Stepford Smiler: Fan Fic
Female ExamplesAzumanga Daioh
- There is a fair share of Azumanga Daioh fics that portray Tomo, of all people, as one of these. Such as these ones.
- It can be surmised that Tsuruya has been raised to be Depressed from the first chapter of the Initial Conflict arc of Kyon Big Damn Hero.
- Despair's Last Resort has Shizuka Matsuki as a Depressed type, and reveals that she started acting this way to give herself a new image upon starting at Hope's Peak Academy.
- The receptionist of Eve Hill Corporation in Aliens! does everything with cheer and a smile. Including knocking Jumba unconscious for snooping around.
- In the fanfiction Composure, Princess Celestia is so trapped in her own image of composed benevolence that she breaks when Luna attempts to get her to acknowledge her feelings, releasing a millennium worth of repressed emotions all at once.
- Pinkie Pie can appear anywhere on the spectrum in fanfics. In The Party Never Ended, Pinkie Pie is Depressed, as she breaks under her Genki Girl cover as she dreads over her love for Rainbow Dash. As for Cupcakes, well, let's say she's Unstable and leave it at that.
- Rarity is Unstable in The Killer Rarityverse fic The Secret life of Rarity, in which she maintains her social life over a period of 16 years in which she murders over 100 ponies/other races. She starts to slip towards the end, leading to her confrontation by Applejack
- Ruth in CIA Agents is clearly Depressed; she is so affected by her parents' divorce that ends being obsessed with the photography rather than just taking it as a hobby.
- Brit always acts happy around most people to keep herself sane in New Reality.
- Total Drama fanon sometimes portrays Sierra with tinges of this, suggesting that her Loony Fan antics are either the cause or effect of an inability to form any close, real-life friendships.
- Nui Harime in this aptly titled fanfic Dollhouse. Somewhat justified, as she doesn't want to worry anyone in about her conditions at home.
- Implied to be the case with Reimu in Gensokyo 20XXV, as it is found out that not all her smiles are genuine, actually, she smiles out of acceptance towards her situation and to comfort everyone else.
Ren: [...]If anything her smile is her way of comforting others and herself mostly, diverting attention away from her sorrow and pain, much like how Chen purred to herself.
Male ExamplesCode Geass
- In Code Geass: Mao of the Deliverance, the titular character not only displays a mix of Depression and Unstable—exuding cheerfulness and cool self-satisfaction while really suffering from insanity and desperately pining after C.C.—but deliberately affects an image of wealth and taste so people won't treat him with suspicion.
- In A Charmed Life Light is very emotionally stunted so while he thinks he's alright in reality he is actually quite miserable. Ryuk and L are the only ones to ever figure out what's Beneath the Mask and Ryuk is the only one to never judge him for it.
- From The Faceless:
- Light again in Seigikan:
Light: Class ended and before I could even move from my position, females (if they could be called that) flocked my surrounding table. It was utterly disgusting. I casually said a pleasant goodbye to Ryuzaki before being escorted off to the library to help out a fellow classmate. I would rather slit my wrists and write my own name in the Death Note, but sacrifices had to be made to maintain my identity as the perfect individual.
- Light in Solitude:
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).
- Robin, in Pretender is Depressed, who can raise the spirits of the demoralized Shepherds with a smile even after attempting to take his own life.
- Zirah, from The Sacred And The Profane.
"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.
- Draco Malfoy often gets this treatment in sympathetic fics that don't actually put leather pants on him. I.e., he's spent his whole life trying to be what his father expects him to be and has no idea what he is. More of a Stepford Smirker, of course, but it's entirely possible he does smile at people who aren't Harry Potter and his friends; we'd never know.
- In Amazonian AWOL Blaise Zabini does his utmost to maintain a cheerful front despite the fact that his ex-wife is draining him dry financially and he's on his last chance with his boss.
- Harry Potter in the Dark Fic Void of Emotion is Unstable—he's a sociopath that hides behind an adorably cheerful persona.
- In Laughing not only is Harry Depressed but Ron and Hermione are helping him keep up the pretense.
- In The Lily Potter Foundation Harry's been Depressed for much of his life, thanks to his abusive relatives and the indifference of the wizarding world.
- In fanfic Some Semblance of Meaning, Obsidian is Depressed in that he sometimes uses lighthearted jokes and smiles to mask his more troubled and unhappy side.
- Invader Zim fanfics about Keef are pretty rare, but those that exist often portray him as having neglectful of abusive parents. Given Jhonen Vasquez' style, this is entirely plausible (compare Squee, for example.)
- In the Captain America: The Winter Soldier fanfic Out Of The Dead Land, Bucky starts out as one: he memorizes information from history books, carefully parrots details of Steve's stories of their youth back to him, and even practices his facial expressions in the mirror to act as the good-natured, easygoing best friend Steve remembers and cover up the fact that he doesn't actually remember anything about his past. It works for a while, until Natasha exposes his act.
- In the few fics that actually center around and/or care to develop Big Macintosh he's generally portrayed as being Depressed or Empty for one reason or another. Hinted at in the example below, from the heretofore-unfinished shipfic "Like I Imagined":
Applejack glanced at her friend. "Usually he's just all plain an' sleepy-like, but sometimes he gets this look on his face like..."
"Like?" Rarity echoed.
"Like there's a bunch a' gears workin' in his noggin." Applejack frowned. "An' I don't much think I'd like to know what they're puttin' out."
"Why not?" Rarity looked over, concerned.
"'Cause when he gets like that, he looks darn near fifty." The earth pony shook her head. "It ain't right for a colt to look twice his age."
- Naruto fics that wish to portray him as secretly a badass all along tend to call his canon characterization the "idiot facade."
- Though it's just as common for the "idiot facade" to be the only thing keeping him sane from the abuse he receives from almost everyone (which is usually a lot harsher than canon, with mobs beating him and sometimes even being raped).
- From One Piece: Parallel Works, we have Daisuke Saburo, a Depressive. He's an Idiot Hero / Fun Personified teenager who seems to be always smiling and having fun. Then came the Project Mei Arc and the revelation of his Backstory and how he met Yulia when she killed his grandmother and was involved in a huge ransacking of his home island.
- And, then there are the Stockholm Syndrome Pirates.
- Til You Feel It All Around You reveals that Usopp was already developing into one of these at the tender age of seven. At one point, when Sanji affects a false cheer to try and reassure his temporarily deaged nakama, Usopp shows him how to 'fix' it and smile more convincingly. Sanji's rather freaked out by the demonstration.
- In It Makes Me Happy That I'm Not Them, Swartt Sixclaw's Ironic Hell involves him being forced to become one of these. He's stuck with demonic copies of the wife and son he abused, and is forced to perpetually be the perfect husband and father figure to them. It's not really shown what'll happen if he doesn't, but considering what happens to the point-of-view character later, we can guess it's not good.
- The AU series Sith Academy initially portrays young Obi-Wan Kenobi as pathetically cheery and happily co-dependent in a rather sick relationship with Qui-Gon. It eventually got to be too much, so authors decided to explain his demeanor as the result of a super-Prozac drug called Perkium, that was being used to medicate the formerly rebellious punk padawan into perfect Jedi conformity.
Mixed Gender ExamplesCross Over
- Children of Time has the Tenth Doctor, Sherlock Holmes, and Beth Lestrade. All three use smiles to hide their hurt, but Holmes takes it a step further to hide various emotions. None of these smiles are ever very convincing.
- Those Who Stand for Nothing Fall for Anything has Light putting so much energy into being what he believes he should be that he doesn't even really know what he wants. He comes off as Depressed turning into Unstable and his wife, Takada, is much the same. There's also Naomi who's Depressed as she plays the Love Martyr to all the men in her life.
- Hivefled: The Condesce is Unstable. She also demands Gamzee keep smiling through every horrible thing she does to him, and has extreme measures taken when he won't.
- Becoming Ponies has Reid, who is suddenly placed into Pinkie's body and constantly reassures everyone that he's still in control and his mind is NOT being taken over by Pinkie's personality.
- The Conversion Bureau, along with its Recursive Fanfiction, has the Newfoals, who are Empty with elements of Unstable.
- The author of Travels Through Azeroth And Outland writes draenei rather like Kindar. You do, however, get a few eccentrics (Vasalyan), basket cases (Balaa), and characters who mean well but really don't get other races (Kastoor).