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Inhuman Emotion

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Zoidberg: I'm confused, Fry. I'm feeling a strange new emotion. Is it love when you care about a female for reasons beyond mating?
Fry: Nope. Must be some weird alien emotion.

A character with emotions or feelings that are beyond human (well, most humans), or at the very least, different from humans. Their pain and pleasure can be magnified to points we would find unbearable, they might have an extreme sense of empathy, or they might even have emotions that don't even exist for us. Or all of the above, and more.

It's often found in a Superior Species, because what better way is there to denote superiority than simply being able to experience more than you. Likewise, an Eldritch Abomination almost always has this aspect as well, usually to shape part of their Blue-and-Orange Morality.

Characters with inhuman emotions are prone to having Super-Senses as well.

Subtrope of Bizarre Alien Psychology. For a different kind of non-human feelings, see Bizarre Alien Senses.


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    Comic Books 
  • In the final issue of All-Star Superman, it turns out that Superman's empathy and altruism are also superhuman due to his enhanced senses. The temporarily-empowered human Lex Luthor finds this out personally and seemingly reforms as a result.
  • According to Doc Samson in an issue of Thunderbolts, everyone with gamma powers has an inhuman level of rage within them. When a telepath tries to get into his mind, he overwhelms her with a dose of his.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Star Trek (2009): Sarek (a Vulcan) says that "emotions run deeply within our race, perhaps more deeply than in humans." The Expanded Universe and the later TV series have gone into more detail about this; the reason Vulcan culture is so big on logic and rationalism is that before that sort of thing caught on they fought more and bloodier wars than any other notable Trek race except possibly the Klingons, culminating in at least one nuclear exchange.

  • In Foreigner (1994), the social structure of the atevi is determined by the emotion "manchi", which is not exactly understood by humans, though it has similarities to human notions of loyalty.
  • All over the place in Clifford Simak's books with his numerous super advanced aliens that the human protagonist befriends.
  • In L. Jagi Lamplighter's Prospero Regained, the characters reach the deepest pits of Hell and feel the temptations of the creatures imprisoned there — the insane temptations.
  • Inverted in The Color of Distance. The Tendu feel most major human emotions, but due to their Bizarre Alien Reproduction, which lacks a stage involving parents caring for helpless offspring for years, they find a human's bond with her baby to be unlike anything they've experienced.
  • The Parshendi of The Stormlight Archive experience emotions as a series of rhythms to which they can attune their thoughts and words (Resolve, Irritation, Praise, etc). A Parshendi can actively choose to attune a specific rhythm, but otherwise automatically attunes the one that matches their own emotions.
  • In JM Barrie's original Peter Pan, fairies like Tinker Bell can only feel one emotion at a time, and that emotion consumes their entire being in that moment.
  • Face in NES Godzilla Creepypasta is a being who appears early in each of the game's levels to give a quiz of Yes or No questions, which range from normal, to disturbing to nonsensical and shows a reaction to each answer, which more often than not, seems to make sense only to Face itself. Adding to this, while he has normal reactions like happiness, sadness, surprise, anger, etc. he also has a set of strange, nonsensical reactions like flipping upside-down, becoming a cyclops or getting Fish Eyes
  • Something like this is up with the Cenobites as described in The Hellbound Heart; they're so obsessed with pushing the fringes of sensory experience that they can't distinguish between pleasure and pain. Hence the problem with summoning them: if you ask them for the new kinds of pleasure they can give, they'll introduce you to every sensation they've experienced.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the re-imagined V, the Hive Queen alien Anna and most members of her species insist that they do not feel human emotions despite the influence of their human skin. However, Anna is also a diligent Determinator who wants her species to survive and is ready to make great sacrifices for it. She later seems strangely overjoyed at the thought that her daughter will grow up to be just like her and save the species, despite the fact that she jeopardizes her well-being and safety without remorse to help the species. Eventually, this becomes a sort of Chekhov's Skill when her first human emotion is pain over her species being endangered by an attack. She cries, goes completely berserk and later feels maternal for the first time.
  • Doctor Who:
    • Daleks from Doctor Who feel no emotions other than hatred — incredibly intense hatred — for anything non-Dalek. They are capable of going insane, but this only magnifies the hatred they feel to the point it can't be properly directed. The sane Daleks consider such pure hatred to be beautiful.
    • The Fourth Doctor tells Sarah Jane that he doesn't experience the same emotions that humans do. His incarnation in particular has some notably weird emotional responses to things, but whether or not this is true for the Doctor tends to depend on the writer and on interpretation. For example, "Pyramids of Mars" had him explain his apathy towards a man's death as being due to being inhuman, but the story had started with a scene of the Doctor sulking about how he's a Time Lord that was played for midlife crisis laughs, suggesting it may well be a pretentious affectation. The novelisation of "Shada" played this for laughs by quickly having Romana's internal narration announce that both she and the Doctor were aliens and did not feel the same emotions as humans, followed up by her reeling off a list of extremely human emotional reasons why she and he were or weren't doing certain things.
  • The vampires of The Vampire Diaries have an odd relationship with human emotion. They can voluntarily switch their emotions on or off as it suits them, though this ability is said to fade with age. When they do experience emotions, they experience the same emotions that they would have as their human selves, but magnified exponentially. For example joy becomes ecstasy, fear becomes terror, anger becomes rage, sadness becomes despair, etc. Or, as Caroline puts it:
    Caroline: So you're saying that now I'm basically an insecure, neurotic control freak... on crack.
    Stefan: Well I wasn't gonna say it like that, but.
  • Avataro Sentai Donbrothers: Sonoza of the Noto Trio is a mentally disturbed man with a great interest in human emotions who is seemingly only capable of a superficial understanding of them. He tries to learn more about them by imitating any kind of reaction he witnesses and then asking anyone on the vicinity if what he did is the correct display of emotion for that situation in particular. Specifically, laughing seems what has caught his attention the most, wondering what it is and why humans do it.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • The Eldar are forced to be The Stoic as a race, because they are so incredibly emotional, whenever they allow themselves an outburst their evil god rips their souls from them and devours them.
    • Space Marines also feel emotions more strongly than normal humans (except, allegedly, fear). The fan-created Angry Marines feel rage to an extent that boggles even other Space Marines; they have made unbridled righteous fury an art form.

