mortals - except the Trillrace.
In Sabres Of Infinity, Aside from expressing his contempt of Upper-Class Twit Elson, Cazarosta has few moments when he shows even an ounce of emotion in the story, working hard to gain his trust can make him open up a little more.
Several characters act this way in The King of Fighters, but the most notable is likely K'. He never so much as smirks, his voice rarely moves past a monotone, and his introductory line is a muttered, "Heh. Now I'm mad."
The Alternate UniverseMaximum Impact has several characters (Soiree and the Genki Girls Yuri and Kula) who try to cheer up the cast's stoics before their fights. The responses range from K' dismissing them to Iori making a death threat.
Undine and Salamander, Arioch's pact-partners in Drakengard, are of this sort. At one point they tell the protagonist about Arioch's disturbing past and try to explain why she's so Ax-Crazy, and they do so with all the vivacity of a dead cockroach.
One more for Kyosuke. Try to kill his True Companions in front of him and make it look like it's his fault. The man will break down in tears and enter a Heroic BSOD right off bat.
Kingdom Hearts, Various members of Organization XIII, Xemnas, Xaldin, Lexeaus, Zexion and Saix to name a few, are various shades of stoic, though they all have moments of Not So Stoic as well. It could be because of their nature as Nobodies, however with the exception of Xemnas, all the previously mentioned characters were still shown as stoic when they had hearts.
Mass Effect'sUrdnot Wrex is a centuries-old warrior whose iron-cold stoicism in combat comes from a combination of long experience and more jaded cynicism than you can shake a stick at. The most you can get out of him in the majority of circumstances is a calm remark on how satisfying that last round of gunplay was. However in Mass Effect 2, the only non-stoic part was seeing Shepard is alive again, and he says: "Shepard, my friend!" In 3, if you kill Mordin during the sequence when the cure is deployed for the Genophage he will go into an unstoppable rage as you essentially doomed his entire species since said cure became ineffective because it denatured from the heat of the lab fire.
Advance Wars has Hawke (and Gage in the new setting). Both have the same range of reactions as the other CO's, but theirs are much more subtle.
Tear also when she trying to keep up her soldier mentality.
Veigue Lungberg from Tales of Rebirth is the epitome of this trope within the Tales Series. How bad is it? For one, he is the only character who doesn't have a smiling frame in the skits, and the only time he ever smiled was in one anime cutscene. And it was a tiny, very reserved smile. His gloominess is even constantly mocked by the other party members, especially Mao.
Tytree: If we hang around in a dark place like this, then we're gonna end up gloomy just like Veigue here!
Mao: No~, anything but that!
Veigue: ...We're leaving this instant.
Raidou Kuzunoha the Fourteenth of Raidou Kuzunoha vs. The Soulless Army experiences some rather disturbing events with a perfectly straight face, which make the few moments when he is visibly shocked/distressed more emotional for the player (this player, at least) than they normally would be. (And it makes the game over scene much more frightening when one takes into account how terrified he is.) Also, no matter how joyous the music or visuals, his oh-so-tiny smile at the end drove the feeling of victory home (as if visually whispering I won...). Not bad for a silent protagonist.
That stoicism is played brilliantly in Gears 2, as the few rare instances where he shows an emotion other than anger are made all the more powerful. Particularly potent is the brief flicker of pain he shows when Dom finds and has to Mercy Kill Maria.
Team Fortress 2's Heavy is described as this, but he cheers up once he starts killing people. When we see him, he's always killing people.
The Spy is a better example, staying calm even when he's burning to death, though revealing he lets loose quite a bit in his domination lines—particularly, he finds the fact that the Sniper lives in a van hilarious.
Torgal from The Last Remnant is an excellent example, he has the least lines out of the main group and shows very little emotion.
In his Flashback Nightmares, it's revealed he has an excuse: Due to his emotions, he chickened out of mercy killing his bandit partner, leaving him to a painful, torturous death.
Cyrus from Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum believes that emotions are "useless sentimentality". He uses this as his justification for destroying the universe and creating a new one with all humans stripped of emotions and spirit.
