Follow TV Tropes

Following

Split Personality

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Lucy_Nyu_split_8125.jpg

"There's just one problem... you're talking to the wrong Harvey."
Advertisement:

In real life, Dissociative Identity Disorder (or DID) is a condition believed to be most common among survivors of severe and/or chronic trauma occurring before the age of 6-9. While typically depicted as rare and often misdiagnosed due to lack of education among clinicians, the disorder is actually estimated to occur in 1 to 3% of the population worldwide, placing it on a similar scope to autism and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

A simplified (maybe simplistic) explanation by psychologists: the condition is thought to sometimes result when a child/teen copes with abuse by convincing himself that it's happening to someone else; as such, the trigger is generally some experience the child/teen is trying to dissociate from by means of creating an "alter ego" who gets put in charge. (The multiple personalities form the source of the disorder's original name, "Multiple Personality Disorder"; it was changed because the new name provides a better explanation of motivation.) Note that without receiving psychological counseling, the symptoms will carry over into adulthood. The individual has no control (at least initially) over when the personalities "switch" and may not initially remember what happens to him while they are switched. To put all that in Tropese: you go to your Happy Place while some poor Red Shirt has to deal with the Trauma Conga Line or Humiliation Conga — so stereotypically, the personality who has to deal with it is not a nice person...

Advertisement:

But that's not entertaining enough (although it's formed the basis for hundreds of popular nonfiction books on the subject), so television does it differently, and in several different ways. Two (or more) personalities may be sharing memory or not sharing memory or have access to each other's memory as external to their own in symmetric or asymmetric fashion, they can switch at will or involuntarily and be in clear war or some form of pact. It even may be the very same personality (i.e. having the very same mind, memory, and desires), but changing 'behavior mode' between several clearly distinctive states. Ironically, this is closer to Truth in Television for what real multiples report experiencing.

Characters with a split personality are surprisingly common in fiction, but most of them don't quite match the textbook definition of DID. In older media, it will often be called "schizophrenia" even by psychologist characters, despite the fact that they are completely different disorders. In schizophrenia, the person experiences auditory and sometimes visual or tactile hallucinations. (The word schizophrenia literally means "split mind," because a main symptom is scattered, unconnected thoughts.)

Advertisement:

See also Double Consciousness, Identity Amnesia, Jekyll & Hyde, Napoleon Delusion, Superpowered Evil Side, Split-Personality Merge, Split-Personality Makeover, Split-Personality Switch Trigger, Split-Personality Takeover, and Talking to Themself. If the split personality is the antagonist, it's the Enemy Within. Shapeshifting is sometimes involved. If the personalities are flipping back and forth, Flip Personality often ensues.

Compare Trauma-Induced Amnesia.

