Villainous Breakdown / Live-Action TV

You cannot fuck me! You cannot fuck me! I am unfuckable! I have never been fucked. And if you fucking try and fuck me, you'll find my fucking arse will fucking grow fucking fangs and fucking snap your fucking cock off!... You will see me again. You will fucking see me again!
Malcolm Tucker, The Thick of It, after being fucked.

  • The Christmas That Almost Wasn't: Near the end when Santa finally turns in the rent money, Prune is so beside himself, he can't even bring himself to stop Santa, Mrs. Santa and the elves from loading the sleigh up!

  • 24: Charles Logan goes into full breakdown mode in the series finale after President Taylor backs out of his plot. Within minutes he's executed his own dragon and shot himself in the head, all part of one last ditch spiteful effort to eliminate Jack Bauer.
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.:
    • After being given the same Kree serum that brought Coulson back to life, John Garrett goes into meltdown with a massive side of soliloquy, shifting from calm speaking to mad ranting. When he recovers from the first attempt to kill him in the season one finale, he loses it even more only to be swatted permanently by Coulson in mid-rant.
    • Cal/Mr. Hyde is constantly on the verge of a freak out due to his anger issues and unbalanced mental state, but the most dramatic breakdown occurs when Coulson kills Dr. Whitehall, inadvertently robbing Cal of the revenge he had spent decades seeking.
    • Ward isn't the most stable individual, but most of the time he's able to keep himself composed remarkably well, to near Dissonant Serenity levels. However in season three when he learns that Team Coulson has his younger brother, who's giving them information, he loses his shit in a spectacular fashion, roaring like a lunatic before hurling his communicator into a wall so hard it explodes.
  • Angel: The Rogue Power Jasmine flips out after the heroes break her power over humanity making everyone see her as a hideous monster. She tries her very hardest to kill Angel, all the while ranting and screaming about how she sacrificed so much to offer humanity peace and love. Now she only wants to kill all humans after being rejected. In the end she's reduced to begging Connor for help. The disillusioned Connor finishes her off instead.
  • Arrow:
    • Malcolm, normally calm and completely collected, falls apart in fury in the first season finale when not only does Tommy reject him after discovering his plan to destroy The Glades, but Moira betrays and publicly exposes him. He doesn't really recover from it.
    • Adam Hunt, the Starter Villain from the Pilot, completely loses it when he realizes that all of his ill-gotten money is gone:
    Hunt: (on the phone with an underling) Untraceable?! IT IS 40 MILLION DOLLARS! FIND IT!
    • Nyssa has had two (though one more subtle than the other) both in regards to Sara. The first being when Nyssa believes Sara is going to die, leading to her abandoning all control and attacking Oliver, despite his claims of being able to save Sara. And the second being when Nyssa finds out Sara is dead, you can literally see the moment she finds out how close she is to falling to pieces.
  • Ashes to Ashes: In the final episode, Magnificent Bastard / Trickster DCI Jim Keats has a spectacular one when he loses his patience with the people he's trying to turn against Gene Hunt, beats Gene to a pulp, and breaks the illusion of CID to expose the true nature of Purgatory. It seems like he's going to win, but Alex fixes the world, the team rallies together, and Gene helps them all cross over. He then has another, less badass one when he breaks down upon being beaten by Gene, to the point of laughing in a deranged fashion, speaking in random, babyish sentences and stumbling off in no particular direction.
  • Battlestar Galactica (1978): Baltar could always be counted upon to break down when things weren't going his way.
    Baltar: What does Cain care about the fleet or the Galactica? He...HE WANTS ME!
  • Battlestar Galactica (2003): Tom Zarek has one of these during the back end of Gaeta's mutiny, losing his cool completely as things fell apart. Gaeta had a Villainous B.S.O.D. instead.
  • Breaking Bad:
  • Buck Rogers in the 25th Century: Princess Ardala has one of these after being told off by the Zad War Witch Zarina in Flight of the War Witch (part II).
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Season 3: The Mayor, upon seeing Faith in a coma, shows rage for the first time and tries to smother Buffy in her sleep and attacks Angel in front of civilians, going so far as to break his foul language etiquette. He regains his composure for the final showdown though, his last words being "Well, gosh!"
    Mayor: Murderous little fiend! Did you see what she did to my Faith?
    Angel: Hadn't any plans to weep over that one.
    Mayor: Well, I'd get set for some weeping if I were you. I'd get set for a world of pain! Misery loves company, young man, and I'm looking to share that with you and your whore!
  • Chuck: Shaw was a CIA agent who was level-headed, calm, and dedicated to the job, and had an aversion to guns and killing, like Chuck. After finding out from the Ring Director that Sarah, his new love interest, under CIA orders, killed his wife (who had gone undercover and seemingly turned to the ring), he turned to the Ring, and set his sights on killing Sarah. He took her to Paris, with the intention of killing her, but Chuck found them and seemingly killed Shaw. When Shaw returns later in the season, he attempts to discredit Chuck and get him arrested, but when that fails, tries to kill him, and had killed Chucks father. It also doesn't help that he uploads the Intersect, which has been known to cause insanity in its host. When he returns in season 5, he kidnaps Sarah, and while carrying out his plan to update his Intersect even more, he reveals he will kill Chuck, Sarah's husband, as she killed his wife, then proceeds to make out with her against her will. Keep in mind this is the woman who killed his wife.
