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Heroic BSOD / Film

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No, the movie screen hasn't turned blue - just the hero's mind.

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     Film - Animated 
  • Balto has two in rapid succession; first when he panics upon discovering Steele messed with his markers, and then after he falls off a cliff (with the medicine) while trying to get out of the maze Steele's created.
  • In The Boxtrolls, when Fish - the troll who raised Eggs for ten years; his adoptive father - is finally captured by Snatcher, Eggs seem to shut down for a little while before ultimately deciding to rescue him, thus finally taking action against Snatcher for the first time.
  • Disney Animated Canon:
    • In Pinocchio after Pinocchio turns out to be a hit at Stromboli's puppet show, Jiminy Cricket temporarily winds up getting in a state where he feels he's failed as a conscience and believes the little wooden boy would be better off without him.
    • In The Jungle Book, Mowgli suffers one when Baloo, who promised him that he could stay in the jungle with him, tells him that he has to go to the man-village.
    • In Disney's The Great Mouse Detective, Basil snaps after falling for Ratigan's Evil Plan, silently and stoically sits through the To the Pain lecture, and just waits for the Death Trap to go off, feeling completely humiliated, outwitted, and defeated. Fortunately, he's not alone.
      Dawson: Dash it all, Basil! The queen's in danger, Olivia's counting on us, we're about to be horribly splatted, and all you can do is lie there feeling sorry for yourself!
    • Beauty and the Beast: The Beast has a near suicidal moment after he lets Belle return to her father.
    • In The Lion King, Simba has one after the stampede because he blames himself for his father's death, which is also made worse when Scar convinces him he is responsible for it, even though it was actually Scar who did the deed.
    • Pocahontas has one after Kocoum's death and John Smith's capture.
    • In The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Quasimodo goes into a depression when his attempts to rescue Esmeralda have allowed Frollo to capture her and Phoebus. When Frollo has him chained to the belltower of Notre Dame, the hunchback can only remark how It's All My Fault as the gargoyle trio try to rouse him;
      Victor: But you can't let Frollo win!
      Quasimodo: He already has.
      Hugo: So that's it? You're giving up?!
      Laverne: These chains aren't what's holding you back, Quasimodo...
    • Mulan: The title character has a mild one after her cover is blown.
    • In The Emperor's New Groove, when they bump into Yzma and Cronk at the restaurant, Pacha tries to warn Kuzco, who was transformed into a llama, that Yzma's trying to kill him and take the throne for herself, Cuzco interrupts him and rudely orders him to leave now that his loyal adviser has come to take him back to the palace. Pacha storms out and tells him off by stating that he couldn't believe he started caring about someone as selfish as him. After Pacha leaves, Kuzco overhears Yzma and Cronk discus their plan to kill Kuzco before he transforms into a human again, which devastates him and he falls into a deep funk after realizing that Pacha was right, no one likes him because of his terrible personality and accepts that he will now be a llama for the rest of his life.
    • In Brother Bear, this trope happens when Kenai finally listens to Koda's story about his mother and realizes it is about the fight he and his brothers had with a bear. Kenai puts the pieces together and realizes to his horror that he killed Koda's mother. At that, Kenai flees the bear gathering in profound fear and shame.
    • Tiana in The Princess and the Frog after seeing "Naveen" (actually Lawrence, transformed with blood magic) ready to marry Charlotte.note  She runs into the French graveyard and sits down on a tombstone, completely depressed. When Ray tries to cheer her up, she accidentally breaks his spirit as well. Fortunately, he recovers a lot quicker than she does.
    • In Frozen:
    • When Elsa receives the news of the death of her parents, her Emotional Powers go out of control and she curls up next to her bedroom door.
    • Happens to Elsa a second time, when she believes Hans that she was directly responsible for her sister's death. She collapses in horror and grief, and even her ice powers lock up.
    • After spending most of the movie as a cheerful hyperactive girl, only faltering a bit after getting struck by her sister in the Ice Castle, Anna gets hit with one when she realizes that the person she loves the whole time, turns out to be a treacherous prince who only uses her for his own gains to the point that she believed that nobody really loved her due to both Elsa and Hans's actions on the girl.
    • In Big Hero 6, Hiro goes into one of these after Tadashi's death that lasts for several weeks, during which he stays in his room with the blinds drawn, not eating, not responding to messages from friends, not registering at the school he worked so hard to get only ends when he drops part of his battle bot on his foot and accidentally activates Baymax.
    • In Zootopia, Judy suffers one when she brings about increased prejudice and division in Zootopia than ever before as a result of her comments during a press conference about the regressed predators, and she ends up resigning from the force out of shame.
  • DreamWorks Animation:
    • In Chicken Run, after being rescued from the pie machine, Ginger, the leader of the hens goes to get Rocky "the flying rooster" Rhodes to teach them how to fly and escape the egg farm, and the grisly fate of being turned into a chicken pot pie. When she goes into the coop, she discovers he ran away in the middle of the night. She shows everyone the poster, and when the other hens ask how are they going to escape now, Ginger who has been determined to escape one way or another, responds that the only way out is "wrapped up in pastry". As she sits quietly to contemplate their fate, the other hens, and Fowler the elderly rooster, start a fight as to why Rocky left them for dead. When Fowler's R.A.F. medal lands near her, Ginger tells the other chickens to Shut up and that they will build a "crate" to fly them out.
