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Not So Stoic

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Even the Dark Knight can't keep brooding forever.

"You're not hurt, Watson? For God's sake, say that you are not hurt!" It was worth a wound - it was worth many wounds - to know the depth of loyalty and love which lay behind that cold mask. The clear, hard eyes were dimmed for a moment, and the firm lips were shaking. For the one and only time I caught a glimpse of a great heart as well as of a great brain."
Sherlock Holmes, "The Three Garridebs"

Not So Stoic is what happens when the Stoic is pushed to the edge, and falls off. This is when the Stoic loses their façade and shows the world (or just their True Companions) that they aren't an emotionless automaton. They may be good at hiding it but they feel just as much as the rest of us. Likely to be very heartwrenching or extremely terrifying or both.

In order to qualify, the show of emotion must be a significant one, not just a small smile or subtle frown. This emotion need not be a "negative" one: Manly Tears over the death of a teammate are certainly un-stoic, but so is unfettered joy over their return.

These outpourings of emotion usually happen only a few times throughout the series — if the stoic is showing emotion every other episode in every season, then they aren't much of a stoic. However, these moments can also be used to illustrate a character's growth towards becoming more open to others, in which case displays of emotion — overt and subtle — would become more frequent over time.


Compare with Not So Above It All, OOC Is Serious Business, Sugar-and-Ice Personality, and Did You Think I Can't Feel?. Contrast with Past Experience Nightmare (where The Stoic can keep it buttoned up — while awake), Rage-Breaking Point. See also Corpsing, when a character (or actor) is trying to be serious but fails and breaks up into laughter, and Cathartic Crying, for when a character who hardly ever cries (whether because they're The Stoic, or a Stepford Smiler, or some other reason) finally breaks into tears.

When Played for Laughs or poorly written, it's an Out-of-Character Moment. Always a Sub-Trope of The Stoic (non-stoic characters are expected to display emotion whereas a Stoic character displaying an emotional reaction demonstrates a crack in their normal personality). Sometimes overlaps with Alternate Catchphrase Inflection.


WARNING: Many Spoilers Ahead!


