"Hmm, are you sure?"
"Well, I'm convinced."
It seems that in fiction split personalities can talk to each other, manifesting as Hearing Voices. Sometimes the various personalities will talk to each other inside the character's head, sometimes one of them (by implication the "real" or "dominant" one) will talk out loud, and sometimes they'll all talk out loud, being distinguished by cinematography, facial expression or vocal differences. While different people in a multiple personality group can and do talk to each other, this is of course exaggerated for dramatic purposes in media portrayals of multiple personality see Split Personality for a more in-depth explanation.
Even entirely sane (or mostly sane) people can be prone to this trope, if the other voices represent simple conflicting desires like "brain versus heart", "id versus superego", or Good Angel, Bad Angel.
Not to be confused with Talking to Himself, which is about characters sharing a voice actor. Compare Holding Both Sides of the Conversation, where one person is pretending to be two different people (at the same time, in conversation) in order to maintain some charade. This is a specific form of Shifting Voice of Madness, where the "voices" are in conversation with each other.
Very important: do not confuse Thinking Out Loud with this. Thinking Out Loud is not a symptom of mental illness in most casesnote .
In Real Life, multiple-personality selves do talk to each other (including talking out loud, discreetly) or can learn to do so. This communication is actually a good sign and is encouraged by doctors.
- Agito, Akito and Lind of Air Gear all inhabit the same body and talk to each other occasionally.
- The song "Morning Dreamer" from Angel Beats! is about Yui (the one singing the song) not wanting to get up in the morning, but having to, and asking someone to heat the bath, buy a new guitar string to replace a broken one, etc. The song ends with Yui saying "Anyway, who have I been talking to when I live alone?"
- In Birdy the Mighty, Birdy and Tsutomu often talk to each other, and characters around them tend to think that they've gone crazy and are talking to themselves, but entirely retain their own personalities. In the manga this is even taken so far as Tsutomu not understanding Birdy's superior's speaking, while Birdy herself can.
- Bleach: Shinigami can communicate with their Zanpakutou spirits within their Inner Worlds. The spirits can also manifest outside the Shinigami, sometimes visible to only the Shinigami and sometimes visible to everyone. The Zanpakutou are reflections of the Shinigami's soul and represent their true selves. Some shinigami have more than one spirit, although that's rare. Ichigo has two spirits because he has power from multiple origins. The Inner Hollow represents his Shinigami and Hollow power while Old Man Zangetsu represents his Quincy power.
- Change 123: Motoko has three other personalities that are master martial artists. When they emerge, they are fully aware of the two others, but Motoko herself is unable to communicate with them. This frequently causes problems when she 'wakes up' and has no idea of her current situation.
- Viro in Elemental Gelade is a spy with the bad fortune to fall for her target. Even worse, he's already an Official Couple with Ren. Just when things look like they can't get any worse, she gets the order to kill him. Faced with killing her new friends or a lifetime of unrequited love as a Sting Raid, she gets into an argument with hallucinations of herself as a Sting Raid (complete with a hot outfit) and as a human.
- In Mobile Suit Gundam 00, Allelujah's personalities talk and yell at each other during times of stress. The more violent one has a tendency to torment the calmer personality if he can't seize control or thinks it would be funner to watch the calmer one squirm. It is implied that the violent personality was somehow artificially implanted.
- Subverted in The Garden of Sinners: a key part of the plot revolves around Shiki's split personality (and the consequences of its death), but Tohko correctly notes that what she has cannot be called split personalities, as they're far too independent and separate from each other (see quote).
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."
- In Sgt. Frog, Momoka and "the Other Momoka" do this sometimes. We later learn her mother Ouka has a similar situation.
- Zetsu from Naruto also has a easygoing, carefree side, and a very calculating side, both evil. In the dub, they originally even had their own individual voice actor. And can even split apart.
- Naruto and his shadow clones talk to one another as if they actually have the same personality but different identities. It's never clearly explained exactly what a shadow clone is, other than the solid version of a clone technique.note
- In One Piece, during the Thriller Bark arc, Usopp has a conversation with his alter ego Sogeking.
- Yaya gets this with Nana in Othello after she is aware of her split personality.
- A woman in Paranoia Agent receives messages on her answering machine from her other personality. Later, as her grasp on reality becomes weaker, she gets actual phone calls, and hallucinates a physical fight.
- In Princess Tutu, after Mytho's heart is poisoned by the Raven's blood, he often asks "what the other him inside of him wants," and protests its actions.
- Moka in Rosario + Vampire occasionally communicates with her inner self via her Power Limiter.
- Ren and Run from To Love-Ru: occasionally one of them will demand that the other "Turn into me!" so the one making the demand can put moves on the object of his or her affection. This demand is typically refused with the words "Go back to sleep!"
- Everyone with a Yami side in Yu-Gi-Oh! and GX: Yugi and Atem, Malik and Yami Malik, Fubuki and Darkness, Saiou and the Light of Ruin... Of course, in most cases these are actually separate characters, who inhabit the bodies of the regular ones.
- A rather odd example happened in a two part episode in GX where Mizuchi confronted Judai and Edo in a virtual world. To face them in a team duel, she used the virtual technology to divide herself into two different avatars, who were able to talk to each other despite technically being the same person.
- Sensui from Yu Yu Hakusho has arguments with himself on who gets to fight Urameshi.
- Death Note: Only people who have touched a Death Note can see and hear the book's shinigami, making it look to other people like they're talking to themselves.