    • Hiccup in How to Train Your Dragon and How to Train Your Dragon 2 has one for each movie. The first one is after his father has disowned him after finding out about Toothless, and is sailing off to certain death at the Dragon's Nest. He comes out of it when Astrid reminds him that he's not only the first Viking to refuse to kill a dragon, he's also the first one to tame and ride one, proving he isn't as weak and stupid as everyone says he is. His BSOD in the second movie is when his father is killed by a brainwashed Toothless and Hiccup drives Toothless away in a rage, leaving him to be taken by Drago. He doesn't recover until after Stoick's funeral and a talk with Valka about how Hiccup was a very small and frail preemie and Stoick was the one who believed he was strong enough to survive.
    • Po throughout most of Kung Fu Panda 2 when he starts having visions about the night his parents were murdered. He eventually comes out of it when he stumbles across the ruins of his Doomed Hometown and comes to terms with the tragedy.
    • Jack Frost in Rise of the Guardians has a minor one in Antarctica after Pitch breaks his staff. Baby Tooth brings him out of it by showing him his human memories, which lead to him learning about his Heroic Sacrifice that turned him into Jack Frost.
    • In Trolls, Branch reveals his to Poppy and Bridget, and reveals to the audience that undergoing one causes Color Failure in a troll. When Branch was a child still living at the Troll Tree, his singing attracted the attention of a Bergen. His grandmother performed a Heroic Sacrifice to make sure he wouldn't get eaten. Realizing that his singing attracted the Bergen that ate his grandmother, Branch turned grey for at least a full decade. This comes into full effect in the Darkest Hour: Poppy admits that she completely failed to save Troll Village, and in fact she's completely responsible for the entire village being captured and about to be eaten. This causes her to lose all hope and hit this point - and seeing her reach that point makes every other troll hit this point too, losing their color en masse.
  • In Epic seeing MK Leafman-sized is the breaking point for Professor Bomba, where he realizes he must have hallucinated and how far detached from society he is. He turns off his cameras and packs up or outright throws his equipment off tables in a rage.
  • Soren in Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole has this after he kills Metalbeak.
  • Emmet in The LEGO Movie practically suffers a huge one when, even after everything that has happened to him, he breaks after his plan to infiltrate Lord Business' tower to attach the Piece of Resistance to the Kragle fails and he witnesses (along with plenty of others) Vitruvius' death by LB's hands, who then decides to reveal there was actually no prophecy. It takes the ghost of Vitruvius to snap him out of it to make his sacrifice to save everyone in the Think Tank, besides his moments in the 'real' world to motivate him to save his world.
  • Pixar:
    • Toy Story has the famous moment when Buzz Lightyear finally realizes he's just a toy. Woody also has one later, admitting that he feels inferior to the high-tech, multifeatured Buzz when all he has is a pullstring.
    • From the action film The Incredibles, Mr. Incredible has a brief one when he thinks his family is dead.
    • In Monsters University, Mike is devastated after learning that humans aren't scared by him at all, meaning he really is incapable of being a proper scarer.
  • The titular girls suffer a brutal case of this in The Powerpuff Girls Movie after they discover that their friend Jojo (now the villain Mojo Jojo) has tricked them into helping him create a superpowered primate army that will take over Townsville and the world. What's worse is that no one believes they were just trying to make the town better; even the their dad doubts their intentions. Crushed, they run away to outer space. Bubbles can't stop sobbing, Buttercup is furious, and Blossom lashes out with blame before going completely silent. They can even still hear all the pain and mayhem going on in town, thanks to Super Senses, but are too distraught to do anything but try to block the sounds out. It's at this point, back on Earth, that Mojo tries to kill the Professor, who calls out for the girls. Hearing this snaps them out of their BSOD, and they return to save him.
  • The title character of Rango suffers this after the villain (actually The Dragon) employs Break Them by Talking. He wanders alone into the desert, and has to receive guidance before he can pull himself together for the final showdown.
  • Tommy Pickles hits this spectacularly in The Rugrats Movie when Phil and Lil abandon him and his brother Dil in the woods, Chuckie following them, and Dil's greediness leading to his favorite blanket being torn in the middle of a cold and raging storm. Lil suffers one when a tree crashes down and, when all Lil can find is Phil's shoes, she starts to break down thinking he's dead. He's fine, just that he lost his shoes when the tree fell.
  • In Strange Magic, the movie begins with Fairy Princess Marianne as a blissfully happy bride-to-be, joyfully getting ready for her wedding to the handsome Roland...and then she finds him cheating on her with an unnamed girl. On the day of their wedding. The sudden cut from the music and the echoing silence, along with Marianne's heartbreaking expression, really hammers home the devastating power of this moment.
  • DC Showcase: Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam had Billy Batson suffer one of these after Black Adam offered him a Sadistic Choice between his own life and the life of a hostage. Adam then attempts to kill both Billy and the hostage, and would have succeeded if Superman hadn't interfered. The BSOD only lasted for a few moments though, and after it passed, well, one magic word later it got REALLY ugly for Adam.
  • From the CGI movie TMNT, Raphael confronts Leonardo, breaks his swords and beats him for once - leaving him vulnerable when the Big Bads gang up on him and capture him. The realization that this was all his fault turns Raphael into a babbling, incoherent emotional mess.
    Raph: But, Master Splinter, I messed up big tonight. (shows Leo's broken swords) They took him...

