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The Misophonic

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Misophonia is a condition where the person has a select hatred to sounds, by narrative or by nervous sensitivity. They are usually the only character(s) who lacks the tolerance to these sounds, and are mocked in-universe, or by plot-serving means.

Neurological sensitivity

In a certain Planet of Hats, the tolerance to sounds are the hats there that are rarely rejected. Most people consider "normal" sounds to be neutral, such as reproducing sound effects with the mouth, humming, whistling, singing, etc., while those with misophonia are acutely sensitive to these. Because of this, they are considered to be aliens and not their real kind, because it was too rarely detracted against. When this happens, they are most likely to be ostracised, publicly beaten, falsely rumored of monstrosity, or all and also become a Hero with Bad Publicity and a Socially Awkward Hero. Truth in Television: While this condition was discovered in 2000, this trope is Older Than They Think. There have been cases of famous people having this by complaining about the sounds around them at certain times. If a villain has misophonia of this type, then they count as a Tragic Villain if that is their main issue, or one of them. They are either embedded within their neurological disorder(s), or added to it through traumatic events.

Generic, theme-serving, oppositional characterization

Often, some characters, usually villains, are depicted as having the opposite views of sounds, generally music, for the sake of An Aesop, Foil-run villainy, or both. This type means that the character is misophonic For the Evulz instead of being neuroatypical.

A subtrope to Sensory Abuse and Berserk Button. Compare Trauma Button (from Teach Him Anger when this was added to the character), and Your Normal Is Our Taboo. Those with misophonia are often a Fish out of Water who view the bodily sounds as signs of being Conditioned to Accept Horror, self-indulgent, overall selfish, and Too Dumb to Live. Reactions to these sounds include Brain Bleach and or Freak Out. If this applies to the audience, then this is annoying combined with Squick. Especially in real life, there are cases where the character may sometimes indulge in some of these sounds, making it very likely to zig-zag. As part of its extremely complex functionality, it never counts as hypocrisy, contrary to popular belief. This trope is about psychological harm and demoralization. If this actually causes obvious physical harm instead of only distress, then it is Weaksauce Weakness, Brown Note, and the verbal equivalent Weapons-Grade Vocabulary. Also see Misophonia Gag, where such a reaction is used as a one-off instance for comedy or drama purposes but rarely (if ever) made a point of actual characterization.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable, the Ambiguously Human Mikitaka claims to be an alien whose species is extremely sensitive to the sound of sirens. He breaks out in terrible hives at the sound of them, to such a point where he can't escort himself away.
  • Kaguya from Kaguya-sama: Love Is War is shown at several points in the manga to be very sensitive to loud noises (with a bonus chapter establishing that this extends to any strong stimuli). It appears to be genetic on her father's side of the family, as her cousin Maki also displays the same sound sensitivity.
  • Both Yutaka and Vladimir from Shounen Note have a sensitivity to certain sounds. This either has to do with them being boy sopranos or due to their undefined mental disorder(s).

    Films — Animation 
  • Papa Mousekewicz from An American Tail: Fievel Goes West sees his son in the clutches of the villain, and promptly produces a sustained G# on his violin. The sound makes the villain drop Fievel, who gets the further encouragement, "For your life, Fievel, run!"
  • The Blue Meanies from Yellow Submarine absolutely cannot stand music. They "shrink at the very sound," as one character puts it.