  • Cold Case: George Marks, the Smug Snake serial killer undergoes this in the season 2 finale. Lilly refuses to let George get to him, and after confronting him with his mother's crime she rips apart his god complex saying that all George is is a scared little boy whose mommy never loved him. George proceeds to lose his cool and screams at Lilly to shut up repeatedly. After watching him walk away in a previous episode, witnessing him loose his cool was kind of satisfying. In the season 1 finale, the villian Jim Larkin keeps his cool until they reveal that they have dna evidence linking him to the crime, at which point he completely drops the facade and screams about how both of his targets were supposed to have died that night. John Smith also experiences this twice; first when his target avoids being broken, and the second when the detectives figure out where his victim is being held in time to save her.
  • Columbo: In the episode "Dagger of the Mind," Lt. Columbo plants evidence implicating a Shakespearean actor in a murder, causing him to go mad. But it's okay.
  • Criminal Minds:
    • The episode "Parasite" starts with the villain in the midst of his breakdown, and he just gets worse as it goes on.
    • In fact they have a Real Life term for this, "devolving," and killers are most dangerous when they start spiraling into this.
  • In Daredevil (2015), Wilson Fisk gets into this during his fight against Matt, considering him responsible for all of his plans going awry and his public image destroyed while giving him a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown.
  • Dexter: Has a pretty good one in Episode 9 of Season Three, when he learns that he's been manipulated by Miguel Prado after believing the man to be his friend. It's internal, but still. Another in season 2: "It is OVER WHEN I SAY IT IS!"
  • Dirty Sexy Money: Simon Elder finally gets control of his rival Trip Darling's business, only for all the major stockholders to refuse to work with him and abandon the company. When one of his employees has trouble turning off the television, playing news of the company's catastrophic stock drop, Simon throws a champagne bottle into the TV. In the middle of a board meeting. Ironically it turns out this wasn't a Batman Gambit on Trip's part as Simon assumed at the time; he had genuinely given up and was just as surprised at the stockholders' actions.
  • Doctor Who:
    • Mavic Chen in "The Daleks' Master Plan" goes from a Villain with Good Publicity statesman, sinister in intention but able to pass as a decent politician, into a raging Obviously Evil maniac as the realisation that he was too incompetent to execute his plan and he can no longer prove his worth to the Daleks finally takes hold. Even the Daleks seem horrified by his behaviour.
    • Tobias Vaughn in "The Invasion" goes from his usual cold and calculating personality to launching a raging freakout at an underling (and once, to the Doctor) in every single episode of the story that he's in.
    • The ending of "The Sun Makers" has the Collector, upon realizing the revolution has finally caught up with him, reduced to a babbling wreck as he slowly (and literally) goes down the drain.
    • Let us not forget Soldeed from "The Horns of Nimon", who has probably the hammiest breakdown of all:
      Soldeed: My dreeeams of CON-QUEST!
    • The Doctor intentionally annoys Skagra throughout "Shada" in the hope of causing this to happen. It works. The clincher is when Skagra ends up trapped inside his spaceship's prison by the Ship itself, which won't let him out until he accepts just how wonderful the Doctor is. Judging by Skagra's reaction, that may be a while...
    • In "Warriors' Gate", the slaver leader Rorvik finds his spaceship trapped in a place between universes. Although Rorvik at first tries to deal with his situation in a rational and methodical manner, over the course of the story he gradually breaks down under stress. By the end of the story, Rorvik is ranting and raving, and he finally kills himself and his crew in a failed attempt to escape by creating a backblast with his ship's engines.
    "I'm finally getting something done!"
    • The Dalek Emperor has one at the end of "The Parting Of The Ways" just before he is destroyed by Rose Tyler.
      Dalek Emperor: I will not die! I cannot die!
    • At the end of "Last of the Time Lords", a combination of seeing his previously unstoppable universal domination plans crumble into nothing within the space of a few minutes and seeing his old enemy restored to full health (and turned into a glowing omnipotent being at that) is enough to reduce the Master, previously a Magnificent Bastard to rival any, into a hysterical wreck:
      The Master: You can't do this. You can't do this! IT'S NOT FAIR!
    • "The Poison Sky": Luke Rattigan, teen genius and futurist visionary, has been working with the Sontarans to conquer Earth in exchange for giving him the technology to found a new colony elsewhere. The successive shocks of discovering the Sontarans had been using him as a puppet the whole time, were going to kill him and his hand-picked followers anyway, then having these same "followers" walk away in disgust while he holds them at gunpoint reduces him to a sobbing wreck.
    • Davros, after the Reality Bomb is disabled and the Dalek fleet is set to destroy itself near the end of "Journey's End", has one of the best breakdowns in the series.
      Davros: Never forget, Doctor, you did this! I name you, forever! YOU ARE THE DESTROYER OF WORLDS!!!
    • Prisoner Zero from "The Eleventh Hour" has a Creepy Monotone version when The Doctor realizes he can get Amy to lock it into it's true form.
      Prisoner Zero: No! No!
    • "The Zygon Inversion" has Bonnie, the rebel Zygon leader, go through two of these. After she watches a message from the Osgoods taunting her about lying about the location of the Osgood Box, she smashes the laptop with the message on it in anger. Then she screams after learning there are TWO Osgood Boxes.
    • In "Hell Bent", it's clear that Rassilon, Lord President of the Time Lords, has let his ego and his pride go to his head. He's furious when his own men defect and refuse to execute the Doctor.
      Rassilon: I am Rassilon, the Redeemer! Rassilon the Resurrected! Gallifrey is MINE!
  • Dollhouse: Adelle DeWitt, the Anti-Villain/Anti-Hero (sort of), has a variant in the episode "Stop-Loss," where she begins to drink heavily due to realizing she has no life outside her job and that she's rapidly losing control even of that. Good-guy Boyd snaps her out of it by reminding her of her true nature...but in a Subversion, she only gets more villainous, since she now remembers what a Magnificent Bastard she can be.
    • And then Double Subverted: she was actually working against the bad guys by putting Echo in the Attic.
  • ER:
    • A few instances. Chief nurse Eve, though not really a villain (the rest of the ER cast might disagree), loses her ruthless, cool head when she gets dumped from her boyfriend and fired from her job on Christmas Eve. She promptly snapped at Kovac, who had warned her about her impulsiveness for punching out a patient, and Sam, arguably the only person who tried to stick up for her.
    • Another instance was a former patient Curtis Ames, who had lost the use of his right arm under Kovac's care. He would subsequently be divorced from his wife, separate from his kids, watch his kids call another man "dad" and lose his job. When he brought the kidnapped Kovac to his old house, he started laughing maniacally and mentioning how he shouldn't call the run-down, filthy house "beautiful". And in the scene where there were police lights outside his house, he started yelling at the flashing lights to leave him alone.
  • Farscape:
    • The Big Bad of a particular season or plot arc will always suffer one of these at some point; Captain Bialar Crais of the first season began cracking up almost immediately after we met him, and went on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge for the accidental death of his brother, which wasn't to end until Peacekeeper High Command removed him and he was forced to become a hero.
    • Scorpius suffered his own at the end of Season Three, when Crais sacrificed himself to destroy Scorpius' commmand carrier. It involved a stunned and somewhat Cutler Beckett-esque stroll through his exploding ship, wandering through hordes of evacuating Peacekeepers until he encountered John Crichton, wearily explained he had no plans for revenge, and vanished—until the next season. Notably, it's the only time in the entire series that we ever see Scorpius well and truly defeated.
    • Commandant Grayza's was quite severe, given that unlike the other two villains, she had very little to make her likeable or sympathetic (the date-rape had plenty to do with it). After being captured by the Scarrans and seeing all her negotiations for her vaunted alliance fail, she attempted a suicidal charge on the Scarran base that would have resulted in the death of all who were still loyal to her. However, Mauve Shirt Captain Braca decided she'd gone too far, and arrested her, allowing Scorpius to retake the ship.
      • And just to illustrate how badly she was doing, we had this exchange:
        Grayza: All that astonishing wormhole knowledge and still you will not share it with us. You came in here big and bold, dancing on tabletops. And look at you now; begging for scraps.
        Crichton: I may be jammed, possibly dead. But I am not begging- you can get that fantasy out of your head.
        Grayza: (Forcefully) In my hands, you can have peace! I can have peace!
        Crichton: I have been in your hands. There's no peace there... just power.
        Grayza: You are so self-righteous! I have used all my skills, my resources for one perfect chance at peace! AND BECAUSE OF YOU, IT IS GONE AND I AM—
        (She stops, almost in tears, trying to steady herself.)
        Crichton: (Coldly) Frelled? Screwed? Raped? Welcome to the universe, Commandant.
    • Later in the same episode Scorpius has a brief one when realizing that he is one tiny step away from crippling the Scarrans; a simple forcefield that given time they could easily get past, but there is no time to do anything other but uselessly shoot at it. He even points a gun at the rest of the group for pointing out that they have to leave.
    Scorpius: I. DO NOT LOSE!
  • Firefly:
    • The usually cool, calm, and collected Manipulative Bitch Saffron/Bridget/Yolanda suffers this in the episode Trash during a confrontation with her ex-husband when she and Mal are caught in the act of stealing from him.
    YoSaffBridg: Durren, you have no idea what he's forced me to...
    Durren: Yolanda... stop. Just... stop. [Gives her a Puppy-Dog Eyes look]
    YoSaffBridg: [Lowers the gun she'd been pointing at him] Don't look at me like that. [Raises the gun and points it at him angrily] I SAID DON'T LOOK AT ME LIKE THAT!!!
    • "Objects in Space." Even through most of River telling him exactly what a pathetic piece of work he is, Jubal Early stays cool and collected, until he suddenly realizes she's been on his ship the whole time! She's fiddling with those shiny buttons! Cue panic attack.
  • Flash Gordon: Ming gets this quite a bit in Sci-Fi's show. The best is the series finale, when all of the heroes join forces to bring down Ming's regime once and for all. Aura opts to ally herself with her brother and betray her father at least, but still can't resist trying one last time to explain to him how she still loves him despite all he's done and begs him to just surrender. Ming looks moved and acts like he's about to stroke her face. Cue a few scenes later when Flash runs in to find Ming strangling Aura, muttering how he should have killed her as a baby. He then releases her and goes full nutty trying to chop Flash up with a sword.
  • The Flash (2014): The first season's Big Bad Eobard Thawne, AKA the Reverse-Flash, mantains a calm demeanor during the whole season while masquerading as Harrison Wells. But in the Season Finale, when Barry destroys his Time Machine, he goes into a full-blown psychotic rage and tries to kill him.
    • In the season 2 finale Zoom completely loses it when he realizes that Flash has led the time wraiths to him. It's pretty disturbing; seconds beforehand he was practically daring Flash to kill him and laughing off everything the heroes did, but when the time wraiths show up he immediately just starts screaming.
  • The Following: Joe Carroll has an epic one in the first-season finale. The cult he invented is basically one big murderous performance art project, and his control freak nature will not permit the project to go any way other than the way he wants it to. When that starts to happen, well..."freakout" doesn't quite do justice to his reaction.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Ramsay Bolton spent almost the entire series gleefully indulging in some of the most horrific acts of violence that the show had ever seen, which is one hell of an accomplishment in this setting. From sadistic torture, to rape, flaying people alive, hunting women for sport, and feeding people (including his stepmother and newborn half-brother) to his vicious hounds, Ramsay kept his confidence that karma would never catch up to him. He finally loses his cool when his wife who he had domestically abused and raped nightly has him chained up in a kennel and she finally releases his hounds, which he had starved for a week in hopes of feeding Jon Snow to them. His orders for them to back down start off defiant but become more panic-stricken as the seconds roll by and he realizes that his sadism won't save him this time. His eventual begging does nothing to help.
    • Never the most stable of individuals to begin with, Viserys begins showing greater and greater signs of this as he spends more time among the Dothraki, as he loses control over Daenerys and realizes his powerlessness in the new 'alliance' with Khal Drogo. His breakdown reaches its climax when he drunkenly storms into a feast and threatens Drogo's wife and unborn child in front of him and his entire Khalasar. He ends his life whimpering and begging before the molten gold does its work, after Khal Drogo presents him his "golden crown."
    • Tywin has a downplayed example at the beginning of the war, "They have my SON!".
    • Cersei has several:
      • She angrily loses her cool when Tyrion shows up in a meeting of the Small Council, and much to her chagrin reveals that he's acting Hand of the King.
      • In "The Lion and the Rose", Cersei visibly shatters as Joffrey dies helplessly in her arms.
      • In "The Gift", she goes from being a Smug Smiler for the majority of Season 5 to screaming "I am the queen!" as she is dragged away to the Black Cells by the High Sparrow's Faith Militant.
      • Her sanity worsens as her situation does throughout Season 6. This ends up being the dangerous version, since she's desperate and crazy enough in the finale to use the wildfire caches in King's Landing to simply kill all of her rivals at once.
    • After seven seasons of the show's most notable Magnificent Bastard, Littlefinger's Karma Houdini finally runs out. He thinks he's set Sansa and Arya against each other with Sansa calling Arya to answer charges of treason. Instead, Sansa reveals Littlefinger is the one on trial as all his various misdeeds are laid out. Too late, Littlefinger realizes he has no allies here and he's been set up. He tries to win Sansa back only for her to throw his own words back on control and not showing mercy, driving Littlefinger to lose his cool. He literally gets on his knees to beg for mercy but instead, Arya slices his throat and lets him die in the hall.
    • Gregor is already murderously angry and unhinged when on his best behavior, but he really loses his cool during his fight with Oberyn.
    • Aerys Targaryen completely lost it when his defeat was imminent.
  • Professor Hugo Strange suffers a rather dramatic one in the season 2 finale of Gotham. As his plans completely fall apart, his employers abandon him, and his experiments begin running loose, he steadily breaks down into terrified sobbing and rambling. At the episode's end, the self-assured Magnificent Bastard who had caused unending terror for the heroes is reduced to pathetically begging for leniency as he's carted off to jail.
  • Heroes:
    • Sylar in Volume 4. After stealing a shape shifting power Sylar begins to suffer a severe case of MPD as his body begins shifting and changing against his will, altering his DNA to new and unfamiliar patterns. It's not long before he's imagining that he's talking to his dead mother, shape shifting into her to talk to her and breaking down sobbing about how no one loves him and how alone he is. This only gets worse as he then tries to seduce Claire, believing her to be "Destined" to be his because the two are immortal, while plotting to be president just so he can feel special and loved for a little while.
    • See also: Samuel Sullivan. The crumbling starts when the chink in his armor (his murder of his brother) is finally revealed before an audience, and he just comes more and more undone as the other carnies — whom he considers his family — desert him, causing him to lose the source of his power, until it finally all falls apart and he collapses. Major points to Robert Knepper.
      Samuel: They can't have all left... they're here somewhere... you can't leave me... you COWARDS! Where are ya?? ...Come back here! You're NOTHING without me!! (collapses into Villainous B.S.O.D.).
  • Hitler: The Rise of Evil: Hitler has a mental breakdown after the failed Beer Hall Putsch of 1923. He flees to the Hanfstaengl home, where he seems to be Hearing Voices and almost shoots himself in front of Helene, who talks him out of it.
  • Kamen Rider Blade had Hiroshi Tennoji slowly grow insane when he was defeated in the end by the riders, before being killed by the last king card kaijin.
  • In the first Horatio Hornblower telefilm, all the lieutenants have been killed in a cutting-out expedition. The malicious (and senior) Midshipman Simpson tries to take command, but Hornblower says that Lieutenant Eccleston gave the responsibility to him, and their subordinates hesitate. Simpson soon realizes that he doesn't intimidate his underlings the way he could aboard his old ship and pitches a fit, foot-stamping and all, as he shrieks that he's senior officer. This convinces the others that they should definitely follow Hornblower instead.
  • Kamen Rider Den-O: Kai has a slow, series wide one. He gradually goes more and more insane as the series progresses as a result of sending Imagin into the past through himself, destroying his past selves. Being a Singularity Point like Ryotaro, this doesn't kill him, but it gradually tears away his mental state. Even his Dragon points out he's getting worse. Finally, he discovers that Sakurai isn't the Junction Point as he believed, he completely loses it. He uses all his remaining memories to grant all his Imagin physical form and create the superpowerful Death Imagin, sending them on an all-out attack on Tokyo. He then proceeds to try and let loose a blast of temporal energy to erase the entire city from time, along with his army!
  • Kamen Rider Dragon Knight: General Xaviax is starting to show signs of this once the Advent Master appears and starts undoing his work by bringing back Ventara's fallen Kamen Riders. All this following the fact that Xaviax's corrupt Kamen Riders from Earth have all been vented. He was all calm and collected but his mask cracked every so often, especially when he was down to one Rider.
  • Kamen Rider Kabuto: Title Rider Tendou annoys the sanity out of Sou Yaguruma (then Kamen Rider TheBee and the respected commander of Zect's elite Red Shirt force Shadow). Though he's not a villain, he is a Knight Templar about Zect's rules, and Kabuto using Zect's Rider technology while not being part of the organization is not smiled upon. Yaguruma, like many a villain has his original motivation give way to "The Hero must pay!" after not too many instances of being defied by him. Mister "Perfect Harmony" finally completely loses it in the middle of a battle, making him ignore the fact that the Worms (the series' token evil monsters/aliens) are massacring his underlings because he's consumed by the desire to defeat Tendou. It leads to his Transformation Trinket rejecting him for good, to him being disgraced in front of his former team (later), and eventually to his return after taking a level in badass... and jerkass, becoming the dark Rider Kick Hopper. (His Villainous Breakdown continues, because even though Kick Hopper and Punch Hopper beat up the good Riders at first, they still kinda don't know what to do. It's kinda like "Okay, we're dark now. So, now what do we do?" and sit around hilariously trying to be cool and... if it was in a school setting, we'd say 'gothy.' It doesn't erase, but underscore, how far he'd fallen.)
  • Law & Order: Since the series is a crime drama it's full of all manner of people that lose it when they previously think they'd gotten away with a crime only for those dreams to be rudely shut down. Its spin-off series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit has one episode where Stabler and Benson take down an animal trafficker, who ends up being caught in the end when he falls off of a conveyer belt while running from Stabler. His leg is pinned and injured, and he's screaming at Stabler to shoot him because when he gets out he's going to come for him. Elliot scoffs at the prospect of him getting out (in addition to him being part of a known animal trafficking ring, the animals he'd been selling were also being eaten) and he's still screaming at him even as he's on a stretcher being loaded into a police ambulance. One might think that he didn't appreciate the irony of him being nothing but an animal in a cage.
  • Law & Order: Criminal Intent: Every culprit goes through one in their episode's Dénouement. This applies to most of the culprits in the Law & Order franchise in general, but the Criminal Intent culprits' breakdowns really stand out.
  • Damian Darhk gets a subtle one in the Legends of Tomorrow episode "Compromised" after Sara hits him with a Breaking Speech revealing his future - his ultimate defeat and the loss of his loved ones. His smug demeanor quickly breaks down, but unfortunatly for the Legends, he rallies quickly and decides to attempt to Screw Destiny.
  • Quite common for the bad guys on Leverage when they realize too late how they've been taken for a ride by the team and are about to lose all their money and/or go to jail. More often than not, you'll see them screaming while being dragged away by the cops on how this is all a big set-up but no one listens.
  • Lex Luthor, the Big Bad of the first season of Lois & Clark, goes very quickly in the last few minutes of the first season finale, peaking with him running into the basement to grab an ax and kill Superman, who had been trapped in a Kryptonite cage, only to learn he's escaped; he screams incoherently, rushes upstairs, and — with police closing in — delivers some dramatic last words about how he won't "live in a cage" and jumps from the top floor of his penthouse... though there are hints that that last part may have been him faking his death.
  • Lost:
    • Near the end of the third season, Ben became increasingly unnerved by the fact that he wasn't recovering from surgery as fast as he should have (The Island heals people), as well as his people becoming more and more drawn to Locke. He finally snaps in his spotlight episode, shooting Locke and returning to camp acting quite erratic. Oddly enough, even though things have gotten a lot worse for him since then, he's managed to keep his cool.
    • He snapped for real when Keamy killed his adopted daughter Alex in season four.
    • And once again in "The Incident" thanks to Jacob's enemy, who manipulates him into killing Jacob.
    • The Man in Black tends to be pretty calm and smug, but he goes a little crazy when he sees Jacob's ghost in the jungle. He chases him frantically, and the ancient invincible entity of destruction trips on a branch. He has a brief one when he realizes he's become mortal in the series finale.
  • In the third episode of Luke Cage, Cornell "Cottonmouth" Stokes has one of these after Luke tears through the Crispus Attucks complex where all of his money was stashed, leaving it for the police to be found, taking a bat to his own office.
  • Malcolm in the Middle: Lois' horrible mother Ida tries to con a rich man into marrying her by keeping him drugged while they were dating. However, during the wedding ceremony, he starts to come to and, since Ida doesn't have any pills left, she's reduced to clinging to his leg begging him not to go. The scene ends with her sobbing on the floor like a child throwing a tantrum, screaming about how unfair it is.
  • Merlin: Morgana spends the entire series slipping down the slope of madness, but in the Grand Finale she loses the two things that kept her even remotely grounded, Mordred and Aithusa, her army is defeated, and all she has left is an obsession to kill Arthur. By the time Merlin catches up to her and sticks Excalibur in her gut, you'd be forgiven for thinking she'd let him do it.
  • Mission: Impossible: Very common, when the Big Bad's scheme has been derailed, a public confession has been engineered, etc.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000:
    • Bob Moon, the villain of the movie The Beatniks, gets a pretty Narmful one: "I KILLED THAT FAT BARKEEP!"
    • With the series proper, Dr. Forrester has one when Joel escapes, quickly recomposing himself when Mike ends up walking up to them.
    • Pearl suffers one when she accidentally activates the return to Earth mechanism on the Satellite of Love. It's actually quite the Tear Jerker. note 
  • Once Upon a Time: Rumplestiltskin absolutely flips when he thinks that Belle was working for Regina/The Evil Queen in a plot to take away his powers.
  • Oz: This happens often. Like when Keller goes nuts and commits suicide after Beecher rejects him for the final time. This is an interesting case, as it also crosses over into Thanatos Gambit.
  • Power Rangers Samurai: Serrator completely loses it and flips out, throwing lighting everywhere after Deker refuses to split open the Earth and strikes him instead.
  • Power Rangers Super Megaforce: Prince Vekor begins his series-long breakdown when the Super Megaforce team haul the Legendary Megazord into space and proceed with a Roaring Rampage of Revenge for the Armada's attacks on the Earth.
  • The Prisoner: In the episode "Hammer into Anvil", No. 6 makes the new No. 2 have one of these, convincing him his masters are spying on him with some irregular acts and fake messages, ultimately ending with No. 2 getting rid of everyone, accusing them of being traitors, before collapsing into tears; No. 6 points out that a loyal man would have accepted the spying, and convinces him to turn himself in.
    • It happens again in "Once Upon A Time". While No. 2 was clearly panicky and unstable from the beginning, he really loses it and dies from a heart attack when No. 6 manages to turn the tables on him with Heroic Willpower alone.
  • Revolution:
    • The normally flat, emotionless Captain Neville eventually resorts to slapping Danny upside the head to keep him quiet, like in episode 2 and episode 5. Episode 10 had an outraged Neville promising revenge on Miles when the guy outwitted him. Episode 11 had Neville beat up his son Jason and throw him out when he refused to follow orders. Episode 13 had Neville go into one when he realized that Jason is not only working for the rebels but he tricked him into divulging information about his mission. Episode 16 had Neville fly into a raging tantrum when Charlie, Nora, and Jason led a mutiny and helped Dr. Ethan Camp and his family to escape. Episode 17 has Tom Neville go up to his son Jason and actually try to get him to shoot his own father, and then laughing about how he'll never be rid of him when Jason doesn't do it. The first season finale has him promise Jason that he'll spare Rachel and Charlie, but as soon as those two get into the special room in level 12 to get the power back on, Neville decides to just try to break into the room and kill them all.
    • Averted Trope with the preternaturally calm Monroe so far...not that it makes the viewers any less keen to see him get his Bass kicked. Episode 9 has Monroe actually yell for the first time when he finds out that Rachel is actually building a sophisticated bomb and not the power amplifier he wanted. Played straight for Monroe in "Nobody's Fault But Mine." When Miles and Monroe finally confront each other, Monroe has the opportunity to kill Miles. Instead, he drops his gun and literally begs Miles to come back into the Militia, saying that he needs him. Miles just gives him "The Reason You Suck" Speech, at which point Monroe loses it completely. Episode 14 has Monroe try to blow up Atlanta, Georgia with a small nuclear bomb, and he is visibly furious when Alec Penner fails to detonate the bomb. Episode 15 has Monroe fly into a rage when his girlfriend Emma Bennett gets killed off before she can tell him where their son is. Episode 18 has Monroe scream at Randall Flynn when he finds out that Randall had been holding out of him about the Tower's existence. Episode 19 has Monroe basically forget about the entire Monroe Republic agenda and focus on settling his personal vendetta with Miles.
  • The Scarlet Pimpernel: Robespierre in the BBC adaptation is almost always chillingly calm and formal, even if he's ordering mass executions or plotting to violently crush insurrections. Merely getting flustered and impatient is a sign that he's about to retaliate with drastically excessive force, and when the Pimpernel's antics finally make him lose his shit you know everyone's gonna be in for a rough time.
  • Scrubs:
    Dr. Moyer: You called me in from home to do an abdominal CAT scan that could wait until Monday morning? Well guess what? It's not happening.
    J.D.: Look, Dr. Moyer...
    Dr. Moyer: [Exploding] These are my machines!
    Carla: Sir...
    Dr. Moyer: My machines!
    Chris Turk: Whose machines?
    Dr. Moyer: My machines!
    J.D.: [to Turk] How was that helpful?
    Dr. Moyer: [Jumping up and down, throwing his arms up & down and screeching:] They're mine! Mine! Mine! Mine! My machine! My machine!
    • This goes on for some time.
  • Sherlock: The villain, Jim Moriarty, has sudden mood swings that end with screaming, which he quickly folds back into his smooth, campy personality. These are often triggered by exasperation or frustration:
    Sherlock Holmes: People have died.
    Moriarty: That's what people DO!
  • Slasher: When the Executioner's plan finally goes awry in the season 1 finale because Sarah discovered his true identity he starts sobbing like a little boy after stabbing her.
  • Smallville: Major Zod was never exactly stable, what with being an Axe-Crazy Large Ham with a Hair-Trigger Temper. He spent most of the season slowly deconstructing, as stress and his inability to cope with his failures enroached on his sanity. He was able to keep in under control for most of Season 9 however, recovering whenever he slipped up. In the season finale, "Savior", however, he lost it, following his army's defection. He pulls Blue K knife out from under his coat, jumps on Clark and engages him in a Knife Fight, ranting at the top of his lungs the entire time.
  • Spartacus: Blood and Sand: Batiatus has these with increasing frequency as the series goes on. His wife Lucretia and resident Rich Bitch Ilithya also get in on the act at least once each.
  • This is very common among the Goa'uld System Lords in Stargate SG-1:
    • Apophis second death being the most memorable.
    • Hathor goes on a little rant before O'Neill sneaks up on her and dunks her in a pool of liquid nitrogen.
    • Anubis, both times.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
    • The day started so well for Gul Dukat in "Sacrifice of Angels": After months of work he finally destroyed the minefield in front of the wormhole, which allows him to recieve massive reinforcements that will turn the slow going war against the Federation and the Klingons into a very one-sided Curb-Stomp Battle. But then the wormhole opens and not a single of his ships comes out, the entire fleet apparently vanished from existence and his expression rightfully turns into a full blown BSOD. Then his highly beloved daughter tells him she won't come with him when his remaining troops have to retreat and that she helped the saboteurs to stop his plans. Then his second in command Damar shots her in the heart because she's a traitor and Dukat slips completely into insanity, oblivious of whats going on around him.
    • To say nothing about "Waltz", when he freaks out and decides to destroy Bajor: "I'm so glad we had this time together, Benjamin. Because we won't be seeing each other for a while. I have unfinished business on Bajor! They thought I was their enemy! They don't know what it is to be my enemy, but they will! From this day forward, Bajor is dead. All of Bajor! And this time, even their Emissary won't be able to save them!" This was after spending the entire episode suffering from hallucinations of Weyoun, Damar and Major Kira taunting him and demanding that he kill Sisko, and periodically flipping out and shooting at people who were not, technically speaking, there.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation:
    • In " The Drumhead", the Enterprise is host to a series of ever-more-paranoid hearings and trials searching for a saboteur or spy. The spearhead of these trials, a respected jurist who is the daughter of an even-more-respected jurist, is pushing for Starfleet-wide witch hunts, all looking for supposed traitors. When she calls Picard to the stand, he opens by quoting her father, pointing out that these accusations without cause are destroying the Federation that she claims to love more assuredly than if there actually was a traitor. She begins ranting, damning Picard for having the gall to quote her father, and displays her paranoia to such an extent that the head of Starfleet Intelligence, who had been there to observe, actually leaves the room. When the guy whose job is to be paranoid thinks you are going too far, you know you've broken.
  • Star Trek: The Original Series:
    • Khan Noonien Singh in "Space Seed", when the crew refuses to bow down to him even as he's slowly killing Captain Kirk in the decompression chamber, even prompting him to yell: "It's so USELESS!" to nobody in particular.
    • Doctor Janice Lester in "Turnabout Intruder" grows increasingly unhinged and insane while in Kirk's body, her irrational behaviour causing the rest of the crew to be suspicious. By the time she returned back to her own body, she was sobbing hysterically and screaming about how she wanted Kirk dead.
    • In "The Conscience of the King", actor Karidian's daughter Lenore after revealing she had killed seven of the nine witnesses who knew her father as Kodos the Executioner ran out to the stage with a phraser, trying to kill Kirk, one of the witnesses. The mad glint in her eyes told us that she lost her mind. And when she accidentally killed her father, she broke down into tears and later on, she insistently believed that her father was still alive and still performing.
    • General Trelane in "The Squire of Gothos" at first tries to pass himself off as A Man Of Wealth And Taste; his true Psychopathic Manchild colours to bleed through around the time that he starts hunting Captain Kirk for sport, but when he's poised, ready for the kill, and his parents show-up to give him a stern lecture about interfering with primitive species (and presumably take him to his room), he starts whining like a particularly pathetic five year old.
    • In "The Enemy Within", after Kirk is separated into two halves, one good and one evil, the evil one hits Sanity Slippage after trying to rape a crewmember, then assaulting a member of security. When the good Kirk, along with Spock and McCoy realize what's going on and the good Kirk wants the evil one stopped unharmed, he hits a full breakdown, wrecking Kirk's room screaming "I'M CAPTAIN KIRK!"
  • The Mind Flayer from Stranger Things seems to go in throws of these whenever his plans go awry or whenever he's near heat. These mannerisms are best seen through Will.
    Evil!Will (when restrained by Joyce): LET ME GO! LET ME GO! LET ME GO! LET ME GO! LET ME GO!
  • Tales from the Crypt: "The Man Who Was Death", the Vigilante Man executioner protagonist is reduced to a cowardly wreck begging for his life when he is finally caught and gets the electric chair. This just after he spent the entire episode extolling the virtues of capital punishment.
  • Los titeres: Adriana Godán in this Chilean telenovela has a particularly memorable one: her plans wrecked, she regresses to childhood, revealing that she tried and failed to get her father's love, but he wanted a boy, jumps into a pool and starts playing with her old dolls. Apparently, "to comb the doll" is now slang for a breakdown in Chile.
  • Tokusou Robo Janperson: Shun Sugata's performance as Ryuzaburou Tatewaki demonstrates how to destroy your office while screaming the name of your archenemy over and over and then burn his picture in the paper while cackling like a madman and sticking out your tongue.
  • Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger: Agent Aburera starts out as a cool, calculating Man Behind The Man at the beginning, but gets increasingly twitchy as more and more of his deals are scuttled due to the titular team's interference with his clients' schemes. Eventually, he starts gunning for the Rangers himself, first through indirect assaults using hired thugs and attempting to discredit their integrity, then by attacking them himself in a personal confrontation. It's only at the end, after his black market empire is in shambles and he's out of options that he executes his ultimate plan: invading the Rangers' base directly with an army of Mecha-Mooks, taking control of it, trouncing around the city causing massive destruction in its Humongous Mecha mode, and using the mayhem to lure the rest of the SPD fleet to their doom, all while raving about how he will pave the way for a galactic criminal paradise with their ashes. And after that plan fails, his final words are a speech about how his dreams aren't dead, and that There Is Another that will take his place and avenge him and bring forth his twisted utopia. (We meet that one in Magiranger vs. Dekaranger.)
  • Supernatural: Lucifer is usually able to seem quite sophisticated, but he becomes much more openly mean after he confronts Michael for the Apocalypse: being annoyed at the interruptions, he snappishly removes Castiel's head, and then beats up on Dean with his fists. Similarly, after being locked in the Cage, he is no longer thinking about becoming free and bringing about The End of the World as We Know It; rather, his appearances in Season Seven are just about inflicting psychological tortures on Sam.
    • Crowley has a minor one during the Demon Tablet arc, when Sam is injecting him with human blood to make him more human, just like consuming demon blood made Sam more demonic, as an attempt to fulfill the trial of restoring a demon's humanity. At one point, Crowley starts rambling about his Jerkass mother and how she never really loved him like a mother should, culminating in him crying and screaming "I deserve to be loved!". This is the first sign that the blood is working, since he is experiencing a human need for affection for the first time in hundreds of years.
  • V (2009): Anna has a positively epic one at the end of the first season after Erica destroys nearly all her soldier eggs culminating in her going "Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies" on the entire planet.
  • The Walking Dead saw the Governor snap and shoot about a dozen of his own people in the third season finale.
  • White Collar: Has the controlled, smug Chessmaster Vincent Adler being crushed to the brink of tears when all the treasure he spent his life searching for blew up in front of him.
  • The Wire:
    • For three seasons, Marlo Stanfield is completely calm and unflappable, even when things aren't going well for him. In the last two episodes, however, he has two villainous breakdowns. After getting thrown in jail, Marlo takes it in stride as just part of the game. Then he learns that his subordinates have been hiding the fact that his nemesis Omar has been calling him out. He flips out, screaming that he has to step up to defend his name. This is the first time he ever raises his voice:
      Chris Partlow: It's some bullshit man. You don't need that shit on your mind.
      Marlo: What the FUCK you know about what I need on my mind, motherfucker?!! My name was on the street! When we bounce from this shit here, y'all go down on them corners and let them people know, word did not get back to me! Tell em' Marlo step to any motherfucker, Omar, Barksdale, whoever. MY NAME IS MY NAME!!
    • In the final episode, Marlo seems to have won, taking a plea bargain and earning his freedom with all the money he's accumulated, on the condition that he leaves the game. Almost immediately he realizes that he can't live as a civilian, picking a pointless fight with some gangsters and screaming to an empty street corner that he's still a force to be reckoned with.
  • Yes, Minister/Yes, Prime Minister: Although not exactly a villain (more of a neutral, amoral antagonist), Sir Humphrey Appleby is usually smug, cool and collected. When he's in charge, that is, which is most of the time. However, when events occur that he did not expect, or someone actually manages to get one over him, his typical response is spluttering, panicked incoherence (not helped by his Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness). See 'The Skeleton in the Cupboard', where an old cock-up he made comes back to haunt him. Or 'The Key', where a threat to his job (and power-base), coupled with being deprived automatic access to the Prime Minister, leads to him desperately climbing out of his window and up a drainpipe in order to see him.
    Hacker: We will still be able to destroy Moscow, Kiev and Leningrad...
    Humphrey: Yes, BUT THAT'S ALL!