     Film - Live Action 
  • Jackie Robinson gets one in 42 after enduring a barrage of racial epithets from Philadelphia Phillies' coach Ben Chapman.
  • In (500) Days of Summer, the main plot of the film is to see how Tom Hansen is handling his breakup with Summer Finn, and looking back to see what he did wrong. He... doesn't take it well.
  • Gomez enters one after he loses his fortune and is evicted from his home in the first Addams Family movie. Thing snaps him out of it just before the climax with a three word message: MORTICIA IN DANGER.
  • Adrift (2018): After seeing a ship pass them by then vanish, Tami, Lost at Sea for several days now, falls into one as she realizes she's hallucinating.
  • After most of the Marines are killed in the nest in Aliens Private Hudson suffers a breakdown and transforms from loud mouthed joker to a nervous wreck. Later in the movie, he snaps out of it after Ripley orders him to pull himself together, causing him to regain his fight, and hold off the attacking aliens to buy his team time to escape at the cost of his own life
  • The Amazing Spider-Man Series:
  • Annie (2014) when she is revealed to be unable to read. Also when she thinks Stacks hired the fake parents to make himself look good.
  • April Showers: Jason suffers one in a grocery shop, hallucinating a staring crowd holding copies of the magazine cover with the picture of him carrying the dead girl out of the school.
  • Assassin's Creed (2016): Aguilar has a brief funk when Maria dies during their final mission.
  • In Back to the Future Part II, Marty has a huge one in 1985-A when he finds his father's grave.
  • Doc goes into one in Back to the Future Part III after he tries to tell Clara he is from the future and she doesn't believe him and slams the door in his face.
  • In Batman (1989), Bruce goes through one when he sees Jack Napier is still alive, standing still in shock as Jack, now The Joker, and his men gun down a group of mobsters, neither attempting to stop them nor even seeming to be aware of the bullets flying around him. He doesn't even notice when he gets winged by one of the bullets.
  • In Batman: The Movie, Batman suffers something of one when he discovers that Catwoman was Miss Kitka, the Russian reporter he met and fell in love with. When Robin goes to offer his sympathies, Batman recovers and stops him before he ends up revealing who they were.
  • Not sure if he counts as a hero, especially considering the events immediately following this scene, but Philip Seymour Hoffman's character has an epic one in Before the Devil Knows You're Dead after his wife leaves him and reveals she's been sleeping with his brother. He calmly and systematically dismantles their apartment, pouring their decorative marbles over the coffee table and tearing up his entire bedroom. And then shit really hits the fan.
  • Oskari in Big Game has a brief moment of breakdown when he finds out that his father's "good hunting place" contains a refrigerator with a head of an already-shot deer, meaning that a father of a "Well Done, Son!" Guy doesn't believe that he can do it well.
  • Nicole Kidman's character in Birth has a BSOD while at the opera. The camera locks on her face for a full three minutes while she shuts down. The result is fairly haunting.
  • Jasmine in Blue Jasmine, that is if you actually consider her a hero of any sort...
  • Towards the end of Boogie Nights, there's an extended shot of Dirk just staring into space. Somewhat of a subversion, as this is more due to his cocaine addiction, and all the shit that's going on around him.
  • In Braveheart, William Wallace has one of these when he finds out that Robert the Bruce was working with Edward Longshanks. It is enough to where he lies down to almost get captured by a band of English soldiers before the Bruce lets him go. At the same time, when Robert the Bruce realizes the horror on Wallace's face, he looks as if he is about to succumb to one as well.
  • In Captain Phillips, based on the Maersk Alabama hijacking, the eponymous captain is rescued by the U.S. Navy after they dispatch the hijackers holding him hostage, but has to be treated for shock since he just narrowly avoided death at his captors' hands. The poor guy is in tears and can barely even talk.
  • Cemetery Man. Learning the rest of the world doesn't exist for you because you're not real could do that to anyone.
  • The plot of Charlie St Cloud has the title character suffer one of these after his little brother was killed in a car accident.
  • Chinatown ends with this both for the protagonist J.J. Gittes and the viewer.
  • Eddie Felton gets one in The Color of Money after he himself is hustled by Amos, who smoothly pretends to be a lucky amateur and suckers Eddie into a series of double-or-nothing games.
  • The German film La Colonia, features a scene where the male protagonist searches the underground tunnels of the cult compound for a means to escape. He bursts into tears when he stumbles into the chamber that contains the metal bed-frame he was chained to and the generator used to electrocute him.
  • Creepshow has a rare literal example. The screen actually turns blue behind the hero.
  • Both Thomas and Guy-Manuel in Daft Punk's Electroma. Thomas self-destructs, and later on, Guy tries to blow himself up, but cannot reach his self-destruction panel, so he starts himself on fire using a glass shard from his broken helmet and the sun.
  • In The Dark Knight, Harvey Dent. Pretty much all the scenes in the hospital after he finds out what happened are just him on his bed, staring blankly at the ceiling. Of course, you either die a hero, or live long enough to see yourself become the villain...
  • Das Boot features one Heroic BSOD in Johann, the U-96's engineer, while they're being depth-charged for the second time. He attempts to abandon the submarine (impossible since it's underwater), having to be restrained.
  • DC Extended Universe:
    • Then there was Man of Steel wherein Supes okay, contrary to what people say, they DO call him "Superman," but in any case, he snaps Zod's neck and screams in emotional anguish.
    • In Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Clark, already struggling with self-doubt, goes through one after Lex blows up a Senate hearing that Superman is attending, using a bomb hidden in a lead-lined wheelchair so Clark can't see it, killing and injuring hundreds of people that Clark is unable to save. It takes a Dead Person Conversation with the ghost of Jonathan Kent to snap him out of it.
      • Later in the film, Batman has one when he's about to kill Clark, only for Clark to plead for the life of Martha. While Clark is talking about his own mother, the fact that it's also the name of Bruce's mother (and indeed, Thomas Wayne's last word) triggers Bruce's PTSD and he freezes, just demanding to know why Clark is saying that name. Learning from Lois Lane that Clark is talking about his own mother, and that Clark has only been fighting him because Lex is holding her hostage, snaps Bruce both out of his BSOD and Unstoppable Rage, making him realise how far he's fallen, and he agrees to save Martha while Clark confronts Lex.
  • In The Deer Hunter, there's Nicky.
  • The character Sarah has one of these about two thirds of the way through The Descent and doesn't come back for the rest of the movie. On the upside, her BSOD is very hardcore, and in all likelyhood it saved her life in the American version with the revised ending.
  • In District 9, Christopher is purely interested originally in getting himself, his son and maybe a few others the hell off Earth. However, when he and Wikus raid MNU's lab, he enters this state realizing the horrifically evil things being done to his people. Once he snaps out of it, he is now dedicated to return to both free his people and help Wikus.
  • In Dogma, as explained by The Metatron, this is the reason for the unexplained gap in Jesus's life from the time he was twelve, until his thirties. When told he was the son of God, and was doomed to be betrayed by the very people he was trying to help, it triggered a two decades long BSOD. This was told to Bethany when she started her own BSOD after Rufus tells her that she's a descendant of Jesus and that's why she's targeted.
  • In Dragonheart noble knight Bowen blames young Eion turning into a murderous tyrant on the boy having half of a dragon's heart. Bowen then proceeds to hunt dragons until he and the last one (Draco, the very one Bowen was hunting for) form an alliance. In a fight, Eion makes it clear that he never believed in the Old Code and was just using Bowen and Bowen is stunned to realize the boy was always going to be a monster and he hunted a species to extinction for no reason.
  • Barney Ross from The Expendables suffers this in the third movie after Caesar is wounded and hospitalized by Conrad Stonebanks, forcing him to temporary disband the team.
  • Sean has a brief one after Han is killed in The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. Neela has to physically drag him away.
  • Faust: Love of the Damned: John Jaspers loses his demonic superhero form and goes into catatonia when he sees his love interest under the mind control of the villain.
  • In Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Cameron seems to have one of these when he sees that the valet took his father's car - his most prized possession - for a joyride. He screams at the top of his lungs for the whole city to hear, then lapses into his BSOD. Ferris and his girlfriend Sloane try desperately to revive him, which culminates with the two of them in a hot tub, and Cameron on a folding chair at the end of a diving board. He falls (or jumps) in, and Ferris "rescues" him, reviving him from his cataplexy in the process. He reveals that he wasn't really catatonic the whole time. Sloane then asks if he saw her get changed, which he replies to with a grin.
  • The Fifth Element: Leeloo descends into despair as she sees humans' inhumanity to their fellow humans, almost losing it completely when Diva is killed, and then decides to read up on the "WAR" section of the dictionary. This becomes an important plot point almost immediately afterward, as she initially refuses to save the universe if war and violence are all it has to offer.
  • The Fugitive opens with Richard in shock after finding his wife horrifically murdered. Near the end of the film, he has a second, subtler one on realizing who's responsible for her death.
  • Katherine, the protagonist's love interest in Fury (1936), has one after seeing an angry mob burn her fiance alive. He gets better. Afterwards she's unable to speak, and has a post-traumatic freakout whenever she sees fire (including people lighting their cigarettes).
  • Ghostbusters (1984) gives us another lovely quote after the team has viewed the transformation of Gozer into the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.
    Peter: Ray has gone bye-bye, Egon. What have you got left?
    Egon: Sorry, Venkman. I'm terrified beyond the capacity for rational thought.
  • In Greedy, Danny McTeague gets a very bad, but brief, BSOD after getting a gutter ball that ruins his chances of getting into the finals of a bowling tournament.
  • In a Retcon to the ending of his series, Heisei Rider Vs Showa Rider Kamen Rider Wars Featuring Super Sentai revealed that Takumi Inui, Kamen Rider Faiz, had been in one since the death of Masato Kusaka, Kamen Rider Kaixa.note 
  • Both Hellboy movies.
    • Hellboy experiences one in the first film after Professor Broom dies.
    • And again in the second one where Liz "breaks up" with him (she actually just left to contemplate being pregnant but it seemed that way to Red). This comes not long after he learns how much the public fears and hates him, and he's so distraught that he stops filing his horns down, and picks fights with superiors.
  • In The Howling, Karen White suffers one her first time back on TV after being attacked by Eddie Quist.
  • The Hurt Locker, in following an Army EOD team in Iraq, gives us an escalating scale of BSODs through all the main characters:
    • James is basically a walking BSOD through the entire film, with some moments shoving him deeper in than others. Arguably, he only manages his reboot at the end of the film when he realizes he genuinely enjoys his ridiculously dangerous job despite his wife and son waiting for him at home, and re-enlists to go back.
    • Sandborn is pretty stable, but he eventually swerves right into a BSOD when being around James gets him thinking that if he dies, there isn't anyone in the world who would care except his parents. They don't count.
    • Eldridge goes through several traumatic experiences starting from the very first scene, to the point where he has a counselour popping up around him every now and then. Eldridge actually tells him, sincerely, that he appreciates his efforts and that he feels better having someone to talk to. Then the counselour is killed, and Eldridge is indirectly responsible. Then he's shot. He has precious little sanity left by his last scene.
  • The Hunger Games: Katniss after Rue's death.
  • The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1:
    • Katniss suffers several of these.
      • In what's left of District 12, because of the sheer number of casualties. 9,085 of District 12's 10,000 residents don't make it out.
      • After Snow leaves hundreds of white roses following the Capitol's unsuccessful raid on District 13.
      • When Peeta attacks and nearly kills her.
      • And before that last one, she completely breaks down when President Snow delivers a Wham Line at the end of their video conversation about being fully aware of District 13's rescue operation of the victors and effectively cuts off their communication with the rescue unit. Understandably, she has every reason to believe that she's lost both Peeta and Gale (who was part of that unit), even though it ends up not being the case.
    • Finnick also suffers from one that's bad enough to leave him in a depressive state for a good chunk of the film (although it's elaborated on less than it was in the book). It mostly stems from a combination of the Capitol having taken Annie, his one true love, captive, and guilt for not going back to save Johanna and Peeta at the end of the Quarter Quell.
  • Robert Neville (played by Will Smith) goes into one in I Am Legend after being forced to kill his vampire-infected dog, who had been his only companion for the three years that had elapsed since the beginning of the vampire apocalypse, in self defense. The following shot of Neville sitting in his car after burying the dog's body and blankly staring at the now empty passenger seat really drives home the point. His depression gets to the point that he attempts suicide by vampire. He gets snapped out of it after being saved by a pair of other human survivors.
  • Independence Day:
    • President Whitmore undergoes one while on Air Force One, reflecting on his failure to respond to the devastating first wave.
    "We could have evacuated the cities hours ago. That's the advantage of being a fighter pilot. In the Gulf War, we knew what we had to do. It's just...not simple anymore. A lot of people died today. How many didn't have to?"
    • Hiller also has one shortly after arriving in Area 51. After Withmore leaves the control room to see the alien Hiller captured, Hiller tells General Gray that he wants to be transfered back to El Toro as soon as possible, only for Gray to tell him that El Toro was destroyed. It hits Hiller hard because, not only was the base his home away from home, but he told his girlfriend Jazmine to go there with Dylan, his stepson.
    • While not quite as severe as other examples, David hits rock bottom when the military launches a nuke against the aliens, against his wishes, and fails. He gets drunk and makes a mess of the place until his father is able to calm him down and inadvertently provide an idea on how to defeat the aliens.
  • Into the Storm (2009) has two for our protagonist. Churchill starts having one when the sheer loss of life the war caused starts to get him, and a second one after he loses the election near the end of the movie, he spends the rest of the movie with an empty gaze.
  • In The Last Laugh, the hero is in this state pretty much continually after getting demoted. The actor, Emil Jannings, is Chewing the Scenery pretty hard in those minutes.
  • In The Last Temptation of Christ, Jesus has been rescued from the Cross by his guardian angel (in the form of a little girl). He has married Mary Magdalene, and is raising a family. He has his BSOD when his former disciples reveal his ever-present guardian angel as Satan, having sabotaged his dying for the sins of the world. Fortunately, It Was All Just A Dream or Satan's tempting fantasy.
  • In Lawrence of Arabia, the title character has a few of these, most notably, after he's unable to save Daud from quicksand while on his way back to Cairo to report that he took Aquba from the Turkish. The other notable moment, which is after he's captured and beaten by Turkish soldiers, however, is more of a Despair Event Horizon for Lawrence.
  • The Lethal Weapon films. Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson), primarily.
  • In Little Women's The Film of the Book (more exactly, the classic one of the 40's), Beth has a huge one when she and Amy sneak into the Christmas Party and overhear the Gossipy Hens speculating about Marmee's "plans" of marrying either Meg or Jo off to Laurie. This is parallel to the book scene where Meg is the one who has such an experience and keeps self cool for a bit, then breaks down crying when she's alone.
  • Frodo has one at the near end of Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring. Frodo just stares with the Thousand-Yard Stare on the river from the shore while holding the Ring on the open palm of his hand, obiviously traumatized by Gandalf's death, Boromir's corruption and the Uruk-Hais' sudden attack, and thinking back when he told Gandalf that he wished that nothing of the events would have ever happened. He snaps out of it when he remembers Gandalf's answer and decides to continue to Mordor.
  • Theoden also experience one after watching the Uruk-Hai blast a hole into Helm's Deep with Saruman's gunpowder in Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.
  • Odone in Lorenzo's Oil researches his son's condition, going through page after page of horrific case histories — bizarre, hyperactive behavior, progressive withdrawal, mutism, unsteady gait, paresis, dementia, dysphagia, quadraplegia, seizures, spastic, until only a few words appear and are seared into his soul: — blind, deaf, mute, coma, death. His tragic cries echo through the stairwell, as if his heart is being ripped out of him, as if he himself is dying. Stunning performance by Nick Nolte.