- In one episode of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, Saiou's sister Mizuchi traps Judai and Edo in a virtual reality arena and challenges them. In order to face them two-on-two, she uses the virtual technology to somehow divide herself into two Mizuchis. Despite the fact that they are, for all practical purposes, the same person, they are able to converse with each other this way throughout the whole duel.
- Split Personalities Shirou and Shiho from My Monster Secret can talk inside their mind, but they can also take control of separate body parts, and talk to each other from the parts they control. The fact that there are voices coming out from places without mouths is never addressed.
- In Tokyo Ghoul, one of the major symptoms of Kaneki's Sanity Slippage is having conversations with an imaginary Rize. She readily informs him that she's merely a part of his subconscious, given a form that lets him distance himself from those darker impulses and thoughts. In the sequel, Sasaki experiences the same hallucinated conversations with a Kakuja-form Kaneki and later, the two make peace and begin readily carrying on conversations with each other. Whether it's a genuine case of Split Personality or not is unclear.
- The Main Character of Steins;Gate, Okabe Rintarou is a self proclaimed Mad Scientist that often talk to someone who doesn't exist with a turned off phone, often mentioning an Organization that didn't exist or that it's all the will of Steins Gate (Which per his words, doesn't really have meaning, it just sounds cool). The funny thing is that while it's not what he meant, later on it was revealed that there's Organization that function just like what he said in his fictional conversation. SERN on Alpha World Line and DURPA/Stratfor on Beta World Line.
- Batman's Two-Face.
- Also, the Ventriloquist and Scarface. The Ventriloquist firmly believes that the puppet Mr. Scarface is alive, but he's the one controlling and voicing him the entire time. This actually makes the character very tragic, as the Ventriloquist himself is a mild-mannered and reasonably nice person bound into an abusive relationship with himself.
- Or Scarface might actually BE alive and a vessel of the evils over 300 hanged men committed. Or something. It varies. though with the original Ventriloquist now dead and a female replacement having shown up, it's somewhat more credible, although she's visibly as crazy as the original. Scarface's explanation is simply that he was looking for a more comfortable place to sit.
- Incredible Hulk: Bruce Banner and his many personalities have done this, but generally only the ones not "active" at the time. At one point it was lampshaded that it was just a metaphor for his inner struggle and he was just imagining it.
- In Jean Grey #7, the titular teen heroine holds a conversation with her ghostly adult self. Ghost Jean notes with irony her younger self doesn't want to appear she's talking to herself as she's actually literally talking to herself.
Ghost Jean: And I don't understand why you're wearing headphones right now.[...]
Teen Jean: Because it makes it seem... like I'm not a crazy person. Talking to herself.[...]
Ghost Jean: Heh. There's the irony, right? You are talking to yourself.
- The Badger, protagonist of Mike Baron's super-hero spoof of the same name, had several extra personalities that would sometimes communicate with each other.
- Deadpool does that in a way that Breaks The Fourth Wall: he has entire discussions with his own thought boxes. Of which he has two distinct sets: the first set was originally the standard yellow narration boxes often seen in comics, except that he interacts with them. Some time in the 2000's, a second set appeared, white boxes written in Courier, as though it was being written on a typewriter. Thus far, the two voices haven't developed separate personalities, and bear a suspicious resemblance to Crow and Tom Servo. This being Deadpool, he is aware that the reader can see them.
- It was revealed in a Deadpool annual that the white caption boxes were, in fact, the old supervillain Madcap, who also was insane and had a complete healing factor. Apparently, they were both blasted to ash and their ashes co-mingled, so when Deadpool reformed Madcap was trapped inside his head. This being a Deadpool comic, that is the extent of the explanation we get.
- The video game gives them the personalities of "serious" and "child", though even the serious one is completely bonkers.
- Triplicate Girl/Triad from the Legion of Super-Heroes does this very often when her three bodies are separate, the three of them talking amongst themselves and even arguing at times. This is especially true for her Post-Zero Hour reboot version. (While her powers are common for the inhabitants of her planet, this sort of behavior is not; they consider it a form of insanity, although her grandmother insisted it was natural.)
- Since their rebirth as a child Loki has this. In Journey into Mystery Kid!Loki's pet magpie, and evil advisor, Ikol existed only in his head and was the remnant of his old self's consciousness. In Young Avengers and later Loki: Agent of Asgard their Body Snatcher old/next self has the Kid around, who acts as conscience.
- Moon Knight has three different aliases other than his super-hero one, with those three being Marc Spector (the original), Steven Grant (filthy rich investor) and Jake Lockley (taxi driver). In more recent runs, they are depicted as being different personalities caused by DID, and the three are talking to each other.
- Happens twice in Daredevil.
- The first time, after being crushed down by a long series of events starting with Born Again and included having his sanity crushed by TyphoidMary, faking his own death and visiting Hell, Matt started experiencing hallucinations which included being attacked by and talking to his various alter egos - different interpretations of Daredevil he adopted over the years.
- This happens again at the beginning of Soule's run. The Purple Man created a device which, in combination with his and his children's abilities, allowed him to create a mental world and trap Matt in it. This manifested as a bar with the customers being the various stages of Daredevil's incarnations; from the college-age vigilante to the edgy 90's "replacement" to the cheerful sharp-dressed and open with his Secret Identity guy. All of them have an argument over what is the worst thing they could possibly do, and each expresses a different opinion.