If the two personalities are aware of each other, expect a Gollum Made Me Do It situation to develop. Resolving it may require the weaker of the two to say "I'm Not Afraid of You!" If the Split Personality gets its own body, it becomes either a Literal Split Personality or an Enemy Without (if said personality is antagonistic or evil). See also Heroic Safe Mode for one explanation as to how a side like this can be created.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Films — Animated 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Adaptation, Donald Kaufman writes a script titled The Three, in which the serial killer, the cop chasing him, and the victim the cop falls in love with are all the same person. His brother Charlie points out how idiotic and filled with Fridge Logic the film is.
  • Black Swan is clearly meant to make the viewer think this is going on, but it ultimately leaves it ambiguous as to whether Nina has a split personality or not; the case could be made either way.
  • The Dark Crystal pushes the Jekyll & Hyde trope to extremes when the urSkeks, in an attempt to purge all evil from their nature, split themselves into the very, very good (but largely helpless) Mystics and the evil and proactively murderous Skeksis. They get better.
  • Surprisingly averted with Two-Face in The Dark Knight. Several other diagnoses can surely be made. For one, he still likes to make simple moral decisions based on a coin flip, and acts... should we say, chaotically. He uses the coin when deciding the fates of the people he holds responsible for everything that happened to him in the last day or so. He's on a revenge spree, using the coin to illustrate the arbitrariness of it all.
  • The British horror movie Dead of Night has one story about a ventriloquist, Maxwell Frere (Michael Redgrave), who believes that his dummy, Hugo, is alive and wants to leave him for another ventriloquist. The truth is open to interpretation, but Redgrave's performance strongly implies that Hugo is Maxwell's split personality, as there are shots where Maxwell's lips are moving even when it's "Hugo" who is talking.
  • Fight Club features the unnamed narrator being manipulated by Tyler Durden to create the title club and destroy buildings, and he's eventually revealed to this.
  • The Twist Ending of Dressed to Kill reveals that Dr. Elliott inhabits an alter-ego, the murderous transsexual Bobbi.
  • One of the protagonists in the Russian comedy Gun with a Silencer "becomes" a woman between midnight and noon. One hilarious scene involves "her" being examined by a gynecologist, who takes one look at the plumbing, drinks a shot of vodka, and says "she's healthy".
  • In Hide and Seek, David tries to figure out who his daughter's imaginary friend, Charlie, is. The Reveal shows that David is Charlie, and Charlie was the one who murdered his wife.
  • Identity has a plot twist revealing that the characters are all split personalities in a Battle in the Center of the Mind.
  • Gollum and Sméagol ("Stinker" and "Slinker") from Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings live-action movies. The two personalities frequently carry on conversations, to the point that they're practically two minds consciously coexisting simultaneously in the same head. This split-personality theme is less pronounced in the earlier animated movies and the original books, but still present. See entry under Gollum Made Me Do It.
  • Brazilian movie Loucas pra Casar has Maria Lúcia, a woman with long-lasting marriage obsession, finding out her boyfriend has two lovers, exotic dancer Lúcia and overtly religious younger woman Maria. Then at the altar she finds out all three were her - Maria Lúcia and her partner liked to act out sexual fantasies, but she became Lost in Character.
  • The Machinist, which is sort of a deconstruction of both Fight Club and Crime and Punishment, explores the psychological side of this and the kind of trauma that can cause it.
  • The Farrelly Brothers' movie Me, Myself & Irene is about a mild-mannered cop who is routinely abused, leading him to eventually flip out and become a jerk.
  • Mr. Brooks is a deconstruction of this trope. Earl, the protagonist, is a respected and wealthy industrialist who is haunted by a man named Marshall who urges him to murder couples in their own homes. But Earl is clearly conscious that "Marshall" is merely the projection of his own killer instincts.
  • Axel Palmer, the killer in the original My Bloody Valentine.
  • Tom Hanniger, the real killer in My Bloody Valentine 3D.
  • In the movie Peacock, the painfully shy John (Cillian Murphy) has a more confident personality named Emma who makes him breakfast and lays out his clothes every day, like a wife would — which is precisely what everyone thinks she is when she is accidentally discovered. The personalities are aware of one another, but they have no memory of the other's experiences. John gets increasingly panicked as Emma begins to 'control' him more, and Emma eventually 'murders' John by staging his death and presenting as Emma only.
  • In the movie Primal Fear, the shy and gentle Aaron, on trial for killing the archbishop, is revealed to have a split personality named Roy who is much more outspoken and aggressive and did in fact kill the clergyman. At the end, we find out that Aaron doesn't actually have a split personality; the more disturbing truth is that Roy created Aaron and has been hiding behind the fake personality for years.
  • In Psycho Beach Party you learn very early on that Chicklet has at least two other personalities.
  • Carter in Raising Cain has several, including the amoral Cain and his "fall guy" Josh.
  • Played for laughs in Serenity where Simon briefly suspects that the mysterious "Miranda" could be an alternate personality of River (as it turns out, Miranda isn't a person at all). A couple of seconds after he raises the possibility, both of them burst out laughing at how ridiculous and cliched it would be.
  • Split concerns a man with 23 different personalities, three of which are conspiring to summon a 24th.
  • Sybil, based on the 'true story' of Shirley Ardell Mason.
  • The Three Faces of Eve is about a timid housewife named Eve White who learns that her splitting headaches and blackouts are the result of having developed a wilder and more free-spirited personality named Eve Black. A more neutral third personality who calls herself just "Jane" eventually emerges too. The film ends with Jane becoming the dominant and sole personality.
    • After this film was released, the number of Americans diagnosed with MPD/DID increased quite dramatically; this rash of copycats causes part of the skepticism surrounding the disorder's existence.
  • By Nick's choosing in Youth in Revolt.

    Light Novels 
  • The Garden of Sinners:
    • Averted: Tohko correctly identifies that what Shiki used to have before her coma can't be dissociative identity disorder, given its complexity.
      Shiki: There's nothing funny about having a dual personality.
      Tohko: No, no. You know, you two don't have anything as pleasing to look at as dissociative identity disorder. Existing simultaneously, each having their own unique will, and on top of that your actions are coordinated. That sort of complex personality shouldn't be called a "dissociated identity," but rather a "united independent personality."
    • Played straight with Shiki's third personality in the epilogue, which she is unaware of and only surfaces when she's unconscious, making it closer to actual DID. The third personality is aware of her, but it's also omniscient, so you'd expect it to be.
  • Happens twice in INVADERS of the ROKUJYOUMA!?:
    • Kiriha develops a childlike personality she calls "Kii" after finding out that the older boy she fell in love with as a child was her best friend via Time Travel.
    • Sanae after she re-merges with her comatose body. In the latter case, the split is between the memories and personality Sanae developed as a ghost, and her more reserved original self.
  • Shizuku from Kusunoki Mebuki is a Hero has a split personality caused by child abuse from her parents. She's usually very quiet, but when in danger her outspoken berserker SHIZUKU personality comes out.
  • Suzuho in Magician's Academy is usually quiet and meek, communicating only through sketchbook messages. When she removes her ribbon, her other side comes out, which is the exact opposite in personality. Violent, talkative, and, for some reason, blue-haired.
  • In Sukisho, both Sora and Sunao developed split personalities, Yoru and Ran respectively, due to experiences they were subjected to as children. The catch: the split personalities Yoru and Ran have a romantic relationship...unlike Sora and Sunao. Every now and then the split personalities will take over and some, or, depending on the degree of the situation, extreme awkwardness follows.

