Hey, video game villains need emotional support too, y'know.
Support groups: The most common form in the popular consciousness supports addicts, but in both reality and fiction, all varieties of personal problems have groups dedicated to group therapy for them. Either way, it's cheaper than paying for a psychiatrist.
Typically portrayed as Epiphany Therapy
in productions like the Lifetime Movie of the Week
. If an addiction is involved, Off the Wagon
is a natural accompanying trope for the character. And like a Weird Trade Union
, there can be patently ridiculous parodies of support groups. There are several typical formulas:
- Introducing yourself, and identifying as the particular class of person the group supports. (For example, "Hi, I'm Bob, and I'm an alcoholic"). A Truth in Television formula, with a good psychological reason for its use. Usually the others will respond in a very bored voice, "Hello, (name)."
- A main character will be reticent to share with the group, become prodded by a kindly-voiced group leader, and subsequently let fly a torrent of suppressed disdain for the group at large, while in the same breath revealing a great deal of bitter personal information.
- Important characters tend to meet each other in these groups.
is a Sub Trope
. In comedies or children's stories, one of these might show up in conjunction with I Can't Believe It's Not Heroin
or any of the related "fictional drug equivalent" tropes.
Unfortunately, no, it's not
an actual support group for breaking your TV Tropes addiction. Mwahaha.
(and if it was real, it would be for addiction to tropahol
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- French comedian Manu Payet has a sketch about going to "Nutella Anonymous" meetings.
- In All Fall Down, Paradigm admits to Portia that since everyone lost their powers, he's been attending meetings at "Remaining Heroes".
- In Incredible Hulk, Betty and the Grey Hulk once imagined a support group for gamma-irradiated superhumans. "Sitting in tiny little chairs... which keep breaking under us..."
- Runaways introduced Excelsior, a support group for former teenage superheroes coming to terms with how much their youthful adventures have negatively impacted their lives into adulthood. By the end of their involvement in the series they have decided to become superheroes again, reasoning that they are adults now and can responsibly handle the situation.
- Noob has Arthéon attend a support group for players that lost their previous characters after doing Real Money Trade. His story makes everyone else feel better about themselves.
- Get Fuzzy: "Hi, my name is Rob... and I'm a Red Sox fan."
Films — Animation
Films — Live-Action
- From The Fifth Elephant — that's where the meeting is, though the group is mentioned in later books — there is the Black Ribboners, for vampires who wanted to quit drinking blood.
- Also, mentioned in Thud!, is Detritus' "One Step Programme" to get trolls off drugs. Step one, stop using drugs, or Detritus will beat the crap out of you.
- Played straight and discussed in Feet of Clay, when Vimes claims to be addicted to policing, and says that while he goes to meetings for his drinking problem, there's nowhere for people to say things like "My name is Sam, and I'm a suspicious bastard."
- The narrator of Fight Club visited all sorts of support groups for problems he didn't have, as did Marla. He reacted to other's trauma by finally relaxing enough to sleep. When Marla ultimately forces him to leave the groups out of humiliation, he and Tyler found Fight Club.
- The protagonist of Choke is a sex addict who routinely picks up women at his Sexaholics Anonymous meetings.
- The protagonist of Wrath James White's Succulent Prey attends a support group for sex addicts. While he is indeed a sex addict, his biggest problem is his growing cannibalistic urges.
- Rachel's Holiday by Marian Keyes has this in spades, not unexpected since it deals with the titular character's recovery from drug addiction. Mostly it's mentioned in passing, but at least one meeting is described in detail.
- Not in-game, but both Civilization IV and V have been advertised (or something) with "Civaholics Anonymous" (or "CivAnon") videos. There's even a Civilization Anonymous Website.
- Warcraft 3's expansion has the Blood Mage, who gives us this response if clicked on sufficiently:
Blood Mage: Uh, hi, my name's Roy and, uh, I'm a magic addict.
All: (chorus) Hello, Roy.
- Shirtless Anonymous.
- One Nostalgia Critic video ("The Top 11 Dumbest Spider-Man Moments") opens with the Critic going to "Bad Movie Anonymous". When he mentions he enjoyed Spider-Man 3, all the other attendees go crazy.
- One episode of Drawn Together features Ling-Ling attending an anger management group among other characters famous for this problem, such as Skeletor, Marvin the Martian, Yosemite Sam and Hulk.
- The Looney Tunes short Birds Anonymous has Sylvester trying to rid himself of his bird addiction. He actually seems to succeed at the end, when his sponsor goes Off the Wagon and tries to eat Tweety, forcing Sylvester to stop him.
- Pepper Ann goes to a support group after she becomes obsessed with Beanie Baby like dolls.
- Megalomaniacs Anonymous from Pinky And The Brain.
- Several Rocko's Modern Life episodes make fun of the twelve steps or include a support group.
- One has Rocko develop an addiction to nail-biting that critters called "the Twelve Steps" tried to help him overcome. One of them actually threatened to hurt him if he didn't admit what was wrong, and said that nail-biting would only take six steps instead of the full twelve (the other half-dozen decided to go to Vegas instead).
- The Simpsons
- Parodied, of course, with Marge's alcoholism and recovery (and with Homer going to Alc-Anon after getting busted on a DWI, with Otto the bus driver revealing that he loves to get blotto and the allegedly elderly Hans Moleman revealing that drinking has ruined his life and that he's actually 31 years old).
- There was also the film festival episode (a.k.a that Crossover episode with Jay Sherman from The Critic that Matt Groening hated so much that he didn't bother to put his name in the credits). In Barney's film, he is shown standing up and saying "My name is Barney and I am an alcoholic". Soon after, the camera pans out and Lisa points out he's in a girl scouts meeting, which Barney disregards as them "afraid to admit they have a problem!"
- South Park criticized AA's 12 steps as completely disregarding responsibility and self-restraint in favor of invoking a higher power as seen in the season nine finale "Bloody Mary". Apparently, Parker and Stone didn't even seem to consider quitting cold-turkey as a good idea in the first place.
- In The Venture Brothers, the two Mauve Shirt henchmen go to a henchmen anonymous meeting. They end up suggesting that the members go become their own supervillains. Over the mediator's objections, the idea becomes popular.
- In am episode of Mike, Lu & Og, Mike and the others start a support group for their hot dog addictions.
- Peter and Brian had to go to AA in the Family Guy episode "Friends of Peter G." Like with South Park, it had a message about moderation, and seemed to criticize the program.
The first step is admitting you have a problem.