Follow TV Tropes

Following

History Main / MaskOfSanity

Go To


Added DiffLines:

*** [[spoiler: The mask holds until the episode titled "[[MisleadingTitle Everything's Fine]]". Steven attempts to repress the memories of his violent outbursts, trying his best to establish some kind of normalcy, even though he's grown to at least 7 feet tall, glows bright pink, has gained pink eyes with diamond-shaped pupils, and is rapidly losing control of his Diamond-powers with destructive results. He stays forcibly upbeat and positive, even after he levels a building by getting too excited over a ball he caught. By the end of the episode, the Gems, Greg and Connie are staging an intervention, and Steven [[SanitySlippage goes right off the deep end.]]]]


* "High-functioning" when used in the context of mental illness and in particular sociopathy refers to someone who's able to do this, and consequently they're generally harder to spot and get away with their crimes for longer.

to:

* "High-functioning" High-functioning, when used in the context of mental illness and in particular sociopathy refers to someone who's able to do this, and consequently they're generally harder to spot and might not get away with their crimes for longer.the treatment they need.


* Sugou Nobuyuki of ''LightNovel/SwordArtOnline'' pretends to be a friendly, stable guy, and the act is convincing enough to completely fool Asuna's parents, who set him up in an ArrangedMarriage with their daughter. Beneath it all, he's a totally {{sadist}}ic, AxCrazy {{Jerkass}} prone to {{Evil Laugh}}s and {{Slasher Smile}}s, especially in his role as Oberon in ALO. Once Kirito defeats him, the mask comes off, and he's arrested and incarcerated.

to:

* ''LightNovel/SwordArtOnline'':
**
Sugou Nobuyuki of ''LightNovel/SwordArtOnline'' pretends to be a friendly, stable guy, and the act is convincing enough to completely fool Asuna's parents, who set him up in an ArrangedMarriage with their daughter. Beneath it all, he's a totally {{sadist}}ic, AxCrazy {{Jerkass}} prone to {{Evil Laugh}}s and {{Slasher Smile}}s, especially in his role as Oberon in ALO. Once Kirito defeats him, the mask comes off, and he's arrested and incarcerated.incarcerated.
** Downplayed with [=PoH=]. He's ''always'' been a [[AxCrazy murderous psycho]], but he's a low-functioning [[TheSociopath sociopath]] who can pass himself off as a high-functioning one.
--->A cold gust of wind rustled his leather hood, revealing the eyes underneath for a brief moment. They were [[RedEyesTakeWarning red]] and [[EvilIsNotWellLit dimly glowing]]. A devil. He was not human, but a true devil. [[SatanicArchetype That was the true nature of PoH]]. The mask of the cheerful agitator he wore in Aincrad and the mask of the harsh commander he wore here were both just that: lies. In truth, he was a cold, cruel agent of vengeance who [[{{Sadist}} sought only to inflict pain, to torment]] and wipe out all traces of humanity...


* [[ParodiedTrope Parodied]] in ''Literature/AmericanPsycho''. Patrick Bateman is an AxCrazy SerialKiller working on Wall Street. He constantly tries to confess the murders he has committed but no one takes him seriously. [[spoiler:Finally he flips out completely and does everything in his power to get caught... [[GainaxEnding and still no one cares]]]].

to:

* [[ParodiedTrope Parodied]] in ''Literature/AmericanPsycho''. Patrick Bateman is an AxCrazy SerialKiller working on Wall Street. He constantly tries to confess the murders he has committed but no one takes him seriously. [[spoiler:Finally he flips out completely and does everything in his power to get caught... [[GainaxEnding [[CantGetInTroubleForNuthin and still no one cares]]]].cares]].]]


** Steven himself is this trope in ''[[WesternAnimation/StevenUniverseFuture Future]]''. He looks cheerful enough, but as the series goes on his unchecked traumas bleed through and it becomes very clear that Steven is ''not'' fine.

to:

** Steven himself is this trope in By ''[[WesternAnimation/StevenUniverseFuture Future]]''. He Future]]'', Steven himself looks cheerful enough, but as the series goes on his unchecked traumas bleed through and it becomes very clear that Steven is ''not'' fine.fine, no matter how much he tries to hide it.