    Video Games 
  • In the flash game How to Raise a Dragon by Gregory Weir, the player plays a dragon. During the 'adolescence' phase, the wizard who captured the dragon as a hatchling is lying sick in bed, leaving the dragon free to choose a breath power and escape. However, if the dragon chooses healing breath, it can cure the wizard.
    Occasionally, a captive dragon will forgive its captor and perform an act of kindness in a time of need.
    The dragon is in every way a superior beast to the human: superior in mind, superior in body, superior in heart. When a dragon shows anger, it burns brighter than any human rage, but draconic forgiveness shines even brighter. Only the most callous of captors could resist releasing such a noble beast.

    Web Animation 

    Web Comics 
  • Cultural example — the trolls in Homestuck have a different perception of romance to humans, dividing it into four different kinds, with two of them sexual and two of them platonic; and consider true hate as erotic and stable an emotion as they consider true love. For the most part, the feelings themselves aren't that alien — what's alien is that trolls embark upon, say, negotiating between two people in a destructive romance with the same ferocity that we fall in love with people. In this case, it's Blue-and-Orange Morality, and the trolls are simply different from humans - not better, and not worse.
  • Goblins mentions that a demon can suffer more than any mortal, at least in one character's reasoning.
  • Cubi from Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures are suggested to have far more intense emotional reaction to things than other races.

    Western Animation 
  • Raven's anger in Teen Titans. When she loses control and her demonic side takes over, she sprouts dark tentacles of black magic that can drag victims under her cloak, where they are psychologically scarred.
  • Futurama:
    • In one episode with the what-if machine, Bender references the emotionless state of a robot: "we don't have emotions, and sometimes that makes me very sad." In comparison to robots, at least, he may be exhibiting Inrobot Emotion.
    • Parodied in "Why Must I Be a Crustacean in Love?" Decapodeans like Zoidberg do not "love" in the romantic, human sense of the term, but go through mating seasons where they pick a mate and die shortly after they mate. When Zoidberg has his eye on the female Edna, he receives wooing advice from Fry, eventually developing genuine romantic feelings for her in the process. When Zoidberg asks if the non-sexual infatuation he has for Edna is "love", Fry dismisses this as some sort of alien emotion.
  • In a non-canon "Treehouse of Horror" episode of The Simpsons, Kang informs the Simpsons that if they had accompanied him to his home planet, they "would have experienced emotions a hundred times greater than what you call love and a thousand times greater than what you call fun."

Alternative Title(s): Beyond Your Emotions, Beyond Your Human Emotions