At first when I see you cry/it makes me smile/yeah it makes me smile/at worst I feel bad for a while/but then I just smile/Yeah I go ahead and smile.
— Lily Allen: Smile
How is it that I smile when I am sad?
From what resource do I derive this strength?
—Emilie Autumn, "Blackbird Sonnets, III", Your Sugar Sits Untouched
Although I laugh and I act like a clown,
Beneath this mask, I am wearing a frown.
— The Beatles, "I'm a Loser"
Hal: My God, Annie. Yours is even better than mine.
Annie: My what?
Hal: Your mask.
I always wear a smile
Because anything but a smile would make me have to explain
And they wouldn't understand anyway
I conceal my feelings so I won't have to explain
What I can't explain anyway
"If I sound pleased about [Pandora going to hell under Handsome Jack], its only because my creators made this my default tone of voice. I'm actually quite depressed!"
— Claptrap, Borderlands 2
“I think he still blamed himself,” she says in the blandest tone, “even though I told him I was okay.”
“He does that sometimes,” you agree. “But I don't think you were really okay, and even though you lied to yourself, I think you couldn't lie to him.”
She turns to look at you, her face as blank and expressionless as her empty eye sockets.
“But I'm okay,” she says, her voice still lacking inflection. “I was okay. I'm okay,” she repeats, and blinks rapidly.
You brush a lock of hair back from her face, and the contact surprises her, even though you had your hand on your shoulder just a minute ago.
“Are you really, though?” you ask kindly, and she hiccups. Fat, reddish tears start rolling down her cheeks.
"Buried deep as you can dig inside yourself, hidden in the public eye
such a stellar monument to loneliness.
Laced with brilliant smiles and shining eyes,
perfect makeup, but you're barely scraping by.
— Dashboard Confessional, The Places You Have Come To Fear The Most
No, Orson Hodge isn't exactly the guy I'd have picked to head my family, but I'll give him one thing... he's got the smile down cold.
— Rex Van de Kamp, Desperate Housewives
(inner thought:) Shiny new automobile: check.
Wife cooking meatloaf, taking valium: check.
Monotonus job as a filing clerk: check.
Unbridled inner rage hidden just below the surface of normalcy: check.
—Suburban resident, Destroy All Humans!
Frigga appeared the perfect caregiver. She walked through the castle, gave comfort where it was needed, and did not let her face slip.
Light pulled himself up to the counter, putting on his, 'I'm completely normal and if you don't believe me, I'll Kill You!,' façade.
Everyone smiles with that invisible gun to their head.
Kimahri: Now are dark times. Yuna tries hard.
Tidus: We should help her, then.
Kimahri: If we worry, she tries harder. Do not frown.
Tidus: Don't worry, be happy?
Kimahri: Kimahri try, too.
Tidus: Smile! Let me see.
And I've been telling Yuna... Let's go to Zanarkand together! Let's beat Sin! I told her all the things we could... we could... And all along, the whole time, I didn't know anything! But Yuna, she'd... just smile.
— Tidus, Final Fantasy X
You said it made you happy when I smiled, didn't you? But really... I was afraid. I was always afraid.
— Oerba Dia Vanille, Final Fantasy XIII.
Some of your friends are surprised by how excitable and confident you seem, and you don’t blame them at all. That’s not you. You try to force yourself to be as happy as you possibly can all the time, but that’s only a distraction. She’s still there in your head, still talking to you. Telling you how weak you are. How you’re not good enough. How you’ve never been good enough for anything. How you won’t win this one. You can’t win this one. You’ve never won anything in your life. You know none of it’s true, but that doesn’t stop you from worrying, a nervous feeling eating away at you. What if you aren’t good enough for this? What if you can’t win? After all, she knows you as well as you know yourself.
You was raised without a daddy,
You're really not happy,
You only smile to cover the rain...
— GemStones, Skeletons
That's how the family works. Daddy brings home a paycheck and goes away with his secretary, while Mommy cooks dinner and keeps a brave face on things. All the while, her heart is breaking. Where are my pills...
"[The Misha you know is different from the one I think of, when I think of the time we first met. Even though I think she looks better cheerful and smiling, that isn't how she typically is.]"
— Shizune Hakamichi, Katawa Shoujo
With a smile, I'm dying inside \ But I know, I'll be just fine
Just the Thing - Paul Mac
I'm well aware I'm a danger to my self
Are you aware I'm a danger to others?
There's a crack in my soul
You thought was a smile
What Megaman and my brothers don't know, is this flash is all for show
'Cause inside, there's nothing there, and there's nothing to me,
I'm empty, and I'm hollow...
— Flashman Blue Like You
No, no... I shouldn't be laughing. Nothing's funny.
— Laughing Octopus Metal Gear Solid
I'm smiling now...right?
— Wolfgang Grimmer, Monster
Inside, my heart is breaking
My makeup may be flaking
But my smile still stays on...
"The Show Must Go On," Queen
"He won't stop crying."
"And you're going to stop him by killing him?" Hastur said.
Zirah stared at him in wide-eyed innocence. He looked puzzled.
Sumire: As always... your salesman smile is absolutely cruel..
Teru: Oh...? You know, there's quite a few people I'm actually grateful to. I wasn't lying...
Sumire: Right, but it's just too different from your normal self.
— Saki, after Teru puts on a cheerful and polite face at a press conference.
But he got it now. He got what everyone was looking for. It wasn't for him to be happy, and he wasn't trying to be mean thinking about that. People wanted other people to fit into a nice, neat package with smartly tied bows that were the right color to match the wrapping paper. People wanted to be able to classify other people, and for them to behave according to code.
Light found his code.
His role is son, older brother, protector, student, genius, role model, kind, earnest. His role is to be perfect so they don't have to worry again, so they won't say he's abnormal, strange, worrisome (all whispered in the dark night across the kitchen table when they thought he was asleep).
[Littlefinger's] eyes did not smile when his mouth did.
"And they say She's so lucky, she's a star,
But she cries, cries, cries,
In her lonely heart, thinkin':
If there's nothin' missin' in my life,
Then why do these tears fall at night?"
— Britney Spears, "Lucky"
Hold on, baby you're losing it
The water's high, you're jumping into it
And letting go
and no one knows
That you cry, but you don't tell anyone
That you might not be the golden one
And you're tied together with a smile but you're coming undone
—>—Taylor Swift, Tied Together With A Smile
I won't scream in my head
And let it isolate me
— "I Won't Be Left", by Tegan and Sara
Ruby, on the other hand, acts like she doesn’t come back to the dorm looking pensive on most nights, leaves and flower petals stuck to her hair; acts like she doesn’t shift closer to you in bed on others. Ruby acts like what happens past midnight happens on a different plane, another reality even, like she wants to keep the part of her that wolfs down cookies and swings around gun-scythes with pinpoint precision and playfulness separate from the part of her that shuffles to bed with you during the early morning hours.
"We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,—
This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
And mouth with myriad subtleties.
Why should the world be over-wise,
In counting all our tears and sighs?
Nay, let them only see us, while
We wear the mask.
We smile, but, Oh great Christ, our cries
To thee from tortured souls arise.
We sing, but oh the clay is vile
Beneath our feat, and long the mile;
But let the world dream otherwise,
We wear the mask!"
— Paul Laurence Dunbar, "We Wear the Mask"
You, who hide behind your smile when you're lonely
Are a blade of unmelting ice
— "Sychronicity", sung by Yui Makino
"It's okay," he smiles and says
Though his loneliness is driving him crazy.
He don't show what goes on in his head,
But if you watch very close, you'll see it all.
— Little River Band, "Lonesome Loser"
Even the people who never frown eventually break down
—Pushing Me Away, Linkin Park
I'm smiling but I'm dying
—Nothing, The Script
"Well, it doesn't matter how you feel inside, you know? It's what shows up on the surface that counts. That's what my mother taught me — take all your bad feelings and push them down, all the way down, past your knees until you're almost walking on them. And then you'll fit in, and you'll be invited to parties, and boys will like you, and happiness will follow."
—-Marge Simpson, The Simpsons
It was there,
she crafted her first mask;
imbued with betrayal and hurt.
She named it confidence