- A Crown of Stars: Asuka does this a lot, especially after she and Shinji got together. Her self-loathing constantly berates her, calling her an useless and worthless whore that does not deserve Shinji and worse things. After a while, in chapter 59 she seemed finally to defeat her inward darkness after a long inner argument.
- Advice and Trust: The morning after getting together, Asuka's side that is full of doubts, insecurities and self-hatred questioned how long Shinji would stay with her before realizing she was useless and pitiful and abandoning her how everyone did. She replied that he promised he likes her and will stay with her.
- Child of the Storm:
- The Winter Soldier, as his programming breaks down. When the narration switches to his POV, we are treated to what is essentially a never-ending argument between a literal-minded robot with no knowledge of how society works and his Deadpan Snarker passenger.
She is astonishingly gorgeous. Which is really disturbing, since intel says that she was only about twelve until ten minutes ago.
Error. Observation irrelevant.
Error. Still irrelevant.
- The sequel, Ghosts of the Past has Harry talk to an older alternate version of himself who, for the sake of simplicity, goes by Nathan. The two get on reasonably well, in between the Snark-to-Snark Combat, and Nathan provides his younger counterpart with some valuable insights.
- The Winter Soldier, as his programming breaks down. When the narration switches to his POV, we are treated to what is essentially a never-ending argument between a literal-minded robot with no knowledge of how society works and his Deadpan Snarker passenger.
- Evangelion 303: Asuka's inner turmoil and conversations are shown like two Asukas talking to each other. Usually her common sense is lecturing her -constantly on display- emotional side. It can be seen in chapters 4, 12 and 14. Here is an example.
- Once More with Feeling: Invoked when Shinji talks to the Lilith's ghost. She tells him that she's sort of a memory in his mind, and Shinji thinks "Oh, great, now I'm talking to myself".
"I'm not really here" she said quickly with a slight smile as the observation passed through his mind. "And no, you are not loosing your grip on reality" she assured him.
"After everything that's happened, I am not so sure" he replied somewhat sarcastically.
"Understandable" she nodded. "If it helps, think of me as an echo of the events, a shadow without form, nothing more then a memory in your mind".
"Well uh you're a rather talkative memory" he replied, then stopped. Oh God, am I talking to myself now he asked in despair
- Luminosity's Elspeth has this as a manifestation of her witch power. And can make more if need be.
- Cruise Control in Turnabout Storm, although yelling to himself would be far more accurate. At least when he's Obfuscating Stupidity.
- Good Cop/Bad Cop does this in A Piece of Rebellion. While the currently non-dominiant personality can communciate with the other through their thoughts, this seems to only go one way. That or the other's just used to responding vocally.
- Scar Tissue: Shinji and Asuka developed two versions of it after Third Impact:
- Shinji's guilt and extreme self-loathing and self-contempt became so strong that Shinji developed a split personality, a nightmarish version of himself that loved torturing him and mind-raping him night after night, reminding him all his wrongs and sins over and over and over again. He listened to its voice almost every time he closed his eyes and sometimes it almost drove him mad. In chapter 14 Shinji finally manages to defeat it and make peace with himself and his enormous guilt.
- In contrast, Asukas common sense and compassion manifested like a voice that pleaded her stopping to hurt Shinji and help him, or blamed her for his pain.
- In Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, Harry creates lots of internal voices to debate various courses of action in his head. He creates one representing each Hogwarts House along with a few more standard ones like the Inner Critic. Amusingly, at one point in the story most of the voices decide to mercilessly make fun of him when they think he's putting too much thought into something.
- In Part 1 of Cave Story Versus I M Meen, Jack, naturally being a Woobie and all, completely loses his mind after watching Sue and Toroko fuck each other seemingly to death and then being wrongfully thrown in jail afterwards. Naturally, this leads to a very bizarre, insane and intensely melodramatic case of Talking to Themself as he paints the floor with cornbread, ketchup, mustard, and his own nose mucus, vomit and toe jam.
- Lathbora Viran has Solas speaking to an inner voice, sometimes called "the Wolf".
- In Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Supergirl crossover The Vampire of Steel, Buffy is running from several guards after blowing her cover. She chides herself... and then chides herself for wasting time on chiding herself.
Stupid. Stupid stupid stupid stupid.
Shut up, mind. Do your job. Find me a way out of this.
- Freakin Gensokyo: Brad meets a violent, uninhibited version of himself in the Dream World. They have quite a productive chat about beating people up.
- According to Swallow Star in Apprentice and Pregnant, the first thing he noticed that seemed off about Applefur was that she began talking to herself. Her behavior became increasingly unusual until he found her attempting to drown herself. That was over a year ago and she's been on medicine since.
- Fan-made Twilight parody Twilight The Musical uses this comically. Edward Cullen must argue his evil reflection about whether or not he should eat Bella. Further Hilarity Ensues in later episodes, when his schizo conversations grow to include more characters: a doll and cardboard stand-up of Robert Pattinson.
- Dragon Ball Z Abridged has Piccolo do this after fusing with Nail, who remains a voice in Piccolo's head. Nail claims he'll fade away into Piccolo's subconscious eventually, but he shows no signs of this. This just gets worse with the addition of Kami.
- In Sword Art Online Abridged, Kirito and Asuna spend Episode 10 getting into mental screaming matches with their respective inner voices after Kirito, to fill the awkward moment after sex, blurts out a marriage proposal, and Asuna is so surprised that she accepts.
