Follow TV Tropes


G-Rated Mental Illness

Go To

Similiar to G-Rated Sex and G-Rated Drug, this is when a type of insanity is represented in a child-friendly manner, such as depicting the character simply in a straitjacket or wearing a hat with a big red N on it whilst rolling his eyes in strange directions. Most of the time it doesn't delve too much in the delusional psyche of the subject as it would make the implications too disturbing and the type of insanity is always presented in a lighthearted way, without poignant or violent connotations.

May or may not be accompanied by whacking oneself/others over the head with a large mallet, giving gratuitous kisses, laughing uncontrollably while jumping around like a superball, and an inability to keep one's tongue in one's mouth at any given time.

Needless to say, this doesn't help people's real-life perceptions of mental illness, and it's difficult to imagine the mentally handicapped being ridiculed like this.

The Eccentric Townsfolk usually have at least one such G-rated madman (or more!) among the residents. See also The Mad Hatter.


    open/close all folders 

    Comic Books 


    Live-Action TV  
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus often portrayed "loonies" as being whacked-out and acting in a completely random and bizarre manner. From YouTube:
  • In the finale of Blackadder Goes Forth, Blackadder decides that he can do a convincing impression of insanity by putting underpants on his head, sticking pencils up his nose and saying "wibble." However, Melchett stated he shot an entire platoon attempting the same stunt.
  • Married... with Children: After being bitten by a particularly dangerous insect, Kelly Bundy graduates from her normal blonde ditziness to full-blown loon. She's still generally perky and happy, just completely removed from reality.

    Video Games 
  • Some of the characters in Psychonauts, at least on the surface, are like this. Fred Bonaparte, a stereotypical Napoleon wannabe, remains like this through most of the game. Gloria van Gouton starts out like this, but as you see more of her mind, it gets darker, while Edgar Teglee starts out tragic and becomes more silly and pathetic, and while his issues are serious Raz helps him accept that he needs to move on.
    • Half the cast either play this straight or subverts it, really...
  • Ripper Roo from Crash Bandicoot, complete with a straitjacket, while he did go to therapy, and became more sane, he returns to his straightjacket self when he gets in an explosion.
  • LittleBigPlanet 2: During his meanie infection, Dr. Higginbotham had the habit of eating socks and trying to lick his eyeballs.
  • Insane, inappropriate, neurotic, and unstable sims in The Sims 3 are this. Insane sims have massive mood swings, wear inappropriate clothing, and will talk to themselves constantly. Inappropriate sims will sponge bathe themselves in the sink, heckle innocent passersby, and wear the wrong clothing. Neurotic sims will talk to themselves, share conspiracy theories, spy on the neighbors, and constantly "check" objects. Unstable sims will randomly swap out their personality traits. Fitting the series, this is played as humorously quirky. The Sims 4 has the Erratic trait, which functions much like the Insane trait from the previous game

    Western Animation 
  • Muzzle in Road Rovers is usually straitjacketed, muzzled, and strapped to a gurney. However, when he's let loose from the restraints the resulting scene is always offscreen but heavily implied to NOT be G-rated.
  • The image in Western cartoons of people sitting in a rocking chair wearing a Napoleon hat, and often playing with their lips. Screwy Squirrel from the Tex Avery MGM Cartoons codified the Napoleon hat image.
  • Gir from Invader Zim runs around for no reason, shouts non-sequiturs, has random mood swings, and generally acts strange. Justified, as he's a malfunctioning robot. When locked into Duty Mode, however, he becomes sane, and evil.
  • Similar to Gir, most of the insane robots from Futurama are this, rambling about nonsense, exploding randomly, or acting like Napoleon. Subverted with Roberto, who is actually violent and dangerous.
  • Ren from The Ren & Stimpy Show is an aversion. Despite the cartoon being aimed at kids, his manic moments weren't always Played for Laughs and often stepped into family-unfriendly territory. For starters, the episode "Stimpy's Fan Club" contains a very long and elaborate scene of Ren rambling psychotically and considering killing Stimpy. His Freak Out in "Sven Hoek" after Sven and Stimpy wreck the house is quickly replaced with his Tranquil Fury accompanied by a To the Pain monologue.
  • The original portrayal of Daffy Duck in his late 1930s-'40s appearances he'd laugh constantly, his eyes would point in different directions, his tongue would sometimes hang out, and he'd click his heels together and do flips around the pond shouting "woo hoo, woo hoo, woo hoo!"
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Pinkie Pie dances between this trope and just plain terrifying in some episodes. Her eccentricity ranges from plain silliness to psychotic breakdowns.
    • In the episode "Read It and Weep," there was a gag based around this - the barking heard during a chase scene turned out to be a background character who was acting like a dog. A doctor then told her to "get back to the hospital".
  • The Ice King of Adventure Time, whose mental instability is not Played for Laughs. An early episode has him casually say that his crown makes him hallucinate all of the time, so he is unable to discriminate between the hallucinations and reality. "Holly Jolly Secrets" reveals he was once a human, but wearing a mysterious magical crown drastically changed his personality and got rid of most (if not all) of his prior memories of his life. He also had a fiancee; Betty, who he affectionately called his "princess", left him after he started wearing the crown. This may explain why he's obsessed with kidnapping princesses. Many, after watching "I Remember You", have compared the relationship depicted between The Ice King and Marceline to that of someone coping with having a family member or friend with Alzheimer's Dementia. She knew him before he lost his memories and they still have an emotional connection so she is friends with him, but it breaks her heart to be around him because he doesn't remember. He's so far gone at this point that he doesn't even recognize his own name.
  • Lampshaded in an episode of Kim Possible. Drakken uses his "silly hats" to make the world's most brilliant scientists turn into galloping loons. When Shego is trying to think of a word to describe it, Drakken interrupts her by suggesting the word "silly." She remarks that it is not the name she would have chosen.
  • The character of Freaky Fred in Courage the Cowardly Dog is a surprisingly somber version of this, effectively terrifying children with slow, meticulous speech, uncomfortably uncanny movement patterns, and bizarre fixations, particularly with hair.
    • The trope is interestingly invoked with Fred since the character is being used to scare kids by tapping into their natural discomfort with people who are different.
  • Nester's Mother from Scaredy Squirrel always had a bad mood and yells at people when they get on her nerves.
  • The wreck-less driver from the We Bare Bears episode Emergency acts like a Manchild and is totally insane.
  • The Scary Black Man security guard in the American Dad! episode Kiss Kiss, Cam Cam. Complete with Berserk Button whenever he gets insulted & when another person kisses his wife. He also kisses anyone in the Kiss Cam and acts sexual about it.