A Stock Phrase. When a character is struck speechless, stunned, going through a Heroic BSoD, or generally unresponsive for whatever reason, another one will tell the responsible "I think you broke him/her." Or someone in the peanut gallery will just comment, "I think X broke Y," or any variation thereof. Most often whispered as an aside.
Frequently used for comedy, but can be part of a dramatic setup too.
- In the first episode of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Batou chases down a terrorist. Batou tackles him, and puts him in a choke hold. Then some device attached to his neck fries his cyber brain. Batou's reaction? To turn to the others with a big goofy grin and say...
Batou: ...I think he broke!
- In chapter 75 of the Hajimete no Aku manga, Jiro is seemingly unaffected by Kyoko accidentally kissing him on the cheek. When Kyoko turns to him to demand he tell their teasing friends the kiss was accidental, he is still in the same position. Then, his legs give out.
"AAAH!!! SHE BROKE AKUNO!!"
- Used amusingly when Hayate of Hayate the Combat Butler doesn't want to change out of Ayumu's clothes, and Nagi comments to herself that she may have broken him. In actuality, he just doesn't want to reveal to Luca that he's actually a guy.
- In Tiger & Bunny, hearing Kotetsu has a daughter shocks Karina so much that Antonio gives up trying to get her help in the situation at hand with a sigh of "No good, something's broken."
- Garfield: Garfield asks Odie to choose between a chewy bone or a squeaky bone for Christmas, and the decision is too much for the poor pup to handle.
Garfield: I think he locked up.
- Beau Peep: Dennis (the monumentally stupid one) is told the old riddle "Brothers and sisters have I none, but that man's father is my father's son!" After two dialogue-free panels of Dennis staring blankly:
Peep: It's almost as if there's been some sort of explosion inside his head!
- A variant from Calvin and Hobbes: The Series, leading to the page quote:
Hobbes: Uh... Socrates?
Socrates: Yes, Hobbo?
Hobbes: Why'd you do that?
Socrates: Simple: to wind him up!
[Hobbes glances at Calvin, who is beet red with steam is leaking from his nostrils]
Hobbes: I think you did a little more than winding. I think you cranked him up.
[Calvin then proceeds to unleash a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown on Socrates]
- Vegeta in Dragon Ball Abridged, who becomes so furious that he begins speaking in sentence fragments, hallucinating, and seeing things in bizarre rainbow colors. And Nappa's ghost says it.
Ghost Nappa: I think your rage broke, Vegeta.
Vegeta: Shut up, ghost of Nappa!
Krillin: What was that?
Vegeta: I'm not crazy! You're crazy!! Especially you, Nappa!
Ghost Nappa: Ayyyy.
- A non-romantic example is present in An Entry with a Bang, when a person of Native American descent learns Motherlode has numerous tribes surviving upon it.
- Harry Potter:
- In Mutant Storm, that's what Hermione says to Ginny after she kisses Harry.
- In All the Dementors of Azkaban, a dementor hugs Hermione (long story). The teachers rush to her defense, and Ron jumps to its defense, saying, "It's perfectly harmless!" Snape starts rocking back and forth, muttering under his breath.
Luna: I think you broke him.
- In Kyon: Big Damn Hero, Haruhi asks Tsuruya if she broke Kuyou Suou when she freezes after being asked by Tsuruya about her intentions with Kyon. The reason of her freeze was actually something that happened immediately before: Yuki made some modifications to Kuyou using Haruhi's Reality Warper powers, allowing Kuyou to retain memories; Kuyou was just overwhelmed from accessing a memory for the first time.
- In Walking in the Shadow of Dreams, a Neon Genesis Evangelion fanfic, Rei is vividly describing what she did to Kensuke on their first meeting, including the phrase "Seven hours." And several others that were not made explicit. At the end of all this, Hikari, who had been sitting sitting nearby has a teacup half raised in the air, and a glazed look. Toji then turns to Rei and says: "I think you just broke my wife."
- XSGCOM: Terra from the Deep, crossover with X-COM and Stargate, has a moment where a Tollan scientist finds out and tells the Atlantis expedition that Earth humans are actually biological weapons designed by the Ancients to fight the Wraith.
"It can't be true," Weir said to herself quietly, "we can't just be the leftover war-toys of some precursor civilisation" she tried to convince herself before a thought occurred and she suddenly stood up and thumped her clenched fists down on the conference table. "I refuse to accept that Russell Sharpnote is a first class representative of what we were intended to be!" she shouted out into the universe before collapsing back into her chair, her eyes glassing over as she considered the bleakness of creation.
