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Funny Schizophrenia

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"Ladies and gentlemen, tonight I want to talk to you about the very serious subject of schizophrenia. — No, he doesn't! — SHUT UP, LET HIM TALK!"

In Real Life, mental illness of any kind is never a laughing matter. In media, however, it can be played with for humor. When a character swings wildly back and forth between different versions of himself, it's almost always used this way.

It's also far too often referred to as "schizophrenia"; while the word literally means "split mind", Psychology Marches On and schizophrenia is a complicated condition affecting perception of realitynote , while "dissociative identity disorder" is the actual condition relating to Split Personality.

See also Talking to Themself, The Schizophrenia Conspiracy (a Self-Demonstrating Article about the portrayal of the disease), and Insane Equals Violent, another widespread myth about psychosis.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • The president of the school newspaper in NAKAIMO - My Little Sister is Among Them! suffers from schizophrenia. Why she's in charge of a newspaper and not in a mental hospital is anyone's guess.
  • Ah! My Goddess: Urd is split into her goddess and demon selves. The attempt to reunite them results in a single Urd that switches between their personalities. The change is shown by her markings changing from blue to red.
  • In Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei, Kaere/Kaede's split personality as a stereotypical Japanese Yamato Nadeshiko and stereotypical jerkass Eaglelander is played for laughs, as is Kafuka's description of previously having two split personalities who differed in respect to a slight food preference - although the latter is also a sign that Kafuka is actually cute, psychotic and Ax-Crazy.
    • More broadly, the whole class is some sort of crazy, and it all is played for laughs.
    • Well, everyone except for Nami Hito. She's pretty normal (but don't tell her that).
  • A decidedly dark take in Air Gear has Agito/Akito, who swings from Ax-Crazy to "cute kid" depending on which side his eye patch is.

    Fan Fiction 
  • Stepper in Universe Falls is a fusion of Steven Universe and Dipper Pines. Unlike other fusions in the series, Stepper's individual personalities initially refuse to integrate (or at least Dipper's does). This causes Stepper to alternate between Steven's happy-go-lucky persona and Dipper's high strung grouchy persona every other sentence. At first it's Played for Laughs, but as Dipper's frustration with being fused mounts, it's Played for Drama instead.

  • Me, Myself & Irene had Jim Carrey's character diagnosed with "Advanced Delusionary Schizophrenia with Involuntary Narcissistic Rage", which was really Multiple Personality Disorder that caused him to flip into his Jerkass alter-ego anytime he got angry.
  • Lars and the Real Girl takes a man who is clearly delusional and incapable of connecting comfortably with other human beings, so he buys a life-size sex doll off the Internet and appears to be convinced that she's alive.
  • The Nutt House has a protagonist with a half-dozen alternate personalities, such as Tough Guy (impervious to pain and will beat you up for looking at him funny), the Clown, the Magician (who can do actual magic) and the Dog (don't... don't ask). They tend to switch with the slightest stimulus, such as someone snapping their fingers.
  • Bob of What About Bob? initially suffers from multiple phobias. This is Played for Laughs though, along with the issues of his psychiatrist and the guy's kids. While briefly held in a psychiatric hospital, Bob also makes jokes that the staff find very amusing.
    "Roses are red, violets are blue, I'm a schizophrenic... and so am I."
  • The Nutty Professor plays it for laughs (at least the Eddie Murphy version does). In this one it's due to Phlebotinum.
  • Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad (2016) makes a joke about the voices in her head telling her to kill people, only to say she's kidding and they didn't really say that. Being Harley, though, her even hearing voices could be a joke.
  • Jan in The Brady Bunch Movie hears voices in her head. Her character traits are exaggerated to the point where she is The Chew Toy and is a frequent source of comedy.

