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Tame His Anger

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"Anger... it's a paralyzing emotion... you can't get anything done. People sort of think it's an interesting, passionate, and igniting feeling — I don't think it's any of that — it's helpless... it's absence of control — and I need all of my skills, all of the control, all of my powers... and anger doesn't provide any of that — I have no use for it whatsoever."
Toni Morrison, interview with Don Swaim, 1987

So Bob is constantly angry. Maybe he has a bunch of Berserk Buttons. Or maybe he has a Hair-Trigger Temper. Perhaps he's prone to Hulking Out and going into a frenzy. Sooner or later his friends get fed up with his temper. Or maybe Bob decides to learn to control his Temper on his own. Either way, he'll do whatever it takes to become a calmer or more peaceful person.

This Trope usually goes hand in hand with a Heel–Face Turn for villains, Anti Villains, and even Anti-Heroes, although the last one depends on how dark they really are.

There are many ways they can go about achieving this inner peace. One of the most prominent ways is Walking the Earth. The character leaves on a journey to learn more about themselves, the world, and their place within the world. This often involves leaving behind their possessions as well.

If the villain is the one who tames his anger, it may be because there's a bigger threat coming. The villain will put their hatred on hold until their common enemy is defeated.

A common trope in martial arts series. A new disciple will become the pupil of an Old Master or The Mentor. The disciple will go from being a loud-mouthed kid or an Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy to a Martial Pacifist.

This Trope is Older Than Dirt. In Classical Mythology after killing his music teacher accidentally, Hercules is sent to a farm to become a more peaceful person. Another old example is Moses from The Bible. After finding out that he was a Hebrew, Moses kills an Egyptian Slavemaster who's beating his slave and flees to Midian. While there, he gets married and becomes a wiser and more peaceful person.

Contrast Teach Him Anger, where a Nice Guy or an Extreme Doormat is given a backbone.

In a comedy, this often leads to We Want Our Jerk Back! because Status Quo Is God.


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    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • Batman: Damian Wayne starts out with almost little to no respect for anyone besides his parents Batman and Talia Al Ghul. His anger leads to him nearly killing Tim Drake to replace him as Batman's sidekick. He's still a little bit of an angry Jerkass, not even showing his grandparents respect on the anniversary of their deaths, but he's a lot better.
  • Subverted with Black Manta. Aquaman tries to use magic to make Black Manta a kinder and more peaceful person. And it seems to have worked, for a while. But in the end, at a critical moment Black Manta stabs him and tells him this:
    Black Manta: Y'see, deep down, in my most secret heart of hearts, I'm still a totally depraved sonuvabitch whose main goal in life is to watch you die. Slowly and painfully. Just like your kid.
  • In the The Death of Captain America, many heroes deal with the Death of Captain America in different ways. Ms. Marvel and Spider-Man deal with their anger over Captain America dying. Ms. Marvel decides to take out her anger by thrashing Tiger Shark, and Spider-Man takes out his anger by attacking Rhino. Funnily enough, they're both stopped by characters who are well known for having Hair Trigger Tempers. Namor lectures Ms. Marvel on controling her anger, and Wolverine talks to Spider-Man about dealing with loss. Ms. Marvel even calls Namor out on this.
  • The armor that Darkhawk uses comes with the side-effect of increasing his temper, and he has to struggle to control it even under the best of conditions. It later turns out it's due to incompatibility since the armor wasn't designed for humans.
  • Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith. At the beginning of issue #8, an Imperial Officer comes to report to the Emperor only to be Force Choked by Vader for the (supposedly) poor performance of his division. Emperor Palpatine stops his apprentice before he kills him. Sidious understands and acknowledges Vader's feelings about "lesser beings" in their Empire but warns Vader to not go too far in killing Imperials for two reasons: first, the Emperor does not want "to rule a galaxy of the dead" and second, he tells Vader that going too deep into the Dark Side means that his rage will control him. Vader does take the lesson on board, but it's difficult when he really is Surrounded by Idiots, some of whom are trying to kill him.
  • Done more than once in Donald Duck comics: Daisy Duck tries to force him to control his temper at one point. Donald's nephews take advantage of this and misbehave, knowing that he won't spank them. They keep on pushing his buttons. Daisy tells Donald that it's okay to spank them as long as he does it with a smile. He spanks them in the end.
    • Another story has Donald at his worst in anger and jerkassery tame both and not react to many provocations... Then, at a party, he sees that while he was washing himself from the soup that had been poured over him, a Casanova Wannabe was practically forcing Daisy to dance with him, and he finally loses it. Daisy, who had threatened to break up if he didn't tame his anger, is happy, as this time he had made a herculean effort and when he finally lost it he had a good reason.
    • In Paperinik stories Donald is somewhat calmer than elsewhere. It's repeatedly hinted that it's because as Paperinik he's free to vent on criminals and other threats.
  • The Incredible Hulk: The Hulk tries this a lot. It doesn't work very often. Usually because his enemies won't 'leave Hulk alone'.
  • Just like the Hulk, Wolverine tries to do this a lot. And just like the Hulk, it doesn't last. Notable examples include the volume where Wolverine and Rose work at a mine in British Colombia and Wolverine finds peace and tranquility. That peace is interrupted when Dog kills Rose. Wolverine later meets a Native American woman called Silver Fox and they fall in love. Sabretooth, jealous of the peace Wolverine found, kills Silver Fox.
  • Spider-Man: In the comics, he has a symbiote suit that turns him into a total angry Jerkass. Being that it's his Superpowered Evil Side and Spider-Man's a hero, it doesn't last and he goes back to being the Nice Guy that he usually is. It should be noted that it is only in recent adaptations that the symbiote suit does that. In the original story, it had no effect on his personality aside from taking him for joyrides when he was asleep, and he wore it for quite some time. The Clothes Make the Maniac portrayal started with the 1994 animated series as a means of introducing the suit and quickly moving on to Venom.

    Fan Works 
  • In Child of the Storm, while Harry initially has more of a temper than he lets on, it's very rarely a problem, for all that it's warned that all the abuse and trauma he's suffered have been buried and festered into something very dangerous. Then, the first arc of the sequel proves to be a phenomenally brutal Trauma Conga Line, which leaves him with a horrible case of PTSD and a Hair-Trigger Temper, aggravated by a number of stress factors, and the rest of that book is a Mental Health Recovery Arc. Eventually, it mostly turns to Tranquil Fury, but if anything, that's even more terrifying. The start of the third book involves time travel and Walking the Earth possibly to give him some relative peace and quiet to sort his temper out.
  • In Common Sense, James teaches Mankey how to meditate, asking him to picture his most peaceful memory in order to ground himself. After puzzling it over for a bit, Mankey decides that his most peaceful memory is of the day James found him.
  • In For The Mission, it's implied that Nate used to suffer from moments of Unstoppable Rage much like Martha, but Groyvle taught him how to manage his anger. That said, Nate tends to go into a Tranquil Fury instead; he's still eager to wreck whoever incited his ire, but just does so without losing his temper.
  • In the Miraculous Ladybug fanfic Fox Rain Lila's anger is her biggest flaw and hinted to be the reason why in canon she'd eventually become a villain, and both her friends from before Paris and Ladybug have made a point in helping her with it. In a variant, Lila is aware of this, she's just unable to keep it in check-and Ladybug snapping her out of an episode of anger is what makes her start to accept that maybe the heroine isn't a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing. It's also hinted that Ladybug used to have the same problem and has already learned that, and it's how she knew how to help Lila.
  • Nutricula: After learning that Izuku has a Death-Activated Superpower — and that he is personally responsible for triggering its activation twice — Katsuki has a massive Heel Realization and is desperate to learn how to control his anger better. This also turns out to be why Mirko elected to mentor him; she possesses a similarly volatile temperament and wishes to help him out.
  • In Pokémon Reset Bloodlines, Iris notices how Ash, who is normally as kind and good-natured as they get, tends to have episodes of anger when confronting people who hurt those he cares about, making him lose focus and affecting his battle performance. She makes a note to train him to control those bursts in the future.

    Film — Animated 

    Film — Live-Action 
  • The Avengers: The secret on how Bruce has been able to control his anger and keep himself from hulking out most of the time?
    Bruce: I'm always angry.
  • The title character of Happy Gilmore uses his sheer rage to make insanely powerful golf drives, but unfortunately, he's a terrible putter, until his coach manages to teach him to tame his rage.
  • In Mystery Men, The Sphinx tries to do this with Mr. Furious—whose superpower IS being angry, so he's not impressed.
    Sphinx: If you do not master your rage—
    Furious: Your rage will become your master? That's what you were going to say, isn't it?
    Sphinx: (beat) Not necessarily...
  • Spider-Man 3: In the film, Spider-Man has the same issue with the suit as in the comic. It makes him very temperamental. A good example of this is when he slams a guy to the wall just for touching him.

  • In the novel Windflower by Gabrielle Roy, the Deuteragonist Jimmy was always angry. However, after he started living in the wilderness, and by the ways of the Native Americans, he becomes a much more peaceful person.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In All in the Family Edith Bunker tries to keep Archie Bunker calm all of the time. Considering he has a Straw Feminist for a daughter and a Hippy arrogant intellectual for a son-in-law, it doesn't work.
  • In Doctor Who, the Twelfth Doctor is constantly struggling to control the anger that has built up in him over 2,000+ years of confronting villains, eventually losing everyone he loves, etc. He has a noticeably pricklier personality than most incarnations as a result, with No Social Skills, and at least two Berserk Buttons — war and his companion Clara (his Morality Chain) coming to harm. He also comes down hard on villains who can't be reasoned with, as his Badass Boast to the Boneless in the climax of "Flatline" makes clear. He does soften with time, but in the final stretch of Series 9 (his second season) she is Killed Off for Real and then his enemies torture him for four-and-a-half billion years, as escaping his chamber in a way that will further his plan to save her means he must constantly die and relive the torture. Billions of times. He emerges from this as The Unfettered Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds, so damaged that the only thing that can tame and restore him to his best self is forgetting her altogether, though he manages to recall the experiences he had with her.
  • The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air: Uncle Phil is constantly angry with Will Smith for his constant screw ups. In one episode, he reaches his Rage Breaking Point, and instead of yelling at Will like usual, he hugs him... for an entire week non-stop.
  • Just like the example above, George Jefferson from The Jeffersons had a Hair-Trigger Temper, probably even worse than Archie Bunker. He does manage to control it on occasions, but only when he's trying to keep up appearances and curry favors.
  • Both Becky Conner and Darleen Conner from Roseanne during their teen years (most of the series), are angry and always fighting with their parents. By the end of the series, both are happy with their lives and not as angry (in other words they got through puberty). Darleen even hangs a lampshade on this.
  • George on Seinfeld can be like this at times, however usually it's because he has something sinister in store.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • As mentioned above, Moses and Hercules are some of the oldest examples of this Trope. They make it Older Than Dirt.
  • The Bible: In the Book of Psalms and the Book of Ephesians, God tell us to "be angry and do not sin; don't let the sun go down on your wrath, neither give place to the devil."

  • In Hamlet, the titular character spends much of the play angry over Claudius murdering King Hamlet. In his anger, he kills Polonius which sets off a chain of events including Ophelia going insane and Laertes wanting revenge. By the end of the play, Hamlet has more or less come to accept the mistakes and enemies that he's made.

    Video Games 
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic: Wise old guys are always going on about this to Jedi characters who are being impatient. And there's one personality-imprinted hologram on Dromund Kaas who will say this to Sith and Imperial characters as well.

    Western Animation 
  • In the Angry Birds Toons episode "Happy Hippy", Matilda tries to get Red, who had gone into an Unstoppable Rage from having to deal with the pigs, to relax. However, Red keeps on destroying everything in sight because he keeps on seeing hallucinations of the minion pigs until he accidentally knocks Matilda unconscious during an outburst. Once they wake up, Red has calmed down, but when Matilda sees the damage that Red had caused, she loses her temper and chases Red, who unsuccessfully tries to calm her down, and pummels him on top of a small structure.
  • There is an episode of Arthur where Francine is told to control her anger and so she bottles it up inside and almost loses a street hockey game for them.
  • Classic Disney Shorts:
    • Donald Duck is possibly the Trope Codifier for this one. He does it all the time. Needless to say, it doesn't last.
    • Daisy Duck frequently tries to tame Donald Duck's anger, but it never works. Daisy has quite the temper herself, but she usually controls it. At least in comparison to Donald.
    • Another Donald Duck example with the short "Bellboy Donald", he is forced by his boss to be pleasant and control his anger around customers, with the threat of being fired otherwise. Following this, Pete's son Junior begins exploiting this mercilessly and pranks him at every turn. Donald finally snaps and drags Junior to the manager, who fires him on the spot before a satisfied Donald spanks Junior mercilessly.
    • In "Cured Duck"'', Donald is told by Daisy to control his temper. He answers an ad on the paper about a cure and gets a machine that doles out indignities at him for ten minutes straight, and if he can sit through the ordeal without losing it, he's cured. Donald is eventually cured, only now Daisy is the one who loses her temper.
  • The DuckTales (2017) episode "Whatever Happened to Donald Duck" revealed that Donald has actually been seeing an anger management therapist for years and that they taught him to channel his Hair-Trigger Temper in more constructive ways, by directing it at anything who threatens his nephews.
  • Done hilariously in Family Guy. Brian Griffin finds out that Glen Quagmire doesn't like him. He goes out of his way to try and win Quagmire over, with each attempt failing miserably and Quagmire mostly puts up with it. At the end of the episode, Brian asks Quagmire why he doesn't like him. So Quagmire unloads on him every grievance that he (and the fans) have had with Brian over the years in one hell of a long "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
  • Dan Vs. "Anger Management": It's played straight with Dan & inverted with Chris. Dan and Chris are forced to go to anger management. There, Dan learns to control his anger and Chris learns not to repress anger. This results in their roles getting reversed. Dan becomes a nice pushover helping the anger management teacher get revenge on people. While Chris becomes more confrontational. Everything goes back to normal at the end of the episode.
  • In Drawn Together Ling-Ling goes to anger management after he kills Xandir.
    • Other notable characters at Ling-Ling's anger management classes were Yosemite Sam and Marvin the Martian. And the one who was leading the class was the Hulk. Because he's ''always'' calm.
  • King of the Hill featured this as the plot for an episode, where Hank is forced into anger management therapy due to accidentally cutting off Dale's finger with a buzzsaw.
  • Looney Tunes:
    • Daffy Duck to a lesser extent than most of the other examples. He tries to keep his cool in cartoons putting him up against Bugs Bunny, but he hardly ever manages in the end.
    • Marvin the Martian is an example of a Looney Tunes character who can and does control his temper, however it's mostly because he's meant to be Affably Evil.
  • In the Regular Show episode "Think Positive," Pops tells Benson to stop yelling at Mordecai and Rigby or he will be fired. Benson tries to keep his temper in check and not yell at Mordecai and Rigby, but they intentionally go out of their way to provoke Benson, knowing he can't yell at them. Despite his best efforts to remain calm, Benson's rage builds up to catastrophic levels that threaten to destroy the park. Realizing they went too far, Mordecai convinces Pops to lift the ban on Benson's yelling, at which point Benson unleashes his rage in an epic "The Reason You Suck" Speech directed at Mordecai and Rigby.
  • The Simpsons Did It! In an episode of The Simpsons, Bart Simpson creates a comic book about Homer called Angry Dad, which becomes a popular internet series. At first Homer's mad about it, but after talking to the family he decides to try and become a less angry person. Needless to say, it doesn't last.
  • An episode of South Park deals with angry characters including Eric Cartman and Randy are forced to go to anger management classes. It turns out their anger was about something else.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: Squidward Tentacles is always angry. Seriously. The Word of God is that he was meant to symbolize Wrath of the Seven Deadly Sins. However, one episode has Squidward shocked by an electric fence and becoming nice. Just like most of the other comedy examples, it doesn't last because Status Quo Is God.
  • Tom of Star vs. the Forces of Evil has massive anger issues that he's shown working on in almost every appearance, said issues being why Star initially broke up with him. Some of it stems from him being a Control Freak and getting upset when things don't go as planned but even after he's let go of that vice somewhat and gotten over jealousy relating to Star he's still shown to have a fairly short fuse in general. He's had more than one anger management coach as well.
    • Marco came up with at least one way to get Tom to rein it in: offer a more pleasing solution than just obliterating the object of rage. Such as tricking some insulting drivers into getting themselves arrested for speeding.
    • As the son of the rulers of Hell, Tom's anger issues are at least partially biological, as he has thousands of magical anger demons inside him, making his anger much harder to tame than it would be for an ordinary person. He tried to find a magical solution by extracting those anger demons within him, but this turned out to have two major flaws: he's got so many of the things in him that it would take daily torturous rituals for a decade to "cure" him, and based on others who have undergone the produce he'd be effectively lobotomized once it was complete. After an initial attempt, Star convinces him to accept his anger as a part of him and try to tame it the old-fashioned way.
  • Played with in the final episode of Trollz, where the girls have all lost their tempers. Rather than losing their anger, they control and use their anger as a positive force.
  • In the Unikitty! episode "Fire and Nice," Unikitty, after having an "Angry Kitty" explosion thanks to Master Frown, asks Dr. Fox to remove her angry side. However, the connection between them is not completely severed, and as Unikitty tries to repress her anger from all the requests she's getting (which are made worse thanks to Master Frown), her angry side gets stronger and stronger until Dr. Fox's machine can no longer control it and it escapes. Unikitty eventually realizes that she needs the balance of Angry Kitty and Nice Kitty in her life, but Dr. Fox points out she can't put them back together again. Of course, since this show runs on Negative Continuity, Unikitty and Angry Kitty are reunited for the next episode anyway.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Tame Her Anger


Supergirl Hypnotized

Supergirl is hypnotized into being less temperamental

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