    Music 
  • Renard, oh lord, Renard. Some of his artists pseudonyms, in rough alphabetical order, are: Adraen, Azrael, Bloomin' Nutters, D-Mode-D, Detergent, Emoticon, Furries in a Blender, Hecate, Jackal Queenston, Jaql, Kitcaliber, Kitsune, Klippa, Lollipop, Mayhem, MGD-Crew, MGD Assault Force, Mr. R, Neko, Plusfuchs, Renard, Perdique Darron, Sigma, and Sonitus Vir, as well as some others.
  • On Maeror Tri's Multiple Personality Disorder, each track corresponds to the function/role each personality tends to assume, based on now-outdated psychological theories about the condition:
    1. The Administrator
    2. The Anaesthetizer
    3. The Revenger
    4. The Protector
  • SHeDAISY's song "Lucky 4 You" uses multiple personalities in an almost comedic sense.
    "Number 5 just cries a river a minute,
    7 wants to tie you up and drown you in it,
    14 just wants to say so long, bygones,
    32 wants to do things to you that'll make you blush,
    10 would key that El Camino that you love so much,
    And there ain't nobody wants to mess with 23.
    Yeah, lucky 4 you, tonight I'm just me."
  • Cage 9's song "My Doppelganger" (a.k.a. "Doble Opuesto") is about a guy who hurts his girlfriend (and possibly other people) via his other half, and apparently doesn't seem to understand it's himself until later in the song.
  • Naoki Maeda has so many aliases, he puts Renard to shame. 180, 190, 190', 200, 270, 290, RevenG, Re-Venge, Black Hole, White Wall, NW260, NM, Omega, Z, ZZ, sonic-coll, Neuras, and so many others. There are at least 50 at last count.
  • During the Acid House movement, it was trendy for musicians to change their alias for every single song. This was probably started by The KLF, who used it for more occultist reasons.
  • In the early years of his career, Eminem presented himself as having a split personality between Marshall Mathers, the serious, insightful rapper, and Slim Shady, the thuggish rapper with a dark sense of humor. He has occasionally revisited this concept later on, notably in the video for "Monster".
  • The Vocaloid song Ten-Faced is about a shy girl who develops no less than ten different personalities, none of whom share memories or realize the others exist. They all end up falling in love with the same guy, who only wants to date one girl. Hilarity Ensues. They deal with the problem in the end by performing a Split-Personality Merge.
  • In The Megas song "GeminEye", Gemini Man is shown as having two personalities who initially don't realize their connection to each other: Gemini, a fearful man with a hired killer after him, and GeminEye, a tough Private Detective that he hires to protect him.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Mick Foley had three alters: sadistic Cactus Jack, psychotic Mankind, and Chick Magnet Dude Love.
  • Rather than pretend Shannon/The Governor and Daffney were different people, TNA presented them as split personalities. Presumably this means Lucy, Draculetta and Shark Girl are also split personalities of Daffney.
  • Will White/Bill Black, seen in Fringe Pro Wrestling. Each one is convinced that they are the only one that exists and doesn't know about the other but Will White claims to hear voices and Bill Black talks to himself.
  • Kane seems to have developed a split personality. The helpful and somewhat dorky guy in a suit: Corporate Kane and the vicious fire-wielding Demon Kane. Corporate Kane seems to have no idea about Demon Kane.
  • There's Abyss from Impact Wrestling. Abyss is a crazy monster, sort of a mix between Kane and Mankind. Joseph Park is a fat, goofy lawyer. For a while, they were said to be brothers (obviously you never saw them in the same room at the same time), but eventually TNA booked it so that Park snaps and "turns into" Abyss when he gets mad.