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Berg Katse from Ai no Kusabi was The Stoic, until Riki and Isaon are Together in Death. Then, he broke down crying for them.
  • Attack on Titan:
    • Annie Leonhart starts laughing and grinning insanely when she is correctly accused of being the Female Titan. Word of God says this is mostly out of relief that she's been exposed and can briefly be a normal teenage girl.
    • Levi is visibly affected by the death of his squad.
    • Bertolt seems to hold himself together much better than the other two spies even after The Reveal, but it all comes crashing down when he's confronted by his former teammates and breaks down crying because he truly feels horrible about what he's done and really did see them as his friends.
  • In Beauty and the Feast, Yamato is fairly quiet and straight-laced most of the time with a perpetual "I'm beat" look on his face, but even he can be taken by surprise or reduced to a sputtering mess of embarrassment, particularly when something happens between him and Yakumo or Rui. He freaks out in particular when he bumps into Yakumo in the dark and believes he groped her by accident.
  • Guts is stoic to point of lacking emotions in Berserk until he becomes a member of the Band of the Hawk. He finally begins to open up, but his emotions are mainly limited to mirth and anger, never showing anything tender. Then, during a touching scene when he and Casca make love, he breaks down completely and despairs over his abusive relationship with his stepfather. The following night, he has another Not So Stoic moment when he finds Griffith in the dungeon and sees the horrible suffering that had been inflicted on his friend.
  • Ciel Phantomhive from Black Butler hits this trope when he has a panic attack in the manga.
  • Black Jack:
    • Just one chapter in the Black Jack manga, but the "Black Queen", a female surgeon known for her cool, unemotional efficiency in amputations. Even her fiance is freaked out by how cold she is about her work. But then she has a drunken emotional outburst all over Black Jack — and later learns that she'll have to amputate her lover's leg, which sends the woman into complete emotional collapse. Black Jack sedates her and manages to save the leg.
    • Dr. Kiriko is quite capable of turning the otherwise collected Black Jack himself into an incoherent bundle of petty rage.
  • Bleach:
    • Ulquiorra Cifer becomes more and more infuriated with Ichigo during their battle in Hueco Mundo, to the point where he actually starts to yell. It's only as he dies that he finally understands the truth about emotion and the value of the heart.
    • Byakuya Kuchiki had a Hair-Trigger Temper as a kid and, as an adult, his temper is hidden, not cured. He's furious when he learns Ichigo's method of learning bankai has violated shinigami tradition and becomes pure Tranquil Fury when Zommari tries to kill the almost-dead Rukia. However, it's only when he fights As Nodt that his stoic mask shatters completely and the consequences are so devastating it leads to the most brutal defeat in this story's history.
  • Jo from Burst Angel starts the first few chapters deeply troubled by one of Meg's frequent kidnappings.
  • Tooya from Ceres, Celestial Legend, who even took the Badass Longcoat to stride, breaks away from his poker face for the first time when the subject of his relationship with Aya is brought up.
    • Taken even further in one episode where he cries, fearing Aya may die.
    • And taken even further than that towards the end of the series when he learns that Aya is carrying his child, and he cries again. This time, fangirls swoon.
  • Deneve, Clare, and Miria from Claymore were all devotedly stoic up until the Pieta battle, when all three experienced emotional breakdowns over the deaths of their comrades.
  • Code Geass:
  • Vicious from Cowboy Bebop usually seems stoic and composed. But in combat, he is very prone to slasher smiling. Lord, is he ever.
    • Faye Valentine appears at first to be calm, collected, and manipulative. However, seeing a tape she made as a child (which she can't remember) and not having a home anymore clearly affected her deeply. The last we see of her is her crying her eyes out after Spike has gone to fight Vicious.
  • Danganronpa 3: Izuru, due to undergoing a Death of Personality, is completely stoic and finds everything and everyone around him boring. However, watching Chiaki, his Only Friend and Implied Love Interest back when he was Hajime, die causes his feelings for her to resurface and causes him to cry.
  • All over the place in Darker Than Black, since while Contractors are generally pragmatic sociopaths, they're perceived as emotionless. Thus, they act stoic most of the time, but there's usually that one thing that gets a rise out of them. Particularly memorable moments included Hei completely flipping out at the mention of his sister and the time when Yin started crying.
    • Hei's character tends to play around with this trope. Compared to other contractors, he's extremely empathetic towards the people around him and is known to act irrationally based on his feelings.
    • For a human example, Kirihara starts crying when she hears her team laughing and talking about how they'll support the chief and catch the villain without realizing that their section has been disbanded.
  • Death Note:
    • L, who usually often shows low to moderate levels of outward emotion, freaks out when he watches the second Kira's videotape, and they mention Shinigami. The author stated that this is because he was startled/indignant at the idea that he was supposed to just believe that Shinigami exist and throw all of his logic so far out the window. Also because they "just wanted to include a scene where L butt-hurts into the floor, so that's another reason."
    • When L tries to reason with an increasingly panicked and furious Aizawa after Ukita's death in the middle of the second Kira's first broadcast, Aizawa angrily grabs L's shoulder, demanding to let him go out there and help his friend, and immediately goes quiet when he realizes that L is trembling with fear despite the near-absolute calmness in his voice and the impassive expression on his face. He's just as upset about the situation as Aizawa, but hides it and refuses to let it cloud his judgment.
  • The super-stoic Amasawa Yuuko from Den-noh Coil breaks down crying when it is revealed that her brother has been Dead All Along, and all her efforts to revive him from his "coma" have been for nothing.
  • In The Movie version of The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya, Yuki transforms from The Stoic into a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds, who's just shy. The scene where she (non-verbally) begs Kyon to stay for dinner is just moe!
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Piccolo is one of the most Stoic characters in the series. He rarely shows emotions outside of annoyance, especially at the start of Z. However, he has several moments of showing true anger or sadness to the point of tears, especially around Gohan. He loses a lot of his stoic personality after merging with Kami.
    • Tien is even more of a stoic than Piccolo. It becomes somewhat of a joke that he has no sense of humor. But he becomes visibly flustered when Launch flirts with him and when training with King Kai when he was forced to chase Bubbles.
    • Filler character Pikkon, which is fitting since he's based on Piccolo. His demeanor breaks several times as he fights Goku during the Otherworld Tournament.
  • Tsukasa in Dr. Stone is often cool-headed and in control. Though he reacts to Taiju's stupidity (these are removed in the anime). After he's revived a second time later on, he immediately asks Senku "what's the situation". Everyone comments that Tsukasa always keeps his cool. Senku tells him that they're going to the moon, causing Tsukasa to lose his cool.
  • Elfen Lied:
    • Kurama spends his early appearances as a professional, businessman, and Benevolent Boss. After chasing Lucy for a while, his facade breaks down, as she starts to destroy his life, dismembering his adopted daughter and getting his biological daughter killed, and several members of his staff. By the end of this, his mind snaps, he grows a Beard of Sorrow and lives disheveled in a hut on the beach with one of his hitmen. His mind continues to break down after seeing the dying clone of his biological daughter, and being taunted by Lucy over it. he eventually recovers.
    • The Agent is also a stoic character, hanging around in the background, and fighting off numerous Diicoloni while keeping a calm demeanor. She saves a scientist from an Army of them and sacrifices herself to get her to safety. Once the scientist is gone, she begins crying, afraid to die, as the creatures advance towards her.
  • Erza from Fairy Tail has had quite a few moments, both comedic (the play episode) and dramatic (the Tower of Heaven arc, anyone?).
  • Louise of The Familiar of Zero gets this during the rescuing of the Staff of Destruction in the first season. When Louise tries to defeat the giant golem and is more of a hindrance than anything what with her spells not doing any damage and Saito having to push her out of the way of an attack by the golem, Saito tries to get her to leave and run to safety, which she absolutely flat out refuses to do and tells Saito to let her continue, despite both of them knowing she's doing nothing to help. After a wake-up slap, Saito tells her that her life isn't worth anything if she throws it away on pride, where upon Louise immediately breaks down and admits the reason she doesn't want to quit is that all the bullying due to the lack of talent and constant explosions from failed spells really has gotten to her deep down, and in reality, she is outwardly tough but inwardly she's emotionally damaged from verbal bullying, name-calling, and her own failings as a mage, and doesn't want to be labeled a coward on top of already being labeled as a no-talent mage, and even admits that in reality the name Louise The Zero "hurts (her) feelings" despite her visually brushing it off until this point. This doesn't change her personality in the slightest, however, but at least the audience has an explanation for some of it.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • Riza Hawkeye when she thinks Roy is dead in the manga and Brotherhood.
      Riza: "So... when you said that you already killed someone... You didn't. You couldn't. You... You... YOU BIIIIIIIIITCH!!"
    • In the 2003 anime, Riza breaks down when she sees Roy bleeding out and injured in the final episode.
  • Full Metal Panic!:
    • Sagara Sousuke: after being a nigh-perfect Stoic for the entire first season, he is subjected to a Breaking Speech by Gauron, beats him up and finally snaps.
    • This happens again through Second Raid. Beginning when he was ordered to immediately cease guarding Kaname and ending with another Breaking Speech from Gauron, he spiralled downhill into a 10-Minute Retirement and a full-blown Heroic BSoD.
    • Interestingly enough, in the anime, he never cries. However, in the novel, he does break down crying and showing vulnerability... not over Kaname, not over any of his comrades dying... but over his shame and hurt pride that the hostage situation (during the Behemoth Arc) failed to go the way he planned.
    • On a smaller scale, he also unintentionally breaks his stoic image by, amazingly enough, acting like a Tsundere in regard to Kaname. During the party on the Tuatha De Dannan, Kurz tells Sousuke, "She's pretty, cute, and has a nice sense of style. Any man would fall for her in an instant." Sousuke quickly and coldly responds, "I wouldn't know. I'm not interested." Certainly a response very unlike his normal stoic, clueless attitude.
    • Fumoffu? has several examples, Played for Laughs. Sousuke's immediate reaction on realizing he's forgotten Kaname's notes at home spring to mind, as does his entire Drill Sergeant Nasty persona during the Rugby episode, complete with an extremely Hot-Blooded Rousing Speech that he admits to repeating from a book that Mao gave him.
    • And then there's this picture of tranquility when he was under the impression that someone was torturing Kaname. Luckily for the "kidnapper" in question, he was wrong.
    • A massive example comes right at the end of the series: Sosuke is stranded at ground zero of an incoming nuclear missile and has accepted his fate. But then his Humongous Mecha receives a transmission: a video message from his high school classmates, thanking him for saving their lives and reminding him of his promise to return to school along with Kaname. This makes Sosuke break down crying and declaring that he wants to live, which leads to his mecha's AI trying something that ends up saving them both.
    • The Second Raid has Sousuke show his trust towards Kaname by letting her cut his hair. Let's review it: a teenage Child Soldier conditioned to perceive everyone as a potential enemy is letting another person handle scissors near his head and behind his back (falling asleep in the process). More so, he actually gets aroused by her proximity even though he is The Stoic. It doesn't make him any less of a badass, though. That's just some good character development.
  • Gundam has times where even the most hardened characters can crumble...
    • Paptimus Scirocco of Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam is in almost all of his appearances the very model of The Stoic, with only two incidents breaking his icy calm. The first is when his most devoted follower, Sarah Zabiarov, is killed Taking the Bullet for him. This notably causes the cool and collected Scirocco to go absolutely berserk, completely forgetting about the psychic duel he was fighting with rival Big Bad Haman Kahn just seconds earlier to go after her killer. As for the second time, that comes at the very end of the series when his mobile suit is paralyzed and he sees the main hero's mobile suit rocketing straight at him. But that one's a little more understandable.
    • Speaking of Haman, in her role as the Big Bad of Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ she is normally made of lunar titanium. However, when Judau Ashta erupts into a Newtype-powered rage after his sister is shot, she completely loses her composure and runs for her life. Interestingly, this leads to her developing somewhat of an obsession with Judau, constantly making him We Can Rule Together offers and trying to be his Evil Mentor. Judau never once takes the bait.
    • Mobile Suit Gundam 00 gives us The Stoic hero Setsuna F. Seiei screaming his lungs out of grief over a certain comrade "LOCKOOOOOOOOOOOOONNNNN!!!!!"
    • Aila Jyrkiäinen from Gundam Build Fighters is introduced as an icy, detached super sportsgirl who curbstomps her opponents with her Qubeley Papillon model. Later episodes, however, show her as anything but detached when it comes to food and those who come between her and food. This is especially the case whenever she bumps into fellow Big Eater Reiji.
    • Hiroto Kuga suffers an emotional breakdown in Episode 20 after he finishes sharing his Dark and Troubled Past about Eve (an EL Diver and his close friend whom he was forced to kill) and his run-in with the original Build Divers with his BUILD DiVERS teammates. It takes a Cooldown Hug and a kiss from May for him to finally let out his grief.
      Hiroto: I trampled on people's feelings and wishes. There's no way someone like me could ever help anyone!
      May: (kisses and embraces Hiroto) Don't hold back. If you want to cry, you should cry as much as you like.
  • Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C: 2nd GIG:
    • Batou is riding in a vehicle with Gohda when the latter starts questioning Batou about his relationship with the Major, openly asking if he's in love with her. Batou (who clearly is in Unrequited Love with his female superior) keeps his usual stoic expression until Gohda turns to look out the window, whereupon Batou's face twists with anger and he snarls over his comlink: "This guy's a real comedian!"
    • The Major herself falls into this category as well. She usually is a complete hardened super-woman with a rather dark sense of humour, but she can and WILL break face if you push her far enough. She goes into a murderous rampage against a mech-operator in season one after he nearly broke her body and cries at certain points in season two, mostly involving her feelings towards Kuze.
    • She normally shoots once to incapacitate and kill, dealing with her missions calmly and coolly. At least, until she meets the guy who shot Togusa and damaged her body. Then she got scary.
      Motoko: FORK OVER THAT GUN!
  • Van of GUN×SWORD has a sort of breakdown after facing a particularly powerful enemy. Not only does he show real fear for what may be the only time in the series, but the breakdown leads him to finally talk to his closest companion about his horrible past and his love for his dead fiancee. During this conversation, his voice shakes, his hand trembles, and he covers his face in a gesture more heart-wrenching than tears would have been.
  • Ai Emna of Hell Girl is usually the picture of stoic, bordering on being emotionless. Then the season one finale rolls around, when she confronts Hajime and his daughter about being descendants of the boy who betrayed her and got her killed. Let's just say an angry Ai is something you definitely don't wanna meet.
  • I Want to Eat Your Pancreas: The protagonist is usually an unemotional, aloof Deadpan Snarker. However, as the story grows darker, there are three moments where the protagonist breaks down:
    • The protagonist slams Sakura to her bed in a show of anger after one prank too many and doesn't let go until she starts crying.
    • After Sakura is killed, he is so visibly distraught he refuses to attend her funeral and doesn't recover enough to visit her family home until days later. The animated adaptation amplifies this by showing him walking out of the living room after seeing the news broadcast announcing her death and stumbling on the stairs to his room, unable to get up.
    • After reading Sakura's farewell message, the protagonist finally sobs in front of her mother.
  • In Inuyasha there is actually an episode entitled "Inuyasha Shows His Tears for the First Time" in which the title character believes his friends are dead and almost breaks down. He fully starts crying in relief when he finds out they survived. Later, Inuyasha cries again, this time in grief when Kikyo dies in his arms.
  • K:
    • Kuroh is usually The Stoic when compared to Shiro, but he gets agitated a few times. A good example is when Shiro procrastinates on proving his innocence, or when he calls Kuroh his wife. The only time his calm facade really derails, though, is at the end of episode 3 when he shows off his tape recorder, which has all of his old master's quotes on it. He gets a big smile, giddy fanboy sparkles, and a Luminescent Blush.
    • An even better example is Munakata, who spends basically the entire show cool and unruffled, even when he's in combat...until Mikoto pisses him off one too many times and Munakata shoves him to the ground in a rage. He also makes a heartbreaking face when he realizes he has to kill Mikoto.
  • Mai from Kanon is very much The Stoic at first, and seems pretty much emotionless up until the middle of her story arc. Sayuri gets attacked when Mai is not around, and Mai's reaction to this is absolutely heart-wrenching. She first collapses in shock at the sight of the wounded Sayuri. Once Sayuri is admitted to the hospital, Mai then tries to kill herself, feeling guilty for not having been able to protect her friend. When her suicide attempt is foiled by Yuuichi, she breaks down into tears. And if at first you don't succeed...
  • Kimi ni Todoke has an example in Ryu: in a flashback to his mother's death, little Chizu starts to bring him onigiri as his mother used to make. When he finds her leaving it on the doorstep, both of them break down crying. He was only around eight years old at the time, but it's still a shock, and very heartwrenching.
  • Throughout 90% of Kino's Journey, Kino was the definition of The Stoic. Then, in the last episode (which takes place before the first), she stops in a town, befriends an adorable little girl, and is welcomed warmly by the rest of the people. She comes to love it so much that she considers settling down and living there. Eventually, however, the townspeople begin insisting that she leaves, to the point that they all but force her to. Reluctantly, she complies, only to end up watching from a safe distance as a volcano erupts, completely destroying the town and killing everyone in it...including the aforementioned adorable girl. Made even worse when a letter she was given before she left reveals that they knew it was going to happen, but loved their town so much they decided to stay regardless. Quite understandably, Kino flipped out.
  • Non-dramatic example: Chrono in the second Sound Stage of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's, whose usual stoic expression of professionalism gave way to a lot of spluttering, spatial disorientation, and general bewilderment when going-to-be-adopted Fate blind-sides him with an awkward attempt to address him as "Onii-chan (brother)". And lo, did the Chrono/Fate shippers Squee.
    • At the end of Season 1, he turns purple after Nanoha suggests that he's quite nice despite his stoic exterior for suggesting that the TSAB will be lenient with Fate by taking her circumstances into account, and immediately claims that what he said isn't necessarily his opinion.
      • Heck, Chrono does this several times in the first season and a few times in the second. The kid acts stoic, but the second a cute girl smiles at him (or a cute catgirl shoves him into Marshmallow Hell...) the facade falls to pieces. He's even shocked enough to call Lindy, his mother and superior officer, "Mom" while on duty (before correcting himself) when she allows Nanoha and Yuuno to help them recover the Jewel Seeds.
    • Signum gives us two more examples from the same season:
  • Crown Prince Kouen in Magi: Labyrinth of Magic is normally very emotionless, even when his stepmother Gyokuen flirted aggressively with him, when Gyokuen succeeded his father before him and when half of his body was burned away by the Medium. However, he would occasionally show emotions such as getting angry, chuckling and laughing at Alibaba.
  • Monster: Johan loses his Dissonant Serenity exactly two times in the entire course of the series. Both times become memorably creepy for it.
  • World Champion Most from Monster Rancher is almost a Warrior Poet, with a Jedi-like detachment and calm. Although the heroes are forced to fight him in order to win the cup he doesn't hold this against them, actually helping his rival Mocchi improve his skills and trying to persuade him to forfeit the match as Most was worried about hurting him. This last scene subtly displays a patronising and arrogant side, and indeed when Mocchi actually knocks him down he clearly loses his temper and roughly shoves the referee aside as he starts to count. He quickly recovers his composure.
  • Nabari no Ou:
    • Miharu is adorable, and loves to use his sweet smiles and ability to blush at will to his advantage; still, unless it's just to mess with someone, he's extremely apathetic towards basically everything. ...And then he meets Yoite, whom Miharu finds impossible to not care about. Miharu has a few good outbursts here and there concerning Yoite, and even laughs genuinely, but the turning point is his not-so-stoic breakdown, which leaves him openly sobbing. It's... yeah.
    • Yoite himself counts. He shows almost no emotion when first introduced, but over the course of the story he has more and more emotional moments, usually concerning his impending death, his desire to be erased, or Miharu.
  • Used in Naruto to the point where pretty much every developed character who tries to be emotionless (as Ninja are expected to be) fails at some point:
    • Shino tries to be cool and calm, but on several occasions is irritated by being left out or unrecognized. Zabuza spent the entire Story Arc priding himself on being an emotionless killing machine, but in spite of himself flat-out cried when Haku died. Danzo's policy is that emotions just cause trouble, but he outright flies into a rage when it's suggested Kakashi be promoted to 6th Hokage ahead of him. Itachi gives what appears to be a raging Villainous Breakdown but states that is really how he always feels then it turned out he was actually a former pacifist feeling so horrible for being Necessarily Evil that he's rather happy when he thinks it's all over. Subverted, Itachi had such a powerful grip on his emotions that his believable act of hysteria may fool any character and even the viewer. Sasori claimed to be as emotionless as his puppets, but at several points when fighting seemed anything but calm. During the present storyline, Konan avoids expressing herself, even the entire time she fought her former master, but is vocally upset several times when Nagato starts pushing his body beyond its limits. I think I'm sensing a theme.
    • Gaara gets a special mention. When he's first introduced, he speaks in a dull monotone and barely shows any reaction to, well, anything. This seemingly impenetrable stoicism is shattered spectacularly when he wakes up Shukaku for his fight with Rock Lee, and later, Sasuke and Naruto; and also when he tries to deal with Might Guy's defense of Rock Lee and his horrible emotional background (thank you, Yashamaru). Sasuke making him bleed for the first time got quite the reaction. He's also had his moments post-Time Skip, such as when he broke down in tears when his temporarily revived father told him that his mother did love him, contrary to what he was told.
    • And Pain in Episode 167 of Shippuden, what with some of the bizarre facial expressions he pulled.
    • Sasuke, calm and cool in almost any situation, even when all the other characters are panicking, laughing uncontrollably, or cheering. But push his Berserk Button (the Uchiha and their fate) and look out.
    • Kakashi is for the most part very stoic, never really shedding tears at the mention of his dead father and closest friends, but read/watch the Kakashi Gaiden special, especially the end where he breaks down crying at the death of Obito. It's truly heartbreaking to see that. In Chapters 599 and on Kakashi discovers just who Tobi actually is — his old teammate Obito — which leaves him completely shocked to the point where Guy actually has to shake him back to the real world. Cue Chapter 608, where he barely even tries to defend himself from Obito's attacks... The poor guy is completely out of it.
    • Can't leave Hiashi out, either — beneath that icy demeanor is a man who will get on his knees to beg his nephew to reconcile with him.
    • Chapter 518 has Sai finally lose his ever-present control over his emotions and fly into a rage when Zombie!Deidara blows up Sai's zombified older brother, threatens to do it again and again after the guy reforms, and insults Sai's art.
    • Madara remained fairly cool and level-headed despite being in the middle of a massive war where his side consists of two people and a barely-controlled monster. Then Hashirama shows up and Madara slips into Blood Knight mode. He soon goes back to his normal personality, only for it to slip twice when he goes mad with power on being resurrected and then joy when realizing Guy is a Worthy Opponent.
  • Princess Arika of Negima! Magister Negi Magi mostly acts like The Stoic, but finally shows some emotion after Nagi rescues her from execution and tells her he loves her.
    • In a Lotus-Eater Machine that showed Negi what life would have been with his parents, Arika remains extremely distant and aloof even to her own son. It is very obvious that she cares about him though, and she holds his hand while walking down the street with him and Nagi.
      • Rather than "distant and aloof", she was more nervous and awkward having absolutely no idea how to treat her own child. Regardless, this still underlines her graduation from The Stoic.
    • Also, Tsukuyomi managed to send Fate in a fit of rage by threatening to "steal his kill".
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion:
    • Rei is heavily implied to have fallen in love with Shinji by the end. Either that, or developed motherly feelings for him since she's partially a clone of his mother, and is choosing him over his father Gendo to become the "Messiah" of instrumentality in End.
    • Gendo himself does this twice in the series proper. The first is when Rei's Eva goes berserk, and he severely burns his hands in his rush to get to her afterwards (opening the superheated release mechanism for her entry plug). The second time is when he orders the activation of Unit-01's dummy plug (autopilot) when his son's life (as well as the Eva, which contained the soul of his wife) was threatened by the 13th Angel. The look on his face shows it in the Japanese version, but the English dub has him swearing and yelling at his subordinates.
      • An interesting instance, as in the Rebuild, Gendo still orders the activation of the dummy plug but as the frenzied Evangelion proceeds to tear the Angel/Evangelion-03 to gibs, we see a satisfied smirk from Gendo in spite of the carnage that forces Maya to turn away and bury her face in her hands, and the others on the bridge to watch in silent horror. It is also one of the few (or possibly the only) time Gendo has ever really smiled since Yui died.
      • In End of Evangelion Gendo flat out panics on a level not seen before when Rei absorbs the Adam embryo in his hand into herself and initiates Third Impact on her own with both actors in English and Japanese making it clear from their tones of voice just how screwed Gendo knows he is now that his Laser-Guided Tyke-Bomb slash surrogate daughter slash clone of his dead wife has effectively told him to fuck off and die. And in his final scene he flat out states that the reason he has been so distant to Shinji is that he was afraid he'd only hurt him.
    • Rei meanwhile looks at what happens with the dummy plugs, and she looks pretty freaked out (for her), at least as much as she does when she sees Shinji rip apart an Angel and it's hinted that she would find the truth about them horrifying enough to turn on Gendo.
    • Let's not forget Ritsuko's breakdown in the Dummy Plug Plant, where she starts screaming and crying for her mother. Bear in mind she's somewhere between Rei and Gendo on the scale of stoic-ness. Ironically, her reaction upon realizing that Caspar, the Magi who represents her mother as a woman, has chosen Gendo over her when she attempts a Taking You with Me by blowing them all up is tearful but fairly composed after the initial shock wears off, with her simply stating "Liar" in response to what Gendo tells hernote  before shooting her dead.
  • One Piece:
    • The biggest example is Robin. She showed little to no emotion from the first time she was introduced as The Dragon and continues being stoic even after joining the Straw Hats. Then comes the CP9 saga, the majority of which is dedicated to this trope; when Robin's Tear Jerker past comes to bite her, she starts showing genuine fear, anger, and sadness. The apex comes after seeing her companions declare war on the World Government for her sake, after which she tearfully screams "I WANT TO LIVE!" She goes back to being The Stoic at the arc's conclusion, though, as though nothing had ever happened...though she's gradually started showing more and more emotion since then.
      • And it seems that she's slowly slipping into a lesser Stoic status as of the Dressrosa arc: after several hundred chapters of being the calmest person in the world, she has finally adopted her crewmates' habit of showing overreactive faces. Those dwarves just don't get it. And she has another, even bigger Wild Take a bit later in the same arc when talking with some toy solders.
      • Without saying a word, sometimes what she's thinking is shown to us through thought bubbles and the results usually range from goofy, odd, or cute. It's as though she says morbid things to throw people off about how lighthearted she actually is.
      • During the beginning of the Zou Arc, Kanjuro the samurai draws a pathetic-looking dragon and brings it to life. The Straw Hats dub it "Ryuunosuke" and in her mind, Robin refers to it as "cute" 3 times, all while blushing. Ryuunosuke had the task of climbing up to a very high destination with the Straw Hats and Law on its back. When they finally make it, Robin is driven to tears by the dragon's efforts to help them as it slowly bonds with the surface, reverting back into a drawing.
      • The Wano arc takes this to a new level when Robin makes the same expression as Franky and Usopp when learning Luffy is in Wano (and already a wanted criminal). As seen in here.
    • Zoro has only cried about three times thus far in over 700 chapters, and two of them were when he was a kid. This is because Zoro is SO STOIC that he can make a Tear Jerker out of standing there, staring off into the distance, and saying "Nothing happened!" While covered in blood. Though as stoic as he is, he's had his fair share of wild takes alongside the other Straw Hats...except for Robin, of course.
    • Marco, the first Commander of the Whitebeard Pirates, usually maintained a stoic reaction throughout the battle. However, he visibly lost his cool when Whitebeard was stabbed by one of their allies, when Ace dies and when Whitebeard himself dies.
    • Jimbei is usually one of the most focused characters in the series. But he lost his cool in regards to Ace's death and cried Manly Tears when Nami forgave him. On a lighter note, he got a Wild Take when he saw Princess Shirahoshi and an injured Hachi with Luffy.
      • He got another Wild Take when Luffy is more concerned about food than the important information Jimbei was telling him. After getting angry with Luffy who cheerfully tells him that he likes to leaves things to chance, Jimbei then goes into a minor depression.
    • In Chapter 597, Dracule Mihawk thinks that training the man who wants to take his life in battle is hilarious, so he actually laughs when Zoro begs him for training.
      • On the next page, it shows Mihawk agreeing to train Zoro. The look on Zoro's face also falls into this trope. He looks so happy and bright-eyed, like a little kid that got exactly what he wanted during the holidays.
    • Doflamingo is always seen smirking, and almost never stops pre-Time Skip. Even then, it was only due to puzzlement. However, when Law cuts the SAD, Vergo, and practically the entire island of Punk Hazard, all while giving a New Era Speech to him, Doflamingo actually shows frustration for the first time ever.
      • But that's merely the prelude of a massive symphony, the first movement of which comes when Law gives him a Sadistic Choice after taking Caesar Clown hostage. He was stuck between a rock and a hard place: either he would give up his position as a Warlord and get Caesar back, or keep the position and be unable to produce SMILEs. If he takes the former, the Admirals won't stand idly by anymore and hunt him down. But if he takes the latter, he'll anger Kaido of the Four Emperors and get wiped out. After being given this choice, Doflamingo loses it and starts going on a rampage on Punk Hazard, slaughtering G-5 marines and giving Smoker a severe No-Holds-Barred Beatdown, all while demanding the heads of the Straw Hats and Law.
      • The next movement comes many chapters later when Doflamingo finds out that in spite of how smart he was, he severely underestimated exactly how massive of a Spanner in the Works the Straw Hats could be. Sugar, one of his crewmates whose Devil Fruit powers are the linchpin to maintaining his Masquerade over his kingdom, is knocked out, reversing her powers and exposing Doflamingo as the devilish man he is. His expression as everything he had worked for over the past decade comes crumbling down around him screams this trope, and the apex comes when he's taken by surprise and decapitated by Kyros... or rather, his doppelgänger is.
      • And the third movement comes when Luffy and Law confront him. At first, he's taking it as easily as he can under the circumstances; that is, he's gotten so frustrated that he's just laughing it off. But then a lengthy fight commences, and he finds himself victimized by a few sneak attacks before Law takes out his last and most powerful crewmate, and then he begins a fight with Luffy one-on-one. They're evenly matched for a while…up until Luffy unleashes his trump card, Gear Fourth, and turns it into a Curb-Stomp Battle. And in the end, despite Doflamingo revealing all of the trump cards he had hidden, he loses.
    • Trafalgar Law is seen as a lesser example of The Stoic; he's smug, smiling, takes battles casually, and is not above showing emotion at times. However, he is unmistakably serious in all aspects, which leaves him rather bothered by the Straw Hats' quirks after they form an alliance. Examples include tying Chopper to his head, Luffy not following his plans, and the Straw Hats' absurdly nonchalant behavior in the calm before the storm. The first instance of this trope is shown after their victory on Punk Hazard when instead of fleeing, they throw a party. Law is shocked but ultimately joins in, albeit managing to keep his Stoic appearance intact. Four chapters later, however, when he realizes that he's grown too used to the Straw Hats' casual pace, he is FLABBERGASTED.
  • Ouran High School Host Club:
    • When Kyouya first meets Idiot Hero Tamaki he takes all of his strange antics and outbursts relatively well... until he blows up at Tamaki and unloads all of the pent-up rage and insults he had been keeping inside. It turns out Tamaki was (at least part of the time) deliberately playing up his Idiot Hero side, in order to force Kyouya into this so that he could find out what Kyouya was really like Beneath the Mask. After the outburst, they're closer than ever, and Kyouya knows he's free to occasionally tell Tamaki how stupid he is without ruining their friendship... just like everyone else does.
    • Mori is also quite stoic, but when the moments where he truly Face Faults are few and far in between, but when he freaks, he freaks.
  • Vincent Nightray of PandoraHearts usually manages to keep up his cheerful disposition quite flawlessly, even while torturing and killing people. The first time his facade slips, which is Played for Laughs, is when Ada introduces him to her special collection. The second time is much more serious: Vincent confronts Duke Nightray after Elliot's death and loses his temper when the duke doesn't express any remorse over his son's death. Vincent beheads Duke Nightray along with his two bodyguards, thereby ending the legitimate Nightray bloodline. He Lampshades this trope when he comments that it isn't like him to lose control like this.
  • In Persona 4: The Animation, Yu is usually comically stoic, casually remarking that he feels like dying when Teddie bites his hand and having a blank expression when he and Yosuke are shoved into a river by Chie and Yukiko during a school camping trip, for instance. Later in the series, though, when his cousin and surrogate younger sister Nanako is kidnapped, he loses his shit. Worse still, when she (temporarily) dies, while the rest of the Investigation Team is debating whether to stick the suspect into the TV World for revenge, Yu silently drags the suspect to a nearby hospital TV and nearly shoves him in, himself!
  • Ping Pong: Smile, in spades. His demeanor hasn't changed since elementary school, and he barely shows any emotion throughout the series…that is, until he surpasses Mr. Koizumi. After that, OOC Is Serious Business.
  • Pokémon:
    • Paul normally has a scowl as his trademark expression with a condescending smirk or intense concentration thrown in during a few battles. The one time that he has ever flipped out completely is in A Pyramiding Rage! when he battled Brandon and Brandon kept knocking out his Pokémon with no sign of his even taking damage.
    • Nando the Pokémon minstrel, in his early appearances, was so calm and polite that even getting arrested and framed for robbery failed to rile him. Then came the Grand Festival, where when Zoey begins shutting down his combinations, he drops the facade and gets even more intense than she is.
    • Hun from The Legend of Thunder! likewise. Usually he remains calm and blah, including telling his partner to stop joking around. Then the fighting starts and he gets, shall we say, into it.
  • Silver from Pokémon Adventures. Cool and composed, except for the one time he got a Heroic BSoD when he found out who daddy was. The one moment that really sticks out though, is when he falls over when he sees his wanted poster.
  • Genichirou Sanada from The Prince of Tennis tries to act as The Stoic leader of his team, but he loses his temper far too often.
  • Shows in small pieces earlier, but in Episode 8 of Puella Magi Madoka Magica Homura breaks down crying over how Madoka refuses to understand that others like her the way she is.
    • Episode 10 puts all of that into heartbreaking perspective. Homura was once a cute, glasses-wearing, dorky Shrinking Violet. Four time loops (possibly more) of seeing Madoka die or turn into a witch (one of which involved killing Madoka herself) later... It's clear that she's crying on the inside.
    • A lesser example, also from Episode 10. Mami, who is second only to Homura in the stoic department, snaps into a sobbing mess when the Sayaka of that timeline turns into a witch. She so breaks from the revelation that they'll all eventually become witches, that she shoots Kyoko's soul gem, killing her, and would have killed Homura too, had Madoka not killed her first.
  • Also could count in Sailor Moon when the typically hardass Sailor Uranus witnesses her lover, Sailor Neptune get her heart stolen and die in front of her, while Uranus doesn't break down or cry, for the first time in the series she looks truly heartbroken. She then attempts to kill herself. (Whether that action was performed due to anguish and desire to follow her girlfriend into death, or purely for the sake of the mission is never fully clarified
  • Hotaru from Samurai Deeper Kyo possesses an aloof demeanor that often breaks when an interesting fight or opponent stirs his inner Blood Knight.
    • Hishigi from the same series is a very strong example of The Stoic. He loses his cool very rarely, such as when Fubuki's suffering is trivialized. When he does get
  • In School Rumble's later chapters, we learn that Karasuma's lack of facial expressions was all an act. Once he does start showing emotions, he becomes almost unrecognizable.
  • Ken Washio on Science Ninja Team Gatchaman is extremely controlled. Except when it involves his father. Who was undercover for most of Ken's life. Then killed for real before the two could develop any sort of relationship. And angered Ken enough that he dragged the entire team into an enemy trap.
  • Langa of Sk8 the Infinity is stoic for the majority of his screentime, but as the series goes on, he shows the depths of his emotions, despite it still being his default state. He'll smile incredibly gently at Reki, sport an unnerving Grin of Audacity in the face of danger, grin excitedly around friends he skates with, and even look crushed as his closest friend decides to leave him behind.
  • While Zelgadis Graywords of Slayers isn't entirely stoic — he enjoys good company and can occasionally be as mischievous as Lina and Amelia — he certainly never lets himself be vulnerable, and his default mood is a mix of stoicism and condescending snark. Come the fifth season of the anime, he learns that he can never turn his chimeric body back to its original human state, ever, from his great-grandfather, a man he loathed, he starts to openly weep and yell.
  • Soul Eater:
    • This is used to comedic effect. Normally, Death the Kid is a quiet, observant, and intelligent young man. That is, until he notices something that isn't symmetrical.
    • The Shinigami/Reaper is a quirky example. While not exactly stoic, he usually brushes off any and all situations by being/looking/talking/acting goofy, putting him firmly in comic relief territory. That is, until the Kishin gets loose. Just as the Big Bad is about to flee outright, the Reaper shows up. There's some brief banter, where the Kishin calls the Reaper out on his goofiness, to which the Reaper offers some terse explanation and cuts loose. His voice drops to a low growl, his goofy mask takes on a thoroughly pissed off expression (which is actually more effective than his previous "scary face"), he actually starts swearing at the Kishin and shows everyone exactly why he's the boss.
    • To be reminded that the Cloudcuckoolander and the usually low-key boy are father and son, just point out something (significant) which goes against their sense of order. Kid also counts for the moments when his calm, matter-of-fact attitude towards being a god is broken by his occasionally hysterical concerns over not being a ''good enough'' god.
  • Although Holo from Spice and Wolf may not seem stoic at first glance, her trickster and teasing antics cover serious issues. It's almost impossible to tell what she's really thinking... unless she's shocked into dropping her act, and as Lawrence quickly learns, what's she's usually thinking is something like "Please, Don't Leave Me."
  • Haku from Spirited Away is normally calm and emotionless, even when Yubaba was breathing fire inches away from his face and wrapping her hair around his neck and body. But when he is around Chihiro, he reveals many more emotions, such as concern, a hint of snarkiness and happiness.
  • Barnaby of Tiger & Bunny is normally a very restrained individual, but after the discovery and subsequent loss of a lead on the organization responsible for his parents' murder he completely loses it — physically attacking his partner Kotetsu, snapping at everyone who talks to him, and briefly going AWOL before his mentor manages to get a hold of him and calm him down. Likewise, any mention of his parents' killer makes him almost unrecognizable in his fury.
    • From Episode 18 onwards the story is littered with such moments on Barnaby's part — so much so that it counts as a complete subversion of the Stoic Spectacles archetype he previously represented; the screaming in The Stinger of Episode 18, a number of crying (nay, sobbing) scenes in Episode 19, and the Tender Tears in Episodes 20, 24, and 25.
  • Thorfinn of Vinland Saga tries to be The Stoic, but the mask slips more often than not.
  • Takayama from Witchblade kisses Masane after she visits him following his forced resignation from Doji.
  • Haguro Dou from Wolf Guy - Wolfen Crest is an unsmiling and absolutely gigantic middle-schooler who, as the violent son of a Yakuza boss, serves as werewolf protagonist Inugami's main enemy for the first arc. When Inugami shows him just how powerless he really is, Haguro starts busting out Slasher Smiles like nobody's business and goes on a psychopathic rampage that still shows no signs of stopping, all to regain his original image as a "monster."
  • Wolf's Rain:
    • A particularly heart-wrenching example when resident tough guy Tsume breaks down and openly weeps after Toboe's death.
    • In the same series we also have Darcia, the cool, quiet, and enigmatic noble who completely loses it when he returns home with Cheza, (she of the Healing Hands) to save his Ill Girl fiancee, only to find that his fiancee was murdered shortly before his return. He doesn't take it well.
  • Karasu from the Dark Tournament saga of YuYu Hakusho initially seems to be the calmest and most reserved member of Team Toguro. During his battle with Kurama however, he turns out to be much more malicious and brutal than expected.
    • Kurama tends to be calm most of the time, but after winning a game against Amanuma/Game Master that costs the poor kid his life, he becomes enraged under his stoic facade, instantly decapitating Makihara/Gourmet with his Rose Whip and setting up a plan to defeat Elder Toguro (who was controlling Makihara's body after killing him) while he is still unable to read his thoughts through his rage. Hoo Lee Shit.