    Films — Live-Action 

  • My Teacher Is an Alien: Broxholm despises human music, which is so painful to his ears that it can incapacitate him. Peter later notes that he had special ear filters installed after the incident at the end of the first book as a counter.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory and Young Sheldon is known to have sensitive hearing (sometimes referred to as "Vulcan hearing") as part of his unspecified mental "differences". In one episode of the former, Sheldon becomes annoyed at a small, nearly imperceptible noise coming from the refrigerator, which the other members of the family don't hear. It annoys him so much he dismantles the fridge to stop it, which angers his father.
  • Elementary: Sherlock develops a sensitivity to certain sounds due to a brain injury.
  • Lily from How I Met Your Mother hates the sound of the word "moist". After she takes her friends to a bad play she was in (and then complaining when Barney gives her his honest/insulting opinion), Barney gets even with her by performing a play specifically designed to annoy Lily, which begins with him saying "moist" over and over for forty minutes.
  • Dennis Reynolds from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia is much more sensitive to loud noises than any of his friends, covering his ears when hearing gunshots or screams, and having a mental breakdown over a game show buzzer.
  • One witness on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit was a young girl with an intellectual disability attributed to Williams syndrome. Katie had perfect pitch and extremely sensitive hearing. The judge found this out the hard way when she banged her gavel and Katie screeches in pain.
  • One episode of Royal Pains had Hank treating a UN translator who suffered from seizures brought on by the sound of her boss' voice. He solved the problem by adjusting her headphones so that her boss' voice came in at a slightly higher than normal pitch, thus moving it out of the frequency that caused her seizures.
  • Seinfeld:
    • One episode involves an elderly Russian author who cannot stand high-pitched beeping and whirring, and throws such small devices out of windows with abandon, no matter whose they are, how high up his hotel room is, or who is standing directly underneath.
    • Another episode, "The Wallet", reveals that Jerry's father Morty hates the sound of Velcro, which is why he secretly throws away a Velcro wallet Jerry gives him, not knowing that Jerry slipped $400 in it to pay him back for all the things Morty insisted on paying for in New York..
  • The Twilight Zone (1959) features this in "Sounds and Silences". Roswell Flemington is a man who adores loud sounds and readily explains to anyone who expresses annoyance at his obsession that his mother was a misophonic woman; one who couldn't even stand the sound of chewing. He adds that he hated having to be so quiet all the time and thus surrounds himself with loud noises. His callousness results in Laser-Guided Karma when he suddenly becomes misophonic himself. Everything from dripping water to soft music causes him agony. Convinced that it must be a psychiatric issue, he sees a therapist. Annoyed by the sound of her voice, he decides to shut her out and happily smiles at having a moment of the silence he hated so much before. His joy is short-lived. He eventually discovers that he's permanently lost the ability to hear anything at all.

    Video Games 

    Web Animation 
  • Epithet Erased: In episode three, it is revealed Molly is averse to the sound of fire alarms.

  • Brett Desrocher from Rain (2010) despises loud noises as he finds them distracting.

    Web Videos 
  • Dragon Ball Z Abridged: Whistling causes intense pain to Namekians. One villain compares it to getting both eardrums drilled out.

    Western Animation 
  • Gravity Falls: In "Northwest Mansion Mystery", Pacifica is shown to be sensitive to the ringing of a bell by her father, who uses it whenever she steps out of line. She manages to overcome her fear of it in order to open the gates of the mansion and break the ghost's curse.
  • Danger Duck of the Loonatics Unleashed has a cell phone ringtone that's especially irritating to Tech Coyote. Duck later exploits this ringtone to break Black Velvet's Mind Control over Tech.
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "A Dog and Pony Show", Rarity is captured by a group of monsters called the Diamond Dogs, but manages to turn the tables on her captors when she discovers that they are unable to stand the sound of her speaking in a "whiny" voice. By the time her friends come to the rescue, the Dogs are happy to see them take her back.
  • On one episode of Regular Show, the gang goes to a planet where the inhabitants are giant ears. Naturally, their hearing is very sensitive, and when Mordecai and Rigby accidentally make a racket, they are put on trial.

    Real Life 


Video Example(s):


Prom: We're All Gonna Die

With the school about to blow up at any moment and Junkyard Kyle unable to rescue the students and teachers at the school thanks to the pizzlies climbing all over her truck, Judy and Kima has everyone celebrate their final prom before they die. Luckily, when DJ Airhorn plays an airhorn sound, it scares some of the pizzlies away and Ham realizes if they make more noises to scare away the bears, then Junkyard Kyle will be able to rescue them.

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