* ''VideoGame/YandereSimulator'': WordOfGod says that the SanityMeter is somewhat of a misnomer, since Ayano has ''always'' had something wrong with her. In reality, it's a measure of how well she can keep the mask on. If her Sanity is high, she will be able to interact with her schoolmates as normal. The lower it gets, the more 'off' she becomes, and when it's completely slipped (33% or below Sanity), she'll have EmptyEyes, a shadowed face, and a prominent twitch. [[InterfaceScrew the game screen will become smudged and desaturated]], she'll constantly hallucinate killing her current rival, she will no longer perceive students other than Senpai as anything but silhouettes, she'll giggle uncontrollably, and she will no longer be able to interact in any manner other than murder. Let Senpai see you like this, and it's an instant game over for you.

to:

* ''VideoGame/YandereSimulator'': WordOfGod says that the SanityMeter is somewhat of a misnomer, since Ayano has ''always'' had something wrong with her. In reality, it's a measure of how well she can keep the mask on. If her Sanity is high, she will be able to interact with her schoolmates as normal. The lower it gets, the more 'off' she becomes, and when it's completely slipped (33% or below Sanity), she'll have EmptyEyes, a shadowed face, and a prominent twitch. [[InterfaceScrew the The game screen will become smudged and desaturated]], she'll constantly hallucinate killing her current rival, she will no longer perceive students other than Senpai as anything but silhouettes, she'll giggle uncontrollably, and she will no longer be able to interact in any manner other than murder. Let Senpai see you like this, and it's an instant game over for you.


** In ''Justice For All'', [[spoiler:Matt Engarde is able to fake being stable enough to be a famous actor and trick Phoenix into thinking he's an innocent, lovable ditz.]] It turns out that [[spoiler:he really lacks any empathy, being perfectly fine with hiring an assassin to kill his rival actor and letting said assassin blackmail Phoenix into defending him via kidnapping Maya.]] He also seems to completely believe he's innocent, since [[spoiler:he hired an assasin and didn't commit the murder himself.]]

to:

** In ''Justice For All'', [[spoiler:Matt Engarde is able to fake being stable enough to be a famous actor and trick Phoenix into thinking he's an innocent, lovable ditz.]] It turns out that [[spoiler:he really lacks any empathy, being perfectly fine with hiring an assassin to kill his rival actor and letting said assassin blackmail Phoenix into defending him via kidnapping Maya.]] He also seems to completely believe he's innocent, since [[spoiler:he hired an assasin assassin and didn't commit the murder himself.]]



* The psychology text ''The Mask of Sanity'' offers several insights on this point. Genuine psychopaths aren't like the Hollywood trope of a psychopath. Rather, they seem utterly incapable of empathizing with other human beings. Subsequent psychology research on imprisoned psychopaths with neuroelectric instruments has actually measured that their brains seem structurally deficient in the areas responsible for emotion. In normal people, when shown violent or offensive words such as "murder", "rape", etc., neural activity spikes in the parts of the brain responsible for emotion, i.e. the amygdala. In psychopaths, there is no similar activity spike: their amygdalas seem stunted and dead. The great unanswered question is the Nature vs Nurture debate: whether they were ''born'' with non-functioning amygdalas, or if years of systemic childhood abuse stunted their mental development. The end result is that psychopaths have all of their higher brain functions intact such as speech, reading, and higher logic - but human emotions are an alien sensation to them. They have the raw intellect of an adult, but their level of emotional understanding and empathy for others is ''below'' that of a selfish toddler, who does not yet understand that other people's lives don't revolve around them. The argument made in ''The Mask of Sanity'' is that because psychopaths still have their raw intelligence, can through careful analysis over the course of their lives gradually learn to very accurately ''mimic'' the normal emotional responses that other people expect of them: if they cut ahead of someone in line they understand that they're supposed to say the words "I'm sorry", but the words have no meaning to them. They learned it as a rote response - but as the book points out, mimicry - no matter how careful - is still not ''comprehension''. So sort of like a human ChatBot, psychopaths have learned a lot of stock phrases for "small talk", but it's just by rote: chit-chat about the weather, complimenting someone on losing weight, etc. This can also make them come off as very obsequious, when they're trying ''too'' hard to convincingly act like a caring, normal person. The book advises that to discover a psychopath all you really need to do is engage them beyond surface-level conversation for any length of time, i.e ten minutes of talking about "What are your views on violent crime?" and they'll eventually say something bizarre, revealing that they're just attempting to appear normal as best they can grasp it. It's very much like the Voight-Kampf test from ''Film/BladeRunner'': ask them emotionally provocative questions, and they won't know how to properly respond as a normal person would.