Kirito's Left Brain: YOU FOOL! YOU'VE DOOMED US ALL!!
Kirito's Right Brain: H-hey, uh, she seems pretty happy about it! Maybe she knows something we don't?!
Asuna's Left Brain: BITCH, WHY THE FUCK DID YOU SAY "YES?!"
Asuna's Right Brain: I DON'T KNOOOOOOWWW!!
- Tales of the Undiscovered Swords: The two sides of Ichinodō Shichido argue out loud in two different voices and two different registers. This tendency is compared to rakugo theater at one point.
- Thanks to her years in the asylum, Weiss in Fighting for the Future frequently imagines having conversations with her teammates in her head and responding to them out loud, either complimenting an idea "Ruby" came up with or calling "Yang" out on making a terrible pun.
- Fight Club has the nameless protagonist talking to his Split Personality Tyler.
- Half the dialogue of Die Hard is McClane talking to himself - though some of that is him Thinking Out Loud, and he's alone throughout most of the action.
- Norman Osborn/the Green Goblin from Spider-Man did it on occasion; the first movie contains such a scene, made all the more memorable by Willem Dafoe's excellent performance, talking to his Green Goblin personality in his mirror.
- Gollum/Smeagol in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Lampshaded in the latter:
Smeagol: We knows safe paths for Hobbitses. Safe paths in the dark.
Gollum: Shut up!
Bilbo: I didn't say anything.
Gollum: I wasn't talking to you.
- In Mr. Brooks, the main character Earl Brooks is a serial killer who habitually converses with his "Mr. Hyde"-style alter ego Marshal. They argue over the merits of committing suicide, and even laugh at each other's jokes. They appear to have a healthier personal relationship than some brothers, rather than as adversaries.
- Melinda Sordino in the film adaptation of Speak. This only occurs in one scene and it's not so much between multiple personalities as between herself and her conscience.
- In The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, the two personalities of Dr. Jekyll communicate to each other in mirrors.
- No dialogue, but in Pixar's short film Geri's Game, an old man plays chess with himself. He plays white as a cautious, easily-intimidated but victorious through cheating player and black as a gleefully aggressive one. He doesn't seem to be mentally ill, just fooling around by staying in-character very well ... so much so that, when the white player fakes a heart attack, the black player believes it.
- The different personalities of the Ripper in My Soul to Take appear to be able to do this.
- In Breaking the Waves, Bess has some kind of Split Personality; she talks to God, and then she answers herself in "God's" voice.
- In X-Men: Days of Future Past, Future Charles and Past Charles are able to have a heartfelt conversation, with the former ultimately reviving the latter's broken resolve.
- In The Muppet Movie, Kermit laments on the mess he's got himself into, his inner self, manifesting as another Kermit, speaks to him to give him a pep talk reminding him of the dream he and his friends all share.
- Spoofed in Suicide Squad (2016), Harley Quinn says the voices in her head said that she should kill everyone and escape. Then she laughs and say, "Just kidding. That's not what they said."
- Sonic the Hedgehog (2020):
- Due to spending over ten years with no-one else to, Sonic has developed a habit of talking to himself.
- In the first post-credits scene, Robotnik, after spending over 83 days alone, has gotten into the habit of ranting to himself.
Man: Doctor, you've got to help me! I talk to myself!
Shrink: That's not that bad. Sometimes, even I do that.
Man: Yes, doctor - but I'm such a bore!
- In Beyond the Barrier by Damon Knight a creature that has spent many years hiding inside, and as, a human can no longer shake that side of himself. He is challenged to do what the human would do and not what he wants to do
- In The Truth, Altogether Andrews of the beggars has eight personalities (none of them, oddly enough, named Andrews). Each one gets a vote when the crew is deciding something. Except for Burke. Nobody wants to see Burke again.
- And Agnes Nitt can't have a single thought without Perdita arguing with it.
- In the Doctor Who Expanded Universe novels, the different incarnations of the Doctor have been known to pop up and argue with each other.
- The Dresden Files: Harry Dresden's subconscious doesn't think much of him, and makes his opinion clear on several occasions. Luckily for Harry, the two can only commune when he's unconscious.
- Edgar of Edgar & Ellen doesn't have a split personality, but he starts doing this in Split Ends to keep himself company.
- Harry Potter does this himself on occasion. A prominent example is when he starts falling for Ginny and is afraid that Ron will object.
- A big part of Geoph Essex's Jackrabbit Messiah: at least half of Jack's dialogue is in his conversation with God, the fussy voice in his head (Jack is schizophrenic). Their relationship is full of snarky insults (mostly on God's part), but when push comes to shove, both would admit that they're each other's best friend.
Jack: How come I don't have any friends?
God: Maybe because, outside of your uncle, you never have more than one conversation with a single person.
Jack: I have a lot of conversations with you.
God: If you're going to count imaginary friends, you're going to run out of fingers.
- One memorable sequence in The Lord of the Rings features Gollum arguing with himself — a concept transferred rather successfully to the movies.
- Just when Sam and Frodo reach Mount Doom, what is Sam Gamgee doing? Arguing with himself about the futility of their quest... just like the very hated and despised Gollum.
- Ransom briefly develops this in Out of the Silent Planet, with his body seeing his rational mind as a second person who helps him find a place to sleep.