  • Felsic Current's Thendy Bravura (also known by himself and others as a dozen other names) is the embodiment of Funny Schizophrenia. We are even treated to a chapter written entirely from his point of view, complete with internal conversations and bickering between his various personalities. Although he tends to drive other characters up the wall, his antics are generally of great comedic appeal to the reader.
  • The eponymous protagonist in Geoph Essex's Jackrabbit Messiah has actual schizophrenia (not the "split personality" version), and has frequently humorous conversations with his auditory hallucinations. Sadly, though, his struggles with mental illness are not always so funny.
  • Completely averted in Sophie's Choice, where it's revealed near the end that Nathan has schizophrenia, which explains his delusional jealousy and erratic behaviour throughout the novel. There is no mention of having a split personality.
  • Molly Michon, in Christopher Moore's The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove and The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror is a schizophrenic ex-B movie actress who hears a voice she calls the Narrator, and when she's off he meds occasionally lapses into believing she's the character she once played.
  • Implied with Skitzo from Guardian Cats and the Lost Books of Alexandria, if his name is anything to go by. He's a paranoid cat who no one takes seriously.

    Live Action TV 
  • One episode of Becker has a very realistic schizophrenic man named Lloyd. It even includes unexciting things like flat affect and mundane examples of magical thinking. It's still played for laughs, though.
  • Dollhouse:
    • Averted as Sierra/Priya's symptoms are much more realistic. Even though she doesn't really have schizophrenia at all—her Stalker with a Crush is poisoning her with psychotic medication.
    • Played straight with Alpha. He doesn't really have schizophrenia, but two of his personalities do, and it is indeed played for black comedy.
  • Elementary averts this, taking the condition seriously whenever it's brought up.
    • Joan Watson's biological father suffered from schizophrenia which led to he and her mother breaking up. He's never seen in person during the series but Joan reveals that he ended up living in a homeless shelter and had trouble recognising her when she tried to visit him.
    • In "Tremors", Silas Cole walks into the precinct claiming to be a "knight" who killed the "Queen". Sherlock Holmes immediately works out that Cole is schizophrenic and in the middle of an episode and gently talks him into surrendering his gun.
  • This is supposed to be the case with iCarly where the four lead characters go to a mental hospital and witness various patients' behavior. One notable example might be Sheldon Cooper laughing and screaming a TV screen with static.

  • There's a nameless "traditional" summer camp song mocking a huge number of occupations that can include the verse:
    ...A schizophrenic I would be!
    No I wouldn't!
    Yes, I would!
    I'm not listening!
  • "Physical Neurose" by BUCK-TICK. Slightly more Truth in Television, in that the song's lyrics are literally Word-Salad Humor fused with Word-Salad Horror - much like the thoughts/speech of an actual schizophrenic.
  • Similarly, Amebix averts the trope in the song "Largactyl", which describes the numbing effects of the titular drugnote  on their ex-drummer, who was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.
  • "The Chosen" by Voltaire has "Roses are red, violets are blue. I'm schizophrenic, and I am too!"
  • There's a song on Styx's Kilroy Was Here called "Double Life" with the lyrics "Nowhere to hide though we both might try, I'm schizophrenic, and so am I..."
  • Emilie Autumn has a bonus track on the rerelease on Opheliac in which, among other things, she lists the mental illnesses she doesn't have, obviously taking the Michael, including Hollywood Tourette's, OCD (OCD, OCD, OCD), amnesia, and schizophrenia: she enjoys the latter, and so does she.
  • "Lucky 4 You (Tonight I'm Just Me)" by SHeDAISY plays with multiple personality disorder. It goes from "you always said that I have multiple personalities" to "where'd you dig up the audacity / To ask me how we've all been doing since you broke our heart" in the first verse. It has a chorus of:
    Number five just cries a river a minute
    Seven wants to tie you up and drown you in it, yeah
    Fourteen just wants to say so long, bygones
    Thirty-two wants to do things to you that'll make you blush
    Ten will key the El Camino that you love so much
    And there ain't nobody wants to mess with twenty-three
    Oh, lucky for you, tonight I'm just me
    • And then just to cross the line twice, "It's not just up to me / I don't know, girls, what do you think?" precedes a repetition of the chorus with the group's vocals overdubbed several times.
  • Flanders & Swann's "The Elephant" has these lines: "I suffer from schizophrenia/It comes on me in spells/Sometimes I'm King of Armenia/And others I'm Orson Welles!"

