Villainous Breakdown: Live-Action TV
You cannot fuck me! You cannot fuck me! I am unfuckable! I have never been fucked. And if you try and fuck me, you'll find my fucking arse will grow fucking fangs and fucking snap your fucking cock off!... You
will see me again.
You will fucking see me again!
- 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.: John Garrett goes into meltdown with a massive side of soliloquy when he recovers from the first attempt in the Season One finale to kill him, only to be swatted permanently by Phil Coulson in mid-rant.
- Angel: The Rogue Power Jasmine flips out after the heroes break her power over humanity making everyone sees 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.
- 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 2 (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 (Classic): 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 (Reimagined): 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 BSOD instead.
- Breaking Bad:
- Though it's arguable who's the good guy in the series, Hank Schrader gets one of these. After he discovers that news of his wife being in a car crash was faked (to allow Walt and Jesse to escape an RV they were hiding in), he tracks down Jesse at his house and assaults him, outraged that they knew some of his important personal details. He ends up being thrown out of the DEA as a result.
- Gus Fring had one at the beggining of season 4, when upon finding out that Walter and Jesse had killed his replacement chemist Gale to force him to spare their lives lest he will be left with no way to produce more meth, he goes to the meth lab and slits the throat of one of his subordinates, Victor, and restrains him so that he cannot stop his hemorrhage and bleeds to death, apparently to vent his anger and to scare the shit out of the protagonists, and Victor was the only person in the room that was expendable.. Also notable because it's only his actions that which reflect the breakdown, he only speaks after the whole thing is over, telling everyone remaining in the room to get back to work.
- Walter has a rather terrifying breakdown at the end of "Crawl Space", complete with insane laughter.
- 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!
- A minor example can also be found in the first episode of season 3. "Humans don't fight back! Humans don't fight back! That's not how this works!"
- The Master has one in the pilot after he senses that Luke - the key to his plan to free himself - has been killed.
- The Master has another one really briefly, due to Darla's death.
- Faith has one herself in the spinoff show, Angel, where she carries out an elaborate charade to get Angel to kill her.
- As their final showdown takes place and Buffy gets the advantage, Glory loses it, stating that Buffy couldn't understand her pain and, near the end, actually starts crying and begging Buffy to stop and leave her alone. Given all of the pain and bullshit Glory has put her through over the past year, Buffy couldn't care less about Glory's speech and simply beats her to a pulp.
- Warren has one when he realizes that Willow cannot be reasoned with.
- 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 loose 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.
- 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.
- In the season 18 story "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 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...
- At the end of "The 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 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.
- The Dalek Emperor has one at the end of "The Parting Of The Ways" just before he is destroyed by Rose Tyler.
EMPEROR: I will not die. I cannot die!
- And then there's Soldeed, who has probably the hammiest breakdown of all:
Soldeed: My dreeeams of CON-QUEST!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
Durren, you have no idea what he's forced me to... Durren:
Yolanda... stop. Just... stop. [Gives her a Puppy-Dog Eyes
[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 River is telling him exactly what a pathetic 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 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.
- 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.
: 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 BSOD
- 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.
- 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 Sakari 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.
- Lex Luthor, the Big Bad of the first season of Lois and 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 there is a plot against 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 convinces him to resign.
- 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.
- Dr. Moyer in the episode "My Own American Girl", whose refusal to let the main characters perform an urgent CAT scan at an ungodly hour in the morning turns into a temper tantrum that would make a three-year-old embarrassed.
: 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!
Dr. Moyer: My machines!
Dr. Moyer: My machines!
J.D.: [to Turk] How is 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!
- 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 the episode "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 of 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 an 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 episode "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 it is to be paranoid thinks you are going to far, you know you've broken.
- Star Trek: The Original Series:
- Khan Noonien Singh in the episode 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 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 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 posied, ready for the kill, and 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!"
- 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 God Ã¡n 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.)
- 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!