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Freak Out

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"All it takes is one bad day to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy."

When a character is Not Himself, but for real, and (usually) permanently. In the course of a single episode, the character goes through something traumatic enough to change their personality forever (even Freak Outs that are temporary have lasting effects on a character). It could be a Mind Rape or a really Awful Truth, but it has to be pretty nasty. Sometimes a Freak Out is foreshadowed episodes in advance, but usually, it just comes out of the blue.

May double with a He's Back! or a Became Their Own Antithesis. If the character's Freak Out turns them into a bad guy, it's also a Face–Heel Turn. Can also be compared to Heroic BSoD (a milder and less permanent freak-out, usually resolved before the climax) and Laughing Mad. A villain doing this just as the tides turn against them is having a Villainous Breakdown. A character having a freak out due to uncertainty regarding who or what they are is having an Identity Breakdown. May overlap with Break the Cutie and Go Mad from the Revelation. Heroic Safe Mode is the mind's attempt to avoid this. May involve Broken Tears.

Has nothing to do with the words spoken by Freakazoid! to transform, nor the refrain from R&B band Chic's "Le Freak".


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    Anime & Manga 
  • This seems to be the main reason why Tetsuo from AKIRA became a villain. Years of bullying had given him an inferiority complex, and when he crashed into a psychic and had experiments done to him by the military to unlock his own psychic abilities, when those powers awakened, they quickly drove him insane.
  • After the horrible, horrible events during the Eclipse in Berserk, and awakening days later, Guts goes through a monumental freak out that consists of many tears, utter despair, bursts of rage, and finally an epic vow of revenge in the rain, the point at which Guts becomes a changed man. It's too bad that his lover, Casca, came out of the Eclipse even worse than Guts (her mentally damaged state also provoked Guts' freak out).
  • Kai's first Face–Heel Turn in Beyblade was the result of a Freak Out.
  • Black Butler II:
    • Episode 10. It begins with Hannah talking to Ciel and saying that she has something to show him. Then her mouth opens unnaturally wide to reveal this black abyss where the inside of a human mouth would be. The eye she stole from Alois Trancy is rooted in the back of her throat, and since Ciel's soul has been partially fused with Alois's at this point, he's staring at himself from inside her. Hannah watches calmly while Ciel suffers a severe nervous breakdown and screams before falling unconscious.
    • In the manga, Ciel will occasionally experience events that cause vivid flashbacks to the time he spent enslaved by the cult he was sold to after his parents' murders, which cause him to have panic attacks and freeze up, a total departure from his usual demeanor.
  • Black Cat: Creed. Any time that Train is involved or even mentioned, or if someone gets in the way.
  • In Black Lagoon, Roberta is a clumsy maid by profession, but actually a retired FARC guerrilla with extensive knowledge in weaponry, combat tactics, and near inhuman physical abilities. And she admires her employer very much. So when said employer dies thanks to a certain country's operatives, she snaps. And when she snaps, she snaps.
  • Black★Rock Shooter: Yomi Takanashi, over two episodes of the 2012 anime, goes from a sweet girl into having a seriously devastating psychological break. In the aftermath, though she mostly recovers, the damage was so severe that she completely forgot her best friend even existed.
  • In Bleach Rukia does this after Gin breaks her resolve with words.
  • In Bokurano and Shadow Star many of the characters are no stranger to this.
  • In the manga version of Chrono Crusade, it's revealed in a flashback that Aion had one of these after finding out that his mother was a human transformed into a demon, and she was pregnant with him and Chrono when it happened. It appears to be one of his underlying motivations for almost all of his actions in the series.
  • Code Geass:
    • Nina Einstein is the page image provider: she puts the "psycho" back in Psycho Lesbian after the "Euphinator" incident late in the first season, which leads to her trying to draw Zero, the man who killed Euphie, out with a prototype F.L.E.I.J.A. nuke.
      • When she sees how many people her F.L.E.I.J.A. warhead killed in R2, she makes a similar but slightly less appalling face as she quietly stares in disbelief at the names of the people she's killed. She doesn't scream in a fit of insanity this time.
    • Then there's Suzaku Kururugi after Euphemia's death, and Lelouch when he kills his father the first time.
  • Bird's Nest from Copernicus Breathing has several of these, most notably when Mina (intentionally) falls off of the trapeze, which reminds him of the death of his younger brother. Other times this happens are when he hears news of Leo's juggling accident and when Michel finds his stash of drugs and attempts to take them away.
  • In A Cruel God Reigns, Jeremy has almost too many of these to keep track of. Some good examples are when Ian grabs his arm while trying to ease him out of his Heroic BSoD, Ian asks who Valentine is after Greg does something very unpleasant with the wooden egg she gave Jeremy, and when Ian finds Jeremy taking heroin after being sexually assaulted at school in Boston. His other major episode is when he hallucinates Greg is following him after he and Ian go through all of his Embarrassing Old Photos.
  • In Deadman Wonderland, Ganta does this. It's understandable, as he's being forced to watch the Carnival of Corpses. Later, Rokuro has a massive one when his calculations were destroyed.
  • Death Note:
    • L has one upon hearing the second Kira utter the word "Shinigami (Death God)". Especially notable as he's otherwise unflappable usually.
    • Light Yagami towards the end of the anime, as well as after L's funeral (where he crawls on top of L's grave and screams at it), and after talking to L for the first time and learning his name.
    • Also in the Grand Finale, Teru Mikami freaks out when he sees his god, Light, get arrested by Near, and starts making crazy faces that out-crazy Nina's face above. In the anime, he even stabs himself in the heart with his pen and spews a fountain of blood until he dies.
    • Touta Matsuda also has one when he sees Light trying to write Near's name in a hidden death note and shoots his hand, goes into a rage and shoots him some more, and tries to deliver the killing blow but he is stopped.
  • Digimon Adventure 02:
    • Ken has two. The first was a nervous breakdown when he realized the sins he'd committed were real — further increased by his partner dying, which brought back all his repressed memories of his brother's death. The second was during when he found himself at the Dark Ocean again.
    • Hikari had one also when she returned to the black ocean. She needed to be slapped out of it in a very Get A Hold Of Yourself Man moment.
  • Elfen Lied: Happens on numerous occasions to several characters. Most notable are Kouta after witnessing his sister and father being slaughtered in front of him by Lucy; happens again later on after he starts to remember bits and pieces of his traumatic past, and again when he sees Lucy slaughter people in front of him. Lucy during the event where a particularly nasty group of bullies Kick the Dog that she had come to care for and beat it to death, forcing her to watch. Mayu after running away from home because of her stepfather's sexual abuse and her mother's refusal to believe that her own daughter is being raped because she's jealous of her. Mayu gets another in the manga when she's about to get raped by The Unknown Man, which is directly related to the aforementioned abuse.
  • Eureka Seven: While brutally mutilating an enemy LFO in Episode 20, Renton hallucinates a blob that reflects his own face. If this subsequent scream doesn't count as losing one's sanity, nothing will.
  • In Excel♡Saga, Watanabe suffers one of these after being dumped by Hyatt. And freak out is putting it pretty mildly.
    • Mince had one after seeing Excel again. It was a two page spread of just her horrified face.
    • Kabapu gets several of these. His expression in volume nineteen as he explains how he's not going to be a dictator — he's going to be more than a dictator to his terrified employees — is a thing of horror.
  • In Fairy Tail, Elfman and Mirajane both went through one of these around two or three years before the start of the series due to the death of their youngest sibling, Lisanna. The former turned from a kind, domestic, overprotective, and sensitive kind of guy to a super MANLY... kind, domestic, overprotective, and secretly sensitive kind of guy. The latter turned from an Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy delinquent-ish character into Silk Hiding Steel.
    • Sting also has one when his guild master kills his cat companion and best friend Lector right in front of him. That he's scolded by Jienma for being appropriately upset doesn't help to prevent him from snapping.
  • Erina Nakiri from Food Wars! gets one when in chapter 151 when she discovers that Soma, who she has been trying to discredit since day one, is the son of her idol Jouichirou. Her reaction is one big, comical My God, What Have I Done? moment when she realizes that she has done nothing but insult her idol's family and, indirectly, his cooking style, roots, and restaurant. She very nearly passes out from the shock.
  • Akito from Fruits Basket often has violent, screaming fits on the slightest provocation. Their cousin Rin has a huge Trauma Button due to being abused by her parents, so when Tohru (a maternal or big sister figure to most of the Zodiac) innocently walks in during a bad moment she is completely terrified and repeatedly cries not to yell at her.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: Ed has at least one of these, most notably when he saw the failed attempt at resurrecting his mother as a child.
    • Ling suffers one after he encounters the last surviving loyal chimera henchman of the previous Greed lurking under CentCom. He kills the chimera, and then the memories of the previous Greed all come rushing back.
    • Scar had one after discovering that his brother's arm had been transplanted onto his body after they were attacked by Kimblee. And unfortunately for Winry's parents, they happened to be right in the area when he was going through it. And shared an ethnicity with the soldiers that murdered Scar's people.
    • In Fullmetal Alchemist (2003), Ed has one when he realizes that he has killed Greed.
  • Hetalia: Axis Powers suggests that Russia became Cute and Psycho after Bloody Sunday. Fandom speculation is that the execution of the Romanov dynasty is what drove him completely over the edge.
  • Keiichi from Higurashi: When They Cry has a truly epic one in Tatarigoroshi-hen. He spends the majority of the arc having one of the most surreal experiences this side of David Lynch. When he finds out that he never killed Satoko's uncle, and he's been having paranoid delusions, he goes batshit crazy and tears up Satoko's house with a hatchet looking for him.
    • Except he really did kill Satoko's uncle. He only believes that he's still alive because Satoko told him that he was, not realizing that Satoko is approaching a mental breakdown of her own. The one who has a true Freak Out is Satoko herself when she thinks Keiichi killed Rika. She ends up pushing him off a bridge.
    • Earlier in the same arc, Satoko herself has a spectacular PTSD-type freak-out after Keiichi simply shows her affection.
    • As this is a series known almost famously for its levels of Break the Cutie, several of the main characters go through one of these at least once, in at least one arc. Keiichi, then Shion, then Satoko and Keiichi, then Rena in the Atonement Arc, mirroring Keiichi's first, it gets to the point where we learn that even Takano Miyo, the cause of Rika's repeated deaths, actually had one or more of these as a child, precluding the entire series and showing the reason for her villainous tendencies.
