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Involuntary Smile of Incapacitation

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There are many things that make you smile; flowers, sunshine.

And yet, there are moments in life where you smile after being subjected to something that incapacitates you. You might smile involuntarily because what incapacitates you could end up affecting your mental welfare.

Examples of these dire situations include being brainwashed, getting on some kind of drug high (or in a show for all audiences, some kind of high that isn't a drug), being knocked unconscious, etc.

There is some Truth in Television here; people who are drugged do this lazy sort of smile because they are in a relaxed state and therefore can't control their muscles as well as when they were fully conscious.

Related to Concussions Get You High. Compare "Oh, Crap!" Smile. Contrast Go Out with a Smile, where a character smiles out of contentment as he or she dies or is killed. See also Circling Birdies when cartoon symbols fly around the head of an injured or drugged character. This may also be doubled with a Non Sequitur, *Thud*. Can result from Alcohol-Induced Idiocy, Intoxication Ensues, and being Drunk on Milk. Super-Trope to Laughing Gas.


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    Comic Books 

    Comic Strips 
  • Garfield: In one arc, Garfield tries to grab a pie by jumping from a chair to a table, but he just falls to the floor, leading to his Easy Amnesia. He looks up with a dizzy smile on his face.

    Fan Works 

    Films - Animation 
  • Alpha and Omega: Kate and Humphrey each do this when they are tranquilized by hunters.
  • In Beauty and the Beast:
    • LeFou gets a dazed smile three times— first when Gaston bonks him on the head, second when he gets smacked in the face by a tree branch that Gaston had been holding back, and third when Gaston drops a table on him.
    • Stanley gets a dazed smile when two drawers hit him in the head.
  • Dumbo: When Dumbo unknowingly drinks from a barrel full of water laced with liquor, he lets out a hiccup and starts to lie down as a smile appears on his face. Shortly afterwards, Timothy has some of the beer and comes out of the barrel, equally wasted, and he's smiling contentedly.
  • Hercules: After getting punched by Nessus the centaur, Hercules has a dazed smile on his face as he is sent flying and rammed headfirst into a rock jutting out of the water.
  • Played for Laughs in Home on the Range, where all the cows who are susceptible to Slim's hypnotic singing give a goofy grin when they fall under his control.
  • Incredibles 2: When Elastigirl confronts Evelyn on a jet plane, Evelyn steers the plane up high enough for Elastigirl to become affected with hypoxia. The delirious Elastigirl grins and starts to spout some non sequiturs.
  • Many if not all of Kaa's victims develop a dopey smile in The Jungle Book franchise when he mesmerizes them.
  • Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted:
  • Megamind: Hal gets a big, goofy grin after Minion whacks him with the Forget-Me Stick.
  • In The Princess and the Frog, one frog-hunter accidentally clubs his fellow frog-hunter on the head while aiming at Bewitched Amphibians Tiana and Prince Naveen. The clubbed frog-hunter has a dazed and goofy grin on his face as he collapses from the clubbing.
  • In Peter Pan, Captain Hook gets one when Smee hits him with a hammer. Smee even mistakes the smile for one of genuine happiness.
  • Tangled: When Flynn enters Rapunzel's tower, she knocks him out with her Frying Pan of Doom, and he briefly gets a dizzy grin on his face before he collapses to the ground.

    Films - Live Action 
  • Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day: Emily gets a bad cold on the day of a Peter Pan play, so she dopes herself up on cough syrup and ends up completely hammered. By the time she gets to the theater, she's babbling and chuckling. When it's her time to come onto the stage, she comes out and crashes into stage props, grinning and rambling the whole time.
  • Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze. Ham has a cane which can extend a short blade coated with an anesthetic drug. During the fight aboard the yacht with Captain Seas' thugs, Ham stabs two of them with the cane's blade. In each case, the thug smiles and falls unconscious.
  • Hook: crossed with a Brick Joke; after seeing Jack hit a home run at the pirates' baseball game (and sending the ball into the stratosphere), Peter goes back to the Lost Boys' island in despair... and the ball falls out of the sky and conks him in the head. Peter laughs and falls on his face.

  • In the I Dream of Jeannie episode "Who Are You Calling a Jeannie", Jeannie has one of these after getting hit in the head by a door, which causes her to lose her memory.
  • Our Miss Brooks: At the end of "Hobby Show", Miss Brooks breaks into an involuntary smile from the stress of trying to play with model trains, fix broken toys, fingerpaint, play chess and knit all at the same time. A Sound-to-Screen Adaptation of "The Work Horse".

    Video Games 
  • They Breathe: When frogs are captured by jellyfish and incorporated into their bodies, the frogs' facial expression gradually changes from terrified to happy, indicating how quickly the jellyfish take over their minds.

    Web Video 
  • CalebCity: In the video "When Your Soul Gets Punched out of Your Body", a character taunts someone offscreen, which results in him getting punched so hard that his body crumples to the ground with a serene smile upon his face.

    Western Animation 


Video Example(s):


Tranquilized By Animal Control

Alex, Marty, Gloria, Melman, and King Julien are ambushed with Tranquilizer Darts by Captain DuBois and her team of animal control officers.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (12 votes)

Example of:

Main / KnockoutAmbush

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