edited 1st Feb '13 3:15:05 PM by Pig_catapult
edited 13th Feb '13 4:03:38 AM by StarSword
edited 3rd Mar '13 3:06:46 AM by VVK
A socketful of eyes
The to-do list
- Write up a new description for the trope (mainly make changes to the current one, I think)
- Check all wicks to make sure they use the right definition.
edited 5th Mar '13 3:22:15 AM by Ironeye
When there is a group of characters who are all just totally weird, either in general or in a particular scenario, the Only Sane Man is the only one who, well, isn't. Picture this: Alice is a Psycho for Hire, Bob is a Cloud Cuckoolander, Doug is an Empty Shell, and Emily is a Mad Scientist. Looks like your standard Dysfunction Junction. But then you have Gardenia. Gardenia is actually a very well-adjusted individual. She reacts with appropriate horror to things like Alice's finger collection and the crimes against nature that Emily calls pets. Gardenia is the Only Sane Woman. The other variant is where the other characters aren't always that weird, but everyone save one character is acting weird in a particular situation. For example, they might regard something absurd as Serious Business, with the Only Sane Man the only one who notices how crazy that is. This latter also includes a standard comedy piece: something absolutely insane is going on, but only one person notices (or cares). There are usually three stages, with a rough correspondence to the Five Stages of Grief: Bewilderment (Shock and Anger), trying to get others to see or admit the weirdness (Bargaining and Denial), and bitter sarcasm (Acceptance). In the more extreme cases, the poor soul may be trapped in a World Gone Mad and/or wind up Giving Up on Logic in frustration. Sometimes, though, they are Not So Above It All. A Too Dumb to Fool character may be the Only Sane Man, although he is likely to be less worked up about the failures of others to see than in most cases. A character may also think of themselves at the Only Sane Man without proper justification. The Only Sane Man is often relied upon as the Only Sane Employee. This character often ends up a Knight in Sour Armor. For a more horrific version, see Through the Eyes of Madness. For the sci-fi version, The Ignored Expert is your go-to guy. If all the other characters are otherwise sane, and really should see something, but only one guy does, he's an Einstein Sue. The Nietzsche Wannabe is a villain who views himself this way. Occasionally, when the Only Sane Man expresses his creator's opinions, he serves as an Author Avatar. See also Cassandra Truth, Surrounded by Idiots, and Surrounded by Smart People; contrast with the Unfazed Everyman. May temporarily overlap with What the Hell, Hero?. If several characters take turns being the Only Sane Man, they're playing with a Sanity Ball. If it's a two-person show, with one person playing the Only Sane Man to the other's wackiness, it's a Straight Man and Wise Guy scenario. This trope is one third of a Comic Trio and part of the Four-Man Band. The Wonka may well feel like this (or be this!) in a world that doesn't follow his thinking. Insanity is, after all, in the eye of the beholder, and The Wonka often has quite valid points. No Real Life Examples, Please! You are not the only one that doesn't belong in an asylum, contrary to what you might think.
The end is mostly unchanged. The previous version, for reference, since I already made the edit:
A standard comedy piece: something absolutely insane is going on, but only one person notices (or cares). There are usually three stages:
- Bewilderment (Shock and Anger). The OSM looks around, realizes that something is wrong, and immediately has to face the maddening fact that apparently no one else sees what they see, or if they do, then they see nothing wrong with it. (This is not the same as Glamour Failure, though it may contribute to the fact. The character's anguish comes from the fact that others have access to the same information, yet he is the only one to come to the seemingly inevitable conclusion.)
- Trying to Explain (Bargaining and Denial). The character tries to explain why it is wrong to those who are accepting it as normal - and at the same time confirm for himself that he is not crazy. He may go to great lengths to be able to get proof, or yell, groan, cry, howl and berate, in the hope that someone will notice. Sadly, nobody does, and he may just make a fool of himself.
- Bitter Sarcasm (Acceptance). He gives up and just goes with the flow, finding refuge in a heartfelt loathing towards the stupidity of the world in general.
edited 9th Mar '13 3:24:10 AM by VVK
edited 18th Mar '13 6:51:55 PM by bulmabriefs144
edited 24th Mar '13 1:06:54 AM by VVK
edited 29th Jul '13 5:54:08 AM by Willbyr
Single Proposition: Only Sane Man
13th Jan '13 1:44:14 AM