- Requiem for an Assassin (aka The Killer Ascendant) by Barry Eisler. While smoking dope in a coffee bar in Rotterdam, Hitman with a Heart John Rain has a conversation with 'The Iceman', the cold-blooded killer part of his personality, who derides his belief that he can retire from his life as a Professional Killer.
- Michael Flynn's Spiral Arm: In Up Jim River, Donovan. His multiple personalities were induced deliberately, but the manner was bungled — also, perhaps, deliberately.
- Star Wars Legends:
- In Galaxy of Fear Tash speaks to a ghost who is Invisible to Normals - no one else can see, hear, or otherwise perceive him. The Big Bad watches her try to elicit his help and assumes she's talking to herself.
- Variation in the New Jedi Order. Tahiri and her implanted Yuuzhan Vong alter-ego Riina have several conversations inside Tahiri's mindscape, but never talk to each other out lout- Tahiri is shown to black out whenever Riina takes control of their body, making this sort of interaction impossible (Riina, for her part, states that she is aware, but impotent while Tahiri is in the driver's seat).
- Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan Saga: In Mirror Dance, when Mark develops split personalities, they not only talk but actively choose which personality will be in control at a given time.
- In The World Shuffler, at one point, O'Leary is "sick, freezing, starving, hung-over, and dyspeptic", not to mention lost and frustrated, and he begins talking to himself. And answering himself. He acknowledges—to himself—that it's a sign of insanity, but responds "Poof, what's a little touch of schizophrenia, among all my other ailments?"
- 30 Rock: Liz gets a case of Acquired Situational Narcissism after getting her own talk show, leading to a confrontation between "Performer Liz" and "Backstage Liz".
- Andromeda: The Andromeda Ascendant and her avatar Rommie occasionally talk to each other. As do her holographic and monitor selves.
Hunt: You know, talking to yourself is the first sign of insanity.
Andromeda/Rommie: [simultaneously] Only for wetware.
- Babylon 5: A season 3 episode has Doctor Franklin get stabbed while stopping someone from being killed in Down Below, and being left for dead. As he calls for help, he is answered... by a hallucination of himself, in all his Doctor Jerk glory. What ensues is a withering "The Reason You Suck" Speech, with Hallucination!Franklin telling Bleeding!Franklin that he is a failure, that he always runs away from his problems rather than face them, that if he had another chance, that he'd screw it all up anyways. This turns into a Rousing Speech after Franklin refuses to give up, even if it does mean failing more, as his hallucination drives him to drag himself, bleeding, to a populated part of the station to seek help.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer: In the final episodes of season 5, the arguments between Glory and Ben, though in this case they are distinct characters with different actors who just happen to be sharing a body. They've been turning into one another back and forth for years, but only in that instance are they able to interact this way because the mystical barriers keeping them separate were breaking down. Their personalities also start bleeding into one another just before they are able to interact.
- Cheers: The episode "Diane Meets Mom" has Diane talking to herself to give herself the courage to stand up to Hester Crane, who has threatened to kill her, though Diane is not crazy (after all, she just got out of a ment- health spa where she met Frasier). Doesn't stop an alarmed Sam witnessing the scene and lamenting how he spent a whole year romancing her.
- Criminal Minds: The season 2 episodes "The Big Game" and "Revelations" dealt with a man named Tobias Hankel (James Van Der Beek) who was abused by his psychotic father after his mother left for another man, telling him that everything he did was a sin and abused him by claiming he's doing "God's work". He ended up killing his father but he remained as a split personality of his, and when he murdered people he called himself "Raphael" which is one of the archangels. Sometimes he would argue with himself as his father and switch between the three personalities at random: as himself he was friendly and helpful, as Charles his father he was abusive and gave lectures, and as Raphael he would murder someone or force his hostages to choose which victims would live or die.
- Doctor Who:
- "Nightmare in Silver": The Doctor seemingly talks to himself when the Cybermen attempt to take over his mind. He even plays a game of chess with himself while in this state.
- "Spyfall": At the beginning of part 2, the Doctor explicitly does this both to assure herself that she's still alive, and presumably to calm herself down after being stranded in an Eldritch Location.
- Alpha from Dollhouse regularly engages in arguments between the various imprinted personalities within his mind.
- More justified than most, because he's not a normal case, but rather somebody with multiple artificial personalities. As such all of them are constantly "on". Also, he actually does have a few personalities with schizophrenia or multiple personality disorder, but it doesn't seem that the personalities with actual mental disorders can talk to themselves.
- The Flash (2014): By Season 5, Caitlin Snow eventually develops this dynamic with her Superpowered Evil Side Killer Frost. At first they need the psychic device they used to defeat DeVoe in the previous season finale, although over time they're able to talk to each other without it.
- Full House: Michelle did this in the final episode after she lost her memory and she ended up to talking to her inner self.
- In Volume Four, Sylar starts to have conversations with his dead mother. And since he has Voluntary Shapeshifting, he assumes her form for her side of the conversation, too.
- Jekyll: After being drugged, Jackman is more than a little surprised when Hyde is able to contact him.
"How could you be phoning me?"
"Jesus! I'm not phoning you. I'm in your head."
- Kamen Rider:
- Happens occasionally in Kamen Rider Den-O as a consequence of four spirit creatures Sharing a Body with the main character.
- And also in Kamen Rider Double, where the titular hero is made by having the consciousness of one person join with the body of another; this is represented by having Double's eyes flash on the side representing the person who's talking.
- Kamen Rider Build: After regaining his memories and becoming the identity in control, Sento Kiryu occasionally converses with his original self in a mindscape with doors, equations and gears. They get along about as well as a misantropic cynic and an ubreakableoptimist sharing a mind could.
- Lie to Me: In one episode, a girl with multiple personalities is able to share information between one personality that witnessed a murder, and another that is capable of communicating with the team.
- Rutland Weekend Television had the fictional talk show Schizophrenia, in which the host regularly talked to himself regarding if it was his turn to present the guest or the other personality's turn.
- Smallville: The good Alexander and the evil Lex Luthor does this and even get into a fight.
- Stargate SG-1: The Tok'ra can do this, since they are a variation on Puppeteer Parasite that forms a symbiotic relationship with their host instead of controlling it. "Seth" features an instance of Jacob Carter's symbiote Selmak telling Samantha Carter that Jacob has some unfinished business with his son Mark (Sam's brother), and that Mark not visiting Jacob while he was dying hurt him greatly. Jacob contradicts Selmak almost immediately.
- The protagonist of "Unwell" by Matchbox Twenty is in denial over his mental illness. One of the things he does is talk to himself in public.
- Kanye West does this in the track "I Thought About Killing You" off the album ye, which is not directed at you, the listener, but rather Kanye himself, ruminating over his then-newly-diagnosed Bipolar Disorder. The album in general circles around Kanye loosely identifying himself as two entities with significantly conflicting personalities and motives, but are ultimately one and the same, and the song in particular is his attempt to reason himself away from suicidal thoughts.
- Sami Callihan, sort of. He hears voices, but rather than answer, it seems he tries to drown them out, not that this ever stops him from doing what they want, he and his voices seem to ultimately have the same goals.
- On Monday Night Raw R-Truth called Triple H crazy for talking to himself, even though Truth was talking to people no one could see seconds beforehand.
- The difference between Will White and Bill Black, Black talks to himself, loudly.
- The musical Jekyll & Hyde has "Jekyll" and "Hyde" do this. And, of course, they're both played by the same actor, who has to go through quite a bit of effort to make it feel like a dialogue between two different people.
- Medea debates with herself out loud about whether or not to murder her children. She doesn't actually have multiple personalities but the scene bears striking similarities to many of these.
- In the National Theatre's 2014 production of Treasure Island, Ben Gunn holds several spirited conversations with himself, which he explains to Jim is a result of having had nobody else to talk to for all these years.
- Two-Face briefly goes through this in the first level of Batman: Arkham City as his two sides argue over whether to dunk Catwoman in a vat of acid, or put her on trial with a Joker Jury first, then dunk her.
- Batman: The Telltale Series has Harvey do this during a confrontation with Bruce at Selina Kyle's apartment, culminating in him leaving after Bruce either lashes out or dodges long enough to tire him.
Harvey: It's okay, Bruce... I'll go... I don't deserve your help.
Two-Face: Go off with your tail between your legs.
- In Dark Fall: Lost Souls, it's a case of Texting To Themself, as it turns out that "Echo" is the Inspector's own nagging conscience.
- The main character in Deadly Premonition, Francis York Morgan, is continuously talking to the invisible "Zach", who appears to be an alternate personality and who may or may not be the player as well.
- Killia from Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance is tormented by "the other Killia", who talks down on the real Killia for being weak and too cowardly to unleash him, even though he could destroy Void Dark with ease. It's his personality from back when he was Tyrant Overlord Killidia, which Killia suppresses by eating a lot. His allies seems to sometimes notice Killia talking to himself.
- Xel'lotath, the Ancient of Madness in Eternal Darkness, speaks in two voices: one imperious and rational, the other whispering and paranoid. In one incident when she's talking to Pious, the second voice starts doubting his loyalty, and she has a short conversation with herself as she decides whether to drive him insane, kill him, or first one, then the other.
- In Fallout 3, Charon, a Ghoul companion the player can recruit, has a habit of saying things like "Over here!" and "Keep firing!" to himself in combat, and when sneaking or waiting will mutter unintelligbly. He's not outright stated to have multiple personalities, but his backstory is traumatic enough to allow for it.
- Best Friend Tabitha in Fallout: New Vegas. It's heavily implied that this is the case on her radio show, where she claims to be doing an interview with "Rhonda", only to say mournfully to herself later, "I still miss you, Rhonda, after all these years." Raul also refers to Rhonda as "Tabitha" briefly before hastily correcting himself.
- Vayne Aurelius and his Superpowered Evil Side at the end of Mana Khemia Alchemists Of Alrevis.
- Pat (Tsukasa) in Mega Man Star Force has split personality disorder, and his hateful emotions manifest as a dark alter ego called Rey (Hikaru). When merged with Gemini, Pat and Rey become Gemini Spark White and Gemini Spark Black, respectively. (In the second game, he's able to wave change even though he's banished Rey from inside of him.)
- Fred/Napoleon Bonaparte from Psychonauts, the latter being more a manifestation of Fred's crippling insecurities and low self-esteem. Fred's completely aware that Napoleon is a figment of his imagination; he just can't make him go away. And he should know all about insanity, he used to be the orderly.
- Spec Ops: The Line: the big reveal at the end of the game is that the Big Bad has been Dead All Along. The conversations protagonist Capt. Walker had with Col. Konrad over the second half of the story were all one-sided - Walker was hallucinating a voice over a broken walkie-talkie, one that was acting as his conscience when berating him for his actions. When Walker finds Konrad's corpse and is forced to face the truth, there's a moment where Walker is clearly seen moving his mouth when "Konrad" is talking.
- In Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines Therese and Jeanette Voerman have protracted and extremely noisy arguments - most of which are held behind closed doors.
- At one of the main climaxes in Santa Monica you can find her as half Therese and half Jeanette. With a gun to "their" head. You have to talk them down so they can coexist (which is extremely difficult this early in the game) or influence the "death" of one of them, only leaving the other.
- In Team Fortress 2, equipping The Second Opinion on the Medic will cause this.
"Do you ever think that you might be going mad?"
"Oh, all zhe time. I don't zhink it's anyzhing to worry about."
- Higurashi: When They Cry:
- Shion and Rena literally argue against a voice in their mind that convinces them to become distrustful of others and commit violent acts in their personal arcs.
- Umineko: When They Cry:
- This turns out to be the case with Shannon, Kanon and Beatrice, who are all personas of Sayo Yasuda, and whose discussions symbolize the conflicts that exist in Sayo's heart. This is done so seamlessly that you most likely won't notice it until much later in the story, and when you reread the series with this trope in mind every conversation between them changes completely.
- Eva also does this with her imagined younger self, who later becomes EVA-Beatrice.
- The Fruit of Grisaia: Only at the end of her route when Michiru finally manages to accept her other side, mananging to coexist with her, do they become able to communicate like that.
- Technically occurs in Red vs. Blue when the Alpha AI, aka Church, converses with Delta, Omega, Gamma, or any of the other AI fragments who broke off from him. Later Epsilon, which represents the Alpha's memory, is able to create facsimiles of the other fragments to help him with tasks, or just to chat with.
- First off, there's been one occasion in Ansem Retort where Aerith's split personalities have addressed each other. And then there's the time Axel and Zexion hijack a plane and try to negotiate with the governor... Zexion. Who talks to his chief advisor... Axel.
- How Hyde and Jekyll converse in The Glass Scientists, at least when Hyde's in charge. It's unknown yet whether the same is true when Jekyll's in control.
- Dan Shive, author of El Goonish Shive, sketched this after arguing with himself on Twitter.
- Trollian memos in Homestuck have a transtimeline function, enabling the characters to talk to each other in real time while still being hours or days away from each other, sometimes resulting in this trope when a character starts arguing with their future or past self. Best exemplified by a conversation in which one character has an argument with themselves ten minutes into the future.
- In Life, Felicia/Natalie converse with each other on several occasions, occasionally to their/her discomfiture.
- Haley in The Order of the Stick loses her ability to speak coherently, and the longer she is unable to communicate with others, the more she holds internal conversations with aspects of herself, especially her hypercritical teenaged self.
- Anna and Susan do this in Sire when they want to discuss private matters, such as Emilie being descended from Inspector Javert or how none of the other characters know that they were the ones that murdered Paul.
- Cerene of Suppression does this in just about every scene where there's more than one of her. Probably doesn't help that she's naturally kind of a chatterbox and tends to argue with and snark at herself. This trope is especially prominent when she uses Mind Prism: Red Cerene and Grey Cerene tend to butt heads, and nobody seems to like Blue Cerene.
- Tina of Wapsi Square does this a bit. She even argues about pizza toppings.
- John and Poor Trotmann of The Word Weary have entire issues devoted to their one-man conversations, even going so far as to refer to themselves in the second person.
- Jen Delaney of The Jenkinsverse originally starts talking to herself to stave off loneliness during four months alone on an alien world. Over time, "Old Jen" - the embodiment of her timid nobody former self - becomes a fully-fledged mental voice with her own opinions, who carries on conversations with "New Jen".
- In Survival of the Fittest, Kaleigh Jones, Nessy Guthrie, and arguably Cillian Crowe go through this. Oddly, Kaleigh seemed to be able to decide which of her personalities was in control at any given time. A lot of V6's Benjamin Lichter dialogue is also him talking to a voice in his head, though it's left ambiguous whether or not it's actually another personality or just a side of himself he can't bare to admit he has.
- The Whateley Universe has Generator (Jade Sinclair). Justified in the fact that Jade's main power is in splitting off telekinetic manifestations of her soul/spirit - which makes it a lot easier for her to do that than it would for most people. Also either justified or subverted in that each manifestation does have the same memories and experiences as Jade when they first split off from her - it's only time that changes this. Too long away from each other tends to lead to Jade passing out when they reunite, due to Sensory Overload while her brain assimilates the memories.
- Each page on TV Tropes (except for discussion and Troper Tales) is supposed to look like it was written by the same person and therefore, tropers are not supposed to refer to themselves individually (by saying "I" or "This troper") or have arguments on trope pages. However, some tropers do this anyway, making such pages look like they were written by someone with a Split Personality who is Talking to Themself.
- In Star Harbor Nights Perfect does this with a stuff rabbit.
- In Polokoa Quest, this is the first indication that Rokolo is less stable than she claims to be. In a subversion, it's not a symptom of wholesale insanity, but rather the side-effects of her Mad Scientist experiments and her Bizarre Alien Biology. It's still not a good sign, of course.
Rokolo (from Polokoa's perspective): Fuck, they dont even really exist! Its just parts of my mind being a bit delusional. Thats a- Shut UP Polo youre an aerospace engineer you dont know SHIT about neurobiology OR psychiatry!!