to:

* The psychology text ''The Mask of Sanity'' offers several insights on this point. Genuine psychopaths aren't like the Hollywood trope of a psychopath. Rather, they seem utterly incapable of empathizing with other human beings. Subsequent psychology research on imprisoned psychopaths with neuroelectric instruments has actually measured that their brains seem structurally deficient in the areas responsible for emotion. In normal people, when shown violent or offensive words such as "murder", "rape", etc., neural activity spikes in the parts of the brain responsible for emotion, i.e. the amygdala. In psychopaths, there is no similar activity spike: their amygdalas seem stunted and dead. The great unanswered question is the Nature vs Nurture debate: whether they were ''born'' with non-functioning amygdalas, or if years of systemic childhood abuse stunted their mental development. The end result is that psychopaths have all of their higher brain functions intact such as speech, reading, and higher logic - but human emotions are an alien sensation to them. They have the raw intellect of an adult, but their level of emotional understanding and empathy for others is ''below'' that of a selfish toddler, who does not yet understand that other people's lives don't revolve around them. The argument made in ''The Mask of Sanity'' is that because psychopaths still have their raw intelligence, can through careful analysis over the course of their lives gradually learn to very accurately ''mimic'' the normal emotional responses that other people expect of them: if they cut ahead of someone in line they understand that they're supposed to say the words "I'm sorry", but the words have no meaning to them. They learned it as a rote response - but as the book points out, mimicry - no matter how careful - is still not ''comprehension''. So sort of like a human ChatBot, Chat Bot, psychopaths have learned a lot of stock phrases for "small talk", but it's just by rote: chit-chat about the weather, complimenting someone on losing weight, etc. This can also make them come off as very obsequious, when they're trying ''too'' hard to convincingly act like a caring, normal person. The book advises that to discover a psychopath all you really need to do is engage them beyond surface-level conversation for any length of time, i.e ten minutes of talking about "What are your views on violent crime?" and they'll eventually say something bizarre, revealing that they're just attempting to appear normal as best they can grasp it. It's very much like the Voight-Kampf test from ''Film/BladeRunner'': ask them emotionally provocative questions, and they won't know how to properly respond as a normal person would.

Added DiffLines:

* In ''Videogame/FinalFantasyVII'' [[spoiler:main character Cloud Strife]] has been wearing a mask [[spoiler:based on the memories of his deceased friend Zack Fair through the Jenova cells]] for years. When the mask finally breaks, he's left a mental wreck who is completely catatonic.

Added DiffLines:

** Steven himself is this trope in ''[[WesternAnimation/StevenUniverseFuture Future]]''. He looks cheerful enough, but as the series goes on his unchecked traumas bleed through and it becomes very clear that Steven is ''not'' fine.

Added DiffLines:

* ''ComicBook/TheTransformers:'' In the UK stories, Galvatron initially acts relatively calm and reasonable, horrific pointless cruelty aside, but as ''Target: 2006'' goes on, the mask starts gradually slipping, until he finally loses his cool altogether.


Added DiffLines:

* ''Fanfic/RainbowDoubleDashsLunaverse:'' [[spoiler:Midnight]] at first seems like a dull and slightly jerky bureaucrat, [[spoiler:who may or may not be under mind-control]], until they get hit with a spell noted to have unfortunate side-effects on the less-than-sane. Trixie and Berry Punch are shown to get away with nothing more than nasty headaches. [[spoiler:Midnight goes berserk.]]


* ''Manga/AttackOnTitan'' has [[spoiler:Reiner Braun]]. Considered by the others to be stable and reliable, he's actually the least mentally stable [[spoiler:of [[TheMole The Moles]]]].

to:

* ''Manga/AttackOnTitan'' has [[spoiler:Reiner Braun]]. Considered by the others to be stable and reliable, [[TheReliableOne reliable]], he's actually the least mentally stable [[spoiler:of [[TheMole The Moles]]]].Moles]]]]. Although at least part of this is [[spoiler: he's ''so'' mentally broken, he completely forgets that he's actually a spy and that his cover isn't his real life.]]


