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Limp and Livid

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May be a symptom of advanced stages of a Villainous Breakdown.

Sometimes, when a character is sufficiently angry and deranged, or just about to snap, they adopt this pose: head down, everything limp, lurching as if they were a marionette that's had its strings cut. Kubrick Stare, and inability to form coherent sentences optional. This is sometimes taken as the start of Unstoppable Rage — any character that dares to get close risks serious injury, especially if the character is also dragging a large weapon across the ground.

In horror works, this may be a sign the character has been overtaken by The Corruption, The Virus, or Demonic Possession. Compare with Primal Stance, Drunken Boxing, Marionette Motion and Zombie Gait.

Compare Heroic and Villainous RRoD, where the character may be exhausted and not wasting energy on posture, but still seething with Unstoppable Rage. Maybe that rage is the only reason they are still standing. Compare Combat Breakdown, where combatants get sloppy as they lose composure.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Berserk: Guts sometimes does this when in the grip of Unstoppable Rage. Usually right before his enemies die a very messy death.
  • In Casshern Sins, this pops up from time to time - primarily from Casshern himself during his Unstoppable Rage freakouts early on, but mook robots sometimes do it too.
  • Dragon Ball: Goku struck this pose when Frieza killed Krillin. The rest, as they say, is history.
  • In Elfen Lied, whenever Nyuu flips over to Lucy her head drops so her hair covers/shades her eyes.
  • In Fairy Tail, Juvia Loxar, after her Implied Love Interest Gray Fullbuster's life is threatened.
  • High School D×D: Issei confronts Raynare like this. The limp is because he just took two holy spears through the thighs, the livid is because she just killed Asia.
  • Higurashi: When They Cry:
    • Most of the main cast tend to do this eventually, but Satoshi and Keiichi usually bring their weapon of choice, the baseball bat with them.
    • Shion walks around like this whenever she's pacing about the Sonozaki Theater and Torture Chamber during Maekashi-hen.
  • In Minami-ke, Chiaki does this briefly when Kana challenges her to decide who goes out for drinks in the rain.
  • Ginias from Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team ends up like this once he goes over the edge towards the end of the series. It's worth noting it could stem from the fact that he seems two steps away from falling on the floor and going into cardiac arrest at this point, presumably due to neglecting even his most basic health needs in favor of working on his pet project.
  • After his Freak Out, Shinji from Neon Genesis Evangelion does this. He also strangles Asuka in this pose.
  • One Piece:
    • Kuro, an early villain in the manga/anime , goes like this and sways back in forth in order to put himself into a blind trance where he slashes up everything around him.
    • Luffy himself does it in The Movie, Baron Omatsuri and the Secret Island, after Lily eats his friends, turns into millions of arrows, and shoots them all into his skin. It's one of the creepiest things in One Piece history.
  • There is a non-aggressive example in the Read or Die TV series, Maggie is forbidden to go into any bookshops in a town full of them, despite her being a total bibliomaniac. Cue lurching from shopfront to shopfront.
  • Rurouni Kenshin uses this in the first OVA, Trust & Betrayal, when Kenshin is chasing after Tomoe and is increasingly worn down by his attackers.
  • Since the two main female leads of School Days are Yandere for Makoto, they do this towards the end.
  • Harima of School Rumble pulls a version of this in the episode when they're cleaning the pool. Played for laughs, in this case.
  • When brutally questioned by The Men in Black about her family, Lain from Serial Experiments Lain does this. Then reverts to her Wired persona and chews him out.
  • Yuu in Seraph of the End does this when giving into his Superpowered Evil Side.
  • Soul Eater:
    • Crona and Maka when they use the black blood, because it is driving them crazy even while it makes them more powerful.
    • The 'marionette' description is particularly apt for Crona's first appearance. Firstly, they look as though being dragged by Ragnarok rather than wielding him, secondly they're being at least provoked into killing Maka by Medusa, if not physically controlled by her.
    • Madness personified, the Kishin Asura moves this way all the time, primarily due to having been skinned alive and sealed in a bag of said skin for hundreds of years, meaning he has to learn how to walk upright again.
  • Tokyo Ghoul: Kaneki and Mutsuki are similar with their respective roles as one eyed ghouls who initially couldn't control their powers and attracting admirers of the Ax-Crazy variety, and Kaneki even garners one in Mutsuki himself. When Mutsuki shows up to attack Touka out of jealousy she stabs him in self defense with her kagune and he pushes himself up with his kagune while bleeding making this stance. Kaneki does this at times when going into his centipede kakuja form which is obtained by eating other ghouls and comes with Sanity Slippage attached.
  • Tokyo Mew Mew: Kisshu does this after getting rejected by Ichigo and losing his sanity as a result. He tries to then kill Ichigo, himself and her love interest.
  • Sumire in Venus Versus Virus gets this when fighting Luca. Her Berserker mode gets shot with lightning to no effect.
  • The Wallflower: Sunako cracks after her chocolate is destroyed by the Instant Fan Club. She also does this when the four main Bishōnen characters first meet her. This is one of the many signs that the guys have their work cut out for them in turning her into a lady.
  • The Berserk Fury in Zoids: New Century pulls this off during its final battle with the Liger Zero. This is after its pilot has been knocked unconscious and the Fury is relying purely on its feral instincts to fight.

  • Silva does this at the end of Skyfall. After Bond's manor and his own helicopter blow up practically in his face, he loses both his posture and what remains of his sanity. He spends the rest of his screentime stumbling around with only willpower keeping him vertical.
    "Do you see what comes of all this...running around, Mister Bond? All this jumping and's exhausting."

  • Journey to Chaos: During his recovery from mana mutation, Eric slips into one of these, which concerns the guards watching him. They call it a "berserker stance" observed in other monsters.

    Live-Action TV 

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Randy Orton tends to do this as part of the setup for his finisher, the RKO. He also tends to just move like this overall, especially when acting as a Heel, as part of his "viper-like" persona.


    Video Games 
  • Asura from Asura's Wrath does this when in Wrath Form. Goes into a Primal Stance occasionally, too.
  • Folon, one of Giacomo's Quirky Minibosses in Baten Kaitos, adopts a combat stance like this where his head and limbs hang limp and sway with his body while battling Kalas and his group. Unsurprisingly, he's the least sane of the trio contrasting the cold and cruel Ayme and the Affably Evil Giacomo.
  • Dark Souls: In the Arorias of the Abyss DLC, also included in the Prepare to Die Edition and the Remaster of the same, Abysswalker Artorias spends the entirety of the fight in this posture. The reason he does it is one of his arms is horribly broken and mangled, and the other one is dragging his signature greatsword. True to form for this trope, he manages to be perhaps one of the single most relentless bosses in the game (considering that this is Dark Souls, that's saying something), lunging forward abruptly over impossible distances and somersaulting through the air and crashing down on you repeatedly.
  • Destiny 2: The Witch Queen brings us Rhulk, Disciple of the Witness, Final Boss of the Vow of the Disciple raid. He taunts and mocks the Guardians throughout the raid, and when you encounter him directly, he spends most of it in Reverse Arm-Fold, as befits his arrogant demeanor, while also leisurely approaching targets or flash-stepping before attacking. As the fight goes on, however, he falls into the Limp and Livid stance as he realizes he has to take them seriously.
  • In Diablo II, a certain type of skeletal enemy fits this trope to a T. They shamble around dragging enormous broadswords, but if a player gets too close they can swiftly attack.
  • Dissidia Final Fantasy does this to Terra in the Onion Knight's storyline. However, it doesn't quite work due to the limited expressive range of the character models used, and she ends up looking hung over more than anything.
  • The cloned fighters of Dragon Ball Fighter Z are distinguishable from their originals by their resting stances; most fighters are hunched and stiff-armed, crossing this with a Primal Stance.
  • Kid Buu in Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3 has this as his fighting stance.
  • In Fire Emblem Fates Conquest, the Final Boss uses their wounded animation during the cutscene before the fight to give off this impression.
  • The Friday Night Funkin' Game Mod Vs Whitty features the titular Whitty, a fellow with a Cartoon Bomb for a head. He makes it clear that he wants to be left alone and doesn't want to rap battle The Boyfriend, but by the time The Boyfriend pushes him for a third rap battle, Whitty snaps, lights his head fuse, and assumes a slumped, arms-limp position while he gets Wingding Eyes and a Slasher Smile for the third song, a wickedly difficult piece called "Ballistic".
  • Zappa from Guilty Gear adds some additional horror into his version. In his case though it's due to Demonic Possession. He's normally a sane guy but S-Ko enters his body and he flops around like a deranged contortionist.
  • The King of Fighters: Riot of the Blood Iori's default stance is this, complete with Glowing Eyes of Doom and steam coming out of his mouth.
  • The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV has this happen to Rean after breaking out of his chains in his enraged state. He limps for a bit and hunches before he starts grabbing his sword and starts going on a rampage, trying to reach Valimar.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
  • Weepers from The Persistence stand limp with their heads resting on their shoulder. Yet they are not restful, for at the mere sight of they you, they will let out a scream so terrible that it will paralyze you and may even kill you from its sheer malice.
  • Persona 5: After using their own Hate Plague power on themself, Black Mask Akechi assumes one of these for the second phase of their boss fight, slouching backwards while holding their weapon at their hip.
  • Pokémon:
  • Oichi in the third Sengoku Basara game, due to being little more than a living puppet animated by malevolent shadows. Mitsuhide, Mitsunari and Matabe also have tendencies towards acting like this, highlighting their mental instability.
  • The Tails Doll from Sonic R isn't overtly malevolent, but the way it remains almost constantly limp has given it a legendary reputation.
  • Tira in Soulcalibur does this in her "Gloomy" personality. Her voice is deeper and more guttural, her idle stance has her head pointed down, her weapon hanging around her neck, and she barely moves. Her attacks in said state are mostly more savage-looking and ignoring the thought of hurting herself, such as attacking with her weapon still hanging around her neck. In contrast, her "Jolly" personality speaks with a higher-pitched and childish voice, her idle stance is just shy of a dance, and her attacks are much more acrobatic, even playful.
  • The Gangrel player character in Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines does this when he or she is using the Protean discipline. For bonus points they grow elongated claws from their hands and run in a loping, beast-like fashion.
  • Way of the Samurai: Kyojiro Kagenuma in Way of the Samurai 2 stands neutral with her sword to the side, but her combat style most assuredly fits, underlying her bloodthirsty nature.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 3: N loses his composure and staggers in rage after finding out that M died in Mio's place. Even when he calms down, he sits like a puppet with his strings cut at Z's theatre.
  • In Yandere Simulator, this is one of the signs that Yandere-Chan is visibly insane, as well as anyone completely mindbroken by Cold-Blooded Torture.

    Western Animation