    Asian Animation 
  • Happy Heroes: Kalo in general seems to make Careful S. more emotion than he usually is, but the most well-known instance is in Season 7 episode 50, when Kalo sacrifices himself to save the planet; even Careful S. is bawling his eyes out.

    Comic Books 
  • Batman's biggest weak points as far as emotion goes are his children, but especially Dick. At one point, when exposed to the Scarecrow's fear toxin, he runs through his worst fears checklist in an almost bored manner, with everyone close to him dying. Then it comes to Dick, and Batman's only response is a very determined "No."
    • In A Death in the Family and Batman: Under the Red Hood, Batman's expression on his face of shock, horror, and sadness after Jason Todd's death speaks for itself.
    • Pretty much in any continuity, anything involving his parents (especially if it involves their deaths), Alfred, or any of the Robins (Dick mainly) is bound to get a rise out of him emotionally, not always in a Tear Jerker way, sometimes in a Heartwarming way as well. However, when a villain hurts anyone in his family, you know shit's gonna hit the fan because if Batman gets pissed and shows it, said villain is screwed.
    • In one instance, Batman was talking with Catwoman after the Gang War storyline, which devastated the city and left two of his allies dead. Angry at his casual reaction to it, Catwoman starts holding him, yelling "Feel! Feel something, damn it!". Bruce just pulls her into a hug and says "Selina... I feel everything". Not a big show of emotion, but it certainly illustrates the point.
    • In "Mad Love", Batman apparently bursts out in hysterical laughter at the thought of Harley Quinn actually winning the love of the Joker. In this case, he was deliberately doing it to play on Harley's insecurities. It worked, too.
    • In The Killing Joke, he shares a hearty guffaw with The Joker at a metaphorical joke about the two of them. It's more laughter of the damned, but it's still real laughter.
    • The Trope Image is from Knightfall, just after Batman has to be stopped from smashing Zsasz's head in like a watermelon. The kicker? That was part 3. It gets worse from there.
    • Batman rogue Mr. Freeze is, as befits a cold-themed character, usually grim and without empathy. However, bring up his beloved Nora and he will break down, either in rage or sorrow. Depends on the writer, as some write Freeze to be more openly emotional to the point where the trope wouldn't apply.
  • Cyclops has done this a few times, notably in the X-Men First Class two-parter Catalyst. As everyone wakes up to find their powers are gone, they feel either intrigued, shocked, or depressed; Scott however is dancing with joy, happier than ever before as he can finally open his eyes without killing everything. Then when they regain their powers they're ten times stronger, with Scott now having full control. However, Xavier realizes they have to give up their new level of power because it's making them too god-like, Scott is the only one who isn't now a physical God, but willingly gives it up, but not after a panel or two of looking like hell.
  • Damage Control Comptroller Albert Cleary normally has Nerves of Steel, but he loses control after finding out he's been portrayed as an Uncle Tomfoolery caricature in a movie based on the company.
  • The New 52 version of Superboy, when he starts getting a no-holds-barred beatdown in issue #2.
  • James-Michael is The Stoic in Omega the Unknown due to having been raised by robots, but begins to react more emotionally as time goes on, even shedding a tear when one of his friends is beaten to death by bullies, though in truth he's more enraged than sad.
  • Desire in The Sandman just seems amused most of the time. Even when its plans fail, it just shrugs it off. The exception: getting one-upped by Dream during "Three Septembers and a January", when Joshua Norton rejects its offer out of hand. It's the only time Desire gets angry.
    • When Morpheus himself is confronted by the insane Hector Hall and learns that Hall calls himself "The Sandman", it's the first and only time in the whole series that he laughs (although his face is hidden by his helmet at the time).
    • In "Brief Lives", Morpheus is extremely depressed after killing his son and finally breaks down into tears while going through his memories.
  • In Watchmen, Rorschach's face never registers emotion — with two notable exceptions. He goes into a screaming frenzy when the cops take off his mask, and at the very end, he rips off his mask, showing Dr. Manhattan that he's been weeping uncontrollably since finding out the extent of Ozymandias' plan.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics):
    • After Zonie makes Sonic kill an alternate version of his father and Sonic blows up at him, Zonic reminds him that it was technically his father too.
    • A lighter example comes when Espio is told that he can return to Angel Island with his friends. He reacts with unbridled joy, before quickly clearing his throat and apologizing for the uncharacteristic outburst.
  • The Transformers (IDW): Cyclonus is fiercly loyal to Galvatron, and always follows him with a dour attitude. However, when Galvatron is beaten back, Cyclonus is free of his influence (not mind control), and attacks him while screaming about how Galvatron was destroying their home. This continues into Transformers: More than Meets the Eye: where he's with the Autobots and very closed off, even his threats are delivered quietly and with a straight face. His interactions with Tailgate have caused him anger, and even violence, though he softens eventually, and shows him a kinder side.
    • Soundwave from the IDW comics barely even registers emotion, he's composed in battle, and barely reacts when he's almost lobotomized. When Thunderwing's release is threatened, he considers the plan insane and tries to stop it, all the while never betraying his feelings. His emotions have only surfaced roughly four times: once in Monstrosity when sharing a jab at Scorponok's expense, once during All Hail Megatron where he wordlessly screams when he finds Rumble near death, during the Remain in the Light arc when Ravage starts dying from the Depopulation Bomb, he's in a full panic and begging for someone to save him and finally in the "Dying of the Light" arc he nearly breaks down when he senses Ravage's death.
    • Ultra Magnus has a go when it turns out that being The Teetotaler means that he Can't Hold His Liquor.
      Magnus: (distraught) I'm a serious person Swerve! I can't help it! I have only two expressions, and the second is just an angrier version of the first!
    • Megatron takes a break from his grim, brooding stoicism to throw a tantrum about how ridiculous everything to do with the Lost Light is.
      Magnus: Not at all. On this ship, a minor breakdown is practically a rite of passage.
  • Ultimate Daredevil & Elektra: Elektra does not want to hear anything about Phoebe and Melissa gossiping about her crush. But when she hears that Phoebe knows the name of the man she liked, she's suddenly very interested to hear it.
  • Another X-Men example is brought to us in the 1998 Heroes for Hire / Quicksilver crossover special, which featured as one of its antagonists the X-Men villain Exodus. Exodus, for the uninitiated, is a Knight Templar from the Crusades, and true to this background he's almost always The Stoic. He is also the man he is today in large part because of the actions of the Avenger Dane Whitman (aka the Black Knight), who at a critical period in history displaced his ancestor (and Exodus' best friend) Eobar Garrington. For the past 800 years, Exodus has believed it was his best friend who betrayed him, until this issue when the Black Knight tells him it was really him the whole time. Exodus... does not take it well.
  • X-23 as a rule keeps her emotions tightly controlled, and it's a significant character trait she has difficulties expressing, or even understanding, what she's feeling. She endures the years of physical and emotional abuse inflicted on her by Zander Rice and Kimura in complete silence, even when her creator/mother, Sarah, tries to get her to talk about it. At least until she's forced to kill Sarah by the Trigger Scent during their escape from the Facility, at which point for a couple pages Laura becomes a lonely, broken girl desperately crying over her mother's body to come back to her. She also breaks down in tears once again when she's forced to cut off ties with her cousin and aunt to protect them from Kimura. The only other times she generally lets her guard down is when someone she cares about is in danger. In which case it's a very, very bad idea to be on the receiving end.

    Fan Works 
  • Abraxas (Hrodvitnon): Ren Serizawa. Vivienne observes that, unlike his late father's stoic personality, Ren's frosty demeanor is more of a mask which he uses to restrain his unresolved emotional issues (and he has a few regarding his late father).
  • Child of the Storm:
    • Doctor Strange usually maintains a smooth, polished, and faintly smug demeanour as someone who's got everyone right where he wants them and is quite comfortable moving them like chess pieces without more than a dry comment. However, this is part of the image he projects of the invincible Doctor Strange, and when he does crack under pressure or emotional strain, the results tend to be either amusing or, more usually, terrifying (or, rarely, both).
    • Maddie was raised as The Spock, in the full belief that she is an Artifical Human whose only purpose is to be a Living Weapon, and is (mostly) fine with that, with a chill calm and practicality in the face of almost anything. Anything, that is, barring the Awful Truth that she is Jean Grey's twin sister, stolen at birth, and people being kind to her without any ulterior motives. The latter actually draws a heartbreakingly confused wail.
  • Hetalia: Axis Powers fanfic Gankona, Unnachgiebig, Unità: Japan is usually stoic. Except for when you get on his nerves. Admittedly, this is VERY hard to do. Germany can tell you how Japan is like when he is angry though.
    Japan: "SPEAK FOR YOURSELF! YOU'RE FAR TOO TOUGH AND HARSH! YOU'RE THE ONE WHO ALWAYS SCREAMS AT AND LAYS YOUR HANDS ON ITALIA-KUN!" The temperature plunged and soared hundreds of degrees simultaneously as the Asian lunged, the atmosphere far more inhospitable than the most blazing and subzero of deserts.
  • Queen of All Oni: Father, one of Jade's Aspects who represents Jackie's influence on her, shows genuine sorrow when Hero is captured by the Queen.
  • The interrogator, of all people, in You Obey is like this. Because the story is told from his perspective, you get a very vivid idea of what his job does to him.
  • Suyou in Kyon: Big Damn Hero shows satisfaction when Kyon takes one of the reprogrammed Morph Weapons from her. She also wishes him good luck, which he promptly needs.
  • In A Monster's Nature, for all of Brandon's usual emotional detachment, he appears genuinely scared at the thought of losing Caitlyn and looks at her with something that could be considered love, to the point of having a panic attack when he thinks he's left her in a coma while escaping a plane crash.
    • Brandon even has a mini-breakdown when he admits during his reunion with Caitlyn that he actually does mourn the deaths of his parents, shakily affirming that he misses them even after they tried to kill him.
  • Halo: Finishing The Fight: The Chief stays the same calm, composed soldier for the entire story, even when facing legions and Orcs, Dark Elves, Demons and even the Demogorgan. But after he has finally killed the Demogorgan thanks to Cortana's Heroic Sacrifice, this happens:
    He grit his teeth again, and redoubled his efforts to keep moving. Cortana had bought this victory with her life. He silently swore to make that sacrifice count for something beyond what it already had. Right arm out, dig in a bit, pull, repeat. He chanted the mantra over and over again in his mind as he slowly dragged himself towards the faint, now blurring, light ahead. He attributed the blurring to more malfunctions and failing systems, never realizing that the cause was the tears filling his eyes.
  • Snape in Arc of Sacrifices, big time. After being his usual snarky-git self for pretty much the entire series, he goes absolutely insane when Regulus Black dies in the seventh book.
  • This occurs in Clouded Sky with Igneous, the protagonist's normally very stoic Magmar. During a Pokémon battle, an enemy Girafarig forces him to accidentally injure one of his allies and, due to his constant fear of unintentionally hurting those close to him, he flies into a rage and starts mercilessly pummeling Girafarig, completely ignoring his trainer's commands.
  • When The Chief confronts Garrus in The Last Spartan for telling Tali to ask him about Cortana, the latter's attempts to convince him to come clean about Cortana's continued existence (despite the fact that A.I.s are illegal in Citadel Space) are met with barely contained frustration. When Garrus keeps pushing, however, The Chief snaps and reminds Garrus that all his fellow Spartans and everyone he knows in general is long-since dead (implicitly anyone who survived the war is dead of old age themselves). Cortana, as he notes, is all he has left.
  • In the Star Trek: The Original Series fanfic Memories Born of Fire, Spock becomes more clingy around Kirk and has nightmares to the point of insomnia in the aftermath of the kal-i-fee.
  • In the fanfic Retribution, Spock actually shouts when Kirk contradicts his statement that the captain "[has] no idea of the offenses that can be committed between us." Justified as the painfulness of McCoy's cure for Rapid Aging sapped his self-control.
  • In the Star Trek: The Original Series fanfic Insontis II, when Kirk is almost electrocuted, kid!Spock hides himself. Shortly after finding him, McCoy notices his hands are "clenched and trembling." He is only a kid.
  • The Stars Will Aid Their Escape: You can tell that Herald is having a Villainous Breakdown during his fight with the Princesses because he's actually getting visibly angry.
  • Likewise, Checker Monarch's Villainous Breakdown in 'Getting Back on Your Hooves is accompanied by her Ice Queen persona gradually slipping into psychotic rage as Trixie's charity show manages to proceed as planned despite her attempts at stopping it before she snaps completely.
  • Like the previous two examples, Brainiac from Mare of Steel gets visibly angry when Rainbow Dash/Supermare breaks out of his Sadistic Choice and decides to just kill her instead of collecting any information from her.
  • In Ace Combat: The Equestrian War, both Talisman and Mobius express sincere sadness after the death of Carrot Top.
  • In Mission Report: Impossible as Nova Prime attempts to get through an insane report that the Guardians sent in, she keeps trying to stay calm, stoic, and in control like normal before giving up and instead laughs until she starts crying.
  • In The Second Try, Kaworu's aura of unflappable calm and serenity shattered when Asuka took him by surprise using her Unit-02 which he thought he was controlling. He was so shocked that he actually screamed.
  • Corrin Reacts: Beruka and Flora are canonically an Emotionless Girl and a Broken Bird respectively. However...
    • Beruka ends up breaking into a Luminescent Blush when Benny gives her an Accidental Kiss and admits unrequited feelings for him when he admits his.
    • Flora is a constant target of Corrin's attempts at jokes, and he even succeeds at making her laugh. Also, the absolutely lovestruck smile she gives after playing a game with Jakob.
  • This Bites!:
    • In Chapter 18, when the crew arrives at Rainbase, Zoro whoops at the thought of not having to traverse the desert anymore. It takes a minute for them to believe that he's actually Zoro.
    • As of Chapter 25, it seems that Robin's losing her status as The Stoic a lot faster than in canon.
    • After Cross pulls his Davy Jones ghost story prank on his listeners, Zoro, Robin, and even Wiper are laughing fit to bust.
    • Dragon bursts into laughter when he hears the Straw Hats annihilate the World Government's flag.
    • Robin completely loses her calm countenance when Cross gives her a noogie.
  • In Losing Control, Eren notes that Annie's lost her perpetually bored look during their fight, embracing the same Unstoppable Rage he has.
  • Total Loud Island: Dawn is usually very in control of herself and is very hard to shake, but Chris manages to find a way. When during 'Phobia Factor' her challenge is to stay locked in a cargo crate full of working machines without any form of nature for six hours and ends up begging to be let out. Then when the gross-out challenge puts her in a position where she's forced to eat meat and she starts to cry.
  • A Man of Iron: When it's suggested that his cousin Tony is the Iron Man, the usually utterly composed Ned Stark bursts out in hysterical laughter, much to the shock of the Small Council.
  • My Father's Son: Stannis surprised even himself when after a deep conversation with Lyneese Hightower, he shows jealousy, shrewdness and desire to have her as his wife.
  • In Power Rangers Mythos, despite his history as a Ranger, Flynn is clearly uncomfortable with even the idea that ghosts might be real when investigating strange occurrences in the Paris catacombs, prompting some teasing from Z.
  • In the James Bond/The Worst Witch crossover "A Witching Happiness", when MI6 agents including M, Q and Bond hear Alec Trevalyan making his apparently final call to the daughter he only recently met, they're all struck by the emotion in the call, with M planning to ensure his agent's final wishes for his daughter are carried out.
  • The Golden Griffin in The Parselmouth of Gryffindor.
  • Normally pragmatic and unflappable, in Desire Written in Olive, Black Widow bursts out in a "barking laugh that made everyone jump" when she hears that Vision accidentally walked in on Tony and Wanda having sex.
  • In A Pink Planet, Pink Diamond puts on a brave and wise face towards the Earth and the people that live there, but Greg was quick to realize that her abusive history with her fellow Diamonds have led her to have massive reserves of self-doubt and a pathological fear of disappointing others.
  • Despite her usually stoic persona, in The Loud House fanfiction Irrational Fear, Lisa, when scared, acts just like a normal scared little girl, and she's later seen crying and laughing.
  • Code Prime: Even Tohdoh is absolutely stunned in Chapter 5 of R1 when the Autobots make their existence public.
  • The animated fan series The Legend of Zelda: A Hero's Purpose (a take on the yet-untold story between The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask and The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess) has a truly heartbreaking moment in episode 3 when, having returned to Hyrule after many years of wandering, Link reconnects with Saria again by playing her song. During a lull in their conversation, the full weight of everything he had been through, fought to overcome, and was forced to give up as the Hero of Time finally becomes too much to bear, and Link breaks down sobbing in frustration over how he's had to suffer quietly with it for so long. The story is presented in the style of a cutscene from the games, complete with dialog options for Link, and the struggle to keep his emotions bottled up is represented by the arrow switching between him pouring out his heart to Saria and simply saying some variant of "I'm fine", until those latter choices soon become grayed out. It's more effective than you'd think. As is Saria's response.
  • RainbowDoubleDash's Lunaverse: In Nightmares Yet to Come, Midnight is so stoic that when she apparently attempts to make a joke, it is with absolutely no change in her usual tone, yet she claims immediately after that she panicked (again, with no change in tone or her usual expression). When Trixie's not around, she actually shows a much less stoic demeanour, far more casual language, and in one instance goes berserk.
  • In ''Total Drama Comeback, a Running Gag is that Eva, who normally is either surly or screaming in fury, breaks out in uncontrollable laughter during slapsticky moments.
  • Felix in Doppler Effect manages to keep a cool head throughout most of the story when acting as Chat Noir's substitute, but he starts to have a very bad breakdown when he has to use Cataclysm without Plagg to act as a Power Limiter, something the Kwami warns is quite dangerous and could very well result in death. Luckily, Felix survives.
  • Batman in Spiderhead is, well, Batman, but he eventually becomes extremely unnerved when he finds out the full extent of Spider-Man's baser arachnid instincts and abilities. A few examples include: finding bugs delicious, being able to inject people with venom, being able to loosen his bones and move around like slime, and (in the Omake) being able to transform into a swarm of spiders that retain his consciousness.
    "Spider-Man," Bruce says, and his voice is uneven in the way that Batman's voice is never uneven. There's no growl at all. "What the fuck."

    Films — Animation 
  • Big Hero 6:
    • Gogo Tomago comes across as The Stoic under most situations, but ends up flipping out over Wasabi's over-cautiousness when they are being chased by the villain:
      Gogo: Why're we stopped?
      Wasabi: The light's red!
      Gogo: There are no red lights IN A CAR CHASE!
    • Later, after Hiro tries to outright kill Professor Callaghan, Gogo is the one to give him a Cooldown Hug.
  • Stoick, aptly enough, in How to Train Your Dragon is very much this trope, dropping his cool demeanor when he fears for the safety of his tribe or his son Hiccup. Also in the sequel, when he is reunited with his long-lost wife Valka. Valka lampshades this at one point, saying, "Stop being so stoic, Stoick." when Stoick walks up to her without saying a word.
  • Kung Fu Panda: Tigress is cold and emotionless throughout most of the film, especially toward Po, whom she regards as an unworthy interloper. When Po starts making goofy faces after she tells him about Master Shifu and Tai Lung, she loses her temper and is about to take him down, until Mantis assures her that Po's goofy face was the result of his hitting the wrong nerve with his acupuncture.
    • Kung Fu Panda 2: She is still fairly cool and collected throughout, but has come to regard Po as an equal and a friend. When she fights Po to keep him out of a battle (due to concerns for his own safety) she ends the fight by giving Po a Cool Down Hug, which stuns the rest of the Furious Five into slack-jawed silence and even Po himself.
      "The hardcore do understand."
  • Done twice in Monsters University, once for comedy then for drama.
    • The deadpan and goth Claire Wheeler plays up the contrast with her Large Ham partner Buck. But when Oozma Kappa win the Scare Games, she goes nuts with excitement, even more than Buck.
    • Dean Hardscrabble is very strict, harsh, and unflappable. When Mike and Sulley create a scream of such power that it not only activates a door from the human side, it fills up every canister in the laboratory until the door explodes, she becomes wide-eyed in shock. After expelling them for destroying the lab, she wishes them good luck and informs them she believes in them because they did one thing she thought was impossible, and that was surprising her.
  • The Prophet: While Mustafa is a warm man he's also a very reserved one. All of his dealings with the people are kind, honest, and dignified; he's even patient with the Sergeant. With the Commandant, however, he has harsher words towards and it's clear that underneath his pleasantries he hates what the Commandant stands for.
  • Miguel O'Hara in The Stinger for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is introduced in a relatively subdued and sarcastic conversation, only to start his actual mission and get sidetracked by yelling at his counterpart in the '60s cartoon universe in a pointless argument over (ironically enough) pointing.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Animal Kingdom has Joshua, who carries a dull, blank expression through most of the movie, including when his mother dies at the beginning, and barely seems to react to anything. However, after his girlfriend is killed, he finally breaks down and cries alone in the toilet.
  • In Bridge to Terabithia (the Film of the Book), Mrs. Meyer is the typical Stern Teacher, very uptight and severe. She breaks into sobs while she explains to Jess and that she understands how he feels because of Leslie's death since she had a very harsh time after her husband's death.
  • Zus Belieski in Defiance is a cold-hearted bastard. When his younger brother was sobbing helplessly over the recent deaths of their parents, Zus shook him roughly and shouted at him to stop crying. The one heartwrenching moment when his armor cracks comes after he learns that the wife and son he'd left in a then-safe city had been killed by the Germans.
  • Matt King in The Descendants is usually completely stoic, especially around his kids. It makes the few moments when he breaks and finally gets angry or cries extremely effective.
  • Die Hard with a Vengeance has two female examples:
    • Action Girl Connie Kowalski is pretty hard-boiled — as are almost all of the NYPD cops — but during the evacuation of the elementary school (when it's believed that a bomb has been planted there) she confesses that she might "pee [her] pants."
    • Katya, Simon Gruber's Dark Action Girl, never smiles, never speaks, never even makes a sound throughout all her scenes...until the film's climax, when she and Simon are interrupted by John McClane and Zeus Carver at a very inopportune moment — and she completely loses her cool, firing off a machine gun and screaming in rage.
  • Dredd Dredd drops his usually unflappable demeanor when he's faced with rotary cannons and runs like hell. Though, being Dredd, he still manages to flee in a fairly composed (given the situation!) and manly way.
    Dredd: Oh, shit.
  • First Man:
    • At a funeral, Neil imagines seeing his dead daughter, and promptly leaves, banging his car into another in process. Earlier on in the film, at his daughter's wake, he keeps his cool until he heads alone into his study, at which point he promptly bursts into tears.
    • Janet, who is as stoic as her husband is, completely loses it when she realizes Neil intends to leave for the Apollo 11 mission without preparing their sons for the possibility of him not making it back.
  • Richard Kimble in The Fugitive is a Stoic Woobie the entire film, but very clearly almost breaks when Sam calls out to him that he knows he's innocent.
  • Egon in Ghostbusters (1984) is the calmest and least emotional of the four... until Peck does something Egon specifically told him not to do and blames the resulting explosion on the Ghostbusters. Then Egon screams "Your mother!" and attempts to throttle him.
  • In The Godfather movies, Michael Corleone is generally The Stoic, even when someone is threatening him, except when Kay gets him angry, such as when she asks him about his business, or when she tells him she had an abortion, not a miscarriage, in the second film.
  • Done in a particular heartwrenching way in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 during Snape's flashback sequence. First he's weeping when asking Dumbledore to protect Lily, then he's bawling as he cradles her dead body.
  • Will Kane in High Noon is a calm, collected, responsible former marshal who needs deputies to help him fight Frank Miller, who's arriving into town on the noon train, but no one is willing to help him. Finally, when the marshal realizes he's utterly alone, he hides his face away, near tears, in the solitude of his office.
  • In Inglourious Basterds, Nazi colonel Hans Landa has a cordial talk with a French farmer about the Jews he's hunting. The farmer is hiding said Jews beneath his floorboards but keeps up an impenetrable poker face throughout until Landa reveals that he already knows about them, at which point tears start streaming down the poor man's face.
    • Even then his voice never wavers. He just looks utterly haunted as he continues to levelly answer Landa's questions.
    • Another, slightly more disturbing example is Landa himself. Throughout most of the movie, he is Affably Evil, almost never wavering in his soft-spoken cordiality...until he calls out Von Hammersmark on being a spy for the Allies, then strangles her to death.
      • And then becomes a traitor himself, which makes his murder of the actress a little strange.
    • Landa has another NSS moment at the end when Aldo Raine shoots the German soldiers they were escorting along with him. It was most likely the shock of the unexpected gunshots giving way to fear with the dawning realization that, with his only two compatriots now freshly killed and bleeding out on the ground beside him and with his hands bound and his only company the remaining Basterds...he's well and truly fucked.
  • Forms part of the plot of The Invisible: Nick resented his mother's stoicism, especially after his father died, thinking she had no actual feelings. While he's missing and presumed dead, he finds her still keeping the facade and rants furiously (and uselessly) at her. She can't see or hear him. Then she upsets a teacup and abruptly breaks down sobbing...
  • Silent Bob's outburst in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.
    • And before that, when he weeps (silently but heartwrenchingly) over Bethany's death in Dogma.
  • The Lord of the Rings
  • In The Magnificent Seven (2016), Billy Rocks. Billy's companion Robicheaux, a PTSD-addled veteran of the Civil War, directly states he relies on Billy to keep him steady, and with Billy's stonefaced calm it's easy to see how. But when Robicheaux himself freaks out and abandons the group the night before the final battle, it turns out the Living Emotional Crutch aspect of their relationship goes both ways, as Billy shuts himself away and hammers down a bottle of whiskey. It's the first and only time in the movie he appears out of control of himself, and even the other members of the group steer clear of him.
  • Solo in The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (2015) briefly loses his casual cool to a bit of nervousness and fear when he was about to be tortured by Uncle Rudi.
  • When Agent Kay is forced to relive a devastating memory in Men in Black II, there's a brief but powerful shot of him quietly crying.
  • MonsterVerse:
    • When Ford Brody sees the dead body of his father in Godzilla (2014), he tears up.
    • Emma Russell in Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) clearly tries to be The Unfettered, but the facade cracks when her daughter or ex-husband angrily call her out on responding to her son's death by committing to an Eco-Terrorist plan to dabble with Eldritch Abominations she doesn't fully understand and attempt to effectively commit mass genocide upon humanity.
    • Although Dr. Serizawa for the most part is presented as The Stoic, there have been a couple instances where something pushes him too far for him to not show emotion: he has a Thousand-Yard Stare response to the aftermath of Hokmuto's devastating escape in the 2014 film, and in King of the Monsters, he is visibly distraught after Vivienne Graham is murdered by Ghidorah and he's practically shell-shocked when Godzilla is seemingly killed due to the military's stupidity.
  • In the Sherlock Holmes vs Jack the Ripper movie, Murder by Decree. In it Holmes (played by Christopher Plummer), who remains characteristically Stoic after watching the first four corpses the Ripper leaves behind, starts to show signs of this when he sees what the Ripper did to Mary Kelly, whom he swore to protect moments before her death and finally breaks down in front of Watson over the realization that even though he has figured it all out, the cold bastards behind it will never be punished and all the people they have wronged will keep suffering.
  • Harmonica in Once Upon a Time in the West remains calm for the most part, and even when he is annoyed it comes off as mild. But he's crying in the flashback of his brother's death.
  • Marshall Pentecost raises his voice three times in Pacific Rim: first to shut up Hermann after Newt Drifts, then a short moment while chewing out Raleigh (before going back to his calm), and finally, raising his voice for the Rousing Speech.
  • Predator The Magical Native American Billy is portrayed as The Stoic, but he out-of-character guffaws at a vagina joke in a Late to the Punchline moment. He then screams (offscreen) as the alien is killing him.
  • Downplayed in Ripley's Game. When Jonathan asks Ripley if he's afraid while they're waiting for a bunch of mooks to come and try to kill them, he replies "No...I'm fucking terrified." Even then, his veneer of calm only cracks slightly.
  • Maurice the orangutan from Rise of the Planet of the Apes is typically much less physically expressive than his fellow apes and usually has the same look on his face all the time, however he loses his composure twice. In the first movie, he gets an enraged expression after witnessing a chimpanzee get shot and fall off a bridge and again in the third movie he cries when Ceaser dies of his injuries.
  • In Saving Private Ryan In the first ten minutes, Captain Miller sends a dozen of his men to their deaths on the beach at Normandy without blinking an eye. He's had 94 men under his command die since the war began. One of his lieutenants is blown in half while Miller tries to drag the wounded man to safety, a squad member dies after ignoring an order to leave refugees where they are, and he watches his medic die painfully, bleeding out crying for his mother and it only registers a scowl with Miller. After all that Miller angrily tells the squad's rookie to help the German who shot the medic bury the bodies after the inexperienced soldier begs for Miller to spare the German's life. Miller then stalks off to sit at the edge of a bomb crater to check his map and, while out of sight, bursts into uncontrollable sobbing as the horrors he and his men have endured come crashing down on him.
  • The famous scene from Schindler's List when Oskar Schindler breaks down in front of all of the Jews that he saved. As the Tear Jerker page will attest, many tropers found this moment to be more than they could bear.
  • In Serenity, when The Operative realises who Mal has brought with him to get past the blockade, he drops the calm, soft-spoken demeanor that he has exhibited throughout the movie and screams in terror:
    Operative: Target the Reavers! Target the Reavers! Target everyone! SOMEBODY FIRE!
  • A disturbing example in Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows is Moriarty cheerfully enjoying his chilling torture of Holmes.
  • Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. When the killer turns out to be a protégée of Spock's, he smashes the phaser out of her hand in a brief burst of anger after she refuses to shoot him. The feelings of pain and betrayal are written all over Spock's face.
    • There's also the fact that she refuses to do the logical action and kill him.
  • Star Trek (2009): Spock proves to be Not So Stoic after Vulcan is destroyed.
    • ...And even then, he's still pretty composed. It's not until Kirk says he didn't love his now-dead mother that he FLIPS HIS SHIT.
    • An indirect example, but after the same events mentioned above Old Spock as part of a mind meld, transfers his emotions to Kirk. Kirk, visibly shaken, says, "You do feel."
  • In Star Trek Into Darkness, Spock makes it clear to Kirk and Uhura early on that he does feel; it is a conscious effort of his to not feel fear, doubt, etc. His emotional control is worn down over the course of the film, culminating with him not being able to contain himself when he and Kirk are having (what he thinks is) their last conversation then completely losing it when Kirk dies and Khan is still alive.
  • A major aspect of Darth Vader's personality in Star Wars. His helmet and tendency to only speak when he needs to gives the illusion of stoicism and rationality. In reality, his power in Dark Side of the Force comes from the fact that he's in near-perpetual anger and depression. Thus when someone manages to really push his buttons, he proceeds to absolutely lose his shit.
  • 1st Sgt. Welsh in The Thin Red Line is normally aloof, indifferent, and composed, yet he sheds some Manly Tears at Witt's grave.
  • Myra from Waterloo Bridge keeps a stoic facade in her dire situation as a prostitute. But she completely loses this facade when Roy proposes marriage and invites her to meet his family. She's so ashamed of her situation and fears Roy finding out this secret that she tries her best to get rid of him and has a mini-meltdown.

  • In the second book of the Artemis Fowl series, the usually stoic protagonist has a small emotional breakdown after hearing that his father is still alive. In the third book, after Butler is (temporarily) killed, Artemis openly weeps in front of him.
  • China Miéville's Bas-Lag Cycle: In The Scar, sequel to Perdido Street Station, the main character Bellis hardly ever shows any outward emotion, except for the scene where she suddenly breaks down and starts crying upon the realization that she won't be able to get a message to her home warning them of an invasion, much less be able to return there. The character who discovers her breakdown is completely stunned.
  • The inquisitor Amberly Vail of the Ciaphas Cain series has an easygoing, lighthearted, confident attitude, spending a lot of her appearances shooting conspiratorial winks, quips, and occasionally lots of bullets. There are several, several moments throughout the series, however, when her reactions reveal that she's far more stressed than she cares to let on. She is particularly prone to angrily snapping at her companions when something goes particularly badly, and once completely lost her composure and wound up in a shouting match with Cain after a tunnel collapse nearly killed them both.
    • Played for Laughs in The Traitor's Hand. Cain is being talked through a Wire Dilemma by a Techpriest, who, like most Techpriests, plays up the "unemotional machine" angle as much as he can. When the Techpriest tells Cain to cut the red wire, Cain reports that all the wires are purple. The Techpriest immediately begins swearing.
  • In Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian story "The Phoenix on the Sword", Thoth-amon has one, bursting out with the truth to Dion — who isn't listening.
    For all his iron-self-control, he was near bursting with long pent-up shame, hate, and rage, ready to take any sort of a desperate chance.
  • "Curious George Goes to the Hospital": A sad little girl, hospitalized for the first time with an undisclosed illness, is very stoic ... until George snaps her out of her depression with his antics. At first, it is gradual ... but the real breakthrough comes near the end of the story when George takes another young boy's wheelchair for a wild ride. (The boy, whose leg had been broken in a car accident, was undergoing physical therapy when George decides to take the wheelchair for a ride.)
  • Happens to Griboyedov in The Death of the Vazir Mukhtar, as he does sometimes confide some of his many worries and anxieties to particularly close friends.
  • Discworld:
    • Lord Vetinari is one of the most emotionless people in fiction, to the extent that he actually has to tell people when he's furious. The one thing that really seems to break his facade, though, is questioning his devotion to Ankh-Morpork and her people, as Vimes does in Jingo. Upon being accused of buying and selling the lives of his citizens in order to play politics, Vetinari kicks over his chair before angrily pointing out that his actions stopped a war and saved potentially thousands of lives.
      Vetinari: And you say bought and sold? All right. But not, I think, needlessly spent.
    • The Shepherd's Crown has another; the Elf King, who normally speaks in a voice ‘like chocolate’ and is effectively smarminess personified, becomes spine-chillingly furious with the elf that murdered his Queen. He then breaks every bone in said elf’s body with a single backhand.
    • Throughout the "Lancre Witches" subseries, Granny Weatherwax has been a coldly invincible bastion of pride and self-confidence, who actively revels in being The Dreaded. Then comes Carpe Jugulum, where she becomes convinced that she has been snubbed from being invited to the christening of former coven-mate Magrat's daughter, which causes her to basically take off to a cave in the high mountains to sulk. Even when coaxed back to civilization to deal with the threat of the invading vampires, she is uncharacteristically vulnerable and unsure of herself for much of the book. It culminates in her being quite obviously embarrassed when she learns that she was invited to the christening, but a magpie stole the invitation, even though she tries to cover it up with her usual bluster.
  • The Dresden Files:
    • An uncommon take in that we get to see everything from his point of view, so we know what decisions he makes to make him appear as The Stoic. As we find out, however, he is absolutely lethal when he loses it.
    • On the other hand, Michael Carpenter, Knight of the Cross, holy warrior and devout believer in God, has a moment when he finds out a severely misguided priest has taken one of his children hostage.
      Michael: The son of a bitch hurt my little girl.
  • In Fate/Zero, Kiritsugu displays two personalities: loving father and husband, and remorseless Combat Pragmatist. As he had sunk into the latter, much to his wife Irisviel's dismay, she can't help but wonder about him. While she ponders, Kiritsugu breaks down and offers to give up his dream and run away, world be damned. He thought that if they participated in the Grail War any longer, they would quickly reach the point of no return. Of course, since Fate/Zero is a prequel to the original series, the point of no return is long past.
  • Aaron in The Fire's Stone by Tanya Huff. He's so scarred by his lover's death that he forces himself to feel nothing. It's not until the last third of the novel that he finally breaks down and cries.
  • Harry Potter: Severus Snape has four during the series: When Sirius whom Snape believes betrayed Lily to Voldemort escapes, when Harry accidentally dives into his memories, "DON'T CALL ME COWARD!", and his reaction to the news of Lily's death. Other than that, he's just another teacher with a sadistic slant.
    "Give me a reason to do it, Black. Give me a reason and I swear I will."
    • Oh, and one other occasion.
      Dumbledore: "After all this time?"
      Snape: "Always."
    • The main shtick of Professor McGonagall, who spends most of her time being a stoic Stern Teacher and the rest weeping unashamedly.
      • Or gleefully egging on Peeves, the poltergeist, in his quest to make Umbridge's life hell (though she does try to hide it from the students). Or yelling apoplectically at the students who tried to sabotage her house's Quidditch team players (which she doesn't try to hide at all).
  • The only time in Haruhi Suzumiya when Yuki Nagato showed a significant emotion was in the Alternate Universe she created, where she was a normal girl. She gave a definite smile to Kyon, which dazzled him quite a bit.
  • In The Hunger Games, the bloody Games are presided over by the booming, impassive voice of announcer Claudius Templesmith, who kicks them off and makes announcements as appropriate to make sure everything goes smoothly... until the climax of the first book, when, as the last two Tributes both prepare to commit suicide at the same time, he screams, "Stop! Stop!"
  • Jane Eyre wasn't stoic as a child, but by the time she gets to Thornfield she is pretty emotionally reserved until Rochester threatens to send her away to Ireland once he has married Blanche Ingram. In fact, Rochester is trying to elicit this trope from Jane.
  • Journey to Chaos: Siron Esrah's first scene is when he's clad in armor, complete with helmet, and acting out courtly rules. When the Joust turns into a monstrous blood bath, he quickly turns into a teenager worried about his dad.
  • Legacy of the Dragokin: Lydia normally acts like she's the same age as her grandfather but has an emotional outburst when Benji awakens his dragokin powers. She cheers him on in a manner normal for a fifteen-year-old and everyone looks at her in shock. She blushes and then she repeats herself in a more subdued and grown-up manner.
  • Dally from The Outsiders hardly cares about anyone or anything. But when Johnny dies, he visibly loses it.
  • Williams in Portrait in Sepia never loses his British Stuffiness in San Francisco as Paulina Del Valle's perfect butler or in Chile as her consort in a Marriage of Convenience. The only moment Williams ever loses his composure is when he is driven to tears at the sight of Paulina looking helpless and vulnerable after her surgery.
  • Zal of Quantum Gravity. He is completely cool in battle situations, and can keep that together for as long as he needs to...usually. Then he hears that/how Dar died and can't keep it together.
  • In Redeeming Love, the heroine is a cynical Broken Bird who regularly tends to shrug off (or laugh off) both physical and emotional trauma (and romantic overtures from her Love Martyr husband that would have many other women melting into goo at his feet). Before it wears off entirely, her façade splinters twice: once, when she simultaneously realizes that she does care about Michael and yet thinks she isn’t worthy of his love, and again when she experiences real lovemaking for the first time (in contrast to thirteen unhappy years as a prostitute) and finds herself weeping as she’s coming down from her climax.
  • Sense and Sensibility: Elinor Dashwood spends much of the novel putting tremendous effort into maintaining a calm, sensible, and levelheaded exterior no matter what turmoil is going on in her personal life — until the end, when Edward informs her that no, he did not marry Lucy Steele, and would really quite like to marry her, thank you very much. At which point she loses it. Spectacularly. See Hattie Morahan in the 2008 version or Emma Thompson in the 1995 version to see how it's done.
    • Elinor also provides another example, when her calm demeanor finally breaks after Marianne observes that she (Elinor) "must not feel much" for not showing her emotional devastation from learning months earlier of Lucy Steele's secret engagement to Edward. Elinor's emotional outpouring immediately afterward makes the above events all the more sweet in comparison.
  • Sherlock Holmes very occasionally has moments of losing his cool. The most dramatic one is in "The Three Garridebs" (quoted above) when Watson gets shot by the villain of the week, and Holmes practically has a panic attack over it before declaring he would have murdered the shooter himself if Watson had died. Watson even comments that it was worth getting shot just to see Holmes acting so uncharacteristically emotional.
    • A more comedic example occurs in "The Man With The Twisted Lip": Holmes has been hired to find a woman's missing husband and all the evidence points to the man having been murdered. He breaks the news to his employer in the most sympathetic yet professional manner... and the woman replies that her husband can't be dead because she's just received a letter from him. Holmes springs out of his chair and shouts "WHAT?"
    • In "The Devil's Foot," Holmes makes the rather unwise decision to find out whether an unknown substance is poisonous by testing it on himself and Watson. They both nearly die, only escaping thanks to some quick action on Watson's part. Afterward Holmes rather emotionally thanks Watson for saving his life and apologizes for subjecting him to such a stupid experiment. Once again, Watson seems to feel the whole thing was worth it just to see Holmes acting human for once.
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • Hoole, in Galaxy of Fear, is profoundly affected seeing the wraiths on Kiva - he, who would always shapeshift to vigorously defend himself and protect his charges, went to his own form, fell to his knees, and covered his face. He held himself responsible for what killed them.
  • Roofshadow from Tailchaser's Song is normally a somewhat aloof and quiet cat but there are scenes where she isn't so stoic. Tagalong Kid Pouncequick tends to bring out the playful side in her. She's also understandably afraid of Hearteater and his minions.
  • In James Swallow's Warhammer 40,000 Horus Heresy novel The Flight of the Eisenstein, Sendek has a not-so-stoic moment of sheer surprise at The Reveal.
    • One of Dan Abnett's contributions, Know No Fear, had the otherwise controlled Roboute Guilliman react to Lorgar's betrayal with fury, vowing to rip the Word Bearers primarch apart and throw the pieces into hell.
    • In James Swallow's novel Deus Encarmine, Arkio accuses his dispirited companions of being afraid. Producing a moment where they confess, passionately, to their fear: they had seen most of their comrades attacked by witchery and turned into berserkers who had fallen on each other and perished miserably. Sachiel tries to rebuke them — it had been an honor to die for the Emperor — but Arkio agrees — what would they be, to see that and feel nothing?
  • In The Westing Game, Judge J.J. Ford consciously decided to stop smiling when she began her law career, the better to maintain a serious, dignified demeanor, conserving her upbeat facial expressions for when they were really needed. It worked, too: she's so good at appearing as The Stoic that when she realizes a mistake she's made and starts chiding herself aloud, everyone present is shocked at this out-of-character display of emotion.
  • Demandred of The Wheel of Time is a villain so consumed with hate for the Dragon (Lews Therin Telamon or his reincarnation Rand al'Thor, he doesn't care) that most people who know him have only seen him show one emotion- cold-blooded determination to see the Dragon dead, no matter the cost. It's explicitly noted that he never laughs or so much as smiles. Then, during the final battle in the last book, Demandred finally thinks victory is in his grasp, and he basically rampages around the battlefield wielding a massively powerful sa'angreal, effortlessly destroying almost everyone in his way, bellowing at the top of his lungs for Rand to come and face him while describing all the horrible things he'll do if Rand fails to show, and generally being the Large Ham Hero Killer he was born to be. Not unexpected when you keep hate locked up inside you for centuries and finally have the chance to let it out.
  • In World War Z, Todd Wainios tells a story about one of the biggest badasses on his team (an enormous ex-pro-wrestler who once used a zombie to beat other zombies into non-existence) be reduced to an inconsolable sobbing heap by the scent of cheap perfume on the wind. Todd's best guess was that it reminded him of a woman he knew before the war.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Lexa from The 100 believes that feelings are a weakness and has deliberately repressed her emotions. After spending enough time with her, Clarke is able to tell that Lexa's not as emotionally numb as she'd like people to believe, and pushes her to admit her feelings. Lexa responds, first with anger at Clarke for dredging up her emotions, then by finally admitting that she's developed feelings for Clarke, and kisses her.
  • Angel:
    • The stoic and controlled Angel has had a few episodes of this. He nearly smothered Wesley to death for betraying him and costing him his son, completely blew up one time on Buffy after she dealt him some very harsh words, and later with Connor after he locking him in a safe and letting him starve in the bottom of the ocean for 3 months. Season 2 and Season 5 in particular were nothing but a non-stop sliding scale of undoing for him, pushed to the very edge by Wolfram & Hart.
    • Wesley, famed for his rationality and calm, had two cases of Cynicism Catalyst. First, torturing a woman after being exiled and isolated from Angel's team. Second (and most famous), Fred's death where he stabbed Gunn, shot Knox, and shot a Wolfram & Hart employee.
  • Bones: Temperance "Bones" Brennan is sometimes accused of being an Ice Queen, due to her emotionally distant manner and lack of social skills. When Tempe loses it, you get to see the Broken Bird inside.
    • In one of the early episodes her uncaring attitude was being used against her in a court case. Booth has the attorney bring up her vanished parents in order to show this trope to the jury.
      Brennan: How I feel doesn't matter. My job doesn't depend on it.
      Levitt: But it's informed by it. Or are you as cold and unfeeling as you seem?
      Brennan: [in a raw emotional tone] I see a face on every skull. I can look at their bones and tell you how they walked, where they hurt. Maggie Schilling is real to me. The pain she suffered was real. Her hip was being eaten away by infection from lying on her side. Sure, like Dr. Stires said, the disease could contribute to that if you take it out of context; but you can’t break Maggie Schilling down into little pieces. She was a whole person who fought to free herself. Her wrists were broken from struggling against the handcuffs. The bones in her ankles were ground together because her feet were tied. And her side, her hip, and her shoulder were being eaten away by infection. And the more she struggled, the more pain she was in. So they gave her those drugs to keep her quiet. They gave her so much it killed her. These facts can't be ignored or dismissed because you think I'm boring or obnoxious, because I don't matter. What I feel doesn’t matter. Only she matters; only Maggie.
    • It's especially jarring in an episode where she begins to associate herself with a dead woman who was, like her, a loner with no friends outside of work and a Love Interest she spurned. She even keeps hearing the woman's recorded voice as her own and seeing herself in all the pictures of the victim. She realizes that she has screwed up her one chance to be happy with Booth. This episode is all about her stoicism slowly slipping.
    • Interestingly played with in the season 7 finale when Brennan is being framed for the murder of the victim of the week. Brennan remains hyper-logical throughout, while other characters fall apart. It's pretty predictable that Booth and Angela will get emotional, but when Cam starts crying because she doesn't want to turn over evidence that will get Brennan arrested, you know the situation is serious.
  • Bron|Broen: After experiencing a Trauma Conga Line in series 3, Saga has one of these moments when she collapses in tears after almost committing suicide.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Oz is famed for his utter lack of emotional response to pretty much any intense situation, reacting to both realizing he's a werewolf and finding a submarine on his doorstep with a mere "huh". Push him over the edge, though, and things will get broken. Or beaten up. Or possibly killed. For most seasons, this Berserk Button consisted of Willow—either seeing her threatened, hurt or faced with the prospect of losing her. And after he did lose her, there were tears. Both times. Later on this focus shifts to his wife and son.
  • Crisis on Earth-X: When Professor Stein dies of wounds getting the team back to Earth-1, Sara Lance, a League of Shadows-trained assassin, gives him a quick kiss goodbye in the WaveRider med bay. Later, she is almost crying at his funeral and thanking him for placing his trust in her as leader of the Legends.
    • At the funeral, Mick Rory sheds a couple of manly tears, which Earth-X Snart tells him, "It's ok, let it out, big guy." Mick then claims it was allergies.
  • Aaron Hotchner of Criminal Minds is usually the embodiment of stoicism, which makes the events of the episode "100" all the more heart-wrenching.
  • Dallas: The Season 7 episode "Swan Song" was supposed to be Patrick Duffy's swan song in the series, for good, when Bobby Ewing is struck by a speeding car (driven by the homicidal maniac Katherine Wentworth). At the hospital – in one of the cheesiest-in-retrospect "death scenes" in TV history – the entire cast is in tears ... including Bobby's older brother, that monster J.R.! (Incidentally, tears are seen rolling down J.R.'s cheek, but otherwise shows very little emotion in the final scene, where everyone is gathered around Bobby's bedside as he mumbles his final words.)
  • After JT is Killed Off for Real on Degrassi: The Next Generation, the usually stoic Liberty is in shock at first and Mia even calls her a robot because she had yet to shed any tears. She finally breaks down at the school's memorial service for JT (which just happened to be right after she learned that he still had feelings for her and was on his way to tell her when he was killed).
  • Bree van de Kamp from Desperate Housewives shows her emotions very rarely, but when she does that, she usually breaks into painful sobs ( like when her husband Rex dies) or has sudden bursts of anger.
  • Dexter very rarely shows emotion, genuine or otherwise. This makes the very rare outburst all the more interesting.
    • Particularly shocking was in the Season 5 premiere, when while grieving Rita's murder, he flies into a rage and savagely beats a man to death in a restroom. Much like the example with Vulcans in Star Trek, this is a small glimpse into what he would be like without the careful control provided by the Harry Code.
  • Doc Martin: Martin after hearing the news about Joan's death. Despite outwardly remaining his typical aloof self, as he walks around her empty house, his eyes betray how utterly heartbroken he is.
  • Used to devastating effect in the Doctor Who episode "Dalek." The titular alien creature comes from a race of omnicidal maniacs long considered the Arch-Enemy of the Doctor that despise and try to kill all other life forms simply because they aren't Daleks. They have absolutely no capacity for emotion beyond blind hatred for the unlike and view any sort of feeling or compassion as sins against their kind. This Dalek, though, is quite old and has been held on Earth for years, leaving it unable to function. It manages to trick Rose Tyler into touching it with a Wounded Gazelle Gambit; that touch restores its energy and gives it the power to seek deadly revenge on its tormentors (along with hundreds of other innocent people). However, Rose's touch also fundamentally alters its DNA and gives it the capacity to feel, which drives the alien into an existential crisis—it wants freedom and a purpose beyond thoughtless rage, but also knows that it is no longer a "pure" Dalek and, thanks to centuries of mental conditioning, immediately decides to kill itself for this "crime." Since it can't kill itself without being ordered to do so, it demands that Rose command it; when she does, it chokes out a heartbreaking set of last words:
    Rose: ...yeah.
    Dalek ...SO...AM...I. EX-TER-MIN-ATE...
    • Earlier in the episode, the revelation that this Dalek is, to the best of both its and the Doctor's knowledge, the last of its kind is enough to genuinely devastate the alien, as it realizes that it's completely alone in the universe. The sadness doesn't last—it falls back on the "default" Dalek programming of killing and destroying every living thing in sight—but the brief flash of emotion proves that there is more to the creature than meets the eye, and foreshadows the future developments of the episode.
  • The Dukes of Hazzard: Despite their villainous ways, Boss Hogg grows genuinely worried every time Lulu or even his avowed enemies from the Duke family are in serious trouble. However, Rosco has outright cried when Boss, the Duke boys, or his beloved basset hound Flash were in trouble. (Rosco's emotions are spelled out perfectly in the Season 2 episode "Granny Annie" and the final episode, "Opening Night at the Boar's Nest" – both times, when Boss was in serious trouble and the villains had every intent to kill him.)
  • Elementary: Sherlock is usually calm and collected about everything, but he has his moments of shock, anger, and sadness. For example, when Irene turned out to be Moriarty or when his father was murdered.
  • Farscape: Aeryn Sun, though originally The Stoic on Moya, gradually moves away from this as her relationship with Crichton blossoms. When she and Crichton are fighting for whatever reason, she usually reverts to The Stoic as a defense mechanism.
    • In an episode, this gets flipped, when they are on break from their relationship. Crichton seemingly takes something that Noranti gives him for pain and is very cold and uncaring towards Aeryn, while she is the one who is pleading with him. It turns out to be an act to prevent Scorpius from using Aeryn against him. It fails.
    • Scorpius himself has a few of these moments, most of them revealing that he has a downright vicious temper underneath his cool, calm exterior.
  • In Firefly Simon is always doing this with River.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • When Ned Stark is around friends and family, he's a lot more relaxed and cheerful.
    • Once The Chains of Commanding start tying Robb down harder, his stoic demeanor begins to slip on occasion when his men harm the war effort or commit despicable acts. When he finds out Ned has been killed, he also ruins a sword by smashing a tree in pure rage.
    • The normally reserved Jon Snow breaks down after burning Ygritte's body in the forest.
    • Brienne generally keeps her calm, even when slicing down a gang of murdering rapists. However, when she witnesses Renly's murder or is dragged off to be raped by some Bolton bannermen, she starts to scream.
    • Roose Bolton is visibly caught off-balance by the news of Bran and Rickon Stark being still alive.
    • Stannis Baratheon:
      • He loses it once he realizes his men are retreating. He also loses his steely resolution when alone with Melisandre in the leadup to his offensive, admitting to her that he cannot succeed without the soldiers his brother Renly stole from him.
      • His mouth visibly twitches as if suppressing a smile, when he realises that Davos did not die at the Battle of the Blackwater.
      • In the Season 3 finale, he's enraged by Davos's treason and later laughs when Melisandre is the one who saves his life by acknowledging Davos as a needed ally.
  • The Great British Bake Off: Paul loves to play doubt-instilling mind games with the contestants, and will often pause meaningfully after receiving a contestant's reply to a specific question about their bake, or stand still at the end of their work bench and silently watch them carry out the challenge. In the series 6 finale, he tries to do this to Nadiya by asking her if she's happy. Nadiya responds that she is, and then asks Paul the same question back—to which he just bursts out giggling and walks off.
  • Hanna: Hanna, who usually shows no emotion and acts unruffled by things, begins to cry when a Utrax member pretends that they're her dad over chat as part of socialization training, remembering losing her real one.
  • JAG: Sarah MacKenzie is mostly portrayed, as part of the Marine persona, as The Stoic. However, in "Second Sights" when finding her estranged father on his deathbed and in a coma at a hospice, and at the same time meeting her even-more-estranged self-centered white trash mom, she turns out to be Not So Stoic. But it turns out to be a Double Subversion: after her father has passed away, Mac tells her mother stoically that she never wants to see her again — because it was she, not her father, who once abandoned her.
  • Kamen Rider Ex-Aid: Taiga Hanaya started out as selfish, apathethic Jerkass. Then he was stuck with Nico Saiba, who proved to be skillful at provoking this reaction in him. Getting him so mad at her that he had to be dragged out of the room definitely takes the cake.
    • Hiiro Kagami established himself as an extremely aloof Pragmatic Hero who goes through everything in precise, nearly mechanical way. First thing he does upon seeing Taiga is a rushed attempt at punching him.
  • Juliet Burke from Lost, originally of the Others, was first seen as having a cold and expressionless demeanor and carried out her orders from Ben. She even aimed a gun at Kate's head when Sawyer didn't do what she asked. Sawyer commented that she would have actually shot Kate "No problem." Then another one of the Others was shot and Juliet rushed to save her life with Jack, which sparked her Not So Stoic persona. Juliet panicked the whole time when she and Jack were removing the bullet and trying to stitch her up. When they failed in saving her, Juliet broke down in tears and explained that being a fertility doctor she still hasn't gotten used to death. Which, based on her Flashbacks of her work with the Others, is quite surprising.
    • Actually it has been shown that any time Juliet deals with death or her sister she gets very emotional. The rest of the time she's the token Stoic.
    • This comes to define her at the end of Season 5. Throughout the finale, she acts as though she has a strategy in place regarding the Jughead and the Island until she breaks down completely and confesses that she's only going along with Jack's plan because she can't bear to lose Sawyer.
  • Love and Destiny: Jiu Chen is very stoic, but he does have his moments, such as when Ling Xi is repeatedly blowing up her medicine room or when Si Ming is being annoying.
  • Prince Arthur from Merlin is quite good at keeping his cool, save on two occasions: once when he learnt the truth about his mother's death (his father was responsible) and again when his father sentences his beloved Guinevere to be burnt at the stake.
  • Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers has this in the last part of the three-part pilot for Season 2, when Big Bad Rita Repulsa is replaced with her master, Lord Zedd, who locks Rita back in her space dumpster for failing her mission to conquer earth. Once the Rangers have, with difficulty, defeated Lord Zedd's first Monster of the Week, they wonder what happened to Rita. Using the Viewing Globe, they see her in the dumpster, drifting aimlessly through space, and singing "99 Bottles of Slime on the Wall". Zordon, ZORDON, starts singing.
  • While not exactly stoic per se, Joel of Mystery Science Theater 3000 always took his captivity with a certain laid-back good nature. Manos: The Hands of Fate was one of the very few movies that made him noticeably angry, to the point of him snapping at the screen.
    Joel: DO SOMETHING!! GOD!!!
  • NCIS: Los Angeles: Hetty and Callen are normally very cool and collected. Then Callen notices an alarming trend of Hetty recruiting lonely orphans and training them to be lonely operatives. He gets increasingly agitated when he confronts her about it. They end the conversation shouting and near tears.
    Callen: How many were there?
    Hetty: [quietly] This conversation is over.
    Callen: How many?
    Hetty: [exploding] A LOT! ''[pause; she fights tears; more quietly] There were... a lot. Is that what you wanted to hear?
  • Odd Squad: Otis is often stoic and very rarely shows emotion, but when he does, it's usually a sign that things have taken a turn, for better or for worse.
    • In "Extreme Cakeover", when Olympia dies by way of performing a Heroic Sacrifice and willingly letting the cake-itis virus infect her until it "kills" her (read: makes her turn fully into a cake), Otis gives a grief-stricken Big "NO!". Luckily, it ends up being a Disney Death — the virus is successfully contained in the vial attached to the helmet Olympia was carrying at the time, causing her to come back to life and turn back into a human. Otis is quick to rush to her side and worriedly asks if she's all right.
    • A more dramatic example occurs in the first part of the Season 2 finale, "Who is Agent Otis?" When Otis is suspected of still being a villain and put on trial in Odd Squad Court, he is forced to spill his Backstory to everyone, much to the chagrin of Oprah, who wished to keep it secret as part of an unexplained deal. While he tries to remain stoic, that facade gradually breaks and he begins to get emotional. In the backstory, he isn't portrayed as stoic as a child but does start to grow emotionless as he gets older. However, he starts to lose his composure when he betrays his villainous duck family and rats them out to Odd Squad, at which point sadness and regret is clearly shown in his actions and face expressions, to such an extent that he is on the verge of crying when Oprah and a team of Security agents capture the ducks. It only gets worse when he is found guilty and is fired from Odd Squad as a result, along with Oprah, as he gets struck by despair.
  • Person of Interest:
    • Reese broke his stoic façade precisely once: when an infant child was about to die from freezing.
    • Shaw holds it together as best she can, but even she can't hide how much Root's death utterly breaks her. She doesn't manage to pull herself together until she helps the team save the world and she personally executes Root's killer.
  • Mark Antony warns Vorenus about this in Rome. Averted as Vorenus is the only one who does not turn to debauchery in the Egyptian Palace and stays a true Roman.
    Antony: You won't turn to drink will you? You stoic types often do when disappointed in life.
  • Takeru of Samurai Sentai Shinkenger has such a moment in episode 18, when he's reunited with his old friend, Genta, and has to step out of the room to make sure his "retainers" can't see him when he starts cracking up at Genta's antics.
  • In the BBC mini-series, Sherlock, the title character is never shaken in the face of violent crime - up to and including murder - but has a general tendency to lose his cool when someone he is fond of is being seriously threatened — notably, Mrs Hudson and John.
    Molly: You remind me of my father [...] He always pretended like everything was fine, but whenever he thought nobody could see him, he'd look really sad. You look sad...when you think he [John] can't see you.
  • Ronnie Gardocki from The Shield was always the most impassive member of the Strike Team; even when attempting to kill Shane out of revenge he never lost his cool... until the final episode when he found out how thoroughly he was betrayed by Vic. He was dragged kicking, screaming, in a violent rage, out of the courthouse.
  • Silicon Valley has an underplayed example. Jack announces during a board meeting that Laurie's responsibilities to look at nothing beyond the bottom line when casting her vote mean that she "can't do a goddamn thing about" his latest gambit. Laurie agrees and votes to support his gambit. When circumstances change, however, the seemingly emotionless Laurie promptly fires Jack for so brazenly telling her what she can and can't do.
  • Small Wonder had an episode where the usually stoic Vicki had grown attached to a problematic computer. When the computer is deactivated, a tear trickles down Vicki's cheek.
  • Teal'c from Stargate SG-1 had a couple of moments where he shows big emotions (example: 6x01 "Redemption Part 1"), despite normally being The Stoic.
    • The first time this happens, in "Bloodlines" when he tells his team that he left a family behind on Chulak, is especially moving.
    • Or "Meridian". Teal'c's goodbye to Daniel Jackson is a Tear Jerker in itself as the Proud Warrior Race Guy fights his own tears on the last sentence:
      Teal'c: If you are to die, Daniel Jackson, I wish you to know that I believe that the fight against the Goa'uld will have lost one of its greatest warriors. And I will have lost one of my greatest friends.
    • Even better when you realize it also illustrates his Character Development. He gives Daniel one of the highest compliments he can both in his own culture ("one of its greatest warriors") and in his adopted one ("one of my greatest friends").
    • And it continues into the next episode with this exchange:
      Carter: We were a team, Teal'c. No one can even begin to understand what we went through together, what we mean to each other. So maybe Daniel has achieved something of great cosmic significance, I don't know. And to be honest with you, right now, I don't really care. I'd rather have him back.
      Teal'c: [with obvious emotion] As would I.
    • It is very subtle, but in "Cor-Ai", when Teal'c and Jack are arguing over whether or not he should defend himself while being tried for the many horrible things he did for the Goa'uld, you can see Teal'c's jaw trembling with suppressed anger at himself.
    • Teal'c's façade actually cracks a little in the very first episode. O'Neill sees that Teal'c is struggling to carry out the vicious acts demanded of him by the Goa'uld. This prompts O'Neill to seeks Teal'c's help in escaping, and kicks off the rest of the show.
  • The classic Star Trek: The Original Series example would be "Amok Time", where Spock showed his relief that Kirk wasn't Killed Off for Real. "Jim!" It is notable for coming genuinely from Spock himself, and not being a result of mind control, drugs, or a strange phenomenon.
    • Spock again in "The Naked Time", although that was the result of a strange phenomenon. At least he was able to duck into a room before he fell to pieces.
    • In the ending of "Friday's Child", Spock is visibly shocked to learn that the newborn Teer of Capella IV has been named Leonard James Akaar in honor of Bones and Kirk, and expresses dismay that the two gentlemen will be "insufferably pleased with [them]selves for at least a month... sir."
    • Vulcans developed their culture of tightly controlled emotions to deal with the fact that they are really very emotional, and without strict discipline, they tend to overreact to everything. Indeed, before Surak proposed his philosophy of strict self-control, Vulcan society was about to completely destroy itself. Under sufficiently extreme circumstances, a Vulcan's self-control can be broken (usually only temporarily), and everyone around will be reminded that under that stern calm face lies a turbulent sea of emotions that would drive the less-disciplined completely mad.
      • They also get really violent and horny during Pon Farr, basically Vulcans in heat.
      • Also, Spock is only half-Vulcan, as his mother was human.
      • If you want to imagine what Vulcans would be like if they gave in to their emotions, one need look no further than the highly paranoid and extremely dangerous Romulan Empire, which spawned at least one planet-destroying and truly Axe-Crazy psychopath, Nero.
      • Romulans serve more as evidence that the Vulcan emotional problems may be something of a self-fulfilling prophecy, as Romulans don't suppress their emotions and few of them are shown to be any more volatile than an average human (possibly even less so).
      • Vulcans and Romulans being much stronger than the average human does not help matters either. Kirk has had to provoke Spock into an emotional display in both the original series and the new movie continuity, and both times Spock nearly killed him. Even Khan is no match for a pissed-off Spock in a straight-up fistfight, and he knows it, running away as soon as Spock shows up.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation. Data's lack of emotion is a frequent plot point in the series. With a few notable exceptions. In "The Most Toys", he was almost driven to murder (and then lied about it to his commanding officer) and again in "Descent: Part I", when manipulated by his more emotional brother, causing him to kill a Borg drone in rage. Even he seems rather bewildered by this just afterward: "I got angry."
    • One of the subplots of Generations is Data deciding to reinstall the emotion chip given to him in the above episode, and dealing with the resulting outbursts. At the end, he discovers that his pet cat is still alive and begins to cry, which he assumes must be a malfunction of the chip. Troi assures him with a smile that "it's working just fine."
    • The episode "Sarek" dealt with this with the eponymous character (Spock's father, of course), whose emotional control was breaking down due to a rare illness. Determined to finish his last mission, he melds with Picard, who is normally very emotionally controlled in his own right, allowing Sarek to be himself again long enough to finish the negotiations. But we also see the effects of Sarek's illness in Picard.
      • Part of the effects of the mind meld with Picard are to subject an unprepared human mind to the powerful raw emotions of a Vulcan. Having not been raised from birth to learn to control those emotions, Picard spends the duration of the experience practically rabid, suggesting what pre-Surak Vulcans were like.
      • Look at Sarek in The Search for Spock. He's downright pissed off when he thinks Kirk has Spock's katra and screwed up by leaving Spock's body on Genesis. He's so overtly emotional it seems to surprise Kirk quite a bit.
    • Picard has his moments as well, particularly in "Family", Generations and First Contact. "Chain of Command, Part II" could be a case of Breaking The Stoic.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: in "Take Me Out to the Holosuite," the crew successfully demonstrate that Captain Solok is definitely Not So Stoic. Although Solok was pretty blatant about it from the first, with a permanent air of smug superiority and barely constrained sarcasm more like a typical Romulan than anything. Apparently he built his entire academic career around bullying Ben Sisko.
    • A more frequent example might come from the character Odo, particularly concerning his initially unrequited love for Kira.
  • Star Trek: Voyager gives us Tuvok (another Vulcan) and Seven of Nine (a former Borg). The best way to piss off the former is to either endanger Captain Janeway or put him with Neelix for any length of time. As for the latter, disturbing her sense of efficiency or calling her "imperfect" usually does the trick.
  • Castiel in Supernatural starts off completely unemotional, and while he gradually picks some up from Dean and Sam he stays as the calm, stoic, Comically Serious Straight Man. When he catches up with Dean after Dean angel-sigils him and goes to say 'yes' to Michael, it comes as quite a surprise.
  • Taken has Jacob, a quiet, bookish kid with incredible psychic powers. He reacts to everything, from being kidnapped to being bullied with calm logic. When he has to live away from his mother, he breaks down crying.
  • In Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Cameron is almost always an emotionless and cold machines, except in a very few select moments where she does show hints of anger or fear. In particular, one scene in the episode "Mr. Ferguson Is Ill Today" shows her moving through a police station, frantically (in a disturbingly calm way) looking for John, or her pleading for her life in "Samson & Delilah".
    • And then it gets completely flipped in "Allison From Palmdale," where she is shown crying, acting terrified, and in one scene being very angry, very calmly.
    • Then there's Derek, Deadpan Snarker and seen-it-all cynic. Stone cold, to the point of having more in common with a machine like Cameron than either would be comfortable to admit. ...And then moved to Manly Tears at the sight of her doing ballet by herself.
  • Captain Jack in Torchwood, especially when you realise the happy-go-lucky flirt act is a defense mechanism and a mask for his true feelings. The major moments are when Ianto and Steven die.
  • The Twilight Zone (1985): The opening episode of the revival, "A Little Peace and Quiet", during the climactic scene — nuclear war breaking out between the United States and the Soviet Union — features a newscaster trying to keep his emotions in check as he reads an EBS alert live over the air, but his voice is trembling as the threat of the missiles becomes more imminent. (For instance, the alert is supposed to provide instructions of going to the nearest shelter, but he says, "What's the point? It's over! We're finished!" A few seconds later, he begins trembling when he notes that "Soviet missiles have entered U.S. airspace."
  • Victorious: One episode had Jade breaking up with Beck. Initially, she acts as if she doesn't care and says she's fine with him seeing other girls. However, this facade is broken when she shows up at Tori's door crying and asking for her help in getting back together with Beck.
  • At the start of the March 4, 2016 edition of Washington Week, moderator Gwen Ifill betrayed some stress as she introduced the program in an unusually snarky manner following the announcement of the sponsorsFull list .
    Gwen Ifill: Good evening. OK. Deep breath, everybody. We're gonna try to keep it classy here. But it's hard, especially when the leading candidate for the Republican nomination keeps testing us.
  • In The Wire's later seasons, Marlo Stanfield is the ruthless kingpin of the entire Baltimore drug market. He and his team kill people at whim and 'disappear' them, hiding the bodies in disused vacants, so as to avoid police attention. Marlo is completely professional at all times - even when he and his team have been arrested and he faces a lengthy prison term he barely seems to care. However, when he learns that a stick-up artist has been insulting and challenging Marlo on the street, he shows true emotion for the first time in the series. "My name is my name!"
    • He shows emotion for the second, and final time, in his last ever scene. After taking back a corner single-handedly, he expresses genuine happiness.
  • In Wolf Hall, Mark Rylance portrays Thomas Cromwell as hardly ever betraying his emotions except occasionally around his apprentices, and even anger is expressed as Tranquil Fury. When his wife and daughters die in the first episode, however, he looks as though he's been hollowed out and becomes distracted in his work. In the fifth episode, he reacts calmly at the moment when Henry explodes and publicly accuses him of treason — after he extracts himself, however, Cromwell's hands shake visibly as he tries to grasp a cup of wine.
  • The X-Files' Scully was always portrayed as the stoic, especially compared to Mulder, who freely showed his feelings and wasn't afraid to cry. Very few times does she break down, until season 8. She is pregnant and alone, Mulder having been abducted by aliens. Add to that the fact that she is reassigned to an agent who thinks Mulder is insane and for the life of him cannot see that Mulder and Scully were so much more than work partners, having to train said partner, having to head a task force to find Mulder pretty much on her own, then finding Mulder dead and having to bury him, having him come back to life and be distant from her, it was pretty much a stress-filled, non-stoic season for Scully. And never was there anyone more entitled to break down.

  • Randy Travis has two songs exploring this theme:
    • "The Box" is about a box that the narrator finds, containing sentimental memorabilia from his father, including a poem about his children and a faded leather Bible. The narrator then concludes that "We all thought his heart was made of solid rock / But that was long before we found the box".
    • Also done in "A Man Ain't Made of Stone":
      I was supposed to be the rock that you could stand on
      Stronger than an old oak tree
      But all you ever wanted was the one thing
      I never let you see
      The tender side of me
      I tried to be a mountain, solid and strong
      All it took was your leaving to know I was wrong
      A man ain't made of stone…
  • "Cry" by Mandy Moore describes a woman becoming interested to a normally stoic peer after seeing him cry.
    You were always the cold one
    But I was never that sure
    You were all by yourself staring up at a dark, grey sky
    I was changed
    In places no one would find
    All your feelings so deep inside
    It was then that I realized that forever was in your eyes
    The moment I saw you cry

  • In The Hidden Almanac, Reverend Mord generally reacts with stoicism, even Dissonant Serenity, no matter how strange things get. However, he's had his moments.
    • He becomes audibly frustrated when dealing with the antics of Pastor Drom.
    • He is also displeased by the advent of a cat living in the garden, eating songbirds. Very. Displeased.
    • A sponsor message claiming that the Librarian Prince was a misunderstood hero has Mord stopping and refusing to read it because this is the Librarian Prince they're defending.
    • He is even more displeased by the temporal-warp-induced discovery that Drom is going to be a saint.
    • The takeover of the Fathers, who warped everyone's memory but his, tried him sorely. Especially when Drom mentions that they have a yearly book burning.
    • When Drom is seemingly mortally injured at the end of the Inquisitor Ingrid arc, Mord grows increasingly insistent that she will not die.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • On the WWF Monday Night Raw episode following Owen Hart's death in May 1999, several of the normally ranting, raving, dastardly villains were offering genuine, heartfelt thoughts and condolences to the Hart family... many of them through very real tears.
  • Undertaker, outside of his Biker years, is pretty stoic, but ruthless in battle with his occasional breaking point when pushed too far. In 1997 there were two specific scenes where he displayed a level of grief & emotion that we hadn't seen from him up to that point, and haven't seen again since. Even to this day, many fans are still surprised to see him in that light.
    • The more famous of the two scenes involves him telling everyone the true story about the death of his family in response to Paul Bearer's accusations. The entire scene is filled with emotion from Taker's body language, voice, and expressions. But there were certain points where he almost seemed to be on the verge of tears.
    • A lesser-known scene shows Taker at his parents' grave, speaking to them about Kane, his path in life, and how he has no choice but to fight his brother. He's almost as emotional as the previous scene, but this time he's speaking to his parents rather than about them & at the end, he sadly tells them both that he loves them.
  • Hulk Hogan was shown on very rare occasions to get emotional (in kayfabe), the most notable experience being on the February 3, 1989, episode of The Main Event, where Hogan and Randy Savage were facing the Twin Towers (Akeem and Big Bossman) in a tag team match. Midway through the match, Akeem threw Savage onto his beautiful valet, Miss Elizabeth, and Elizabeth crumpled to the floor in an unconscious heap. Hogan immediately ran to Liz's side (as a woozy Savage struggled to regain his bearings) and immediately lost his composure. In tears, he cried, fearing that Elizabeth had been killed ... or worse! Hogan's decision to leave Savage at ringside and instead be at Elizabeth's bedside (prepared for when the medic would give the official word that Elizabeth was ... DUM-DUH-DAAAA!!! ... DEAD!!!) ... set off a series of events later in the match that led to Savage turning on Hogan and a match set up for WrestleMania V, in which Hogan defeated Savage to reclaim the World Heavyweight Championship.

  • At the end of Gillette's Sherlock Holmes, Holmes, after having replied indifferently to Alice's asking whether he cares for her at all, takes her hand gently, confesses that he does care for her, and is finally moved to embrace her protectively.
  • Invoked by Leonato in Much Ado About Nothing, as he grieves over the slanders against his daughter Hero:
    "I pray thee, peace. I will be flesh and blood;
    For there was never yet philosopher
    That could endure the toothache patiently,
    However they have writ the style of gods
    And made a push at chance and sufferance."

  • Toa of Ice characters from BIONICLE tend to be both the quiet ones and stoic, until Character Development kicks in, the most famous example being Kopaka. When not making all sorts of nasty, sarcastic remarks to people that annoy him (as in, people who express emotions freely), he keeps his thoughts to himself and would like to finish his duties as quickly as possible. But when his friend Pohatu recovered from a Disney Death, he softened up quite a bit. Later, in another story, after having been beaten, weakened, and looted, a group of innocent villagers mistook him and his team for a bunch of villains and attacked them. This angered Kopaka so much that he lashed out with what little power he had left, with the intention of killing the villagers!

    Video Games 
  • Jon Irenicus in Baldur's Gate II remains stoic for most of the plot, at most displaying a kind of icy annoyance... Until a scene right before the end when he finally cracks.
    Jon Irenicus: Once my lust for power was everything but now I hunger ONLY for revenge! AND I. SHALL. HAVE IT!
  • In Bendy and the Ink Machine, Henry's normally calm voice becomes distraught when discovering that Boris got Reforged into a Minion.
  • BlazBlue:
    • Jin Kisaragi is mostly a stoic asshole. However... if he ever comes across with Noel Vermillion, his stoicism kinda fades and he becomes a screaming lunatic hell-bent to kill Noel. And if he meets Ragna The Bloodedge, the stoicism transforms into something... uh... more questionable.
    • Likewise with Nu-13, a Robot Girl who speaks in a mechanical monotone...except when she's squaring off against Ragna. Then she goes full Yandere.
  • The Bounty Hunter in Darkest Dungeon is usually either silent or offers little more than a short sentence. If he becomes afflicted and gets fearful, however, he gives in to panic and starts begging to leave.
  • Notable with the Chosen Undead in Dark Souls. Their personality is up to the player, but one of the few times an NPC reacts to them is with the Fair Lady, who's mistaking them for her sister whom you just murdered. Her dialogue implies that the Chosen Undead is crying.
  • JC Denton from Deus Ex isn't completely emotionless, but certainly very stoic. There are a few times his voice breaks, however, such as when he meets his brother Paul after the latter had defected from UNATCO and who was dying. Unfortunately, his most emotional outburst is a very narmy cry of "A BOMB!" when Jock discovers a bomb on his helicopter.
  • Devil May Cry: Vergil has several moments when his stoic persona is broken:
    • Vergil is pretty cold for most of the time in Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening, but has a brief Villainous Breakdown when his attempt to fully open Temen-ni-gru doesn't work (Arkham deliberately left out a few steps). Then he gets pissy: "Why isn't this working?!", indeed. He cracks a few more times later on, especially as Dante starts beating him in the final boss fight. Vergil's fighting style starts off as calm and collected as ever. By the halfway point, as he uses his souped-up Devil Trigger, he starts spamming Helm Breakers, roaring with rage as he struggles to kill Dante.
    • Devil May Cry 5 has quite a few moments where Vergil lets down his stoic facade.
      • After Vergil returns following V and Urizen's Split-Personality Merge, he turns to Nero and gives him a "thank you" in a tone that's almost appreciative.
      • The ending to Mission 19 has him briefly reminiscing about the one-night stand he had in Fortuna during the events of Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition.
      • His appearances in Nico's van post-game paint him as something of a socially awkward person, especially around Nero. His EX Provocation taunt in 5:SE cements this further, which features his doppelganger dancing a jig in circles around him to the tune of "Dies Irae", much to his embarrassment.
  • In Disgaea 4, Fenrich usually serves as the calculating, Tall, Dark, and Snarky Chessmaster who's usually one step ahead of his enemies and even his own allies. However, slighting his master Valvatorez proves to be an effective Berserk Button, and when Judge Nemo reveals that he's taken steps to blow up the moon, both a source of power for werewolves and a symbol for the oath Fenrich swore to Valvatorez, Fenrich loses any semblance of composure and spends the entire chapter in a frothing rage.
  • Morrigan of Dragon Age: Origins is one of the calmest and most collected individuals you will ever meet, except for a few scenes during her romance arc.
    • Sten: calm, stoic, sarcastic...then complete his personal mission, and you get to see him crack a smile.
  • Dragon Age II:
    • The Arishok. In most of his appearances, he is The Stoic, but it's pretty obvious that being stuck in Kirkwall is getting on his nerves. In the aftermath of "Blackpowder Courtesy" when confronted by Hawke about why he doesn't just leave the city, he reveals, with barely contained fury, that it's because someone stole a Qunari relic and was last seen in Kirkwall. He calms down after this rant, but as Varric notes, he's like an ox waiting to charge. And at the end of Act II, he does.
      Arishok: Let them rot. Filth stole from us. Not now, not the saar qamek. Years ago. A simple act of greed has bound me. We are all denied Par Vollen until I alone recover what was lost under my command! That is why this elf and her shadows are unimportant. That is why I don't simply walk away from this pustule of a city! Fixing your mess is not the demand of the Qun! AND YOU SHOULD ALL BE GRATEFUL!
    • Fenris, whose stoicism is usually accompanied by a tranquil fury, will absolutely lose it if he is touched or if a romanced Hawke falls in battle.
  • The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind: The Big Bad Dagoth Ur is an immortal god in the seat of his own power, so he's quite affable about chatting with the PC and reminding them that they literally cannot kill him. Then the PC starts to do the one thing he couldn't imagine: destroy the magic that sustains his divinity rather than try to become a god themself.
    Dagoth Ur: What are you doing? WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!
  • In Fallout 4, Preston Garvey is a strict but kind soldier type who almost never raises his voice. This changes only once, notably, in the Nuka World DLC, where he furiously shouts at you if you side with one of the raider gangs and enslave one of the Minutemen's settlements.
    • X6-88 likes to advertise himself as a merciless Courser, unflinching and ruthless in his mission to hunting down rogue synths and bringing them back to The Institute, but if you get him in a vertibird or on top of a tall building, his fear of heights kicks in — his voice gets small, he starts cursing, and he emphatically makes it clear that he does not appreciate the current setting.
  • In Final Fantasy VIII, Squall Leonhart starts out as The Stoic, but his stoicism breaks down spectacularly as his coping mechanisms prove increasingly inadequate, starting with the short meltdown he has over the way people talk about Seifer after his supposed death. When Rinoa ends up in a coma, he breaks down completely.
  • Final Fantasy X: Auron, after Kinoc's death, gets very pissed about it, and Lulu's deadpan demeanour cracks badly upon learning the teachings of Yevon were lies.
    • Auron also loses it when he sees a memory preserved by the pyre-flies of the moment he failed to prevent Braska and Jecht from going through with the Final Summoning. He furiously attacks the image of his past self, enraged at his helplessness.
    • More light-heartedly, Auron chuckles and joins the others in playfully ribbing Yuna over her apparent bed-hair, as she is frantically apologizing for oversleeping at the Djose Temple. Much to her surprise.
  • Balthier in Final Fantasy XII is full of snark and wit, even when he has a sword pointed directly at his neck. Nothing ever makes the man flinch and he always keeps his cool. The moment someone brings up nethicite or the laboratory within the empire's home city, Balthier drops the act and becomes more upfront and direct, which surprised everyone when he started to act as such towards Larsa after the kid mentioned the subject. At the Phon Coast, he becomes very open with Ashe and tells her how his father became extremely obsessed with nethicite to the point that it was all the scientist cared about. Balthier quit his job as a Judge and became a sky pirate to run away from his past. He tells Ashe, who was becoming obsessed with using nethicite to fight The Empire, to not follow the same path as his father did. When Balthier does meet his father again, he becomes very serious.
  • The player character in Final Fantasy XIV is pure stoic and pure badass. He/she doesn't express much emotion beyond a simple head nod (which other characters lampshade repeatedly) and they never say anything except for what is chosen by the player in a dialogue prompt. However, the Heavensward 3.0 expansion has the player character slowly showing off more emotions like sadness and anger and is a lot more blunt in their response choices, showing that they may not be as stoic as everyone thought at first.
  • Gears of War 2 has several moments where Marcus Fenix shows some form of emotion other than seething, barely-contained fury. In particular, when Dom has to euthanize Maria, he looks like he's going to break down into tears — for just a moment.
    • Also exhibited when Ben Carmine dies, as it seemed that he was developing a certain amount of respect and attachment to the rookie.
    • In the third game, he becomes quite frantic when Dom sacrifices himself to save the rest of the squad, before going into a Heroic Safe Mode that lasts until the Stranded leader Griffin refuses to let up on trash-talking the COG, resulting in Marcus totally flipping his shit:
  • The G-Man in Half-Life 2: Episode One. He's been completely in control of everything so far, but the Vortiguants preventing him from taking Gordon causes him to become very angry. Even so, the only emotion he displays is slightly annoyed, "We'll see about that."
  • Halo:
    • The Master Chief is unflappable. Though in the original trilogy certain things weigh on him (such as Keyes and Johnson's deaths), he generally remains stoic and gets the job done. Come Halo 4, and he stays in denial over the severity of Cortana's rampancy, assuming that it can be fixed, and when she sacrifices herself to get himself off the Didact's ship as he blows it up, he's audibly upset and can't even look her in the eyes. He even sheds a tear afterwards, as seen on his visor. Halo 5: Guardians has him sounding legitimately pissed when he hears Cortana's plans for galaxy domination. He also sounds heartbroken begging her not to do it.
    • Similarly, the Prophet of Truth. In Halo 2 he never showed any form of emotion, even with the facts of Halo 04's destruction and the discovery of Halo 05, but in Halo 3 it's revealed that his stoic personality was just a facade to hide his psychopathic, sadistic personality and extremely high temper.
  • Hitman: Blood Money:
    • Agent 47. Diana's apparent betrayal causes him to become visibly angry, and even prompts his first, and so far only, outburst of verbal aggression.
      Agent 47: Bitch!
    • Also in the supplemental material, the young 47, normally just as cold as his adult self, starts crying when a runaway lab rabbit, he adopted as a pet, died and was buried, much to Dr. Ort-Meyer's surprise.
  • The titular protagonist of Ib is a Heroic Mime Stoic despite only being nine years old in a horrifying surreal maze of living art. She manages to hold it together pretty well, but there are two occasions where it slips a little; first, when she sees a portrait of her parents, the implications and stress of what has already happened drive her to faint and have nightmares. The second time is if Garry fails the Doll Room event, and is driven insane. Depending on circumstances, it'll either be a heart-warming hug when Ib manages to snap him back to reality, or she'll rocket past the Despair Event Horizon fast enough that her will to live shatters like glass when she realises he's past saving.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • Saïx is very stoic and unemotional for the most part, not bothering to pretend to have emotions like other Nobodies. When he's fought, however, he becomes boisterous and angry ("BE GONE!" "MOVE ASIDE!" "ALL SHALL BE LOST TO YOU!").
    • Kingdom Hearts II also posses a unique example of this trope regarding Tron, a program. After the defeat of the Master Control Program, Tron is suddenly all playful and full of emotion. KH3D confirms that programs are not so different from Nobodies, in that they don't possess hearts either, but since the same game confirms that Nobodies can grow hearts over time. Add to this the fact that a computer program of a different origin gained a heart in the previous game, coded, it's quite easy to say that anything can grow a heart if it has friends, so Tron likely gained a heart through his friendship with Sora.
    • Yen Sid, the usually composed Big Good of the series, freaks the hell out late in Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, when he realizes Xehanort is executing a plan set up all the way back in the first game.
  • Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords has the Handmaiden, who is calm almost to the point of being icy until you approach her about the possibility of training her as a Jedi.
  • Mass Effect:
    • In the first game, Wrex is cynical and almost devoid of emotion the entire playthrough until he nearly suffers his Heroic BSoD when he learns that the villain, Saren, is making a cure for a sterility plague infecting his people and it has to be destroyed.
    • And in Mass Effect 2, should Wrex survive Virmire he greets Commander Shepard with a hearty greeting, some suspicious-sounding throat-clearing noises, and a heartfelt "Shepard! My friend!" before going back to his normal Deadpan Snarker self.
    • In Mass Effect 3, if Shepard sabotages the genophage cure by killing Mordin or Padok, Wrex's response is to storm onto the Citadel and try to blow Shepard's head off with a shotgun. If Shepard tries to talk him down, telling Wrex that no one was killed by the genophage sabotage, Wrex's response is an absolutely furious "No one, EXCEPT FOR MY UNBORN SON!"
    • The Geth teammate Legion also has shades of this. Occasionally, his "I'm an emotionless robot" facade cracks, such as when confronted with betrayal or unpleasant revelations, when asked pointed questions about his illogical behavior, or when playing Galaxy of Fantasy.
    • Paragon Shepard in the Overlord DLC. Shepard is absolutely furious upon learning of the experimentation going on inside. You know it's serious when a character that Would Not Shoot a Civilian outright clubs someone... as a paragon interrupt.
    • When you have a drink with Liara at the end of the Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC, she asks you how you're really doing. One of the options is to admit that you're just as worried and afraid as everyone else.
    • Commander Shepard in Mass Effect 3 is the definition of a Hurting Hero. For the first two games, s/he kept his/her emotions subdued but they are really shown here with dreams showing extreme Survivor Guilt and even becoming a borderline Death Seeker. A FemShep romancing Garrus will literally be on the edge of tears when talking to Garrus right before the final push-this war has beaten her to the bone, and what little left of her is depending on her friends and the Turian she loves to see this through to the end.
    • In the ending of the Tuchanka arc, when Mordin is confronted about trying to cure the Genophage despite having formerly upgraded it, he will loudly exclaim "I made a MISTAKE!". This is doubly poignant because Mordin previously used passive voice and clinical language to downplay his own guilt in the genophage upgrade, so it's a big surprise to hear him take personal responsibility for it. Normally, he would say something like "Mistakes were made", but he doesn't — it was his mistake, he did it, and he knows it.
    • Legion has a much more dramatic Not So Stoic moment in 3 compared to his emotional reactions in 2 if you refuse to risk the lives of the attacking Quarians by letting him upload the Reaper Code to save the Geth. The first refusal has Legion attempt to appeal to Shepard's reason with real desperation in its voice, saying "This is not justice!". If Shepard refuses, however, Legion nearly kills them in a fury equal to Wrex's.
    Legion: NO. We will not let you decide our fate. UPLOADING THE CODE!
  • The first two Max Payne games had Max running mostly on Tranquil Fury and stoicism. However, Max Payne 3 features a Max that, after discovering a horrifying organ harvesting ring, completely loses his shit and fully indulges in Unstoppable Rage.
  • Victor of Medabots prided himself on his totally professional, detached approach to battling and expressed little save cold distaste for the rest of the world. He managed to keep this up when the family of one of his opponents invited him round for dinner but we get to hear his internal monologue for the first time, and during their actual match, he completely loses it when his opponent refuses to give up. At the end of the series, his Medabot is destroyed protecting him and his mask breaks noticeably, leading to him actually giving the main character a smile at the end.
  • The titular character in Mega Man Zero has a reputation for never emoting. Ever. No matter what kind of Badass Boast his opponents give or how insanely tough the godlike robot of the game is, Zero faces it with a calm look and a sword in his hand, even crossing into Deadpan Snarker territory on occasion. At the very end of the series, he knows he's on a suicide mission against the Big Bad Dr. Weil and has no way of saving his own life. When Ciel pleads with him to come back and save himself, Zero breaks his stoic attitude and raises his voice, asking for her to "believe in me" before giving an impassioned speech against Weil. The copious amounts of Ship Tease between Zero and Ciel makes his final words to her even more impactful.
  • In Metal Gear Solid 4, Raiden appears to become very much The Stoic... until his tearjerking breakdown in the latter part of the game, when Raiden declares he has NOTHING left to live for except for following Snake and his vision for freedom for themselves. Snake, knowing he'll die soon tries to discourage Raiden from following him, but the badly injured Raiden drags himself along the floor and desperately clutches Snake's leg, begging him not to leave him alone after having lost his parents, his innocence due to his child soldier days, his love and his child.
  • Chika Itou from interactive romance novel Moonrise is infamous for her stoicism. But she has a soft spot for the player character, and the player character can enjoy Defrosting the Ice Queen. If the player joins the Masquerade faction, Chika will break down in public and beg the player to reconsider.
  • The Batter in Off is shown to be cold, determined, and unfaltering in his mission to purify the world...but he does rather enjoy roller coasters, as seen in a photo from Zone 2.
  • Abe no Seimei of Onmyōji has always been perfectly calm and rational even as he is repeatedly accused of shit he didn't do until he goes absolutely batshit furious just before his duel against his evil Literal Split Personality who is the real person fucking everything up in the first place.
  • Persona 4 has Naoto Shirogane, a young genius hired by police to assist in finding Inaba's serial killer. She maintains a cool, confident air most of the time, but once confronted with her Shadow or falsely pointing out Namatame as the killer solely because he kidnapped Nanako, it starts to become extremely difficult for her to remain calm...
  • Cyrus, no matter how emotionless he claims to be, gets pretty pissed off in the Distortion World in Pokémon Platinum. And earlier, when he first told you that he'd rid himself of emotions, he does so during a fairly intense rant, complete with many exclaimation points.
    • In Pokémon Black and White, gym leader Elesa acts like an Emotionless Girl, but is overwhelmed by excitement when you beat her, immediately becoming embarrassed over it. In the sequels, Black 2 and White 2, her Memory Link scene with Skyla reveals that she felt she had to act stoic as a model and gym leader, and that she wants people to see her as more sociable by telling puns... which, according to Skyla, still need some work.
    • Oleana in Pokémon Sword and Shield spends the majority of the game with a flat, almost disinterested expression on her face and speaking in a very concise manner until she is personally trying to prevent you from interfering with the plans of Chairman Rose and goes absolutely berserk.
  • GLaDOS in Portal is a stoic, if quirky, AI that instructs you on the test chambers. Once you start going off the rails after she tries to dump you in a fire pit, her stoicism starts to crack as she tries to beg you to come back while hurling passive-aggressive remarks at you. She also breaks down further in her boss fight when you rip out her cores one by one. In Portal 2, GLaDOS has a mixture of Deadpan Snarker with passive-aggressiveness towards you throughout your journey by constantly reminding you of what you did to her in the last game. Once you start the program that forcibly removes her from her main body, she completely freaks out and lets out a Big "NO!". Meeting with her again later on has her being much more open and emotional.
  • Professor Layton is usually the very definition of Stiff Upper Lip, but in Unwound Future when he discovers that the woman he loved was not killed but rather thrust forward into the future, and has to return and die to preserve their timeline, he breaks into tears and begs her to stay — even going so far as to remove his hat!
    • And earlier in the same game, we saw him get angry for the first time ever.
  • Red Dead Redemption II: Arthur Morgan is about as stoic a man as they come, with his more eloquent and articulate side deliberately kept private because he sees himself as just a cruel thug, and any negative emotions usually expressed with brooding or angry griping, only occasionally voicing his inner thoughts to a few people like Karen and Mary Beth. Even in Chapter 6, after receiving a fatal tuberculosis diagnosis, he's refusing to open up to others and focusing on keeping the gang safe over dwelling on the inevitable — until, in an optional conversation with the nun Sister Calderón, he hesitantly murmurs "I'm afraid". In that moment, the quiet terror in his voice, and the sadness in his face, show just how scared he really is to die, with a lifetime's worth of sins on his conscience.
  • Agent Superball in the Sam & Max Telltale Games is an unflappable Secret Service agent who spends the whole series speaking in a flat monotone (except for one impromptu musical number). However, at the end of the series, the death of Max is too much for him.
    Superball: [still deadpan] I'd just like to offer my— I can't do this now. I just can't. *runs off sobbing*
  • Sonic the Hedgehog has always been the unflappable hero with grin and a joke, never letting anything or anyone stop him. However, Sonic Lost World heavily tests that as the Deadly Six's actions leads to a Dwindling Party, the lowest Sonic goes is jabbing one of Tails' devices and shaking his head in defeat when no one answers, knowing no one is going to.
  • Strange Flesh: The Bartender may be an unflappable, stone-cold fighter, but he is shown to be quite expressive when he gets drunk.
  • Super Robot Wars: Kyosuke Nanbu is generally the mascot for Mr. Grumpy amongst his peers. Even when he's completely mad when his girlfriend Excellen is being threatened to death, all that comes out was a Tranquil Fury. But this man literally broke down to tears when he thought that it was his fault that his other friend (read: OTHER FRIEND, not girlfriend) Lamia is dead (turns out she didn't, quite). Likewise, although he doesn't jump up and down in joy when his rival turn good Axel eventually saved her, he was expressive enough to let out a genuine, grateful smile.
    • And that is not even counting the time when he piloted a Gespenst MkII Type S.
    • Also from Super Robot Wars is Raidese F. Branstein, he usually plays the cool lancer to hothead Ryusei but when he comes across Archibald Grims, the man responsible for the terrorist incident where his adored sister in law was killed, he goes completely berserk and gets shot down (and almost killed) for his trouble.
  • Richard of Tales of Graces is usually quite a calm, stoic man, even when he was younger. In the main part of the story though, he has the tendency to go batshit insane over rather minor things. While his sudden violent outbursts could be viewed as rather Narm at times, Asbel is usually left gaping in disbelief at him. It's a result of him being possessed by an Omnicidal Maniac.
    • And then the future arc in Graces f shatters that stoic personality altogether. Keep in mind this is after Lambda releases him and moves on to Asbel. He's more prone to rampant trolling and explosive moments of ham than stoicism. Mask of Barona, anyone?
  • In Tales of Symphonia, Kratos Aurion rarely shows anything beyond mild annoyance in the time you spend traveling with him. This makes it rather startling when Kvar starts badmouthing Anna, Lloyd's mother and Kratos' dead wife, and it's Kratos who angrily snaps at him not to speak ill of the dead.
    • And then he stabs Kvar to death after the boss fight later on.
  • In Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, towering Ax-Crazy Nazi-killer B.J Blazkowicz has by this point watched the deaths of many, many friends and comrades-in-arms, the destruction and subjugation of his country and the horror of a world ruled by Nazis and (for the most part) endured it quietly. And then he's reunited with his (by this point long since deceased) mother in an Imagine Spot before his execution and he blubbers and cries like a baby. It's an incredibly powerful scene.
  • Konishi the "Iron Maiden" from The World Ends with You hides in Beat's shadow for a week. When she decides he's even more stupid and unpredictable than she already thought, she flips out.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Mórag Ladair maintains an air of professional calm no matter what's going on normally. There is one instance in which that mask slips: when she sees her nation's navy gearing up for a full-scale attack on the Urayan forces, an action that would certainly lead to a devastating war.
    Mòrag: What!? Shit! Who gave that damned order!?
  • ADA in Zone of the Enders is an emotionless computer, and at one point Leo even calls out her attempts to show emotion as being proof that she doesn't feel anything at all. However, she has a very tender moment with Leo after Celvice gets shot, and, right at the end, her voice cracks as if she is crying while she tells Leo, "This is what we live for — those of us who have no life".
  • In Homeworld, both the Mothership and the Fleet Command are very composed individuals, relaying strategic and tactical information to you in a calm, controlled voice. Not so much in the Return to Kharak mission. The Mothership describes the destruction of Kharak with a tone of disbelief in her voice. The Fleet Command, meanwhile, audibly struggles against breaking down. The fact that they both pull themselves together quickly only makes this slip all the more jarring.

    Visual Novels 
  • Ace Attorney Investigations gives us Shih-na, a hyper-competent Emotionless Girl who speaks with zero inflection in her voice. As evidence piles up that she's a criminal, her normally blank expression changes to a Psychotic Smirk and then to a particularly creepy Slasher Smile, before finally breaking down completely.
    • Inverted and then played straight in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies. Bobby Fulbright, a goofy, over-the-top bumbling detective is revealed to be "the Phantom", a sociopathic monster who experiences no genuine emotions (though with enough concentration he can fake them accurately enough to fool even the various gadgets and magic powers used specifically to see through people like him) and has literally no personality; a large part of the trial has him mocking "the masses controlled by emotions" and bragging about how his lack of humanity makes him unbreakable. It turns out he isn't completely without emotions, however, as the risk of having one's cover blown and getting assassinated on the spot is enough to make even the Phantom feel afraid. And as that scenario becomes more and more likely...
  • Danganronpa:
    • Celestia Ludenberg in Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc usually presents herself as a stoic, pragmatic, Elegant Gothic Lolita. However, she does have some Berserk Button and if pressed, her expression changes into a deranged, screaming lunatic. She's the culprit of the third case, and when about to be exposed, she pretty much puts on the deranged self all the time, until she's exposed and decided to be a Graceful Loser.
    • Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony:
      • The culprits of Chapter 2 and Chapter 3 both show the depths of their true personalities after having carefully guarded public faces. Kirumi Tojo, the killer in Chapter 2, initially comes off as very refined and polite, to the point that her personal motto is "duty before self" and that she's an Extreme Doormat. But she does not take it well when she's exposed as Ryoma's killer (even voting for Shuichi out of spite) and completely loses her stoic personality when she tries to escape the school, screaming about how she refuses to die and that she'll live for the sake of Japan. Korekiyo, the Chapter 3 killer, gives off apathetic and aloof airs (but can be dramatic from time to time) and has an extremely violent breakdown when he gets caught during the trial, repeatedly insisting that Shuichi apologizes to him.
      • Maki Harukawa. She normally doesn't express much emotion apart from annoyance, but when Kaito is found guilty in the fifth trial, she loses it and angrily threatens to kill Monokuma until Kaito convinces her not to. She starts crying afterwards, both before and after his execution.
      • Himiko Yumeno initially doesn't express her emotions because she thinks it's "tiresome". After Kokichi gives her a What the Hell, Hero? rant during the third trial and she remembers Tenko's final words telling her that it's okay to show emotions, Himiko bursts into tears after Korekiyo's execution. She starts expressing herself regularly from Chapter 4 on.
  • Sakazaki Yuuya of Hatoful Boyfriend wouldn't immediately appear to be a stoic. He's friendly and cheerful, or he's professional, or a little cruel, or he's a mix, depending. However he is a huge Stepford Smiler whose attitude doesn't change even in enormously stressful situations such as when he's dying and he always seems relaxed and careless, giving away nothing of what's happening inside. Now and then his mask cracks for a moment but he's always able to repair it... however, during a side story in Holiday Star he finds out that his brother's butler is actually an assassin and just loses it with fear and worry, even making bald-faced threats.
  • Hisao from Katawa Shoujo instantly knows that something is terribly wrong with Lilly when she accidentally trips due to another kid being careless (mind you, she's blind) and mutters "damn" under her breath while getting up. Think about it: Lilly has such nigh-inhuman levels of self-control and politeness that she can say what most people wouldn't even consider a real swearword these days, and people would get worried.
  • Little Busters!:
    • On your first playthrough, Kengo will come across as totally serious and immune to the wild antics of his friends, dedicating all his time towards playing Kendo and not even participating in the baseball game in the end. In all future games, though, halfway through the common route a scene will play where Kengo saves his friend from committing suicide and breaks his arm in the process...and from then on becomes downright giddy, smiling all the time and making himself look just as silly as everyone else. The others are clearly unnerved by the transformation.
    • And from a different direction, when Riki beats him in the baseball match in Refrain, he bursts into tears outright over how much time he wasted on Kendo for nothing. Later as they're disappearing, he's noticeably teary-eyed, and Kyousuke comments that in fact, he's the biggest crybaby of the five of them.
  • While Akira from Spirit Hunter: NG is a generally stoic person who responds to deaths with disbelief more than anything else, the potential death of his companions at Kubitarou's hands causes him to completely flip out, screaming curses while chasing her down.

    Web Animation 
  • The Champions: Lionel Messi generally is The Stoic, and in the instances where he does show his true emotions it's generally through his snarky profane puppet. However he has shown genuine emotion a few times in the series, such as laughing at his puppet's suggestion that they move back to his old bed in Argentina, or his Alternate Universe counterpart crying over Messi explaining why he had to leave Barcelona for PSG.
  • In If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device, Magnus is pretty snarky and chilled during Karamazov's raid... up until Emperor's "reveal" prompts a Flat "What".
  • In Interface, Henryk is perpetually unphased and usually hard to get a rise out of, but he utterly collapses when he has a flashback of his late daughter in Episode 6.

  • White Pearl in Ask White Pearl and Steven (almost!) anything is normally totally without emotion and acts as little more than a robot. However, their are moments when her true self does manage to break through. She might only be able to speak by repeating bits and pieces of Steven's sentences, but she is the one choosing to speak them, and when she first did it, it was clearly difficult or distressing her to do so. When Steven finally found out her name was Pearl, she cried a tear of relief. She also cried a single tear when she saw how much it hurt Steven after he found out she was just acting as his puppet before he has severed the connection between them and allowed her to be free again.
  • Naal'suul of Drowtales is The Woobie extraordinaire and surprises people by even being alive after being tainted by a demon so badly and acknowledges that she doesn't have much time left in the driest manner possible until this scene where she finally breaks and admits that she's afraid.
  • In El Goonish Shive, Charlotte's near-emotionless veneer cracks in the fifth part of "So a Date at the Mall." When Diane casually dismisses Tara's intuition that she has vampire-hunting potential as nonsense, and instead focuses on her own romantic prospects or lack thereof with Elliot, Charlotte is genuinely appalled and castigates her for her priorities. Then, when Diane counters with an angry jab at her introversion and thoughtlessly asks whether she's ever dated, Charlotte shows her hurt feelings so visibly, if silently, that Diane realizes she's gone too far.
  • Higgs from Girl Genius, when Zeetha is wounded. And later, after Tarvek tells Higgs to "threaten me properly" in order to bank on a hunch he has, and he decides to go with it and get very threatening about it. And thus we see part of his stoic facade is because showing most emotions clearly would give him away.
  • Edith of Godslave is usually bordering on Emotionless Girl, but she has her moments:
    • Oh, Crap! when the jar breaks.
    • He war-face when she goes full-Kiai on Turner.
    • Her rage at realizing what Anpu did to her.
  • Gunnerkrigg Court:
    • Moments with the Emotionless Girl Antimony:
      • Chapter 6 where, seemingly out of nowhere, Antimony starts bawling her eyes out over her mother's death. This marked a turning point for Antimony — since then, she's opened up to her close friends, while maintaining a stoic façade to the rest of the world.
      • She loses her cool near the end of chapter 19 when "Kat" is disintegrated by Gamma. A weakness isn't normal, child. That Place poisons you.
      • At the start of Chapter 37, we get Antimony's emotionless monologue as everyone worries over her - and, then, after ushering everyone out of the room, Kat's dad offers her a glass of water...
    • Anthony, if we'll believe Annie's flashbacky dream.
    • In Chapters 51 and 52, Annie is shown retreating completely into an emotionless shell in response to her father's unexpected return. Then in Chapter 53, we get a flashback of just how she reacted in private to it. It is very, very NOT emotionless.
  • Homestuck:
    • Dave Strider generally makes a point of being at least half facetious about everything and never allowing a crack in his deadpan expression. However, he does become obviously upset when he thinks that Rose is about to go on a suicide mission. (Later, during Act 6, he gradually gives up the cool-guy act and becomes more emotionally open.)
    • Rose Lalonde's demeanor was cracked with the death of her mother where she immediately blamed herself. Her level of sanity after she goes Grimdark is questionable, but she was fairly stable until Jack killed John where she then attacked him in an eldritch rage. During the Meteor intermission she begins drinking she's less guarded but also falls into an inept stoop. When she snaps out of it, she expresses regret at having fallen into that rut.
    • Doc Scratch is always polite and composed, be it when serving guests, beating them up, narrating, or abusing a child. When he finds out that Vriska has his cue ball, he has an outburst so powerful that it screws with reality. Another example would be when he's talking to Gamzee, where he drops his attitude and declares all of them to be suckers as he's won.
  • Ozy from Ozy and Millie nearly breaks down upon hearing about his birth mom.
  • In Pacificators, Emotionless Girl Taffe Torbern freaks out whether her big sister Larima Torbern gets hurt. This is the only thing that could shatter Taffe's composure.
  • Stand Still, Stay Silent:
  • Phonsekal Lauroe from Tower of God usually appears as a very reserved, lazy but kind of high and mighty guy. Turns out he is one of the most childish whenever it concerns his Safety Blanket and Companion Cube.
  • Gray Yeon from Weak Hero is normally very stoic and reserved, which places great emphasis on the moments when he loses his cool:
    • After he beats down Teddy in front of the whole class, Eugene is the only one to notice that, despite how fearless Gray seems, his hands shake violently after the fight. The realisation that Gray was fighting in spite of his fear, rather than not experiencing it at all, makes Eugene feel awful for giving in to his own cowardice, and prompts his Character Development.
    • When Stephen is hospitalised, Gray first appears to be as emotionless as ever. He stays at Stephen's side for an hour, watching over him with a blank expression. Then, on his way home, he collapses in the middle of the pavement and cries uncontrollably.

    Web Original 
  • Daichi in Greek Ninja, and even Sasha to an extent, although she's not as much of a stoic character as him to start with.
  • In Worm, Taylor notes that Revel never loses her cool. Except when Scion does a Face–Heel Turn and begins wiping out humanity, which makes it hit Taylor even harder.

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers: Zachary is a very quiet, steady, and stoic fellow, especially in contrast with the more colorful crew he's commanding. It makes it all the more powerful when it slips.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: Mai comes across as the Emotionless Girl most of the time, but blows up in the episode "The Beach", where she actually shouts.
    • This is also one time in which you catch Azula off the battlefield and she's a colossal dork.
    • The Legend of Korra: In Season 2, Eska's reaction to Bolin's break-up shows her true possessive and horrifying nature.
    • In Season 4, Kuvira seems genuinely broken up by her decision to Shoot the Hostage and nuke the building where her fiance and the Avatar are hiding.
    • Played for Laughs (most of the time) with Tenzin; he tries his best to appear as the stoic, wise Airbending Master. When Korra's acting too much like a Bratty Teenage Daughter, or his older siblings start picking on him, or when he's run ragged by his young children, that composure fractures.
  • In the Batman Beyond film Return of the Joker, what the Clown Prince does to Tim Drake and the resulting retaliation taint the entire Bat Family's demeanor forever.
  • Batman: The Animated Series:
  • Cellbound has the ever-serious jail warden, who nevertheless begins doing an incredibly goofy dance upon hearing some Dixieland jazz (then goes back to serious and stoic within a single animation frame).
  • On his earliest cartoons, the typically unemotional Droopy would suddenly explode in an exuberant display of emotion at the end, only to revert to his usual composure and calmly state "I'm happy."
  • A comedic example during the Family Guy DVD special, "Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story." Tricia Takanawa, Token Minority news reporter for Channel 5 goes to interview David Bowie on the red carpet. It takes one sentence from Bowie to turn Tricia from deadpan reporter to shrieking, leg-humping fangirl.
    Tricia: Oh, make love to me Ziggy Stardust! I take you home, I make you fishball soup! Fishball!
    Tom: [Beat] Thank you, Tricia, for successfully setting your people back 1000 years.
  • Final Space:
    • Avocato. He's one of the tougher and more serious members of the Team Squad, but he has his emotional spots when it comes to his son Little Cato. He'll freak when his son is in danger, his Heel–Face Turn away from willingly serving the Lord Commander was even jump-started by him refusing to kill his own son to prove his loyalty, and the truth about Little Cato's parentage and the deaths of his birth-parents is implied to be one of Avocato's greatest, if not his single greatest shame. Darkly enough, Invictus exploits Avocato's weak spots for Little Cato to make him go psycho when Invictus possesses him.
    • Nightfall ultimately turns out to be this in "The First Times They Met". She's been presented throughout most of the series as a Stoic Woobie, hardened by twenty years of traveling through hundreds of Alternate Timelines and watching Gary and all her friends die in every one, but in this episode, she implicitly hits the Despair Event Horizon when she uses the ship's virtual simulator to create a duplicate of her world's Gary from her memories, even though this is heavily draining the ship's power and will likely kill her and the rest of the squad.
  • In The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, Mandy is normally emotionless, but in the episode featuring Pandora's Box, upon realizing that she had unleashed it, she is overwhelmed with fear/shock. Also, the episode when her nerve is stolen from her.
    • And the episode "Heartburn", when she finds out she may actually like Irwin.
    • In "My Fair Mandy", Mindy makes her feel bad by calling her ugly, and she looks sad over the thought of losing a beauty pageant.
    • "Billy And Mandy's Big Boogey Adventure" features no fewer than three examples of this. First, when the Boogey Man puts her to sleep and turns her dreams into a Psychological Torment Zone. Second, she brushes tears from her eyes when she thinks the Kraken has eaten Billy, despite knowing and stating that he was always fine, no matter what happened to him. And third, Horror's Hand causes her to experience her greatest fears. She was confident that nothing could scare her…as were many of the viewers. But when she comes face to face with the adult version of herself, a plump Pollyanna, and sees her kissing a grown-up Irwin, she runs away screaming.
  • Justice League has yet another example of Batman breaking his stony expression, in the episode "For the Man who has Everything". Batman gets attacked by an alien parasite that presents you with a vision of your greatest desire but leaves you catatonic - a classic Lotus-Eater Machine. Batman sees a vision of the night his parents were shot by Joe Chill, except this time Thomas Wayne goes Papa Wolf, rushes and overpowers Chill, and begins beating the crud out of him. This is the only time you see the caped crusader with a look of sheer unbridled bliss. Of course, it doesn't last...
  • Quack Quack from Kaeloo has shown real emotions at times when necessary, like when he sees Mr. Cat destroying his precious yogurt. However, this is extremely rare, as in one case he was completely stoic when Kaeloo was about to die.
  • Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts: When Kipo confronts Wolf over hiding a clue from her Dad, Wolf breaks down crying and admits that she really doesn't want to lose Kipo, having come to accept her as a friend.
  • Looney Tunes: The Roadrunner is a Perpetual Smiler who is usually unfazed by most of Wile E. Coyote's attempts to catch him, but the titular machine in The Solid Tin Coyote manages to genuinely spook him.
  • This applies to Wind-Whistler from My Little Pony. "I do have feelings — I merely refrain from expressing them at the drop of a hat," as she says.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Towards the end of "Lesson Zero", after all the brainwashed characters are cured and give up fighting over the Smarty Pants doll, we see the normally stoic Big Macintosh grin childishly and run off with it complete with little love-hearts around his head.
    • He gets another one in "The Last Roundup": we see quiet giant Big Macintosh's lip quivering when he gets the note that Applejack's not coming home.
    • Done for a humorous role reversal in the episode "Ponyville Confidential". The town is mad at the Cutie Mark Crusaders for their gossip rag. They try seeking forgiveness from Applejack and Big Mac, but Applejack only responds in Macintosh's usual "yep" and "nope"s, while Macintosh chews them out for what they did.
    • In the episode "Maud Pie", Pinkie's eponymous sister spends most of the episode as a drab, monotone Emotionless Girl, until Pinkie is in danger of being crushed by a boulder. This causes Maud to run faster than any of the other ponies with a determined expression, punch the boulder to dust with her bare hooves, and after bringing Pinkie down from the rock slide, hug her out of relief and raise her voice when scolding her. She also smiles at the end of the episode, saying she loves Pinkie Pie.
  • Phineas and Ferb: Ferb is one of the most stoic cartoon guys you ever hope to meet. The look on his face is 99% of the time, entirely blank, and he speaks, on average, once an episode. He does, occasionally, get moments of emotion, but his first true Not So Stoic moment happened in his first movie: When he and his brother meet their other-dimension counterparts, the alternate Phineas sees Perry and immediately hugs him, thinking he's their Perry, finally come home. When Phineas tells him that it's the wrong Perry, he then asks "Wait...can I hold him a little longer?". Cut to Ferb, along with his other dimension counterpart, shedding a single, small tear. Another instance occurs in his second movie, where he's visibly sad and hurt after being told by Candace that she's better off without him and Phineas.
  • Samurai Jack has Jack himself, who is usually a calm and composed individual. The two things that have made him lose his temper were the Scotsman and Ashi. Notably, in both instances, he finally lost his temper after being insulted for an extended period of time.
  • Craig from South Park briefly loses his temper during an argument with Tweek in "Put it Down". He lampshades it himself right afterwards.
    Craig: Well, I'm sorry that I'm actually in control of my goddamn emotions, you baby! *Beat* Oh, see? Now you made me lose control of my emotions. Goddammit.
  • Star Wars Rebels:
    • It transpires that ISB Agent Kallus has a tendency towards Inopportune Voice Cracking when he's scared, injured, or very angry.
    • Grand Admiral Thrawn is a very calm and collected man, playing his cards so close to the chest that they're under his jacket. When Slavin suggests destroying the Syndulla family's Kalikori—an extremely important heirloom to Twi'lek families and culture—Thrawn grabs him by the collar and snarls in his face for a moment before releasing him and apologizing for his outburst, making Slavin look as scared as if he'd just insulted Darth Vader's mother to his face. As practically the only non-human officer in the very speciesist Imperial military and an art lover besides, Slavin's suggestion hit two of Thrawn's Berserk Buttons at once.
  • Steven Universe:
    • Garnet tends to be unfazed by most things. She becomes more expressive as the series progresses, ranging from desperation (when Steven nearly ages himself to death in "Too Many Birthdays", or when he endangers himself during "Future Vision" because of something she told him), to unrestrained joy (seeing that Steven and Connie have pulled off a successful Fusion Dance in "Alone Together", or fusing back together herself in "Jail Break"), to rage (after Pearl violates her trust in "Cry For Help", or when Peridot squanders what little goodwill she had in "It Could've Been Great"). The most dramatic case comes in "Keeping it Together"; confronting the artificial gem assembled from the shards of fallen comrades elicits absolute horror.
    • Sapphire, one of Garnet's component gems, is always calm and emotionless to the point of appearing apathetic, a side effect of being able to look into the future. This comes back to haunt her in "Keystone Motel"; when she and Ruby are upset by Pearl's actions in the previous episode, she refuses to acknowledge her own present emotional state, as well as Ruby's. When she realizes how much it's affected the pair (as well as Steven), she breaks down:
      Sapphire: I keep looking into the future when all of this has already been solved. As if it doesn't matter how you feel in the present. (voice cracking as she starts crying) No wonder you think I don't care!
      • When she (as part of Garnet) learns that Rose Quartz was actually a shapeshifted Pink Diamond for all the millennia she had known and followed her, Sapphire understandably, yet rather uncharacteristically, flips out in rage and warps out of the temple, leaving Ruby and the other Crystal Gems behind.
    • In a different vein, Peridot is introduced as a technician on a routine assignment, and her inflections and expression border on mechanical. In subsequent appearances, she gets rather amusingly flustered when others meddle in her business ("I'M REPORTING THIS!"), and she becomes slowly unhinged after being stranded on Earth, ending up a nervous wreck by the time the Crystal Gems finally track her down.
    • When Peridot's finally able to contact her leader, Yellow Diamond reprimands her for falling behind schedule, losing her ship and her escort, and using an emergency contact rather than proper channels, but then goes on to calmly thank her for completing her report, and offers to arrange transport to bring her home. Only after Peridot stumbles across her Berserk Button (suggesting they spare Earth from the Doomsday Device they'd planted, and questioning her motives when she dismisses the idea) does her vindictive streak become apparent. By the end of their conversation, after Peridot denounces her in a moment of desperation, she is furious.
  • Storm Hawks: Discussed by Piper in "Best Friends Forever", who indicates that for all of Cyclonis' efforts to be a merciless dictator devoid of empathy, at heart she's more vulnerable. There have been a few hints over the series that Piper is right.
    Piper: You can't hide who you really are. A lonely girl who desperately wants a friend!
  • In Sym-Bionic Titan, Lance starts out as quiet, serious, and aloof, but goes through this trope as more of a gradual change as opposed to facing consequences that briefly put him into this. Octus, a robot, is stoic throughout most of the show, but when all organic life becomes still due to a Mutraddi, he attempts to use his electricity to bring Ilana and Lance "back to life." When it does work, he actually smacks his hand across this face, making this pained expression as if he was going to cry.
  • Charlie of Smiling Friends is mostly a Deadpan Snarker and Only Sane Man of the group, doesn't stop him from reacting like a normal person would to certain situations like someone spranging out from the TV or being overjoyed that a magic potion worked to cure his hangover.
  • Raven of Teen Titans strives for utter calm and control over her emotions—making it that much more frightening when she lets her temper show. The episode "Nevermore" begins with Raven torturing a villain, and the fourth season's Trigon arc features her angrily attacking and yelling at both Slade and Trigon.
    • Justified, though, because it was mentioned once in a "Freaky Friday" Flip episode "Switched" that her powers are controlled by her emotions. Cue Starfire exploding things without noticing when she had Raven's body, or Raven accidentally kidnapping all other Titans and creating an army of monsters when she was scared by a horror movie.
  • In Total Drama Noah was an emotionless, sarcastic Deadpan Snarker, however, in World Tour he gets some Character Development and focus that reveals that he's quite enthusiastic and friendly when he wants to be. Evenly as early as Island, he seems quick to start dancing when the team is celebrating their first victory.
  • Transformers:
    • Very few things can make Prowl of Transformers: Animated lose his composure. Unfortunately for Prowl, one of those things is his annoying teammate Bumblebee, who can provoke uncharacteristic displays of frustration in Prowl without even trying.
    • It is rare to see Optimus Prime from Transformers: Prime show any sort of emotion. He only really loses it twice: once when Raph is injured by Megatron, and once when Starscream steals the Omega Keys.
  • In Young Justice, Batman is still The Stoic, but he shows a lot more emotion around Dick and the rest of the team, at least moreso than most of his other appearances. The most heartwarming is the moment after Dick gets jealous of Aqualad, he "trains" Dick by playing a one-on-one game of basketball with him.

    Real Life 
  • Newscasters are supposed to be stoic, and Dan Rather has been exceptional in this regard, reporting on everything from the assassination of John F. Kennedy (as CBS's Dallas correspondent) up to the events of 9/11—at least in his own newscast. However, he was very humanly emotional when he was David Letterman's first guest as the show returned after 9/11.
    • Bosses and other authority figures are also supposed to be stoic and not let others — particularly their subordinates — into their private lives, particularly the more traditional ones. But every once in a while, even the most traditional of superiors will let their iron-clad facade fall.
  • The Trope Codifier for Oh, the Humanity! is an earlier case of this. After calmly narrating the Hindenburg's approach to the mooring tower, newsreel announcer Herbert Morrison was horrified and at a loss for words when it caught fire.
  • Walter Cronkite briefly lost his composure on the air when he reported the official statement that John F. Kennedy had died. (Video here, the composure slip starts at just about 5:00)
    • His facade also briefly parted during liftoff and ascent of John Glenn's Mercury space-capsule flight. And when the Apollo 11 astronauts landed on the moon, he was positively giddy.
  • Hideo Kojima's reaction to the question of whether Uwe Boll would be making a Metal Gear movie was supposedly...spirited, to say the least.
  • Two-time Formula One champion Mika Hakkinen, like many Finnish drivers, was considered to be stoic to a fault...until the 1999 Italian Grand Prix when, in the midst of a fierce championship battle, Hakkinen selected the wrong gear and span off, losing the lead. In full view of the TV cameras, the normally ice-cool Finn threw his steering wheel at the ground and ran off to cry in the bushes.note 
  • Tennis player Andy Murray has a reputation as being quite stoic and serious...until he lost in the finals of Wimbledon 2012, and had to fight tears most of the way throughout his final speech.
    • Roger Federer has an even more established reputation as a cool and unflappable maestro who never lets a strand of his hair get out of place on court, but he occasionally does things like breaking down in tears after losing the 2009 Australian Open final and yelling at the French Open crowd to "Shut up!" while on the brink of getting eliminated by del Potro that remind you that he's just as human as the next player.
  • ABC News anchor Peter Jennings was known to be as charismatic as possible without losing his journalistic cool. He'd been in the business since the mid-1960s so he knew to be a consummate pro. But when he told his viewing audience about his cancer diagnosis (of a cancer that would eventually take his life in 2005) and needed to retire, you could hear his voice cracking and see that his eyes were full of sadness.
  • The head of the stoic school, Chrysippus, was an example: He died in a fit of uncontrollable laughter.
  • MMA fighter Ronda Rousey is always extremely cold and composed in the lead-up to her matches, complete with death glares. Once she has won, she instantly becomes much more relaxed and shows more personality. How she would react if she lost is unclear as of yet.
    • As of her November 15, 2015 loss to Holly Holm, we now know that she reacts poorly. Rousey has yet to return to competition.
  • This essay about sarcasm. Who wrote it? That Other Wiki.
  • Real-world British Royal Guards have a reputation, not helped at all by their depictions in pop culture, of being completely stoic and standing like statues, regardless of whatever is going on around or to them. In truth, however, they take their jobs as protectors of Buckingham Palace and the royal family very seriously: trying to pester them will result in them Suddenly Shouting warnings to stop immediately, as well as drawing their rifles (which are loaded with live ammo).
  • Queen Elizabeth II is known to be quite stoic in public, but then again loads of people have seen her smiling. Usually when someone says something funny to her, she cracks a smile, and may even laugh.
  • US President Richard Nixon has a reputation not only as a Sleazy Politician but also as a stony-faced guy. Whatever else you may say about him, he also adored his wife Pat, and when she died in 1993, he broke down completely at her funeral. The people next to him were surprised to see him sobbing openly, profusely, and at times uncontrollably during the ceremony.


Video Example(s):


I AM Gordon! Stop! Stop!

Big, stoic Gordon is downright horrified when Bill and Ben joke about either scrapping or drowning him.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / NotSoStoic

Media sources: