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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."

People fainting in Real Life when presented with a shocking development is a rare occurrence. So rare that you may not have actually ever seen it anywhere but on TV or in the movies. However, it does happen. Extreme onset of emotion from fear or anxiety can actually cause some people to faint. This is the reason why doctors or emergency personnel often ask the recipient to sit down before breaking bad news, such as the death of a loved-one or a scary diagnosis like cancer.

Fainting in fiction usually takes one or more of the following forms:

  • The Corset Faint: One of the oldest forms of the trope hanging around from the late unlamented days of the tightlaced corset, when, supposedly, women were a deep breath away from being cut in twain.
    • While not specifically being a faint per se, the phenomenon where a delicate Southern Belle responds to a dramatic situation by declaring, "Ah do believe ah have a case a' de vapours!" serves much the same purpose as a Corset Faint. It shows the fragility and delicacy of the heroine, done purposely as a theatrical ploy by the heroine or as an excuse to remove herself from a dramatic situation.

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  • Girly Man Faint: Occurs when a male character — usually the most cowardly member of the cast — is confronted with a nameless horror which causes him to faint dead away, sometimes letting out a little girly scream. Almost exclusively played for comedy.

  • Anemia Faint: An affliction which seems to strike a very high proportion of Japanese shoujo heroines, causing them to black out at inopportune times and thus, give their love interests a convenient excuse to hold them and act all manly and protective. This is also true for people who have recently been Kissed by a vampire. note 

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  • Fake Faint, or Faint Feint: A character pretends to lose consciousness in order to create a distraction. Tends to overlap with Corset Faint above, although it can be done by anyone in just about any time period.

  • Pregnancy Faint: A slightly more dramatic way than Morning Sickness to indicate that a female character is now expecting. In real life, fainting while pregnant falls under the medical realm of syncope, as the baby is taking the blood that the pregnant person's brain needs. It is also very rare. (Dizziness is more common.)

  • The Monster Faint: Refers to a special subset of fainting that is rarely played straight these days, but was a big staple of '50s era monster/alien movies. A young, nubile heroine sees a hideous monster (or alien or gorilla) coming towards her and she faints, usually into the approaching monster/alien/gorilla's arms. Whereas in real life, faints last only a few seconds, with very occasional instances of emotional faints sometimes lasting minutes or even more rarely hours, the Monster Faint more often than not lasts several hours, or at least many minutes, so long as the plot dictates it. The "monster carrying an unconscious girl" motif was so popular during the '50s pulp movie era that movie posters would frequently feature a monstrous creature carrying a girl, even if no such scene appeared in the movie.

  • Emotional Faint: When done well, this one can be thoroughly justified—in times of extreme high emotion, people do faint. However, such extreme levels of emotion that would make it realistic are actually fairly rare. This is also the reason that Breaking Bad News Gently involves the phrase "You better sit down".

  • Exhaustion Faint: This one is used when a character is extremely tired from a great deal of exhaustion. This one is also Truth in Television, as fainting in exhaustion is caused by heat stroke or stress. See Power-Strain Blackout and Post-Victory Collapse for common forms of this in fiction. May result in a Fainting Seer if a seer exhausts their psychic powers.

Not to be confused with Non-Lethal K.O., due to the term "fainting" being occasionally interchanged with getting knocked out thanks to certain games like Pokémon.


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The Corset Faint

    Films — Live-Action 
  • This is both played straight and parodied in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. Early on, Elizabeth faints from her overly-tight corset; near the end, she pretends to faint in order to distract the local guards. In Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, it's parodied again as she pretends to faint in an attempt to break up a fight between her current and former fiancés, and they both ignore her.
    • The fact that she's not wearing a corset in the latter instance probably has something to do with the men ignoring her. The reason cited (the heat) is less-than-convincing coming from a convicted pirate/swordswoman who's spent more than her share of time in the tropics. That, and they're so focused on surviving their three-man swordfight that they continue to not notice her when she starts shouting and throwing clumps of sand.

Girly Man Faint

    Asian Animation 
  • Lamput: Slim Doc faints upon seeing a muscular Fat Doc in "Diet Doc".

    Films — Live-Action 
  • 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.
  • The Cowardly Lion (naturally) does this (minus scream) when he faces The Wizard of Oz.
  • Guy's girly-faint upon seeing the evil reptilian aliens for the first time in Galaxy Quest. (See also Emotional Faint.)
  • Happened to love interest Pike (not to be confused with Spike from the TV series) several times over the course of the BtVS movie, to the point where it became a running gag.
  • Stirling from Kit Kittredge: An American Girl does this twice after discovering hobos.
  • Captain Spaulding does this in Animal Crackers as Mrs. Rittenhouse is hailing him for fearlessly journeying through Darkest Africa.
  • Water (1985). 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.

  • 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. Less for comedy than as one of the repeated reminders that Leopold is not an admirable manly man like the novel's hero.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Done without the scream on multiple occasions by Mr. Humphries in Are You Being Served?, typically as a silent collapse into the arms of his coworkers.
  • 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.
  • Frank from M*A*S*H had been known to do this. Also Radar, particularly when he was around anything related to childbirth.
  • Northern Resuce: Taylor blacks out form the pressure while competing in a spelling bee. A little while later, a competitor spots a video of it online.
  • 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. He does it again before the end of the episode, only this time he's being heroic, and it's actually an Exhaustion Faint.
  • In The X-Files episode "The Unnatural", Dales faints away upon seeing Exley's true alien form, and then faints again (and again, and again) when the alien revives him.

  • 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.

    Video Games 
  • In the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney 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?"

    Web Animation 
  • Simmons in Red vs. Blue, upon seeing a teammate's head blow up. He fervently denies this, but a later flashback confirms it.
    Simmons: Eek! I'm gonna faint!

  • Mr. Cake from Slice of Life does this periodically.
    Mrs. Cake: You get used to it, dear.

    Western Animation 

Anemia Faint

    Anime & Manga 
  • Miki seems to suffer from this quite a bit in Marmalade Boy, giving two of her potential love interests a chance to get closer to her.
  • Brutally parodied with Hyatt in Excel Saga, who has the tendency to die at random moments, only to get up a moment (or a week) later as if nothing happened.
  • Nagisa in Strawberry Panic! has fainted a few times in romantic scenes, apparently because Onee-sama Shizuma's presence is just that powerful. Usually it's only for a few seconds—just long enough to be caught by another character (who, surprisingly, is not always Shizuma), or fall to her knees but recover. However, the first time kept her out long enough to be moved from the field to her room quite some distance away, and for her roommate to have watched her for long enough for it to be creepy.
  • Female Ranma, in the Picolet Chardin saga of Ranma ½. Since Madame Saint-Paul does not allow her to eat at all unless she does it "properly," she loses weight at distressingly high rate. Coupled with intense speed and dexterity training, the stress this causes on her body culminates with her fainting from starvation, just as she has finally mastered the Gourmet De Fois Gras technique. The dramatic effect is ruined when, before hitting the floor, her head smacks into a watermelon, cracking it open (the watermelon, not her head.)
  • Sailor Jupiter from Sailor Moon gives blood up for her injured friend earlier in the episode, and then faints while fighting. She fights through the pain to rescue Sailor Moon and defeat the youma alone.
  • Yuki faints in Episode 11 of Betrayal Knows My Name due to exhausting himself from healing Tsukumo.
  • This happens a few times in Mahou Sensei Negima!, usually to Nodoka, although once she was let in on The Masquerade she got much better about this.
  • In Magical × Miracle, Merleawe, as the shojo heroine, faints; Vaith, as the Love Interest, catches her; and Yue lampshades it.
  • Kyon of Haruhi Suzumiya uses this as explanation to Taniguchi when caught with Nagato in a compromising position.
    Kyon: That's when Nagato, an anemic all her life suffered a seizure. As I lunged to catch her from falling to the hard linoleum floor, you came walking through the door.
    Taniguchi: You liar.
  • In Tsukihime, Shiki is a Rare Male Example, suffering from it after his backstory Near Death Incident. Like many female examples, it often serves the purpose of allowing his love interest to protect him and keep him safe, and throughout the story he ends up semi-regularly collapsing from it, especially in the Far Side routes where he's getting too close to figuring out the secret behind where it comes from.

    Fan Works 

    Live-Action TV 
  • Star Trek: The Original Series. When the effects of a Negative Space Wedgie causes members of the crew to start passing out, Kirk orders them given booster shots. McCoy is later shown injecting a line of Starfleet personnel— who are all female. Presumably tough spacemen are not in the habit of swooning. Or maybe they're just in a separate line being injected by Nurse Chapel?
  • In Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger, Jasmine's briefly fainting and being caught by Umeko (not a love interest... theoretically) replaces the usual Psychic Nosebleed.
  • Scully in The X-Files episode "Redux" faints in a meeting with Skinner and other FBI higher-ups after her cancer progresses to a dangerous point. She was about to tell the board who the mole was working in the FBI, and as Skinner catches her before she hits the floor, she whispers "You", implying that she believes he is the mole.

  • One of many reasons (overlapping with emotional and exhaustion) why Yoshiki is known for fainting onstage during shows (and offstage as well...)

    Visual Novels 
  • Mio Kisaragi from Tokimeki Memorial 1 has this as one of her main traits. Suffering from anemia, she can faint at any moment. When she utters the memetic words "Memai ga..." ("I'm feeling dizzy..."), it's the signal of an impending black-out.
  • Hatoful Boyfriend - Holiday Star: In the chapter Fallen Chronicles - Absolute Zero, Anghel becomes anaemic due to Tohri stealing his blood to power a giant laser. The protagonist eventually finds him collapsed at the foot of some stairs.

  • Miho from MegaTokyo has this shortly after being introduced.

    Real Life 
  • As shown in this video, during a 2006 broadcast of America's Next Top Model one of the contestants had fainted while being commented.
  • A related issue: Fainting at the sight of blood or from blood draws (even when you can't see them). The medical term for fainting from a blood draw is vasovagal syncope, as seen in this anecdote (the comments section discusses a lot of facets of the issue).

Fake Faint

    Asian Animation 
  • In the Simple Samosa episode "Makhi Makhi!", Samosa distracts the angry mob away from him and the fly by pretending to faint after a failed "attempt" to fight off the fly with a flashlight.

    Comic Books 
  • In Violine, Violine fakes fainting to allow her to warn her father about Muller waiting outside.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Dave, the eponymous character performs one after confessing to the President's illegal actions and exonerating the Vice President, during the joint session of Congress. It works because the President (whom he had been impersonating) had suffered a stroke earlier in the movie, and this was used as a means of swapping Dave with the real coma-bound President after he chose to come clean about the President's illegal activities.
  • Possibly with Aunt Pittypat in Gone with the Wind, who swoons and weeps and wails over everything, but keeps it together when her beloved niece is dying, the one time such behavior would have been justified, thus indicating that her previous hysterics have been an act.
  • Kitty Foyle accidentally triggers the burglar alarm at the department store where she works. Realizing she's about to get fired, Kitty pretends to faint. This not only works, it also introduces her to her handsome doctor boyfriend when he tends to her.
  • Elizabeth pulls one of these in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest to try and keep the others from fighting over the chest with Davy Jones's heart inside. It doesn't work.
  • Working Girl: Katherine fakes a dizzy spell to Garner sympathy from the board members who might listen to her secretary Tess (who's telling the truth about Katherine stealing her idea for a business merger) instead of her (who, as stated, is lying and claiming the idea was hers).

  • Discworld: Christine in Maskerade pulls this one whenever a play would call for the heroine to faint, usually Monster or Emotional Faint situations. Agnes notes with considerable scorn that she even falls in such a way as to avoid hurting herself when she lands.
  • In the Dragonlance novel Dragons of Spring Dawning, when the elven princess Laurana is threatened with rape by the Dragonarmy officer Bakaris, she pretends to faint, and then when he moves in to catch her, punches him hard in the stomach.
  • The Finishing School Series: The students of Spy School Mademoiselle Geraldine's are taught how to faint graciously, and the right times to do so.
  • In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Gilderoy Lockhart pulls a fake faint to try to steal a wand. It works too well, though.
  • James Bond, Casino Royale. A mook threatens to shoot Bond with a silenced gun hidden in his cane unless he withdraws from the game, saying he'll be gone from the casino before anyone realises Bond hasn't just passed out. Instead Bond pretends to faint from the tension of the high stakes game, falling backward in his chair and knocking the weapon from the man's hands.
  • In Kingsley Amis' Lucky Jim, Bill Atkinson faints loudly and dramatically during a public lecture in order to aid the lecturer's escape. It doesn't quite work, as the lecturer (and title character) faints for real seconds after.
  • In The Mad King by Edgar Rice Burroughs, the heroine pretends to faint at her wedding to force a halt to proceedings and buy time after realizing that the man walking up the aisle is not her beloved but his Identical Stranger cousin.
  • The Parasol Protectorate: At the beginning of the first book, after Alexia Tarabotti has killed a vampire who tried to attack her, she's about to leave the room when a bunch of young men come in. Forced to pretend that she's also just arrived and found the body, she promptly "faints", and stays resolutely fainted until the arrival of Lord Maccon, who wouldn't fall for it in any case.
  • In Sorcerer Conjurer Wizard Witch, the Diabolical Mastermind Zenf and one of the heroes have a meeting on neutral territory, at the end of which Zenf's female accomplice covers his departure by faking a faint, falling into the hero, and knocking him to the ground.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Angel. As Cordelia is both pregnant and a Fainting Seer, she uses one of these to stop Connor leaving at a crucial moment.
  • Doctor Who: In "The Monster of Peladon", Sarah Jane has Queen Thalira pretend to faint in order to distract the Ice Warrior guarding the door to the throne room.
  • In the Fawlty Towers episode "Gourmet Night", Basil is forced to introduce a man named "Twitchen" to another man who had a facial tic. He frantically tries to get out of it, and eventually pretends to faint for a moment.
  • In Frasier, Niles pretends to faint into a man's arms in the last of a long string of attempts to stop said man from throwing Frasier out of a party before he can seal an important deal vital to Niles and Frasier's latest "Fawlty Towers" Plot.
  • Game of Thrones: Ygritte, Jon's Action Girlfriend parodies swooning when he explains what it is to her.
  • In H2O: Just Add Water, Cleo pulls one of these in order to play sick, an excuse as to not leave Emma's house during a heavy rainstorm.
  • Doctor Cox does this an episode of Scrubs to "demonstrate" how boring J.D.'s story is.
    "Hope that hurt."
    "Totally worth it!"
  • Mr. Scott pulled off a brief Fake Faint to distract and help disarm an intellectually-empowered, yet still-not-all-that-bright female alien in the "Spock's Brain" episode of Star Trek.
  • Gilligan's Island episode "Ghost a Go-Go". When Gilligan pulls up the window blind and sees the ghost outside the hut and when the Skipper sees the ghost through the hut door walking through the trees, they both faint.

  • William Shakespeare play Macbeth. Done by Lady Macbeth in an attempt to draw suspicion away from her husband. Macbeth is being asked some very awkward questions about why he killed King Duncan's supposed assassins (instead of keeping them alive so they can tell who put them up to it). Her fainting diverts the attention of the questioner, and by the time everything is sorted out the king's sons have fled and Macbeth can put the blame on them.
  • In Act I of The Marriage of Figaro, Susanna tries one of these, apparently to get her employer to leave her alone. Depending on the production, this may actually backfire if the Count decides to give her some air by loosening her clothes...
  • In Act II of The Girl Of The Golden West, the heroine throws a poker game by pretending to faint so she can stash her cards in her blouse and pull out a winning hand from her stocking.

  • Rachel from Tower of God pretended to faint after she heard that Bam had died. We know she's faking it because she killed him.

    Western Animation 

Pregnancy Faint

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Zira fainting in the movie Escape from the Planet of the Apes.
  • This type is used a lot in the Carry On movies, mostly with the wives married to the womanising Sid James characters that he doesn't find attractive anymore.

  • The Parasol Protectorate: Near the end of Changeless, Alexia faints into her haggis while Lord Maccon is carrying out the very gory process of changing Lady Kingair into a werewolf. When she wakes up, Lord Maccon points out that despite the bloody goings-on, Alexia practically never faints. Madame Lefoux then takes it upon herself to reveal that she's figured out that Alexia is pregnant, to the surprise of her and her husband.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Chloe from 24 discovered her pregnancy this way.
  • Lidia in Cable Girls discovers she is pregnant when she is taken to hospital after fainting.
  • Phoebe in Charmed fainted twice because of demonic pregnancy.
  • How Days of Our Lives' Billie discovers she's pregnant—she's taken to the hospital after collapsing for the second time in a week.
  • Jane in Jane the Virgin finds out that she's pregnant after fainting on the bus. Of course, she hadn't even entertained the possibilty because she's a virgin.
  • Hatice Sultan of Magnificent Century faints early in her pregnancy. She didn't know she was pregnant until a physician was called after she fainted, to examine her.
  • Happens several times in The X-Files episode "Requiem", which ends with Scully's pregnancy being revealed.

  • Roxie Hart from Chicago faked this to attract media attention and help influence the jury in her murder trial.
  • Parodied in Of Thee I Sing, where President Wintergreen's impeachment proceedings are interrupted by his wife bringing the news that he's going to have a baby. He faints, and the Senators have no choice but to exonerate him, since they would never impeach an expectant father. (If you wonder how on earth a show from 1931 could parody a musical from 1975, see Adaptation Displacement.)
  • In The Most Happy Fella, Rosabella finds out she's pregnant after she faints during a wild dance. The doctor tells her the truth, but tells Tony that she's "just a little dizzy from all the excitement."
  • A Raisin in the Sun has Ruth fainting at the very end of the first act for this exact reason.

    Video Games 
  • In Dragon Quest V, your wife faints on the trip to Gotha. Eventually, it's revealed to be this trope when she faints again while meeting King Albert.


    Web Original 
  • A reversed version in this Not Always Healthy story. When the poster goes in for a routine follow-up appointment for a fractured wrist, the doctor wraps up the appointment by congratulating her on her pregnancy (the first she'd known about it). Her boyfriend immediately faints.

The Monster Faint

    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • Played painfully straight in Uncanny X-Men issue 148, when Kitty Pryde (thirteen years old if even that at the time) faints when kidnapped by Caliban (whom we were meeting for the first time, and who was much creepier than his later appearances would make him, but still...)
  • Even more painful in Uncanny X-Men 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!!"
  • Papa Smurf collapses in a faint in The Smurfs comic book story "The Smurfs And The Book That Tells Everything" when he gets so frustrated with his little Smurfs being so dependent on the titular book that he stamps his feet in anger.

    Fan Works 
  • 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 fell into a normal sleep or remained completely unconscious until the next morning.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Done by Janet Weiss (SLUT!) when she sees Frank N. Furter for the first time in The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
  • In 1995's Casper, both sassy teenager Kat and her father, James Harvey, faint (the former from meeting the ghostly hero for the first time, and the latter when Casper's trouble making uncles pull a surprise Nightmare Face on the Dr.
  • In Shrek, a lady in the audience faints when Fiona reveals to Shrek that she turns into an ogre at sunset.
  • In Young Frankenstein, while we don't actually see Elizabeth faint when the Monster kidnaps her, he later appears carrying her unconscious body in classic movie-poster style, which leads into their Black Comedy Rape scene.
  • Big Trouble in Little China. Gracie Law is kidnapped by one of Lo Pan's monsters. When she faces it head on, she screams in terror at its horrible visage and faints. The monster puts her over its shoulder and carries her away.
  • 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.
  • A classic example in Beauty and the Beast (1946): 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.
  • In nearly every version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, April O'Neil does this on her first sight of the turtles, whereupon they pick her up and take her home. In a possible Running Gag, Michelangelo asks "Can we keep her?" in both the first movie and the second series just after she faints.
    • In the first movie, April did not faint upon seeing the Turtles for the first time — her unconsciousness was due to being attacked by the Foot Clan before they got their ever-loving asses kicked by Raph. When she woke up in the sewer den, she freaked out instead, which ended up freaking the Turtles out as well.
    • Splinter elicited a fainting reaction from Keno and Kenshin in the second and third movies, the latter being lampshaded.
      Donatello: You sure have a strange effect on people, don't you, Master?
      Splinter: Hmmmm... out cold.
  • In 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.
  • 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.

  • Having the narrator faint was a common way for H. P. Lovecraft to finish his stories since it saved him having to explain how his very non-Badass Normals could live to tell the tale.
  • In Dracula, we get a nice Gender Flip with Jonathan Harker pulling one of these fairly early on. Just as equally an emotional faint, however, as he had just been overtly harassed by three beautiful vampire-ladies and apparently his own host.
  • In The Phantom of the Opera, when Raoul first comes face to face with Erik in the Perros graveyard, he faints. Crosses over with an emotional faint, since Erik had already been trying to freak him out by playing the ghost and throwing skulls at him.
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban:
    • When the Dementors board the train in , Harry faints when they search his compartment, due to him reliving the death of his mother (he even hears her screaming). When Neville mistakenly reveals this to the Slytherns, Malfoy and his bunch try to pass it as a Frightened Faint.
    • 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.
  • The revelation that Skulduggery Pleasant is a talking, sentient skeleton causes Stephanie to faint.
  • 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 from that is located in that region— Erin faints, when she sees Jelequa waving to her, inside of...well, Jelequa.
  • 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.

    Live-Action TV 
  • This phenomenon popped up in several Mystery Science Theater 3000 movies, like Eegah!, The Phantom Planet and The Blood Waters of Dr. Z, which 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.
    Crow: Apparently women are devoid of the "fight-or-flight" reflex.
  • 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).
  • 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. Also played for laughs in "The Unnatural" when the cop protagonist in 1947 Roswell sees a Grey alien (who's been posing as a Negro baseball player) 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.

  • In The Magic Flute, Tamino faints when chased by a giant snake in the opening scene.

    Video Games 

    Western Animation 

Emotional Faint

    Anime & Manga 
  • From Eroica with Love: Caesar Gabriel does this twice a chapter. (Yes, he was only around for two chapters, but still.)
  • 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...
  • Emma of Victorian Romance Emma faints at a ball, partly because her corset is laced too tightly and from seeing William with Eleanor.
  • Albert of Gankutsuou faints from when he accidentally drank water that was laced with poison.
  • Hinata of Naruto is often depicted 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.
  • In Tsukigasa, Azuma faints when Kuroe kills the robbers and it brings up trauma from when he hurt Kuroe.
  • 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.
  • Barnaby in Tiger & Bunny faints in Episode 19. With good reason, as because 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), and as a result has barely eaten or slept recently. When trying to discuss his fears with Kotetsu, Barnaby breaks down in tears and then passes out.
  • A Running Gag in One Piece Film: Strong World is Xiao's tendency to faint whenever she's surprised. Because of how easy she is to surprise, she faints all the time.
    • Chapter 742 of the series proper has an example which 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.
  • Tubby does this as 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.
  • King Dedede has fainted in the episode "Cartoon Buffoon" not once, but twice.
  • 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.
  • 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 she takes Souske through to try and scare him. It's revealed that all the scary things they encountered were actually tricks performed by a group of kids, who were helping out a man nicknamed Gen-san, who wanted to stay undisturbed in the hospital; he kept getting harshly picked on, so they came up with those tricks to make everyone stay away from the hospital. The kids mention, however, that the old lady Sousuke and Kaname spotted wasn't one of their tricks; Gen-san notes that 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.
    • And 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.
  • Death the Kid from Soul Eater has Super OCD and is absolutely obsessed with symmetry. As a result, he faints after Soul cuts a couple of centimetres off one side of his hair, as this meant it was not perfectly symmetrical any more.
    • 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.
  • In the 2003 version of Fullmetal Alchemist, Ed faints after seeing the corpse of a murdered woman, as it reminded him of his deceased mother, and of how she Came Back Wrong.
  • 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.

    Comic Books 
  • Tintin: In The Castafiore Emerald. Bianca Castafiore and her assistant Irma faint when they hear that her jewels have been stolen. In The Seven Crystal Balls Madame Yamilah is a Fainting Seer.
  • In Violine, Violine faints when hearing that Muller is Marushka's brother, and her "mother" is actually Marushka, her father's former governess
  • In Black Science Sara passes out from stress on hearing that Grant was chasing their daughter on the street outside their home, presumably for murder reasons.

    Fan Works 
  • In Kyon: Big Damn Hero, Kyon's mother, who was until this point mentioned several times how she doesn't want Kyon to become a delinquent, faints when she is told about her son's relationship with a Yakuza family. A relationship which, ironically, she was a strong supporter.
  • 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...
  • Calvin faints in Calvin and Hobbes: The Series 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.
  • Combined with Exhaustion in the (now discontinued) Star Trek fanfic And The Stars Were Shining Bright where 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 contacted to kill is the same man who helped her flee a dangerous situation some fifteen months previously.
  • 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.
  • 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 polygamist relationship with every member of Team MNVW.
    • Izuku himself has been on the verge of passing out from sheer embarrassment several occasions. When he and Yang start dating, his legs buckle out from underneath him when he realizes that he's clenching her hand. After this, Nora reveals to Team TABY that he has an entire box of condoms that he got from his mother, who sent them to him not long after he officially began attending Beacon. Izuku proceeds to have a brief mental shutdown when Tenya starts accusing him of being a serial philanderer over this. Finally, 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 go Undressing the Unconscious when Weiss is caught in a frigid blizzard and passes out, since he needs to get her cold, wet clothes off of her. Later, when Weiss learns this, the idea he saw her naked leaves her so embarrassed that she faints on the spot.
  • In My Master Ed, Hohenheim passes out and falls on his face after seeing Edward can create gold, which leaves him terrified that he’d been joking with and mocking a god in disguise and causing his tolerance for weirdness to finally be 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 that same year leaves him so unnerved and terrified that he passes out in the snow as soon as her limo drives away.
  • SMG4's Mario Bloopers has had Luigi faint from the shock of a Chain Chomp.
  • In Must Love Ned Flanders, a fanfiction of The Simpsons, Naomi faints three times: when she meets Homer, when she meets Ned, and when Ned proposes to her. She's also knocked out at the beginning.
    Naomi: "I've probably been unconscious for at least half of this book."
  • The Loud House fanfics:
    • In Lincoln Is Done, Clyde passes out hen he sees or mentions his crush Lori (canonically, this sometimes happens but more often he just acts awkward and/or gets a nosebleed).
    • In Mall Rats, Lincoln worries he will faint when his crush holds his hand. He doesn't, though.

    Films — Animation 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Thumbelina. Mocked mercilessly by The Nostalgia Chick: "And like all animated heroines she has a tendency towards fainting. Boom! Unconscious!"
  • In the animated Charlotte's Web, Wilbur is even more prone to this than in the book. First he faints when Lurvey force-feeds him a sulphur-and-molasses tonic, then again when he first learns that the humans are planning to kill him for meat, and then again when he overhears them talking about it. Later he almost faints again at the mention of "crunchy bacon," but Charlotte stops it by saying "Wilbur, I forbid you to faint!"

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In A Place in the Sun, Elizabeth Taylor's character 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, in what is widely considered perhaps the single best faint in film history, crashes hard and limp onto the floor without the even tiniest movement to break her fall, as though already utterly out like a light before she even began to plunge down.
    • Liz & Dick possibly pays homage to this by having Liz faint in a similarly no-nonsense manner upon hearing of Dick's death.
  • 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.
  • In Jumanji, Sarah faints when she realizes Alan is standing on her doorstep. (And like the Holmes example below, it's because she had thought he was gone forever).
  • The Incredible Mr. Limpet. When George Stickel 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.
  • Back to the Future:
    • Doc Brown faints at the end of Back to the Future Part II 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]
    • Earlier on in the same movie, 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]
    • Both of these faints also last quite unrealistically long. Doc explicitly predicts in Part II that Jennifer would stay unconscious for at least several hours based on the severity of the shock she experienced (which very rarely happens in real life), and this turns out to be true. Doc himself faints late in the night and wakes up early next morning many hours later, whereas the unconscious Jennifer, soon after passing out, is placed on her house's front porch swing early on in the night, and it is already almost noon the next day by the time she finally wakes up from her faint in Part III, meaning that she stays totally out cold for more than half a day.
  • In Jurassic Park, Alan Grant starts to faint upon Hammond's big reveal of living dinosaurs.
  • In The Notebook, Allie faints during her wedding dress fitting when she sees Noah's picture in the newspaper.
  • Superman
    • Clark pretends to have an Emotional faint as a cover-up for his Bullet Catch in the alley.
    • A helicopter crash almost causes Lois Lane to fall to her death. Superman makes his first public appearance by catching and saving both her and the falling helicopter. After he deposits her on the top of a building and flies away, she watches Superman fly away before immediately collapsing atop the helipad in a dead Emotional faint.
  • In the Director's Cut of Superman II, Lois becomes so sure that Clark is Superman that she jumps out of the window of her office in the Daily Planet building right in front of Clark, believing that he'll expose himself as Superman as he tries to save her. 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, and 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, along with the embarrassment of what she's done, as well as the knowledge of how easily she could have killed herself doing so, instantly sends Lois passing out cold into the pile of tomatoes she landed on top of.
  • Superman Returns contains an homage to the original faint scene from the 1978 film: an aircraft malfunction almost kills the entirety of its passengers, amongst whom is Lois, who at this point has already given up the hope of Superman returning from his many-years-long absence and no longer believes that the world needs him. Superman makes his first public reappearance by saving the aircraft and landing it safely in a packed sports arena. He then personally speaks solely to Lois, echoing their conversation on the helipad in the original film. Completely overwhelmed, Lois follows him out the aircraft's exit and once again watches speechlessly as he flies away into the sky before she drops and slides limply down the plane's inflated evacuation slide, dead unconscious.
  • Happens twice in Batman (1989):
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 horrible distorted mask and Beatrice faints dead away.
  • 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.
  • Galaxy Quest: A fangirl does this upon seeing Jason and Gwen kiss.
  • Joe, from The Devil and Miss Jones, has an Emotional variation of this when he finds out that Thomas Higgins is actually John P. Merrick.
  • In 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.
  • Mystery of the Wax Museum: When Charlotte is shown the truth behind the wax museum, she faints.
  • 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, and then a third and fourth time immediately after waking as the shock was still too great.
  • Spaceballs has Princess Vespa faint twice: once when she realizes that her reunion with her father was a sham and a trap, and once when she is about to be mutilated as part of an extortion attempt on her father.
  • In The Return of Sherlock Holmes, Mrs. Hudson faints in shock when Holmes returns from Faking the Dead.
  • In The Climax, the soprano who is told that she is to replace The Prima Donna 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 the floor.
  • In Death Bell, one of the girls faints in shock/fear when a body drops out of the ceiling in the auditorium.
  • Legend (1985). When she first meets the terrifying villain Darkness, Lili has an Emotional Faint and collapses to the ground. She wakes up a few seconds later and has a long conversation with him.
  • In Relative Fear, Linda collapses after she finds Margaret's body.

  • Subverted in The Silver Chair: Jill collapses to the ground when Eustace falls off a cliff and hopes she'll faint, but the author comments it's not that easy.
  • Doctor Watson falls down in a dead faint when Sherlock Holmes suddenly appears in his study after having been thought dead for three years.
  • Not as often as he invokes the Monster Faint, but H. P. Lovecraft still makes his characters faint at the heights of their emotion from time to time. Georgina in "The Last Test", for instance, 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. It's an Emotional Faint because he is under massive stress and he uses that to make his enemies believe he is weak.
  • 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.
  • Occurs to such an extent in The Pickwick Papers, that Charles Dickens may well be parodying it.
  • In the Inheritance Cycle, Eragon faints when his mentor, Brom, is fatally stabbed. But then, he faints at the end of almost every chapter, as well.
  • This happens to Twilight's Bella a lot.
  • Dante does this or seems to come near it in Inferno to the point where many modern readers think of it as Girly Man Fainting. He only truly faints twice: once due to a sensory overload upon first entering Hell, and again in the circle of Lust, where he meets a couple who are the Romeo and Juliet of his time. The latter is largely from empathy, due to having been loved a woman from afar his whole life (combined with a possible fangirl episode . . . they were pretty famous).
  • Tamaris in Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian story "A Witch Shall Be Born". Nearly being feed to a monster and finding yourself in the middle of a battle after months of Cold-Blooded Torture and isolation do make a good excuse.
  • In Robert A. Heinlein's short —And He Built a Crooked House—, Mrs. Bailey repeatedly faints throughout the adventure in the tesseract house.
    • 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 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.
  • Parodied mercilessly by Jane Austen in Love and Freindship [sic], from which the opening quote is taken. 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 worsened into deadly tuberculosis.
  • 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 lovestricken distress and all.
  • Bobbie Waterbury in The Railway Children manages to prevent a train from careening straight into a landslide via clever use of red petticoats, but has to stand on the tracks to do so. When the train finally manages to stop — just inches in front of her, as she's still standing on the tracks — she very understandably collapses in a dead faint. Jenny Agutter's rendition of the scene in the 1970 Film of the Book is iconic.
  • 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.
  • Jane Eyre: Jane faints after she finds out that Mr Rochester, who was going to marry her, already has a wife.
    • Much earlier on, 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.
    • In another instance, the terrifying figure of a veiled strange woman holding a candle approaches Jane, who has been wakeful in her bed, 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.
  • Emily, the protagonist of The Mysteries of Udolpho, 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Christine's faint on stage during chapter 2 of The Phantom of the Opera is either this or an exhaustion type faint, since it is her first big performance.
  • 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.
  • In the stories of The Arabian Nights, this happens over and over and over and over and over again, almost always in moments of high emotion, swooning faints of love.
  • Ishmael from Don't Call Me Ishmael! faints during his first debate because he is so nervous. Everybody else sees it as a Girly Man Faint and thinks it's hilarious as Ishmael also accidentally gropes his Love Interest Kelly right as he faints.
  • Much like The Arabian Nights above, The Song of Roland features a lot of dramatic emotional "swooning" - and that's from the men. The lady Aude, upon hearing that her brother Oliver and her fiance Roland are dead, immediately dies of grief on the spot.
  • In Charlotte's Web, Wilbur is prone to this. First he faints when he overhears the humans talking about killing him for bacon and ham; the farmhand Lurvey revives him with a bucket of water. Later, he faints from Stage Fright when he receives his medal at the county fair; this time Templeton revives him by biting his tail.
  • 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 1993 TV remake of the 1958 Attack of the 50 Ft. 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. 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.
  • 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.
  • Spoofed in Game of Thrones when Jon Snow (born of a noble family) tries to explain the concept of swooning to his wildling girlfriend Ygritte — needless to say she mocks the idea mercilessly, having come from a society where people have to be tough to survive.
    • A couple of seasons earlier, this is his sister, Sansa Stark's reaction to seeing their father, Lord Eddard, beheaded.
  • Magnificent Century: After learning that she can marry the man she loves, Hatice passes out.
  • 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.
  • Olive does this in the fifth episode of Pushing Daisies when it seems a dead horse jockey's ghost is out to kill all the other jockeys from that race, which includes her. Justified-ish in that Pushing Daisies never pretended to be realistic medically or otherwise -later the "dead" jockey shows up really tall, because he was paralyzed so the doctors cut off his dead horse's legs and put them on him.
  • A recurring gag on Raising Hope as much of the show's comedy is based on secret revelations. In particular Jimmy does this several times in the 2-part season 2 finale upon hearing ludicrously illogical news about his baby's mother.
  • Red Dwarf has featured this version in a couple of episodes: Rimmer does it in "Psirens" after viewing a graphic demonstration of how and what the eponymous monsters eat, while in "Epideme" The Cat freezes up and keels over after seeing Kochanski apparently chop off her own arm. (Amusingly, in the latter case, he's just left lying on the floor, incredulous index finger still extended.)
  • The 1991 Tarzán series has Jane fainting in Tarzan's arms from the relief of being saved from certain death.

  • Thoroughly justified in Gilbert and Sullivan's The Yeomen of the Guard. In the course of the first act, Elsie Maynard is A. Forced to marry a condemned criminal to buy medicine to save her mother. In one of the other plots, Fairfax was framed in order that his cousin can inherit his fortune, but, by the terms of the will, he can shift the inheritance to another branch of the family if he's married, so he arranges with his guards to sort out a marriage with anyone whatsoever, for cash. B. She witnesses the highly-charged leadup to his execution by beheading, and, C. She then finds out he's escaped, meaning she, as a poor woman in Tudor times, is now permanently a criminal's wife. And being a moral woman, love is now forbidden 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.
  • A mainstay of opera. To name just a handful of examples:
    • Violetta in La Traviata, when Alfredo publically insults her (possibly justified, since she’s sick with tuberculosis).
    • Faninal in Der Rosenkavalier, when he realizes Baron Och’s true character (again, possibly justified, since he’s mentioned early on to be in frail health).
    • The title character in Rigoletto, when he realizes his daughter has been kidnapped, and again in the end, after she dies in his arms.
    • Leonora in Il Trovatore, when Manrico rushes off to risk his life trying to save his mother.
    • 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.
    • Pamina in The Magic Flute, as Monostatos is harassing her, paralleling her love interest Tamino’s earlier Monster Faint.
    • Sieglinde in Die Wälkure, first in guilt and fear over her Twincest with her brother Siegmund, and again after Siegmund is killed.
    • Isolde in Tristan & Isolde, Charlotte in Werther, and Des Grieux in Manon Lescaut, after their lovers die in their arms.
  • 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.
  • Much Ado About Nothing sees Hero faint as she's being falsely accused of unfaithfulness and publicly denounced and humiliated at a wedding. She faints so deep that others at the scene believe her to have died.
  • 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.

    Video Games 
  • Ace Attorney:
    • 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 sixth game's final case, Rayfa faints while trying to perform the Divination Séance to show her father Inga's final moments.
      • Another example from the same game is wheelchair-bound shut-in Armie Buff from Case 5, whose pyrophobia becomes a plot point during her testimony.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Borrowed Time: Bruce Light, being a very fragile man, flops unconscious to the floor from fear due to questioning.

    Visual Novels 
  • 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.
  • Muv-Luv Unlimited: The first time Takeru truly realizes that there's a serious possibility of him dying in combat against the BETA, he then faints upon learning that the BETA are not in fact going to attack the base he's stationed at. He beats himself up over it, as he sees it as further proof of his weakness in comparison to the rest of his squad. However, none of the military cast holds it against him, with his Sergeant even acting uncharacteristically kind and supportive, saying that breakdowns like that are a very common reaction among recruits and no one blames him for it.


    Web Original 
  • The Sanders Sides episode "Crofters - The MUSICAL!" has Logic of all people doing this when he sees that there's a new flavor of Crofters jam named after him.

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • 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 faints 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.
    • Rarity also faints in "A Dog and Pony Show" when Sapphire Shores asks her to make five more dresses in addition to the one she just made.
    • Applejack also ends up fainting in "Applebuck Season" 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.
  • 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 (practically emulating Rarity, above), 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]
  • Used big time in the Oggy and the Cockroaches episode "Docu-Mentally". After discovering Dee Dee removing the tape from his, well, video tape, he falls to the ground and passes out this way 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...
  • Adventure Time:
  • Los Trotamúsicos: In this adaptation of The Bremen Town Musicians the mayor's wife usually fainted whenever a situation became too much for her, complete with her falling into the arms of her husband.
  • Invoked 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]
  • 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.
  • Ned's Newt: Ned does this when he finds out that the parents of a baby that he thinks will play at a New Year's pageant actually live in another town other than Friendly Falls.
  • Stan does this in the South Park episode "The Cissy" when his father Randy tell him that he is Lorde and proves to him that he's not making it up.
  • 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.
  • Horrid Henry, out of the fear of injections, faints from his brother Perfect Peter's explanation about the aforementioned injections.
  • PAW Patrol: In "Pups Save a Mer-Pup", Chase in the beginning of the episode insisted that mer-pups aren't real. When he saw Skye actually turning into one, he does this.
  • 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.

Exhaustion Faint

    Anime & Manga 
  • Played for laughs in Pokémon when, in the episode Here Comes the Squirtle Squad, Ash keeps getting very unlucky on his way to get a super potion for Pikachu. After being barely able to walk, Ash notices the shop and as he is about to enter, Gary opens the door right in his face. He mumbles "I beg your pardon," and then faints out of exhaustion.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Blondie from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly passes out after Tuco marches him through a blisteringly hot desert (and, more importantly, after he learns the location of $200,000 in gold from a dying Confederate soldier).
  • X-Men: Apocalypse: Professor X loses consciousness after each time he's Mind Raped by the eponymous villain. Nightcrawler passes out after he simultaneously teleports several members of the X-Men before their jet crashes.
  • Matilda: Miss Trenchbull faints after receiving what she thought was a threatening message from a dead man, laughed at by children, and being pelted by telekinetically propelled chalkboard erasers.

  • Clockpunk in "Clockpunk and the Vitalizer" faints twice of exhaustion from battle and injuries, though the second time is debatable as a combination of exhaustion and emotion.
  • In National Velvet, the title character faints from exhaustion after winning the climactic horse race. This is what leads to the on-site doctor examining her and discovering her true gender.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Game of Thrones: Still very sick and weak from recent events, Jaime passes out in a moment of high emotion in "Kissed By Fire".
  • Sesame Street absolutely loves this trope, particularly with Grover.
  • Stranger Things: Eleven is prone to this after using her powers, especially in the first season.

  • The Bridgemen did this en masse at the end of their 1978 show after holding an Incredibly Long Note.


    Western Animation 
  • Mr. Bogus and Brattus both do this at the end of the first act of the episode "Waterboy Bogus", after a harrowing experience involving an orca.
  • In Disney's Cinderella, when Gus and Jaq are carrying the key up the stairs, Gus faints when he sees that there are still many more steps to go and he's already tired.
  • During the Animaniacs sequence "All The Words In the English Language," Yakko faints from exhaustion right before getting to the final word, but then he wakes up and says it, completing the song. He then does an Emotional Faint from shock at the very end when Dick Button announces that next time, Yakko will sing all the numbers above zero.


  • In a Claude The Cat video, Claude's owner passes out after putting his gas heater in his room.

    Fan Works 
  • In A Snowflake In Spring, the already emotionally frail Elsa faints upon seeing her Love Interest Anna dressed in a gorgeous ballroom gown.
  • In the Star Trek: The Original Series fanfic Step by Step, Kirk (who is sick with the flu and has been trying to ignore it) can barely keep himself upright after Spock drags him off the bridge, and before he can get into bed, he loses consciousness. Fortunately, Spock is there to catch him.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • At a certain point, Chuck Noland from Cast Away faints... from the pain of removing his own rotten tooth. With a rock and an ice skate.
  • In Cinderella (2015), Ella's mother's fatal illness is first signaled by her coughing and then by her fainting in her husband's arms.
  • Ophelia: Near the ending, she collapses from exhaustion as she walks into a convent, with a nun rushing forward to catch her and help her inside. She'd been travelling for days, possibly weeks, and recovering from the effects of snake venom, on top of going through the emotional wringer, so it's unsurprising she needs a break once she's safe. Plus, she may be in the early stages of pregnancy.

  • Gesta Danorum: When Odin makes snakes appear on the eyes of the boy Sigurd Ragnarsson, Sigurd's nurse faints in terror at the sight.
  • Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret.: Nancy does this when she gets her period for real. Margaret isn't amused.
  • 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.
  • In "The Yellow Dwarf", Princess Toutebelle faints during her kidnapping from a combination of blood loss and terror.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who: In "The Empty Child", Rose faints after Jack rescues her from dangling from a barrage balloon in the middle of a Nazi air raid. He says that his spaceship's Tractor Beam can sometimes make people dizzy, and Rose lampshades it before she passes out.
  • Kaamelott: Happens on occasion, pretty much only to male characters.
    • Bohort is afraid of every animal scarier than rabbits and pheasants (those included). So 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, speaks kindly to him.
    • When one episode has Perceval appearing to have become intelligent, Arthur faints.
    • Father Blaise faints on hearing the tritone (diabolus in musica) in person.
  • M*A*S*H: Attempted by one Corporal Max "I-want-outta-this-rotten-stinking-Army" Klinger after being told by Major Winchester that he'd just recently read about a man discharged from the Army for fainting. After hearing the usual symptoms preceding a faint, Klinger promptly faints. Winchester, not at all impressed, proceeded to correct Klinger by telling him that people usually fall forward when they faint. Klinger recovers, says that he was just testing, and promptly does it again.

  • The Bible: Believed to have happened at King Solomon's inauguration of the Temple in Jerusalem, as recorded in 1st Kings and 2nd Chronicles; that, when the Ark of the Covenant entered the Holy of Holies, the glory of God entered and filled the Temple, so that "the priests could not stand to minister". Also likely to have happened in the Book of Revelation when John the apostle on the isle of Patmos saw Jesus in His glorified form.

  • In La Bohème, Mimí faints immediately after making her entrance in Act I. This serves as early foreshadowing of her fatal illness, which isn't properly revealed until Act III.

    Video Games 
  • In Survivor: Fire, failing to give the sister an inhaler results in her passing out.
  • In Dragon Age: Origins, one of the pickpocketing quests in the Crime Spree questline requires you to steal a heavily jeweled decrative sword off a lady knight while she's shopping. If you have a high enough persuasion/cunning, you can convince her that she's afflicted with a horrible disease that will cause her lungs to stop working in a short time and tell her the only thing she can do to save her life is to breathe as rapidly as she can. She promptly begins to hyperventilate and faints, allowing you to steal the sword.
  • If you lose at the 'stay healthy' level of Life: the Game, you slip into a drug withdrawal coma.

    Western Animation 
  • The Defenders of the Earth episode "A Demon in His Pocket" contains a scene where Mandrake is apparently taken ill on live TV, sending Lothar hurrying onto the studio floor. It turns out that there's nothing physically wrong with Mandrake, whose collapse was brought on by his sensing the presence of the demon Shogoth.
  • 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.

    Real Life 
  • The Pentecostal phenomenon of being "slain in the Spirit", as those who are overcome by the power of the Holy Spirit when a person lays hands on them fall to the ground. There are usually people in Pentecostal and Charismatic services that are designated as "catchers" to help ease those who are "slain in the Spirit" to the ground and lay cloths on them to maintain their dignity.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Emotional Fainting, Pregnancy Faint


Ned Flanders passes out

Ned Flanders passes out after learning that the Simpson kids weren't baptised.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / Fainting

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Main / Fainting