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In fiction, there are many ways of indicating that a character has lost their sanity, some of them subtle, some of them not: disarrayed hair, haunted-looking eyes, filthy clothes, a habit of speaking to people who aren't there, a fixation on certain words or phrases, a tendency to sing inappropriately... or maybe the character has just given up on wearing clothes.

By far the least subtle indication of mental woes, characters who exhibit this symptom demonstrate their burgeoning insanity by stripping down. A few modest variants on this theme may leave their underwear on, or at the very least only qualify as a Walking Shirtless Scene; an even rarer few might actually have a good reason for going nude - one that make sense to them, anyway; the rest are more than happy to wander around completely naked for no apparent reason whatsoever.

May overlap with Naked People Are Funny. May involve Fan Disservice, especially if the scene is played for horror or revulsion. See Barefoot Loon when this is restricted to a lack of footwear.

Compare and contrast Full-Frontal Assault, which is most commonly concerned with people fighting in the nude (sane or otherwise). Compare Sinister Nudity, which doesn't necessarily require insanity, but can still be very unnerving. Can be paired with Psychosexual Horror.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Elfen Lied: Lucy is frequently naked, and is quite evidently off the deep end before the start of the series.
  • Freezing: In an OVA, the girls are ordered to march through a blizzard to test their endurance. The cold eventually makes several of them go crazy and strip.

    Comic Books 
  • Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth depicts the villain Maxie Zeus as having been driven even crazier by the ECT used to treat his delusions of godhood. When Batman finally meets him, he's stripped completely naked except for the electrodes around his head and some strategically placed shadows below the waist. For added insanity, he's also been using the ECT machine to brainwash a captive security guard, and he appears to have collected a huge barrel of his own feces, which he offers to Batman as a divine gift.
  • Batman villain Mr Zsasz is a psychopathic Serial Killer with a mission to "free" his victims from their lives and an obsessive desire to carve a mark into his body for every kill. Needless to say, his tally marks are his most recognized feature, and he is frequently encountered in a state of undress so he can show them off to victims - most commonly via a Walking Shirtless Scene.
  • Cinema Purgatorio
    • The framing device features the usherette of the eponymous movie theatre growing increasingly eccentric as the story continues and the inhabitants of the building find themselves unable to leave. By the final issues, she's given up on wearing clothes entirely and attends to her duties stark naked; for good measure, she responds to the murders depicted in One Hell Of A Girl by loudly masturbating.
    • In the Hell's Angles film, Howard Hughes is depicted at the very lowest point of his neuroses, with every action dictated by his uncontrollable Obsessive Compulsive Disorder... and due to his fanatical obsession with hygiene, he's stark naked.
  • In the first issue of Fall of Cthulhu, Sy finds a Cthulhu-worshipping priest naked and conducting a ritual at the Arkham Boarding House; worshipers of the Great Old Ones are often insane or deluded, and this one's no exception: not only is he covered in ritual markings, but he goes on to conduct a shockingly light-hearted discussion with Sy - despite having just cut off one of his own testicles. And then he slits his throat.
  • During Locke & Key #4: Keys To The Kingdom, Kinsey makes the mistake of revealing the Head Key to Scot and Jamal, both of them opting to experiment with it at length. Unfortunately, this results in Scot having his sanity removed from his mind and deciding to perform Byron naked in front of the entire school, forcing his two friends to rescue him before he embarrasses himself any further.
  • Being insane, Norman Osborn AKA the Green Goblin has demonstrated this on occasion:
    • During Dark Reign, Norman spent one night in his office, completely naked, clutching at his face and saying "Why won't this mask come off?"
    • In the Warren Ellis retool of Thunderbolts, Norman begins cracking up when telepaths mess with the minds of everyone in Thunderbolt Mountain and gets back into his Green Goblin costume for the first time in a while - all while ranting insanely to himself about what he'd do if he were president. After undressing, he takes a little while to take the next step into actually donning the costume, leaving him stark naked in mid-rant... and resulting in this immortal line:
      Note to self: give naked dictation more often, the ideas seem to flow more freely.
  • By the events of Morpheus's return in The Sandman (1989), the Justice League have been forced to effectively depower John Dee AKA Dr Destiny by removing his ability to dream so he can't use the Materioptikon. As a result, he's lapsed into childish madness and been committed to Arkham Asylum, where the staff have forbidden him from wearing clothes just in case he tries to hang himself with them. As such, when Dr Dee finally breaks out, he's completely naked until he's given a coat by a terrified motorist (who he then murders). For good measure, after torturing a diner full of innocent people to death, he doffs the coat and challenges Morpheus to a fight for supremacy. Oh, and for added horror, Dee is essentially an emaciated, skeletal ghoul thanks to his imprisonment.
  • Skull Island: The Birth of Kong: In this MonsterVerse graphic novel, Riccio during his Sanity Slippage. First he strips his upper-body down to just his undershirt upon coming in contact with the Iwi, then as he integrates himself into their culture and his Sanity Slippage progresses, he goes around topless for the rest of the story, up until he dons an Iwi robe just before his death.
  • In Tintin: Tintin: Cigars of the Pharaoh, when the archaeologist Dr. Sarcophagus is poisoned with "madness poison", one of the first signs of insanity is that he takes his pants off.

