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Heroic BSOD / Live-Action TV

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Because when you're saving the world every week, it's bound to happen sooner or later.

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  • 24:
    • Heroic BSODs are frequent with Jack Bauer, but the two most noticeable ones are when Terry and Renee are offed. The latter gives us a superb example of what happens when Heroic BSOD combines with Berserk Button and Roaring Rampageof Revenge.
    • He also has a major one when he is forced to kill Curtis Manning, in which he breaks down crying, vomits, and tells Bill that he can't do this anymore. It takes a small nuke, literally, to snap him out of it
    • Chloe O'Brian suffers one when she witnesses Edgar Stiles collapse and die from exposure to nerve gas during the fifth season, so much so that she curls up in the corner of the room and refuses to do anything until a conveniently-present clinical psychologist snaps her out of it.

  • Every episode of Adam Ruins Everything starts with the Audience Surrogate happily going about their business, they will then recite a known "truth," and host Adam Conover uses his Reality Warper powers to pop into the scene and spend the first three segments of the show proving to the victim that everything they believe is Based on a Great Big Lie. After finding out that everything that has based their personality on is pointless, they will go into a great depression, and generally, give up. The final segment, before the credits roll, Adam will explain that just because everything they believed isn't true, he will show them that there are still things they can do to improve their situation and more importantly, use critical thinking to research whether or not what they hear is true or not, and the show ends on something of a high note as the other person gets their Heroic Second Wind.
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.:
    • May's traumatic backstory, in which she was forced to kill a little girl gifted with mind-controlling powers in order to save the rest of her team, pushed her into one of these serious enough to make her trade her field agent status for a desk job.
    • Coulson has a major one when he discovers the source of the GH325 drug that was used to heal the damage to his heart, so much so that Agent Garret finds him wandering down the hall like a zombie.
    • Fitz has the violent outburst version when he finds out that Ward is a HYDRA agent, throwing things at the wall and floor and yelling at the rest of the team.
  • Angel:
    • Angel after Connor is stolen and Angel realizes there is nothing more he can do.
    • Angel has a nasty one at the end of Season 8. After he's freed from Twilight's control, the shock of what he's done which culminated in him killing Giles leaves him a comatose mess by the end of it.
    • Angel suffered from one of these when he encountered a powerful demon that seeks out true heroes and terminates them. The demon looked him over and walked away. He is later told the demon eats the hearts for their actual meat and didn't take Angel's because his was "a dried up little walnut."
    • Let's not forget what happened after learning he couldn't cure Darla of her terminal disease, and then was forced to watch her become a vampire again. And then, of course, there was his reaction when he learned that Wolfram and Hart could never truly be destroyed, leading him to actually give up on everything and sleep with Darla just to try and get rid of his soul because he'd lost all hope. And then there's the time his own son was stolen from him and sealed away in a hell dimension...
    • Angel's large amount of these was lampshaded when Spike joins the cast.
      Angel I spent a hundred years trying to come to terms with infinite remorse! You spent three weeks moaning in a basement, AND THEN YOU WERE FINE! What's fair about that?!
    • Connor had a huge breakdown at the end of season 4 after feeling that Jasmine was just using him, which combined with all the stress he'd suffered in the past year, lead to him taking several people hostage and trying to kill them as well as himself.
    • And most notably, pretty much everyone went through this after Fred died. Some worse than others, like Gunn and especially Wesley.
  • Arrow: Oliver undergoes a huge one after Slade Wilson puts him through a Sadistic Choice of watching either his mother or his sister die, eventually killing the former.
  • Ashes to Ashes (2008):
    • In the final episode of, Gene Hunt gets a world-shattering BSOD when he remembers who and where he really is. Gene died as a young police constable in 1953 and has been in limbo in a fantasy afterlife of his own creation where he is the hero he always wanted to be, unable to accept his own death and pass on to the real afterlife. In fact, his entire team are also dead coppers who Gene has also kept from passing on until Alex Drake helps them all. Fortunately, he gets better and accepts a new role as a guardian for coppers who die tragically before their time, helping them to pass on with dignity.
    • Arguably all the characters had a BSOD in this episode. The above is also one for Alex as is discovering she is dead, the videotapes of them being hange, shot and stabbed respectively are BSODs for Ray, Chris, and Shaz. Reconciliation follows.

