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Faint in Shock

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"Beware of fainting-fits; though at the time they may be refreshing and agreeable, yet believe me: they will, in the end, if too often repeated and at improper seasons, prove destructive to your constitution."

Some characters are naturally calm in highly emotional situations. Others keep a Stiff Upper Lip. And some... faint dead away!

Older works sometimes call this "Swooning". Romance period novels and Gothic Horror provide plenty of examples of feminine women or girls doing this, even if they are not a Hysterical Woman. If a man faints in such works, he might be painted as cowardly or weak. More recently, '50s era monster films loved to have the pretty young heroine to faint upon seeing whatever horror the filmmakers decided to unleash upon her. In Opera, it's less often a sign of weakness: Many strong, assertive characters, both men and women, faint in their moments of greatest stress.


More recent works tend to play the stereotypes for laughs. Sometimes induced in characters by a well-executed Jump Scare. note  More serious treatments will generally have a truly traumatic event to justify it, if not an outright Trauma Conga Line.

Partly Truth in Television: doctors tell you to sit down when they need to discuss bad news because your body's Fight-or-Flight response can overreact and reduce blood flow to your brain. This happens more often in fiction than in real life. The more stereotypical the circumstances, the longer the faint can last: Monster movie heroines sometimes remain unconscious for hours.note 


A downplayed similar reaction is Dramatic Sit-Down. Compare and contrast Fake Faint, where a character tries to make others think that this has happened.

Don't confuse with the hero falling over exhausted after battle. That's Post-Victory Collapse. A character with some vague medical condition such as "Anemia" or "Consumption" may be more susceptible to this trope, but more likely just faint due to their illness. Not a character fainting because of pregnancy either —unless the faint is due to the shock of finding out that they are pregnant!

Subtrope to Fainting



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  • Played for Comedy in a Christmastime television commercial for M&M's candies. While Red and Yellow discuss Santa Claus in someone's living room, they suddenly come upon the man himself. Red exclaims, "He does exist!" and faints from shock. Santa Claus also burbles, "They do exist!" and topples over supine. Poor Yellow is left to inquire "Santa?" uncomfortably.
  • A commercial in the late 1980s/early 1990s advertised a spread called Polaner All-Fruit, and featured a well-to-do family passing the jar back and forth between themselves on a silver platter. They repeatedly asked one another to "pass the All-Fruit." Finally, a more Country Mouse relation sitting at the table politely asked, "Would you please pass the jelly?" Cue the wealthy family reacting in horror, including the matriarch fainting dead away at the horror of the All-Fruit being mistaken for common jelly!

    Anime & Manga 
  • In Bokurano, Takami "Komo" Komoda faints after learning that she and the other pilots are doomed to die after their battles. Komo's mother also faints after learning that her daughter will be next to fight and die.
  • In the 2003 version of Fullmetal Alchemist, Ed faints after seeing the corpse of a murdered woman, as it reminds him of his deceased mother, and of how she Came Back Wrong.
  • Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu:
    • In the "What Do They Fear?" Episode, Kaname is scared out of her wits by all the spooky stuff in the Abandoned Hospital that she takes Souske through. Most the scary things they encountered were actually tricks performed by a group of kids. However, Gen-san notes that the old lady Sousuke and Kaname spotted wasn't one of their tricks; she was probably the ghost of a woman who died in a fire years ago. Kaname turns blue and faints before he can even finish his sentence.
    • When Sousuke tells the teacher that a lethal bacteriological weapon has been released in class, she keels over and spends the rest of the episode unconscious. Which is just as well, given all the lunacy that happens.
  • Lady Isuzu, mother to Hana from Girls und Panzer, encounters the Anglerfish Team in a market square. After introductions, Yukari burbles about their latest match, which alerts Lady Isuzu that her daughter is doing something indelicate at school. When Hana admits that she's taking sensha-do (tankery) as an elective, Lady Isuzu is aghast that "my daughter's hands have touched a tank?" and promptly faints. Her servant takes her home to recover.
  • Irresponsible Captain Tylor. When the ship is haunted by a ghost, Yuriko Star forces her cowardly captain to search for his first officer, whom Tylor ordered to confront the ghost because he was too scared to do so himself. Yuriko ends up fainting when she's confronted by a skeleton, much to Tylor's surprise. The ship's nurse explains that Yuriko was suppressing her fear, and the sudden shock caused all her emotions to come out at once.
  • Tubby faints at the end of Episode 20 of the Little Lulu anime, in response to his mother telling him that he'll be spending extra time on his violin lessons.
  • Played for laughs in Kengan Omega, where the usually composed Kaede goes limp and falls unconscious when she is unexpectedly approached by the supposedly dead Ohma.
  • Naruto:
    • Hinata is often depicted as fainting whenever Naruto "surprises" her by randomly popping up inches away from her. In canon, she only did so once after seeing him for the first time in two years, and after that, it's made patently clear that she dropped all of her Shrinking Violet tendencies during the Time Skip, but filler episodes, spin-offs, and fanfic have her do it more.
    • Sakura faints during her academy graduation exam when her instructor Kakashi tricks her into seeing a hallucination of her teammate and crush Sasuke horrifically wounded and dying.
    • Soon after waking up from that faint, she runs into the real Sasuke, who was almost buried by Kakashi a little while ago, with only his head still left aboveground, mistakes this for Sasuke's severed head, and promptly faints dead away again right in front of him. By the time she wakes up from the second faint, Sasuke has already managed to un-bury himself on his own.
    • By the sequel Boruto, Sakura seems to have officially taken over from Hinata as the fainter of the franchise. She faints in shock when Sasuke returns home unannounced after a long absence, and also when she realizes that she has accidentally destroyed her house with her super-strength. In the latter case, Shizune (who is a skilled medical ninja) examines her and concludes that the shock has knocked her out so deep that there's no point trying to wake her up and that she'll stay totally out cold until tomorrow. Shizune then remarks that Sakura had been a frequent fainter during her teenage years.
  • One Piece:
    • "Chapter 742" of the series has an example that is both serious (due to being a plot point) and hilarious: Usopp is fed the fake grape that was intended to knock Sugar out. He screams so loudly and makes such a horrifying expression that it causes Sugar to scream her lungs out in return, and she faints as a result.
    • A few chapters later, Usopp shoots in front of her a projectile that expands into the same Nightmare Face, causing her to faint again.
  • A Running Gag in One Piece Film: Strong World is Xiao's tendency to faint whenever she's surprised. Since she is very easy to surprise, she faints all the time.
  • In Please Twins!, Karen fainting at any surprise or stress is a running gag, though like many such things, it tapers off as the series goes on. Becomes a bit less amusing when you consider the parent series, Please Teacher!, which had a condition called Standstill, in which a person can spend years in a coma-like condition (without aging) after too much extreme emotion. One of these days, Karen might not wake up for a long time...
  • In Prison School:
    • Kiyoshi and Hana hide under a bed in the school nurse's room, both naked from the waist down. The proximity to Hana causes Kiyoshi to get an involuntary erection that directly touches Hana's bare privates. Hana not only passes out from embarrassment right then and there but passes out so deep and hard that she wakes up on the bed much later on with zero recollection of the incident.
    • Hana later attempts revenge on Kiyoshi by stealing his first kiss so that he can't share it with Chiyo. Kiyoshi turns it around when he realizes that Hana is extremely innocent when it comes to romance, and deliberately deepens the kiss into full-on making out. The shock of being kissed with tongue for the first time in her life (by someone she secretly harbors feelings for, no less) straight-up scrambles her mind, shutting her brain down completely as she goes limp in his arms.
    • Meiko from the same series occasionally faints too, usually when accidentally subjected to the sights of other people's privates that she's not expecting to see, and sometimes stays unconscious for even longer than Hana.
    • Andre passes out when two different dommes command him to serve them at the same time and he can't decide which one to obey.
  • Death the Kid from Soul Eater has Super OCD and is absolutely obsessed with symmetry. This causes him to overreact when his symmetry is disrupted:
    • He faints after Soul cuts a couple of centimetres off one side of his hair, as this meant it was not perfectly symmetrical anymore.
    • He also has a complete breakdown and passes out after he erases too hard and tears his test paper.
    • This seems to happen any time he is not perfectly symmetrical. Liz mentions that if he tried to not use Guns Akimbo, "he'd get a Nosebleed and pass out". However, this only seems to apply to Kid himself. if he encounters an asymmetrical enemy, he's more likely to fight back with Unstoppable Rage.
  • Tamagotchi ""Tamagotchi! Yume Kira Dream" episode 3: Himespetchi faints after she sees Mametchi and Yumemitchi holding hands and thinks it's because they love each other. (Mametchi was just helping Yumemitchi when she was about to trip). Himespetchi stays unconscious for a part of the episode afterwards, and needs help from Yumemitchi and Kiraritchi to regain consciousness.
  • Barnaby in Tiger & Bunny faints in Episode 19: He's been plagued by recurring nightmares about his parents' death (which he thought he'd begun to put behind him after seemingly finding their killer). When trying to discuss his fears with Kotetsu, Barnaby breaks down in tears and then passes out (probably exacerbated by exhaustion and lack of food, as he hasn't been able to eat or sleep due to the nightmares).
  • In Tsukigasa, Azuma faints when Kuroe kills the robbers and it brings up trauma from when he hurt Kuroe.
  • Emma of Victorian Romance Emma faints at a ball, partly because her corset is laced too tightly and partly from seeing William with Eleanor.
  • The Wonderful World Of Puss In Boots: The kidnapped Princess Rosa sees Lucifer, a powerful ogre sorcerer, transform into a three-headed dragon while facing off against her rescuers. It isn't the transformation itself that gets her, it's when one of his hideous, snake-like heads slowly starts approaching her. She faints before he can come any closer.

    Asian Animation 
  • Lamput:
    • Slim Doc faints upon seeing a muscular Fat Doc in "Diet Doc".
    • At the end of "Sleepwalking", Slim Doc and Lamput both faint after seeing a fainted Fat Doc with a drink resembling blood spilled all over him.

    Comic Books 
  • In Black Science Sara faints when she is informed that Grant, blamed for multiple murders and kidnapping her children, was seen outside chasing her daughter Pia mere moments ago.
  • Papa Smurf in The Smurfs comic book story "The Smurfs And The Book That Tells Everything" gets so frustrated with his little Smurfs being so dependent on the titular book that he stamps his feet in anger collapses in a faint.
  • Tintin: In "The Castafiore Emerald", Bianca Castafiore and her assistant Irma faint when they hear that her jewels have been stolen.
  • In Violine, Violine faints when hearing that Muller is Marushka's brother, and her "mother" is actually Marushka, her father's former governess.
  • Uncanny X-Men:
    • Played painfully straight in issue 148, when Kitty Pryde (thirteen years old if even that at the time) faints when kidnapped by Caliban in his first appearance. He's much creepier than his later appearances would make him, but still...
    • Even more painful in issue 11, where after The Stranger walks on air and through a wall, someone utters these gentlemanish words:
      "Someone get a doctor! Women are faintin' like flies over here!!"

    Comic Strips 
  • Curtis decides to prank his class one day for Show-And-Tell by bringing in a bag of "zombie brains". The things certainly look like brains, because they are. Curtis soon admits that they're just cow brains left over from a meat-packing plant. Then Curtis discovers that his teacher, Mrs. Nelson, is lying prone, with only her rounded belly and boobs showing in the panel. Curtis doesn't wait for her to regain consciousness, instead taking himself to the principal's office.
  • Garfield:
    • In one strip, Garfield passes out when Jon suggests that maybe he should go on a diet. Jon's response is to clap sarcastically.
    • In this strip, Jon wonders if he could've been a doctor. Garfield shows him a splinter in his finger, causing Jon to faint.
      Garfield: When you're done fainting, I'd like to know where you keep the tweezers, doc.
    • Garfield and Odie go outside during a snowy day. Snow falls off the roof and lands on them, making snowmen outlines of themselves. Odie goes back inside, unbeknownst to Garfield. The snowman of Odie falls apart, and Garfield screams and faints.
      Jon: Wimp.
    • In this strip, Garfield is talking about how cats get red eyes, longer claws, sharper teeth, and frizzy fur on Halloween night. He then looks in a mirror, turns white, and faints.
    • Garfield passes out after Jon accidentally saws a button off his shirt in this comic.
    • In this comic, Garfield is about to whack a spider with a newspaper, only for the spider to pass out before he can do so.
  • Peanuts:
    • After the Little Red-Haired Girl moves away, Charlie Brown is devastated and faints... while still standing up.
      Charlie Brown: I just passed out. I'm still standing, but I've passed out.
    • In one strip, Charlie Brown is about to tell Snoopy who won the Daisy Hill Puppy Cup, leading to this:
      Snoopy: I think I'm going to faint...
      Charlie Brown: Don't faint!
      [Snoopy does exactly that]
      Charlie Brown: Didn't you hear me?
      Snoopy: Quiet, please! Never interrupt a good faint!
    • Snoopy passes out after he receives a letter from the Head Beagle. He even says that one always faints when they get a letter from the Head Beagle.
    • Linus tends to feel faint whenever his Security Blanket is lost. During the story arc where he agrees to give up his blanket if his grandmother gives up smoking, he faints several times on his way to school and ends up arriving late.
  • A Witney Darrow cartoon for The New Yorker depicts a woman sprawled unconscious on her floor after receiving some stunning/horrific news via phone. Meanwhile, the voice at the other end is saying "...And that's not the half of it! Wait until you hear this!"

    Fan Works 
  • In Aki-chan's Life, Asuka's parents faint when her fourteen-year-old daughter drops in unexpectedly, after spending half year abroad, to introduce her husband and four-year-old daughter (Time Travel was involved).
  • In And The Stars Were Shining Bright [1], (now discontinued) A fanfic inspired by Khan from Star Trek Into Darkness, Maddie (exhausted from no sleep, hasn't eaten in a couple of days, not to mention worried sick for her captive father) faints when she sees that the man she's contracted to kill is the same man who helped her flee a dangerous situation some fifteen months previously.
  • Anon's Pie Adventure:
    • Limestone faints when she realizes that Anon is bleeding after his encounter with a giant spider.
    • Priestess Padlock faints when Princess Celestia shows up at her church.
  • Calvin faints in the Calvin and Hobbes: The Series episode "Pug" when his dad suggests getting a pug (after he'd spent the entire episode watching over one). In addition, Hobbes (a stuffed tiger to Dad) slumps over, and the MTM shuts itself off.
  • The Capitol Games: Britney faints on stage, causing her to miss her final goodbye to her family.
  • In Code Geass: Paladins of Voltron, when the Black Knights first witness the Lions merge at the Battle of Narita, Tamaki is described as fainting at the sight of Voltron in all of his majesty.
  • Crimson and Emerald: Izuku passes out when Hawks rescues him from nearly being abducted by a flying Noumu, right after fighting Stain.
  • Escape From the Moon: In the sequel The Mare From the Moon, this is Spliced's reaction when she finds out that, contrary to what she'd believed, that she can walk on clouds.
  • For A Diamond Is A Marveled Thing: Steven faints when Connie proposes to him in For theTax Benefits. Possibly exacerbated by all the alcohol Mr. Barriga has slipped him over the course of the party.
  • In Happy New Year, a Law & Order: UK fanfic, Alesha Philips faints in shock upon being greeted by the very much alive DS Matt Devlin, who she's been mourning for the past few months. The backstory reveals that he was spirited away to recover from his injuries while his loved ones were told he was dead in order to protect them.
  • In Home with the Fairies, Maddie faints when she first sees an elf, one of an Inhumanly Beautiful Race. Before she faints, she feels "a strange preternatural sense of both awe and fear"; the elf "looks so perfect it was painful". Someone picks up Maddie and moves her to a bed, where she either eventually falls into a normal sleep or remains completely unconscious until the next morning.
  • In Kyon: Big Damn Hero:
    • Kyon's mother, who at this point has mentioned several times that she doesn't want Kyon to become a delinquent, faints when she learns what the Tsuruya family business really is. Up to this point, she's been a strong supporter of his relationship with the family.
    • Sasaki's (quite polite) reaction in Chapter 62 to finding out and having it proven to her that Aliens, ESPers, and Time Travelers are all real:
      If you do not mind, I would like to faint now.
  • In Lincoln is Done, Clyde passes out when he sees or mentions his crush Lori. A bit character-exaggerated, as in The Loud House canon he's more likely to just act awkward and/or get a nosebleed.
  • Missing (Sherlock Holmes): Holmes has spent some time without properly eating or sleeping because he's worried about Watson. He passes out when a constable races into Lestrade's office, yelling that the police have found a corpse.
  • In Must Love Ned Flanders Naomi passes out when she meets Homer, then again when she meets Ned, and yet again when Ned proposes to her. She even lampshades it.
    Naomi: "And when you asked me to marry you I would have said yes if I hadn't passed out. But, really, what can you expect from me? I've probably been unconscious for at least half of this book."
    Naomi: I've probably been unconscious for at least half of this book.
  • My Huntsman Academia
    • Inko Midoriya passes out after learning that her son Izuku is the leader of a team with three other gorgeous women his age because she's terrified of becoming a grandmother too soon. When she finally meets them in person, she passes out again when Nora's vague wording brings Inko to the conclusion that Izuku is in a polygamous relationship with every member of Team MNVW.
    • Izuku himself has been on the verge of passing out from sheer embarrassment on several occasions.
      • When he and Yang start dating, his legs buckle out from underneath him when he realizes that he's clenching her hand.
      • Izuku proceeds to have a brief mental shutdown when Tenya starts accusing him of being a serial philanderer after Nora reveals to Team TABY that he has an entire box of condoms. note 
      • He passes out while standing up when Nora convinces Team MADE that he's some kind of Sex God when she tells them that he "finger-banged" (used Glenn Smash against) Yang ten times in the middle of sparring class. His team has to drag him back to their dorm room by the scruff of his hoodie.
    • Shoto has to undress Weiss to get her cold, wet clothes off of her when she is caught in a frigid blizzard and passes out. When Weiss learns this, the idea that he saw her naked leaves her so embarrassed that she faints on the spot.
  • In My Master Ed, Van passes out and falls flat on his face after seeing that Edward can create gold because he thinks he’s been joking with and mocking a god in disguise. At this, his tolerance for weirdness is finally exhausted.
  • Neither a Bird nor a Plane, it's Deku!:
    • Inko gets light-headed after learning that Izuku had unknowingly confronted and gained the respect of a member of the yakuza.
    • Izuku's first meeting with Lexi Luthor leaves him so unnerved and terrified that he passes out in the snow as soon as her limo drives away.
  • Pound and Pumpkin Cake's Adventures (and Misadventures) in Potty Training: In "Starlight the Foalsitter" Starlight Glimmer faints when the Cake twins prank her into thinking they've flushed themselves down the toilet. The twins regret their prank, since they weren't expecting her response to be that extreme.
  • In Reading Minds [2], a Teen Titans Crack Fic, Beast Boy faints from the strain of asking Raven out to a movie. He barely has time to think he managed to do it without fainting.
  • The Seven Misfortunes of Lady Fortune:
    • Adrien wrecks his room and almost commits suicide after learning the recently assassinated Marinette used to be Ladybug. Once Plagg reassures him she's still alive, he faints.
    • Later, Nino faints after being present when Alya gives birth to their daughter.
    • Tom faints after coming back home after a vacation and seeing his daughter alive.
  • SMG4's Mario Bloopers has had Luigi faint from the shock of a Chain Chomp.
  • In What You Wish For, Lori (who is in a dream world where Lincoln is no longer her brother) passes out when she finds out that Lincoln isn't in the photo album.
  • John faints in With Strings Attached when he sees himself in the mirror for the first time and realizes that he's grown wings. He'd kind of worked himself up to it, given that he'd awakened in a strange bed, starving to death, with a growing panicky awareness that something was terribly, terribly wrong with him...

    Films — Animation 
  • In the animated Charlotte's Web, Wilbur is even more prone to this than in the book:
    • He faints when Lurvey force-feeds him a sulphur-and-molasses tonic
    • When he first learns that the humans are planning to kill him for meat, and then again when he overhears them talking about it.
    • He almost faints again at the mention of "crunchy bacon," but Charlotte stops it by saying, "Wilbur, I forbid you to faint!"
  • Coco: When Miguel sees his finger fade into bone and realizes that he's becoming a skeleton, he almost faints at the shock before his family catches him.
  • Inside Out:
  • Monsters, Inc.: When Sulley watches (what he thinks is) Boo getting crushed in the trash compactor, he faints four times as a Shout-Out to Feed the Kitty.
  • In The Stinger of My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Legend of Everfree, upon seeing Pinkie Pie blow up the just-finished, brand-new dock, the girls are frozen in shock, except for Rarity who's so shaken she faints.
  • In The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists!, one lady in the audience passes out in shock when she sees that the pirates and scientists have found a living dodo. In fact, one of the settings on the applause meter is "Ladies Fainting".
  • In the DVD movie Scooby-Doo! and the Goblin King, Velma faints after seeing the supernatural maelstrom the Great Krudsky had created.
  • In Shrek, a lady in the audience faints when Fiona reveals to Shrek that she turns into an ogre at sunset.
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse: Miles' Muggle roommate Ganke Lee faints when he looks up to find six Alternate Universe versions of Spider-Man, one of them a Talking Animal, clinging to the ceiling of his dorm. Miles tucks him into bed before leaving.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert: Bernadette faints in shock after discovering that Tick has a son. She later complains of having a bump on her head during the show, for which she blames Tick.
  • The film of The Marx Brothers Animal Crackers: Captain Spaulding faints as Mrs. Rittenhouse is hailing him for fearlessly journeying through Darkest Africa.
  • A Place in the Sun has what is widely considered perhaps the best faint in film history: Angela is told that her Love Interest George is likely to be sentenced to the electric chair. She calmly thanks her mother for allowing her to hear this information before walking back into her room. There, she stands dazed for a few seconds, and crashes hard and limp onto the floor without the even tiniest movement to break her fall, as though already utterly out like a light.
  • Back to the Future Part II:
    • Marty's girlfriend Jennifer is accidentally brought into her future home. As she's about to leave, she comes across the 2015 version of herself:
      Jennifer (seventeen): [gasps] I'M OLD!!
      Jennifer (forty-seven): [gasps] I'M YOUNG!!
      [both faint simultaneously]note 
    • Doc Brown faints at the end, after Marty (whom he had just sent away in the time machine) reappears behind him.
      Doc: [screams upon seeing Marty]
      Marty: Doc, calm down, okay, it's me! It's Marty!
      Doc: It can't be! I just sent you back to the future!
      Marty: I know, Doc, you did send me back to the future, but I'm back. I'm back from the future.
      Doc: Great... Scott! [faints dead away]
  • Batman:
    • When Jack Napier's girlfriend Alicia Hunt comes home and discovers not only that he's not dead but that he's turned into the Joker, she faints dead away.
      Joker: Honey? You'll never believe what happened to me today!
    • The Joker goes to Vicki Vale's apartment and scares her out of her wits, including apparently killing Bruce Wayne. After the Joker leaves, Vicki Vale opens the box he left her. A hand holding a bunch of weeds pops out, and she collapses to the ground.
  • A classic example in Beauty and the Beast: Belle faints upon seeing the Beast for the first time, and he tenderly carries her through the castle to a bed, her peasant garb magically changing to a princess-worthy gown along the way.
  • The Blood Waters of Dr. Z contains probably the most egregious example of this trope, with the kidnapped heroine managing to remain unconscious while being roughly carried through a hot, noisy, fetid swamp for several miles.
  • Love interest Pike (not to be confused with Spike from the TV series) faints several times over the course of the Buffy The Vampire Slayer movie, to the point where it becomes a running gag.
  • In 1995's Casper:
    • Sassy teenager Kat faints from meeting the ghostly hero for the first time.
    • Kat's father James Harvey faints when Casper's trouble-making uncles pull a surprise Nightmare Face on the Dr.
  • Charlotte's Web:
  • In The Climax, the soprano who is told that she is to replace Jarmila Vadek faints out of sheer excitement. Leads to a funny moment when everyone else storms out of the office for various reasons, leaving her still passed out on the floor.
  • Clue: Mrs Peacock begins to faint at the sight of a murder. The butler catches her... and then she slips through his arms and thuds to the floor.note 
  • In Death Bell, one of the girls faints in shock/fear when a body drops out of the ceiling in the auditorium.
  • Joe, from The Devil and Miss Jones, when he finds out that Thomas Higgins is actually John P. Merrick.
  • In Dick Tracy, Detective, Tess faints when she looks up and sees the Splitface looming over her; his deformed visage leering at her and a huge knife clutched in his hand.
  • The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas:
    • Wilma's mother faints in shock twice during Fred and Wilma's wedding.
    • Fred imagines Wilma fainting at the sight of his giant engagement ring earlier in the movie.
  • In Frankenstein 1970, Judy faints when she opens the door of her bedroom, expecting to see Mike, and is instead confronted by the monster. It is possible that she actually dies of fright at this point, as in the next scene she is lying dead in Victor's lab with no indication of how she died.
  • Galaxy Quest:
    • Guy passes out when he finally meets Sarris in person.
    • In the final moments, a Fangirl faints when she witnesses The Big Damn Kiss between Jason and Gwen on stage.
  • In George of the Jungle Ursula faints again and again:
    • First from seeing George's jungle residence for the first time.
    • Then from the shock of Ape being a Talking Animal. Repeated a third and fourth time immediately upon waking, as the shock is still too great.
    • In the sequel, the sight of an elephant wearing New Balance causes Ursula once more to faint dead away.
  • Home Alone 2: Kate faints at the airport upon realizing that her entire family has somehow neglected to bring her son Kevin along on their trip for a second time.
  • The Incredible Mr. Limpet: When George Stickle hears the supposedly drowned Henry Limpet's voice coming from the sea, he faints dead away—probably because he thinks he's hearing Henry's ghost.
  • In Jumanji, Sarah faints upon seeing her childhood friend Alan on her doorstep —the last she'd seen of him was when he got sucked into a cursed board game twenty-six years before. She's spent all that time trying to convince herself that it was a hallucination.
  • Jurassic Park: Downplayed Alan Grant gets woozy and needs to sit down when Hammond's big reveal of living dinosaurs starts to sink in.
  • Stirling from Kit Kittredge: An American Girl faints twice, both times after discovering hobos.
  • Legend (1985). When she first meets the terrifying villain Darkness, Lili faints and collapses to the ground. She wakes up a few seconds later and has a long conversation with him.
  • Liz & Dick: Liz faints in a no-nonsense manner upon hearing of Dick's death. Possibly pays homage to ElizabethTaylor's iconic faint in the role of Angela in A Place in the Sun.
  • Meet John Doe. At the climax of the movie, a distraught and guilt-ridden Ann pleads desperately to John on the roof of City Hall not to kill himself. At the height of her emotions, she confesses her love for him, and in the next instant, sinks in his arms in a dead faint. As a result, as John finally decides not to jump at the end of the film and Henry tells off a defeated Norton with a Take That!. Ann is thoroughly passed out throughout and misses all of this.
  • Men in Black: After the Bug gets into his new Edgar suit, Edgar's wife Beatrice tells him that "Your skin is hanging off your bones." The Bug pulls Edgar's face back into a horribly distorted mask and Beatrice faints dead away.
  • Murder by Death: Moments after her boss Sam Diamond is apparently crushed to death by a falling gargoyle (he gets better), Tess announces she's going to faint and orders the butler to catch her. The butler (who's blind), misses her completely and she thuds to the floor.
  • Mystery of the Wax Museum: When Charlotte is shown the truth behind the wax museum, she faints.
  • National Velvet: Velvet faints in joy when she receives her pet horse The Pie.
  • The original Star Wars film A New Hope: While he probably didn't actually faint (being a droid and all), Threepio topples backwards when he first sees the Tusken Raider. He is found some time later just recovering the droid equivalent of consciousness. He seems to have slipped in surprise at the Raider, tumbled down a rough incline, and took damage that knocked him offline for a time. In presentation, it very much captures the feel of "weak character fainting when confronted with sudden, surprising danger."
  • In The Notebook, Allie faints during her wedding dress fitting when she sees Noah's picture in the newspaper. She thought that he was gone from her life forever.
  • In Relative Fear, Linda collapses after she finds the housekeeper Margaret's body.
  • In The Return of Sherlock Holmes, Mrs. Hudson faints in shock when Holmes returns from Faking the Dead.
  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show:
    • Done by Janet Weiss (SLUT!) when she sees Frank N. Furter for the first time.
    • Parodied during "The Time Warp" and "Sweet Transvestite," when Janet Weiss faints three times during the songs. Perhaps all the pelvic thrusting was too scandalous for her.
  • Marianne nearly faints in Sense and Sensibility when she sees that her disappeared beau, Willoughby, is with another woman at a ball. Her sister Elinor and Mrs. Jennings catch her and keep her walking.
  • Singin' in the Rain: One of the spectators blacks out due to seeing all the celebrities.
  • Sleepy Hollow (1999): In The Movie, the 'cowardly' Ichabod Crane is the hero and can't very well show true cowardice, so he tends to stick out any dangerous situation (like, say, any time the Headless Horseman shows up and makes with the headchopping) and then pass out once it's over.
  • Soap Dish:
    • Celeste's eyes roll up into her head and she collapses when she learns that Jeffrey will be reprising his role as the Back from the Dead Rod Randall.
    • Later in the movie, Tawny, the costume designer, also faints briefly upon learning that Montana Moorehead used to be a man.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (2020): Upon seeing Sonic for the first time, Maddie's sister Rachel barely has enough time to ask her young daughter to catch her before passing out.
  • Spaceballs:
    • Princess Vespa faints when she realizes that her reunion with her father was a sham and a trap.
    • Vespa again, when she is about to be mutilated as part of an extortion attempt on her father.
  • Superman: Superman deposits Lois on the top of a building after catching and saving both her and the helicopter that she fell from. She watches him fly away before collapsing atop the helipad in a dead faint.
  • In the Director's Cut of Superman II, Lois tries to force Clark to expose himself as Superman by jumping out of the window of her office right in front of him. He breaks her fall in a way that doesn't break his disguise, allowing her to land safely on top of a tomato vendor's stand on the street below. He appears back upstairs as Clark at the window by the time Lois looks up again. The (incorrect) realization that Clark isn't Superman after all, embarrassment, and the realization of how easily she could have killed herself cause Lois to pass out cold on the pile of tomatoes.
  • Superman Returns: In an homage to the original faint scene from the 1978 film, an aircraft malfunction almost kills all of the passengers, including Lois. Superman makes his first public reappearance by saving the aircraft and landing it safely in a packed sports arena. He then personally speaks to Lois, echoing their conversation on the helipad in the original film. Completely overwhelmed, Lois follows him out of the aircraft's exit and once again watches speechlessly as he flies off into the sky before she drops and slides limply down the plane's inflated evacuation slide, unconscious.note 
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze: Keno faints when he first meets Splinter.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: In a callback to "II", Kenshin also faints when he meets Splinter. Lampshaded:
    Donatello: You sure have a strange effect on people, don't you, Master?
    Splinter: Hmmmm... out cold.
  • To All the Boys I've Loved Before: When Lara Jean learns that the secret love letters that she never intended anyone to read have all been sent out to their respective suitors, she faints in the middle of the school track.note 
  • In the cinematic series finale of Our Miss Brooks, Mr. Conklin faints when he learns the position he's been campaigning for pays only a nominal amount.
  • Water: Baxter Thwaites threatens to blow up the Spenco well using dynamite strapped to a member of the Cascaran Liberation Front. He holds a cigarette lighter to the fuse until everyone else puts down their weapons, whereupon the bomb guy promptly faints.
  • The Wizard of Oz: During the meeting with the Wizard, each member of Dorothy's group is called forward to face him. When it's the Cowardly Lion's turn, he faints dead away.

  • Grace Marks in Alias Grace faints frequently, at situations such as being sentenced to death or running for her life and hearing a gunshot that she mistakenly believes has hit her. Her most significant faint, however, is when she faints from the grief and shock over the traumatic death of her dearest friend Mary: she stays completely out cold for ten hours, during which no one could wake her, before briefly waking up, evidently possessed by Mary's soul, and promptly passing out yet again, staying gone for almost as long.
  • In the short —And He Built a Crooked House—, Mrs. Bailey repeatedly faints throughout the adventure in the tesseract house.
  • Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret.: Nancy faints in panic when she gets her period for real. Margaret isn't amused, as Nancy has been claiming to have already dealt with this situation in a bid to brag about her own maturity.
  • Discussed in The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Tales, the story "Steak for Supper" involves six strange creatures following a little boy home. He fears that his "mother would faint and [his] father would roar" if they saw the creatures. Thankfully, the creatures run away, so the mother remains conscious and the father keeps quiet.
  • In Charlotte's Web, Wilbur is prone to this:
  • Mary Jo Putney's The China Bride has Troth faint at the sight of a man who looks exactly like her deceased husband. It is not until she revives that she discovers that he is actually a twin that she never knew about.
  • Daisy-Head Mayzie: Downplayed. In the book, Mrs. McGrew says, "I'm going to faint" when she sees that her daughter has a daisy growing from her head, and she's illustrated looking woozy, but she remains conscious. In the Animated Adaptation, however, she does pass out.
  • In Death on the Nile, not even personally witnessing her mistress Linnet being presumably shot and killed by her own husband Simon can prepare Louise Bourget for actually seeing the gruesome sight of Linnet lying dead in her bed with a bloody wound in the head the following morning. The poor maid screams and runs out of her mistress's cabin before flopping unconscious into the arms of a steward on the deck.
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: In the first book, Greg passes out when he realizes he accidentally put his thumb on snot that Fregley left on a letter for him.
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever: In a flashback, Greg passes out (with X's for eyes) when he finds a puzzle box full of crickets.
  • Dante faints in The Divine Comedy a few times:
    • Near the beginning of Inferno when crossing the Acheron to the first circle of hell because he's so shocked by how horrible the first tortures are.
    • In the circle, for those who succumbed to Lust. There he meets a couple who are the Romeo and Juliet of his time. This one is triggered mainly by empathy, as he himself had loved a woman from afar his whole life.note 
    • He faints again towards the end of Paradiso as he approaches the end of all desires.
  • Ishmael from Don't Call Me Ishmael! faints during his first debate because he is so nervous. Everybody else thinks it's hilarious, as Ishmael also accidentally gropes his Love Interest Kelly as he faints.
  • Many, many characters faint in Don Quixote, but the most significant faint has to be Luscinda's. Already having agreed to marry her beloved Cardenio, Luscinda is placed under immense duress when her parents make her marry the nobleman Fernando instead. On the day of the wedding, Luscinda hides a dagger on her body, as well as a letter explaining that her loyalty belongs to Cardenio and that she plans to kill herself. During the wedding, however, Luscinda is unable to defy the pressure and ends up following through with the exchanging of vows and consents to the marriage in a weakened and dismayed voice. Realizing the finality of the situation, Luscinda faints on the spot. Not only does this cause Cardenio to storm out of the wedding feeling betrayed, but Luscinda's suicide plan is also foiled as both her suicide note and her dagger are discovered and removed from her unconscious body. Her despair is so great that she does not wake up from her faint until the following day.
  • In the book Double Star the heroine faints quietly and without fuss after an intense scene which probably means the ruin of all they've been working for. Later another character reveals precautions have been taken and they're safe - whereupon she faints again. Still, given what's at stake and the extended strain she's been under it's hard to blame her.
  • In Dracula Jonathan Harker pulling one of these fairly early on. He has just been overtly harassed by three beautiful vampire-ladies and apparently his own host.
  • In the Dragonlance novel, Dragons of Winter Night, the elven princess Laurana faints at a public banquet after her father calls her a whore, and her older brother gives her a "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
  • Gesta Danorum: When Odin makes snakes appear on the eyes of the boy Sigurd Ragnarsson, Sigurd's nurse faints in terror at the sight.
  • Dr. Greta Helsing: Leonora van Dorne takes a Screw the Rules, I Have Money! attitude to life's problems, but collapses when she gets her first glimpse behind the Masquerade and sees a Mummy. Fortunately for her, the mummy is of the non-malicious stripe and catches her, though not without a bit of ironic lurching.
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban:
    • When the Dementors board the train, Harry faints when they search his compartment, due to him reliving the death of his mother (he even hears her screaming).
    • Later, when the Dementors attack him during the Quidditch match, he falls from his broom.
    • He also faints when trying to defend his godfather, Sirius Black, from them, and casts his first Patronum spell to ward them off.
  • In the Inheritance Cycle, Eragon faints when his mentor, Brom, is fatally stabbed. But then, he faints at the end of almost every chapter.
  • Jane Eyre:
    • As a child, Jane is locked inside a terrifying room alone one afternoon as punishment and comes to believe that she is being haunted by the ghost of her dead uncle. She is so frightened that she faints, and doesn't regain consciousness until midnight.
    • At Thornfield Hall, Jane, who has been wakeful in her bed, is approached by the terrifying figure of a strange veiled woman holding a candle deep in the middle of the night. The increasing terror and nervousness from seeing this causes Jane to sink into her bed in a dead faint, and when she regains consciousness it is already morning and the figure is gone.
    • Jane faints after she finds out that Mr Rochester, who she was going to marry, already has a wife.
  • H. P. Lovecraft's The Last Test Georgina overhears a conversation late at night that leads her to believe that her brother is involved in carrying out brutal human experiments and savage sacrifices. The thought of this increasingly terrifies her until eventually she faints while lying in her own bed, and remains in her dead faint until the next morning. After she awakens, she mistakenly believes that what she overheard and subsequently thought late last night was a dream (since they were the last things she remembers before waking up in the morning). It's not until noon, when she personally witnesses a subject being captured in front of her, that she realizes that the conversation last night was real, upon which she instantly faints once again and does not wake up until late into the afternoon.
  • In Little Women, Marmee faints when she receives the news that her husband has contracted pneumonia while serving as a chaplain in the American Civil War.
  • Parodied mercilessly by Jane Austen in Love and Freindship [sic], In it, Laura and Sophia repeatedly faint, which eventually proves fatal to Sophia when she faints and lies unconscious outside in the rain for more than an hour, catching a cold that soon worsens into deadly tuberculosis. The aftermath of this provides our page quote.
  • In The Mad King by Edgar Rice Burroughs, King Leopold faints when he realizes that he's going to be executed as a traitor if he can't convince anyone that he's himself and not his fugitive Identical Stranger cousin. One of many repeated reminders that Leopold is not an admirable manly man like the novel's hero.
  • In The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, during the island getaway episode, the shy time-travelling Mikuru faints promptly upon seeing the stabbed body of the mansion owner, and stays out of the action for a while under Yuki's supervision, providing Haruhi and Kyon an excuse to go exploring alone together.
  • Judge Dee: A suspect infuriated by the accusations against him gets up to refute them... and collapses in a faint. His subordinates note that he suffers such crises on occasion.
  • Fantine faints in Les Misérables upon realizing that Mayor Madeleine is a genuinely kind man who is willing to help her reconnect with her estranged daughter Cosette.
  • Mr. Men: At the end of "Little Miss Shy", Mr. Quiet faints when Little Miss Shy asks him if he'd like to go to her house for tea.
  • Played for Laughs in My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom!: Duchess Millidiana Claes, while accompanying Geordo in his marriage proposal to her daughter Catarina, finds her daughter farming. The Duchess immediately faints upon seeing such unladylike behavior from her daughter.
  • The Mysteries of Udolpho:
    • Emily faints no fewer than ten times throughout the story from either grief, fear, anxiety, or sudden joy, and also comes close to passing out almost as many times. The prose frequently emphasizes how deeply and thoroughly unconscious she is and how long it takes for her to wake up every time despite people's best efforts to revive her.
    • Annette, Blanche, and a few other characters also contribute to the total count with one faint from each at various points of the novel, but no one comes anywhere close to Emily.
  • Samuel Richardson's Pamela, or: Virtue Rewarded sees its title character faint whenever Mr. B attempts to force himself onto her, with each faint lasting progressively longer (the first time she stays out for two hours, the next time for three) as though the depth of her unconsciousness corresponds with the audacity of Mr. B's actions and the severity of her plight.
  • In The Phantom of the Opera:
    • Christine faints on stage after her splendid gala performance. Possibly exacerbated by exhaustion.
    • The first time the Phantom abducts her, Christine faints due to the smell of death on his hand.
    • When Raoul first comes face to face with Erik in the Perros graveyard, he faints. Understandable, as Erik has been trying to freak him out by playing the ghost and throwing skulls at him.
  • Invoked In The Quiller Memorandum, Quiller is faced with torture. He attempts to delay it by putting himself into syncope, through breathing heavily then holding his breath to drop his blood pressure. He is under massive stress, and he uses this to make his enemies believe he is weak.
  • The Railway Children: Bobbie Waterbury, via clever use of red petticoats, manages to prevent a train from careening into a landslide, but has to stand on the tracks to do so. The train finally manages to stop just inches in front of her, and she very understandably collapses in a dead faint. Jenny Agutter's rendition of the scene in the 1970 Film of the Book is iconic.
  • Sherlock Holmes:
    • In "The Adventure of the Empty House" in The Return of Sherlock Holmes, Doctor Watson falls down in a dead faint when Holmes suddenly appears in his study after having been thought dead for three years.
    • "The Naval Treaty" in The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes ends with Trevelyan fainting when Holmes presents him with the missing treaty on a silver platter (literally).
  • Subverted in The Silver Chair: When Eustace falls off a cliff, Jill collapses to the ground and hopes she'll faint, but the author comments it's not that easy.
  • The revelation that Skulduggery Pleasant is a talking, sentient skeleton causes Stephanie to faint.
  • In The Sorrows of Young Werther, Charlotte, upon hearing of Werther's suicide, sinks into a faint so deep that others begin to fear for her life.
  • Cathy of Team Human faints upon being reunited with the boyfriend she thought had abandoned her, but it's pointed out that she also hadn't eaten much in the past week, what with her love-stricken distress and all.
  • The Poem "The Tummy Beast" by Roald Dahl ends with the eponymous beast speaking, then the protagonist saying, "Now do you believe me, mummy?", only to find his mother unconscious on the floor.
  • The Wandering Inn: When Jelaqua Ivirith, a Selphid, which are basically parasites that inhabit dead bodies, literally opens her stomach to show Erin her true form that is located in that region? Erin faints, when she sees Jelequa waving to her, inside of...well, Jelequa.
  • Tamaris faints at the height of her rescue in the Conan the Barbarian story A Witch Shall Be Born. After months of Cold-Blooded Torture and isolation, having your sister try to feed you to a monster and and then finding yourself in the middle of a battle do make a good excuse.
  • In the Warrior Cats book Veil of Shadows, a group of rebels tries to kill the false Bramblestar. Three of them are killed in the ensuing fight, and Bristlefrost faints when she sees that one of the dead cats is Stemleaf, who she had once wanted as her mate.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In The Addams Family, normal people have a habit of passing out in surprise when exposed to the family's antics.
  • All My Children's Maria Santos faints in elated shock when her presumed-dead husband Edmund walks into his own funeral.
  • Done on multiple occasions by Mr. Humphries in Are You Being Served?, typically as a silent collapse into the arms of his coworkers.
  • In the 1993 TV remake of the 1958 Attack of the 50-Foot Woman, Harry attempts to cause his wife Nancy to suffer a heart attack and die by deliberately insulting and angering her. Nancy only faints instead, but Harry believes himself to have succeeded in killing her and drives away from the scene. Nancy later comes back for revenge, but only after spending most of the night lying sprawled on top of the house she collapsed onto, completely passed out.
  • On The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon tends to faint when he can't process the stimulus his brain is receiving; for example, when his hero Steven Hawking points out an arithmetic error in a paper Sheldon wrote.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Beauty and the Beasts" When her werewolf boyfriend Oz is suspected of having killed someone, Willow goes to the mortuary at night to get samples from the victim. As Xander and Cordelia retch and express their disgust at what's been done to the body, Willow is completely focused on the task, but on finishing, faints in their arms.
  • Bunk'd: In "Zuri Had A Little Lamb", Emma first faints when Lou's sheep is in labor. She wakes up right after the lamb is born, but faints again at the sight of the afterbirth.
  • Doctor Who:
    • "The Long Game": Adam Mitchell faints when he sees a view of the future Earth. The Doctor and Rose don't bother to look back and see what happened.
      The Doctor: He's your boyfriend.
      Rose: Not anymore.
    • "The Crimson Horror" has a Running Gag involving minor character Mr. Thursday coming face-to-face with things like Madame Vastra or Strax for the first time and immediately, noiselessly fainting. And he does it a third time when he sees the TARDIS dematerializing.
  • El Chavo del ocho: An episode centers around Patty giving kisses to Quico and El Chavo and causing them to faint, and whenever it happens, they're "revived" with buckets of water. At the end of the episode, Don Ramón ends up getting one from Patty's aunt Gloria and faints too. Chavo then calls dibs on him, but instead of a bucket of water, he grabs one full of bricks...
  • In the Enemy at the Door episode "The Polish Affaire", Lady Diana Prideux faints dead away on finding an escaped prisoner hiding in her garden shed. When she recovers, it turns out that he's not just any escaped prisoner, but a man she loved and lost before the war.
  • Fawlty Towers.
    • In "Communication Problems", Basil is robbed of his gambling winnings by Mrs Richards, then she's complaining it was "ten pounds short". When a man enters the hotel carrying a vase she bought the previous day and asks Basil if he knows her. He is so immensely frustrated that even the mention of her name makes him faint. (He does get straight back up though).
    • At the end of "Basil the Rat", he also faints from the pressure.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Sansa Stark's reaction to seeing her father, Lord Eddard, beheaded.
    • Jon Snow, (born of a noble family) tries to explain the concept of swooning to his wildling girlfriend Ygritte. She mocks the idea mercilessly, having come from a society where people have to be tough to survive.
  • Gilligan's Island: In the episode "Ghost a Go-Go", Gilligan faints when he pulls up the window blind and sees the ghost outside the hut. The Skipper faints when he looks out the hut door and sees the ghost walking through the trees.
  • The Greatest American Hero: Pam faints when Ralph demonstrates the power of the alien-bestowed super-suit by casually picking up the front end of her car.
  • Kaamelott tends to play this for laughs, mostly with the male characters.
    • Bohort is afraid of every animal as scary as rabbits and pheasants or worse. After Arthur spends half an hour trying to convince him there are no wild animals in or around the camp, Léodagan shows up saying he was just taking a leak and a bear came out of the bushes. Well...
    • Perceval once faints when Arthur, having guilt-tripped himself over his abusive treatment, gives him a compliment. Arthur has to bring him back by repeatedly slapping him while yelling "Wake up! You are a disgrace!"
    • Arthur once faints when Perceval claims he has successfully carried out a mission. This is the case, although he forgot what the medallion he'd recovered actually did. When kept in a locked room overnight, it turns everything else in the room into gas. Locked rooms like Kaamelott's treasury...
    • Father Blaise faints on hearing the tritone (diabolus in musica) in person.
  • Magnificent Century: After learning that she can marry the man she loves, Hatice passes out.
  • M*A*S*H
  • In one episode of Night Court Dan keels over in relief after learning that he's just been the victim of Mac's elaborate prank, and hasn't literally sold his soul to the devil.
  • Northern Rescue: Taylor blacks out from the pressure while competing in a spelling bee. A little while later, a competitor spots a video of it online.
  • On One Tree Hill when Lucas angrily confronts Dan about his role in Keith's death, Karen, who is heavily pregnant with Keith's baby, is overwhelmed at the news and faints. In spite of going into shock and momentarily being reunited with Keith in Heaven, she and their little girl, Lily, survive.
  • Two occurrences happen on Passions:
    • Ivy faints when it's revealed that Sam is Ethan's father and not Julian: An angry Julian demands she awake.
    • A newly pregnant Grace faints and falls down a flight of stairs. Though she ultimately survives the ordeal, her and Sam's unborn son, who was to be named Jack, does not.
  • In The Phantom of the Opera Mini Series, Christine faints at the sight of Erik's unmasked face, much to his devastation (she'd promised to love him enough to overlook what he looked like, but to no avail).
  • Olive faints in the Pushing Daisies episode Girth when she believes that a dead horse jockey's ghost is out to kill all the other jockeys from that race, which would include her. Later the "dead" jockey shows up, and he's really tall; because he was paralyzed the doctors cut off his dead horse's legs and put them on him.
  • The Forensic Drama Quincy, M.E. has an opening montage which includes Quincy conducting an autopsy while six police academy recruits observe. Three recruits whoop their cookies while the other three faint and collapse onto the floor. Quincy takes a moment to peer beyond the corpse to assess his "audience."
  • A recurring gag on Raising Hope as much of the show's comedy is based on secret revelations. In particular Jimmy faints several times in the 2-part season 2 finale upon hearing ludicrously illogical news about his baby's mother.
  • Red Dwarf has featured this in a couple of episodes:
    • Rimmer does it in "Psirens" after viewing a graphic demonstration of how and what the eponymous monsters eat.
    • In "Epideme" The Cat freezes up and keels over after seeing Kochanski apparently chop off her own arm. (Amusingly, he's just left lying on the floor, incredulous index finger still extended.)
  • Tarzán (1991) has Jane fainting in Tarzan's arms from the relief of being saved from certain death after falling out of a tree.
  • Sesame Street: Grover, Bert, and Mr. Johnson have a tendency to keel over as if they were passing out (though it's hard to tell since, being played by puppets, their eyes remain open) when frustrated.
  • In an early episode of Stargate Atlantis, Rodney learns that the city is in danger and responds by promptly keeling over. After a brief moment of panic, his teammates are only too happy to inform him that he pulled one of these.
  • In Star Trek: The Next Generation, Season 1, Episode 25 The Neutral Zone Claire passes out when she sees Worf, because he's an alien and she's never seen one of his species before. Justified, since she's recently been in cryogenic stasis, which has made her a bit weak.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959) episode "Hocus Pocus And Frisby". When Frisby punches one of the aliens in the face, the alien's human head is revealed to be a mask covering his true alien head. When he sees this, Frisby collapses. He wakes up five minutes before the aliens are scheduled to leave.
  • The X-Files:
    • Although Agent Scully is hardly the frail heroine, even she keels over when a ghost removes his hat to reveal a large shotgun hole through his head.
    • Played for laughs in 1947 Roswell in "The Unnatural" when Dales, the cop protagonist, sees Exley's true alien form for the first time. The alien keeps trying to wake him up to explain things, but as soon as the cop does so he passes out again. And again. And again.

    Puppet Shows 
  • Dinosaurs: In "Nature Calls", Roy passes out at the sight of Baby's soiled diaper while he and Earl are changing him.

  • Astral Cabal:
    • In Astral Blue a combination of guilt and not sleeping for over a day causes Elara to faint after chapter 1's trial.
    • The aftermath of Astral Acedamia chapter 2's trial is too much for Jaz, so she faints.
    • Masayoshi faints after the culprit's execution in Astral Academia chapter 4, shouting to the class that this happened because they weren't willing to trust each other.
  • Roulette Rampage: In Chapter 3, Etsuko Reiki faints when she opens the bag with the very much dead Oten Kouei inside that she was supposed to bring into the Cathedral.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Castle Falkenstein, being a game of Victorian period adventure, has rules for fainting from shock, paralleling those for damage from combat or magic, but with less long-term effects.
  • GURPS has a “Fright Check” system to represent the effect on people of overwhelmingly horrible experiences, and some of the results on the Fright Check Table do involve fainting dead away. The third edition supplement GURPS Screampunk and the fourth edition update supplement GURPS Steampunk 1 augment this with a secondary system of fright checks in response to horrifying revelations of social inappropriateness, to suit the 19th century, Victorian milieu that both cover. Both note that actual period fiction might make the sexist assumption that only ladies will faint away in shock, but modern games don’t have to follow this.
  • In Gamelords Ltd.’s Thieves' Guild 8 adventure "Rescue from the Trolls' Hole", when the Player Characters show up to rescue the girl Constance from the trolls, she will faint from the relief of seeing them.
  • Trail of Cthulhu actually creates an incentive for characters to faint occasionally, in best gothic horror fashion. Adventurers are prone to suffer a prolonged process of sanity loss as the Cosmic Horror of reality presses on them, but those who faint dead away as a result of specific shocks may at least avoid even worse sights that could destroy their minds.

  • In Can-Can, hot-tempered but cowardly artist Boris is egged on by his friends to challenge the art critic Jussac to a duel after Jussac steals his girlfriend and writes a review trashing Boris's work. The moment the referee announces the beginning of the duel, he faints dead away. Theophile, the friend who had been most enthusiastic in egging him on, is informed that as Boris's second it is now his duty to pick up Boris's sword and fight in his place — and he faints too.
  • Santuzza and Mamma Lucia in Cavalleria Rusticana, when Turridu's death is announced.
  • Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, when she finds her father's corpse.
  • Faust. Gretchen attempts to seek solace and forgiveness, but when confronted with the severity of her sins, she eventually cannot bear it any longer and faints dead away.
  • In The Magic Flute:
    • Tamino faints when chased by a giant snake in the opening scene.
    • Pamina as Monostatos is harassing her, paralleling her love interest Tamino's earlier incident with the snake.
  • Des Grieux in Manon When Manon dies in his arms.
  • Much Ado About Nothing sees Hero faint when she's falsely accused of unfaithfulness and publicly denounced and humiliated at her own wedding. She faints so deeply that others at the scene believe her to have died.
  • The Phantom of the Opera. At the conclusion of "The Music Of The Night" number, Christine becomes completely overwhelmed by everything the Phantom has put her through, including presenting her with a mannequin replica of her wearing a wedding dress, and finally collapses.
  • The title character in Rigoletto, when he realizes his daughter has been kidnapped, and again in the end, after she dies in his arms.
  • Faninal in Der Rosenkavalier, when he realizes Baron Och's true character. (He was mentioned early on to be in frail health).
  • Leonora in Il Trovatore, when Manrico rushes off to risk his life trying to save his mother.
  • Violetta in La Traviata, when Alfredo publically insults her. (Understandable, since she's sick with tuberculosis).
  • Isolde in Tristan & Isolde after Tristan dies in her armes.
  • Sieglinde in Die Wälkure, first in guilt and fear over her Twincest with her brother Siegmund, and again after Siegmund is killed.
  • Charlotte in Werther When Werther dies in her arms.
  • The Yeomen of the Guard:
    • In the course of the first act, Elsie Maynard is thoroughly justified in fainting:
      1. She's been forced to marry a condemned criminal to buy medicine to save her mother. note 
      2. She witnesses the highly-charged leadup to his execution by beheading.
      3. She then finds out he's escaped, meaning she, as a poor woman in Tudor times, is now permanently a criminal's wife.
      4. Being a moral woman, love is now forbidden to her, because loving anyone else would be adultery. It is at this point she faints.
    • At the end of Act II, the jester Jack Point, who is in love with Elsie Maynard, faints because Fairfax is pardoned and is married to Elsie.
  • In Zone, Ciboulette faints during her interrogation when told that an American border patrol officer was killed, as she is afraid it was Tarzan who killed him.

    Video Games 
  • Borrowed Time: Bruce Light, being a very fragile man, flops unconscious to the floor from fear due to questioning.
  • Conker's Bad Fur Day: When Conker sees how huge Jugga's breasts are, he passes out.
    Conker: [gasps] Paradise...
  • In the Ork ending of Dawn of War II: Retribution, Kaptin Bluddflagg catches Inquisitor Adrastia and she loses consciousness as he swings his massive fist at her — but he stops short of actually hitting and killing her, since he prefers to leave her alive and with a grudge. She'll wake up without her Nice Hat.
  • Fiona in Haunting Ground upon learning that her pursuer, Riccardo, and her father, Ugo, are clones of the game's main antagonist and that Riccardo killed her father.
  • Living Books: Discussed in "The Cat in the Hat", when the boy says, "Mom would faint at this mess!".
  • Jennifer, the protagonist of Rule of Rose keeps fainting at the slightest provocation during the early cutscenes; they actually tend to mark the borders between chapters. But when she finds her inner courage in the last chapter, she can watch far more traumatizing sights than all the previous ones put together and keep her consciousness.
  • Trails Series: Alfin Riese Arnor ends up fainting twice in Cold Steel III. The first time happens when Ash shoots her father and the second time happens when the Courageous explodes in the sky just a day later.
  • Xenosaga, when Albedo intimidates the young Momo.
  • Yes, Your Grace: King Eryk has to deal with The Chains of Commanding on a daily basis. There are a few moments in the game where he gets really bad news on top of this. Those moments consistently knock him out.

    Visual Novels 
  • Ace Attorney:
    • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney:
      • In the case "Turnabout Sisters," Phoenix faints once he sees Mia, who is dead and is the victim in the case. It's really Maya channeling Mia for the first time. Upon waking up and seeing her once more, he faints again. Lampshaded by Mia: "'GACK?!' Is that any way to treat your boss, Nick?"
      • Miles Edgeworth loses consciousness a few times due to his extreme seismophobia. He developed a fear of earthquakes after a traumatic experience in his past that resulted in the murder of his father.
      • Happens twice to Ema Skye, once as she witnessed what she thought was a Serial Killer stabbing another man, and then two years later, when she realizes that she may have accidentally killed the aforementioned man.
    • In the final case of PhoenixWrightAceAttorneySpiritOfJustice, Rayfa faints while trying to perform the Divination Séance to show her father Inga's final moments.
  • Muv-Luv Unlimited: After Takeru truly realizes that there's a serious possibility of him dying in combat against the BETA, he faints in relief upon learning that the BETA are not going to attack the base he's stationed at. He takes it as further proof of his weakness in comparison to the rest of his squad, and beats himself up over it. However, none of the military cast holds it against him. His Sergeant is uncharacteristically kind and supportive, stating that breakdowns like that are a very common reaction among recruits and no one blames him for it.
  • In Your Turn to Die, right before participating in the Main Game in chapter one part two, Sara comments that there is the sound of somebody fainting in a different room. Given the circumstances, this would likely be either Joe or Kai, who have at this point learned that the cards they received, the Sacrifice and Sage respectively, are likely to result in their deaths.

    Web Comics 
  • Furry Experience: As part of a "walk a mile" experiment, Kat and Ronnie change places and assignments at college. When Ronnie reports that she skipped out on Figure Drawing class because it had a live nude model, Kat faints in strip #137. Kat's teacher subtracts a grade for each missed class, which will gank her grade average. Any grade below 3.5 means Kat's parents will stop subsidizing Kat's tuition.
  • Happens quite frequently in Ménage à 3—characters often faint due to sheer embarrassment, sheer pleasure, or for other reasons.
  • Mr. Cake from Slice of Life faints periodically.
    Mrs. Cake: You get used to it, dear.
  • In a side story in Tales of the Questor, Arlen the biomancer suffers this when he discovers one field of his bauxite-purging plants is growing rubies and sapphires.

    Web Original 

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time:
  • Played for laughs in American Dad! when Stan outs Terry as a homosexual to his homophobic father. Terry faints into his lover's arms in the most girly way possible, and Stan, drunk off his ass, calls him out on it.
    Stan: That's not how a straight guy faints. This is how a straight guy faints! [faceplants]
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Sokka faints upon seeing the pregnant woman give birth en route to Ba Sing Se.
  • Bob's Burgers:
    • In "Sacred Cow", Bob faints after he witnesses Moolissa's death, resulting in him having a dream about talking to Moolissa on a cloud and kissing him.
    • In "The Kids Run the Restaurant", Bob passes out at the sight of his hand bleeding a bit.
  • In one episode of the 90s Dennis the Menace (UK) cartoon, Dennis wins a Blue Peter art competition, but when "his" winning painting is unveiled live on air, it turns out that the judges picked the abstract series of splodges that Gnasher painted on the other side of the canvas. When Dennis explains this, the campy art critic in charge of the contest is so shocked that a dog took first prize that he faints.
  • Dexter's Laboratory: In "A Duck's Cartoon", Mandark thinks Dexter stole the former's duck and Dexter responds that Mandark's duck isn't in Dexter's laboratory. Then they both faint when they notice Dexter's monkey starting a family with Mandark's duck.
  • Feed the Kitty: When Marc Anthony is witnessing (what looks like) Pussyfoot getting baked into cookies, he passes out several times.
  • Timmy's dad faints from shock quite regularly on The Fairly OddParents, often precedes by a high-pitched scream. In one episode he does it three times in the space of about twenty seconds.
  • Lampshaded at the end of the Gravity Falls episode "Not What He Seems", when the Author of the journals comes out of the portal in Stan's secret lab, on top of him being Stan's long-lost twin brother.
    Mabel: Is this the part where one of us faints?
    Soos: Oh, I am so on it, dude. [faints]
  • Horrid Henry, out of the fear of injections, faints from his brother Perfect Peter's explanation about said injections.
  • It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown: Linus passes out when he sees what he thinks is the Great Pumpkin (actually Snoopy).
  • Jelly Jamm:
    • In "Princess Smile", Rita faints after she sees Bello's failed attempt to fix Princess's mouth.
    • In "Flying Bathtub", Goomo is extremely nervous that the King will find out that Bello and Mina have gone out with the eponymous bathtub and force him to wash his socks. When Bello and Mina come back Just in Time, Goomo faints.
  • The Josie and the Pussycats episode "The Secret Six Secret" has the villains loose a Bengal tiger in the girls' hotel room, because they know too much. Alan manages to trap the tiger in a Murphy bed. Upon hearing what the girls endured, Alexander faints. When his sister, Alexandra, tries to give Alan a Smooch of Victory, she trips over Alex's inert form.
    Alexandra: The next time you decide to faint, do it by an open window.
  • Kaeloo: In Episode 105, one of the show's animators faints when Stumpy enters the animation studio making the show and informs everyone that he is taking over the show and making his own episodes.
  • In King of the Hill episode "Revenge of the Lutefisk," Bobby accidentally starts a fire which destroys the community church. He spends an entire day consumed with shame and remorse, and the next day, upon hearing an official announcement that the police are on the trail of the "arsonist," the sheer terror on top of it all drives him into a faint.
  • In The Little Rascals short "The Zero Hero", Alfalfa faints after Darla tells him that the bank robbers are not his disguised friends.
  • Happens quite often in The Loud House:
    • In "Fool Me Twice", the Louds (except Lily and Luan) faint in embarrassment when pranked by their stunt doubles.
    • In "Lynner Takes All", Lola passes out after Lynn wins a game of "Pretty, Pretty Pageant Queen".
    • Parodied in "A Star Is Scorned", when Lola tells her teddy bear Mr. Sprinkles that Lily is a finalist for a cuteness competition, and Mr. Sprinkles coincidentally flops over. Lola responds with, "I know, it's shocking!".
    • Clyde had a crush on Lori in early seasons, which would occasionally cause him to black out.
    • Lynn Sr. in particular has a habit of passing out when afraid, notably in "Tricked!" when he spends most of the episode unconscious due to his fear of Halloween, and "Not a Loud" where he and the President both black out at the prospect of delivering Lincoln.
    • Howard, one of Clyde's fathers, faints out of worry for the safety of his cats in "Purrfect Gig".
  • My Little Pony: In "The Runaway Rainbow", Rainbow Dash faints when Rarity says (after skating all around Ponyville and splashing Rainbow Dash with mud) that she wants to do it again.
    Rarity: That was fun! Let's do it again!
    Rainbow Dash: Again?! [faints]
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Rarity in-universe acknowledges that she faints all the time, to the point that she has a special couch to faint onto... Some standout occasions:
      • Twice during the episode "Bridle Gossip". First, when she hears that mysterious zebra Zecora's stripes are not a fashion choice, but something she was born with, and then again when the other ponies list the "horrors" of The Everfree Forest.
      • In "A Dog and Pony Show", when Sapphire Shores asks her to make five more dresses in addition to the one she just made.
    • Happens twice in "Applebuck Season".
      • Applejack ends up fainting after believing she's finished her apple-picking all by herself, only to be shown an acre that still needed to be picked. In the latter case, it's likely justified, as Applejack was suffering from severe sleep deprivation in addition to the shock, thus crossing over with the Exhaustion Faint.
      • In that same episode, this trope is parodied when a Flower Sister faints when faced with a bunny stampede (normal-sized bunnies, mind you, who are rather harmless).
  • Ned's Newt: Ned faints when he finds out that the parents of a baby that he thinks will play at a New Year's pageant actually live in a town other than Friendly Falls.
  • The Octonauts:
    • It's a Running Gag for Tunip to faint almost every time he hears bad news.
    • In "The Emperor Penguins", Tweak passes out after Barnacles informs her that the GUP-S has fallen to the bottom of an ice chasm. She is pretty quick to wake up, though.
      Barnacles: Tweak! I didn't think you'd take it that hard.
  • In the Oggy and the Cockroaches episode "Docu-Mentally", Oggy discovers Dee Dee removing the tape from his, well, video tape. He falls to the ground and passes out in shock. The cockroaches then proceed to film themselves playing around with Oggy's body and then send it to television. The result? Well, yeah...
  • PAW Patrol: In "Pups Save a Mer-Pup", Chase at the beginning of the episode insisted that mer-pups aren't real. When he sees Skye actually turning into one, he faints.
  • The Powerpuff Girls:
  • This happens a lot in Ready Jet Go!:
    • Carrot faints into Celery's arms when Jet mentions him in his song in "My Fair Jet".
    • Moonbeam faints after Sunspot flirtatiously winks at her in "Back to Bortron 7".
    • Jet faints after Zerk informs him that his parents will be assigned to another planet after their presentation in "Back to Bortron 7".
    • Mitchell faints at the very sight of Mindy in "What Goes Up...", after she sneaked up on him a second time.
  • Schoolhouse Rock!: In "The Tale of Mr. Morton", the eponymous Mr. Morton faints after he reads a letter from his crush, Pearl.
  • Scooby-Doo: Shaggy and Scooby frequently faint when they're scared (which is often).
  • South Park:
    • Stan, in the episode "The Cissy" when his father Randy tells him that he is Lorde and proves to him that he's not making it up.
    • In "It's a Jersey Thing", Ike screams and passes out when he sees Kyle donning the Jersey look.
  • In the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Krusty Dogs", Mr. Krabs takes away Krabby Patties from the Krusty Krab menu and puts hot dogs in their place. SpongeBob's reaction is to faint from shock, just as two paramedics immediately arrive and revive him. SpongeBob, however, faints again upon seeing Mr. Krabs take out the kitchen oven.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: In "Blue Shadow Virus", Jar Jar Binks faints when the last virus bomb is defused, causing Ahsoka, Padmé and Rex to turn and stare.


Video Example(s):


April O'Neil

Upon meeting the Turtles and Splinter, April does this TWICE.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / FaintInShock

Media sources:

Main / FaintInShock