    Stand Up Comedy 
  • The aforementioned Robin Williams quote.
  • One of Zach Galifinakis' bits include his mentioning that his sister was recently diagnosed as schizophrenic, which isn't funny. However, she once called him... and his caller ID blew up.
  • Richard Jeni proposes the idea of turning first dates into a game of cards, where both parties write down all of their issues on blank cards and take turns playing them.
    Man: [puts down card] I'm neurotic. I need to see other people.
    Woman: [puts down card] I'm schizophrenic. I AM OTHER PEOPLE!

    Tabletop Games 
  • This was one of the laments surrounding the Malkavians in Vampire: The Masquerade. In theory, you have an entire clan of vampires whose weakness is that they pick up some form of madness, from schizophrenia to megalomania to fugue, upon Embrace (that is, if they weren't already insane before), which could be scary seeing as you have an immortal being with supernatural powers, unnatural insight, and little control over their own faculties. In reality, you have a bunch of idiots playing Malkavians who either act like children or use their insanity to commit wacky pranks (Malkavians who would do something like run up to someone on the street and slap them with a fish, and call it a "prank"). The game itself suggested this route in the first edition, then, when they decided that True Art Is Angsty, tried to turn it into the more "serious" mental problem area. Most players ignored this, and Malkavians have been a bright spot in the Old World of Darkness ever since.
  • Averted in Pathfinder, where various mental illnesses can affect your characters and lead to changes in their personalities; schizophrenia is one of them, and so is multiple personality disorder, but they aren't depicted as the same thing. The in-game descriptions of all these disorders are accurate and it's clear the writers did their research before including them.
  • Everyone Is John is "a competitive roleplaying game for three or more horrible people" where each player plays a voice in the titular schizophrenic's head. Each player chooses three compulsions of increasing difficulty and competes to make John do them while battling for control of John with the other voices. Hilarity Ensues.


    Video Games 


    Web Original 
  • Harry Potty plays up Harry hearing the Basilisk to look like this in its Chamber of Secrets spoof.
    • And now the Basilisk is dead and the voice is still there...
  • Vegeta from Dragon Ball Z Abridged, if Ghost Nappa really is just in his head.
  • Ichigo himself from Omni Bleach Abridged. It's notable that his hallucinations are always done in either real-life pictures or 3-D animation.
  • PewDiePie has tons of characters in many games that he interacts with as he's playing. His most famous ones are his characters from Amnesia: The Dark Descent, including Stephanonote , Jennifernote , and Piggehnote .
  • In Red vs. Blue season 13, Doc, after spending months trapped in a parallel universe and realizing that no one noticed he was gone, developed a split personality that was identical to O'Malley, the evil AI that possessed him during the Blood Gulch Chronicles.

    Western Animation 
  • Transformers: Animated: Wreck-Gar swings between moods depending on the last suggestion he heard. Then of course, there's Blitzwing and his multiple personalities which change accordingly to the mood of his current personality (or just when it's funny):
    [Angry Blitzwing]: "The name is Blitzwing! Remember it! Because it's the last thing you'll hear before I—"
    [Random Blitzwing]: " my feelings in song! The itsy-bitsy spider climbed up the waterspout..."
  • In The Simpsons according to Carl, he once hired a private eye to figure out who's been cobbling his shoes for him at night. Turns out he discovered that he has severe schizophrenia. He says this as if it's not a big deal.
  • Foop in The Fairly OddParents! is this, often getting into arguments with himself.
  • In the Polish animated show Hip-Hip and Hurra, Kinga the Kangaroo owns a flower named Adelka, who only she can hear. Kinga not only treats her like any other person, but she appears to be her best friend.

  • There's a parody of the famous "Roses are red, violets are blue" poem that goes "Roses are red, violets are blue, I'm a schizophrenic, and so am I."
  • A common saying found on FunnyT-Shirts is "I used to be schizophrenic, but we're okay now."
  • Strangely, this is based on where you live! Sufferers of Schizophrenia in Africa or particularly rural areas are reported to hear voices that are more playful and benevolent compared to their counterpart sufferers in more developed nations.