* ''WebAnimation/{{RWBY}}'': [[ANaziByAnyOtherName Adam Taurus]] outwardly projects a vibe of calm and control, in a way that inspires others to follow his lead. However, beneath this controlled mask is a man of [[UnstoppableRage anger, rage,]] [[EvilIsPetty and spite]]. [[spoiler:In a private recording he sends to the Albains in "Necessary Sacrifice," he flies into a furious rage while ordering the Belladonna family assassinated, before forcibly calming himself down, complete with a hand gesture that looks like pantomiming [[BeneathTheMask putting on a mask]].]]

to:

* ''WebAnimation/{{RWBY}}'': [[ANaziByAnyOtherName Adam Taurus]] outwardly projects a vibe of calm looks and control, in acts calm, collected, and dignified, as befits a way White Fang leader. In private, he's ''[[EvilIsPetty extremely]]'' [[HairTriggerTemper unstable]], and Blake eventually admits that inspires others to follow his lead. However, beneath this controlled mask is a man she considers him the AnthropomorphicPersonification of [[UnstoppableRage anger, rage,]] [[EvilIsPetty and spite]].[[DisproportionateRetribution Spite]]. [[spoiler:In a private recording he sends to the Albains in "Necessary Sacrifice," he flies into a furious rage while ordering the Belladonna family assassinated, before forcibly calming himself down, complete with a hand gesture that looks like pantomiming [[BeneathTheMask putting on a mask]].]]


* ''Film/WhoFramedRogerRabbit''. Throughout the film [[spoiler:Judge Doom]] appears somewhat malevolent but not blatantly so. Near the end he's revealed to be [[spoiler:a Toon]] who's even more crazy than most [[spoiler:Toons]].

to:

* ''Film/WhoFramedRogerRabbit''. Throughout the film [[spoiler:Judge Doom]] appears somewhat malevolent but not blatantly so. Near the end he's revealed to be [[spoiler:a Toon]] who's even more crazy than most [[spoiler:Toons]].most.

Added DiffLines:

* In ''Series/{{Gotham}}'', the identical twins who end up being the Batman prequel show's [[DecompositeCharacter two main takes]] on [[Comicbook/TheJoker the Joker]] are both good at convincing everybody around them that they are harmless. In the first season, when Jerome is introduced, (almost) no one at the circus seems to suspect that he was the one who [[spoiler: killed his mother, despite the fact that later episodes make it clear that her abuse of Jerome was so extreme and frequent that it would have been an open secret in the circus. He is also able to convince Jim Gordon that he is genuinely grieving his mother, despite the fact that Gordon is a seasoned detective, and Jerome hates his mother so much that he laughs when he confesses to killing her. Jeremiah is able to convince Bruce, someone who he considers his best friend, and who will someday be recognized as the World's Greatest Detective, that he is perfectly fine, despite the fact that he has been driven insane by Jerome's insanity toxin, and is plotting to turn their clean energy generators into powerful bombs.]]


* Dr. Eggman Nega of the ''VidoeGame/SonicTheHedgehog'' series comes off as a [[FauxAffablyEvil calm, well-mannered, gentlemanly individual]], but when push comes to shove proves to be a complete psychopath who delights in destruction and the suffering of others.
* This happens quite often in the ''VideoGame/AceAttorney'' series. Most of the culprits will start off faking innocence or serenity, only to have an inevitable breakdown after the player pokes enough holes in their testimony.

to:

* Dr. Eggman Nega of the ''VidoeGame/SonicTheHedgehog'' ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog'' series comes off as a [[FauxAffablyEvil calm, well-mannered, gentlemanly individual]], but when push comes to shove proves to be a complete psychopath who delights in destruction and the suffering of others.
* This happens quite often in the ''VideoGame/AceAttorney'' ''Franchise/AceAttorney'' series. Most of the culprits will start off faking innocence or serenity, only to have an inevitable breakdown after the player pokes enough holes in their testimony.

Showing 15 edit(s) of 198

Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report