  • In Madame Curie, based on the story of Real Life scientist Marie Curie, she goes into one after her husband and research partner Pierre is killed after being run over by a horsecart on the street. Greer Garson based her performance on Eve Curie's description of her mother's behavior; she seemed almost robotic for a time.
  • In Mad Max: Fury Road, Furiosa has one after the group finds the Many Mothers, and she learns that the Green Place has become a barren swamp.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • In Iron Man 2 Tony goes into one big time, due to him suffering a slow death due to Palladium contamination. It culminates into him throwing a party, completely drunk, while in his Iron Man armor.
    • Thor:
      • Thor goes into one when he discovers that he can no longer lift Mjölnir. Also Loki visiting him and lying to him that their father had died and that he was banished from Asgard forever.
      • Odin too could count since Loki's discovery of his true ancestry and resulting outburst caused his powers to shut off.
    • Captain America: The Winter Soldier: Once the mask is knocked off the Winter Soldier's face and Cap sees that it's his old friend Bucky, Cap is frozen in place. He doesn't even put up a fight when the STRIKE team arrests him.
    • Avengers: Infinity War: Cap has it happen again at the end of this film, when Bucky, Sam, T'Challa, and Wanda disintegrate in front of him. To put it in his own terms: "Oh, god."
      • Tony as another one, too. When Peter disintegrates in Tony's arms, just moments after telling him how sorry he is and begging for Tony to save him, Tony can do nothing but grab futilely for his ashes. Made worse by the fact that Dr. Strange, Drax, Mantis, and Star Lord all disintegrate around him, too, leaving him alone with Nebula on Titan—Tony is basically living his greatest fear. In the moments after everyone vanishes, Tony just sits there on his knees, practically catatonic.
  • By the end of the second installment of The Matrix film trilogy, Neo averts a BSOD at the revelation that there have been previous Ones and that the Prophecy was just another Machine control. But when Morpheus hears a part of this news (combined with his hovercraft being destroyed moments later), he doubts himself, becoming nearly ineffective throughout the last movie of the trilogy, regaining his faith when the Machines stop their relentless attack on Zion at the last minute, indicating that Neo was intervening elsewhere.
  • Rusty Dennis has one at the end of Mask, when she realizes that Rocky isn't just sleeping. She wanders into the kitchen in shock, and proceeds to smash things in her grief.
  • In Memento, this has happened to Lenny— permanently.
  • An early cinematic example occurs in Metropolis when Freder collapses and has a four-minute apocalyptic vision after he (apparently) discovers (Robot) Maria is in league with his father, Joh.
  • When Atreyu meets the Rock Biter in The Neverending Story, The Nothing has already claimed much of Fantasia, including the Teeny Weeny and the Night Hob, whom the Rock Biter befriended at the beginning of the movie. Even though he knew fighting The Nothing was beyond his ability, the Rock Biter is crushed that he couldn't help them.
    Rock Biter: They look like big, good, strong hands, don't they? I always thought that's what they were.
  • Night of the Living Dead (1968): Barbra has one after seeing her brother killed by a zombie, then being chased across the countryside by said zombie. She recovers almost the whole film later, when her brother leads the mob of zombies that kill her.
  • Ditto the Korean thriller Oldboy (2003), where the main character BSODs hardcore (AND dumps core, and probably files a cosmic bug report) when he finds out he's been manipulated into sleeping with his own daughter as karmic payback for talking too much about a schoolmate who got his own sister pregnant.
  • Pacific Rim: "Chasing the rabbit", as it is called, where a pilot gets distracted by a memory and loses focus with reality. Mako almost vaporizes the entire facility when she gets attached to a traumatic childhood memory.
  • In The Passion of the Christ an emotionally exhausted Mary embraces Jesus after he has been taken down from the cross ... and is too spent to do anything but give the thousand yard stare.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean:
    • Barbossa (arguably this rather than a Villainous Breakdown, given his brief stint as a "hero") has one in the third movie, after his plan to save the pirates by releasing Calypso fails miserably. Upon seeing the maelstrom that the Pearl is forced to weather, he just stands on the deck staring at it, before Elizabeth snaps him out of it by reminding that he's needed at the helm.
    • Jack also gets one when just as he prepares to stab the heart, Davy Jones fatally wounds Will
    • Norrington in the second movie is in grips of one, because he lost his ship in pursuit of Jack Sparrow.
  • Pitch Black. When Riddick tries to make Fry leave Imam and Jack behind on the dead planet or he'll leave all of them she calls him out on his manipulation, but breaks down into an unresponsive, crying mess in front of Riddick when she realizes he's dead serious, torn between trying to save herself or die trying to save the others.
  • In Predator, the character Mac suffers one after seeing Blain get killed by the Predator (and actually seeing the Predator for the first time). Only Dutch can reboot him by yelling "Sergeant!".
  • In the Bollywood movie Pukar, the main character, Jai, goes through this after having been wrongfully accused of treason and facing court martial. Made all the worse that his girlfriend has left him and his family has been shamed. Ironic, that the only one listening is the person who put him in that predicament (though she never thought it would go so far) and her father. He gets better.
  • Rambo has one at the end of First Blood when he recounts his traumatic experiences in Vietnam to Col. Trautman.
  • In Ran, Hidetora has one for most of the film after he sees his sons fighting over his domain after he retired.
  • Shilo has a fairly extensive one by the end of Repo! The Genetic Opera.
  • In Return to Oz, Dorothy manages to endure a lot, including the destruction of virtually everything she ever loved about Oz, but with a lot of hastily-revised plans and some helpful friends, she remains stable. However, when the Nome King transforms the Scarecrow into an ornament and abandons her in a chamber deep inside his palace, Dorothy finally bursts into tears. After a Pet the Dog moment from the Nome King and then a Kick the Dog moment, she falls into a period of despair which she finally recovers when she beats the Nome King at his own game.
  • Rocky III has Rocky fall into one after both his humiliating defeat to Clubber Lang as well as Mickey's subsequent fatal heart attack, causing him to completely lose his fighting spirit for a good portion of the film until Adrian is able to rouse him out of it.
  • Saving Private Ryan:
    • Upham gets one, being only able to walk among the carnage. The Germans realize his condition and never shoot him, even though he has loads of bullets around his neck. He gets over the BSOD only after The Cavalry arrives.
    • Captain Miller has one upon arriving on the beaches of Normandy. What's even more interesting is you get to see it through his eyes as it happens.
  • Oskar Schindler in Schindler's List breaks down towards the end of the film after thinking that even if he had saved the lives of about 1,100 Jews, he might have been able to save more had he used his money wisely.
  • In Shaun of the Dead Shaun suffers from this after beating a zombie to a bloody pulp with his best friend Ed. Ed seems completely oblivious to this while eating a Cornetto
  • In the Korean action movie Shiri, the main character has a bit of a BSOD when he discovers his girlfriend is in fact a North Korean assassin.
  • James Bond has one in Skyfall after he's declared dead after being shot and falling off a bridge during a mission. He debauches himself most thoroughly, but he's clearly depressed.
  • Sleepy Hollow used it twice, first when Ichabod first sees the "monster" ("It was a headless horseman. But it was a headless horseman. No, you must believe me. It was a horseman, a dead one. Headless.") and then at the finale: the Horseman brings Lady Van Tassel with him to the underworld, her hand is stuck at the roots of the "tree portal". The hand closes. Ichabod promptly faints.
  • In Space Camp, Katherine (played by Lea Thompson) has one of these after finding the manual override switch. Katherine didn't know whether to pull the switch so they could save their camp counselor Andie (played by Kate Capshaw), or not pull it and allow mission control to bring them back to Earth on auto-pilot (they were low on oxygen). It eventually takes Kevin (Tate Donovan) who previously "didn't ask to be responsible" to do just that and pull the switch to rescue Andie.
  • In Stage Door, Terry suffers one right before she goes on stage opening night when she finds out Kaye killed herself because she wanted Terry's part. However, because The Show Must Go On, she pulls herself together enough to give a great performance.
  • Star Trek
    • Kirk, Scotty and Janice Rand suffer one in Star Trek: The Motion Picture after witnessing the blood-curling screams of two victims of a transporter accident. Kirk can only utter out a "My God" while Rand turns away, obviously shaken.
    • In Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Kirk's BSOD over Spock's death somewhat continues into the third movie, wherein he snaps out of it and starts to kick Klingon ass and take names.
    • Kirk has one in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock after David is killed. You know Kirk is out of it when he missed his own chair.
    • He has a very brief one in after the assassination of the Klingon chancellor in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. Having apparently fired on the chancellor's ship, the Klingon battlecruiser recovers, rights itself, and prepares to retaliate on the unshielded Enterprise with photon torpedoes. Kirk just stares slack-jawed at the viewscreen for a full ten seconds—likely he's trying to process the fact that Enterprise seems to have just fired the first shots of an interstellar war.
    • Star Trek: Generations. Done as only Patrick Stewart can deliver. After receiving word of his brother and nephew's deaths, he keeps a stiff upper lip for much of the movie, but in the immediate aftermath is very curt with his senior staff and delegates to Riker many of the duties regarding the observatory rescue operation he would normally handle himself. A typical Red Shirt might not notice anything wrong with Picard other than maybe he's having a bad day (which is both true and a massive understatement), but Riker and the others gather some inkling that something is very wrong. It eventually gets even worse when Soran says something that calls back to the event of their deaths ("Time is the fire in which we burn.")
    • Star Trek Into Darkness. Kirk suffers two of them, first when Christopher Pike strips Kirk of his command of the Enterprise and second when Harrison kills Pike during the attack on Starfleet Headquarters, causing him to break down into tears.
  • Star Wars:
    • The Empire Strikes Back'', Luke suffers a BSOD after Darth Vader's notorious reveal. Which brings us to...
    • In Revenge of the Sith, Obi-Wan Kenobi slowly falls into one as he and Yoda see the full extent of the massacre in the Jedi Temple. He's tipped over the edge when he sees a hologram proving that Anakin is responsible but, being stoic and determined, manages to keep going and fight the man he's loved as a brother. He finally lets his emotions come out after he's defeated Vader and, although he keeps going, it's clear from that point onwards that he's tipped over the Despair Event Horizon. Even nineteen years later, it's clear that he hasn't fully recovered.
    • Between Episodes VI (Return of the Jedi) and VII (The Force Awakens), Luke seems to be suffering a huge one after his nephew, Kylo Ren, destroyed his new Jedi Order after he turned to the Dark Side of the Force and wiped out all of his other students. Blaming himself over what happened, Luke soon went into hiding, totally severing contact with his friends and relatives, seemingly resigned to be the last Jedi once more. (Han, however, implies that there is another unknown reason why he disappeared, as he states that the people who knew him best think that he went to find the first Jedi temple, and seems to have trusted his location to R2-D2 and Lor San Tekka — as they both hold two separate pieces of the map to his location.) Only time will tell us what happened and if he'll snap out of it during the events of Episode VIII: The Last Jedi.
  • In Stranger Than Fiction, when Karen Eiffel learns that the subject of her latest book, Harold Crick, is a real person that she's going to kill via her writing, she becomes horrified at what she was about to do, and the fact that she may have inadvertently killed other real people with previous books. Later, when she does type out her planned death for Harold, she has a complete breakdown.
  • In St. Vincent (2014), when Vincent gets home from the hospital, his answering machine is filled with messages from the facility where his wife was being cared for. He can figure out the subtext of the messages and breaks down.
  • In Superman: The Movie, our hero finds... oh wait... anyway, he finds Lois dead, carries her body to the ground, shakes his head, and screams to the heavens!!! He snaps out of it to reverse time by reversing the Earth's rotation to save her life.
  • Sarah Connor Blue Screens in Terminator 2: Judgment Day upon seeing a Terminator very much identical to the one that persistently tried to kill her in the previous film. Complete with slow motion, deer in the headlights look, and catatonia, which contrasts nicely with her put-on catatonia earlier in the day after she's shown photos of the Terminator walking around a shopping mall. She couldn't even fight back the orderlies who are subduing her - the same orderlies who were getting their asses kicked by her a few minutes ago. She has another later in the film when she looks into Miles Dyson's terrified face and can't bring herself to kill him. She realizes then that she's become a Terminator.
  • In James Cameron's Titanic (1997), Captain Edward Smith has a mental breakdown following the ship striking the iceberg and has to be strongly encouraged by one of his officers to give the order to abandon ship. This scene is historically accurate as the real-life Captain Smith actually did suffer a mental breakdown and was only briefly brought out of his stupor by his first officer shouting at him and asking if they should start putting women and children into the lifeboats.
  • Maverick in Top Gun likely takes the cake for having a BSOD in the middle of a two vs six aerial dogfight. After flying into an enemy fighter's jet wash, he is reminded of his friend's death after which he mentally shuts down for a few seconds. However, being that aerial combat is a fast, furious affair that requires quick reflexes and a pilot's full attention, it is miraculous that our protagonist wasn't instantly blown out of the sky.
  • Toy Soldiers: After Joey is killed by Cali's soldiers while trying to free his friends, Billy sinks in deep depression, almost missing their chance that they planned so hard for.
  • Sam from Transformers suffers one in the second film when Optimus dies. And again in the third film when he sees the Autobots' ship destroyed by Starscream and believes the Autobots are dead. Also, various bystanders are shown to be standing speechless or sitting dejectedly after Chicago's invasion by the Decepticons and even Epps and NEST soldiers gave up and declared the fight over. They fortunately snap out of it when Optimus and the rest of the Autobots came back.
  • Done pretty well for a comedy in Tropic Thunder, when extreme method actor Kirk Lazarus is called out for his methods, used because he's afraid of what's deep inside, by a rather insane Tugg Speedman (who's suffered his own BSOD after accidentally killing a panda, then supposedly "found a family"). It takes the Only Sane Man, resident geek, and Promoted Fanboy (of sorts) Kevin to shake Kirk out of it...and, well, he attempted to do so with Speedman.
  • Su in True Legend suffers a catastrophic crash midway through the movie as his wife dies shortly before being rescued. Long story short, he doesn't pull out of it, thus becoming the mythic Beggar Su.
  • United 93's entire cast (besides the passengers aboard the titular flight) suffers one after United 175 smashes into the South Tower.
  • John "Scottie" Ferguson gets one of these in Vertigo that lasts long enough for him to be put in a mental hospital after the woman he loves is killed. She comes back later.
  • Pink has one in The Wall, when he finds out about his wife's affair. This is subsequently represented by a very freudian animated sequence, accompanied by the song "What Shall We Do Now?"
  • At the end of Warrior King, Tony Jaa has a pretty epic Heroic BSOD when he sees the skeleton of his father's elephant (which he has been trailing all film) behind the throne of the big bad and collapses to the ground, getting kicked in the head repeatedly while he reboots, before unleashing the mother of all Unstoppable Rages on every last motherfucker in the room.
  • Both Wellington and Napoleon are in BSOD mode pretty hard after the titular battle in Waterloo. Wellington has won the battle but at tremendous cost to his army, and only after having seen most of his aides and officers killed. Napoleon meanwhile is broken by his loss, and the knowledge that dismal exile is the only possible fate for him now.
  • Willy Wonka near the end of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. After watching the whole tour slowly wittle away one by one, he's left with only Charlie. However, he already knows that he drank Fizzie-Lifting Drinks earlier, and that also disqualifies him from inheriting his factory. Wonka is completely dejected as he checks his mail and he even says the day was a waste of time.
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past:
    • What Xavier has been in since the end of X-Men: First Class. A lot has happened in the Time Skip between the two movies, resulting in the deaths of most of the characters from First Class who don't appear here. It's also stated that Charles lost many of his students and teachers to conscription and the Vietnam War, effectively closing down his newly budding school.
    • Wolverine also has one when he sees Stryker, and his is more like a PTSD flashback.


Example of: