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A Darker Me

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You, only cooler, edgier, and often ruder. A Darker Me is generally the person you would be if you weren't the more cautious, inhibited and boring person you actually are. Most online personas include at least a little bit of A Darker Me, and some, most notably the Troll, include a lot of it. A Darker Me is like the GIFT in that it allows people to say things they would never say in real life, but is not limited to profane or offensive statements.

A Darker Me is one of the main appeals of the Internet in that it allows users to leave behind their normal fears and speak their minds. Most posters eventually learn that too much. A Darker Me by those involved derails even the most steadfast discussions and begin to revert to their mundane selves, in action, if not persona.

It should be noted that A Darker Me is not limited to the Internet, as most people do the same thing when they are talking to strangers — albeit generally to a lesser extent, since the stranger can still punch them in the face if they go too far.

See also: G.I.R.L., Beneath the Mask, Troll, Griefer, and Mean Character, Nice Actor. Closely related to What You Are in the Dark. Compare Became Their Own Antithesis and Maddened Into Misanthropy. Not to be confused with the other kind of Darker You. Or the other other kind, for that matter.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Xxx Holic featured a sub-story about a woman in Hideki's school who, thanks to a winged parasite, slowly lost her inhibitions. Instead of being nice and sociable, she became progressively more angry and violent until she nearly killed a person.
  • Tower of God: Bam's new identity Viole. It is because he fears things worse than death.
  • Lan, who is a fairly normal girl in real life in ½ Prince, is infamous in the game world for being a bloodthirsty maniac.

    Comic Books 
  • A Voice in the Dark: When Zoey goes to a costume party dressed as Cleopatra she deliberately makes herself unrecognizable so she can observe the party without being recognized. She acts different as well, flirting with boys, making small-talk, and dancing. This is all in stark contrast to her normal reserved nature.
  • Venom: After its second retcon, the Venom symbiote makes its hosts more aggressive and less inhibited, which can range from being a little rough on crooks, to outright devouring them.
  • X-Men: Even ignoring Onslaught, Professor X has a very bad history of his dark side taking on a life of its own and coming into conflict with the X-Men. And the aforementioned Onslaught was a Crisis Crossover.

    Fan Works 
  • A Darker Me is basically the point behind the Evil Kermit meme.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The red pills of The Matrix. Before their introduction to the Real World, they were hackers, geeks, and other freaks. This makes it obvious why, when they go back into the Matrix, they all wear longcoats and sunglasses.
  • The Dark Princess in MirrorMask.
  • Spider-Man 3 had Peter Parker becoming a bossy, aggressive, and cruel entitled egomaniac when being influenced by the symbiote, which amplifies his repressed frustration and anger from being a bullied nerd for so long.

  • Discworld:
    • Perdita is this to Agnes Nitt in Maskerade and later books. Originally just a silly name she adopted, she turns into a full-formed split personality by Carpe Jugulum.
    • The Hiver in A Hat Full of Sky is an Eldritch Abomination that is considered extremely dangerous to the humans whose minds it possesses. It actually tries to help them gain what they wish for, but it doesn't understand the difference between dark desires that are suppressed because the person knows they are not right and those that the person on the whole really wants fulfilled. Its victims are eventually driven insane and destroyed, but before that, they will presumably have become darker themselves, so to speak.
  • Gameknight999: The main villain, Herobrine, also griefs just like the hero Gameknight999 did but on a more massive scale.
  • Sword Art Online has a group of players of the eponymous MMORPG that go around killing other players. What makes this a lot worse is that all of the players are stuck in the game until they beat it or die, which would kill them in real life. Lampshaded when Kirito remarks that online players act very different from how they would in real life. That said, a couple of the PKers end up becoming murderers IN real life. Turns out, they weren't just Internet Jerks after all…

    Live-Action TV 
  • On Caprica, New Cap City is a virtual environment built around this concept along with Video Game Cruelty Potential, where the whole point of the game is to have fun without getting killed by someone else's idea of fun. Everyone gets access to the guns, drugs, cash, and sex they could want, and the only major consequence being that if you're too slow, you die and can never return.
  • In Screenwipe, Charlie outright admits that his default comic persona, a misanthropic Manchild, is one of these, and while there are traces of his real self in it, his real personality is much more nice and boring. He admits this in character.
  • Several Doctors in Doctor Who incorporate the actor's personality into the basic personality of the Doctor, but with the quirks exaggerated heavily and generally darker and more dramatic. A few which heavily incorporate this are the Third, Eleventh and Twelfth, although the Fourth is probably the most extreme example. Tom Baker heavily identified himself with the character - and sometimes definitely overidentified with him - and insisted on playing the Doctor as an exaggeration of his own personality and little else, to the point where a common fan detraction of the Fourth Doctor from people who dislike the character is that quite often Tom Baker is not even bothering to act, relying entirely on his own natural force of personality to sell the performance. When appearing as 'himself', Baker usually adopts a very similar personality to the Doctor's - in some cases close enough that it's even ambiguous whether he's appearing as the Doctor or not (see his links for the BBC's Doctor Who 40th anniversary celebrations and the "Shada" reconstruction, where the character he played even became something of a Canon Immigrant Doctor later) - although he will occasionally appear with a more toned-down persona that is presumably a lot closer to his real self.
  • A series of recurring sketches on Key & Peele had President Barack Obama, whose public image was famously mellow and intellectual, hire an Angry Black Man named Luther to serve as his "anger translator" to convey his policies and attitudes in... much less diplomatic and more colorful language. Later sketches gave anger translators to people around Obama as well: his glamorous wife Michelle's was a Sassy Black Woman named Catendra, his geeky daughter Malia's was a Bratty Teenage Daughter who threatened to get a face tattoo, and Hillary Rodham Clinton's was a Southern Belle Rich Bitch named Savannah.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power: Galadriel struggles for most of Season 1 with her own lust for battle and almost pathological need for control, to the point where she is compared with Sauron by an orc. In the season's final, everything culminates with Sauron showing her a vision of her movie wraith-form standing besides Sauron's Black Knight form. She is able to recognize that he will turn her into tyrant. Sauron's denies it and almost seduces her when he describes how her darker self would be a queen fair as the sea and the Sun, and stronger than the foundation of the Earth.

  • Eminem:
    • His "Slim Shady" alter ego, a violent sadist who frequently engages in Comedic Sociopathy. On "The Real Slim Shady", he comments on this trope and describes himself/Shady as, basically, a Darker Me for his fans as a whole, the guy who says and does all the awful things that they fantasize about but are too afraid to actually do for fear of the consequences.
      I'm like a head trip to listen to, cause I'm only giving you
      Things you joke about with your friends inside your living room
      The only difference is I got the balls to say it
      In front of y'all and I don't gotta be false or sugarcoated at all
      I just get on the mic and spit it
      And whether you like to admit it, I just shit it
    • "Stan" is about a Loony Fan who mistakes the Slim Shady persona for Eminem's real personality, and proceeds to drive off a bridge with his pregnant girlfriend in the trunk, in imitation of Eminem's Murder Ballad "'97 Bonnie & Clyde", in order to be more like his idol. When Eminem reads the letters Stan sent him, he is horrified. The song can be seen as a deconstruction of "Slim Shady", as Eminem's Darker Me gets taken seriously by somebody who didn't realize that he was just joking.
    • The song "Kim" notably averts this, to horrifying effect. The murder and debauchery that Eminem frequently gets up to in his songs is normally hard to take seriously, since he's usually in his goofball Slim Shady persona while rapping about it. On "Kim", however, he's very much not playing a character — he's rapping, as Marshall Mathers, about murdering his wife and then dumping her body in a lake. The result has been described as quite possibly the most stomach-churning song he's ever written, especially in comparison to "'97 Bonnie & Clyde", which had similar subject matter but played it for Black Comedy (as a parody of Will Smith's "Just the Two of Us").

    Video Games 
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Final Fantasy VII:
      • Cloud, new to a big city and shed of all his prior identity, spends the first few hours of the game acting like a rude, aloof, cooler-than-cool, violent asshole, due to being under the effect of Jenova's cells, which creates a new persona based on Cloud's own desires, mimicking his best friend Zack. Later we find out that he thinks of his real personality as weak and boring, even though what we see of it is quite friendly and sweet (if awkward and self-flagellating).
      • Red XIII. When we first meet him, he's being used as a research specimen by Hojo. He makes a point of acting like an impossibly old, alien being with some cool Deadpan Snarker moments - using complicated language and refusing to give his real name to the party, suggesting they call him by what Hojo designated him. Then you return to his hometown where it turns out that, despite being 48, his long-lived species means he's actually about 15 in human years. Oh, and he still lives with his beloved grandfather. After completing his quest, he drops the act, and his speech patterns and attitude become a lot more childish - in the Japanese, he even changes to a childish pronoun.
    • Final Fantasy XIV: Throughout the first "arc" of the Dark Knight class quests, your teacher Fray is constantly snapping at people who come to your for help, and urge you to leave them to deal with their own problems. Yet for some reason, people seem to react as though it were you and not Fray talking to them. Then at the end of the arc comes The Reveal: Fray is you. Specifically, s/he's the part of you that is absolutely sick and tired of constantly being the hero, helping people who won't help themselves and getting nothing but a "thank you" (if even that) for it, while being restrained by laws and leaders. When you refuse to let that side of you take over and walk away from it all, it manifests itself as a doppelganger and tries to beat you down into compliance. Once you emerge triumphant, "Fray" gives up trying to take over forcefully, but promises to take over if you ever want it to.
  • Inverted in Weapons Shop De Omasse, where Pirate Girl Malibu acts in person with the intimidating, butch, Large Ham personality you'd expect from a lady pirate, but her posts on the Twitter parody Grindcast are written in a Valley Girl style and mostly about her love life.
  • Near the end of Detention, Ray meets a shadowy version of herself, implied to be Ray's guilt over selling out the forbidden book club and causing many of her friends and schoolmates to be arrested, imprisoned, or executed. She will ask Ray questions, and Ray's answer to these questions will determine the ending you get. Answer a question incorrectly, and she will stay silent. Answer correctly, and she will give a short speech. Answer all questions correctly, and you get the good ending.
    Shadow Ray: [when you first meet her] I, am you. But you are not me.
    Shadow Ray: [after being given a correct answer] You... are me.
  • Inverted in Quest for Glory by Katrina, who is first met as a sexy, flirtatious, mysterious, free-spirited human woman who is a shockingly powerful mage in spite of her youth. This facade is eventually revealed to be a nothing more than an illusion that the real, vampiric Katrina puts up to interact with the player. In reality, Katrina is an enormous case of Broken Bird constantly weighed down by a miserable past and her own tremendous internal fears and insecurities. It's strongly implied that the mask she wears with the player is the kind of person she wishes she actually was.
  • In Epiphany City, in the endgame, people affected by the shadows become the worst versions of themselves.

    Web Original 
  • The novelty Twitter account @dril is a parody of this. The character is (in Kayfabe) an "Internet tough guy" type who thinks he's presenting himself online as being very edgy, with occasional self-deprecating humour. Unfortunately, he reveals himself as being a depraved, idiotic nerd with no perspective on reality at all.

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation