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Heroic BSOD / Western Animation

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What happens when an animated hero stops being so animated.

  • Squidward from Spongebob Squarepants goes into a catatonic stupor in "Squid's Visit", after Spongebob urge him to stay at his house until his house gets rebuilt.
  • Fitz from 12 oz. Mouse goes through a BSoD after his best friend Skillet is killed. He completely gives up on everything, and wanders off to play a game of Pinball.
  • Billy from Adventure Time (voiced by Lou Ferrigno) retires to his legendary crack after reasoning that bad things will keep happening despite his efforts. Finn and Jake help him get better.
  • This was the theme in many episodes of Animaniacs, where a historic figure was suffering from one until the three Warner siblings showed up and - inadvertently - gave them inspiration. Abraham Lincoln was questioning his self-worth and purpose until they showed up and helped him write the Gettysburg Address; Albert Einstein was ready to give up his research in frustration until they showed up and triggered his Eureka Moment. (Wakko playfully wrote "acme" backwards, and the R looked like a 2.) And many others.
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  • In the Atomic Puppet episode "Pinched Nerves", Joey is pretty badly shaken when he almost accidentally kills his dad while trying to catch a criminal, so he takes a break from superhero antics for the rest of the episode. AP is left to try catch the criminal and eventually gives Joey the confidence he needs back.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Aang has one when Appa is kidnapped midway through Season 2 of Avatar: The Last Airbender. He abandons his friends to go find him, and when that fails he acts much more antagonistic than his normal Keet mode. Eventually, he decides that pretending to not feel anything will make things better (it doesn't) and it takes the birth of a baby for him to finally snap out of it.
    • Aang's successor, Korra, doesn't get off easy either. In Season 3, she is poisoned by the Big Bad and forced into the Avatar state (the villain hoping she'll die and end the Avatar cycle once and for all). The injuries she sustains from the poison, the battle immediately following that, and her enemies (and allies) telling her the world doesn't need her anymore, drives her into a depression that she doesn't fully recover from until over halfway through Season 4, three years later.
  • In the Batman: The Animated Series episode "I Am The Night", Batman suffers one when his annual visit to Crime Alley (and the spot where his parents died) lead to him being late for a sting operation, leading to Commissioner Gordon being severely wounded, leading to Bruce quit being Batman. It wasn't until the criminal who shot Gordon escaped and a disgusted Robin decided to go after him that Bruce started to snap out of it and Gordon's own doubts about the sting helped him come to for good.
    • Two in the first episode of Batman Beyond, "Rebirth, Part 1", the first being Bruce realizing that he used a gun to protect himself from a beating while having a heart attack, which prompts his retirement as Batman. The second being Terry after his father's funeral as he looked back at the fact their last moments together involved an argument.
  • In The Boondocks, Huey Freeman has three of these. The first is when Huey is given a chance to direct the school's Christmas play and crafts it to adhere to his unique vision. The principal however, insists that Jesus not be portrayed as black, despite the name of Huey's play being "The Adventures of Black Jesus", leading to a stymied and demoralized Huey abandoning the project the night before the play.
    • The second time is when Huey tries to save his friend, Shabazz K. Milton Berle from death row. However, his plan is thwarted at the last minute when he can't get a ride from his grandfather, who instead decides to talk some sense into Uncle Ruckus at his "revival" meeting, leading to Huey standing on a hillside and praying to God, while shedding tears for the first time.
    • The third time and probably Huey's biggest Heroic BSoD ever is during Barack Obama's election where Obama is asked about Huey Freeman, to which he responds that Huey doesn't stand for what he stands for, and that he denounces, repudiate, and condemns him. This leads to Huey's indifference Obama, where he "retires" from his role as a "domestic terrorist". Of course, this doesn't go well with the public, who are in such awe of Obama at the time, that a simple "Eh" from Huey draws the ire of a large crowd of black people, which leads to a national protests against Huey, where protesters burn an effigy of him. Because of this, Huey feels there is no room for him in Obama's America, so he decides to leave the country. However, he plan is once again thwarted because he once again cannot get a ride. While the Obama phenomenon has died down, Huey still remains retired throughout the rest of the season, including the season finale.
      • Coincidentally, Huey also has a Heroic BSoD is the same degree in the comics, when he receives enough negative responses from his 15-page Santa Conspiracy Report, leading to a series of comic strips where he "officially hates everything".
      • Luckily, Michael Cesar is introduced into the comic strip, restoring Huey's faith in his revolution.
  • Danger Mouse has a BSoD at the end of "Close Encounters Of The Absurd Kind" when he finds out that the craft that kidnapped him and Penfold wasn't Baron Greenback's Frog's Head Flyer but a UFO.
  • Daria: Quinn spends most of the series as Daria's beautiful but shallow and flighty younger sister with an endless string of suitors worshiping the ground she walked on. A turning point in her character development is when she actually gets rejected for the first time. In the tv movie Is It Fall Yet?, dealing with the summer vacation between seasons four and five, Quinn gets a tutor, a cute nerdy senior, and grows attracted to him during their sessions. As the summer ends, she confesses her feelings to him, but he turns her down because she's not his type, as he prefers more intellectual girls. This deeply hurts Quinn and puts her in a days-long depression. She only breaks out of her funk after going back to school and deciding that she can be fashionable and academic if she so chooses.
  • Dee Dee, though not necessarily a hero, has one in Dexter's Laboratory, in the episode "Down In the Dumps" when she loses Mr. Fuzzums.
  • DuckTales (1987)
    • Scrooge McDuck routinely has slumps when events involve him losing (or coming close to losing) all his wealth. "A sea monster ate my ice cream!" anyone? Examples include "The Money Vanishes", "Catch as Cash Can" and "Down and Out in Duckburg."
    • Scrooge also undergoes a number of slumps over something happening to one of the few people he cares about. Examples of this kind of BSOD happen in "Hero for Hire" and "The Golden Goose".
  • Jimmy from Ed, Edd n Eddy, not a hero per se, goes through this in "Tinker Ed" when he realizes that fairy tales aren't real. Edd goes through this too (for a short time) in the episode "Too Smart for His Own Ed" when he loses a spelling bee to Ed.
  • In an episode of The Fairly OddParents!, Timmy tells the Crimson Chin that he's only a comic book character, resulting in CC going into a Heroic BSoD where he is curled up in a ball crying for most of the episode feeling unimportant. He snaps back to normal when Timmy has a brush with death at the hands of his nemesis.
  • Family Guy episode: The end of Life of Brian did this to the actual fans of the show when Brian Dies. The reaction... well, if you thought the Red Wedding episode from Game of Thrones had people talking, at least the book it was based upon didn't spark much protest since the viewers knew it was coming.
    • But then it was quickly undone.
    • An in-universe example: Stewie goes through this when he refused to believe he was singing the wrong note.
  • Happens to Leela from Futurama, when Fry jumps in front of her to save her from being impaled on the stinger of a giant killer bee, and apparently dies on the spot. This is made worse by the fact that not only did Fry die for her, but Leela ignored all of Fry's pleas to be careful, as well as all warning signs that their current expedition was a festering death trap, simply in order to appear tough. She spirals into a deep, guilt-ridden depression and loses her mind, becoming more and more deranged and confused as she is shoved through a series of nightmares involving Fry. In the end, it thankfully turns out to be just a coma fantasy, as the stinger went right through Fry (and the worst that happened to him was he had to get a spleen transplant) and pierced her, leaving her in a deep coma.
  • In the Hey Arnold! episode "Phoebe's Little Problem", she unwittingly farts in the microphone after accepting her award at school due to eating a whole tin of Arnold's grandmother's prune cookies, greatly embarrassing herself, leading to Arnold and the others trying to help her through her crisis.
  • Dante Vale from Huntik has a BSoD when he gives up the amulets of power on the off chance that his enemy will save Metz, his mentor. Zahlia has to protect him for most of an episode as he's literally non-responsive.
  • In Infinity Train, after the "monster" turns out to be a mere spider, Tulip bemoans that she may never know the meaning of her mark. Atticus helps talk her out of it, leading to her Eureka Moment about the work light. She later suffers a bigger one in response to the season's Big Bad turning Atticus into a monster, but she recovers after presented with the possibility of being able to change him back.
  • In Kim Possible, both Ron and Drakken have one after finding out that Snowman Hank has been cancelled.
    • Kim, when she saw cockroaches at the size of dogs.
  • In King of the Hill, Hank goes through one when the chemicals Dale used to kill some fire ants also kills the grass on his lawn. At one point, Hank sits on a lawn chair and doesn't bother to move when the sprinklers go off, even when he starts sinking into the mud.
  • Twilight Sparkle gets a huge one in the second episode of the second season of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. After spending half the episode trying to stop Discord, Twilight is finally broken, corrupted, and loses her colors after the initial attempt to use the Elements against him fails and her friends' behavior proves too much for her. She snaps out of it after reading the friendship reports that she originally sent to Princess Celestia one season earlier.
    • In Flight to the Finish, Scootaloo has this after her failure to fly despite countless tries.
    • In Equestria Games, the revelation that Twilight needed to help Spike light the Equestria Games torch sends him into a depression for a majority of the episode.
    • In Rainbow Rocks, Twilight breaks down and assumes a Troubled Fetal Position after failing to come up with a counterspell and being Locked in a Room with the rest of the Humane Six, who have begun arguing over the mishaps that occured during the Battle of the Bands, allowing the Dazzlings to gain power from their conflict like the rest of the school.
    • In A Royal Problem, Starlight Glimmer ends up hitting this trope after her My God, What Have I Done? worries in swapping Princess Celestia and Luna's Cutie Marks keep weighing heavily on her (not helped by Twilight's own snooping), ultimately leading to her bursting into tears in her own nightmare as she's tormented by Nightmare Moon and Celestia's own Superpowered Evil Side, Daybreaker.
    • In School Daze, Twilight hits this trope big time when her Friendship School is shut down by the EEA for not following the guidelines exactly, causing her students to bail because they couldn't stand such a thing.
  • In Operation Zero, Numbuh One rushes alone to the convention center full of villains in an attempt to retrieve the recommissioning module before Father can use it on Grandfather. It turns out to be a Batman Gambit by Father, knowing that Nigel would try to retrieve the device and revealing that it's worthless without an active K.N.D agent's genetic material, gloating that their best agent just handed the villains the key to bringing back the greatest threat they have ever faced. As Grandfather gains his powers back and begins turning all the villains in the room into his zombie minions, Numbuh One slumps to his knees in defeat, despairing over what he's done, and not even his teammates can snap him out of it.
  • The Powerpuff Girls
    • Blossom had one on when one of her plans backfired, something Mojo Jojo tried to exploit.
    • Buttercup had one in an episode where she lost her Security Blanket.
    • In "All Chalked Up", Bubbles has one of these when her drawings of monsters come to life. Blossom and Buttercup end up having to start the fight without her.
  • In the Recess episode "I Will Kick No More Forever", Vince underwent a massive Heroic BSoD (of the severe depression type) after his best kick was not only beaten out, but beaten out by an Ashley, who not only doesn't even regularly play Kickball, but isn't even playing it seriously (she basically kicked it all the way to Communist Chinanote  nonchalantly while she was speaking on her cell phone). It literally had to take TJ and his friends some severe talks to Vince (as well as almost faking out his kick to making him feel better with a more bouncy ball than usual) to not only get him out of the Heroic BSoD, but also for him to manage in doing an unprecedented account of kicking the ball outside of the stratosphere.
  • The Ren & Stimpy episode, "Son of Stimpy", has Stimpy go through a pretty major one when Stinky leaves. Nearly everything Ren says to him is replied with a depressed "I don't care."
  • Rick and Morty: After Rick's Love Potion goes out of control in the most horrible way possible, turning into a plague of Body Horror, and Rick just writes the reality off, takes them to another universe where their counterparts cured the plague and then died immediately afterwards, makes him bury his own counterpart and replace him, Morty can only look on, almost unresponsive, as he finds himself back to his old, day to day life, with the knowledge those aren't his real parents or sister, merely identical strangers, and that everyone he knew is dead.
  • Otto suffers one in the Rocket Power episode "Bruised Man's Curve" when Lars challenges him to a mountain board race on the titular course, which nobody has ever beaten before. His constant wipeouts break his confidence, and it takes an exaggerated story from Tito to get him to go up to the course to face Lars. At this point, Otto's panic attacks strike again and as he backs out, Lars accidentally steps on his board in a fit of laughter and falls off the course, restoring Otto's confidence completely.
  • Scooby-Doo:
    • Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated makes its version of Fred Jones somewhat prone to these. Probably to make up for him being much more skilled with traps and slightly wiser than his previous versions.
    • The DVD movie Scooby-Doo! Legend of the Phantosaur starts off with Shaggy having a BSOD. Scooby-Doo And The Goblin King has Velma — of all people — collapsing and fainting after seeing the supernatural maelstrom the Amazing Krudsky created.
  • Kyle suffers one of these on South Park after Cartman convinces him to see The Passion of the Christ, claiming that it "proves" the Jews killed Jesus. The Jewish Kyle is horrified at what he sees, to the point where he becomes ashamed of his Jewish heritage, just as Cartman had hoped (while Stan and Kenny are pissed that they got ripped off over seeing a Christian snuff film and demand their money back).
    • Kyle goes through an even nastier BSoD in "Cartmanland" where Cartman spends the million dollars he got from his dead grandmother on an amusement park that no one, not even his friends, can go to but him. Kyle tries to sneak into the park, but fails due to the massive pain his hemorrhoids are giving him. Kyle's condition grows worse when he sees a news report of proclaiming Cartman a genius for his business strategy. Kyle then renounces his faith in God and slowly gives up on life, allowing himself to slowly die to his infection. It isn't until Cartman actually suffers for his karma that Kyle snaps out of it.
    • Stan gets a really bad one in "Raisins" after Wendy broke up with him, which made him become one of the Goths. He gets better after Butters gives him and the other Goths a pep talk.
    • Cartman suffers one in "Stunning and Brave" where, after his attempt to strike back at the school's new PC Principal fails and ends with him getting beaten within an inch of his life, admits to his friends on his hospital bed that the new principal has won and that it's best that he needs to accept it and turn over a new leaf.
  • Two notable examples in Star Wars: The Clone Wars:
    • In "Storm Over Ryloth", Ahsoka gets one when she loses most of her squadron failing to break through the blockade over Ryloth. She snaps out of it in the episode's third act.
    • In "The Lawless", Obi-Wan gets this when Darth Maul murders Duchess Satine.
  • Star Wars Rebels:
    • "The Siege of Lothal": When trying to forge a mental connection to Darth Vader, the revelation that he is Anakin Skywalker as well as the backlash of the Dark Side causes Ahsoka to pass out.
    • After the events of Malachor in "Twilight of the Apprentice", Kanan completely shuts down for six months until he snaps out of it in "Steps Into Shadow".
  • Star Wars Resistance: In the last scene of "No Escape, Part I", Kaz gets one when he finds out that he just saw his homeworld, and every other planet in the system, destroyed by the First Order. It continues into "Part II", although he pushes it aside as much as he can because he needs to focus on fighting the First Order.
  • Steven Universe.
    • In "Rose's Scabbard", Pearl spends most of the first half of the episode talking about being Rose's sole confidant before her death, and that she knew all of her secrets. When it turns out she doesn't, she lashes out at the others, runs off, and nearly lets Steven fall to his death as she's too caught up in her own grief to care. This does lead to a heartwarming moment of reconciliation at the end.
      Pearl: Everything I ever did, I did for her. Now she's gone... But I'm still here. Sometimes... I wonder, if she can see me through your (Steven's) eyes. (sigh) What would she think of me now...
      Steven: (hugs her from behind) Well... I think you're pretty great.
      (Pearl starts to cry)
    • A less tearjerky and more horrific case of this comes from "Keeping It Together". While chasing down Peridot, Garnet and Steven uncover exactly what she was working on. Homeworld had been trying to achieve artifical fusion, by combining two or more gem shards together. Crystal Gem shards. This does not only create horrible amalgamations of what were once Garnet's friends, but is also a slap in the face of her entire existence, as Garnet stays fused out of love. For the first half of the battle (if you can even call it one), she can only whimper and shake her head. When the biggest fusion monster grabs her, she just stands there in absolute horror. Eventually, she begins talking to herself, ending with "I'm sorry!" before beginning to fall apart (in a, judging by the sounds she makes, quite painful manner). And she nearly does, before Steven snaps her out of it.
      • After the fusion monster is poofed, Garnet's personality completely loses control for a few seconds, causing Ruby and Sapphire to express their distress out loud through her mouth.
        Garnet (Ruby): (angry) So THIS is what Homeworld thinks of fusion.
        Garnet (Sapphire): (quietly) We couldn't have known they would do this...
        Garnet (Ruby): (furious) THIS is where they've been! ALL the ones we couldn't find! They've been here the whole time!
        Garnet (Sapphire): (shakily) Rose couldn't have known...
        Garnet (Sapphire): IT'S NOT OUR FAULT!
    • Steven finally has one of these in "Mindful Education", when, while fused with Connie as Stevonnie during training in the Sky Arena, the fusion causes them to vividly hallucinate, which happens if a person in the fusion is mentally or emotionally unstable. Steven is forced to see all the enemies he's failed to save in the fusion's Mental World, and all the trauma and guilt he's been suppressing for weeks starts coming out. Steven starts to break down.
      Stevonnie: [Steven's voice] I tried to help you. You wouldn't listen. I-I told you to stop. I had no choice! I'm sorry, I shouldn't —
      [Connie's voice] It's okay! It's okay to think about it!
      [Steven's voice]I thought I could, but it's so much! I can't do it!
      • Then, the figures burst into rays of light and converge, coruscating and morphing until they become an enormous image of Rose Quartz, Steven's Dead Mother, who's questionable actions of the past made it so Steven's enemies were too untrustworthy of him, mistaking him for Rose(due to them having the same gem) and trying to kill him. Normally seen as kind and calm in pictures and paintings of her, in Steven's mind, she's glaring down on Stevonnie with anger and disapproval. Stevonnie drops their sword and backs away, and can only repeat "no" over and over again while crying, right off the edge of the Sky Arena. Falling through the clouds, Steven and Connie Unfuse.
        Steven: (crying hysterically) I didn't want to hurt anyone! I'm sorry! None of them would let me help them! I had no choice!
        Connie: It's okay!
        Steven: No, it's not!
        Connie: But it's okay to think about it!
      • Connie manages to calm Steven down so they can fuse before they hit the ground, and use Stevonnie's floating powers to land safely, collapsing on the grass.
  • In the TaleSpin episode "A Bad Reflection on You", Baloo does this after a. realizing the award Shere Khan gave him is meaningless and b. getting captured by Don Karnage and his Air Pirates. However, he recovers when he learns that Kit still has faith in him.
    • Rebecca has a more comical variant in "I Only Have Ice For You", breaking down sobbing after she realises her guidebook to flying is useless and has gotten everyone captured by the Sky Pirates. Played more seriously later on when she admits rather humbly to Baloo that she's a much worse pilot than him and (supposedly) ruined their delivery, even he seems rather touched by this.
  • Suffered by Leonardo (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2003) twice. The first time occurs after he is badly beaten and almost killed by the Foot Clan, which leaves him comatose and melancholy afterwards. The second time occurs after the turtles are handily defeated and have to resort to sacrificing themselves just to stop the Big Bad from winning. This necessity is fortunately prevented, but just the idea that the situation got that bad disturbs Leonardo. As the Big Brother, he blames himself for failing his family and goes into a self-destructive spiral, training obsessively, forcing his brothers to do likewise, and being surly and moody in general. It takes 13 episodes of not listening to Splinter, a literal journey, and a Star Wars-esque "yourself behind the Vader mask" moment to get Leonardo to recover his senses.
  • In W.I.T.C.H., Hay Lin suffers a Heroic BSoD after believing that her grandmother Yan Lin has started serving Nerissa, and that her boyfriend has betrayed her as well. Hay Lin becomes depressed and nearly catatonic, culminating in a Transformation Sequence where her teammates call out their own elements happily, and Hay Lin just stands there, her head bowed. She gets out of it when she learns that the Yan Lin they've been fighting is actually a clone.
  • In Young Justice, the events of "Failsafe" caused various Heroic BSODs throughout the episode, from Wally's reaction to Artemis's death to M'Gann's reaction to... well, everything. In fact, the following episode "Disordered" is all about them coming to terms with the trauma and taking steps to get past their respective BSODs. Luckily for them, there are totally therapists.
    • Beast Boy has a small one in season two when he comes across a landscape that causes him to have flashbacks about his mother's murder.
    • Later M'Gann suffers another in "Before The Dawn" after she mind rapes Kaldur, realising he's still good and never killed Artemis, but leaving him comatose. She can barely function for the rest of the episode out of guilt.
      • For many episodes afterwards she's terrified to use her psychic powers for anything other than bare minimum. Even a fellow Martian who specfically gives her permission to probe his mind (to prove he's not lying to them) has to basically force his memories into her instead, because she's too nervous to pry very deeply.


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