    Films — Animated 
  • The House (2022): Over the course of Chapter 2, the bug infestation of the House, the lack of prospective buyers, and the presence of a family of mysterious squatters all end up driving the Developer to the brink of a breakdown... and in the finale, the realization that the squatters are actually giant versions of the insects pushes the Developer over the edge: when he's next seen, the anthropomorphic rat has regressed to animal intelligence, now crawling on all fours and living in a burrow behind the oven - and he's also chewed off most of his hospital gown, leaving him naked except for his fur.
  • Justice League vs. The Fatal Five: Star Boy has a schizophrenic episode that causes him to forget about his mission when he's transported to the past. He finds a pharmacy, and tries to speak with the pharmacist but considering his drug won't be invented for centuries it's a useless endeavor, he thinks that she's afraid of him because of his costume, cue him deactivating it, leaving him starkers and her terrified.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The vampires in Daybreakers begin to physically and mentally degenerate the longer they go without blood, ultimately devolving into insane Bat People known as "Subsiders". The first one encountered in the film is so frenzied with hunger that he's resorted to feeding on himself, and has stripped completely naked — the better to show off his winged, inhuman body.
  • Late in The Devil's Advocate, Mary-Anne Lomax's Sanity Slippage comes to a head when she randomly shows up in a church, shrouded in a blanket and clearly very badly traumatized. She eventually reveals to Kevin that she's just been raped by John Milton himself, but Kevin denies this as the perpetrator was in court with him the whole afternoon - whereupon Mary-Anne tosses the blanket aside, revealing herself to be completely naked and covered in bloody scratches. Despite being deliberately driven to a nervous breakdown, she was not imagining the rape; Milton is capable of being in two places at once, and later openly gloats over what he did to Mary-Anne.
  • In Dora and the Lost City of Gold, when the main cast starts tripping due to hallucinogenic pollen, Alejandro takes off his clothes and runs around naked.
  • The plot of Dr. T & the Women truly kicks off when Kate Travis mentally regresses to childhood, strips off all her clothes, and plays naked in a nearby fountain — resulting her being committed to a mental hospital.
  • In Drive, He Said Gabriel enters a psychotic break which causes him to strip naked and Free the Frogs.
  • Throughout Event Horizon, the fate of the eponymous ship's crew has remained a mystery for most of the film. Towards the climax, the crew of the Lewis And Clark belatedly manage to find a video log of what happened: as soon as they activated the gravity drive, everyone on board descended into violent madness and murdered each other in a variety of hideous ways - many of the perpetrators being undressed at the time. The final shot is of the blood-splattered captain sitting in front of the camera, stark naked and holding his own eyeballs in his outstretched hands.
  • Everest: It's repeatedly stated how the low-oxygen environment affects the mind, sometimes resulting in people spontaneously taking their clothes off despite the cold (known as paradoxical undressing).
  • During the backstory to Exorcist: The Beginning, Monsieur Bession went Mad from the Revelation after spending a little too much time at the Turkana dig and had to be carted off to an asylum in Nairobi. When Merrin finally goes to see him in the latter half of the film, he's stripped down to his underwear - revealing that he's also scratched a swastika in his chest. Then he slices his throat before Merrin's stunned eyes.
  • Horse Girl is about a woman who may or may not be experiencing Sanity Slippage who thinks she is getting abducted by aliens, as she experiences missing time and often finds herself in places with no idea how she got there. In one scene, she's taking a Shower of Angst, then suddenly finds herself at her workplace completely nude. This signals to others that she's losing her mind, and she gets sent to a mental institution after this scene.
  • Thomas Wake of The Lighthouse is quickly established as being obsessed with the Light to the point of not allowing Winslow anywhere near it; as it later becomes clear, this is becomes he spends several evenings in the lantern room, staring directly into the Light while completely naked and likely masturbating. For good measure, it's never established if there's something genuinely supernatural about the Light, or if Wake is just crazy.
  • In Roman Polański's Macbeth, as well as the 2006 film version, Lady Macbeth performs the classic "Out Damned Spot" Sanity Slippage soliloquy while in the nude.
  • Men: Harper is repeatedly menaced by a naked maniac.
  • Never Look Away: Little Kurt comes home to find his Aunt Elizabeth playing piano, naked. She is having a schizophrenic breakdown.
  • Roger Corman's "nurseploitation" movie Night Call Nurses features an opening scene in which a young woman suffering a psychotic break climbs to the roof, strips to nothing but a pair of panties, then jumps to her death.
  • Relic:
    • Edna's burgeoning dementia is revealed in the very first scene of the film, in which she is found standing naked in the living room, staring blankly at nothing.
    • In the finale, at the very nadir of Edna's physical and mental disintegration, a heartbroken Kay helps to peel away the last of her mother's rotting flesh until all that remains is a naked skeletal being with no personality or consciousness.
  • When the thunderstorm hits in The Shout, one of the mental patients who is fielding in the cricket game responds by stripping off all of his clothes, dancing in the rain and smearing himself with cow manure.
  • Captain Pinbacker of Sunshine. The Icarus I's commanding officer, he grew steadily more obsessed with the sun as the ship drew closer to it, eventually abandoning the mission altogether and stranding everyone in orbit. When the crew of the Icarus II finally find him, he's basking naked in the sunlight, now openly worshipping the sun as a god. For good measure, he's covered in hideous burns and blisters from exposure to the harsh light, so it's likely that wearing clothes would be too painful for him anyway. In any event, this swiftly transitions into Full-Frontal Assault.
  • Downplayed in Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. After a crash, Ricky jumps out of his car, takes off his jumpsuit, and starts running around in his underpants and helmet yelling about being on fire. This is the start of his mental breakdown.
  • Having been temporarily brainwashed by Loki back in The Avengers (2012), Dr Eric Selvig reveals that the incident had a disastrous effect on his mind when he reappears in Thor: The Dark World: he's recently been arrested - on camera - at Stonehenge after stripping down naked and loudly haranguing tourists.
  • The VVitch:
    • The eponymous villain is almost always naked and — judging by the demented laughter, frenzied chanting and animal cruelty — is barely sane. Plus, she's also extremely elderly.
    • After being accidentally stranded in the forest, Caleb finds himself face to face with the Witch herself. He later turns up back at the family farm, delirious, incoherent and stark naked. It's not specified what the Witch did to Caleb, though the implications aren't nice; whatever happened, it eventually ends up killing him.
    • At the very end of the film, Thomasin plunges over the Despair Event Horizon after the rest of her family is killed, leaving her stranded alone at the farm with no means of providing for herself and no help for miles. Calling out to Black Phillip, she accepts a literal Deal with the Devil and — at his prompting — strips nude and wanders out into the forest to join the other Witches. As she rises naked into the night with the rest of the coven, the look on her face indicates that she's finally crossed the line into madness.

  • The Bone Maker: One Mad Oracle took to spending his days naked in a public fountain in a busy market square. The choice of locale was intended to drown out his visions with mundane noise; the lack of clothing was presumably because he's dead broke and unhinged from reality.
  • CELL: A good deal of the phone crazies tear their clothes off during the initial "outbreak". Clay, the protagonist, during a lull in the apocalypse, spots a man stark naked, ranting and raving gibberish, and stabbing at the air with a car aerial, covered in blood that isn't his.
  • The Coldest War: Marsh's son John was born with an unnamed condition that has left him an Empty Shell at the best of times and violently irrational at worst. Also, he doesn't much like wearing clothes and will resist any attempts at dressing him, so his parents usually just allow him to remain stark naked. It turns out that the "condition" is being a soulless pawn of the Eidolons.
  • In Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, it is mentioned that the notoriously eccentric Uric the Oddball tried to convince the Wizard's Council that the song of the Fwooper wasn't detrimental to the mental health of the listener as commonly believed, but quite the reverse. At the time, he claimed that he had conclusive proof of the positive effects of the magical bird's song after listening to it for nearly three months; unfortunately, the fact that he showed up for the presentation wearing nothing but a dead badger on his head made the arguments a little less than convincing.
  • In the Johnny Catbiscuit book "Johnny Catbiscuit and the Abominable Snotmen", if the snot from a Snotman hits a human, it will cause the human to go insane. The first symptom of this insanity is ripping off your clothes, although when the police got hit they had the decency to keep their underwear on.
  • The Magicians:
    • Inverted during the Fourth Year, in which getting naked seems to induce insanity: at the end of the Training from Hell in Antarctica, the Ultimate Final Exam features the student magicians being charged with walking to the South Pole - naked, with only their magic to protect them. By now, everyone's been hit with Polar Madness to at least some degree, and the process of wandering naked through the ice with no company nearly reduces Quentin to a barely-sane automaton - to the point that he ends up falling into a crevasse at one stage and barely even notices.
    • Niffins are driven insane by their transformation from human to magical energy, and in both the books and the comics, are commonly depicted as being composed of blue flame and stark naked.
  • In The Malloreon this is part of the villain Zandramasí backstory. When the spirit of dark possessed her, she went temporarily insane and the first thing she did was strip down and run off naked into the forest. For the next few years she roamed the wilderness naked and only spoke to people in tongues, if she spoke at all. Eventually she comes back to the city, restored to her senses and fully clothed again.
  • Subverted in Necroscope: in his introduction, Boris Dragonsani ritualistically prepares for necromantic study by stripping naked and using the corpse as a cushion, then butchering the body while still nude. Though the observers assume that Boris is some kind of lunatic, Gregor Borowitz makes it abundantly clear that the necromancer is perfectly sane, a point he proves when Boris manages to uncover the truth and save Borowitz from a traitor while still without a stich of clothing on him. More to the point, when Boris actually does begin to slip into psychopathy as a result of being impregnated with a vampire symbiote, he remains fully clothed.
  • Early in The Pilo Family Circus, Jamie is targeted for recruitment by the Clown Division of the Circus, leaving him with a few days to pass an audition by making the clowns laugh - or else. After days of being terrorized by the clowns, Jamie suffers a nervous breakdown and carries out his audition by faking a terror attack via fireworks, then stripping nude and running down the street with a pillowcase over his head, screaming at the top of his lungs about bombs.
  • Delusional Serial Killer Francis Dolarhyde of Red Dragon most commonly carries out his murders naked, apparently so he can admire his blood-splattered body in the moonlight post-massacre - and it's for this reason that he commonly targets isolated homes where he won't be bothered by nosy neighbors.
  • In Red Dwarf: Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers, Lister hits the Despair Event Horizon after finding out that he's been in stasis for three million years, his fellow crewmembers are all dead, the ship's lost in deep space, and he's the last human in the universe. Not seeing any point in dressing from then on, he spends most of his time wandering around the ship completely naked in a bewildered stupor, usually while drunk and hallucinating; this remains the case until Holly goes so far as to resurrect Rimmer as a hologram so Lister can have a bit of company.
  • Throughout Repeat, Brad Cohen's "Groundhog Day" Loop-induced immortality slowly erodes his composure as time goes on, eventually culminating in a failed attempt to reunite with Juliet and a psychological meltdown. Left utterly shattered, Brad goes for a very confused walk along Lake Michigan that ends with him taking all his clothes off - despite the bitter cold - and screaming at the sky.
  • The Saint: Referenced in a Lopsided Dichotomy by the title character, where he says that if you see someone tearing up the street naked, covered in blood, and holding a cleaver, it may be that they've just got out of the bath, have killed a chicken, and are running off to tell their aunt all about it...but it might be better to just assume they're a homicidal maniac.
  • In Sister Pelagia and the Black Monk, when Lentochkin pretends to have been Driven Mad from the Revelation of the eponymous Black Monk, he, among other things, strips himself naked and violently fights off any attempt to clothe him again — which is very convincing in the ultra-conservative 19th century provincial Russian society of the book. Later on, Pelagia unwittingly supports his crazy act by discovering that the Black Monk traps his victims in coffins, inducing extreme Claustrophobia, which, in Lentochkin's case, is made to appear to be triggered by merely wearing clothes.
  • The backstory to the A Song of Ice and Fire features this in one of the many documented cases of Targaryen Madness: Rhaegel Targaryen was believed to have succumbed to insanity during the reign of Aerys I, becoming known for dancing naked through the Red Keep.
  • Subverted in The Terror. Upon encountering Mr Hickey stark naked and dancing around in the Arctic wastes, Lieutenant Irving assumes that the caulker's mate has finally succumbed to Polar Madness. However, when he approaches, Irving realizes too late that Hickey has a very practical reason for being naked: he's planning on killing Irving; he got naked because he didn't want to get incriminated by blood on his clothes and the dancing was to keep himself warm until Irving got within reach. Full-Frontal Assault ensues.
  • Robert A. Heinlein's short story "The Year of the Jackpot". As a result of multiple historical cycles reaching a low point, increasing numbers of human beings are acting in a strongly irrational manner. One example is people suddenly taking off all of their clothing for no apparent reason.
  • Edgar Allan Poe's short story "The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether", one of the inmates at a mad-house is Ma'm'selle Salsafette who 'wished to dress herself, always, by getting outside instead of inside her clothes'.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Played for dark laughs in the American Horror Story: Hotel episode "Room 33": John Lowe is found drunk and visibly cracking up in the face of all the gaslighting that's been heaped on him so far, but demands to be left alone when Liz Taylor tries to help him, insisting that "this is my breakdown, and I'm gonna have it!" Minutes later, he's seduced into a threesome with the ghosts of Agnetha and Vendela, resulting him in being splashed with blood mid-coitus. He flees the scene in a panic without bothering to put his clothes back on, arriving back at the front desk completely naked and covered in blood. Without missing a beat, Liz remarks "Looks like that breakdown's going well..."
  • Breaking Bad, "Bit by a Dead Bee": Exploited by Walt when he needs an alibi for his absence after being kidnapped by Tuco. Having managed to hitch a lift back into town, he wanders into a supermarket, stripping naked with a vacant stare, and passes it off as a days-long fugue state brought on by stress over his terminal illness.
    Marie: I think it's just great that he's, y'know, back and he's feeling better. I just, I mean, he... naked. He was naked. Naked. In a supermarket. It wasn't Whole Foods, was it?
  • Eureka: The episode "Purple Haze" has the entire town acting strangely for an unknown reason, including Taggert strolling around stark naked. At the end, after (relative) normalcy has been restored, he's seen wearing a long trenchcoat, buttoned up to the neck.
  • Frasier: Niles, cracking under the pressure of dealing with his wife's pregnancy and his brother accidentally implying he was involved with a murder committed by his ex-wife, finally snaps when a barista at his coffee shop tells him they're out of straws ("Ah. The last straw.") He immediately strips naked in full view of the coffee shop and sits down to read a newspaper, giggling.
  • The Good Place: In "Jeremy Bearimy", after learning the truth about the afterlife, Chidi undergoes an existentialist crisis and wanders through a grocery store shirtless and muttering about nihilism. He gets better shortly.
  • Justified: A very serious example in Season 3, where Quarles strips down before taking a huge quantity of drugs and torturing Donovan.
  • Supernatural, "Sam, Interrupted": Exploited when Sam and Dean get themselves committed to a psychiatric hospital to hunt an undercover monster. A nurse finds them spying in the morgue, so Dean drops his trousers and yells, "Pudding!" to divert suspicion.
    Dean: Crazy works!
  • In the first episode of 30 Rock, Tracy's Establishing Character Moment shows a flashback of him running down a highway in his underwear waving around a plastic lightsabre and yelling "I'm a Jedi!".
  • In Watchmen, the first indication that Adrian Veidt has gone a little bit loopy in the decades following his victory is a scene in which he's found stark naked and writing while a servant massages his leg muscles. He's actually been banished to a Prison Dimension on Europa, and spending several years trapped with only sycophantic servants for company has left him ever-so-slightly deranged.
  • In Xena: Warrior Princess, one of the most common punishments visited by the gods is madness. When this happens to Xena herself, one of the symptoms she displays is an inability to dress herself or realize that she's naked in public.

  • In the song "Crazytown" from 35MM, the main singer becomes this after being driven into insanity, stripping himself of clothes and hair as he realizes that where he's trapped in is not like the lands of fiction.
  • The Hannes Wader talking blues "Der Tankerkönig" from 1971 starts with the protagonist experiencing a fit of insanity and stumbling outside, trying to catch some air. When he's out in the open, and he comes back to his senses, he notices that he doesn't have anything on. But he manages to rescue himself into the storage of some clothes shop where he puts on a chainmail shirt, a pair of pantaloons and a pair of jackboots.

    Myths & Religion 
  • In Book of Daniel, this is implied to happen to King Nebuchadnezzar when YHWH punished him with madness: the text says that "his body was wet with the dew of heaven."
  • Similarly, it is implied in the gospels of Mark and of Luke, when Jesus cast the "Legion" demons out of the Gadarene man. Both writers specify that one of the things the crowd was astonished to see was that the former demoniac was clothed.
  • Arthurian Legend:
    • The first story of Yvain has him go crazy and live naked in the woods, basically because of a fight with his wife. Morgan le Fay finds and heals him (which probably inspired later stories where she's his mother).
    • Tristan and Iseult: Upon learning that one of his friends has a crush on Iseult, Tristan tries to murder him, runs away and lives crazy and naked in the forest for a while.
    • When Guinevere catches Lancelot in bed with Elainenote , he jumps out the window, naked, and runs around crazy for a while. Eventually he finds his way to Elaine's home, where she takes care of him until he regains his sanity and lives with her for a while.

  • "The Ballad of Lucy Jordan" by Shel Silverstein, telling the story of a suburban housewife going mad, mentions as some of the "oh so many ways" Lucy Jordan can choose to spend her day with that "she could clean the house for hours / or rearrange the flowers / or run naked through the shady street / screaming all the way". The subsequent verses reveal that she is really doing the latter, resulting in her being carted off to a mental asylum.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Mage: The Ascension:
    • The hard-line Verbena sect known as the Lifeweavers are so close to nature that they may reject wearing clothes for long periods of time. For this reason and more, they are often stereotyped — even by other Verbena mages — as being deranged to the point of losing human identity altogether; however, this is ultimately a subversion: despite their rejection of human civilization and (in extreme case) even the human form, Lifeweavers rarely cross the line into madness.
    • According to the The Sorcerer's Crusade: Infernalism, potential mages who have Awakened under the guidance of the Nephandi often undergo a period in which they give vent to all the desires they previously denied. In rural areas, Fallen mages may end up stripping naked, eating raw meat and living among animals, degenerating into bestial madness until they either die or move onto better things.
    • From the same book, the Infernalist templates feature a few of these: the Catacomb Rat is a deranged sewer-dwelling beggar-mage that lost his sanity after falling through the cracks in society, existing as a "naked, leprous bundle of filth." Another, the Wildling, is the living embodiment of the Lifeweaver stereotype, a crazed mage that has abandoned all notions of humanity in favour of living naked in the wilderness.
  • In the Old World of Darkness crossover game Midnight Circus, it's mentioned that the Nephandus currently known as Devyn Cavendish managed to make his way into the uppermost ranks of the circus by becoming an apprentice to the current Ringmaster, a hedge wizard by the name of Mauritius. Once Cavendish had learned everything he could from his master, Mauritius was soon found inexplicably naked and barking like a dog - allowing Cavendish to claim the post of Ringmaster... but not before having his now-insane predecessor ripped to pieces by his own hounds.
  • Warhammer:
    • Dwarven Slayers have embraced the lifestyle of a Death Seeker, and reportedly suffer from vicious bouts of depression and a pronounced lack of self-control. As they progress from Troll-slaying to Giant-slaying, they become increasingly crazed due to their lack of success in finding an honourable death, to the point that Daemon Slayers barely count as sane. However, regardless of their level of irrationality, all Slayers go into battle shirtless.
    • Ghouls have been driven insane by generations of cannibalism and necrophagia, and have lost so much of their mental faculties to that they barely understand the concept of weapons or clothing. Consequently, most go into battle wearing nothing more than loincloths.
    • Having been pushed to the very fringes of society by misfortune and the excesses of more successful vampires, the Strigoi bloodline has gradually degenerated into insanity: some exist in a state of animalistic rage, others embrace delusions of their former courtly life even while living in graveyards or caves. As such, most of them wear next to nothing — and it's noted some are so deluded that they may actually believe their ragged loincloths to be the finest robes.
  • Vampire: The Masquerade:
    • In the original Nosferatu clanbook, the character template "Leatherface" is depicted as completely naked except for the crude mask of bandages he wears - his genitals kept in shadow. He's also soaked in blood and carrying around a severed head.
    • According to the Baali clanbook, the Baalites were born when an unknown Cainite stumbled upon the demon-worshipping city of Ashur and slaughtered all but three of the inhabitants in an epic orgy of violence and bloodshed. The surviving three he Embraced by pouring his blood into the city's sacrificial well and throwing the dying trio in after it, creating the first Baalite vampires: when they finally emerged the next night, the three Fledglings were caked in gore from the corpses in the well and "howling with unquenched fury and madness" - and according to the accompanying image, naked as well.
  • The Normalites of Werewolf: The Apocalypse. The results of Homogeneity Incorporated preying on insecure LGBTQ individuals, every single Normalite has been subjected to a treatment purported to "cure" homosexuality; unknown to the public, the company is a Pentex subsidiary and the treatments involve Bane-possession. Patients at first appear contented with their new selves, only to become more and more intolerant towards any sign of social deviance as time goes on, until even the slightest difference prompts irrational rage. The final stage of the metamorphosis involves the newly created Normalite degenerating into an insentient Fomori pack animal easily distinguished by its lack of eyes, lack of genitals, irrational hatred of anything "unnatural", and - of course - constant nudity.

  • King Lear: A couple of Lears - such as Ian Holm and Ian McKellen - strip naked completely (and even more take off some of their clothes) in the heath scene where they bemoan the "naked wretches" and the "unaccommodated man" literally, when Lear is abandoned by Regan and Goneril outside in the storm.

    Video Games 
  • In the finale of BioShock, Frank Fontaine is so desperate to defeat you that he resorts to splicing up with all the ADAM he's stockpiled so far, quickly becoming just as crazed and delusional as all the other Splicers encountered throughout the game. When you finally catch up with him, he's stark naked — and so muscular he probably wouldn't be able to wear clothes anyway.
  • Pandoran Psychos of the Borderlands series never wear shirts except for the females of Borderlands 3 who wear midriff-baring tank tops or sarashi.
  • Crops up towards the end of Control: Dr Casper Darling, having been growing progressively less composed throughout his video messages, is reduced to stripping down to his boxers in a shell-shocked trance as he acknowledges the disaster that lies before them and the fact that he's beginning to transcend reality as a result of exposure to Hedron Resonance.
  • In Dark Souls, after killing Seath and buying all of Big Hat Logan's spells, Logan can be found in Seath's lair in the Duke's Archives stripped down to his underwear and hat, having gone completely insane from his time spent in the Archives.
  • Dragon Age: Origins, people captured by the Darkspawn are often infected with the Taint and deliberately turned into ghouls so that they can become slaves of the Horde, often being driven mad with pain in the process. The ghouls usually keep their clothes on... except of course, for the Broodmothers: female captives of the horde, they are subjected to a horrific process combining force-feeding, rape, cannibalism, and transformation that renders them into monstrous baby factories. Deranged to the brink of insentience with pain and trauma, they are always naked.
  • In Dwarf Fortress, dwarves who become too upset can go insane in a variety of ways. One of them is becoming "Stark Raving Mad". Dwarves in this state take off all their clothes and run around aimlessly until they are calmed down - or die of starvation and/or dehydration.
  • Fate/Grand Order: Roland of the Twelve Paladins of Charlemagne is said to have tried proposing to a queen named Angelica, but was rejected for being merely a knight. This caused Roland to go mad and he stripped naked before rampaging through France. In Astolfo's Interlude, Astolfo drags the player through France to try to see if Roland has materialized as a Servant, and it turns out that Roland (well, a remnant of him) has gone on another naked rampage, leaving the citizens traumatized. When Roland does show up as a playable character, he does at least have enough sense and sanity to not strip all the time and limits himself to only taking his shirt off, but he does keep pestering the protagonist to give him permission to strip fully naked.
  • Throughout the games of the First Encounter Assault Recon franchise, Alma Wade remains completely naked in her true adult form, and it's specifically stated that she'd been driven insane by her own powers long before she was locked in a vault for most of her life. For the most part, the only reason why she remains nude is because she was kept that way in the vault (and because it's pretty damn creepy). However, the second game in the series gives her a very good reason for being naked: she's lusting after Beckett - and goes so far as to rape him in the finale.
  • Gun Loco: Loony-Binned is a man dressed in only a bunny mascot head, shoes, tighty-whities and boxers underneath the tighty-whities, granted none of the playable characters are pictures of mental health, but at least they're fully clothed.
  • Grand Theft Auto V:
    • Trevor's list of disorders and personal problems would probably last longer than the entire article, all adding up to one extremely temperamental, drug-addicted, violent psychopathic criminal mastermind... and from time to time, he ends up stripped down to his underwear in public, usually while doing something spectacularly irrational.
    • The Altruist Cult consists entirely of cannibalistic baby boomers who believe that they can regain their health by feeding on younger generations... and, as part of their ethos, often go around partially or completely naked. Hilarity Ensues when they interact with Trevor.
  • Nelson Tethers: Puzzle Agent: The second game involves a sequence where Nelson voluntarily summons the Hidden People to speak to him so he can destroy the lunacy ray. Once you finish a sequence of puzzles taking place in Nelson's head, the game cuts back to the real world to reveal Nelson fiddling with it in his underwear while incoherently jabbering about mathematical formulas.
  • Occurs throughout Outlast. Set in a dilapidated mental hospital now being run as a research laboratory by the Murkoff Corporation, several demonstrably-insane patients go about their day in varying states of undress: hyper-militarized killer Chris Walker is a Walking Shirtless Scene, a few NPCs are missing shirts or trousers, quirky psychopath "Dr." Rick Trager dresses only in an apron, cannibal Frank Manera is permanently stripped down to his undies, and the cold-hearted Twins casually wander around wearing nothing whatsoever.
  • Ditto Outlast II, in which the Heretics wear nothing apart from mud and twigs, usually while being just as violent, irrational, and overzealous as the cultists of Temple Gate. Their leader, Val, usually wears a cassock to distinguish herself from her followers; however, in the climax of the game, she strips naked and daubs herself with mud before attacking Blake head-on. This likely leads to Val raping Blake while he's in the middle of another dream sequence.
  • Near the beginning of Persona 5 Strikers, one of the "change of heart" incidents reported to the police is the Director of Criminal Affairs stripping naked and running around his office. One of the detectives present at the meeting, Zenkichi, has a hard time keeping a straight face about it.
  • Police Quest 3: The Kindred has Brian Forbes, a guy who's only wearing his undies and has a knife hidden in them who's causing problems at Aspen Falls due to babbling about Bathonians, being clearly in a deranged state of mind.
  • Psychonauts 2: One of the mental vaults in "Hollis's Hot Streak" shows Hollis Forsythe, in her old job as an unappreciated hospital intern, trying to rewrite the mind of her Mean Boss Dr. Potts so he'll confess to stealing her work. She accidentally caused Potts to go completely off the deep end and run around the hospital while stripping down to his underwear.
  • The Secret World:
    • According to Richard Sonnac, the Templars permanently vetoed all future efforts to map out the realm of Agartha after one of their best cartographers went mad in the attempt. When they finally found him, the guy was not only covered in his own filth and babbling in Enochian, but also bollock naked.
    • In the 1960s, the Devore Mansion on Solomon Island played host to a hippie commune of artists - up until the poet Billy Lee uncovered Frank Devore's Illuminati library hidden in the walls. After reading some of the more worrying tomes, he began slowly spiraling into insanity, exhibiting nightmares, paranoia, insomnia and a growing obsession with "dark gods," culminating in the massacre of the entire commune. When the police finally found Billy, he was naked in the nearby Moon Bog, "screeching prayers to the ones who dream."
  • South Park: The Stick of Truth: When the kids have to confess to the Big Bad Government Guy about the purpose of the Stick of Truth, he immediately grows mad with power when holding the Stick and claims that nobody can control him and can do what he wants, which includes stripping naked in front of a couple of young boys.
  • In Until Dawn, the ultimate threat on the mountain spends the overwhelming majority of the game almost completely naked and deranged to the point of insentience. As a Wendigo, Hannah Washington doesn't need clothes to protect herself from the cold, and unlike the rest of the pack, dresses only in a pair of black panties - marking her out as the most violent and fearsome of all the Wendigos at Blackwood Pines. Of course, given how her condition has distorted her physiology beyond all secondary sexual characteristics, it's impossible to tell that the monster is actually female until you notice Hannah's distinctive butterfly tattoo.


    Web Original 

  • Anne Airy is this in one scene of Dina Marino, in a creepy attempt to seduce Dina.
  • SCP Foundation:
    • SCP-4666 AKA the Yule Man is a monstrous elderly humanoid who has been murdering people at Christmas time for hundreds of years and taking children captive so they can make toys for the few kids who avoid his wrath. To say he's Ax-Crazy would be understating things... and he's always completely naked, despite often targeting snowbound areas.
    • Invoked in one of the anomalous films shown in SCP-5911 AKA The SCP Independent Film Festival: in Home Or So They Call It, Chloe Sevigny's character descends into a deepening spiral of self-destruction that ends with her murdering her husband, smothering her teenage son to death, then stripping naked and walking down the street nude.
    • SCP-6697 AKA Serenity Never is a revived series of Seinfeld continuing long past the original finale. Here, George becomes increasingly aware that something is wrong with reality, resulting in a series of incidents that drives him to the brink of madness... but it's not until he finally notices the laugh track that George's sanity really vanishes. The next episode features him stripping naked, smearing himself with feces, and begging the audience to get the show taken off the air.
    • SCP-7955 AKA the Ailing Child of Proteus is a shapeshifter suffering from a rapidly worsening case of dementia. Towards the end of his downward spiral, he ends up either shrinking out of his clothes or just taking them off for reasons known only to himself and vanishing; he's later found wandering naked through the corridors in a confused daze.

