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"Anger Is Healthy" Aesop

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Flanders: [after coming out of the hospital] Thanks, everyone! I'm all better now. No more storing up the anger till I explode. If any of you does something I don't like, yo-ou're gonna hear about it! All right?
[the crowd cheers]
Dr. Foster: Yes, that's very healthy, Ned.
Flanders: [ominous] And if you really tick me off, I'm gonna run you down with my car.
[the clapping dies down dramatically and everyone except for Homer looks worried]
Homer: Heh heh! Ned, you so craz-ay! [Ned winks and he and Homer both laugh]

This trope involves a person learning to express their anger in an appropriate way and learning that suppressing their anger is just as dangerous as being vengeful. The key to anger is finding the middle ground: it is good to be angry about the things that upset you, and releasing your anger is always the first step in the healing process. The problem, however, is expressing your anger through disproportionate retribution.

Anger is one of those emotions that are sadly misrepresented. It is often presented as a negative emotion that should never be expressed and it is often taught that you should be the bigger person by suppressing it or by outright forgiving your aggressor. At one point, anger was described as temporary insanity and a brief madness that led to sin, even going as far as to name wrath as one of the seven deadly sins. Although a good lesson on the dangers of unrestrained anger, it was a lesson taught too well.

Stifling anger or denying one's anger can be incredibly dangerous and unhealthy. When it's not expressed, repressing anger can lead to accumulating pent-up rage that can lead to overaggressive outbursts. It cannot be emphasized enough that it's not the feeling of anger that's wrong or sinful, it's what anger leads to that's wrong. If anger leads to violence or leads to persecution, then it's a flaw or a sin. If it's consequence-free, then anger is just a powerful yet unpleasant emotion.

The important thing about applying the trope to the story is finding out what truly makes a character angry and how much of a right they have to be angry. If a person has a short fuse, then they need to learn how to control their anger before they hurt someone they care about. If a character tries to deny or suppress their anger, then they need to learn that expressing anger in small doses isn't as catastrophic as they think. If a character is shown to be weak-willed and easily browbeat, then they need to express their anger for the sake of self-respect and to stop the cycle of bullying.

When this trope is in effect, the lesson is about expression; having a character either stand up for themselves, having them tame their anger so they don't hurt anyone, or learning to express anger through other means (namely as protective instincts). Sometimes, it's just a matter of having a character learn to let go of their anger or learning they should refrain from revenge but it doesn't mean they have to forgive their offender.

Anger, revenge, and wrath are usually treated as the same entity: antagonism toward someone who did something wrong. The difference is self-control and action. Wrath involves the infliction of harm towards the person who wronged you and revenge involves using any means necessary to punish someone. Anger is simply a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, and hostility. As a result of this confusion, characters often have trouble expressing their anger and utilizing it for assertiveness, motivation, and passion.

Revenge Is Not Justice is often paired with this trope as this is when anger is taken too far and it results in the angry person becoming worse than their aggressor. Revenge Is Sweet can also be paired with this when the story shows that taking revenge is actually worthwhile and a good thing. The Power of Hate also plays into it when the story shows the characters channeling their anger toward someone/something as a legitimate way to solve problems. Misdirected Outburst is often a result of characters bottling up their anger and releasing it at the worst possible time or releasing it at a person who didn't deserve it.

This trope is related to Repression Never Ends Well, Fear Is the Appropriate Response, Fear Is Normal, and It's Okay to Cry as those tropes are about how expressing negative emotions is actually healthy. Teach Him Anger is when a character teaches this lesson in-universe to the Nice Guy. See also Tranquil Fury when the person is calm but angry (usual take on this Aesop). Subtrope of An Aesop.


Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Dragon Ball Z: This lesson is imparted to Gohan at the end of the Cell Saga. He had struggled with his anger all series long to that point, but Android 16 points out to him that there’s nothing wrong with getting angry when the alternative is letting others harm you.

    Fan Works 
  • Cinders and Ashes: the Chronicles of Kamen Rider Dante' first act deals with this Aesop, pairing it up with Repression Never Ends Well. It comes to a head in the final chapter of the first part where the protagonist's aunt, in a flashback, tells him that it's okay to be angry as a part of grief, but to not let it control him but rather to use it to help people.
    Hotaru: You're angry. We all are. It's a painful part of grief... But... we shouldn't let that control us. I... had that happen to me once and had it not been for one of the neighbours, I would have been regretting it for the rest of my life...
  • With This Ring includes occasional snippets from an Alternate Universe where the protagonist obtained a red power ring, instead of orange, and became a bounty hunter/assassin. Despite the inherently violent nature of his powers, he not only remains stable, but achieves a state of enlightenment, comparable to the main protagonist, and establishes a happy family with Blackfire — whom he credits with giving him the courage to freely express his anger.
    Red Lantern: The point I was making is that I've learned to act when I'm angry. The things that make me angry are — I think — things that a right-thinking person would get angry about, but condition themselves to accept.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Avengers (2012): While everyone around Bruce Banner gets very nervous about Banner Hulking Out if he gets angry, he has had the powers long enough that he has some control. His secret? "I'm always angry."
  • This trope shows up briefly in Enchanted. Giselle, a Princess Classic, is joyful, chipper, and cheerful all the time. When she ends up in New York City and crosses paths with Robert, a cynical divorce lawyer, his negative attitude eventually leads her to become angry for the first time. Giselle's furious outburst is ultimately shown to be a good thing, as it helps her realize that she's capable of emotion beyond happiness and has the right to her feelings, whatever they may be.
  • The First Wives Club:
    • Timid Annie deals with unexpressed anger in therapy. After talking to her recently divorced college friends, she is disappointed with how angry and bitter they seemed... only for her to discover her own husband has been sleeping with their therapist and letting them both have it. (Oddly, the therapist herself tries to placate Annie by saying she's allowed to be angry, only to gaslight her into seeing this as a good thing). She then starts the First Wives Club with Elise and Brenda to get justice against all their ex-husbands.
    • The First Wives Club turn their anger and frustration against each other at one point, with Annie considering abandoning the whole plan because they've let bitterness consume them. But Brenda and Elise reason their anger wasn't the problem — they were just too focused on their own petty problems instead of on something bigger. Thus, they decide to get back at their exes by blackmailing them to fund a women's crisis center.
  • Grace of My Heart: The protagonist, Denise, is a successful songwriter and would-be singer whose singing career has stalled, and whose rock star husband has died, possibly accidentally, possibly as a suicide. She retreats to a commune (it's the early '70s) where she suppresses all her negative emotions in the name of being enlightened and does nothing except garden all day. Finally her old boss seeks her out and tells her that she's throwing her career away, whereupon she epically loses her temper and screams at him, calling him a parasite who wouldn't be anywhere without her talent — and he agrees with her, encouraging her to be angry, because it forces her to feel emotion rather than pretend she's above ordinary grieving. She breaks down in tears and it's clear that this was her strategy all along, because she returns to making music, with him as her friend and manager.
  • Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer: After becoming the sole survivor of a forest monster that kills his family, Jack has trouble with his short temper and resorted to seeking therapy to help manage his anger. After Crowley mutates into the demon, Jack learns to utilize his anger and uses that anger to slay the demons and kill Crowley as he didn't want to run away again and be powerless to save others.
  • Mystery Men: Mr. Furious, whose power is he gets stronger when he's angry, is advised that he needs to learn how to channel it properly. It doesn't help much as he already knows this. He just needs to learn what makes him truly angry, not just annoyed.
    The Sphinx: If you do not learn to master your rage—
    Mr. Furious: [sarcastically] Your rage will become your master?

    Literature 
  • The Bible: The Cleansing Of The Temple, where Jesus beats and expels merchants from the House of The Lord, is used to teach the concept of righteous indignation, the anger a good person feels at witnessing injustice. It is very much worth noting that, under Christian doctrine, righteous indignation is the only form of anger that is explicitly non-sinful.
  • Anger Is a Gift: Moss, whose father was wrongfully killed by a cop before the events of the book and deals with even more injustice throughout, learns that sometimes being angry is the right response to fight for justice, rather than giving in to fear. His efforts convince the guilty cop to turn himself in and the police to withdraw metal detectors from their school, though it's a Bittersweet Ending.
    "Anger is a gift. Remember that. [...] You gotta grasp onto it, hold it tight and use it as ammunition. You use that anger to get things done instead of just stewing in it."
  • In The One and Only Ivan, Ivan the gorilla has survived the deaths of his family, being raised in a human household, and then shut into a small cage at a themed mall by creating art and pretending things are fine. In his narration he says he doesn't really get angry - for a silverback gorilla, anger is something to be used to protect family, and he has no one to protect. When a baby elephant is brought to the mall and Ivan realizes she's in for the same kind of life he's had, it disturbs him and he becomes increasingly unhappy and agitated. Ultimately he tries using art to communicate what he wants, but as a gorilla, his artwork is hard for most people to interpret, even for a fellow primate artist. Then Ivan finally lets himself express anger. He chest-beats and races around his cage pitching a fit, and the young human stops and reevaluates his work.
  • "The Poison Tree" from William Blake's Songs Of Innocence And Experience contains this moral and focuses on how containing one's anger leads to more terrible consequences down the line via the image of the Tree of Knowledge.
    I was angry with my friend.
    I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
    I was angry with my foe.
    I told it not, my wrath did grow.
  • The Moomins: In "The Invisible Child", Ninny is an Invisible Introvert due to verbal abuse, and gradually becomes visible as she spends time with the Moomins and Moominmamma slowly helps her regain some confidence. Her head remains invisible, and Little My says the problem is she can't get angry. She's proved right when Moominpappa pretends he's going to push Moominmamma into the sea, and Ninny is furious. Not only does this make her visible, but once she's got it out of her system, she also laughs for the first time.

    Live-Action TV 
  • American Gods: Exploited. Mr. Nancy appears to the captives aboard a slaver ship going to America. He riles them up from their state of despair ("This guy gets it. I like him. He's getting angry. Angry is good. Angry, gets shit done.") by telling them they are staring down the barrel of "300 years of subjugation, racist bullshit, and heart disease". He encourages them to go up, kill the crew, and burn the ship down so they can at least die as a worthy sacrifice. In reality, Mr. Nancy is a Trickster God who wants that sacrifice.
  • The Boys: Billy Butcher takes Hughie to a support group where they meet people who were crippled and maimed by supes as part of collateral damage. After seeing a victim call Ice Princess, a supe who broke his penis after freezing it during sex, a god, Billy calls them all out for letting the supes get away with their abuse and says that they have no self-respect when they forgive the supes so easily for what they've done.
    Billy Butcher: You, back off, or I'll shove this stick where your dick used to be. You're a bunch of pathetic supe-worshipping cunts. I bet you'd thank a supe if they shit on your mum's best china. Did it ever occur to you that they split your spine or broke your dick just for a laugh? Where's your fucking rage?! Your self-respect?! Sitting here in your little share circle. Having a little whinge and a moan. Fuck 'letting go.' You should be out there with a fucking chainsaw, going after 'em! Just a bunch of scared fucking rabbits.
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine: In The Swedes, Holt asks that Boyle take Kevin's place in a squash championship because he's going away to France in a few weeks. Charles is conflicted because he expects Holt to tell him to be professional but at the same, Boyle is famous in Squash because he's over-aggressive and over-competitive. After deliberately pulling his punches, Holt reveals that he chose Boyle because of his competitive nature after identifying him in a newspaper as "Squash's unhinged lunatic". Holt tells Boyle to unleash the beast because Holt promised Kevin they would win and they were failing because Boyle wasn't aggressive enough. Ultimately, Boyle does unleash the beast and becomes a way better squash player because he is so angry and aggressive in the game. However, he and Holt are banned from competition despite winning the championship because of Boyle's behavior.
  • The Haunting Hour: The episode "Funhouse" is about a teenager named Chad who's reeling from his parents' divorce, but refusing to share his feelings. When the titular funhouse comes to town, he discovers that the final portion is a kitchen filled with robotic mannequins that have an argument; a sledgehammer is provided to smash up the room and everything in it. Chad quickly becomes addicted to letting his anger out through destruction — at one point outright telling the carny that runs the place "I need more!" — and he's soon warped into a literal monster by his rage. His younger sister ultimately saves him by encouraging him to express his emotions in a healthy way before they destroy him.
  • How I Met Your Mother: In "Happily Ever After", Ted is still recovering from being left at the altar by Stella, his friends try to support him but collectively agree that Ted needs to release his anger rather than bottle it up or try to be the bigger person. After trying and failing multiple times to get him angry, Ted finally loses his temper when he realized that Stella moved to New York to be with Tony, despite forcing Ted to move to New Jersey. Ted storms out of the car to confront Stella, he quickly comes to his senses when he sees how happy she and her daughter are to be with Tony and just turns around to leave, believing he should just let it go and move on with his life. Future episodes would show that Ted hasn't forgiven Stella for what she did and show that he's right to be angry with her. The primary lesson was that you don't have to choose between two extremes; you can just move on with your life than dwell on these feelings.
  • Kitchen Nightmares: Gordon Ramsay is famous for his temper and foul mouth and one of his methods of helping restaurants is to have the staff voice their grievances and anger so they can clear the air and move forward. In "Sam's Kabob Room", Gordon encourages the employees to talk about their frustrations because they were forced to work in their father's restaurant without pay, and being overexposed to each other caused so many arguments that it put the business at risk.
  • Last Week Tonight: In an episode about North Dakota, John encouraged North Dakotans to be angry after discovering how much damage is being done to them by the oil industry. To encourage their anger, John produced a video encouraging North Dakotans to get angry at the oil industry instead of welcoming them. He even had a billboard put up telling them "Be Angry. (Please.)"
  • Modern Family: In "Clean Out Your Junk Drawer", Jay finally loses his temper in a primal therapy session and releases all of his pent-up rage and pain. After telling everyone how much he loved his dad but could never show it due to being constantly invalidated and told to never express negativity, he breaks down in grief and admits that he feels better about expressing his anger and sadness.
  • My Name Is Earl:
    • One season involved Joy going to trial because she stole a semi-truck. At one point, she's put on medication for her anger issues. Unfortunately, this happens when she and Darnell's neighbors move their trailer next to theirs. Because Joy has mellowed out and Darnell hates confrontation, neither of them complains. This changes when one of the neighbors hurts one of Joy's sons. She proceeds to inform them that she will stop taking her medication and will return after it wears off if they don't move their trailer.
    • In "O Karma, Where Art Thou?", Earl decides to help Jeff Muskin have some time off work to go on his honeymoon because Earl stole his wallet and inadvertently stopped them from going on that honeymoon in the first place. Earl does this by filling in for Jeff at work while Jeff is away and he quickly learns that Jeff's boss, Mr. Patrick, is a horrible man who doesn't deserve any of the good things in his life and decides to restrain his anger out of fear of costing Jeff his job. After being humiliated too many times, Earl hospitalized Mr. Patrick by punching him out of anger, which resulted in his affair being exposed, his now ex-wife, Charmaine, finding the money Mr. Patrick stole from the business, and Mr. Patrick going to prison. Immediately feeling guilty for indirectly ruining his life, Earl nearly puts him on the list but Randy (in his own poor phrasing) assures Earl that he has nothing to apologize for because karma may have just used Earl as an agent to punish Mr. Patrick and balance everyone's karma. Mr. Patrick was finally punished for all his wrongdoings, Charmaine took ownership of the restaurant, and Jeff was promoted to a manager position which allowed him to give everyone a raise and provide health insurance to the other employees.
  • Raising Hope: In one episode, the Chance family worries that Hope will turn out like her Serial Killer mother Lucy. They make a deliberate effort not to fight or express anger in front of the baby. Jimmy goes to see Lucy's father and asks him for help. He reveals that he and Lucy's mom did the same thing. Jimmy concludes that by not seeing her parents disagree or get mad at each other when she was younger, Lucy had no idea what to do when she hit a rough patch with her boyfriends and resorted to murder.
  • Red Dwarf: In "Polymorph", a polymorph, a creature that consumes emotion, manages to get on Red Dwarf and starts attacking the crew. When Rimmer is attacked, it consumes his anger and in doing so, Rimmer becomes extremely non-confrontational and tries to convince the 8-foot salivating monster to stop attacking by reasoning with it, creating charity drives, and using leaflets.
  • Star Trek: The Original Series: The episode "The Enemy Within" involves a transporter accident separating Kirk from his aggressive side. While the unchecked aggressive side causes nothing but trouble, Kirk realizes he needs that side of him to be an effective leader. Kirk asks this aggressive side "Can half a man live?"
    Bones: "We all have our darker side. We need it! It's half of what we are. It's not really ugly. It's Human."
  • Young Sheldon: After a stressful day at work, Sheldon loses his temper and yells at his family during dinner. When his father talks to him, Sheldon reveals that he's frustrated with his job and how little it pays him. However, rather than punish him, George empathizes with him and talks about how he got yelled at by his boss, yelled at the parents of a kid he benched, and he was physically injured while breaking up a fight. Although he understands Sheldon's anger and says he's allowed to be angry, George points out that Sheldon is not allowed to take his anger out on his family.

    Music 
  • Tears for Fears: The song "Shout" is about how healthy it is to verbally lash out against injustices from a higher power.

    Puppet Shows 
  • Mister Rogers' Neighborhood:
    • The song "What Do You Do With the Mad that You Feel" talks about how people deal with angry feelings in healthy ways, and acknowledge the feeling itself is not bad.
      I can stop when I want to
      Can stop when I wish
      I can stop, stop, stop any time.
      And what a good feeling to feel like this
      And know that the feeling is really mine.
    • One song is about how "scary mad wishes" (such as a time from his childhood when he got angry at his parents and hyperbolically wished a lion would eat them) don't come true, so the viewers don't need to feel guilty about making them.
  • Sesame Street: The "Mad Goat Song" teaches, in the chorus' own words, "it ain't bad to get mad" by having other animals commit various wrongs to the titular goat, the narrator asking if the goat would react happily to them, and the goat responding with anger.

    Theatre 
  • Legally Blonde: Discussed in "Chip On My Shoulder". After Elle follows her ex-boyfriend to Harvard Law and discovers Warner has moved on and still doesn't take her seriously, Emmett encourages her to get a chip on her shoulder and work hard to prove everyone, especially her ex-boyfriend, wrong. By the end of the number, she has channeled her anger enough to effectively counterargue Warner's argument in class, impressing everyone.
  • Mean Girls: Discussed in "I'd Rather Be Me", where Janice declares she'd rather fight openly when someone makes her mad than try to hide it with passive-aggressive mind games like the girls around her are socialized to behave, so they can actually work out their problems instead of letting them fester. Others around her cheer this on.

    Video Games 
  • In Final Fantasy XIV, the Dark Knight questline reveals just how much pent-up anger the Warrior of Light has over being taken for granted and suffering for their attempts to do good. Fray tries to teach the Warrior of Light to harness their repressed anger and feelings of indignation into power. The Level 50 quest reveals that Fray is in fact Esteem, the Anthropomorphic Personification of the Warrior's unheroic traits as well as their own self-esteem and self-love. After the Warrior defeats Fray and reaffirms their desire to meet the challenges ahead rather than fleeing from them, Fray remerges with the Warrior, offering to guide their anger and fury against those who truly deserve it.
  • God of War (PS4): An accidental example. After learning about Brok and Sindri's feud, Atreus tries to help the two make up and while Brok implies that he's more receptive to working with his brother, Sindri is more arrogant and stubborn. After learning of his godhood, Atreus becomes extremely arrogant and callous and when he meets Sindri, he gets angry about Sindri's boastfulness and tells him to either make up with Brok or shut up because he and Kratos have better things to do and don't care for their problems. An upset Sindri takes these words to heart and goes back to working with his brother. Once Atreus calms down, he apologizes to Sindri and Sindri admits that he already forgave him, while Brok shows no ill will by saying Atreus "told him what he needed to hear".
  • Persona 5: The main conflict between Futaba and her shadow. Unlike most shadows, Shadow Futaba represents a positive repressed feeling: the realization that she's not to blame for her mother's suicide. Thus, her goal is to get Futaba to stop hating herself and start hating the people actually responsible for her mother's death.
  • In Phantasy Star IV Megid, the Forbidden Technique that harnesses the user's anger and hatred sound like an evil technique. However after the Secret Test of Character in the Anger Tower, where Re-Faze does a pretty nasty thing by separating Chaz from his party, then forcing Chaz to fight a copy of Alys, his dead mentor. When Re-Faze offers to teach Chaz Megid after all that happens, the correct option is for Chaz to refuse. If Chaz refuses, he'll point out to Chaz that anger and hatred are natural human emotions, so as long as he remains true to himself, he won't be corrupted by Megid's power. In contrast, Chaz refusing to acknowledge his anger and accepting Re-Faze's offer causes him to fail the test, with Re-Faze killing him in response.
  • Portal 2: Deconstructed. After being diagnosed with moon-rock poisoning, Cave Johnson reacts somberly by trying to be positive with his science experiences by trying to use portal experiments to cure himself. However, he eventually changes his tone to anger towards the gods and decides to increase the experiments so he can make a legacy for himself and transfer his consciousness to artificial intelligence so he can survive his illness even if he can't cure himself. However, his determination to survive leads to the creation of GLaDOS, the destruction of Aperture Science, and he even dies of moon-rock poisoning before he even got the chance to achieve immortality through technology.
    Cave Johnson: "When life gives you lemons, don't make lemonade. Make life take the lemons back! Get mad! I don't want your damn lemons! What am I supposed to do with these?! Demand to see life's manager! Make life rue the day it thought it could give Cave Johnson lemons! DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?! I'm the man who's gonna burn your house down! WITH THE LEMONS! I'm gonna get my engineers to invent a combustible lemon that BURNS YOUR HOUSE DOWN!"
  • Until Dawn: After going to the tower and trying to send out an emergency signal, the tower begins to fall apart and Emily is clinging to the side and angrily begging for help from Matt. In the game itself, Emily has been taking Matt for granted by having an affair with Mike and treating Matt as someone who should always agree with her. Matt will confront Emily about her treatment of him and can only survive the game at this point by jumping to safety before the tower falls, effectively abandoning Emily. This makes the lesson very clear "Being nice and sugar-coating your words won't always be the most effective strategy, sometimes you need to get angry so people can fully understand and change for the better".

    Web Video 
  • The Nostalgia Critic: In his review of "I'll be Home for Christmas", the Critic is stuck with a character called D-Bag and he's an obnoxious jerk who loves to bring misery to others just to entertain himself. After enduring his actions for the entire episode, the Critic finally snaps when D-Bag tries to figure out why he hasn't gotten angry with him yet. The critic explains that he was always angry with D-Bag but didn't express it because he knew D-Bag would just revel in the attention and not learn anything from it. The critic goes on to further explain that being angry about injustices is important and good as it's the first step to making real change. At the same time, being uncontrollably angry and easily upset will lead to you being manipulated by those who want to exploit you. It should be worth noting that this episode was released in 2016 after Donald Trump had been elected president, the election had divisive reactions from the American population and Doug Walker (who plays the Nostalgia Critic) did not support his presidency.
    Nostalgia Critic: (snaps) BECAUSE IT'S TOO EASY!! (pause) It's the easiest thing in the world to do! Any imbecile can hate! It's lazy!! (pause) You wanna know what takes effort? Being nice. It is so hard to be nice to some people! But what am I supposed to do? Call you a jerk over and over and over, and hope that one day, you'll wake up and go (slaps both sides of his head) "I'M CURED!" Yeah, the first million times didn't work, but the millionth and one, that was the magic number! That's what got through! How likely is that gonna happen?! And don't get me wrong, there's times when we need to be angry. We need to fight. If not, we'd be goose-stepping our way to work right now! But, it should be one of the last options, not always the first, because when you get angry, you don't think straight, and people take advantage of that. And maybe you disagree with me. Okay, fine. You know what? I'll listen. I'll listen to what you have to share. And even though so much of what you say feels wrong, I'll still keep it in my mind that you could possibly be right. Because if I'm not willing to change for you, how am I supposed to expect you to change for me? I want to be patient enough to see more how we're similar rather than fear how we're different. And you know what? It's gonna be hard. It's gonna be so hard, and I'm gonna fail a lot. Hell, I've failed a lot already, but this is the one thing I'm certain the more I do it, the better I can get at it. (sighs) I may be a screw-up, but I'm tired of being lazy. And if you're tired, too... maybe we can work on being screw-ups together.

    Western Animation 
  • Arthur: In the episode "Meek for a Week", Muffy challenges Francine to be nice for an entire week after witnessing her acting like a complete jerkass. However, this challenge ends up backfiring, because eventually it morphs into "not showing any sort of negative emotions for a week". Arthur and his friends get seriously concerned, not because her new behavior is destructive or annoying, but because they can see she is bottling all of her stress and anger inside and fear she will "pop". They then try to make her mad so she hits her Rage-Breaking Point early. Muffy, who had unintentionally made the challenge worse, eventually tries calling it off early after seeing the gang's team nearly lose due to Francine playing nice. She then "pops" early after Muffy's watch gets run over by Binky.
  • Big City Greens: In “Papaganda”, when Bill notices the rest of the family complaining about the annual raspberry harvest, which involves grueling hours of hard work in the hot sun, he adopts a “Live Laugh Love” philosophy that involves deliberately suppressing negative thoughts and forcing positive ones, and forces the rest of the family to adopt it as well. While Cricket and Gramma resist at first, they eventually give in after what is essentially intense cult-like brainwashing. When he finally notices that, despite their forced smiles, they’re even more miserable than before, he finally gives up and admits to himself that he hates the blackberry harvest and everything about it, and realizes that he actually feels better after complaining about it and that denying angry thoughts is unhealthy.
  • Bing': In "Toy Party", Bing, Sula, and Pando are having a tea party with their toys (Hoppity Voosh, Fairy Hippo, and Bullabaloo). Bing starts to get jealous of all the attention Sula is giving to Pando, so he ruins the tea party and angers his friend. The two get physical, and Flop and Amma have to step in and teach the kids that while being angry is okay, hurting someone is not, and there are other ways to get your anger out.
  • The Cuphead Show!: Deconstructed. After seeing his boss beaten down and pent up with stress and anger, Henchman suggests that the Devil just goes out to the surface and just cuts loose for a while so he can release some anger and get his mojo back. The Devil agrees and causes mass chaos that results in the city going up in flames. After doing so, the Devil carelessly loses his pitchfork and he becomes more stressed and angry as a result.
  • Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood:
    • In "Circle Time Squabble", Daniel almost shoves Miss Elaina during an argument, but Teacher Harriet intervenes and tells him, "It's okay to feel angry; it's not, not, not okay to hurt someone." There's even a song about controlling your anger called "It's Okay to Feel Angry".
    • In "It's Not Okay to Hurt Someone", Daniel almost punches Margaret for messing up his toys, until their mother comes by and says that he must show more self-control no matter how furious he gets, but anger is not bad on its own as long as it doesn't result in violence.
  • DC Super Hero Girls 2019: Jessica tries helping Kara get her Hair-Trigger Temper under control, but Kara believes that people should know when she's upset about something. In this case, Both Sides Have a Point, as Kara's anger usually results in destruction, but repressing said anger allows people and the media to walk all over her. Jessica ruins her point by resorting to hypnosis, and Pamela Isley agrees with Kara after Jessica's tactics make her feel worse.
  • Dragon Tales: In "No Hitter", Max punches Emmy in the arm when she won't let him pitch and later kicks Ord's tail out of rage when he accidentally catches a ball he wanted to catch himself. Quetzal tells him that he can be angry, but he must always use his words rather than his fists to deal with a problem.
  • Duckman: In "A Room with a Bellevue", Duckman is sent to a mental institution after going on an angry rant in public. After a while, he starts treating his time in the psych ward as a vacation from the stresses of everyday life, which convinces the staff that he's insane and they put him through Electro Shock. After his brain has been fried, he is released from the hospital as an uncharacteristically cheerful Extreme Doormat who doesn't get angry at anything. Cornfed eventually sedates him and performs neurosurgery to reverse the effects of the Electro Shock. After waking up, Cornfed tells Duckman that it's the person who can cheerfully accept the madness of this world that is truly insane.
  • DuckTales (2017):
    • Zig-Zagged with Donald. While Donald's Hair-Trigger Temper sometimes gets him into trouble, he is often able to effectively channel this anger to take down anyone trying to hurt his family. Dewey even once purposely enraged Donald in order to get him to join the fight. Later discussed in "Whatever Happened to Donald Duck?!", where Dewey and Webby discover Donald has been going to anger management counseling for years, and that his anger issues actually used to be worse. This is accompanied by jumpcuts to Donald fighting Lunaris on the moon in order to get back to Earth to protect the family, underlining Jones's point.
      Jones: Donald's anger issues stems from a fear that the world is out to get him, and that no one understands him, quite literally. His tendency to lash out was wildly unfocused until you kids came along. He came to me wanting to be the best parent he could, so he channeled his anger into protective instincts. Every outburst is Donald wanting to protect his family. He loves you so much, thought of anything bad happening to you infuriates him!
    • Zig-Zagged with Huey as well. Huey also struggles with the Duck family anger, but in a Beware the Quiet Ones sort of way — he's mostly very calm and organized, but certain things tend to set him off. He repressed the anger and other irrational feelings into a mentally-constructed feral version of himself he dubs, "The Duke of Making a Mess". In "The Split Sword of Swanstantine!", when he fails to find a way to outsmart Steelbeak, Lena convinces Huey to let the Duke out. But the uncontrolled anger of the Duke threatens to overwhelm Huey, until he makes peace with both sides of himself, combining the Duke's fighting prowess with his rational mind to defeat Steelbeak.
  • Family Guy: In "The Cleveland Loretta Quagmire", Loretta has an affair with Quagmire after becoming unsatisfied with her passionless relationship with Cleveland. When Cleveland finds out and confronts Loretta, she's unashamed and calls him out for not being a man enough for her during the marriage, something Cleveland immediately confirms when he apologizes for the affair. The Griffins are concerned by his submissiveness and indifference, so Peter tries to get him mad and succeeds by dressing up as Quagmire to replicate the affair. This overcorrects the problem and makes Cleveland so angry that he tries to kill Quagmire, but backs out at the last second because he can't bring himself to hurt others. Finding himself more in balance (and having made amends with a genuinely apologetic Quagmire), the episode ends with him properly confronting Loretta and divorcing her.
  • God, the Devil and Bob: "Bob's Father" talks about domestic violence as Bob's father dies in the hospital and Bob is upset that his father got into Heaven despite being abusive for all of Bob's life. This causes Bob to have a crisis of faith because if Bob's abusive dad can get into Heaven, then why should Bob be a good person and this eventually leads to a conversation between God and Bob. Rather than tell Bob to forgive his father for all the crap he put him through, God tells him that Bob is right to be mad at him. While God acknowledges that Bob's father's harshness, while a product of his own abysmal upbringing, was not excusable, Bob's father was at least trying to pass on a "softer punch" because his father (Bob's grandfather) was worse than him. God ultimately tells Bob that it's not Bob's decision to forgive him for his abuse, that's God's choice, Bob just needs to understand his father's side of the story and make up his own mind.
    God: Look, I know your father was a jerk to you, but you don't know what was in his heart.
    Bob: Oh, don't do this. Don't give me that crap. I don't care what was in his heart. He never shared it with me.
    God: You're right, and you're right to be mad at him, but it's not your job to forgive him; it's mine.
    Bob: Yeah, well.
    God: Did you know your grandfather?
    Bob: What? No, he never talked about him.
    God: Now he was a scary guy.
    Bob: Oh, so that makes it OK for my dad to treat me bad? Hah, liberals.
    God: No, that's not what I'm saying. Look, Bob. OK, picture this long line of fathers and sons stretching from Adam all the way down to Andy. Now they're all passing down this punch. From one generation to the next, father to son, and the trick is to pass on a softer punch.
    [God pulls down his glasses revealing a small portion of his eyes]
    God: Your father passed on a softer punch.
  • Gravity Falls: In "Boss Mabel", Mabel makes a bet with Stan that she can make more money for the Mystery Shack by being nice than Stan does by being mean. However, while Mabel does make money she does eventually snap from stress because she learns why Stan is so angry and mean all the time. Soos's idea of a mascot upsets people because Soos's costume is extremely revealing, Wendy exploits Mabel's leniency to skip work, and Dipper's ideas are so dangerous that a couple is left catatonic because he decides to bring a real monster and use it as an exhibit. Mabel loses her temper and she manages to get Soos and Wendy back in line by barking orders at them. Although she only makes one dollar, she does win the bet but concedes that Stan is better suited to be in charge of the Mystery Shack. The lesson of the episode is that although it is important to be nice and good, you need to be assertive and comfortable with expressing anger when you're in charge otherwise you'll be quickly taken advantage of by your employees, and the business will suffer as a result.
  • Inside Job (2021): Since his introduction, Brett has shown to be worryingly positive despite having every right to be angry in situations that aggravate him. For example, when he learns that his family recast him in a political advert because they always thought little of him and were always embarrassed to be seen with him, he immediately makes excuses for them. Reagan is concerned by his reaction and encourages him to ruin his brother's political career as revenge. Brett's character arc in season 2 is normalizing his emotions, learning that being angry and disliking someone isn't going to end the world and it is perfectly healthy to feel those emotions.
  • Kinderwood: In, "The Trouble with Scribbles", Olive lets her anger get the best of her, and it forms into a giant scribble monster who terrorizes the kindergarten. She later learns that it is okay to get angry, but there are many ways to calm down and use that anger in a productive way.
  • King of the Hill: In "The Texas Skilsaw Massacre", Hank is sentenced to anger management classes after accidentally cutting off Dale's finger. After seeing Big Jim die of a heart attack caused by his uncontrolled anger, Hank takes the classes much more seriously and learns to suppress his anger. However, when he learns that his friends have a series of poorly made tunnels to connect their houses, Hank tries to calmly explain that they could get crushed inside the tunnel by an approaching garbage truck because the tunnels are only supported by a thin layer of dirt. When patiently reasoning only leads to being rudely ignored (by both his buddies and the truck driver), Hank snaps and yells angry threats of committing violence if they don't get out. This outburst actually saves his friends as they quickly get out before the tunnel collapses under the weight of the garbage truck.
  • The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack: Played for laughs, in Revenge, K'nuckles notices that Flapjack is being extremely docile with the other sailors and is concerned that Flapjack is being taken advantage of. K'nuckles encourages him to show some anger and get revenge on his enemies but it goes wrong because Flapjack keeps helping them by accident. In the end, K'nuckles gets beaten up after Flapjack reveals that he made him clean the boat so well it shows how ugly the other sailors are, which makes Blubbie the whale say that Flapjack is too nice to have any enemies.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • In "All Bottled Up", Starlight Glimmer uses a spell to bottle up her anger when Trixie constantly gets on her nerves. However, this results in her becoming exhausted, and when her bottle of anger breaks, it infects innocent ponies into being needlessly angry. It takes Starlight being honest with Trixie to make things better.
    • "Sounds of Silence" introduces the Kirin, dragon-pony hybrids who have more reason than most to worry about anger, since getting too angry makes them transform into creatures of fire called Niriks. A nasty argument in the past resulted in the Kirin burning down their forest village, so to prevent a reoccurrence, the entire village bathed in the Stream of Silence, suppressing their emotions and their ability to speak. One Kirin, Autumn Blaze, decided she couldn't live this way anymore, and found a particular flower that would negate the effects of the stream. In the episode, Autumn Blaze demonstrates healthy anger management to the rest of the village, transforming into her Nirik form then back into a Kirin without causing any damage; this finally convinces other Kirin to follow her example and get their emotions and voices back.
  • The Powerpuff Girls: In the episode "All Chalked Up", Him manipulates Bubbles into venting her frustrations about Buttercup into giant chalk monsters that attack the school.note  Him tries to manipulate her even more by telling her how good it must've felt to let all that anger out and that she should do it again, and she agrees with him, resulting in her changing the expressions of the chalk monsters and decorating them with cute and funny pictures. Him exclaims why she isn't showing her anger like she did before, to which Bubbles says that she is but in a positive way, and humiliates Him by saying he looked better as a butterfly while drawing the wings and antenna on him.
  • Regular Show: In "Think Positive," Pops orders Benson to stop yelling at Mordecai and Rigby. Benson can't help it and keeps yelling. Pops writes him up for demotion, and Benson tries everything he can think of to stop being so angry, but nothing works. Mordecai and Rigby make things worse by being their usual mischievous selves. After bottling up his rage for so long, Benson is surrounded by a fiery orange sphere that sucks in the things around it, until his anger gets released. As bits and chunks of The Park are engulfed by Benson's inferno of containment, Pops realizes that it's not good to bottle up anger and allows Benson to yell at Mordecai and Rigby in the end.
  • The Simpsons:
    • "Hurricane Neddy" shows that Ned has had behavioral problems since he was a child and the method used to control Ned's anger over-corrected it and caused Ned to bottle up any feeling of anger, no matter how justified he is to be angry. After a series of unpredictable tragedies, Ned has a breakdown and berates the entire town for failing to help him in his time of need (despite a well-intentioned but ultimately flawed attempt at rebuilding his house). During a therapy session, Homer speculates that Ned is afraid to express his anger because it means he hasn't met the high standards of his religion and is therefore unfit to follow his faith. Homer succeeds in getting Ned to voice his anger and hatred by getting him talking about the post office, which eventually leads him to express hatred for his parents, an act that makes Ned feel better and understand that anger can be expressed in small healthy doses.
      Homer: [directly towards mirror] Aw that's it, you just can't insult this guy. You call him a moron and he just sits there, grinning moronly.
      Flanders: [to mirror] Hi, neighbor!
      Homer: You know what your problem is, Flanders? You're afraid to be human.
      Flanders: Ho ho, now why would I be afraid of that?
      Homer: Because humans are obnoxious, sometimes. Humans hate things.
      Flanders: Well, maybe a few of them do... back East.
    • "I am Furious Yellow": After learning that his anger has made him the laughing stock of the town after Bart bases a webcomic on his many outbursts, Homer decides to over-correct himself by suppressing all of his anger for the rest of his life. Bart forms a prank to set him off but changes his mind, unfortunately, Homer falls victim to the prank and finally loses it and goes on a rampage that somehow results in millions of dollars in damages. Before Marge can punish Bart, Hibbert informs her that Bart had just saved Homer's life by making him angry as his suppressed anger was forming into boils that would have otherwise fatally overwhelmed his system.
  • Spliced: In the episode "Stompabout", Two-Legs Joe loses his temper over Peri and Entrée accidentally causing a whirrel to destroy half the town and ends up wrecking the other half chasing the duo, with Joe resigning as mayor and leaving when Patricia and the townsfolk call him out on it. While in his self-imposed exile, Lord Wingus Eternum discusses with Joe that the latter has had anger management issues since he was a kid and that a mayor does not need a temper to do his job evidenced by Peri and Entrée voluntarily cleaning up without Joe being around to yell at them to do so, and that there would be potentially disastrous consequences if Joe chooses to either just stay angry all the time or never get angry again (Joe becomes a tyrant with giant robot legs and sinks the island in the former situation and everyone is enslaved by Fuzzy Snuggums in the latter, despite Wingus admitting to having made both of them up and Joe getting sidetracked by how cool his future self's robot legs were). In the end, Joe comes to the conclusion that he should keep his anger in moderation instead of going to one extreme or the other, demonstrated when he lets himself get angry just enough to be able to chase the destructive whirrel pack out of town that were later summoned by Peri and Entrée out of the idea that more of them would help fix everything that was destroyed by the first one, all the while choosing not to punish the duo for their mistake.
    Patricia: [after Joe chases the whirrels out] That was amazing! but how'd you learn to control your temper like that?
    Joe: Let's just say a little bird told me.
    [Peri, Entrée, and Patricia laugh despite not understanding what Joe means]
    Joe: At least he tried to. But he was wrong [Wingus shoots him a disapproving look], and I had to figure it out for myself. But I really wish I had those robot legs!
    Peri: [confused] Robot legs??
  • Unikitty!: The episode "Fire & Nice" has Unikitty, upset that an angry outburst (thanks to Master Frown causing issues) during her annual "Problem Fixy Day" causes a large amount of destruction, has Dr. Fox sever her angry side from her body. Unfortunately, her angry side is still somewhat connected to her, combined with a variety of requests from the citizens spurned worse by Master Frown, and her angry side turns into a hulking monster that attacks the citizens thanks to her pent-up stress. Unikitty's only able to quell her angry side by accepting that each side needs each other. Unfortunately, Dr. Fox has no ability to actually bring the two back together, though it seems to be resolved by the next episode.
  • Young Justice (2010): In "Schooled", Superboy has anger issues (mostly he has a tendency to do things in a Leeroy Jenkins Unstoppable Rage style). Black Canary tried to teach him to not let his anger cloud his mind and manipulate it to motivate himself. She failed. Only after the mission he actually manages to learn it. In short: Tranquil Fury is better than Unstoppable Rage.

    Real Life 
  • Anger management is often misrepresented in the media by portraying their ideology as "Anger is bad and you should never express it." In actuality, anger management is about finding healthier ways of expressing anger, learning to be more assertive, and learning to be empathetic with others.
  • Primal therapy is a form of trauma-based psychotherapy that encourages patients to express their emotions and feelings in a safe and supportive environment.
  • Repressing anger can lead to all sorts of issues: high blood pressure, chronic stress, heart problems, insomnia, chronic illnesses, low self-esteem, mental illnesses (such as anxiety and depression), impulse problems, self-destructive behaviors, communication problems, poor relationships, problems with concentration, poor work performance, apathy, and numbness.
  • On the other end of the extreme, over-expressing your anger can cause: headaches, digestion problems, insomnia, anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, skin conditions (such as eczema), heart attacks, and strokes. Letting your anger run rampant can lead to isolation from your friends and loved ones, and it can also lead to violent outbursts.

 
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The Mad Goat Song

A goat sings about how sometimes he gets mad, but that's okay.

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