troperville

tools

toys


main index

Narrative

Genre

Media

Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
random
Stepford Smiler: Theatre

Female Examples

  • Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd. She is cheerful and kindly, but has no problems whatsoever chopping up human bodies nor really with Sweeney's killing, and she is really only interested in improving her social standing. While not necessarily hollow, she certainly doesn't give a lot of moral considerations to her actions.
  • In the musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Rosemary is a Stepford Smiler in training.
  • All four main characters in the Sondheim musical Follies are Stepford Smilers of one sort or another. Their masks do fall eventually, and the comparison to their younger counterparts in Flashbacks becomes painful: back then, they had a reason to smile — at least, they thought they did. (It says something that Desperate Housewives gets many of its episode titles from musical numbers in Follies.)
  • Amanda from Tennessee Williams's The Glass Menagerie possibly qualifies, though she's most interested in living her ideal life vicariously through her children.
  • On that note, Stella and especially Blanche from A Streetcar Named Desire.
  • In Mary Mary, Mary accuses her ex-husband Bob of having forced her into this type when they were married:
    "I felt like I was on some damn panel show, twenty-four hours a day. Smiling, affable, humming little snatches of song. Laughing when I didn't know the answers. But affable, affable, affable! You don't know how I longed to get up some morning and feel free for once to be depressed, to be constipated, to be boring."
  • Jennifer in When Midnight Strikes is a Type A example, the perfect hostess who is smiling and keeping the party going even though she's falling apart inside. Her song 'Little Miss Perfect' makes this very clear.
  • Edith in The Women has one pregnancy after another, even though she hates babies and doesn't like being pregnant. She seems to do a lot more complaining than smiling, but nevertheless insists that "I'm the only happy woman you know." Perhaps she does more smiling in mixed company.

Male examples

  • Although he tries to seem like the stable emotional pillar of the group, the songs "Halloween" and "Goodbye Love" from Rent reveal that Mark is really one of these.
    • "What You Own," too.
  • C.B. the Red Caboose in Starlight Express: "Under the smiles and under the fun, I'm Public Enemy Number One!"
  • Cyrano de Bergerac: Cyrano is a Type A obsessed with not projecting an image of sadness in order to be accepted by his peers the Gascon cadets and show everyone else he does not care. Inside, Cyrano feels very sad and depressed because his enormous nose. In Act II Scene VII, Cyrano displays his sociopathy when his friend Le Bret mentions he seems sad. At Act V Scene V Roxane calls Cyrano “melancholyc”, he collects himself and denies it immediately. And in Act I Scene V, after talking with Le Bret why he will never win Roxane’s love, Cyrano declares himself unworthy of crying and feeling sadness: those are beautiful feelings and if he would cry, it only would seem ridiculous:
    Le Bret: (taking his hand): You weep?
    Cyrano: No, never! Think, how vilely suited
    Adown this nose a tear its passage tracing!
    I never will, while of myself I'm master,
    let the divinity of tears—their beauty
    Be wedded to such common ugly grossness.
    Nothing more solemn than a tear—sublimer;
    And I would not by weeping turn to laughter
    The grave emotion that a tear engenders!
  • Most if not all of the missionaries in The Book of Mormon, particularly Elder McKinley. They even have an elaborate tap number, "Turn It Off", about repressing emotions they consider negative, such as memories of an abusive father, sadness over not being there for a sister dying of cancer and consequent fear of developing cancer himself, and gay feelings.
Tabletop GamesStepford SmilerVideo Games

random
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy
7934
36