  • Daniel J. D'Arby suffers an impressive one in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders, in an Absurdly High-Stakes Game of poker against Jotaro. At one point, Jotaro makes ludicrously high bets on a hand that he doesn't even look at, while using his Stand, Star Platinum, to nab a cigarette and a drink faster than D'Arby can see. This leads him to believe that Jotaro had switched out the cards in his hand without him noticing, and his panic only ramps up further when Jotaro demands that he match his raise by promising to reveal the capabilities of DIO's Stand if he loses. The mere thought of being punished for his betrayal of DIO drives D'Arby insane with fear, to the point that he passes out, thus forfeiting, and wakes up a gibbering wreck who's too loopy to interrogate. To top it all off, he was normally tranquil and cool-headed, which made his nervous breakdown all the more enjoyable to behold.
  • Nui Harime from Kill la Kill goes through a major one in Episode 22 when Ryuko permanently destroys her arms, shocking her, and causing her cheery personality to become psychotically angry and vengeful. She gets better, though.
  • Ken Hidaka, at the very end of the Knight Hunters OAVs, goes from boy next door having a very bad day to Ax-Crazy Blood Knight in the time it takes him to pull a shotgun trigger. And it shows.
  • For 21 episodes of Lucky Channel, Minoru Shiraishi calmly endures the constant abuse and disrespect of his diva of a co-star, Akira Kogami. Then he gets roped into trekking two weeks through the wilderness to retrieve a fresh bottle of spring water for her, getting mauled by a bear in the process. When he returns to find himself replaced as co-star by Daisuke Ono and then has Akira throw the water back in his face for being too warm, he goes completely berserk. He tells off Akira, trashes the set, clobbers crew members who try to restrain him, attacks the cameraman, and is last seen chasing Akira off-stage with presumably murderous intent. He eventually calms down, but in the concluding episode, he is a completely different character.
  • Lyrical Nanoha: Nanoha has a minor one that's Played for Laughs after she transforms for the first time.
  • Maria no Danzai: Mari Nagare watched her only son die, being led to believe that she and her husband led him to commit suicide and then learning the truth of his death did no favors whatsoever to Mari's mental state. Where she was once a loving mother and wife, now she has become a vengeful murderer who will stop at nothing to achieve her goals.
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn, Riddhe starts Slowly Slipping Into Evil after learning the Awful Truth about his family history and his feelings for Audrey being unreciprocated. With his sense of fatalism about the state of the world ever improving, he becomes the pilot for the Banshee and welcomes the possibility of uncontrolled psychic rage. When he kills Marida, though, the feedback and guilt shatters him so badly that he has what almost looks like a seizure, vomiting and sobbing violently until he gets dry heaves. When he finally stops, he spends a while in Heroic Safe Mode and then finally decides to help Banagher and Mineva, making a Heel–Face Turn.
  • Monster (1994): Johan has one of these after reading a picture book written by the man who "created" him.
  • In a flashback of Muhyo and Roji, Enchu is introduced as working hard to become an Executor to support his sick mother. He is called away when his mother's condition turns critical, and while he is away, she dies and Muhyo is chosen as Executor over him. In another flashback, this happens to a mother when her daughter dies in a car accident; she becomes obsessed with making copies of the doll that her daughter had wanted.
  • A few Face Heel Turns in later episodes of My-HiME came about via freak-outs. Getting stabbed in the eye or being rejected by a potential suitor can do that to a person.
  • Naruto:
    • Sasuke has a massive one after finding out that Itachi killed their parents among many others, as well as when he gets put under Mind Rape. He also experienced a very controlled version when Tobi revealed the cause of the Uchiha massacre, leading to Sasuke's new life goal.
    • Gaara suffered this twice in his life. The first time was when Yashamaru crushed all of Gaara's hopes and tried to kill him resulting in the homicidal maniac we all have vivid nightmares about. The second was when he saw his own blood after Sasuke injured him.
    • Naruto had one when he thought Sasuke had been killed by Haku. He had another one when he'd gone into his 4-tailed form after Orochimaru goaded him to a breaking point. He had his worst one ever when he was Forced to Watch Pain, the man who killed Jiraiya and Kakashi and blew up his village, almost fatally stab Hinata with a giant spike right after she sincerely confessed her love to him — which was the first time Naruto ever heard anybody say that to him genuinely. The Freak Out was of such proportions that it allowed him to instantly go to his 6-tailed form for the first time ever, then an 8-tailed monstrosity, and then left his will so badly battered that he was ready to release the Kyuubi.
    • Poor, poor Obito. Survived from being crushed with boulder, he ends up watching Rin die in Kakashi's arms. Both of them are his best friends. No wonder he snapped... and that's how Madara/Tobi was born.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion:
    • Shinji from Episode 19 to the end of the series, The Movie included. Also Asuka in Episode 22 and after her Mind Rape, Ritsuko, Misato, and everyone else.
    • End of Evangelion does this masterfully with Third Impact. Poor Shinji completely loses his sanity.
    • In the second Rebuild movie, Shinji suffers another massive one when Gendo overrides Unit-01, causing it to disembowel the test Unit-03, nearly killing Asuka. This sends Shinji into a rage to the point where he threatens to destroy NERV headquarters.
  • In the One Piece anime, expanding off of a scene in the manga, Luffy suffers one of these after his entire crew is vanished by Kuma.
    • Luffy also suffers another one of these after his brother Ace is killed, the headstrong Determinator going completely catatonic and even declaring that he's not good enough to be King of the Pirates when he finally starts moving and speaking again. He's eventually convinced to settle on waiting 2 years for him and his crew to train before reuniting and entering the second half of the Grand Line.
  • Outlaw Star: Being shot in the shoulder by Gene, sends Harry over the edge, well even more so than before. Also, anything involving Melfina has this effect on him as well.
  • PandoraHearts: Leo's reaction to Elliot's death involved him sobbing and screaming and random intervals for several days. He went on with this as Pandora was interrogating him until Vincent came along.
    • Jack has one of these when he tries to get the Intention of the Abyss to help him destroy the world and Alice, the twin who had been using their body at the time, tricked him into telling her his plans and informed him she would never allow him to go through with them. He began brutally screaming at her to let the Intention take over, lest Alice suffer the consequences of disobeying him...
  • This trope was perfected by the anime Paranoia Agent, where the entire theme of the show was about nervous breakdowns. Whenever the show had a Freak Out, it would get deep inside the head of the victim, and about half the episodes ended with The Reveal that the victim had badly misunderstood the traumatic event.
    • Although we don't see it onscreen, Maniwa presumably has one of these after being fired, as the next time we see him he's gone from a reasonably open-minded good cop archetype to a delusional homeless person who believes he is a Super Hero.
  • Suzu after being raped in Peacemaker Kurogane and as soon as he finds his master lying motionless and in pieces on the ground, supposedly killed by his (best and only friend) Tetsunosuke. Ouch. Even though Okita was the one who killed Yoshida. Also, Tetsunosuke has massive freakouts throughout the series, most notably after Yoshida attempts to kill him a second time.
  • Perfect Blue: Mima, coming home at the end of a particularly traumatic day, finds her beloved pet fish dead and loses control for a moment, trashing her apartment. The trauma was because of a rape scene, which may or may not have become genuine, as her screams got more and more convincing. This is just the first freak-out of many.
  • In Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Mami in the third timeline undergoes this when she finds out the Awful Truth first hand and attempts to Mercy Kill everyone else before Madoka stops her.
  • Rebuild World: Prior to the planned government assault on Tsubaki’s sanctum, Katsuya sees Akira together with his crush Sheryl and has a Heroic BSoD, then Inabe manipulates Katsuya out of his depression by making it sound like he can save Sheryl from being blackmailed into a relationship by Akira. And then Tiol launches a False Flag Operation on Katsuya by disguising himself as Akira, killing his teammates, and throwing their bodies into Akira’s vehicle. This is reacted to with an Unstoppable Rage, a Madness Mantra of I'll Kill You!, and a complete abandonment of reason or sense.
  • Rurouni Kenshin: Anji Yukyuzan had these after the children under his care burned alive.
  • School Days: Sekai, after Kotonoha and Makoto make out in front of her, and Kotonoha after she is raped by Makoto's best friend and then dumped by Makoto.
  • Rii from School-Live! has one in the manga when a rescue helicopter crashes and bursts into flames, setting the school on fire. She tries to contain herself around Yuki but turns into a screaming, sobbing mess once she leaves. Afterward, Rii continues to act snippy and depressed for a chapter or two more.
  • Faust VIII from Shaman King is usually calm (being a doctor), but when Yoh Asakura calls Faust's beloved Eliza (Eliza was Faust's wife who was brutally shot and killed, and now is Faust's spirit) a doll, he goes apeshit!
  • SHUFFLE!: Kaede, after finding out that her mother died and after Rin starts spending more time with Asa.
  • Space Battleship Yamato. The scriptwriters love making Desslok freak. In Season 1, his home planet is Curb Stomped and he freaks. In The New Journey, his planet is utterly destroyed, so he freaks. Then his love interest kills herself. He completely loses it and begs Wildstar to destroy his ship.
  • Gimmy from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann when Jougan and Balinbou sacrifice themselves to save him and Darry. In the next episode, when Kittan and Yoko are about to engage the Anti-Spirals that are trying to push the Chouginga Dai-Gurren into the depths where it will be crushed by pressure, he's actually on the verge of following Darry's example from the previous episode and breaking down in tears.
  • Kish from Tokyo Mew Mew gets this way when Ichigo rejects him, or when someone else threatens to come between him and Ichigo.
  • In Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE-, c!Syaoran suffers one of these when he kills c!Sakura. This also when he (re)gained his own heart.
  • Hitomi from The Vision of Escaflowne has a few. Although they mostly occur after simple Tarot readings turn into Mind Rape.
    • Her most extreme case was when she was forced to scry, learned the person she was talking to was a shapeshifter, then saw his impending death. Then she experienced this from the other's perspective. The moment she experienced the crushing death in her mind, she freaked out so badly she went into cardiac arrest and had to be saved with chest compressions.
  • In The Way to Protect the Female Lead's Older Brother, Sylvia Pedelian, the resident ingenue, goes through a huge one after being informed of her beloved brother's torture and death, after she spent a long time desperately searching for him in the original story. This eventually drives her into becoming a bloodthirsty Determinator who ends up massacring the entire Agriche family.
  • Darcia from Wolf's Rain's bloody self-mutilation and Skyward Scream upon coming home to find that his lover, Hamona, has been murdered.
  • Smoothly and successfully executed in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX in the case of Kaiser Ryo's transformation to "Hell Kaiser."
  • In YuYu Hakusho, Sensui has one in the past after finding out about humans torturing demons, which challenged his belief that demons were evil and that he should protect humanity from them.

    Comic Books 
  • Ant-Man: Hank Pym had a period where he thought he was someone else, and apparently went full-on mad scientist, to the point of setting killer robots on a major city just so he could destroy them to look good. He eventually recovered, and how much this gets played up depends on the writer. Some have him as having become fairly well-adjusted; others have him just a medication bottle away from another psychotic episode. And then there's Secret Invasion.
    • His daughter, Nadia Van Dyne, had her own in her own series. After the scientific terrorist group A.I.M. attacked her and her friends within G.I.R.L., Nadia's mind went into overdrive. Not helping things was that she went into her lab, where time flows faster also made her sleep deprived. When said friends came to confront her, she flipped out when one of them realized Nadia hit a major Berserk Button of hers and attacked her. When Nadia came down, she was nearly Driven to Suicide. Thankfully, unlike her father, Nadia's bipolar disorder is treated a lot more fairly.
  • Batman is the poster comic of Freak Outs, with most Rogues' minds breaking at some point, creating the other selves which drive Batman's duality theme close to home. Virtually every member of his Rogues Gallery can have their defining transformation into villainy traced back to a single traumatizing event: acid in the face, mutations, murdered parents, rescued parents, murdered spouse, etc. In particular, The Joker is a firm believer in this trope, once saying that all it takes to separate the sane from maniacs such as himself is "one bad day." The Killing Joke storyline features him trying to give Commissioner Gordon his Bad Day. Ironically, his biggest success (Harley Quinn) was apparently a fairly meticulous process of chiseling away at her sanity and sense of self-worth, though in her own series it was implied that she went through one of these before meeting him.
  • Clean Room: Astrid Mueller uses these to counter demonic possession of her closest allies. The host mind's most traumatic, scarring memories force the demon out. The host tends not to weather it well, either.
  • Green Lantern: In Emerald Twlight, Hal Jordan suddenly loses his marbles and becomes an universe-destroying maniac after his home city is destroyed by a supervillain. Years later, Green Lantern: Rebirth revealed that Hal was being influenced and later possessed by an eldritch abomination/emotion parasite called Parallax.
  • Scarlet Witch. And when she snapped, the entire Marvelverse suffered.
  • Spider-Man has had plenty, thanks to his "Parker luck". The most infamous example probably being Gwen Stacy's death.
  • Happens to Nuke from the Squadron Supreme after his parents died from radiation poisoning. Then again, he was probably not too stable, to begin with, given that his attempt to solve the problem was asking a teammate to find a cure for cancer...
  • Rorschach from Watchmen, despite coming from an abusive background, seemed to have a good head on his shoulders until he investigated the disappearance of a girl who turned out to have been murdered and fed to dogs by her attacker. He then went Rambo-like insane and never went back.
  • X-23 naturally isn't normally prone to these, but even she has one (or at least, what passes as one for her) when she wakes up in a Weapon X facility after Kitty Pryde and the O5 find her wandering the streets of Miami in an amnesiac state following the events of Avengers Arena and having been tortured by Purifiers after that. She immediately panics and rampages through the place seeking a means of escape, before Teen!Scott manages to calm her with a Cooldown Hug.

    Fan Works 
  • In At The Food Court, after numerous horrible beatings delivered on a regular basis, Ash completely snapped after James told him he was a Pikachu, and came to actually believe it. This started a dissociative delusion from which he never recovered.
  • Between Deception and Truth: Naruto and Hinata go through this when they find out they're having a child. The reason being that both are currently in hiding as a runaway couple and (for added security) under a Gender Bender jutsu, so this means NARUTO is the mother. After their initial Freak Out (Naruto runs away for some alone time and gets a pep-talk from Tsunami, Hinata tries Drowning My Sorrows), both eventually sit down, freak out together and ultimately decide to press on with their very unusual situation.
  • In Bitter Leaves and Blossoms Bright, Isra has a delayed and subtle one after her first (and very messy) kill. When Altair tells her It Gets Easier, she holds on to him, shaking, as it sinks in.
  • Child of the Storm hints on a couple of occasions throughout the first book that Harry isn't quite as stable as he appears. Then HYDRA attack Hogwarts, killing Luna Lovegood, and Daken baits him, luring him close and (temporarily) killing him. This did not do wonders for his mental state, and it was immediately compounded when a follow-up attack nearly killed his father and put him in a coma, while also destroying Avengers Tower and kidnapping or crippling the Avengers. After that, Jane barely manages to talk him down from re-enacting Magneto's "You homo sapiens and your guns" moment, and his chillingly cold demeanour during the attack on HYDRA's base - including a rematch with Daken - is disturbing. He snaps out of it shortly after, but it seeds the full-blown example when being tortured, sexually abused, and turned into a Living Weapon by the Red Room drives him to the very brink of insanity, turning him into the Dark Phoenix.
  • Dear Journal: I'm Crazy: After weeks of not taking his medication, Doug has an extremely violent psychotic episode on April 22nd, 1994, where he, believing to be superspy Smash Adams, had pushed Roger down the steps of the school thinking he was rescuing Patti from the clutches of "Dr. Klotzenstein". Doug doesn't remember what happened in the days afterwards, however.
  • Gaz, Taster of PTSD: Gaz finally hits the breaking point of her Sanity Slippage during Torque's prank (mocking her trauma from the pork-tasting incident by presenting her with a pig head), beating the shit out of him and needing to be briefly institutionalized afterwards.
  • Happens to a young Flaky in Happy Tree Friends: Origins. To sum it up, she was walking into the forest one day when she found something strange. What she found as a pile of corpses along with a flipped-out Flippy standing next to it. She tried to run away, but he ended up stabbing her to death. She woke up in bed the next day and thought the events was just a nightmare, but then she finds herself and her friends dying and coming back to life the next day. She tried to tell her friends their fate, but to no avail.
  • My Hero Academia: Unchained Predator: When Ragdoll gets a lock on the Slayer, instead of getting his location, she finds out about the man's eternal war with hell. She screams loud enough to cause the heroes on her boat to jerk back and the heroes on Pixie-Bob's boat to hear it as well. They had to get Midnight to knock her out, lest she tear her own head open.
  • Nolan Fitzgerald from Night of the Vent: A Tale of Weirdness grows increasingly upset and paranoid as the night moves on when Springtrap's movement pattern is altered. Now said animatronic just sitting in the vent. It's a bit odd that a lot of Nolan's paranoia comes from the homicidal animatronic not doing anything at all, but it's pretty likely that at this point he just went over the edge. According to Word of God, his sanity BARELY survived.
    Nolan: [in tears] Worst night ever!
  • The Night Unfurls: Maia goes from outgoing to withdrawn as a result of her Rape as Drama. The personality change is so potent that despite signs of steady recovery, she occasionally descends into a more melancholic state.
  • Thomas Smith from The Portal does this when he first sees that he has become a dragon. He does calm down after a while and soon grows to like his new body.
    • In the sequel, Hard Choices, Thomas' mother, Sarah, and father, John, are both transformed into dragons upon their arrival in the Dragon Realms. While John is slightly unnerved by his transformation, Sarah is outright horrified at hers. It gets to the point where she breaks down crying.
  • A Shadow of the Titans: After Kitten is put through an Emergency Transformation to save her life, the trauma of her near-death experience and shock of losing her humanity causes her to completely snap, leaving her in a delusional state where she convinces herself she's still human despite the evidence.
  • Happens to Kerrun, the Raleka leader, at the end of her Villainous Breakdown in With Strings Attached. She wasn't too stable to begin with, and the seeds are sown when she first realizes that the four are not on her side, as she'd originally thought. What really sends her over the cliff is when John is seen flying over the warehouse, having lured hundreds of skahs there. She completely cracks, screaming that all the skahs are actually Idris and that the Raleka should kill them all, and John if he reappears. This has the unintended effect of getting all the Raleka guarding the warehouse to focus on the skahs, who after all are mobbing the outside of the warehouse, and not to keep an eye out for John and Ringo, who are lurking about trying to sneak into the warehouse via the roof.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Beavis and Butt-Head Do America, Beavis has one when the plane he and Butthead are on takes off, causing him to scream "WE'RE GONNA DIE!" over and over. Later on, when the duo fails to find Dallas, he has another one with his "We're never gonna score" speech.
  • Brother Bear: Kenai does this in when he realizes he turned into a bear and he lets out a Skyward Scream that can be heard for miles.
  • The Emperor's New Groove: When Kuzco learns he’s been turned into a llama, he tries to tear his skin off, slaps himself across the face in a desperate attempt to calm himself down, laughs hysterically when he realizes he can no longer walk on two legs, and panics that he “can’t remember anything” because of the confusion being knocked out caused him.
  • In Flushed Away, Roddy freaks out when he first arrives in the sewer, and tries to wake himself up by repeatedly slapping himself.
  • Fun and Fancy Free: Donald Duck's unforgettable hunger-induced nervous breakdown in "Mickey and the Beanstalk".
  • Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs While other pterosaurs have been defeated by being knocked down one has a breakdown after being defeated in a unique way.
  • Looney Tunes:
    • Daffy Duck's Freak Out in "Duck Amuck" is the stuff of legends.
    • In "Duck! Rabbit! Duck!", Daffy has an impressive rant after taking one too many shotgun blasts to the face.
      Daffy: Shoot me again! I enjoy it! I love the smell of burnt feathers, and gun powder, and cordite! I'm an elk! Shoot me, go on! It's elk season! I'm a fiddler crab! Why don't you shoot me?! It's fiddler crab season!
    • In "Porky in Egypt", Porky Pig's camel Humpty Bumpty suffers from "desert madness" and ends up Hearing Voices.
      "What's that? We're saved! The camels are coming! THE CAMELS ARE COMING! THE CAMELS ARE CO-O-O-O-OMI-I-I-I-ING!"
  • In The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, SpongeBob briefly loses it when Plankton tells him that it's his fault that they failed to get the secret formula back and throws insult after insult at him. This, coupled with the dystopia surrounding him, causes him to start screaming, kicking a trash can, collapsing to the floor, and start mixing garbage with recycling. He snaps out of it, and realizes that he's just become a savage like everybody else.
  • In The Thief and the Cobbler, King Nod starts out rather lazy and apathetic. But when he has a vision of the One-Eyes' invasion in a dream, he has an epic freakout. Zigzag tries to console Nod by reminding him that the kingdom is safe as long as the three golden balls are on top of the minaret, but when the Thief steals the balls, Nod's anxiety skyrockets even further.
  • In Toy Story 2, Jessie has a panic attack when faced with the prospect of going back into storage.
    Jessie: I can't do storage again! I just can't!
    Stinky Pete: Jessie? Jessie!
  • In Turning Red, after she gains the red panda transformation Mei freaks out in her family's bathroom and temporarily becomes more restrained trying to bury her emotions.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, Silva has one at the end when the rescue Delta Force operators unceremoniously toss Tyrone's corpse off the roof due to the presently urgent situation. Silva can only scream in their faces after one of them restrains him while telling him to Get A Hold Of Yourself Man
  • Mousy secretary Selina Kyle from Batman Returns, after almost being killed by her boss Max Shreck for knowing too much about a power plant that will ultimately hurt Gotham City, is in a very bad way. After being revived by her cat Miss Kitty and all of her feline friends, Selina returns to her apartment, repeating the words she said the last time she was there in a Creepy Monotone. She just manages to hold herself together until an ad on her answering machine that mentions "a candlelight staff meeting for two" with her boss proves to be the final straw that pushes Selina over the edge and drives her to trash her apartment and become the dark and dangerous Catwoman.
  • The title character of Carrie has a similar freak out to Ralphie, but the results are far more destructive: rather than simply beat the snot out of the bullies who poured pigs' blood on her in front of the class, she burns the school down with everyone locked inside. This wasn't the first time she was bullied, but it was this moment that finally sent her over the edge.
  • Ralphie from A Christmas Story. He had a bad enough day after failing to win over his teacher with his Red Rider BB Gun essay, but then he had his glasses busted by Scut Farkus. Rather than run away, as he did many times before, Ralphie snaps and starts beating the snot out of Farkus.
  • In The Dark Crystal, the Skeksis go completely non-linear when the Crystal is healed. Seeing the urRu casually strolling in just makes it worse.
  • The Dark Knight Trilogy:
    • Harvey Dent suffers one of these after losing half his face in every version, but it's especially pronounced in The Dark Knight, where he spends two thirds of the film as the "White Knight" before losing half of his face to a bomb planted by the Joker and it's hinted that he sustained brain damage in the accident. The Breaking Speech afterward exaggerated it, since he had lost his girlfriend Rachel in the same Sadistic Choice that led to his own scarring.
    • In Batman Begins, while in prison, Falcone tries to blackmail Crane into allowing him a part in the upcoming fear toxin project. Crane instead gasses him with the fear toxin, causing him to have a screaming fit.
  • Death Ship: Nick and Marshall experience a freak-out in the projector room, where they are psychically attacked by the whine of the ship's electronics and the screams of its past victims.
  • The Descent. A year after being in a car crash that killed her husband and daughter (which itself caused a Freak Out) Sarah goes on a caving trip with her friends. Then they get trapped down there. Then monsters arrive. Then she ends up alone and hiding about two feet from a group of monsters eating one of the other girls. Her long-due, full-blown Freak Out occurs when she grants her best friend's I Cannot Self-Terminate request, and she becomes a killing machine unable to feel emotions except for hate and bloodlust. By the end, she's so crazy that she murders one of her other friends, then hallucinates that either her daughter or her murdered friend is right beside her, depending which version of the ending you're watching. Interestingly, Juno waffles back and forth on this trope. Alone, she starts down the same path as Sarah on the bloodlusty killing machine bit, but this stops once she finds two of the other girls. They die — bloodlusty killing machine time. Sarah meets up with her, and for a minute Juno is normal again, but Sarah herself being a bloodlusty killing machine causes Juno to follow suit again before being murdered herself.
  • Isle of the Dead: Mrs. St. Aubyn is afflicted with catalepsy and thus has a mortal fear of being Buried Alive. Sure enough, she is buried alive, or rather entombed above ground, after having a cataleptic fit—The Black Death is raging on the island and the survivors aren't letting bodies sit around. Mrs. St. Aubyn comes completely unhinged in her coffin and, after she escapes, starts murdering people.
  • The infamous "He's gonna pop" scene in The Matrix.
  • In Murder by Decree, the normally stoic Holmes is appalled at the abuse Annie Crook has been put through at the asylum to the point he assaults the chief doctor snarling at him to let her go!
  • In Psych-Out, Warren has a bad trip on STP that causes him to try to kill his friends, then cut his arm off with power tools.
  • Harry Osborn, Norman Osborn, Eddie Brock, and Doc Ock have this happen in the Spider-Man Trilogy movies. It also happens to Peter after he finds his uncle dead on the ground, in addition to anytime a villain kidnaps Mary Jane and threatens to kill her.
  • Star Wars:
    • Anakin Skywalker's turn. Yeah, there was the thing with the Tusken Raiders, and his obsession with saving Padmé Amidala but the actual turn happens when Mace Windu tries to execute Emperor Palpatine. After Anakin chops off his arm, Windu gets blown out the window by Palpatine's lightning. This is apparently Anakin's Despair Event Horizon, as he's completely a different person, changing from Good Is Not Nice to a mass-murderer who Would Hurt a Child. To explain further: he knew that once he turned on Mace Windu, he had gone too far and would never be accepted back into the Jedi Order. At that point, allying himself to Palpatine was the only thing he felt he could do. It's firmly established in Star Wars canon that Evil Feels Good and it also corrupts your mind. Once you allow just a taste of the The Dark Side, you start Jumping Off the Slippery Slope like it was going out of style.
    • In the novelization, Palpatine takes time after Windu's death to guide Anakin in a Sith technique that lets him separate from his emotions and calmly dissect them. Anakin uses it to crush his own fear, which has the bonus effect of turning him into The Sociopath. By the time he snaps out of it, he's gone well past the Moral Event Horizon and killed or alienated everything worth turning back for.
  • In Thor, Loki has one after learning that he is a Jotun. Rife with self-loathing, he then goes from mean-spirited trickery to ruin his brother's reputation to a genocidal scheme that involves trying to kill Thor and using the power of the Bifrost to destroy Jotunheim.
  • Lon Chaney Sr. has a truly impressive one in the film The Unknown (1927). He plays Alonzo, a criminal fugitive who's hidden out at a circus disguised as an armless knife-thrower (he has his arms, but also a distinctive and identifiable hand deformity); Nanon (Joan Crawford), the circus owner's daughter, has a distaste for being touched by men due to some past trauma and becomes friendly with him. As his love for her grows, he takes the next step and has both his arms amputated — just in time for her to get over it thanks to the circus' handsome strong man. (Probably also qualifies as a Villainous Breakdown, given how quickly things get worse.)
  • In Warcraft (2016), his son's death causes Lothar to grow more fatalistic and unstable, even lashing out against his friend Medivh in anger. It gets so bad, Llane has him imprisoned in hopes he might cool off.

  • In Alien in a Small Town, Indira's nervous breakdown on the space station is the most important part of her backstory.
  • After gradual Sanity Slippage throughout the book, Dwayne Hoover finally loses it entirely in Kurt Vonnegut's Breakfast of Champions and starts physically assaulting everybody unfortunate enough to be near him.
  • Ivan's manic episode in The Brothers Karamazov took its time in developing. You can see him start to go insane from very early on in the book. It becomes obvious to us when he starts to talk to the devil. He finally has his Freak Out moment at Dmitri's trial, when he confesses that he killed his father through Smerdyakov, who has conveniently committed suicide, which would sound ridiculous even to us if we didn't know it was the truth. When the people in the courtroom voice further doubt, Ivan loses it. Spectacularly.
  • In the Dexter series of novels, it is revealed that Dexter and his brother had their freak out early on, when they saw their mom killed with a chainsaw and were hiding partially submerged in blood for hours.
  • Edgedancer (a novella of The Stormlight Archive): Nale suffers for a rare positive example — after it's undeniably proven that he has failed his mission, he goes into a Villainous BSoD that ultimately returns him to some form of sanity and calm.
  • Done in Ender's Game when Ender decides that if the people who run the games won't be fair, then he won't play the game.
    • Ender suffers an even worse freak-out at the end of the story when he realizes he's been tricked into committing a mass genocide of an entire alien race.
  • Fire & Blood:
    • Queen Helaena Targaryen, after the Blood and Cheese incident, where a pair of hired thugs break into the Red Keep and hold her and her children hostage, knowing about her daily routine so as to predict when to strike, and tell her she must choose one of her children for them to kill (immediately refusing an attempt at Take Me Instead). When she finally does, they kill the other child instead. Helaena spends the rest of her life completely shattered and unresponsive.
    • Said surviving child, Jaehaerya, has a freak out of her own after the Dance of the Dragons, where she's the only member of her side of the family left, save her non-Targaryen grandmother. Aegon III's regents are wary of letting the two near one another, figuring grandma might be something of a Sore Loser and tell Jaehaerya to kill her child-husband, a fear proven right when that's exactly what she does. Jaehaerya then starts screaming her head off, and the regents decide the two aren't going near one another ever again.
  • In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Voldemort goes utterly ballistic when he learns that Harry and his friends have raided Gringott's and stolen the Soul Jar that he hid there, as it means that they've figured out his greatest secret and are actively working to deal with it.
    • Harry himself has had more than one of these in the course of the series, although he usually recovers (mostly). Most notable is the freakout he had after he inadvertently (and tragically/ironically) caused the death of Sirius, utterly destroying Dumbledore's office in a burst of desperate rage and grief. But after his escape from the graveyard the year prior, being sent to back to the Dursley's with nobody with whom to talk about his experience, a semester under the stubby thumb of Umbridge and the entire school refusing to believe what he saw... it was only a matter of time that he should explode quite messily. He may be a wizard, but he's still human.
  • In Heart of Steel, Alistair suffers a psychotic break in his backstory when he discovers that his girlfriend had been taken off life support and subsequently died while he was busy rebuilding himself after the car accident that disfigured him and sent her into a coma. When he recounts the event, he describes it as "when I broke".
  • Happens to Bryce in the Donald E. Westlake book, The Hook, after Wayne kills his wife Lucie, with whom he was going through a very long and bitter divorce, in a deal to get Bryce to credit Wayne's (who can't get publishers to publish his work) manuscript to him and get half of the money. After the murder, Bryce begins to gradually go insane, kicked off by his love interest leaving him, and he becomes isolated in his house in Connecticut. He is unable to write anything but worthless nonsense. In an interview, all of his answers are complete nonsense. He becomes obsessed with what it might have been like to murder his wife, dreaming constantly of said murder, though he can never see her face. He wishes that he was the one who did it, even following a woman who wanted his autograph to her house and almost attempting to kill her. At the end, it is implied that he murders Wayne's wife, Susan.
    Bryce: The thing is, I just have to know what it was like, Lucie.
    Susan: My name is Susan.
    Bryce: Not anymore.
  • The Hunger Games: Annie Cresta's mental stability began to disintegrate when she saw her district partner beheaded right in front of her, and it's only gone downhill from there.
  • In Book 8 of The Pendragon Adventure, Bobby hears Twig say that they should go back to Ibara, which confuses him because he was on the territory of Ibara. This leads to him freaking out while asking why Twig said this. Ibara is the name of an island: the planet is Veelox, in the far future, and Bobby just realized how badly he's been played by the Big Bad.
  • Happens tragically to Xinemus in Second Apocalypse, as well as Achamian. The former becomes a broken shadow of his former self, while the latter is hardened by his ordeal.
  • A Storm of Swords: Catelyn Stark has hers at the Red Wedding. With her husband executed, one of her daughters held a political hostage, the other missing, and two of her sons believed dead, Catelyn only really has Robb left as her family. Then Robb is killed by one of her turncoat bannerman. She starts laughing hysterically, claws at her face, and as her enemies move to slit her throat, all she can think is she hopes they don't cut her hair, as her husband loves her hair. The Freak Out then continues after she comes back from the dead...
  • In Son of the Black Sword, Ashok suffers a freakout that segues into a Roaring Rampage of Revenge when he learns that a) he is casteless, b) his so-called relatives have brainwashed him into being who and what he is, and c) they killed his mother to do so. The fallout of his actions results in his nominal "aunt," Bidaya, having a short-lived and ultimately fatal freakout of her own.
  • Sgt. McCron from The Thin Red Line suffers a nervous breakdown after all his men die in battle.
  • In the second book of the second Well World series, a fairly subdued version happens to Julian Alowi, as she insists on being called from then on out when she's afraid that her husband is dying and realizes that she loves him. The fact that she'd been male (and very straight) until not long before the wedding plays into that as well.
  • In the steampunk science-fiction novel The Woman Between The Worlds by F. Gwynplaine Macintyre, the narrator experiences horrifying encounters and wonders if he is insane, then realizes that only a sane man would question his own sanity. Near the end of the novel, the narrator no longer questions his sanity, not realizing that he has indeed become unbalanced by his ordeal.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 24: Take one Jack Bauer. Slowly restore his faith in the better side of humanity after all the years he's spent fighting for the greater good only to lose nearly everything important in his life. Then put him back in the game, see his potential love interest get shot dead, and then have a traitorous president sideline him to protect the murderers for her own benefit. End result? Let's just say things don't go well.
  • On Ally McBeal, Billy started out as the straight man of the cast. Later, he suddenly dyed his hair blonde and turned into a sexist, smug jerk (with an occasional flash of remorse). This was later explained as a brain tumor, which killed him.
  • Angel: Doyle didn't take the news of his demonic heritage well, and ended up boarding himself up in an apartment and chain-smoking all day.
  • Buck Compton from Band of Brothers showed signs of a Heroic BSoD after he got shot in the Netherlands, then he finally freaked out after seeing two of his friends get hit with artillery fire near Foy.
  • In the last season of Battlestar Galactica, Felix Gaeta loses it big time after fellow Bridge Bunny Dee shoots herself dead, being unable to cope with the consequences of the latest Wham Episode. It had actually been building for some time, but the change in his demeanor and attitude after this particular incident was quite drastic. Getting shot in the leg by Anders and then losing said leg didn't help much either, nor did finding out that the aforementioned Anders and the XO are Cylons and discovering that as he half-suspected but was in denial about, he was involved in the deaths of several innocent people on New Caprica thanks to Cylon treachery. And he was nearly airlocked as a Cylon collaborator... and half the people who were about to kill him turned out to be Cylons. That can't be good for the sanity.
  • In Big Time Rush, the band and Gustavo are ordered to record three Christmas songs by their stuck-up manager by the end of the day, forcing Gustavo and Kelly to delay their vacation to Fiji. But after already writing three songs, the manager orders them to write one more song. Gustavo finally snaps and starts smashing instruments in the studio.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • In the early seasons, Angel had a Freak Out several times, due to Applied Phlebotinum. Each Freak Out was played as a metaphor for sudden changes in a boyfriend's behavior.
    • If you're going to come back to your arch-nemesis' place with a gun, be careful where you point that thing... Unless the last thing you want to hear before being deprived of your epidermis is "Bored Now".
    • After the accidental killing of the deputy mayor, Faith reacts by becoming simply and utterly psychotically monstrous. After something of a reformation, she does it again after the death of her father figure. The second (and possibly the first) time is because she is attempting suicide by whomever she can anger enough into killing her.
    • Exemplified by Dark Willow. When Tara is gunned down in cold blood, Willow utterly loses it and in the space of the next 24 hours or so manages to kill Sunnydale's most powerful magic user, smack down the combined powers of the UK's strongest Wiccans, effortlessly murder the season's Big Bad up to that point, beat the stuffing out of the Slayer, and nearly blow up the world.
    • Dawn has one after learning she's the Key.
  • Manny on Degrassi: The Next Generation started out as a cute, giggly girl who acted about half her real age. In a single episode, she finally realized that people didn't take her seriously — and instantly transformed into a manipulative, sex-crazed attention hogger. She got worse.
    • Craig's memorable manic episode in Season 4, which led to his bipolar diagnosis. After not sleeping for days, he becomes obsessively in love with Ashley, proposes to her, completely trashes a hotel room with rage when she says no, causes a massive scene at her father's wedding when he thinks she changed her mind, and then goes home and is confronted by his father over his scary behavior. He proceeds to beat the crap out of his dad while his young sister watches, terrified and screaming. At the end of this, he is hospitalized and diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and he tells Ashley that despite everything he somehow still feels perfectly fine, even though he knows he shouldn't.
    • Also Degrassi: Campbell completely breaks down in Say It Ain't So. Bianca finds him in a sobbing heap in the girls' bathroom, which he didn't realize he had gone into until she calls him a stalker and he notices the tampon dispenser.
  • Doctor Who:
    • Every regeneration is a Freak Out in that it traumatically, completely and permanently changes the Doctor's personality and appearance, and catalyzes and concludes whatever that particular Doctor's character development is. A few examples:
      • The Doctor dies from a combination of old age and Mondas' influence in "The Tenth Planet", and returns with a more mercurial but also quirkier personality and much, much better social skills. The "change" process is apparently very traumatic (production documents reveal he was reliving all of his traumatic memories during the process), and it takes him quite a while to come to terms with who he now is.
      • The Third Doctor spends his life exiled to Earth by the Time Lords and working as an agent in a Mildly Military setting, his personal philosophy placing a great deal in loyalty and authority. His death of radiation poisoning transforms him into a manic, crazy-eyed Cloudcuckoolander Manchild who absolutely cannot stand taking orders from anyone and would happily burn all authority to the ground if he could, with the implication that this is suppressed rage from his initial imprisonment finally breaking into his personality. In addition to this, he becomes detached and aloof around people he'd previously thought of as his best friends and even tries to suddenly abandon Sarah Jane so he can travel on his own, though this is done out of confusion rather than apathy and he gives her a jelly baby as an apology later.
      • The Fifth Doctor has a fairly rough time of it as an incarnation anyway, but "The Caves of Androzani" is pretty much about torturing him to death. The experience forces him to make awful decisions, and as he begins to regenerate, he has hallucinations of the Master taunting him — the poisoning is bad enough that he almost dies for real during the regeneration. The result of this is that the Sixth Doctor is a lot less mentally stable than the Fifth, with a difficult, sadistic and insane personality, experiencing strong feelings of painful body dysphoria. He even attempts to strangle his companion due to a delusion that she's evil.
      • The Seventh Doctor freaks out prior to becoming the Eighth, but for different reasons. He regenerates because the doctor trying to save his life is actually killing him due to her ignorance of his alien physiology. The Eighth Doctor, while more stable than the Sixth, is also a rather mentally flaky incarnation, being particularly prone to amnesia and detachment from reality.
      • During the transition from his Tenth to Eleventh incarnation, the Doctor is extremely reluctant and panicked while undergoing the regeneration process. The eventual energy release blows apart portions of the TARDIS bridge.
      • Over the course of a single episode full of Time Skips, the Eleventh Doctor ages 900 years — over The Slow Path — on Trenzalore while trying to stop the Time Lords coming through into the universe. Immediately after regenerating, in "Deep Breath", he takes on a much more aggressive and commanding personality and tells Clara that he's abandoned his interest in being her "boyfriend" or acting like a human.
    • Lesterson from "The Power of the Daleks" loses his marbles when he learns that the Doctor was right about the Daleks all along.
    • The K1 in "Robot" is just about holding onto sanity until it kills its "father" in self-defense, after which it snaps and starts trying to start a nuclear holocaust to wipe out all of humanity apart from Sarah Jane.
    • In "The Robots of Death", paranoia and stress combining with an extreme sensitivity to the Uncanny Valley leads to the highly-trained secret agent Poul having a gibbering psychotic break, shrieking at the Doctor that they are secretly surrounded by "the walking dead", and then exiting the plot due to inability to do anything from that point. The Expanded Universe direct sequel to the story, Corpse Marker, establishes that Poul has undergone heavy psychotherapy to repress his memories of the events to return him to a near-functional state, all of which is immediately undone as soon as the killer robots start showing up again and he regains his memories, leading to him having several phobia-induced panic attacks and accusing the Doctor of being a murderer (although the Doctor uses force of personality and implicitly some mesmerism in order to make him settle down a bit).
    • In "Smith and Jones", nearly everyone in the Royal Hope Hospital panics upon realizing the building has been transported to the Moon.
    • The Tenth Doctor has a huge one in "The Waters of Mars", in which he basically snaps after refusing to accept that a group of good people have to die just because history says so and basically turns into his archenemy the Master briefly. This affects him for the rest of his run. That entire segment can basically be summed up in this line:
    • The Twelfth Doctor has one at the end of "Death in Heaven". Right before her death, Missy gives him a set of coordinates, claiming them to be the current location of Gallifrey. Twelve immediately flies the TARDIS to the spot, only to find that Missy lied and that those coordinates lead to nothing but empty space. He snaps, punching the TARDIS console until sparks come out, before breaking down into tears.
    • Twelve has another gigantic one in "Face the Raven" when the antagonist's plotting indirectly leads to his companion Clara getting Killed Off for Real. That said antagonist owes their life to the Doctor doesn't help (although it did result in the downside of immortality). The Doctor ultimately renounces his name momentarily (in the mythos of the show this is a huge deal as the last time we saw him do this he became the "War Doctor", and here he threatens to call down even his greatest enemies if something isn't done to save Clara). Ultimately, Clara demands him not to let this disaster turn him into a warrior again, spending what are literally the final minutes of her (natural) life talking him down, but he is promptly delivered into the hands of his enemies, and the resultant torture he undergoes makes up the entirety of the next episode, "Heaven Sent". The Doctor is so damaged that he becomes a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds in the Season Finale "Hell Bent", risking the safety of the entire universe just to get Clara back, and he can only fully return to his best self once he undergoes a Mind Rape and loses most of his memories of her, which frees him from crippling grief and rage.
  • Firefly: Every now and then, River Tam will have some sort of freak out, some worse than others. The one in "Objects in Space" takes the cake for the series (but the movie outdoes it) with her feeling some people's emotions and reading others' minds.
  • Frasier: In "Murder Most Maris", Niles spends several days with things going from bad to worse - his ex-wife Maris is being charged with murder, the press is hounding him, Frasier's attempt to help ends with him accidentally saying Niles should be executed (he meant exonerated), and neither Daphne or Martin are any help at all, with Daphne outright blaming him for what's happened. Niles claims he's taking it in stride because, well, what's the alternative? Then Cafe Nervosa runs out of straws. Niles suddenly goes a little nuts, ending with him calmly sitting there completely naked.
  • In Hannibal, Will Graham has one when he wakes up in Dr. Lecter's office, with his last memory of standing on a beach at a crime scene in West Virginia. He understandably starts to panic, realizing that he was out of it for nearly four hours.
  • iCarly: Carly is quite susceptible, most notably in "iThink They Kissed" and "iSpace Out". Minor variations are the instances where she delivers long rants like in "iSaw Him First" and "iDate a Bad Boy". Also, Mrs. Benson will freak out about anything, usually hauling Freddie off for a tick bath, like in "iFence".
  • The Muppet Show: Don't ask Animal to play classical music. He just can't stand it for long. And when Animal freaks out, the rest of The Electric Mayhem follow...
  • Ryan in Season 5 of The Office (US). After years of working at the surreal Dunder Mifflin, constant sexual harassment from Michael Scott, the horror of actually having a relationship with the vapid Kelly, getting promoted during a recession, getting addicted to cocaine (Truth in Television - it turns you into an asshole), running a massive fraud, and getting busted and fired, then starting all over again as a temp at Dunder Mifflin, Ryan now carries a notebook filled with the names of people who piss him off. So he can "get back on them once I'm on the top again".
  • Shoestring: Eddie Shoestring was a programmer until he "blew a fuse" and smashed up a roomful of computers with a hammer. He spent some time in a mental institution before taking up detective work.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
    • A humorous example occurs offscreen in the episode "Blaze of Glory" when Quark's opining on the war (and how the Jem'Hadar will likely kill them all) sends a bar patron into a frenzy. He whacks Quark with a barstool, runs onto the promenade screaming "We're all doomed!", and then bursts into the Bajoran temple stark naked and begs the Prophets for salvation. The kicker being said patron was Morn.
    • In "Waltz", Sisko breaks through Gul Dukat's wall of denial and makes him acknowledge that he really had been evil to the Bajorans when he was in charge of the planet. Dukat then suffers an epic Freak Out, and decides that from then on, he's going to be outright openly evil and damn well enjoy it. Which could be seen as a Nice Job Breaking It, Hero moment, considering what he would go on to do.
  • Young Sheldon: In "Pish Posh and a Secret Back Room", Sheldon has a full-on panic attack when he can't find a railroad crossing sign for his train set.

  • Freak Out! (1966) is the name of Frank Zappa's debut album, and it lives up to its name during "Help, I'm A Rock" and "The Return of the Son of Monster Magnet".
  • "Freaking Out" (2001) is one of Adema's most well-known hits. It's a chilling metal song about the symptoms of a helpless person finally at the brink of their breaking point.
  • Pink has one in Pink Floyd's Rock Opera The Wall after his wife leaves him. He eventually reemerges from the worst of its effects, but not before becoming a Neo-Nazi styled would-be dictator and terrorizing the countryside with his hammer army.

  • Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues:
    • A culmination of getting superpowers, skipping medication, seeing what he believes are hallucinations and having the nurse call his parents causes Simon to go into a blind panic and destroy the nurse's office. This lapse allows the Dark Dragon to take control of his body.
    • Harriet suffers from an intense mental break after she accidentally uses her spear to grievously harm Devin. She feels simultaneously horrified and ecstatic, a wide grin on her face as she proclaims herself a murderer and then turns to attack Daigo next.
  • In Doubt Academy, the usually very placid Roxy has a very violent one after discovering that Kuu murdered Tama and let Akari (her former girlfriend) be executed in his place. This also leads to her delivering a Groin Attack.

  • Blanche has a permanent one in A Streetcar Named Desire after she is raped by Stanley and after Stanley tears off the paper lantern.

    Video Games 
  • In Arc Rise Fantasia, Adele does not take being an Unlucky Childhood Friend well. She jumps off the slippery slope so fast she has skid marks, and she lands right in the first-class cabin of the crazy train.
  • Assassin's Creed III: Near the end, Daniel Cross has Desmond at gunpoint, and is about to kill him, when the cumulative Bleeding Effect of the Animus finally overwhelms him and he runs off, babbling insanely. Desmond finishing him off shortly thereafter is something of a Mercy Kill.
  • In Bastion, Zulf has one of these after he reads Venn's Journal. The second half of the game revolves around stopping what he does afterward.
  • In Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow, the bad ending involves Soma Cruz completely losing it in response to one trauma too many, resulting in a Face–Heel Turn.
  • Creep TV: Courage has one if he touches a poltergeist, though it doesn't affect the gameplay.
  • Deadly Premonition: Thomas. It just wasn't his week.
  • Keisuke from Devil Survivor has one after finding out that the girl he was trying to protect, Midori, would be killed—not by the demons she was slaying, but by the people she was trying to protect.
  • Dragon Quest IV: After Rose's death, Psaro goes nuts and transforms himself into his Final Boss form using the Secret of Evolution.
  • Manah, the Big Bad of Drakengard, has one of these after being finally defeated when the Anti-Hero refuses to kill her. It becomes clear that she wasn't only possessed but was genuinely insane. And in the sequel, she represses all those memories and joins your party. The moment she sees Caim, she screams for her mum and goes fetal. Can't blame her.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Sephiroth of Final Fantasy VII started out as a good soldier and seemingly admirable guy, but once he figured out who he was, he went absolutely. Freakin'. Insane. In fact, since Crisis Core's release, we've learned that Sephiroth was the consummate SOLDIER: powerful yet restrained, aloof yet compassionate, and considerate of others. Which just made his Face–Heel Turn all the more dramatic when Zack confronts him and they beat the shit out of each other. Even though it's really not the focus of the story.
    • Final Fantasy VIII includes a couple of these as Squall is forced to gradually open up. The first is after losing Ellone once more, when he realizes that even though he doesn't want to rely on anyone else that he could lose, he doesn't know how to keep going without someone else's help—he even asks himself whether anyone knows how to live for themselves before realizing that even that means he'd be asking for someone else to help him with his problems. Revelation after revelation breaks his normal, stoic demeanor and he slowly changes, culminating in his reaction to Rinoa's collapse after Edea's defeat, where he decides he absolutely will not let anyone else be taken away from him and ends up dragging Rinoa across a bridge that spans the length of a continent just to get to somebody who might be able to help and admits that he needs help from others to get what he wants. There's also another, minor one when Rinoa turns out to be a sorceress and is taken away by Esthar. Squall nearly admits defeat before deciding he'll defend her to the very end with a little prodding from his friends, leading him to finally take command and open up to his team.
    • In Final Fantasy XII, bringing a Chocobo to the two Imperial Soldiers guarding the Mosphoran Highwaste exit in Nalbina Town (before fighting Judge Bergan) will cause one of them to freak out over bad memories of growing up in a chocobo farm, and getting a horrible stench that made it impossible for him to find a wife until he had to spend millions of gil for a special perfume. He quickly abandons his post, forcing his supervisor to chase after him, and giving early access to the Highwaste.
  • In Fire Emblem: Three Houses, depending on your choices, the events of Chapter 11 can cause one of two characters to snap.
    • If you're a Blue Lion, upon learning that the masked villain called the Flame Emperor who he believes orchestrated the deaths of all of his loved ones and triggered the genocide of an innocent country and his beloved stepsister Edelgard are one and the same, Dimitri goes completely insane. He brutally slaughters all of her nearby soldiers, loses all pretense of self-control, and becomes openly obsessed with tearing her head off. Idle dialogue in Chapter 12 on other routes indicates that he still has his Freak Out offscreen.
    • If you're a Black Eagle and defect to Edelgard's side, the sight of the person meant to be the reincarnation of her beloved mother siding with the woman she sees as the second coming of Nemesis, the man who slaughtered all of her loved ones over a millennium ago, drives Rhea insane. She becomes obsessed with ripping your heart out of your chest, and by the end of the game has degenerated into a sociopath willing to burn down hundreds of innocent civilians just to make it easier to kill you.
  • Fate/stay night:
  • Played for Laughs in Guilty Gear: -REVELATOR- when Ky Kiske starts to explain the Gear lineage of his wife Dizzy, only for him to realize to his growing horror that it means Sol Badguy is his father-in-law. It results in both men simultaneously screaming.
  • Happened to all the serial killers in Kara no Shoujo. The most sympathetic of the three describes involved rape, parental incest, involuntary manslaughter on their part and a beautiful work of art about their mother.
  • Ira in L.A. Noire was already suffering from PSTD due to him accidentally burning a bunch of innocent Japanese civilians with a flamethrower in World War II. Doctor Fontaine has him burning a bunch of homes to relieve his tension but he's making him do it as a part of the Suburban Redevelopment Fund conspiracy. The firebug winds up accidentally burning a house with a family that was still inside and they all died, causing him to freak out over the phone with the doctor.
    Ira: You said the houses would be empty! HOW CAN I FIND PEACE!?
    • Much to Fontaine's horror, Ira calls him a few weeks later and is now extremely calm because now he feels killing people in house fires will cleanse the world and send everyone to heaven so that they can start over. It's clear that the man completely snapped.
  • Princess Zelda understandably loses it in The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks when Anjean reveals that a demon will take over her body. She freaks out so badly that, at one point, the player has no control over the text boxes. It's played for laughs, and she snaps out of it rather quickly when Anjean tells her that she needs to accompany Link, as several traps in the Tower of Spirits require teamwork.
  • In the Wham Episode of Live A Live, Oersted's Trauma Conga Line is capped off with his fiancée rejecting him in favor of the man who betrayed him and completely ruined his life, and then committing suicide. This triggers a total psychotic breakdown and Face–Heel Turn, creating the Big Bad Odio.
  • The Lonely Wolf Treat series has an example of an adorable freak out. In the fourth game, the wolf Trick arrives at Treat's house and meets Mochi, Treat's depressed Hikikomori roommate. When Mochi finds out that Trick is Treat's old friend who spent months searching for Treat after she ran away, she begins to fear that Trick wants to take Treat back home, but doesn't have the heart to just tell Trick to go away. Her fears quickly bubble over and she breaks into a panicked ramble about how conflicted she feels about it all, all while Trick awkwardly tries to calm her down.
  • Mother 3: When Flint finds out that his wife was just killed, he starts violently lashing out at people that just want to try to comfort him. His fellow villagers can't calm him down and have to knock him out to stop him from rampaging.
  • Myst III: Exile "Your sons, Atrus. Do you know what they did?" Saavedro was a kind family man, willing to show Atrus' sons, Sirrus and Achenar his world and how it worked. Years later, those sons returned behind Atrus' back and used that knowledge to spark a civil war that nearly destroyed Savleedro's age. When he followed them out of it to try and get them to undo the damage, they laughed at him and trapped him in an abandoned age. Twenty years alone drove the kind Saavedro to be consumed with vengence against Atrus and his sons.
  • A lot of witnesses in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, most likely the final villain, give epic, cartoonishly over-the-top Villainous Breakdowns when you start pulling the thread and backing them into a corner, usually backed up with Awesome Music.
  • PAYDAY 2: One of the main characters, Wolf, suffered from this in his backstory when his company went bankrupt and he was left homeless. He went completely insane from the stress and started a life of crime, impersonating the criminals he'd seen in movies to intimidate his victims.
  • Pizza Tower: When you defeat Pizzaface, he suddenly gets back on his feet and recovers from the damage he just sustained. He then pulls out all of the previous bosses for a boss rush against Peppino. As he laughs at Peppino for the trial he is about to undergo, Peppino (who is already a ball of anxiety) absolutely loses his mind and screams out loud. For the remainder of the fight, Peppino enters a rage. Anytime you hit a boss, you don't just damage the boss, you enter a short animation where Peppino thrashes the boss for several seconds and shaves off four units of health all at once (instead of just one at a time).
  • The conclusion of the DLC expansion of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 results in this for Mythra. It starts when the Big Bad Malos destroys the city the party's tagalong kids were in, who were kept there by her suggestion to keep them away from the fighting, driving Mythra mad with grief. As a result, she completely destroys the Tornan titannote  in a mindless attempt to kill Malos, which she seemingly succeeds in. When she comes to her senses, its only after Torna is sinking below the cloud sea. And then she sees one Tagalong Kid cradling the dead body of the other, who then drags him away when she to touch his body. Wracked with grief and guilt, Mythra suffers a complete mental breakdown and creates an entirely new (and weaker) personality and sealing her consciousness away so that she can never hurt anyone ever again.
  • In Xenoblade Chronicles 3, after subjecting the Ouroboros to a Trauma Conga Line, Consul N has the situation turned on him to the point of absolutely breaking him. Unbeknownst to him, his beloved M had swapped bodies with Mio, thereby taking Mio's place in her Homecoming and exiting Moebius' engineered cycle of life and rebirth. N had joined Moebius in the first place because he, as a prior incarnation of Noah, had essentially been driven insane by the knowledge that his Mio had died before him time and time again throughout their short lifetimes, and wanted her to stay by his side forever, reborn as the immortal Moebius N and M respectively. So, when he realises that not only was M dead and gone, but she had willingly chosen to die, he howls in anguish and rants that Noah has stolen 'his woman' from him. Afterwards, he becomes completely despondent and has to be prodded back into action by Z for the final act.

  • Marina from Crystal Heroes has a tearful breakdown and tries to escape the dungeon when the party badly loses their very first fight and the truth about her real experience adventuring comes out.
  • The eponymous character of Dominic Deegan suffered one of these just before the breather arc where he and Luna take a cruise around the world. A list of grievances include losing his teaching job because no one signed up for his class the next semester, planning his upcoming wedding, one of his students becoming drastically ill, another teacher locking himself in his office, learning his longtime childhood comic book hero is getting a Darker and Edgier makeover and worst of all, the stores in his area stop carrying his favorite type of candy.
    • In fact, the impetus for going on said cruise is because if he didn't, he would have had a much, much worse freak-out.
  • In El Goonish Shive, the hammers are magical weapons women (who know how) can summon out of thin air whenever men make inappropriate comments about women. They hurt, but they don't cause any permanent damage. Turns out they were specifically created to encourage such comments, since it made the men feel like they had received their punishment, and the women just enjoyed hammering the men. When die-hard feminist Susan found about this, she was not happy.
    Jerry the Immortal: Don't worry, it's just a minor angst-induced Awakening! She totally won't be in a murderous rage afterward!
    (the dye from Susan's hair turns her clothes dark blue, her hair turns from blonde to dark blue, and her eyes glow black as she floats a few feet off the ground)
    Jerry the Immortal: Okay, so maybe it's a major angst-induced Awakening.
  • Mischievous and chummy Jack from Gunnerkrigg Court gets locked in a Dark World and becomes suspicious and frustrated about the supernatural and Antimony, the main character.
  • Homestuck:
    • Gamzee has one of these shortly after Dave shows him ICP.
    • Rose has two within a very short time-frame: the first after she found out Jack killed her mother, and the second when she asked an omniscient fortune-telling device whether or not the Gods of the Furthest Ring were evil. The answer appears to have turned her into a Humanoid Abomination.
    • Although she seems to be (mostly) back to normal after dying, reviving as her dream self, then ascending to God Tier.
    • You can tell when a First Guardian goes through one of these: their text becomes huge and crackles with energy. Examples: Doc Scratch and Jadesprite.
    • Act 6 is all about main characters freaking out. John winds up snapping after Davesprite skips out on his birthday, having been previously worn down by the boredom and isolation of being on the ship; Terezi allows Aranea to restore her sight because her confidence has been broken by meeting her dancestor and caliginously dating Gamzee; the Alpha Kids experience a collective Freak Out (except for Dirk, who's largely immune to its mental effects) when they go Trickster; and Alpha Jack Noir experiences one when he receives Lil Cal while in prison and falls victim to its curse.
  • In The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!, Jean's ex-boyfriend Slick was already a certified Mad Scientist... but when he's confronted by Molly the Peanut Butter Monster attacking him with a Transforming Mecha / Giant Ballista made of snow, he "loses his last marble." Having his life saved by the man he'd been trying to kill only minutes earlier only cements his new status as a crazy person.
  • Sal from It's Walky! is always full of Wangst, especially after when her parents were threatened, she told the villain she didn't care if they died, and he recorded her saying it, murdered her parents and taunted her with the recording. She a complete Freak Out after having glass caskets holding the decayed corpses of her parents dropped right in front of her.
  • In the webcomic Loserz, one of the protagonists (Jodie) has a temporary Freak Out after being isolated too long from her friends, starting with this strip.
  • The Meek. This happens to Luca when his wife is killed.
  • Happens in Narbonic when a character finally manifests the Science-Related Memetic Disorder. Especially the main character Dave.
  • An epic one in The Order of the Stick, with a Troubled Fetal Position for good measure: Vaarsuvius discovers that they killed way more innocent people than anyone can be comfortable with, with one careless use of an epic spell. They really start to reconsider their life choices after this.
  • The Queen and the Woodborn: Danica has one in front of the entire court at dinner when she believes she's hearing her son calling to her, but it turns out to be a result of drug-induced hallucinations.
  • In Theory of Everything comics, Reverend Joeb Kim CPA, a priest/accountant has a mental breakdown at work. But then again, it hasn't happened yet.God(tm)

    Web Originals 
  • Four words: Angry. Video. Game. Nerd.
  • Atop the Fourth Wall: "... Cause I've got a brand new combine harvester..."
  • In Crossing Kevin's Crossing, Harold the convenience store employee has one when something happens to him on his break. It sends him running naked and screaming into the street. His co-worker blames it on smoking cessation medication.
  • In Doom House, Reginald's inability to understand the anomalous nature of the Creepy Doll and his realization that the doll cannot be removed from the house or destroyed causes him to have a very epic one.
  • Dreamscape: When Melissa finds out Melinda is still alive, she completely flips out! It takes a "The Reason You Suck" Speech from Betty to snap her out of it and get her to cooperate with her allies in coming up with a plan to defeat Melinda. Even then, she still mostly believes Failure Is the Only Option.
  • June Diane Raphael, one of the hosts of How Did This Get Made?, has a minor one during the show's review of The Island of Doctor Moreau upon the realization that Dr. Moreau's tiny cloned assistant was played by a real actor, not a puppet. She keeps saying "He's so small" over and over again for thirty seconds as if trying to internalize the concept.
  • The Music Video Show:
    • Since Season 2, the host has been going through a bit of Sanity Slippage ever since the events of the 1st season finale. But then there's the end of Episode 42.
  • The Nostalgia Critic:
    • He had an absolute meltdown when he reviewed the third and last Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles live-action film. Before he watches it, he tells the viewer to sit back and enjoy it. Five minutes later, he has a Shower of Angst, twice, and starts to spew Angrish.
    • In The Haunting (1999) review, he loses it after the famous "It's about family!" line.
    • In the "Master of Disguise" review, after some bad Double Entendre-based humor, he laughs maniacally before charging around beating the shit out of people with a baseball bat, including a generous dose of Camera Abuse.
  • "Okay, my mom just canceled my brother's World of Warcraft account and he's freaking out..."
  • Revenge Films: Alex's wife has a mental breakdown after getting caught cheating by him and chewed out by her father for her affair. The stress of getting caught in that fashion rendered her into a depressive state.
  • Salad Fingers. Almost every episode. Although he's already so batshit insane that his Freak Outs are basically just a higher level of craziness.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time: Being a failed science experiment with more mental issues than even the most skilled therapist could count, Lemongrab is constantly in the midst of a freak-out.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Aang goes into an Unstoppable Rage multiple times in the show whenever he suspects his friends to be in danger, when Appa goes missing, or when he finds Monk Gyatso, who was like a father to him, dead. Azula has a permanent one and goes insane. But she's shipped off to a mental health facility and, according to Word of God, will possibly make a recovery in the future.
    • Aang might have undergone a Freak Out upon learning of the genocide of his race; it lasts most of the first season, and then ebbs and flows until he finds peace in the Grand Finale. In the flashbacks with Gyatso and Bumi, he's earnest but calm and somewhat reticent, and his hyperactivity might just be a way of trying to distract himself from the horror.
  • The Batman:
    • Officer Bennet suffers a Freak Out when he gets captured and mentally tortured by the Joker, followed by getting exposed to chemicals that turn his body into morphable clay. After spending two seasons as the good friend of main character Bruce Wayne, Bennet becomes the villain Clayface after the two-part season finale that focuses around this event.
    • Joker himself states that he went from a normal office worker who dreamed of making people laugh to, well, the Joker after "one rotten day and a chemical bath".
  • Since a Central Theme of BoJack Horseman is living with mistakes and trying (and often failing) to make up for bad behavior or cruelty, this trope is inevitable. BoJack alone has done everything from abandoning a show he was starring in to go to New Mexico for the foreseeable future to saying unforgivable things to his friends to doing unforgivable things to his friends.
  • Donna has this in the final episode of The Cleveland Show when she finds out that her ex-husband is sleeping with her mother.
  • Danny Phantom: Vlad after his beloved clone of Danny is destroyed. He was close to killing off two half-ghosts if not for a timely intervention by Danny's friends. But he spent the rest of the series tormenting Danny. One could say that Vlad's Freak Out in that episode led into his different motives in the next season... or it could just be Motive Decay as a result of different writers handling the show.
  • Lois of Family Guy has a complete meltdown when several mishaps and bad events (Peter giving away the family's gifts, the turkey got burnt, etc.) make it harder for her to plan the family's Christmas and the lack of paper towels to clean up the mess in the kitchen sends her over the edge. Lois goes on a rampage throughout the town and attacks anyone that gets in her way or dares to stand up to her. Her freak out ends when she gets tranqulized by the police.
  • Fry from Futurama suffers many a Freak Out:
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Happens to Twilight Sparkle in the episode "Lesson Zero". When she realizes she doesn't have a weekly friendship lesson to present to Princess Celestia, she grows increasingly crazy trying to find one, culminating in a fully-loaded Freak Out the likes of which have never been seen on the show before (which is saying something, given the show's other examples).
    • In "The Best Night Ever", Fluttershy tries to befriend the animals in the Canterlot gardens, but when they keep avoiding her, she starts becoming frustrated just to get her hooves at them, and it all climaxes with her shouting "You're. Going. To LOVE MEEEE!".
    • In "Party of One", Pinkie Pie gets it into her head that her friends don't like her parties anymore, so she starts throwing parties with her new friends: a bag of flour, a bucket of turnips, a pile of rocks, and a collection of lint, all of which she's named and given voices. Then she starts imagining they really are talking to her...
    • These freakouts have been classified by fanon as "Cutie-Mark Failure Insanity Syndrome", a condition that causes ponies to lose control and over-react to situations that cause them to doubt the purpose in life they found when they received their cutie-mark. Every one of the six primary protagonists has had at least one of these, and there's solid evidence to suspect that the show's first Big Bad was caused either by one of these or some form of corrupting influence.
    • In "Testing Testing 1, 2, 3", Rainbow Dash accurately describes Twilight's tendency to "get all freaked out about tests".
      Rainbow Dash: Your freak-outs are so epic, you sing whole "freak-out" arias about freaking out!
    • By the Season 9 premiere, "The Beginning of the End - Part 1", Twilight's friends all know her tendency towards this when she's saddled with a heavy responsibility so well, that they've nailed it down to a "process" which they call "Twilighting".
  • The Owl House:
    • Heavily Played for Drama in "Hollow Mind". After discovering that his entire life is a lie and realizing that Belos wants him dead, Hunter has an extremely realistic panic attack, gasping out that he can't go back before tearing his Golden Guard cloak off and running off into the woods while hyperventilating.
    • This occurs again in "Labyrinth Runners". Hunter and Gus get caught by a few Coven scouts who, after realizing who Hunter is, tell him just how worried Belos is, and that they need to take him back to the castle. After the two of them escape, Hunter has another panic attack and curls up in the Troubled Fetal Position while gasping for breath.
      Hunter: [hyperventilating] Oh, Titan! He's looking for me! He'll know I'm here! I-I gotta— I gotta run, I gotta— I gotta hide— I g— I gotta—
  • T.J. from Recess, after being placed in "the box" (a square drawn on the blacktop which students have to stand in for punishment). He mocks it at first, but soon, it begins to break him, eventually causing this.
  • The Ren & Stimpy Show:
  • Stu of Rugrats has one when Angelica starts to wear on him after she pretends to have broken her leg.
  • She-Ra and the Princesses of Power:
    • The first episode ends with Adora becoming She-Ra for the first time in an awesome display of magical might that instantly cows the monster that was attacking her. The second episode starts with her dropping the sword and screaming because she just turned into an eight-foot-tall magical warrior, and she has no idea how to handle that.
      Adora: What was that? What did you do to me?
    • Swift Wind has pretty much the exact same reaction when Adora accidentally gives him wings and a horn. His eyes bug out and he flies around the village smashing stuff as if he has no control over himself.
    • Everyone else freaks when Swift Wind starts talking. He only returns again in the last couple episodes, and his rather bored reaction to everyone freaking out makes it clear that he's been dealing with this a lot recently.
      Swift Wind: Just get it out of your systems.
  • The Simpsons:
    • Ned suffers one in "Hurricane Neddy".
      Ned: Now calm down, Nedilly-diddly-diddly-diddly-doodly, they did their best, shoddily-iddly-iddly-diddly. Gotta be nice, hostility-ility-biddly-diddly... AW, HELL-DIDDLY-DING-DONG-CRAP! Can't you morons do anything RIGHT!?
      [shocked gasps]
    • Subverted in "D'oh-in' in the Wind". Homer, alongside his mother's hippie cohorts, attempts to "freak out squares" in Springfield. The joke is on them, however — Ned Flanders takes Homer's suggestion of "expand your mind" as a tip, apparently not knowing what Homer might have actually been referring to (i.e. expanding the mind with drugs), Homer's cosmic fool stint is decried by Krusty the Clown as being "weirdos", and Skinner's reaction to Homer's closing the "conformist-factory" (the elementary school) is simply dejection, with the kids' reactions being a lot of cheers. In fact, the closest to an actual freakout that occurs is his son, Bart, and that's only because he's embarrassed that his dad arrived to pull off his hippie stunt at school.
  • In The Spectacular Spider-Man, Electro's Face–Heel Turn is the result of an inability to cope with the Power Incontinence and loss of humanity that accompany the electrical powers he gained in a Freak Lab Accident. Doctor Octopus' is a result of the radiation that fused his harness to his spine and changed him from meek to megalomaniacal.
  • Everyone in SpongeBob SquarePants has done this at least once.
  • Steven Universe:
    • In "An Indirect Kiss", Pearl starts freaking out after realizing that Rose's healing fountain has become inaccessible due to a bunch of extremely tall, prickly weeds.
    • In the "Say Uncle" crossover with Uncle Grandpa, said character's weird ways and scientifically impossible antics are too much for Pearl.
      [The Gems find themselves stuck in a blank white void with each other.]
      Garnet: There's got to be some way out of here.
      Pearl: [shivering] WE'LL NEVER ESCAPE! THIS IS OUR NEW HOME!
      Garnet: Pearl, you're overreacting.
      Pearl: I'M NOT OVERREACTING! [proceeds to run around the void, screaming]
    • In "Log Date 7 15 2", having just committed treason against Homeworld by disobeying and insulting Yellow Diamond, Peridot is having the Freak Out of a lifetime, alternating between fits of horror and fits of manic giggling while replaying the phrase "traitorous clod" over and over again on her tape recorder. When Steven asks if she'll be okay, she turns around with a manic grin and delivers an equally deranged "No!".
  • Teen Titans (2003): Happens to Raven in her numerous appearances, most notably after her Mind Rape at the hands of Slade. The episode "Haunted" is devoted to one massive Freak Out after another that Robin endures when Slade supposedly returns from the dead.
  • Wander over Yonder: The Black Cube of Darkness in "The Black Cube", after a very bad day of being harassed and feared by everyone on his planet, despite trying his best to do good, loses it when an angry mob forms against him. Wander tries to calm him down, but it doesn't work and he ends up getting his soul sucked by the Cube. It actually takes Sylvia calling out the mob for their actions for things to finally start settling down.

    Real Life 
  • If you've ever had a moment when you feel like you'll explode if you don't scream and let out your problems, odds are you're on the verge of one.
  • In psychology, this is known as metanoia.


Rats on a birthday cake

Queen Victoria's birthday party is ruined, first by a sarcastic gift from her mother, then by rats crawling on her birthday cake.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / BirthdayPartyGoesWrong

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