  • Babylon 5:
    • In a first season episode, Commander Sinclair is kidnapped, drugged, and interrogated by a bad guy of the week who wanted to know why Sinclair disappeared at the Battle of the Line, the climactic final battle of the Minbari War, which Sinclair blacked out during and has no memory of. While in this state, he discovers what happened to him (kidnapped, interrogated, and brain-washed by aliens), escapes from his captors, and spends some time in a state of drug-induced confusion, evading and fighting against B5's station security as they try to rescue him. Only Delenn is able to snap him out of it, which is ironic as she was one of the interrogating aliens.
    • Londo gets two of them concerning his lover Adira: one when she is poisoned, and the other when he learns that Morden is responsible. Both instances are accompanied by revenge with style.
    • Garibaldi has a more literal one after Bester's implanted orders trigger, forcing him to report his findings to the Psi Corps; literal in the sense that his brain really is pretty much locked until Bester releases it.
    • He then has a more traditional one after Bester releases him from this state and he is faced with the realization that he just betrayed everyone and everything he cares about and none of his friends are going to believe him or ever trust him again.
    • Ivanova has one when Marcus dies to save her. Apparently life-long BSODs as she leaves Babylon 5, and at the series finale is still alone and still grieving.
    • Delenn BSODs when Anna Sheridan arrives and remains in a semi-BSOD state during Sheridan's first death. So does Ivanova.
    • Vir has one after killing Emperor Cartagia, to the point of Drowning My Sorrows that evening. Given the Dirty Business of that particular act, Londo tells him to embrace his guilt, because it proves that Vir is still a good person.
  • At least two characters in Band of Brothers.
    • Private Blythe spends the first night after parachuting into France on D-Day lying in a ditch. Later on, during the attack of Carentan, he becomes psychosomatically blind. Finally, he goes into a serious panic during the battle outside the city, until "woken" back to life by Captain Winters. His story doesn't end too well, apparently, the man died of shell shock.
      • No he didn't. Blythe survived the war and died 20 years later in the '60s. He cut off all contact from the rest of Easy Company and they just assumed he died after Carentan.
    • Buck Compton shows some signs of going into BSOD when we hear that his girlfriend dumped him while he's lying in a trench in the Ardennes winter. Then it really sinks in when he witnesses two of his friends hit by an artillery shell later in the battle of the bulge. He's never the same again.
    • "Crossroads" deals with Winters' mini-BSOD, as well as being the first episode where we see signs of Buck's. Winters gets better.
  • Battlestar Galactica:
    • Admiral Adama has a huge one after his best friend reveals himself as a Cylon and tells Adama to use him as a bargaining chip during a Mexican Standoff with Cylons. Although Adama has displayed intense emotion over key events before, this time he destroys his office, drinks an entire bottle of liquor, and is reduced to weeping nearly incoherently in his son's arms.
    • Adama had several in the final season. He got into a fist-fight with Colonel Tigh when he found out Tigh had knocked up a certain Cylon prisoner. Tigh retorted that Adama was endangering the fleet by pining for the missing Laura Roslin. He actually gave up his command to sit alone in a Raptor and wait for her. Also, when forced to confront the fact that Galactica was on the verge of structural failure, and that Roslin was dying, he collapses while defiantly trying to fix the cracked wall in his quarters. It was a bad year.
    • His son doesn't lack for them, either - he has one in the second season, when he decided he found out that his father had ordered his best friend to kill a senior officer: he promised to be her backup, couldn't do it because he got blown out of his ship first, and decided to die at that point. And then comes Kara's death in Season 3.....
    • Hell, after Revelations there is practically a fleet-wide BSOD. Roslyn says frak this to both politics and prophecy, declaring the whole search for Earth and her role in it a "farce", Dee shoots herself, Adama tries to commit suicide-by-Cylon by trying to goad Tigh into shooting him etc.
    • Colonel Tigh has one of these very briefly in the third season while still on New Caprica, immediately after he discovers that his wife has been feeding information to the Cylons. Following all of this, he totally Took a Level in Badass.
    • Athena has one when Boomer takes revenge against her for stealing her life. She gets brutalized, tied up, and stuffed in a closet where she is forced to watch helplessly as Boomer has sex with her husband, who can't tell the two apart. Boomer then kidnaps their daughter and successfully escapes the ship. When Athena realizes the full extent of Boomer's actions, she breaks down in Helo's arms only pulling herself together for the rescue mission.
  • Being Human:
    • Mitchell has one when he has to turn a small boy whom he had befriended into a vampire to save the boy's life. This results in him briefly going back to the vampire community.
    • Annie has one when she realizes Owen killed her. Then again shortly thereafter when her attempt to get revenge backfires and he ends up "reminding" his "new" girlfriend about their affair while Annie was alive. The fiance's delivery is creepy enough that Annie's reaction ended up being an accidental case of Enforced Method Acting.
    • George after seeing Annie sucked through the door in the second season finale. He snaps out of it pretty promptly when he realizes Mitchell's still inside.
  • Blake's 7:
    • Although he isn't strictly a hero, this trope is the best way to describe what happens to Avon at the end of the last episode when he kills Blake.
    • Earlier than that, the entire episode "Trial" is about Blake having a heroic BSOD after his actions resulted in Gan's death.
  • Bonanza ("He Was Only Seven") and Little House on the Prairie ("He Was Only Twelve"): Identical scripts, with only minor changes for names and for the most part minor plot details, all centering on a young boy being mortally wounded when walking in on a bank robbery. The bulk of both scripts see the major characters (in both cases, Michael Landon is one of them, Little Joe in Bonanza, Charles Ingalls in Little House) and a couple of allies track down the bank robbers, using subtle clues to stay on the trail until finding the bad guys hiding from the authorities in a remote town. Both shows end with a major fight, with the father of the wounded boy going into a trope-befitting trance-like state and choking the leader of the gang into near unconsciousness and not letting go until the father's friend shouts at him, "FOR THE LOVE OF GOD LET HIM GO!!!!"
    • In the Bonanza episode (aired in the spring of 1972, toward the end of the series' run), the father was played by Roscoe Lee Browne, who in his trance-like state choked out the leader of the bad guys gang, and it was his grandson (who died) who took the tragic role. On the Little House rewrite, aired in 1982, Landon's Charles Ingalls character took on the BSOD role, and his adopted son James (Jason Bateman) was merely badly wounded but never dies (at least that's what viewers are led to believe at the end of the episode's hour-long coda, which follows the climatic BSOD scene); it was Mr. Edwards who shouted at Charles to break out of his catatonic state and let the bad guy go and let the authorities deal with him.
  • From Breaking Bad, Hank has a massive one when he realizes that Walt, his brother-in-law and one of his closest and most trusted friends is the murderous meth-king Heisenberg.
  • The season 4 finale of Brooklyn Nine-Nine ends with Jake entering one. Considering he and his close friend Rosa have just been framed and convicted of a crime they didn't commit, and are sentenced to fifteen years in prison, effectively ruining their lives and careers, and this was all done by a woman they once considered their hero, this reaction is very understandable. All he can do is weakly nod and mutter, "Cool, cool, cool, cool, cool..." over and over again.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer has several:
    • The season 1 finale, when Buffy hears the prophecy that she's going to die.
    • In the episode "Ted", when Buffy believes she's just killed her mother's new boyfriend.
    • She has a brief BSOD in season 2 when she realizes that it was her having sex with Angel that caused him to lose his soul and become the evil Angelus once more.
    • The events of the Season 2 finale cause her to do the "Walk into the mist" version of this trope.
    • Giles has one in the season 2 episode "Passion" after discovering that Angelus had murdered his girlfriend, laid her corpse in the bedroom, and set up everything to look like she had planned a romantic encounter for the two of them. When he comes out of it, he's...a little different for the rest of the ep.
    • Dawn undergoes one in "Blood Ties" when she finds out that she is the Key and begins to doubt her own existence and humanity.
    • In the season five episode "The Weight of the World", the idea that a moment of doubt had caused her to fail in her mission to protect Dawn caused Buffy to mentally check out for several hours, scaring the heck out of her friends and requiring magic to snap her out of it.
    • The first few episodes of Season 6 are this for Buffy after having been brought back to life and taken out of Heaven. She is finally snapped out of it by Spike in "Once More With Feeling"
    • Spike also snaps her out of the one she suffers when the Scoobies turn on her in Season 7 and she's thrown out of her house by her own sister.
    • Angel at the end of Season 8 after realizing he killed Giles.
    • Angel has these practically Once a Season. Sometimes caused by remorse over his own actions, other times brought on by a century-long stay in Hell which leaves him a trembling mute.

  • In Carnivàle, Apollonia is in an Angst Coma after giving birth to Sofie who was conceived via rape at the hands of Justin Crowe, thus bequeathing Sofie an avataric nature, which means her birth is traumatic to her mother, as per the show's mythology. Whew!, and Sofie herself experiences an Heroic BSoD after her mother dies.
  • Castle:
    • Detective Kate Beckett is normally the picture of unflappable professionalism. Until "Sucker Punch" where she learns that the Victim of the Week was killed by the same person who killed her mother ten years ago. She's visibly shocked to her core upon hearing the news and the revelation is enough for her to flee the station and trigger a (near-literal) 10-Minute Retirement.
    • A minor example occurs in "A Deadly Game" when Castle informs Beckett that he's leaving the precinct and that the case of the week will be his last. Beckett is obviously shaken to her core by the news and is unusually distracted and uninterested when Esposito and Ryan try to tell her information they've discovered about the case as a result.
    • Beckett, Castle, Ryan and Esposito all have their own separate ones when they find out that Captain Mongomery was part of the gang who kidnapped people and played a significant role in the death of Beckett's mother. This is especially so for Beckett and Castle who had to listen to Montgomery die, Castle having been charged with keeping Beckett out of there had to physically carry her out of the hangar and pin her to a car to stop her.
    • Beckett pretty much has a slow-burning one throughout "Rise", which culminates in her freezing when a suspect pulls a gun on her. Following this, she begins to act increasingly erratic and out-of-control, ranting irrationally at a potential suspect connected to her mother's case and nearly suffering a complete plunge over the Despair Event Horizon when the possibility that she has no leads in her mother's case arises. It takes Castle intervening to persuade her to take a step back from the case until she has a better grip on everything to bring her back to something close to an even keel.
    • Castle appears to be in the middle of one after he finds out Beckett heard him say 'I love you' when she was dying and she hasn't said anything to him compounded by the fact he found out accidentally by overhearing her talk to a suspect who claimed to have amnesia leading him to the conclusion that not only does she not love him back but she doesn't even care enough about him to tell him she doesn't love him. What makes it worse is that he's pretty much the only thing standing between Beckett and being assassinated (possibly successfully) since he's persuaded her to stop investigating her mother's case for the time being after being told by a mysterious man that if she doesn't, she'll die.
  • Chuck:
    • Chuck Bartowski is prone to literal ones in the third season after he first gets Intersect 2.0. His ability to properly utilize the new Intersect is heavily dependent on his emotional state, to the point where it stops working entirely under the correct conditions (his feelings for Sarah in particular tend to cause much of the Power Incontinence). Later in the season, Daniel Shaw invokes this by killing Chuck's father, deliberately sending Chuck over the edge which lasts until Ellie, Devon and Morgan manage to rescue the team and Ellie snaps him out of it.
    • Chuck also has one at the beginning of season three when he fails Spy training and ruins his chances with Sarah in the process.
  • Community:
    • Britta has one in episode Interpretive Dance when she realizes Jeff is in a committed relationship.
    • It also happens to Abed when he finds out his favorite show has been canceled and when he finds out his mother wouldn't be visiting him for Christmas.
  • Criminal Minds:
    • Hotch has a pretty major one in "100", after the Reaper kills Haley. After he's finished beating Foyet brutally to death with his bare hands, Hotch blanks out, cradles her body in his arms and cries. That's not to say that it's not completely and one hundred percent warranted, cause damn.
    • Reid got one of these at the end of "3rd Life" when he witnesses the assassin father murder his daughter's abductor in cold blood despite Reid's pleas not to do it. That BSOD look on Reid's face will haunt you for a while. It's especially bad since Reid has an eidetic memory, which means he can never forget.
    • Reid has another one of these in "Revelations" after he is forced to watch Tobias Hankel kill a couple that Reid didn't "choose" to save. He watches it on a screen in front of him. When his mentor Gideon finds the camera and speaks reassurances into the screen, Reid doesn't seem to notice as he stares motionless.
  • CSI NY Flack finally had one after the downward spiral started by his girlfriend's death in season five. He got extremely drunk, went missing, and worried everyone for a while. He was finally found after ending up at a friend's house and had to finally accept Mac's attempts to help him through before he lost everything else.

  • Doctor Who: The Doctor has had several over the course of over 50 years of the show:
    • The 1st Doctor arguably has one at the end of "The Daleks' Master Plan". "What a waste... what a terrible waste."
    • The 3rd Doctor goes into a self-induced coma in "Inferno" after witnessing a parallel world and its people be consumed by lava. Which, incidentally, lead to a fear of fire in "The Mind of Evil", that according to the books lasted at least until his eighth body — hundreds of years later. And judging by snippets of Time War-plagued Gallifrey seen in the Series 3 finale, the fear is still there.
    • The 4th Doctor had a memorable one in "Genesis of the Daleks" when, at the very point of being able to destroy the Daleks at the point of their creation, finds that he's unable to bring himself to do so despite being urged by his companions to go through with it.
    • The 5th Doctor also starts to BSOD when Tegan abruptly leaves the TARDIS at the end of "Resurrection of the Daleks".
      • As well as at the end of "Earthshock" after Adric is killed. His other companions go through this one too.
    • The 6th Doctor has a moment at the end of Trial of a Time Lord part nine, when he is shown footage of his companion Peri being gunned down and killed (this was later revealed to be a hoax).
    • "Dalek": The Doctor nearly loses it when he finds out that a Dalek survived the Time War.
    • One of the most literal examples of this trope comes in "Bad Wolf" when the 9th Doctor actually seems to go catatonic for a while after Rose is apparently vaporized. He goes completely mute, the sounds of the other people around him go away, and he lets himself be manhandled and ordered around without any protest or resistance. Jack, who had so far followed the Doctor's lead and orders like he was his superior officer, immediately switches to acting like a watchdog guarding a sick/comatose family member.
    • "The Parting of the Ways":
      • After talking to the Dalek Emperor, the Doctor goes back inside the TARDIS and just leans on the doors while the Daleks outside scream at him.
      • Rose has one when she realizes the Doctor has sent her home to keep her safe, and when it looks like she's not going to be able to reactivate the TARDIS and get back.
    • "42": At the end, Martha finds the Doctor staring into space after having been Mind Raped by the living star.
    • The 10th Doctor goes into one of these in "The Stolen Earth" when he has no idea what to do to find the missing planets.
      • It is arguably worse for Sarah Jane Smith, who witnessed the creation of the Daleks, and Captain Jack, who was killed by the Daleks. He got better.
      • The entire human race except for Harriet Jones, former Prime Minister (Yes, we know who she is) has one when humanity surrenders to the Daleks and there is no sign of the Doctor.
    • "The Waters of Mars": It's not a traditional BSOD, but the 10th Doctor's whole "Time Lord Victorious" insanity after losing a few friends and companions too many has to count — and it is frightening to watch.
    • Later, in "The End of Time", he has a similar moment when Wilfred Mott knocks four times, signaling his death.
    • The Eleventh Doctor gets a short one of his own in "Victory of the Daleks", when the Daleks teleport away chanting "Victory!".
    • Eleven's companion Amy gets one in "The Impossible Astronaut", after the Doctor is apparently killed.
    • The Doctor gets a much worse one in "A Good Man Goes to War" when he gets an absolutely scathing What the Hell, Hero? and realizes how the rest of the Universe sees him: as an insanely dangerous warrior.
    • "The Angels Take Manhattan": The Doctor has one after Amy and Rory are irretrievably Trapped in the Past. He's still not over it by "The Snowmen".
    • And again, in "The Name of the Doctor", briefly, after Clara tells him his greatest secret is discovered and he has to go to Trenzalore.
    • Twelve has a massive one that starts in "Face the Raven", continuing through "Heaven Sent" to "Hell Bent" after Clara is killed and he spends a couple of billion years getting tortured. This one requires a mind wipe to recover.
  • Topher in Dollhouse, after Saunders shoots Bennett. Really, Topher's entire arc is just a slow sequence of BSODs, varying in degrees of intensity, as he begins to understand his own actions. That is, until his poor genius brain can't take it anymore.

  • Played for laughs in one episode of Everybody Loves Raymond. Ray sees Robert's girlfriend eat a housefly and gets frozen in place until the end of the scene, which is several minutes. Since an episode is only 24 minutes long, his BSOD lasts probably a good 10-15% of the episode.

  • Farscape:
    • At the end of the Peacekeeper Wars miniseries after John stops the wormhole weapon and Einstein takes the wormhole knowledge out of his head. John collapses and Aeryn gets as upset as we ever see her, sobbing over his body. It takes him a while to snap out of it. John's comatose state could also be seen as a form of BSOD.
    • Chiana also spends most of the last act of Peacekeeper Wars in BSOD mode after D'Argo dies.
    • D'Argo spends the second half of "Suns And Lovers" drunk and despondent after finding out that Chiana- the woman he hoped to marry - has been having sex with his son.
    • Stark gets a really terrible case of this at the end of "Self-Inflicted Wounds," when Zhaan dies. Not only does his misery carry on into the next episode, but the events of said next episode make it even worse, and it all starts when Crichton tries to cheer him up.
    • After one of the two Crichtons die Aeryn spends the entire next episode in a state of profound depression, drinking heavily, experiencing flashbacks and hallucinations of the dead Crichton, and swinging between utter stoicism, genuine sorrow, and explosive rage. By the end of this particular episode, she's recovered, but she's now returned to stoicism as a means of coping.
  • Firefly (and Serenity):
    • During the final battle with the Reavers in Serenity, River temporarily goes helpless and catatonic as the Reavers' madness presses in on her mind. Only when her brother is shot in front of her does she recover and kick the Reavers' collective asses - single-handedly.
    • Hired gun and Accidental Hero Jayne does this when he doesn't understand why one of his fans takes a bullet for him and the town continues to idolize him.
  • Flashpoint:
    • This happens to the whole team after teammate Lewis Young dies from stepping on a land mine.
    • And Sam when he bonded with a lonely, crazy ex-soldier and the soldier committed Suicide by Cop when Sam thought he'd talked him into surrendering.
    • Ed spends most of Season 5 bulding up to one after he's forced to kill a teenage girl he'd developed a bond with. It finally happens in the second-to-last episode, "Fit For Duty".
  • Friends:
    • Despite being a comedy series a few characters go through this: Monica after she breaks up with Richard and Chandler when Janice and later Kathy cheats on him. Both characters spend several episodes withdrawn, depressed and even after they get over it, still suffer long term effects. (Monica becomes paranoid about dying alone, and Chandler more commitment-phobic and scared of being hurt). Later, once they've fallen in love with each other, a misunderstanding makes you think they've both hit it again, with Monica running away to her parents and Chandler's emotional breakdown. Its thankfully averted in the final minutes of the episode.
    • Ross and Rachel both completely breakdown during their breakup scene in season 3, while Rachel seems to handle it fairly well afterward, Ross is still visibly depressed throughout the next few episodes.
    • Despite his insistence that he was "fine", it was obvious that Ross didn't handle Joey and Rachel's short-lived relationship well at all. In fact, Ross is prone to these quite often, at the beginning of the series he is still getting over his divorce with Carol, only to suffer more emotional turmoil when Rachel gets together with Paolo. Later on, he has a several month long emotional and mental breakdown after his marriage to Emily crumbles. It looks like it is about to happen yet again in the Grand Finale when Ross races to the airport to tell Rachel he loves her as she prepares to move to Paris and she shoots him down, however much like the Monica and Chandler example above, it is averted in the last few minutes when Rachel gets off the plane.
    • Rachel herself goes through this during Ross and Julie's relationship, and again when he gets engaged to Emily.
  • Full House:
    • Played for laughs in the episode "Take My Sister, Please", when Becky bemoans Jesse about her pregnancy being the cause of her mixture of emotions, and after expressing different food and snack cravings, she begins to bawl and ask, "Now is THAT too much to ask?"
    • Played a lot more seriously when Danny overhears everyone complaining about his neat freak tendencies and realizes that his obsession with cleanliness is bordering on OCD and is genuinely driving his family crazy and making them hate him.