Regarding his "emotionlessness", it's pretty clear through his actions and words that he very obviously still has them. Consider that when he initially tells the player character this, he's nearly screaming at them. In Platinum, he is forced to confess, due to having a meltdown of rage, that he still has them.
Certain Pokémon like Lucario and Umbreon are like this in Pokémon X and Y's Pokémon-Amie. They don't budge much even when you pet them, compared to others who are practically squealing.
In Silent Hill 4: The Room, this is one of the things Henry and Walter have in common. Except that Walter sometimes smiles and laughs.
The protagonist of Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey, despite being a Heroic Mime, is noted by the rest of the cast to be very calm and controlled, which is why they rely on him so much. And they freak out at the start of the Chaos Path when he kills Gore: "Did you just laugh?"
The Master Chief himself! Starring as the main protagonist in the Halo series, he kicks alien butt, holds off an epidemic Flood virus, and stops Halo from detonating while keeping a cool head the whole freakin' time. And the guy never shows emotions to boot (probably because he's in a giant robot suit that masks every emotion his body tries to show). But still, if he's asked to jump out of a ship and hurl into outer space, he'll do it while saying in a calm voice, "Sir, finishing this fight". Definitely a Stoic. Except at the deaths of Miranda Keyes, Sgt. Johnson, and especially Cortana.
Truth as well, not even the destruction of the Halo ring fazes him. UntilHalo 3, where it's revealed that he was merely masquerading as the Stoic to hid his sadistic psychopathic personality and extremely high temper.
Joshua Graham and Legate Lanius in Fallout: New Vegas are both notable stoics, men who don't raise their voices, even in anger. The most that players will see them emote is some degree of Tranquil Fury in the case of Joshua and either unemoted contempt or faintly damning respect from Lanius, depending on how you approach him. Recruitable companion Boone appears to be so stoic as to be a textbook Cold Sniper. Initially.
OFF's Batter remains impassible throughout the entire game, not raising his voice or loosing his terseness even when threatened, battling, or witnessing some of the nastier events in the story.
Dynasty Warriors gives us Zhou Tai, a man who barely emotes in the face of victory or defeat. Very little phases him, and most of the things he says are spoken in a whispery growl.
Samurai Warriors has Hattori Hanzo, ninja writ large and also a man of very few words (most of them involving darkness, shadows, and death). His early voices were practically paper-thin.
The male protagonist of Persona 3 is considered to be this by many of the other characters in the game. Some of his closest friends are often envious of his cool and collected nature in any situation, and it causes some problems with the emotional stability of the group. The female protagonist, on the other hand, is something of a Genki Girl.
The Nobles of Ascension are this, and the Moon elves are very close. It's not that the Moon elves don't feel anything, they repress their emotions because showing emotions is considered rude in their culture.
Rider in Fate/stay night. First she's an antagonist that smiles one time at the fact that Shirou isn't as big of a Jerkass as Shinji, then she dies without expressing anything but a mild disdain for Saber's much stronger distaste for her. No part in UBW. HF gives her the emotional range of emotionless (and unnerving to Shirou with it) to mild frown to very slight smile. The strongest reactions are when people are honestly appreciative/complimentary of her where she becomes almost flabbergasted. But then again, she has a backstory that turned Medusa into a woobie, so yeah. Even then she masks it. She's more outgoing in the True End of HF though.
M in Shikkoku No Sharnoth. The only times he displays strong emotions is when he is destroying his foes. He does not really appear to understand emotion in some way.
Kyouko Kirigiri of Dangan Ronpa is a stone-faced in the presence of crime scenes and corpses, rarely smiling. One of the few instances where she manages to get shaken up are quite serious.
Peko Pekoyama of Super Dangan Ronpa 2 follows in Kirigiri's footsteps. Unlike her, however, Peko is much easier to snap out of her stoicism; she has a wide range of expressions when actually, well, expressing herself.
Bobby Jacks of Survival of the Fittest very much embodied this trope, at least in pregrame. During version 3, he has, however, shown emotion a couple of times. On the other hand, most of these occurrences happened either when he was alone or internally - so other characters wouldn't be privy to the same knowledge as readers. The three occasions where Bobby shows real emotion are justified however. Once because he had just been shot, the other two times because his Berserk Button was pushed.
Greg from The Wolf's Will has his moments of stoicism, but he has absolutely nothing on Free Flower from the same book, or on Beatrice from Demonic Symphony.
Word of God has it that the last two are actually incapable of feeling emotion.
Wyn from the web fiction serial Dimension Heroes seems to slip in and out of this trope: sometimes he feels like talking, and other times he'll simply stand around and look cool.
Shrooms has Blue Shroom, who is consistently light on emotion, a great contrast to Red's histrionic personality and antics. Which makes sense, as Blue is the only character in the series without animated facial expressions.
To Boldly Flee has Sad Panda, who as multiple commentaries note, reacts visibly to absolutely nothing.
Blaire from The Secret Life Of A Mermaid life is hard: her mom abandoned her and her dad at one years old and she's used as a personal information guide to the others about her mom, (which is a very tough subject for her). When her dad gets suspicious of her, he bans her from seeing her only friends, which promote her to run away with Terra, probably forever and yet, she goes through all this with no expressions except for a smile!
Kelsey is the most level-headed member of the group, although she is sometimes Not So Stoic.
Brenna became practically an Emotionless Girl in Wildfire, to the point where Kelsey points this out.
Kelsey: " Okay, first you lash out when we were playing yesterday. Then, you turned all emo. And, now you hair's purple!"
Brenna: (in a monotonous voice) " It's purple?" (Looks at her hair) "Huh. Guess it is,"
Donut from Dusk's Dawn doesn't emote outside of assertiveness, inquisition and disappointment.
Zz'dtri, Vaarsuvius's evil counterpart in The Order of the Stick, barely talks and keeps a straight face almost at all times. He does however let out an evil grin every once in a while. It's meant to make him a foil to Vaarsuvius' Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness.
Airman Third Class Axel Higgs has faced everything from airship crashes to angry swans to rampaging warrior Clanks with a cool head and a talent for thinking on his feet. The only thing that appears to faze him is Zeetha (who, to be fair to Higgs, gleefully dove into a barfight composed entirely of Jagermonsters).
For those of you who don't know jagermonsters are supersoldiers all of whom have decades or even centuries of combat experience, so it takes quite a badass to brawl with them.
Higgs is not a true stoic. He does show emotions, and in fact runs the gamut from mild annoyance to considerable annoyance. (He's exhibited surprise a couple of times also, but it takes a lot to prompt this reaction from him.)
Finas also seems to fit this category, though Word of God states that he does actually smile "when the situation warrants it".
Riff in Sluggy Freelance. Though he's developed a greater range of emotion, he's still deadpan more often than not, and prone to Tranquil Fury. Stoicism around women in particular is a front he's carefully cultivated to prevent himself from sticking his foot in his mouth.
Raizel from Noblesse, who spoke as much as (or even less than) random throwaway villains over the course of 185 chapters. His facial expression neverchanges, and the most emotional he ever got was during his Tranquil Fury moment.
In Homestuck, Dave Strider hides himself in cool irony and refuses to show emotion. His brother raised him to be independent and never show weakness (Emotion being one). As they progress in the game Dave becomes more worried and asks Rose how John is doing when he can't contact him. He also casually asks her for psychoanalysis on his dreams. At one point when being pestered by Terezi a future Dave gives him the thumbs up after she asks if he can trust her.
A big part of Dave's Character Development lies in realizing he is different from his brother, and can be his own man; he reveals himself Not So Stoic as a consequence. The Alpha iteration of Bro, though, is this trope to a tee.
Craig from South Park is like this, usually when he's flipping people off. Although he frowns and shouts at other people, sometimes. Or smiles malevolently when he wants to beat someone.
Mysterion tends to fit this trope since his demeanor is similar to Batman's. He only loses his stoicism when people don't take him seriously or when he is talking to the Coon. He only smiles and laughs once, when explaining why they haven't changed the name of Coon and Friends after kicking him out; because it pisses the Coon off.
Not only does he briefly lose his stoicism, he briefly drops his Guttural Growling when he finds out that his parents have attended the Cult of Cthulhu meetings.
Samurai Jack, similar to Jin, is a swordsman who will give little more than a brief glance to all of the weird crap he sees.
Gummy the baby alligator is completely defined by his lack of ability to experience any emotion (or even awareness of his surroundings) whatsoever. This is instarkcontrast to his owner, PinkiePie, who is inexplicably convinced otherwise.
Pinkie's sister, Maud, is an even more extreme example, bordering on being an Emotionless Girl.
Leon of Titan Maximum is stoic to the core. Even when freezing to death, he doesn't so much as shiver. He does reach out a hand to stoic monkey Jesus, though.
Six through and through. He smiles all of three or four times throughout the entire series, and it's only a tiny deviation from his normal expression.
Stoicism, without the deterministic mythology associated with its original forms, is effective both at preventing and treating some forms of depression and anxiety. By teaching the patient that they can always be in control of their own mental state, the patient can use stoic discipline to become resistant to emotional disturbances.
One ancient Greek Stoic, it was told, greeted the news of his only son's death with the comment, "I was aware I had begotten a mortal."
The stoics of ancient Greece both were and weren't this trope. They didn't dislike being emotional, it's just that they saw excess emotion as negative because it can control a person's life. They believed using logic and reason to determine their life led to greater happiness.
Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus. His writings, collected into a book called "Meditations" are considered the best introductory book into the Stoic philosophy.
Part of the reason for this is that no writings from the Greek stoics survived from antiquity. Only the Roman stoics managed to pass on their writing.
In typology tests such as the Myers-Briggs, personalities with IxTx-dominant functions (that is, Introverted Thinkers) are often stereotyped under this trope.
In the typology test, Socionics, this is a defining trait of ILI and SLI types (also written as INTp and ISTp) who go to great pains to restrain any emotions that might be expressed and can be easily told from their consistent, stoic lack of facial expression.
Schizoid personality disorder involves detachment from social relationships and a restricted range of emotional expression. Sound familiar? Yes, it does.
One of the signs of disorganized schizophrenia (not the fun kind) is "flat affect," which is the psych term for the lack of or an inability to express emotions.
Flat Affect is also a common symptom of depression. When one is required to suppress their emotions just to get on with day to day living, it's hardly surprising that a blank expression becomes second nature.
Admiral Raymond Spruance, USN. He didn't really need bombs, shells, and torpedoes; he could probably look at Japanese ships on a map and a shower of ice pouring from his cold heart would fall on them and sink them.
Feodor Emelianenko, the top heavyweight MMA fighter in the world. He has stated that he deliberately clears his mind of emotion before and during a fight. The most expression seen on his face in a fight is quiet determination.
Russians in general only emote when they are surrounded by friends and/or family. In all other situations they keep a Dull Surprise expression.
Same for his coach Gregg Popovich. No wonder people say the Spurs are so boring.
Team newcomer Kawhi Leonard easily fits this trope too. Pictures of Kawhi laughing or smiling are often accused by fans of being photoshopped.
Chilean President Manuel Montt was described by his own followers as "being all cool head, but no heart".
During the Yom Kippur War "Dado" Elazar specifically ordered that no casualties' names be reported to headquarters unless it was of military importance that they be known. This was because several of the officers present had their own sons in the fighting. In this case it was almost literal Stoicism: it was the sort of order a Roman commander might have given.
New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick is this.
Training one's self to be "deliberately stoic" in order to shunt away emotional reactions can be an effective, non-pharmaceutical defense against anxiety, panic, and phobic disorders. In essence, shoving one's emotional reactions aside (be it gently or forcefully) allows the more calmly rational mind to take over control of the reactions until the episode passes, and can also lessen the chances of the amygdala "hijacking" the brain and causing an explosive activation of the "fight or flight" response.