- In Twig, Sylvester starts hallucinating projections of the other Lambs which offer him tactical advice and companionship, including Evette, who was never actually a person.
- Karim Debbache does it constantly in Crossed, with his "other self" often intervening to make naive remarks or ask stupid questions.
Karim: You want to know how shitty The '90s were? I grew up in the nineties, and now I'm on the Internet, talking to myself.
- Animerica: Kiyone did this very often with his "evil" side until it reached the point where he could no longer hold it back and the evil side became dominant. The second time they talk, he manages to successfully defeat him due to The Powerof Friendship and The Powerof Love combined.
- In the Season 3 finale of The Guild, Cyd has a conversation with her avatar Codex in her imagination. Later in the episode, it's strongly implied that she's developing a genuine Split Personality.
- In 50% OFF, instead of having internal monologues, Haru has a whole collective of Harus in his mind who like to argue, play board games, sing the DuckTales (1987) theme song, put on wrestling matches, murder each other...
- FreedomToons: "Every Rubin Report Ever" ends with Dave Rubin interviewing "Rave Dubin".
- Archer: Barry Dylan talks to himself frequently, referring to himself as "Barry" and "Other Barry".
- Around the World in 80 Days; Mr. Fix would do this often throughout the series. Ex: "Have you got a plan, Mr. Fix?" "Have I got a plan, Mr. Fix? Have I got a plan?"
- Gargoyles: Coldstone has three souls, which not only converse, but fight for dominance.
- Mixels: Nurp-Naut, being made of both Nurp (an infant) and Naut (an elder), have a tendency to argue with each other and treat each other as separate entities, with others doing the same.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
- Twilight Sparkle does this during a psychotic breakdown in "Lesson Zero". As a homage to The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, it's done via reflective puddle, with her face representing one side of the argument and the face in the reflection representing the other.
- Minor example in "Baby Cakes" when Pinkie converses with herself during her comedy act.
Pinkie at drums: Woo, tough crowd.
Pinkie on stage: Tell me about it.
- Samurai Jack Season 5 shows that after the 50 year timeskip, Aku now conjures up a psychiatrist clone of himself to vent his frustrations to. It's much more helpful than Jack's subconscious trying to goad him into Seppuku.
- South Park features Mr. Garrison engaged in constant dialogue with his puppet, Mr. Hat. Made even stranger by the fact that Mr. Hat would sometimes do things without Garrison's knowledge. Weirdly, Garrison understands that Mr. Twig is inanimate and only pretends to talk to him, while he sees Mr. Hat as a sentient being.
- Spider-Man: The Animated Series features Norman Osborn/the Green Goblin doing this, complete with use of mirrors. This version of Osborn is the closest the guy has ever come to being a decent man and parent, but his Goblin persona was as demented as usual.
- Steven Universe: Fusions, being made up of two or more Gems, occasionally do this, although the more stable the fusion, the less often it usually happens. For example:
- Stevonnie, the unprecedented fusion of Steven and Connie, does this fairly frequently, even as they've become more stable over time. For instance, from "Jungle Moon":
"Good night, Stevonnie."
"Good night, Stevonnie."
- Garnet is normally one of the most stable fusions on the show, but even she's done this a few times, always in unusual situations:
- In "Keeping It Together", her utter horror at seeing the forced fusion experiments created by Homeworld causes her components Ruby and Sapphire to react individually, and she nearly defuses.
- In "Keystone Motel", her anger over Pearl's deception in the previous episode causes Ruby and Sapphire to have an argument. This time, they do defuse before they eventually make up.
- Alexandrite, the fusion of Garnet, Amethyst and Pearl, does this fairly notably in her debut, "Fusion Cuisine", when the three Gems start having an argument over eating that leads directly to them defusing.
- Malachite, by far the most unstable fusion on the show, comprised of Jasper and Lapis Lazuli, who hate each other, does this a lot early on, to the point that she doesn't have her own voice, instead being voiced by the VAs of her two components. Her most notable moment of doing this is when Lapis reveals her true intention in accepting the offer to fuse: to imprison Jasper.
- Stevonnie, the unprecedented fusion of Steven and Connie, does this fairly frequently, even as they've become more stable over time. For instance, from "Jungle Moon":
- Teen Titans: This is taken Up to Eleven with the appropriately named villain Billy Numerous. He has the ability to create hundreds of duplicates of himself, and the duplicates talk to each other a lot, referring to each other as "Billy" as they do so.
- Blitzwing of Transformers Animated is an odd case that isn't a good/evil split, but rather calm/angry/manic. All three are evil, but they tend to argue over the correct course of action. Oddly, this doesn't make him any less effective. Blitzwing's arguments with himself are actually reasonably rare, as his personalities usually have the same objective. Clashes between his Icy and Hothead personas are usually solved by Random. Though fans often like to make use of this fact: here
- There's also the five-faced Alpha Q in Transformers Energon. Years of isolation inside Unicron drove him into insanity just to have someone to talk to. He does seem to have one core, real personality with a childlike voice. It isn't represented by a face but only manifests itself when he's got his jaws shut.
- Young Justice: In the second season, this is how Blue Beetle's arguments with his sentient armor plays out, and as he's never bothered to tell anyone that the armor talks to him, his teammates think of him as a little bit... "odd".
- In When Rabbit Howls, more or less an autobiography of Truddi Chase, who has dissociative identity disorder, the author's various personalities have internal conversations with each other.
- Some writers describe having their characters talk to them and/or each other inside their heads.