"I think you just broke the boss," Sheppard told Travoc, who at least had the decency to look apologetic about it.
- On an episode of The Big Bang Theory, Penny is giving Sheldon acting lessons, and they are acting out a play Sheldon wrote when he was 10 about being taken to live in the future by Mr. Spock. He is acting as his mother, and Penny suggests he try playing it as sad to be losing her son, so he begins to improvise, relating it to his real life. When he breaks down and starts crying, Penny calls up his mother and says:
Penny: Mrs. Cooper? Hey, it's Penny. Yeah, I think I broke your son...
[hands the phone to Sheldon]
Sheldon: Mommy, I love you! [sobbing] Don't let Spock take me to the future!
- A deeply unfunny usage of this occurs in the "Beauty and the Beasts" episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, when Buffy confronts a girl being abused by her boyfriend and forces her to look at her bruises in the mirror:
Buffy: Look at yourself. Why are you protecting him? Somebody who really loved you couldn't do this to you.
Debbie: [becoming catatonic] You're wrong. He does love me. He does love me. He does love me. He does...
Willow: [horrified] I think we broke her.
Buffy: She was broken before this.
- Community: Happens a couple of times to Abed.
- After having a few too many drinks with Jeff in the episode "Communication Studies", the two of them finally wake with a killer hangover at 3PM the next day:
Abed: The last thing I remember is... You were dancing like that girl... In that movie... Kids in detention?
Jeff: The Breakfast Club?
Abed: Dear god. What have you done to me? [...] I don't remember the name of the girl in The Breakfast Club. Mary, Margaret, Molly Ringworm... You broke me.
Abed: [hungover] Ugh... movie reference...
- And again in "Virtual Systems Analysis", Abed goes catatonic after Annie messes with the Dreamatorium.
Annie: I broke Abed!
- After having a few too many drinks with Jeff in the episode "Communication Studies", the two of them finally wake with a killer hangover at 3PM the next day:
- The Good Place: Eleanor says this after Chidi accidentally gives Michael an existential crisis in Season 2.
- It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: In the Season 9 premier, when Dee experiences a breakdown after years of abuse from the others.
Mac: What the hell was that all about?
Dennis: I'll tell you exactly what that was.
[cut to title card: "The Gang Broke Dee"]
- Craig Ferguson said this of Vin Diesel during an "interview" on The Late Late Show when Diesel apparently got stuck endlessly clapping his hands.
- There is one episode of Monk in which Sharona's kid Benji and his friend dump a puzzle on the floor for Monk to sort, which ends up leading the detective to a Eureka Moment, holding up two pieces and staring at them. One of the kids comments, "Uh oh. I think we broke him."
- NCIS: In the episode "We Build, We Fight", Jimmy gets news about his wife Breena going into labor, and suffers from the Heroic BSOD.
- In The Office (US), after a prank makes Andy so angry that he punches a hole in the wall, Pam tells Jim that she thinks they broke his brain.
- That '70s Show, in one episode during the sub-arc where Kelso is trying to become a cop, he is with Fez and Hyde in "the circle" (a.k.a. doing drugs) and refuses to partake in it due to his new duties. After a few seconds in, he decides to flush their stash down the toilet. Though Fez panics, Hyde reassures him he won't actually do anything. Cue toilet flushing sound.
Hyde: [in a distraught voice] ... Baggy...!?
Fez: No! Not baggy!... [looks at Hyde sobbing, then in an increasingly angry voice] You broke Hyde you son of a bitch!!
- Done literally by Chip Esten who rode Ryan Stile's back in Whose Line Is It Anyway?.
Chip: I broke Ryan.
Ryan: GET THE @#$%^ OFF!!! GET THE @#$%^ OFF!!!
- Arthur is asked about his father in Cabin Pressure. Apparently he's not a very nice man.
Arthur: Ooh he's, er. He's, er. He's, er.
Douglas: Good lord, Martin, I think you've broken him.
Arthur: No, no, no, it's just that he's, er. He's, er.
Douglas: I think — I think what we may be witnessing here is Arthur attempting to describe something with an adjective other than "brilliant".
- In God of War (PS4), Atreus gets so upset about Modi trying to kill Kratos and insulting Faye, Atreus's very recently deceased mother, that after all his other attacks fail, Atreus accidentally triggers Spartan Rage, a god power he neither knew he possessed nor knows how to control. This results in his power flaming for a few brief seconds, similar to Kratos's own Spartan Rage, before Atreus sputters out and collapses.
Modi: Oops! I think I broke him!
- In the game Sam & Max Hit the Road, when the player insists that Sam pick up an object that obviously cannot be picked up, Sam will eventually be reduced to tearful whimpering (see it here). Max will then comment:
Max: Now you've done it! You've broken Sam's spirit with your stupid attempts to pick up that silly object! In fact, if I didn't find his pitiful sobbing so amusing, I'd come out there and rip your limbs off! Just ignore them, Sam, maybe they'll go away.
- In Katawa Shoujo, late in Lilly's route, Hisao says this word-for-word when Misha is surprised after he agrees to help her and Shizune with student council work.
Hisao: I think I broke Misha.
- 8-Bit Theater:
- In this episode, Sarda learns what the rest of the Light Warriors have known for a while: trying to understand what Fighter says can be hazardous to your health. It doesn't even help that Fighter's telling the truth.
- Also, the end of this strip:
Black Mage: FFFFFFFFF—
Fighter: I think he sprung a leak.
- In Angel Moxie, when Tristan demonstrates her rules-fu to a professor about how the school's dress doesn't forbid her from wearing stockings, said professor stay frozen as a result, and Alex says the words.
- Rhyme, in Chasing the Sunset, rhymes on a dime. When she gets interrupted in mid-sentence, twice, she is stuck until she can rhyme what she just said. A helper character explains that she always gets out of it.
- Darths & Droids: "I think Sally broke the GM."
- Elliot of El Goonish Shive with his "Gracelyn" form once "broke Tedd."
- In Faux Pas, Myrtle the hen is so addicted to soap operas that she goes catatonic without them. The cats use her to play "living statues".
- Goblins: "Cool, I think you broke Baka."
- In Grrl Power, when Sydney discovers that one of the lycanthropes present is a were-hare, and she changes before her, Sydney gets into cuteness overload and start foaming at the mouth.
Katrina: Uh... Ms. Maxima? I think I broke your sidekick.
Sydney: Sidekick?! I am an apex heroine in training!
Katrina: Oh, never mind, she's fixed now.
- In Hero Oh Hero, a Magic Knight bandit gets an Overly Nervous Flop Sweat when he realizes that one of his allegedly invicible boar mounts got actually defeated by the Idiot Hero. The ex-captain of the guards says the trope name word-for-word.
- Homestuck: As Dave puts it, "Karkat is broken, guys." And then Karkat kindly informs everyone that if they will just wait, he will be functional again in a moment.
- MeatShield: Jaine does it to an obstructive snakefolk by asking a question with no loopholes.
Dhur: I think you broke her brain.
Jaine: That implies that there was something to break in the first place.
- MegaTokyo: When Piro is shocked to find Miho asleep in his flat, she is woken by her phone, has a conversation, spots Piro staring at her and... "I need to phone you back, I think I broke something."
- Ménage à 3 uses the line (actually "I think you broke her") in strip #82, November 28, 2008. NSFW, because it's all about sex. As is normal in this comic.
- In The Order of the Stick, after Haley realizes all her gold is lost, and is standing about catatonic.
Elan: [whispering] I think we broke Haley.
- From a really early Penny Arcade comic: "I think we broke her head, dude."
- Questionable Content: "Wow, I think I broke Sven."
- Schlock Mercenary: During a simple mission really, really going awry, Captain Tagon finally can't take it any more...
Captain Tagon: TAG, how fast can you warbuck those cold annies? We need to plug that hole you made. We're safe, but there are still thirty million lives on the line, here.
TAG: Sir, I think Lota is planning to plug the hole.
TAG: By crashing the Eatonrun over the top of it.
Ennesby: Slow down. I think you broke his brain.
- In Sinfest 'Nique broke Slicky... again.
- Slice of Life: When Mr. Cake freaks out about the prospect of Pound having to get flying lessons, Pumpkin responds "Mom! Dad's broken again!"
- In Sticky Dilly Buns, the gender-fluid Angel explains some sexual practicalities to the inexperienced Ruby, and then comments "I may have broken her." To be fair to Angel, it's largely Ruby's fault for asking. Richie, who has a date with Angel, almost becomes collateral damage.
- In Chapter 6, Page 16 of Undead Friend, Brigger says "I think we broke him" about Orrick after they get through explaining to him the consequences of the game he was forced into.
- Vexxarr has the title character ask a Logic Bomb question to Sid the Rock Crab, who ends up freezing and getting very hot as he tries to think it out. "I think you beachballed Sid."
- Weregeek: "I think I broke the new guy!!" And later Dustin broke her.
- In DazzlingAddar's Let's Play of Donkey Kong 64's Gloomy Galleon level, there are a pair of underwater buttons that toggle the water level when pressed. Either one works, but if you press the button that's in, it goes out. When this is demonstrated, Vicas makes a series of unintelligible noises in his confusion.
Brother Entropy: We broke him.
- In Flander's Company, episode "German Über Fantasy", Caleb says this about Hippolyte, after the later suffers from a complete (and very detailed) brain overload at the sight of his half-sister Hitomi. Well, it's a French series, so what Caleb says exactly is:
Caleb: J'crois qu'il est cassé, là, madame, hein...
- In the Honest Trailer of Avengers: Age of Ultron, the narrator feels this way about Joss Whedon's Creator Breakdown.
Narrator: As he does his best to meet unrealistic nerd expectations [...] and fit in Disney's corporate cross-promotion, in a juggling act so insanely difficult, he turned down the sequel, quit Twitter, and doesn't have any new films in development. Oh, um, guys? I think we just broke Joss Whedon. He needs a hug.
- This occurs in the Midnight Screenings episode on Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas. Dave dubs a character "Cunty McMomface", causing the usually-unseeen Leddie to crack up from the back seat:
[Leddie laughs uncontrollably]
Dave: I think I broke her.
Brian:note Leddie's a fan of "Cunty McMomface".
- Whenever the Let's Player raocow is having real difficulty with a level in a game, his Talkative Loon persona gradually ebbs away, until he's rendered playing in complete silence. In particularly bad cases, he'd start groaning in an increasing rage. In videos before he incorporated "Post-Production Raocow" to fill the silence, entries in the comments section of that video would abound about the game breaking Raocow.
- In the Real-Time Fandub of Sonic Adventure 2, Eggman suffers so much abuse - getting cucked by hedgehogs, Shadow pissing on his wife, having his nudes posted on Twitter(dot com) - that he goes from a Large Ham through a Villainous Breakdown that ends in him divorcing his wife and threatening to take off his pants.
Tails: Eggman, you need to calm down!
Eggman: I'M-I'MMMMM TIRED OF BEIN' CALM ALL THE GODDAMN TIME! I WANNA LIVE MY LIFE! AND YOU! (progressively gets close to the microphone) YOU, YOU, YOU. I'M SO SICK OF YOU.
Rouge: It looks like we won, everybody. We... broke him, finally.
- Big City Greens: In "Bill-iever", Cricket accidentally damages his father's garden and blames it on aliens, even faking a close encounter. When he discovers his ruse has worked too well and Bill is acting crazy, Cricket says "Oh no, I broke Dad's brain!"
- DuckTales (2017): In "The Infernal Internship of Mark Beaks!", both Huey and Dewey compete to be Mark Beaks' newest intern. Huey ends up getting the internship, but Dewey gets promoted to VP just for having a cool-looking briefcase, and Huey nearly goes psychotic over it. Dewey even says "Oh no, Huey's broken!" in a concerned tone.
- Phineas and Ferb:
- Thaddeus and Thor are stunned speechless by Phineas and Ferb's fort (which is... well, a "fort" according to Phineas and Ferb's definition of the term), prompting their sister Mandy to snap, "Nice going! You broke their brains."
- A far more sinister example would be from "Phineas and Ferb Get Busted":
- The Simpsons: In "I Love Lisa", Bart hands out Love Hearts with offensive messages on them. Skinner is made aware of this, and it causes him to flashback to Valentine's Day during The Vietnam War. Suffice to say, it does not end well for the guy holding the Valentine from his girl back home.
Bart: Cool, I broke his brain!
- In the Spliced episode "Sgt. Snuggums", this is spoken almost word for word by Entree when his and Peri's pranks finally push Snuggums too far... and turn him into a raging, psychopathic Super Soldier.
- A self-induced version happens in The Weekenders, when Tino decides to stop having emotions after being embarassed for crying while watching Romeo and Juliet. When Carver first sees this, he yells "Guys? Tino's broken!"