  • Game of Thrones:
    • Catelyn Stark has one after her son Bran's fall and also has a pretty serious one after Robb reveals to her, all at once, that her father has died, and that Winterfell was burned, the inhabitants slaughtered, and that Bran and Rickon are missing. She later has one during the Red Wedding. As opposed to the Freak Out! she undergoes in the books after Robb's killed, Catelyn just slits her hostage's throat more out of reflex than revenge, then stares forward blankly for close to ten seconds and not doing anything as one of Frey's bannermen comes up behind her to slit her own throat.
    • Karsi in the episode Hardhome; a hardened Wildling chieftain, she takes down the first wave of wights without blinking, but when confronted by child wights she lowers her guard and just stares in absolute horror, letting them swarm and kill her.
    • When Ned Stark realizes he's compromised his honor for nothing and his daughters will have to witness his execution. When he sees Arya has gone, he calms down some to Face Death with Dignity.
    • Sansa suffers one during her father's execution where she collapses in shock when Ilyn Payne swings her father's sword. She has another one when she starts menstruating, as this means that she's now able to have Joffrey's children. She gets another one when she finds out that she is being married to Tyrion, not Loras as intended, and that her other chance to leave King's Landing sails away and another after the Red Wedding in Season 4, where she's lost any will to eat, and spends hours in the Godswood just to get away from people trying to comfort her about the deaths of Catelyn and Robb.
    • Robb has one when Theon betrays him. He later has one after his wife and unborn child are killed before his eyes, which makes him refuse to flee or fight back before Roose Bolton puts him out of his misery.
    • After losing his hand, Jaime completely shuts down, attempts to make his captors kill him, and refuses to eat until Brienne snaps him out of it.
    • Daenerys Targaryen:
      • She has a minor, but critical, one after taking Meereen, when she's informed that the slavers have retaken Yunkai and Astapor has been taken by someone even worse than the Masters. It's implied that if her successes in Slaver's Bay hadn't evaporated, she might have sailed straight for King's Landing right then. Instead, she decides to stay in Meereen and learn how to be a Queen.
        Daenerys: How can I rule seven kingdoms if I can't control Slaver's Bay? Why should anyone trust me? Why should anyone follow me?
      • She also has one when a shepherd presents her with the burnt bones of his daughter.
    • Tyrion suffers one after finding Shae in Tywin's bed in King's Landing. Varys takes him out of it.
      Tyrion: (to Daenerys) I had given up on life until Varys convinced me you might be worth living for.
    • Arya borders on one when Joffrey orders Ned killed. Luckily for her, Yoren is there to keep her from watching her father's death. She's not so lucky in Robb's case, as she has to watch his desecrated corpse paraded around by the Freys.
    • Brienne experiences this when Renly is slain before eyes. Catelyn manages to snap her out of it in time to flee Renly's camp.
    • Following the arrests of Margaery and Cersei, Qyburn reports that Tommen has locked himself in his rooms and is refusing to eat.
    • Irri has one when Rakharo's horse returns, with his head stuffed inside a bag. She breaks down because, since his body hasn't been burned, he won't be able to cross over to the 'Night Lands', the afterlife in Dothraki belief.
    • Stannis has a barely notable one when he sees Davos's ship burn down in wildfire, and a much more obvious one when he sees what appears to be his dead brother Renly riding to the rescue of King's Landing in "Blackwater". By the Season 3 premiere, he has hit rock bottom, letting Melisandre burn "heretics" as she wishes and his Perma-Stubble near-reaching Beard of Sorrow levels.
  • Generation Kill:
    • Sgt. Colbert goes into a BSOD after he grants Lance Corporal Trombley the authority to shoot what Trombley identifies as enemy combatants. The "combatants" turn out to be kids with camels, who eventually end up at the Marine camp after getting zipped with Trombley's SAW. Also a total Tear Jerker.
    • Happens again later. Walt Hasser, also a good shot with a SAW, jumps the gun on firing at an oncoming car at the Marines' blockade, aiming for, and hitting, the civilian driver before anyone attempts a warning shot. Colbert wigs out, made worse by the fact that Colbert's "Iceman" reputation would mean something that bothers him at all is really terrible, certainly doing nothing to help Walt's ensuing BSOD over the incident.
    • Both of these instances turn into "Oh, shit" moments when you read the book, and realize these events actually happened.
  • GoGo Sentai Boukenger: Boukenger does this with Masumi a few times whenever Yami no Aiba appears to fight him. However, none were as bad until the last stretch of the series where after supposedly beating him, the guy still lives and forces Masumi to use the Artifact of Doom to beat him. This leaves him out of action in Heroic BSoD as Satoru disappears in the worse time as well. However, they came back just in time to save the world.
  • Happens to Dr. Shepherd in Grey's Anatomy when he loses a pregnant patient, is sued by her husband and learns that he's saved fewer patients than he's killed.

  • The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries: "Last Kiss of Summer". Joe Hardy's fiance is killed in a car wreck; she dies in his arms. Next scene is Joe sitting in a police waiting area, staring into space, fighting not to cry, trying to process what just happened, and not snapping out of it until Frank comes in and tries to talk his brother down.
  • The Hell on Wheels episode "Elam Ferguson" gives Cullen Bohannon a major BSOD, when he is forced to kill Elam after realizing that nothing of his best friend's mind remains, and he may be about to go on a rampage. After Cullen digs Elam's grave, he sits on the coffin and howls with grief.
  • In Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Hercules lays on the ground for three days in shock after Iolaus is killed by Dahak. When his efforts to get him back fail, he goes into a more violent outburst.
  • In a flashback in the Season 1 episode of Heroes, "Company Man", Claude has one right after his partner, Noah Bennett ("HRG") shoots him. He puts his hand to the wound, stares at it for a moment, and then looks back at HRG, who shoots him two or three more times. Suddenly, Claude's present misanthropy and lack of faith in humanity makes a lot more sense.
  • Highlander:
  • On Home Improvement, Jill gets one after learning her father died. It's made much worse for her over the fact that the last thing she told him was a lie. She gets better after she and her mother are able to comfort each other.
  • House:
    • Happens several times to the titular character. In season 2, he admits he loves his ex-girlfriend and asks her to stay, but she refuses and he's upset for a WHOLE EPISODE. Most notably, though, at the end of season 5 when one of his fellows commits suicide and he starts hallucinating a previous fellow applicant/best friend's dead girlfriend, hallucinates sleeping with his boss and then ends up in a mental institution. Also happens in the season 6 finale "Help Me" when Hanna dies, despite everything House has done to try and save her life.
    • A particularly notable example happens to med student Martha Masters in Season 7 episode "Fall From Grace" just after releasing the Patient of the Week, a homeless man whose life she's just saved, is revealed to be a cannibalistic serial killer who is being hunted by the FBI for a string of thirteen murders, and who has just escaped them again thanks to her.
  • Happens a few times on House of Anubis.
    • Fabian gets this when he learns Jasper lied to him and whenever Nina disappeared.
    • Jerome also got this once when he discovered Rufus was still alive and that he was working for him again.
    • This happened to Eddie, too, when he learned his father, Mr. Sweet, was a member of Team Evil.
    • Nina, when she accidentally poisoned Alfie, leading to a 10-Minute Retirement from Sibuna.
  • How I Met Your Mother:
    • Marshall goes into one when he learns his father has died. It causes him to go into a several-month spell where he moves into his mother's house and starts acting like a kid before Lily finally manages to snap him out of it.
    • Marshall has another of these much earlier when Lily calls off their engagement and moves to San Francisco for an art fellowship. He spends the next few months depressed and a recluse, it takes the entire summer for him to heal ... just in time for Lily to return to try to win him back.
    • Ted goes into a "denial" version of this after Stella leaves him at the altar and runs away with her ex-fiancée Tony. He spends most of the next episode pretending he is fine while his friends try to get him to express his emotions. He only snaps out of it after finding out she moved in with Tony at his house while she was going to make Ted move in with her in New Jersey. Even after he gets over it, this ordeal clearly has lasting effects on him throughout the rest of the series.
    • Robin has one when Don accepts an anchor job in Chicago after she had turned down the same job for their relationship. She also has a more mild one after she finds out she can't have children.
    • It is implied that Barney goes through one at the end of the episode "Tick Tick Tick" when Robin chooses Kevin over him, he is visibly shocked and heartbroken over this with Future Ted even describing it as "the second that would never end". Made more poignant by the fact that Barney had just realized that "Robin was his best friend and his soulmate and that he couldn't wait to spend the rest of his life with her", and that he was so sure they were getting back together that he had decorated her room with rose petals and candles. Even though he seemingly handles it well on the surface throughout the next several episodes, he eventually admits to Ted that he was initially angry and deeply hurt by her decision.
  • Chance has somewhat of a delayed one at the end of the first season of Human Target: after failing and letting his partner get kidnapped, he goes all out rescuing him, and then drops off the face of the earth and joins a remote ashram in Nepal. 6 months later, a client finally finds him, quietly meditating, and drags him back out into his former life.

  • In I Love Lucy, Fred has one when he realizes he is on the hook for a lot of money. (I think it's the episode where they're buying a car to go to California). He doesn't snap out of it until he's told he isn't on the hook anymore.

  • Played for laughs in Jeeves and Wooster. Jeeves had built up a reputation for being the Ultimate Fashion Police (albeit some Truth in Television, as valets were primarily in charge of their master's wardrobes) which usually just amounts to gentle disapproval of one of Bertie's jackets or hats. However, at least two occasions with Bertie's friends upgraded to Heroic BSOD levels. Bingo's horseshoe-patterned tie sends him unresponsively into the kitchen complete with a Hitchcockian score, and Rocky's remarks about never changing out of his pajamas almost makes Jeeves cry.

  • Kamen Rider: When you fight against monsters trying to eat you, take over the world, start an assimilation plot or whatever this is bound to happen.
    • The life of Shinji Kido becomes a line of successive ||Despair Event Horizon||s naturally followed by this after he joins the Rider War in at the beginning of Kamen Rider Ryuki.
    • In Kamen Rider Faiz, Takumi had one when he thought that he was the one who attacked the Ryuseiji on their reunion night and when his friends found out he was an Orphnoch, going as far as almost joining Lucky Clover however he got over it just as Yuji suffered from a permanent one when Yuka was gunned down by police after being tortured and experimented on.
    • In Kamen Rider Kiva, Wataru has two of these: once when Nago Keisuke brutally attacks him with his own "Garulu Saber" and again when Bishop awakens his Fangire blood, causing him to attack his friends. He got better.
    • In Kamen Rider OOO this is Eiji's default mode. His life has been one really prolonged b.s.o.d. since he indirectly caused the death of a girl he befriended.
    • This seems to occur to Haruto after he loses his magic (and thus means of fighting against the Phantoms) in Kamen Rider Wizard. He got better.
    • In Kamen Rider Gaim Kouta falls into this after the vicious beatdown courtesy of white armored rider in Helheim forest. He gets better and the cycle repeats.
    • Shinnosuke Tomari starts Kamen Rider Drive in this state after he incidentally caused a Career-Ending Injury to his police partner. He spent most of the series recovering.
    • Takeru has such a nasty case that it lands on the Nightmare Fuel page of Kamen Rider Ghost after seeing people preserved in capsules and even worse, one of them falling apart into dust.
    • In Kamen Rider Ex-Aid, discovering he has the Game Disease first sends Emu into Heroic RRoD and than into this. Moment of rest and a kick later he is back.
    • In Kamen Rider Build, Sento, being a pacifist, fell into this for an entire episode after discovering that his Hazard Trigger-induced rage resulted in, unknowingly to him, Aoba being killed. The situation is only worsened for him when Sento regains consciousness and realized what he did.
  • On AMC's The Killing, Holder suffers a really bad BSOD after finding Bullet dead in a car trunk.

  • In The Last Ship, Alisha Granderson falls into a Heroic BSOD after nearly getting killed by her mother's followers.
  • Law & Order: UK:
    • DS Matt Devlin and CP Alesha Philips, separately, in "Alesha", regarding the latter's rape
    • Matt again in "Confession", regarding the suicide of his friend, then over the fact that it was linked to the abuse he suffered at the hands of their parish priest. It doesn't help that Matt himself can't remember if anything happened to him.
    • DS Ronnie Brooks is clearly in the throes of this at the beginning of the episode "Survivor's Guilt", given his stunned, shell-shocked demeanor and his feeble attempts to act as a police officer - "I was first on the scene". As opposed to someone who just endured watching his partner/friend/surrogate son get shot and killed right in front of him and is now utterly bewildered as to how not only did one of the best days of his life—only minutes earlier he had been gushing to his partner about the birth of his grandson—turn into one of the worst, but as to how this hellish experience has come to him again—he's already lost a partner to violence.
    • He has an even worse one after good friend DI Wes Leyton is killed—as this is now the THIRD time he's lost a friend/partner, he comes very close to falling Off the Wagon, outright buying a bottle of vodka before pulling himself together and walking out of the store without it.
    • DS Sam Casey deals with this throughout "Tracks" and "Tremors", starting at the very beginning of the first episode when he's unable to save a young victim of the train crash.
  • Lost:
    • Happens to another "Dr. Shephard": Jack goes into a really serious one in the season three finale's flashforward. ("We have to go back, Kate! We have to go BACK!") We only learn that it was Locke's death that caused it in season five.
    • While we're on the subject of Lost, let's mention Michael who might be the show's punching bag as he goes through the entire series stuck this way because of his son Walt... after all, he spends half an episode calling "Walt!" in several different screams and shouts. Walt getting kidnapped turned him slightly normal... although it ended up him going slightly The Dragon. Let's face it, Michael's death was the best thing that happened, because, well, his character wasn't all that useful, other than being an in-universe joke on why some people really shouldn't be parents.}
    • Ben too, suffers from this... although his is more of an Anti-Heroic BSOD, ss he's a liar, evil, delusional, manipulative... need I go on? He does get better though... kinda.
    • Locke does as well... but he's not exactly a hero.
    • Hurley {in flashforwards when he sees dead people....where's Bruce Willis when you need him?}
    • Daniel, after Charlotte's death.
  • Lost Girl: Bo has one of these at the end of the episode "Family Portrait" after she finds her mother Aife killed and Trick mortally wounded: Dyson finds her completely zoned out after Trick dies as well.

  • Malcolm in the Middle:
    • Happens to Stevie when he learns about his parents divorce which involved his mother abandoning him. He also regresses back into speechlessness and refuses to move anything other than his fingers (to operate a text-to-speech machine).
    • Lois also experiences something similar shortly after Jamie almost kills her by knocking a shelf on her, feeling she is severely underqualified to become a mother. The BSOD was so bad that it actually resulted in Francis, the one child who hates Lois the most, having to convince her that she is definitely qualified to be a mother, while in emotional pain about having to admit it.
    • Probably the most painful, though, is Malcolm's in the third season, after being dumped by his girlfriend.
  • The Mary Tyler Moore Show: Mary has one in the. episode "Murray in Love." Lou Grant comes over to Mary's apartment while she is getting ready for a date (in a robe and with a towel on her head). After several failed metaphors, he finally just comes out and tells her that Murray is in love with her and is going to tell her the next day. At that moment, Mary's date shows up. But Mary is too busy having a Heroic BSOD, and she dazedly leaves to go on her date while still in her robe and towel.
  • M*A*S*H:
    • Hawkeye has a pretty famous one in the series finale' ("Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen"), where he has a mental breakdown (complete with a paranoid claim that one of the anesthesiologists was attempting to suffocate his patient with the oxygen mask, and a joyride in a jeep through the mess tent), in response to a traumatic experience on the ride home from a day at the beach a few weeks prior. So determined is his mind to deny what it had witnessed, Hawkeye seems to regress into an even more rambling and manic state than usual. He is only shaken back into reality when he is pressed by his psychiatrist Sidney Friedman to recall the pivotal incident on the bus, at which point he breaks down, remembering now in horror a peasant woman having smothered her own infant son out of the fear of being discovered.
    • The episode "Some 38th Parallels" has Radar (who had earlier helped save the life of a wounded soldier, and then bonded with him, only to learn later that he'd died anyway) experiencing one of these. What makes it especially powerful is that it comes at the end of the episode's tag scene, subverting what initially appears to be a more lighthearted Oh, Cisco! moment with the other characters.
    • Radar has another one at the end of the Season 3 Finale "Abyssinia, Henry" when the commanding officer Henry Blake who was a sort of a father figure to Radar received his discharge, only to have the plane he was on to be shot down and crash in the Sea of Japan, killing everyone on board. Radar had to deliver the news to the rest of the staff in surgery and suffered such a heavy BSOD that he did not put on a mask while delivering it despite being yelled at to do so.
    • "Quo Vadis, Captain Chandler?" sort of combines this with Napoleon Delusion: a bombardier, fatigued and guilt-ridden over having to kill, snaps and comes to believe that he's Jesus Christ.
    • In "Heal Thyself", a visiting surgeon appears to be the picture of equanimity and poise, holding his own in the O.R. and swapping wisecracks with Hawkeye and B.J. even as he relates his horrific prior experiences at a front-line aid station. However, as the episode progresses and the wounded keep pouring in, he begins to have trouble sleeping and becomes distracted and nervous while operating. Finally — after being told to take a short break, then vanishing from the O.R. completely — he's discovered hunched down in the Swamp, staring into space, crying, and trying to rub the (invisible) blood from his hands. After he's been put under psychiatric observation, B.J. notes that he seemed "as strong as any of us". "That's what scares me," Hawkeye responds... rather eerily prefiguring his own eventual breakdown.
  • The Mentalist - Patrick Jane suffers one when his actions cause a serial killer to torture his wife and child to death. Ends up in the loony bin for a while before a therapist sticks his mind back together.
    • He appears to be having another one at the end of Season 4, but it's revealed to be an act.
  • Merlin and Arthur in the 1998 Merlin series. Arthur acts this way for a short while, with longer-lasting consequences, after he finds out that he accidentally slept with his half-sister. Merlin goes into this after he loses Nimue and Arthur.
  • Merlin:
    • Arthur, after finding out the truth about his birth, and getting the idea that his father is to blame for his mother's death. He tries to kill Uther. It takes Merlin telling him that it's all lies (which it may or may not be; some clearly is and some are uncertain) to snap him out of it.
    • Arthur gets another one upon catching Lancelot and Guinevere kissing...on the eve of her and Arthur's wedding.
  • Frank Black gets one at the end of season two of Millennium.
  • The entire premise of Monk is Monk's struggle to reboot from a huge BSOD occurring four years before the series begins, when his wife is killed by a car bomb. Along the way, he suffers from a few minor ones that set him back, but in the series finale he seems to have finally recovered to his personal peak.
  • Murdoch Mysteries: In "Rich Boy, Poor Boy", Inspector Brackenreid's wife comes to the station, distraught at their son's abduction. Brackenreid and Murdoch instantly go to the park, and at one point Brackenreid stops in his tracks, staring blankly into space. Murdoch has to speak to him several times to get his attention on the measures they're taking to find the boy, then Brackenreid snaps back to reality and says, "I said let's get on with it!"
  • In Mystery Science Theater 3000 Tom Servo was easily the one to break down in total frustration and scream at the movie they're watching over something inane.

  • NCIS:
    • A very understandable one, when Gibbs is suffering amnesia all the way back to his Gulf War days, and his Mentor tells him what happened on 9/11/2001.
    • Tony in the season 7 premiere when he believes that Ziva is dead.
    • Jimmy in the 12th season episode "We Build, We Fight" when he learns that Breena has gone into labor; Gibbs knocks him out of it with a Gibbs Slap.
    • The entire team goes into one following the death of Kate. And then another one after the death of Mike Franks.
    • Vance is pretty much numb with pain after his wife is killed.
    • After Diane is killed, it's later revealed that Fornell has been going through one.
  • NUMB3RS:
    • Season Five finale Charlie's usual plot-saving mathematical genius (and indeed his basic coherent function) completely shuts off for a while after Amita is kidnapped.
    • Charlie has proven prone to Heroic BSODs since the first season when he successfully predicts a bank robbery and his brother is shot at. It is then revealed that he suffers BSODs whenever someone near him is close to death, such as when his mother had cancer.
      • Apparently it runs in the family. Don is prone to getting stuck in his own head when a case hits too close to home ("Trust Metric", "Arrow of Time", "Angels and Devils"). Not to mention arranging for Edgerton to beat up a suspect in the Season 3 opener.
      • In an earlier episode, Don had admitted to Charlie that he's able to cope while the situation is active, but runs into trouble when it slows down enough for him to think.

  • Once Upon a Time: Snow, after tricking Regina into killing Cora. She spends almost the entirety of the next episode lying in bed trying to figure out how to live with herself. Then she decides she can't.
  • Only Fools and Horses: Rodney went through a fortnight-long one after Cassandra miscarried in the second episode of the 1996 Christmas trilogy, "Modern Men" until he and Del talked about it in the third chapter, "Time On Our Hands".

  • Mack, the Red Ranger from Power Rangers Operation Overdrive has one of these upon learning that he is an Android. Shortly thereafter, he turns into the Death Seeker.
  • Ami/Mercury suffers one in Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon when she believes she killed Usagi after all while under the control of Kunzite and the Dark Kingdom. She is conscious and responsive, but useless as she refuses to move or do anything and has to be dragged about by Usagi who did not die.
  • Prison Break:
    • An episode sees the usually unflappable Michael Scofield flapped big time. He becomes catatonic and sees himself in a cell with a deceased inmate who helps him snap out of it.
    • Season one has a subversion. The only way Michael was able to get into the psych ward to reach a specific inmate was to fake having a psychotic break while he was stuck in the hole. Once Michael got inside, he went right to work as if nothing happened, despite pulling off the infiltration involved him breaking his own hand by repeatedly punching a brick wall.
  • Psych: Happens to several characters at various points:
    • Shawn, most notably when he's gone up against Yin and/or Yang
    • Juliet, after they faced Yin - her trauma due to the incident carried over into the following season
    • Gus, in the episode "This Episode Sucks" when he was accidentally spattered with blood. He came out of it by slugging Shawn in the chest.
    • Lassiter, in the episode "Shawn Gets the Yips" after his car has a run in with a very solid concrete barrier.
  • Person of Interest: It's subtle, because of who she is, but Shaw goes through one late in season five after Root is killed. John looks after her as best he can be given that they're actively fighting a war, but it's clear that she's not okay. At all.
    • John himself goes into one earlier in the series after Carter's death. Generally speaking, this show is full of some of the most badass, emotionally-restrained people you could ever call heroes. But at the end of the day, they care a lot about the people they consider theirs, and they don't handle it well if one of those people dies. (Their version of "blue screen" just tends to involve a lot more gunfire than most.)

  • Quincy, M.E. had a fine moment when Dr. Quincy, in one episode dealing with child abuse, practically lost it and nearly strangled and assaulted a man who had been ritually beating his own son.

  • Red Dwarf:
    • Kochanski is sent into this state by the squeelookle-ing sewer pipes in "Duct Soup".
    • Also, Kryten in "Beyond A Joke" after an incident involving lobster and ketchup.
    • Rimmer goes through Heroic SBBOD "Trojan", due to an excess buildup of resentment. His eyes turn into the "spinning beach balls of death", suggesting that he runs on OS X.
  • Revenge: Emily undergoes these periodically as she loses more and more people to her quest for vengeance, such as Fauxmanda, Aiden, Daniel and her ability to conceive.
  • In the remake of Roots, Kunta Kinte suffers one of these after being captured by fugitive slave hunters, who chopped half his foot off. After being taken back to the Weller plantation, he becomes cold and distant to the other slaves, including his best friend Fiddler, and Belle, who had been tending to his wound, and resigns to the reality that he will never see his homeland, or his family ever again, and that he will be a slave for the rest of his life. Once he feels better he decides to make the best of situation, and thanks Fiddler for never leaving his side, and apologizes to Belle for the way he acted towards her, and after marrying her, they start a family together.
  • Exaggerated for comic effect in one episode of Roseanne. Roseanne tells Dan she's pregnant, and Dan proceeds to sit in one spot staring into space for about eighteen years.

  • Saved by the Bell: The New Class: Liz has one of these when she loses a swim meet that she was heavily favored to win.
  • Scrubs:
    • This actually occurs to Dr. Cox, after three of his patients (one of whom he was actually friends with) died due to what he thinks is an error on his partnote .

      He really has two, although the first is very short. After the first two die, he starts to go into one, but JD snaps him out of it by pointing out they would have been dead much earlier if he hadn't done anything. Only when the third patient (who happens to be both the friend and the one that could have survived for at least a few months without the organ transplant) dies does this take effect fully.

      Cox has another Heroic BSoD in season 3, when his best friend unexpectedly dies, causing him to have a breakdown complete with hallucinations. Complete with the Armor-Piercing Question / Reveal: Where do you think we are?

      Really, Ben just tends to inspire hallucinatory BSOD in people. Remember the episode where JD diagnosed him?
    • In the first season, JD has a rival named Nick who appears to be better than him at everything and is poised to become the leader of the group of interns. Unfortunately, Nick is a major Stepford Smiler repressing all of his fears and doubts. When Nick fails to save the life of a 7-year-old boy, he completely breaks down and afterward quits working at Sacred Heart.
  • Sherlock:
    • The eponymous character gets one of these in series 2 episode 3, "The Reichenbach Fall", upon realizing that Moriarty's next move is to kill John, which would be a Fate Worse than Death which drives Sherlock to (fake) suicide.
    • John also gets one in "The Reichenbach Fall" after said Fall.
  • Smallville:
    • In the Season Two finale, "Exodus", Clark Kent has one when his attempt to destroy the ship that brought him to Earth causes Martha Kent to lose her unborn child. He puts on Red Kryptonite, freeing himself of all inhibitions, and runs off to Metropolis, only for Jor-El to give Jonathan Kent temporary Kryptonian powers, allowing him to smack some sense into Clark. However, this act permanently damages Jonathan's heart, leading to his heart attack two years later in "Reckoning". This sends Clark into another BSOD which is only really cured when he has a near-death experience in the episode "Void" and talks to Jonathan's ghost.
    • He also had these when Chloe was apparently killed in Labyrinth and Bizarro. The first time, the phantom attacking his mind used the illusion to break his spirit and succeeded, leaving rambling to himself that she can't be dead until rescued by Shelby and the Martian Manhunter. The second time, he keeps repeating "no" and his vision blurs, conveniently allowing his superhearing to activate to find her - who is Only Mostly Dead.
  • Mary has one in Soap when Burt, her husband, eventually tells her that he killed her first husband (which isn't a surprise to the audience because he said it aside in the very first episode).
  • Jax Teller in Sons of Anarchy retreats entirely into his own mind (helped along by alcohol) after the abduction of his son his literal catatonic BSOD starts in the last 30 seconds of season 2 and continues throughout the premiere of season 3, with remnants cropping up episodes later as well.
  • Tom Quinn from Spooks undergoes a BSOD about halfway through Series 2 after a series of missions that put magnets to his moral compass make him grow deeply cynical. Unlike some BSODs, he doesn't recover. It comes to a head when he is forced by his boss to effectively ruin an old university professor's life and put his family in extreme jeopardy by having him pretend to sell explosive materials to terrorists. The end of the episode is something of a heroic reformat as he is fired from the team..
  • Stargate SG-1:
    • General Hammond resigns from Stargate Command as a result of one too many instances of sending his men into situations that almost gets them killed. Jack, refusing to believe Hammond would succumb to this sort of depression, discovers that the general is actually being blackmailed by the shadowy NCD to quit or risk something bad happening to his granddaughters.
    • An attempt to create a prototype training simulation using the Gamekeeper's virtual reality chair technology goes horribly wrong when the technology swiftly learns both Teal'c's enormous battle experience and his refusal to ever quit to create a no-win game that resets every time Teal'c loses and refuses to let him escape from the game. Forced to repeatedly experience the SGC's destruction and his own death, Teal'c eventually collapses in a corridor, buries his head in his hands, and just lets the game reset over and over. A winnable scenario is only simulated when Daniel enters the game to offset Teal'c determinator nightmare with his own optimistic personality to create an 'SG-1 unites to save the day' solution.
    • In the first season episode, "Singularity", Carter completely breaks down after leaving Cassandra, who has a powerful biologically-based bomb in her chest, in the basement of the nuclear facility. It was over a minute scene where she is shown just crying on her way back up to the surface.
  • Star Trek: The Original Series:
    • Kirk has occasional BSODs, usually triggered by the death of a Red Shirt, which results in him angsting for about fifteen seconds and then getting over it very quickly after a pep talk from McCoy.
    • Spock has a much bigger one in "Amok Time" after apparently killing Kirk, and almost quits Starfleet. He presumably has another one offscreen sometime between the end of the series and the first movie, and does quit Starfleet!
    • Kirk has a very short but intense one after David Marcus is murdered by Klingons.
    Kirk: You Klingon bastards, you killed my son. [Kirk tries to sit, missing the command chair entirely] You Klingon bastards, you killed my son!
    • In the episode "The Doomsday Machine", Kirk and company find the mostly-destroyed starship Constellation with one crew member aboard, the commander, Commodore Matt Decker (played by William Windom). The ship had been wrecked by a wandering robot Death Star shaped like an evil cannoli; the crew died after abandoning ship, beaming down to a planet that was then eaten by the berzerker, leaving only the Captain still aboard the ship. The entire episode concerns Decker undergoing a three-part Heroic BSOD, first babbling over the loss of his crew and the monster ship ("They say there's no Devil, Jim, but there is... RIGHT OUT OF HELL I SAW IT!"). The second part is his commandeering the Enterprise to try to destroy this overwhelming monstrosity, and the third is when he steals a shuttlecraft and dies in a kamikaze attempt. Considered by some Trek fans to be the most awesome performance in the history of the series.
    • Kirk has had the distinction of being one of the first people to cause this to happen to actual artificially intelligent computer systems themselves.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation:
    • Picard had one after being captured by the Borg and had to go home to France for a little while to recover. He has another one after Ro Laren defected to the Maquis.
    • One episode of had a number of alternate universes' Enterprises gathering due to a problem involving Worf. One version was manned by just Riker and Worf who existed in a universe where the Borg overran everything and was going mad.
    • In a more lighthearted example, Data toyed with one in "Peak Performance", becoming convinced that he was malfunctioning despite all evidence to the contrary. This being pre-emotion chip Data, it's a completely rational Heroic BSoD, but he still refuses to leave his quarters until he diagnoses the "problem". (As Picard eventually gets him to see, there isn't one.)
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
    • Miles O'Brien has a major BSOD in the episode "Hard Time" after a brutal Mind Rape by the Argrathi.
    • Sisko had a few moments of depression during the Dominion War. Plus a minor breakdown after Jadzia's death. He was like this for years after Jennifer's death, only coming out of it when the Prophets told him to stop living in the past in "Emissary".
  • Star Trek: Voyager:
    • In the season 5 episode "Latent Image", the Doctor is revealed to have done an almost literal (as he's a computer program) version of this (using the Out, Damned Spot! version) following an incident in which two patients were equally at risk and equally treatable; he chose the one he was better friends with, which was contrary to his programming. The memory was erased from his program, and when it was restored he suffered the same condition but eventually recovered.
    • Janeway had one of these in "Equinox" when she became obsessed with hunting down Ransom after she found out he was responsible for murdering hundreds of sentient lifeforms. She also went a little crazy in "Year of Hell" and "Scientific Method". See Berserk Button and Mama Bear.
    • During the first episode of season 5, "Night", Janeway has a major one. She questions why she made the original decision to trap the crew in the Delta Quadrant. Most everyone else suffers one as well, but not as much as Janeway. This happens when they go through a big expanse of space with no stars or planets.
    • B'Elanna starts running dangerous holodeck programs with the safety protocols off after she learns that most of her Maquis comrades in the Alpha Quadrant had been killed a year earlier by the Dominion.
  • Trip went into shutdown mode for at least a season of Star Trek: Enterprise after his little sister was killed in the Xindi attack.
  • Commander Burnham suffers one in Star Trek: Discovery following the Battle at the Binary Stars when she realizes she's sacrificed her career and betrayed her captain in attempting to do something that wouldn't have affected the outcome of the situation, then proceeded to get that same captain and friend killed attempting Burnham's plan to try and shorten the new war. At the resulting court martial she's completely psychologically destroyed and pleads guilty to all charges.
  • Various storm chasing shows have shown not just the victims, but occasionally the chasers themselves reaching these when a storm turns deadly. On Discovery Channel's Storm Chasers, Reed Timmer has one as he watches a tornado during the April Dixie Alley outbreak.
  • Supernatural loves these. It also loves never really making them better, either:
    • John had his after his wife died, causing him to drink and treat his sons like soldiers.
    • Sam had his after his girlfriend died, causing him to be just as obsessive as John was about hunting this demon.
    • And Dean? Someone dies to save him in a Season One episode, John dies to save his life in the Season Two premiere, Season Two completely breaks him down in as many ways as possible and all of it prompts a suicidally-guilty breakdown in which, after Sam dies, Dean sells his soul in an incredibly poor and desperate bargain to bring him back.
    • Sam has this briefly after realizing that killing Lilith actually set Lucifer free. He can do nothing but sit on the floor and stare in horror as Ruby monologues until Dean bursts in and they kill Ruby together.
    • Castiel after finding out that God really doesn't care. He loses his faith in everything, even Dean, and disappears, only to show up completely drunk next episode. Which led to a Funny Moment: "I found a liquor store. And I drank it!"
    • Dean again, some more, as of the end of Season 12 where, within the span of 5 minutes - Crowley sacrifices himself to protect Dean and Sam and trap Lucifer in an alternate universe; Castiel goes through the rift between universes to make sure Lucifer is dead and seemingly succeeds only for Lucifer to come back through just as Cas and Dean are reunited and stab Cas while he's standing in front of Dean; Mary proceeds to use angel brass knuckles to punch Lucifer BACK through the rift only for Lucifer to grab her and pull her through with him and Lucifer's son is born. He literally just kneels there not speaking as the season ends.

  • Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles:
    • In the episode "Allison from Palmdale", Cameron goes through several of these when her processor malfunctions, and she begins confusing herself with Allison Young, a girl whose personality and appearance she mimicked, and then later killed.
    • Sarah Connor suffers a BSOD when the fact that Derek Reese is dead hits home. It lasts all of six seconds — Sarah's got used to this sort of thing.
  • Torchwood:
    • Gwen has two minor BSOD moments in Series 1. The first happens when a man impales himself on a knife she's holding after she believes she's prevented a premonition of his death from coming true. The second happens when she discovers a series of sadistic rural murders have been committed by normal human beings. (She gets over both fairly quickly, possibly because her BSOD face is pure Narm.)
    • In Children of Earth, Captain Jack Harkness shuts down twice. The first time is after his defiance of the Big Bad, the 456, results in the release of a virus that kills everyone in the building, including Jack's lover Ianto Jones. Later, he goes AWOL from Wales, and ultimately Earth after he kills his grandson in order to save the millions of children who would otherwise have been taken by the 456.
  • King Henry VIII suffers one of these in The Tudors when his third wife Lady Jane Seymour dies of childbed fever after giving birth to a healthy son. He spends several days (possibly weeks) sequestered with his Fool, drinking, drawing up impossible plans for palaces, and writing the tenets for the Church of England.

  • Voyagers!, "Voyagers of the Titanic": Olivia plans to quit after failing to save the Mona Lisa from the Titanic's sinking and unintentionally endangering Jeff. She gets over it after collaborating with Bogg at a second attempt to rescue the painting.

  • The Walking Dead:
    • Rick Grimes has a particularly debilitating one, causing him to wander from the group, slaughtering dozens of zombies by himself, and hallucinating a phone call after the death of his wife, Lori.
    • Also happens to both Maggie and Sasha after Beth and Bob's deaths, respectively. Sasha gets hit with it pretty hard, becoming something of an anti-social, short-tempered Death Seeker.
  • Warehouse 13:
  • The Wire:
    • How did we miss Ellis Carver's BSOD at the end of the 4th season, one of the series' biggest tear jerkers and that's saying a lot. When he's unable to keep the 13-year old Randy out of a group home after he's been outed as a snitch, he completes loses it as he knows the kid's life is ruined.
    • Michael has one when he sees a small child run out of Junebug's house, while Chris and Snoop kill him and his whole family.
    • McNulty had a pretty huge one in season one after Kima Greggs is shot and McNulty blames himself.

  • This happens a lot on The X-Files. Mostly because it's a high-stress, high danger job and Mulder and Scully tend to go berserk when they're involuntarily separated as a result. Of course, since they're both highly protective with quick tempers, the sequences usually goes Bad Event - Heroic BSoD - Roaring Rampage of Revenge. In other words, don't expect either of them to be incapacitated by a Heroic BSoD for long. Run. Run as fast as you can. Whichever one you didn't hurt is going to kill you.

  • General Arnold Gaines of You, Me and the Apocalypse, after Scotty announces that Project Savior has failed. First, he goes into Heroic Safe Mode in order to launch plan B, calmly watching the army round up the scientists involved as Scotty takes the president to lie to the world. When Scotty returns to the empty command center and gives him a hug, Gaines just falls apart.


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