    Roleplay 
  • Destroy the Godmodder has lots of these. It's become a running gag.
    • Then the GM came down with a bad case of this.
    • Some of the players mess with this by having other characters try to take over their posts.
  • Kaleigh Jones from v1 of Survival of the Fittest had two, in the form of child-like "Carly" and nymphomaniac "Freya". Bizarrely, Kaleigh seemed capable of deciding which of her personalities was in control and when.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Call of Cthulhu supplement The Asylum and Other Tales, adventure "The Madman". An investigator is driven insane by exposure to the Cthulhu Mythos and develops an evil alternate personality.
  • In Champions, you can purchase the Multiform power as a "partial multiform", just making mental changes. However, since dissociative identity disorder tends to be more subtle, the game recommends representing it by purchasing the differing powers/stat changes with the limitation that they can only be used when one personality is in charge (this will tend to be a lot cheaper).
  • In Dungeons & Dragons, the Demon Lord Demogorgon has two heads, but it wasn't until the 3rd Edition that a source mentioned that each had a separate personality. The personality of his left head is named Aameul, the right is named Hethradiah. His two personalities rarely cooperate, and are often fierce rivals. Aameul favors deception, while Hethradiah favors destruction. Strangely, this war within himself often turns out in Demogorgon�s favor. For example, one legend tells how Hethradiah formed an alliance with a powerful lich queen, which left her vulnerable to assassins sent by Aameul. When they killed her, Demogorgon gained her power and lands, so both sides of him benefited.
  • Eclipse Phase, unsurprisingly given the ubiquity of Brain Uploading, has multiple ways this can happen:
    • Split Personality is a mental disorder that can result from events like a botched fork merge or infection with an alien nanovirus.
    • Multiple Personalities bioware surgically partitions the brain so it can host an additional Ego, often a fork of the main Ego or a friend of theirs. The Egoes can swap off on control of the body and both have full access to the morph's brain implants so one can fight while the other hacks, for instance.
    • A Ghostrider Module is an implant that can run an Infomorph, they can't take control of the body unless it has a Puppet Sock implant but they can remotely control drones.
    • The Fenrir is a tank-sized Synthmorph that needs to host six Egoes sharing control to work at full capability.
  • In GURPS, a character may be created with multiple personalities. Depending on the "point value" of each personality (they may have different abilities), this can actually count as an advantage! The trigger is a roll against IQ in a "stressful situation"; fail the roll and switch personalities. (If you have more than two, the new one is chosen at random.)
  • One of the narrators in the Hunter: The Reckoning Wayward creedbook is Kirsty McCallum, a woman who'd previously had multiple personalities and integrated them; when she was imbued, she split again, her alternate taking the full force of the Wayward imbuing, seeking the elimination of all supernaturals by any means necessary.
  • The premise of New World of Darkness fangame Janus: The Persona is this combined with Superpowered Evil Side.
  • In Orpheus, one of the Flatliners is Jeffrey Rose, a serial killer with no less than seven other personalities, and each one of them a serial killer in their own right. Making matters more complicated, after Rose's death, his ghostly form develops yet another personality, though at least this one is dedicated to killing Spectres.
  • In Planescape, the elvish spy Farrow has 15 personalities — each a devout member of a different one of the setting's cutthroat factions.
  • In the Ravenloft campaign, there is Malken, the Darklord of Nova Vaasa. His original personality is Sir Tristen Hiregaard, a nobleman who is not actually evil (listed as Lawful Neutral on his character sheet) and actually perceived as benevolent by some people (it depends on who you ask). However, a dark curse transforms him into a brutal killer called Malken whose victims are often the people Hiregaard himself cares about. No-one in Nova Vaasa save for Hiregaard truly knows Malken's identity; he himself had been unaware for the longest time, believing that he'd managed to keep the curse under control by ordering his servants to lock him in his rooms when he felt its onset, but Malken typically escaped.
  • Shadowrun 5th Edition sees the introduction of "Cognitive Fragmentation Disorder," a nanovirus infection which overwrites the mind of the host with that of its own. Over the course of the disease, victims are subject to expressing one, two, or as many as twelve different personalities as different personality "strains" fight for dominance.
    • Personasoft/Personafix software have also been a thing since 1st Edition, being software that essentially overrides the mind and personality of the person inside with an artificially created one when they're slotted through a simsense module or datajack. Benign variants crafted for the consumer can allow people to voyeristically 'ride' with a new personality different from their own, while other variants (commonly used on unwilling subjects) entirely subsume the original. In the worst cases, the latter may malfunction during operation, often with horrific consequences given who are commonly slotted with them.
  • This tends to be a common Derangement for members of Clan Malkavian in Vampire: The Masquerade. In addition to the Bloodlines example below, the Chicago setting has Evan Klein, who has several personalities, none of which are aware of one another, and some of which aren't even aware he's a vampire.
  • This is actively cultivated by the Eldar of Warhammer 40,000. An undisciplined Eldar mind is capable of terrifying extremes — the species spawned a Chaos God during the depravity of the Eldar golden age — so they develop different personae for wartime and peacetime to ensure that they don't lose themselves in bloodlust. They don't always succeed, and Eldar who become trapped on the Path of the Warrior will lose their old identities and take up the name and armor of an Exarch who came before them.
  • In Wraith: The Oblivion most wraiths and Spectres are split personalities, splitting post-mortem into the Psyche, reflecting their consciousness in life, and the Shadow, reflecting their self-destructive traits. Wraiths have the Psyche as the dominant personality, while Spectres have the Shadow instead.

    Visual Novels 
  • Miku in A Profile claims this, but Kaine claims it's incredibly unlikely because not only is DID extremely rare, but her behavior simply doesn't match up to what it should be because the claimed personalities are aware of each other, which defeats the whole point. He's mostly right, but not entirely.
  • Ace Attorney:
    • Ben and Trilo seem to have something similar to Batman's Ventriloquist, in that Ben's doll Trilo acts as if it has a mind of its own and routinely beats up its owner. Trilo also seems to forget he's a doll at times - at one point, he tries to get Ben to sing with him in a round.
    • In Spirit of Justice, Uendo Toneido has four of them. The "main three" include Uendo the fairly average rakugo performer, Patches the happy-go-lucky jester, and Kisegawa the stern female courtesan. These three personalities are all conscious at the same time, and decide which one will take over based on which is most appropriate for the situation. The existence of a fourth personality named Owen which takes over when the other three are unconscious is eventually revealed, and briefly suspected of being the case's killer. This is very quickly disproven, however, upon the reveal that Owen is a timid 5-year old boy.
  • In Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc, Genocide Jack is an infamous Serial Killer and the Ultimate Murderous Fiend. Jack is the split personality of Toko Fukawa, who was developed to help Toko cope with her traumatic childhood. Despite killing boys she thinks are cute, Jack doesn't actually kill anybody during the course of the game, despite being a suspect twice. Jack says that it's because she'd have to be pretty stupid to kill anyone in the Deadly Game, since she would be found guilty immediately if she used her Calling Cards. The two switch when the active personality either goes unconscious or sneezes. They share general knowledge, but not memories. Toko is gloomy and anxious, while Jack is a gleefully sadistic Large Ham. Toko absolutely hates Jack, and living in the same body as her causes her a great deal of guilt and stress.
  • Mitsuki/Shiho in Double Cast, with Shiho being her regular personality and Mitsuki being her yandere personality. The latter personality was created due to the trauma of Shiho seeing her sister(who was also named Mitsuki)'s body and her love/hate relationship with her.
  • Averted in The Fruit of Grisaia, this is suspected of Michiru, however she actually shares her body with the consciousness of the girl whose heart donation she received. At the start of the story, Other!Michiru only comes out when Michiru needs help while Michiru is left with no memory of it happening, but by the end they've learned to cohabitate.
  • In Mystic Messenger's Another Story, Unknown/Saeran is depicted as having a split personality. The implication is that unlike in the normal story where he doesn't have a split personality and is just Brainwashed and Crazy, Another Story takes place a couple of years earlier when the brainwashing hadn't completely wiped out his original kinder self (Ray) yet who can still keep his more psychotic personality somewhat in check.
  • In Remember11: The Age of Infinity, Keiko Inubushi suffers from Dissociative Identity Disorder (or so we're told), resulting in her being sent to the SPHIA psychiatric hospital when one of her personalities commits several murders. Later, protagonists Kokoro and Satoru allow their companions to believe this about them (They are actually undergoing a series of Freaky Friday Flips, but find that its easier to convince their companions "I have two personalities", rather than "My mind randomly switches with somebody else's"). The novel even touches upon the legal implications for DID which allowed Keiko to be considered criminally insane much to the anger of family members of her victims.
  • Shall We Date?: Ninja Shadow has Kagura and his "other self", Homura, who was "born" from Kagura being the Sole Survivor of a ninja squad that failed a mission in the worst way possible. They're a Sensitive Guy and Manly Man duo in one body: Kagura is quiet and gentle plus very sweet to everyone and one Hell of a Super Stoic Shop Keeper, while Homura is a brutal Blood Knight who considers Kagura as his Only Friend and is completely devoted to him.
  • Lisianthus of SHUFFLE! absorbed the soul of her unborn sister while still in the womb. The two take turns being the dominant personality. In the original visual novel she has no name but is known as Reverse Sia. Giving her the name Kikyo becomes a plot point.
  • In Sunrider Liberation Day, Asaga develops one as a by-product of overusing her Super Mode. While Asaga herself is a cheerful Genki Girl and self-styled Hero of Justice, the new personality is a merciless Knight Templar fixated on meting out “justice” to the entire galaxy and will push Asaga to kill anyone it considers to be evil. The new personality only has control when Asaga uses her powers, but both personalities are aware of each other and actually hold a conversation at one point.
  • Tohno/Nanaya Shiki from Tsukihime, with a twist: neither of them is the original. His main Tohno identity was added after "the incident" via brainwashing, which also 'killed' the original, but it remains as his main identity even after he finds out the truth. The alternate Nanaya identity is a mechanism for dealing with his murderous instincts, identity issues, and sundry other mental problems who was patterned after the psychotic killer Tohno erroneously believes the original Nanaya would have been like if he were still alive (in fact, the original Nanaya was a perfectly pleasant child who valued the lives of others, albeit a bit aloof, something of a shut-in, and thoroughly traumatized).
    • And then from the spin-off Hana no Miyako, there's also Shiki/SHIKI Nanaya, which is further complicated by the fact that SHIKI may or may not be the selfsame Shiki Nanaya from Tsukihime.
  • When They Cry:
    • In Umineko: When They Cry, Rosa is seen by her daughter Maria as having one in order to justify her abusive behaviour, interpreting her mother's violent mood swings as being possessed by a "Black Witch".
    • In Ciconia: When They Cry, a majority of Gauntlet Knights have multiple personalities. The narration points out that their condition is not Dissociative Identity Disorder, which is caused by trauma and has only one "personality" awake at a time, but that they are born like this and have all their personalities active at once (most of the time; it's said that privacy between personalities is possible), which makes it easier for them to perform the mental multitasking required to operate Gauntlet technology. The politically correct term for these individuals is "Congenital Parallel Processor", or "CPP" for short. The CPPs we know so far are Mariana, whose personalities are apparently always in conflict over who's in control, Naima, who can apparently change at will to a personality that best suits the situation, and most notably, the protagonist Miyao, whose split personality is the female Meow, although "coming out" as a CPP is treated very seriously, and it's probable that even more of the characters might be CPPs.

    Web Animation 
  • In 50% OFF, there are multiple personas holed up inside Haru's brain that have conflicting interests and personalities, most notably the "Impulsive Haru"
  • In Alfred's Playhouse, there is the superficially happy but very needy Alfred Alfer, who is secretly traumatised by his abusive childhood and uses a fantasy world to avoid thinking about his abuse, and there is vengeful, megalomaniacal Dictator Alfred, who wants to rule the world and is cruel to Alfred.
  • One episode of My Story Animated is about a teenage girl named Robin with three personalities. She developed DID as a child but didn't realize it until her late teens.
  • Red vs. Blue:
    • The Director of Project Freelancer needed multiple Artificial Intelligences for his program but only had enough resources to create one, made from his own brain patterns, the Alpha. To get around this, he subjected Alpha to enough Mind Rape to cause its psyche to fragment. The fragments were then harvested and retooled into independent AI, and as you can imagine more than a few ended up unstable. Worse, the main antagonist of the Reconstruction series has about eight of those fragments inside his head at the same time, and his/their goal is to collect the rest and reunite with the Alpha.
    • In season 13, Doc, after spending several months trapped in another dimension and then lost in the caves of Chorus, eventually developed a split personality of his own- and it's exactly identical to Omega/O'Malley, the AI that once controlled him during the Blood Gulch Chronicles.

    Webcomics 
  • You know how Yumie and Yumiko from Hellsing are mentioned above? The webcomic And Shine Heaven Now takes it one step further, where it's revealed that aside from Yumie, Yumiko has nine more personalities that were being suppressed by Iscariot. She suffered a temporary Heroic BSoD when Heinkel released them as the personalities sorted themselves out. In a big twist though, Yumiko was never the original personality. She was just led to believe she was such because she's the easiest to control.
  • Bob and George: George has an attack before the personality realizes it has the wrong character — and work.
  • In Buster Wilde Weerwolf, Bernard the straight human and Buster the gay werewolf share the same body.
  • Chelsea Grinn of Chimneyspeak has four, progressively less sane, personalities.
  • Somewhat minor character Clive/Ernest in Concession: Clive is passive and straight, while Ernest is gay and rather assertive.
  • The Drowtales character known as Sharess takes the Split Personality Trope and dials it Up to Eleven. In the Daydream Archive Story dealing with her life after becoming a disembodied entity of Pure Aura (Aura is the Drow equivalent to a soul) she battles a couple of Nether Gods, consumes their essence, rewrites the existence of the entirety of the Nether Plane that had currently been attacking the Drowtales Main Archive's world while simultaneously sealing all portals into that plane with herself lost on the other side of the portal. Once that is done, she promptly shatters into thousands of tiny individual consciousnesses, each with the individual ability to rewrite the physical reality of the Nether World she found herself inside of within a few hundred meters of herself. They can consume other copies of herself to access the ability to manipulate reality on a wider scale. Their children also have this ability. So yeah, that's thousands of Mini-Gods running around upon this poor unsuspecting Nether World...
  • Dumbing of Age: Amber copes with her trauma and stress by creating Amazi-Girl, a vigilante modeled after Batman. The twist is that Amber is the dangerous one, because it's Amazi-Girl who shares Batman's stoicism, strict moral code, and self-control. After Amber nearly guts Joyce's would-be rapist Ryan, Amazi-Girl embodies this trope even more, as she's been going out fighting crime...and Amber has no memory of it.
  • Homestuck: Calliope and Caliborn. She is probably the sweetest, kindest, most innocent character in the entire comic, and she uses the most passive class possible in the game. He, on the other hand, is evil, has the most active class possible in the game, loves to pretend he's Jigsaw, and is turned on by his disgust for tender, non-sexual displays of affection.
    • This is normal for juveniles of their species. At what amounts to puberty, one of the personalities "kills" the other one and takes over the body permanently. At least in this specific case, the two personalities have been aware of each other since early childhood and communicate through notes. They're ... not fond of each other. What's not normal, even by their species's standards, is using SBURB's Dream Land mechanics to kill the other personality way ahead of schedule.
    • There's also Gamzee, though in his case there seems to be three personalities: a 'good' host personality, which is kept dominant to begin with by Sopor slime and two 'evil' (or rather, sociopathic) alters.
  • Gemini is a slice-of-life about Bernie and Z, and their life as multiple (and Z being a trans woman.)
  • In General Protection Fault, the Mirror Universe Nega-Trish claims to be "schizophrenic" to explain her occasionally slipping mask, and the regulars' brief encounter with Posi-Trish. Both Nick and Patty realise that a geek with a psychological disorder would use the correct term for it, therefore she's lying.
  • In Jix, the titular character is the second personality of an invader, Remula, from an alien race who was surveying Earth. She stayed on Earth until she was sane again. She's manifested two more personalities since then, Lamerix the Mad Scientist and (male) superhero The Ambis.
  • Kano, the protagonist of Kagerou, has several personalities. The personality that answers to "Kano" is initially not aware of the others.
  • In Moon Crest 24, Derek and Dwayne both have the spirits of Drake and Daniel inside them respectively. And while Dwayne and Daniel are aware of each other, Derek and Drake are not.
  • Mountain Time has Donna the Bears, who has multiple personalities that are all bears.
  • Anna/Susan Enfield from Sire, due to being a descendant of Edward Hyde.
  • The Wotch:
    • Repeated transformations into a mind-altering form seem to cause this. For example, the 'Lilly amulet' causes the wearer to turn into a slightly hyperactive gender-bent child. At the beginning of the comic, the minds of Evan and Lilly are separate (Evan is gone while turned into Lilly, and vice versa) except for one incident where their minds were switched. Lately, however, Lilly seems to be present even while Evan is himself. Similarly, while the Jason-Sonja transformation was a simple Gender Bender, they seem to be diverging slightly as Sonja gains time existing.
    • Weres seem to be similar, with the normal form and were form having separate minds (e.g. Yukio/Yukiko). Samantha and Katie are exempt because of the amulets that specifically suppress the were-mind and leave the normal mind in control, to the extent that they never developed separate minds in the first place (though Katie transformed once or twice without the amulet, all examples of multiple-personalities were developed over multiple and/or long-lasting transformations).
    • Myrh (formed when magical slime ate Lord Sykos' maid) goes through a short time with this when a mind-meld with Ming and some jellybeans cause her human and slime portions to rebel against each other, as the slime attempts to become Ming.

    Web Original 
  • Pretty Pink Ponytails from Angel of Death has an alter named Anita who sometimes takes over.
  • Merry, in the Whateley Universe, has four personalities: Chaddy, her more innocent child self; Chad, her cynical, distrustful, early adolescent self; Merry, the most normal one and the dominant personality; and Mai, an evil AI she defeated that took up residence in and merged partially with her mind. Eventually these four were separated into pairs when Merry got accidentally cloned; Chad and Chaddy now live in Petra's head, while Merry and Mai now live in Paige's. And to those of you wondering why two of those personalities have male names... it's the Whateley Universe. Figure it out. Fey, meanwhile, doesn't so much have a Split Personality as she actually has another person in her head, specifically Aunghadhail, an ancient Sidhe queen who died millennia ago but is now Back from the Dead, sort of.

    Web Videos 
  • Everyman HYBRID heavily implies this:
    Evan: You may scare Evan, but he's just a bitch.
    • Jossed later in the series—it turns out Evan's alter-ego isn't a true split personality, but a demonic entity that periodically takes control of his body.
  • Spoony has a split personality named "Dr. Insano" — for Kickassia, at least.
  • Ten Little Roosters:
    • Ryan Haywood's "Mad King" persona from Let's Play Minecraft is treated as this, to the point where he's afraid he actually killed Gavin Free and Michael Jones in the first two episodes. In actuality, this was part of Barbara Dunkelman's Evil Plan to frame Ryan as the murderer.
    • In Eleven Little Roosters, it turns out that the Saboteur went insane at some point before the start of the series and developed an alternate persona encouraging them to betray the rest of the Rooster Corps. It's Gavin the 3rd, and his evil (well, eviler) persona is his supposed support coordinator, Operator Mikey.
  • From Venturian Tale's videos, we get Johnny Ghost and Jimmy Casket. Johnny is a (mostly) sane paranormal investigator, and Jimmy is an insane mass murderer, whose weapon of choice is a knife.

    Real Life 
  • Anne Heche claims (or at least once claimed) to have multiple personalities. Celestia was an embodiment of God, writing essays on love and inventing a Conlang for use in prayer. She was still functional and active in film and TV all this time. Celestia disappeared after Heche took Ecstasy, went on an expedition in search of aliens who might help her, and woke up in a hospital with friends nearby, realizing that people did care about her.
  • American Football legend Herschel Walker is probably one of the most interesting real life cases of DID, as despite the disorder (or, possibly, because of it) the man was otherwise the very image of mental and physical toughness. When he was growing up he was actually somewhat overweight, as well as being crippingly shy and having a speech impediment. He was consequently bullied throughout elementary and middle school. The trauma eventually led to him creating an alternate "superhero" persona, which did a truly massive amount of exercise and took up sports as a coping mechanism. These changes would eventually lead him to play College Football at Georgia, where his Olympic level speed and immense size and strength more or less allowed him to run through anyone on the field, which naturally produced some of the most spectacular plays in the history of the game. Imagine superman playing football, and you get an idea of what it looked like. He wasn't diagnosed with DID until he retired from the NFL and his angry persona suddenly no longer had an outlet.
  • Kenneth Bianchi, one half of The Hillside Stranglers, attempted to set up an insanity defence. He claimed to have another personality named Steve Walker and, according to Bianchi, Walker was the killer - Bianchi himself was innocent. He managed to fool a couple of psychiatrists before a real multiple, Chris Costner-Sizemore (the real-life group/system on whom The Three Faces of Eve was based) spotted him as a phony, it was confirmed via a simple trick by another doctor, Martin Orne, and the whole charade collapsed.
  • Probably the most well-known case of DID and the one credited (or blamed) with introducing the concept to the public, is Sybil, whose story was published as a bestselling novel and adapted into a mini-series starring Sally Field.note  Long before Sybil, however, The Three Faces of Eve (book and film) and The Five Of Me (book and film) about a British multiple, were well known to American audiences.
  • The Minds of Billy Milligan is another non-fiction novel that explores a young man with twenty-three personalities. Milligan was tried for a series of rape-and-abductions in the 1970s and was the first (and to date only) person found not guilty by reason of insanity due to DID. His highly publicized story appeared in newspapers and magazines before the publication of Sybil. Interestingly, Milligan was able to integrate at will and de-integrate again; he described it as unpleasant and didn't recommend that multiples try it.
  • There have been several autobiographies written by people with DID; for instance, Nellie Parsons Bean's My Life as a Dissociated Personality, writen in 1908; The Flock: The Autobiography of a Multiple Personality by Joan Frances Casey (Fawcett, 1992) and When Rabbit Howls by the Troops for Truddi Chase. Truddi Chase has also appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Chris Costner-Sizemore, the real Eve, wrote her autobiography in two books, I'm Eve and A Mind Of My Own. Ann Garvey's Ann's Multiple World of Personality is an account of everyday living as a non-integrated multiple. There are lots of books by and about multiple personality here and here.
  • In 2019, Jeni Haynes, who has 2500 different personalities due to the extreme abuse her father put her through, made history by testifying in court with six of those personalities, each detailing a different part of her abuse. Putting a multiple on the witness stand was more commonly done in the 1980s, with Juanita Maxwell's murder trial and the testimony of Sarah Hood in Mark Peterson rape case, where a multiple accused a singletnote  of taking advantage of her condition and several of her people took the stand to explain how their system worked.note 

 
Feedback

Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Multiple Personalities, Split Personalities, Multiple Personality

Top

The Trembling/Thundering One

The valkyrie Hrist has two personalities, trembling with either fear or anger.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / SplitPersonality

Media sources:

Main / SplitPersonality

Report