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Emotion Control

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Controlling emotions is quite different from regular mind control. It lets you toy with people, brainwash them, and in some cases get a lot of result from much less effort than actual mind control demands.

The Super-Trope of Emotion Bomb and Getting Smilies Painted on Your Soul, a character who can do Emotion Control often has one or both of these powers in their toolbox. Emotion Bomb itself has a subtrope in Supernatural Fear Inducer, where the control is over fear alone.


However, actual Emotion Control generally demands far more subtlety then simply flooding someone with emotions or stimulating someone. While these latter are mostly combat and incapacitation super powers, Emotion Control is more about social effects and long-term brainwashing.

Unlike the subtropes, Emotion Control does not necessarily require magic, superpowers or supertech. It can also be done by an extremely manipulative character or by mundane brainwashing techniques, making it More Than Mind Control. Most Emotion Eaters and higher-end versions of The Empath have this as a Required Secondary Power. Compare Mind Virus. Not to be confused with Emotion Suppression, in which one keeps one's own emotions under control.



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    Comic Books 
  • The Justice Society of America villain, Psycho-Pirate, has alternately either had the Medusa Mask that allowed him to project emotions into people or has been an "emotion vampire", able to drain emotions from people. The first mask often seems to work through intensifying emotions a person already feels, no matter how small.
  • Marvel Universe
    • This was the mutant power of Manual "Empath" de la Rocha of the Hellions from New Mutants.
    • Hate-Monger used to have to use a "Hate-Ray" to project hate, anger and fear into people... but after he died and was resurrected, he was able to do the same without the ray. Oh, also he's Hitler.
    • The Psycho-Man, used an emotion controlling device that could instill fear, doubt and hatred. In one arc he built a new Hate Monger, a Humanshifting android who infiltrated various hate groups in different disguises to spread a Hate Plague.
    • When the Terrigan Cloud started empowered humans with latent Inhuman ancestry, two Nuhumans ended up with this. One, Swain, also ended up with a prehensile tail, and the other, Romeo, is mainly notable for dating the teenage version of Iceman.
  • Brain Boy, who appeared in Four Color and a self-titled comic series, has the power to alter people's emotional states.
  • Baron Silas Greenback once used a cornet to heavily influence Danger Mouse's emotions, incapacitating him.

    Fan Fiction 
  • In the Firefly fanfic Forward, this is what the "Inducer" class of psychics are capable of, coupled with more outright Mind Manipulation and the periodic Emotion Bomb. One of them uses these abilities to take over an entire village and turn them into a killer mob, and later causes an entire space station of hundreds of people to turn on each other in a murderous fury. The same Inducer also uses these powers to Mind Rape River and turn her into an effective bodyguard/human shield.
  • In Pokémon: The Great Adventure, it is revealed to be one of Ash's empathic powers and the way he can tame some of the Pokémon he meets. The Heart Flute amplifies it, and it is implied he can also do it on non-Pokémon beings.
  • Done very subtly by Mindy to Ringo in The Keys Stand Alone: The Soft World. She wants him to abandon the others and embrace the Guardians. It almost works....
  • In War and Peace In Mind, this is the power of Warren's mother, Joy Peace a.k.a. the Peacemaker, one of the world's greatest superhuman diplomats.

  • In the movie The City of Lost Children, the former circus act Marcello can invoke homicidal rage out of people with a combination of Mind control music and injected poison carried by his flea minion unto the unsuspecting targets.
  • Jasper from Twilight has this as his vampire power. The implication is that he could do this to non-supernatural levels pre-vamping.
  • X-Men Origins: Wolverine included Kayla Silverfox who could control people's minds. A major plot point was whether she used her powers to influence Wolverine's emotions or whether he was truly immune as a result of his own powers.
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy movie version included the "Point of View" gun, which makes whoever you shoot it at see things from your point of view.
  • In Mystery Men Dr. Heller's "Blame Thrower" influences emotions to cause groups of people to argue with each other.

  • Isaac Asimov: Foundation Series' "The Mule": This story demonstrates an overlap between Emotion Control and Mind Control as the Mule's Psychic Powers allows him to permanently change people's emotions, such as anger, creativity, fear, loyalty, and even lust. He explains it as like being able to see and adjust a dial in people's minds.
  • Slave World: Used through social conditioning throughout the series. Also in the form of supertech, but for the first few books this is limited to Getting Smilies Painted on Your Soul.
  • Soothing and Rioting are powers in Mistborn that allow you to do this- a Rioter can inflame emotions, a Soother can damp them, and a full Mistborn can do both (The Lord Ruler, for example, turned himself into a walking Emotion Bomb, damping all emotions in about a mile radius around him apart from fear and despair). However, a Soother or Rioter can't sense emotions, so they need to be very good at reading people to get the results they want.
  • This is one of the secondary powers granted by some types of crafting in Codex Alera. Earthcrafters can calm animals or induce lust, while firecrafters can inspire a broad range of other emotions. However, reading existing emotions is specific to water.
  • Emotion workers in Holly Black's The Curse Workers trilogy can manipulate emotions through touch, and the effects can last for several months. One emotion worker got in serious legal trouble for making several wealthy men fall in love with her. However, people with this ability become emotionally unstable themselves for a time whenever they use their power. The more often they use it, the more unstable their own emotions become.
  • The Leeshore by Robert Reed has the "wires", which are a simple form of emotional control used by both sides of the conflict. The good guys use it to subtly reinforce certain emotions in their soldiers and ensure loyalty - such as making them more courageous. The enemy use the device to essentially Mind Rape or "conscript" captured civilians soldiers into worshiping their artificial god and the priests; filling the conscript with joy whenever they please the controlling priest, or filling them with blinding rage when they think of their former allies.
  • In Zeroes, Bellwether and Mob both have powers that influence the emotions of others. It's not quite to the degree of mind control, but nonetheless makes them potent at manipulating people by selectively inducing pride or shame, joy or anger.
  • Worm has Heartbreaker and his daughter Cherish, both of whom have this turned up to 11. Cherish in particular has incredible fine control, and is able to control emotional associations as well as general emotional state.
  • The JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Light Novel Spin-Off, Purple Haze Feedback has Vladimir Kocaqui's Stand, Rainy Day Dream Away, which has the power to "lock in" a feeling. When his sister was fatally wounded, he locked a brief moment of happiness, causing her to experience a pleasant Dying Dream; conversely, if someone fighting him feels even the slightest doubt that they can win, he can make that feeling permanent, making it impossible for his opponent to defeat him. This also extends to physical sensations such as loss of balance.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In a late Star Trek: The Next Generation episode Data's "brother" Lore did this to Data by using Data's stolen emotion chip to beam emotions into Data's brain, which caused Data feel pleasure from causing pain and temporarily causing him to turn on the Federation.
    • Both Betazoids and Vulcans are shown to be able to do this involuntarily when suffering from certain neurological illnesses, as shown in "TNG: Sarek" and "DS9: Fascination". To what extent they can do it at will is not explored.
    • The Original series episode "Day of the Dove" features an entity that feeds on hateful emotions, and can manipulate them in others by subjecting its victims to paranoid mania, thus allowing their hateful emotions to come to the surface.

    Other Sites 
  • SCP Foundation
    • SCP-288 ("The "Stepford Marriage" Rings"). When an appropriate woman wears one of the "female" rings, she displays very few (if any) negative emotions.
    • SCP-708 ("The Big Orange Forklift"). When someone looks at SCP-708 for more than 20 seconds they become extremely enthusiastic about it and want to operate it. Anyone restrained from operating it will engage in emotional outbursts like a young child. Anyone who has been looking at SCP-708 or has operated it before feels jealousy at seeing anyone else operating it.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Mutant UA, there are several mind-altering psychic powers: "Påverka" (affect) for Emotion Control, "Skräck" (terror) for Emotion Bomb, "Dominera" (dominate) for Mind Control.
  • The "Sway Emotions" form of the Enthrallment skill in GURPS can induce anger, boredom, depression, disgust, fear, greed, hate, jealousy, joy, love, lust, patriotism, peace, sadness, or unrest.
  • Mutants & Masterminds has this as a Stock Superpower that can induce Calm, Despair, Fear, Hate, Hope, or Love.
  • Changeling: The Lost has the Great Courts of changeling society, with seasonal motifs and a corresponding emotion (Spring = Desire, Summer = Wrath, Autumn = Fear, Winter = Sorrow). Each Court also has a corresponding Contract chain titled "Fleeting [Season]" which involves manipulating said emotion.
  • Exalted: Most Presence and Performance charms have this effect.
  • A potential mutant power in Paranoia; the mutant in question may or may not be immune to the effect.
  • Champions adventure Wrath of the Seven Horsemen. The supervillain Fear can use his scepter to cause intense terror in everyone within a large area.
  • Part of Red's portfolio in Magic: The Gathering. After all, one would expect the colour of emotions to have magic manipulating them.

    Video Games 
  • Laroth in the Fall from Heaven backstory.
  • Touhou
  • The Legacy of Kain series has a lot of Demonic Possession, most of which involve a straight Grand Theft Me and a direct conflict between the host's mind and the possessor's will. However, when Raziel gets possessed by the Hylden after killing and consuming the possessed Turel, the control seems to take this form. Presumably the reason for this is that he is too strong for those particular Hylden to completely dominate, and if they tried he would realize they were there and join Kain in fighting them, whereas he apparently remains unaware of them as long as they simply amplify his already-present anger enough to make him impulsive.
  • The Reapers in the Mass Effect series of games and books have the ability of Indoctrination, which sometimes takes this form. While they are able to completely overpower an organic mind through sheer force of will, the internal conflict stops the host being as effective as they might be. Consequently, with certain victims who might be useful as more than mindless drones, the Reapers are more subtle about it, and simply nudge the host's thoughts and feelings in the right direction. This also weakens the host for when the time comes to completely dominate it.
    • The Leviathans, the race that created the Catalyst which in turn created the Reapers, possess similar mental powers which they used to establish a galactic empire. The Reapers' indoctrination was even based on the Leviathans' power.

    Web Comics 
  • MegaTokyo: Miho's character could do this within the Endgames world. It's a matter of much debate of whether she has the ability to do this out of game or not.
  • Moodswing from Mindmistress could do this. It worked even on Mindmistress. It was a Moment of Awesome when MM managed to trick and defeat her, despite being under her control.
  • 'cubi in DMFA can do a variation on this to other 'cubi who let their guard down, by exploiting their own Emotion Eater abilities against them.
  • Magus from El Goonish Shive has the ability to strongly amplify existing emotions in his targets. Afterward, his targets have splitting headaches and short-term amnesia.
  • Malloy from morphE casts an emotional-urging spell on Adrestia in this comic to force her to remain calm after subtly threatening people close to her.
  • Empaths in Drowtales have this ability.
  • In Alice and the Nightmare, this is the Traumen gift of Hearts, although it works only in dreams.
  • In Alice Grove, the superhuman fighters who were created during the apocalyptic wars prior to the Blink were given mental compulsions to keep them under control. Sedna, who only worked in a support role, is compelled to fix machinery, while Alice and Church, who were apparently front-line soldiers based on their abilities, are compelled to serve others.

    Web Original 
  • Frank of the Whateley Universe can't help broadcasting emotions. Frank isn't his name, it's his codename, because you always know what he's feeling. Without his power-limiter helmet, he would be swamping entire sections of the school with his emotions.
  • Worm features a number of these, ranging from Gallant to Cherish and her father Heartbreaker. The Simurgh is also one of these, as a result of being the only actual telepath in the setting.

    Western Animation 
  • In one episode of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero several Joes had a device implanted on their necks that allowed Cobra to control their emotions. Cobra's chosen interface for the system? A pipe organ.
  • In one episode of Kim Possible, Kim and Shego accidentally get implanted with computer chips which allow their emotions to be changed via a remote control device.
  • Wow of the VBirds is capable of influencing those around her into a calmer state, even carnivorous plants.


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