    Web Videos 
  • Potter Puppet Pals: Played for Laughs with Dumbledore, a deranged Cloudcuckoolander who strips down for any reason or none at all and especially enjoys streaking.
    Dumbledore: Naked time!
  • Unus Annus: The video "Hunting Hee Hoo" was a Mockumentary in which Mark lost his mind and became a cryptid. He spent much of the video running through the wilderness naked.
  • One of the most common news stories featured on What the Fuck Is Wrong with You? involves someone appearing naked or half-naked in public and doing something spectacularly irrational. Sometimes, alcohol, drugs, or mental illness will be involved, but more often than not, no explanation for the nudity will emerge at all - much to Nash and Tara's exasperation. For good measure, this often segues into the classic "Naked Rampage."

    Western Animation 
  • 6teen: "Snow Job" has Jonesy and Nikki arguing and as a result Ron takes them both to mall jail. Jonesy's claustrophobia kicks in and he strips to his underwear feeling like the room is shrinking and getting hotter.
  • Adventure Time: Early on in "You Made Me!", the mentally-unstable Earl of Lemongrab runs through the streets of the Candy Kingdom tearing his clothes off while in the throes of a nervous breakdown.
  • Adventure Time: Fionna and Cake: "Jerry"/The Lich from the Extinct universe tearing off his Billy disguise/skin as he furiously yells at GOLB has shades of this: In spite of being very nonstandard, what with it being a successful Omnicidal Maniac and the greatest threat that universe saw, it's still an utterly pious man having a crisis of faith stripping naked and demanding answers from a God who he feels has completely forsaken him.
  • Bob's Burgers:
    • In the episode "Aquaticism" the IRS agent that the kids have been duping fully buys their fake religion and decides to baptize himself by getting in the jellyfish tank. It does not go well.
    • In "Roamin' Bob-Iday", the flashback to Bob's last burn-out shows him working in the kitchen wearing nothing but an apron and his underwear.
  • In the Daria episode "The Teachings of Don Jake", Jake, Helen, and Quinn all eat the poisonous berries and begin hallucinating — during which, Jake strips down to his underwear.
  • A recurring gag character on Family Guy is "the Greased-Up Deaf Guy," a man covered in cooking oil who runs around in his underwear and speaks in a high-pitched warble due to his lack of hearing. According to one episode, he was an ordinary white-collar worker before he got caught in a truck explosion.
  • Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends: Mac goes into a frenzy whenever he eats candy. In both episodes where his condition is triggered, he removes his clothes and runs around the city while screaming for more sugar.
  • In Futurama, Professor Farnsworth is senile and often walks around naked, shirtless, wearing only his lab coat, or other variations.
  • In the Gravity Falls episode "Weirdmageddon" Farmer Sprott gets exposed to a "bubble of pure madness", and whatever he saw in there drives him to scream in horror and tear his shirt off.
  • King of the Hill: Dale is tasked with getting a raccoon out of Hank's house after it goes underneath. Dale ends up scratched by the raccoon, leading to fears he might have rabies. Throughout the episode, he goes animalistic and insane (not helped by feeding himself via mushrooms he's found). And towards the end, he's only wearing a hat, his sunglasses, and his underwear.
  • In the Recess episode "The Hypnotist" Principal Prickly is hypnotized into thinking he's a 6 year old and the kids play along with it at first. When Miss Finster announces she's going to take over as principal in his place, they tell him he's an adult and he throws a fit, climbing on top of the jungle gym and stripping down to his underwear.
  • In the finale of the Rick and Morty episode "Rixty Minutes," the alternate Jerry Smith ends up suffering a meltdown that begins with him stripping down to his underwear; by the time the Smiths catch up with the news report, he's already shaved off a huge chunk of his hair, tried to cut off his toe and eat it, been resuscitated by the medics, stolen a mobility scooter and led the police on a Low-Speed Chase across town.
  • The Seven Little Monsters episode "It's a Wonder-Four Life" has Four wish that he didn't have any siblings, resulting in an alternate timeline where his brothers and sisters still exist but are no longer his relatives and have lived very different lives. Five's counterpart in the timeline behaves in a feral manner and wears no clothes, which Star Zero explains to Four is the result of Four not being there to teach him how to behave properly.
  • In Superman: The Animated Series, as John Corben goes mad from the Sense Loss Sadness of his Metallo body, he starts ripping off his clothes... along with his human-looking skin.


Video Example(s):


Help Me Tom Cruise!

Ricky Bobby cries out to Jesus, Jewish God, Allah, Tom Cruise (and his witchcraft), and Oprah Winfrey, anyone to help put out the invisible fire!

How well does it match the trope?

4.8 (10 votes)

Example of:

Main / EmergencyMultifaithPrayer

Media sources: