Stepford Smiler: Web Original

Female examples

  • Aki of Sailor Nothing starts out as one, repressing her real emotions to fit in with the popular group at school. After she's exposed, she drops the act but has a hard time adjusting to being a normal person.
  • Rhianna von Adolph from Open Blue. A Knife Nut in charge of the special operations department of The Empire's intelligence agency.
  • The Guild: Clara's smiling, friendly demeanor hides a criminally neglectful mother and a treacherous backstabber who creates an alternate character to attack Vork and makes out with a man Codex is interested in.
  • In Arcana Magi, Reya Everheart is Empty thanks to her therapy sessions.
  • In a Played for Laughs example, The Nostalgia Chick has an element of this about her, even though she's not evil and mostly a Jerkette With A Heart Of Gold. This comes up mostly when she reveals something nasty about her childhood and then has a big, happy smile on her face a few seconds later.
  • Laina the Overly Attached Girlfriend. Started out doing a Distaff Counterpart version of Justin Bieber's "Boyfriend" for a Bieber-related contest, but played a Stalker with a Crush. Then followed it up with a parody of Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe". Watch her not blink.
  • In Funny Business, it is eventually revealed that Jeannette is actually self-loathing and has a massive Guilt Complex, and is only pretending to be a Cheerful Child so that her loved ones don't worry about her.
  • RWBY's Weiss is this. She prepares for a conversation with Schnee employees by practising a smile...which as soon as the talk is over, to be replaced by an unhappy expression.
    • Pyrrha Nikos is a downplayed example. While she is a genuinely sweet girl who is grateful for her incredible talent, she feels isolated from people for so long because nobody sees themselves as good enough to be around her.
  • Emma Approved: Emma Woodhouse, who acts confident to a point of arrogance despite several cracks that show how little self-esteem she actually has.

Male Examples

  • Flippy of Happy Tree Friends is very Unstable.
  • Like the The Nostalgia Chick, The Nostalgia Critic also delves into this on occasion. Mostly when a movie does something good then completely fucks it up but also when he was talking about his parents.
    *shows a picture of his kindergarten self being ripped apart by two monsters labeled "Mom" and "Dad"*
    Critic: (cheerfully) "I had issues."
  • Lewis of The Doctors Of The Cat Family is Depressed.
  • Kid-friendly version with Tom from The Cartoon Show, who tries his hardest to be polite, but represses an unhealthy amount and only just barely manages to hide his frustration.

Mixed Gender Examples

  • Quite a few of these have shown up in Survival of the Fittest, surprisingly. Most of these tend to be Depressed, for obvious reasons. Some examples:
    • Former gamer Warren Pace gives himself a complete image makeover to fit in with the football team due to his perceived images of jocks.
    • Maria Graham has a bad habit of burying any pain and angst underneath an overly cheerful, energetic persona. It's already been shown before that when she finally crashes, she crashes HARD.
      • She ended up crashing pretty early once the game started, though she often tries to put it back up again. Eventually she succeeds when Duncan McMahon, her childhood friend and love interest dies right in front of her, causing her to finally lose her mind.
    • Hermione Miller also has been shown to have tendencies of this. She spends most of her run in serious denial, believing that she is at the campsite while acting eerily cheerful and rejecting all signs that she's stuck on a Deserted Island. Eventually she has a revelation about her situation and that no one will take her seriously due to her being The Ditz, and right after is Driven to Suicide. She also receives a fair amount of Lampshade Hanging comparing her to the Trope Namer.
    • In mini site Spin-Off The Program, Brigadier General David Adams, the founder of the title game, is very possibly) Unstable. He has been described as pretty casual looking for a military organization, and oftentimes slides into Cloudcuckoolander mode during announcements. However, he has shown to have a very chilling approach towards the idea of children killing each other, and seems to really be enthused by it. Needless to say, there's a lot of Dissonant Serenity in his announcements.
  • The Whites from Lucky Day Forever can be seen as Empty. They are always shown donning a smile on their faces, as if it's the only expression they wear. The only thing they managed to do is to trick the Proles into becoming their Human Resources.
  • In Worm, Interlude 18 (Donation Bonus #2) gives a glimpse of the blissful home life of the Nazi supervillain couple Night and Fog (i.e. Dorothy and Geoff Schmidt) ... a pair who carry out the natural routines of married life with all the tenderness and care of wind-up automata.
    Put the paper away, it's time to eat, Justin thought. Yes dear. Mmm. Smells delicious.

    "Put the paper away, it's time to eat," Dorothy said. She was holding the coffee pot, stepped behind Geoff, putting a hand on his shoulder, and bent down to kiss him on the top of his head. Automatic, without affection.

    "Yes, dear." Geoff said, smiling up at his wife. "Mmm. Smells delicious."

    Jesus fuck, they scare me, Justin thought.
  • From Welcome to Night Vale: Literally all of the town Desert Bluffs, run by the evil corporation Strexcorp. In particular, the radio host Kevin, who on the whole is even cheerier than our usual Cecil, but reportedly doesn't smile right. Also, his studio is covered in blood and viscera.
    The City Council, in co-operation with Government Agents from a vague, yet menacing Agency, is asking all citizen to stop by the Night Vale Elementary School Gymnasium tonight at 7 for a brief questionnaire about mysterious sights that definitely no-one saw and strange thought that in no way occurred to anyone — because all of us are normal, and to be otherwise would make us outcasts from our own community. Remember: If you see something, say nothing and drink to forget.