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Trauma Button Ending

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This trope is a stock comedic ending. After a whole episode of wacky shenanigans, a character sees some innocuous object which reminds her of today's harrowing misadventure, and promptly has an unusually negative reaction. Its severity can vary, from an expression of distaste and exasperation ("No thanks, after today's horrific incident I don't want to see another codfish ball as long as I live") to full-blown homicidal rage, or a panic attack where the character flees screaming into the distance.


Often the other characters will express confusion ("Was it something I said?") if they aren't in on the story, or laugh uproariously if they are. Certain characters may even invoke this for their own amusement.

Status Quo Is God ensures that by the next episode the character has already gotten over their debilitating case of PTSD (or at least change of preferences) and will mention it no more.

A subtrope of Trauma Button. Compare Cold Turkeys Are Everywhere, Here We Go Again! and We Are Not Going Through That Again. If the events of the episode were All Just a Dream, and they respond with anger, it's overlapping with Mad at a Dream.



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    Anime And Manga 

  • Two classic Abbott and Costello routines that follow a similar path:
    • The "Niagara Falls" routine (also made famous by The Three Stooges), in which two men meet (one is implied to be a wanderer) and in casual conversation Costello's character triggers Abbott's (the wanderer) Berserk Button ("NIAGARA FALLS!"), and he brutalizes Costello's character while reminiscing the time that he hunted down a man that stole his girlfriend to that location. Variations of the routine have Costello's character either reflexively wincing when someone else comes along and says the name after the wanderer leaves, being pummeled by the wanderer because of said button-pressing (but the newcomer stays safe), repeating the wanderer's irate rambling (and pummeling) to the newcomer, or discovering the hard way that the bitter rival the wanderer keeps reminiscing developed the same Berserk Button from those events and getting pummeled again.
    • The "Susquehanna Hat Company" routine has Costello's character wandering the streets trying to deliver straw hats to the titular hat company, only to find out that every person that he meets for one reason or another has the hat company as a Berserk Button (the company is rumored to be corrupt, their loved ones died wearing a hat from the company, a crazy guy (that thinks he's a ghost and is implied to be the one that a previous passerby considered "dead") was wearing one when he "died", etc) and they wreck a hat in a rage before storming off (to add insult to injury, they pluck it off Costello's character's head to do so — and in one occasion even pulling it off the box he placed it in to prevent them from destroying it the moment he noticed they were starting to act crazy). The routine ends with Abbott's character (a fellow salesman) pointing out that Costello's character only has one hat remaining ("and what excuse are we gonna give the Susquehanna Hat Company?") and Costello's character wrecking the hat as he goes in a similar screaming fury.

    Comic Books 
  • Archie Comics
    • In one story, Archie is called by the department store he works at during summer vacation and is assigned to work at the swimsuit department. At first, he is overjoyed at the opportunity to ogle at girls in swim suits, but his sales techniques work too well, and the customers start to fight over the swimsuits he recommends. By the end of his shift, he's sick of bikinis and swimsuits and is ready to go to bed. However, his female friends, who had gone to the beach, decide to drop by and visit in their swimsuits (because they felt sorry for him at missing the beach eye candy, not knowing about the department he's working at). The story ends with him rushing up to his room screaming, while his mother and girl friends looks on, completely perplexed.
  • Occurs quite a few times in Disney Mouse and Duck Comics:
    • In the story "The Itch For Money", the Beagle Boys seek to get rich by acquiring and selling expensive crocus bulbs, but one of their attempts (robbing a fancy restaurant) ends with them clawed by live lobsters. At the end of the story, the Boys end up in prison and become enraged when the guard serves them lobster.
    • In "Archimede cittadino dello spazio", after successfully saving an alien planet from being bombarded by balls from a neighboring planet's baseball matches, Gyro Gearloose declines an offer to see a baseball game claiming that he's had enough baseball for one day.
    • In "Lamps Unlimited", after a business involving turning trash into electric lamps goes awry, Donald is forced to clean up the city. He uses a candle to light his way because, as he explains, he's quite sick of electric lighting.
    • Drie Konigen has Donald chased by The March of the Three Kings, wherever he goes, to the point of Incessant Music Madness. It ends with Daisy forcing him sing it at an event.
  • In one Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen comic, Jimmy nearly gets drained of his life force by a vampiric alien posing as a pet. At the end of the story, he runs away from a young woman who tries to ask him to hold her dog's leash.

    Comic Strips 
  • In one The Wacky Adventures of Pedro storyline, Pedro's Evil Twin Ordep had been posing as his butler, serving him alfalfa milkshakes to keep him off guard while he ruined Pedro's life. When Pedro finally escapes at the end, he says he never wants to see another one for the rest of his life, and runs screaming away when one of his friends comes by with a milkshake glass full of green liquid.note 

    Fan Works 
  • Peeking Through the Fourth Wall, and stories MSTed by it:
    • In Episode 5, the Loud siblings read a story where their house catches fire. At the end, after reading the story, Lynn asks for fire sauce on her burger, spooking her siblings.
    • In A Town Hates a Boy, covered in Episode 28, the Lisa in the story invents a perfume that makes people want to kill the wearer. At the end of the episode, a scientist sniffs (actually due to an impending sneeze) and Lisa runs away screaming, thinking he's sniffing at the perfume.

    Films — Animated 
  • Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas: At the end of Stuck on Christmas, when Huey, Dewey and Louie are relieved that their wish has ended and that it's finally December 26th.
    Donald: Aw, I understand, boys. You wish it could be Christmas every day.
    (the triplets freeze in horror and then shove the sled extremely hard)
    Boys: NOOOOOO!!!

  • Curious George: Downplayed for the one with the chocolate factory. George is given chocolate at the end after having already eaten a lot of chocolate at the factory. However, he doesn't imply that he's sick or doesn't like chocolate anymore— he's just not hungry.
  • Played for Horror in "Phobia" from Tales For The Midnight Hour. The heroine already hated rodents and would get away from them if she could. However, after escaping from a rat-man and his band of rats, the mere sight of one sends her into hysteria.

    Live Action TV 
  • I Love Lucy: In "Job Switching", after admitting housework is harder than they thought, Ricky and Fred pull out two big boxes of chocolate to apologize to their wives. Lucy and Ethel collapse, having seen and eaten more than enough chocolate during their last job.
  • In one episode of The Unit, Jonas goes home after a successful assault on a hijacked airliner, and promptly shoots a couple holes in his bathroom mirror when he mistakes his own reflection out of the corner of his eye for a hijacker who had hidden behind a seat during the mission.

  • One story in the official magazine for Moshi Monsters involves Furi eating too much cake at a party. At the end, Missy Kix offers him some cake, but he says he's "off cake" due to still feeling sick.

    Western Animation 
  • The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius: At the end of "Journey to the Center of Carl", Miss Fowl's class is back in school after almost becoming permanently sick thanks to Jimmy's latest invention. On this day, Miss Fowl introduces them to a new student, who happens to have a cold, causing everyone to freak out and clear the room.
    Miss Fowl: I think they like you!
  • Dennis the Menace: In "The Time Bomb", Dennis and Joey have a rather harrowing adventure with a clock mistaken for a time bomb. At the end of the episode, hearing the sentence "don't you boys ever look at a clock?" distresses them so much that they flee, much to the speaker's confusion.
  • Family Guy: In "Valentine's Day in Quahog", when Stewie returns from a time-travel trip in which he kissed a baby that turned out to be Lois.
    Brian: Oh my God, Stewie, what happened?
    Brian: Jeez, you kiss your mother with that mouth?
    Stewie: [vomits]
  • One Gaspard and Lisa episode involves chaos ensuing when Lisa tries to buy a beach ball. When she actually gets given one, she says that she's "had enough of beach balls for one day".
  • The Loud House: In the "So Long, Sucker" short, Charles, Cliff, Geo, and Walt spend most of the short making a mess trying to get rid of a vacuum cleaner they're afraid of. When Lynn Sr. arrives home, he notices the house is clean (actually due to the pets cleaning up the mess they made) and says that the vacuum cleaner did a good job and he's buying five more, scaring the pets.
  • The New Adventures of Superman: Clark would often mischievously bring up something related to the plot to his coworkers for a final joke.
    • During "The Robots of Riga", Lois and Jimmy are almost kidnapped to be put into a People Zoo. After Superman rescues them, Clark tries to talk Lois into taking an afternoon off for some fresh air, suggesting he and she might take a trip to the zoo. Lois responds by throwing her purse at Clark.
    • During "The Warlock's Revenge", the Warlock brings a monster movie poster to life to menace Lois. After everything is wrapped up, Clark says she needs some downtime and suggests they see the same movie.
    • The events of "Luthor's Loco Looking Glass" start when Luthor has a matter transfer machine disguised as a mirror sent to the Daily Planet and Jimmy falls into it. At the end, Clark offers him a hand mirror to see something on his face more clearly, which Jimmy emphatically refuses.
    • At the end of "The Fire Phantom", Jimmy and Clark catch up with each other and compare notes on the evening, with Jimmy telling Clark how chilling it was. Clark suggests that he build a fire. Jimmy immediately says that he's had enough of fire for the evening.
    • In one episode, a Mad Scientist who is angry at Lois for sending him to jail kidnaps her and forces her into a film strip. When Clark says Lois is attractive enough to be a film star, she throws something at him, causing him to quip that sometimes she's more hazardous than a mad scientist.
    • Clark sometimes finds himself on the wrong end of this trope. For instance, in "Superman's Double Trouble." After he's spent the entire episode dealing with a giant lobster and a humongous alligator, Perry offers to buy him dinner at a seafood restaurant. Clark declines, saying he's had enough lobster for the day.
  • The Raccoons: In "Moving In!", a pie fight breaks out on the set of Chef Surprise, which surprises the Raccoons, and George and Nicole get caught in the crossfire. At the end of the episode, when the Raccoons celebrate George's acceptance hosting Chef Surprise, they all duck underneath the table when Schaeffer brings out a pie.
  • Rugrats has an episode in which Angelica decides to eat some of a freshly baked cake despite her mother explicitly telling her not to. Contrary to the usual course of events, things culminate with her winning a contest and inheriting a candy company. She becomes emancipated and enjoys her wealth. Ultimately the stress of running a company gets to her. Unsurprisingly, it's All Just a Dream; she wanders into the kitchen to find that her mother made a cake that looks exactly like the one she'd eaten without permission. Her mother offers her a slice, only for her to run away screaming, "NOOOOO!!!".
  • The Simpsons: In one of the Tracey Ullman shorts, Bart eats all the but one cookie from the cookie jar and has an Acid Reflux Nightmare. After he wakes up, Homer tries to make him feel better by offering him the last cookie. Cue the scream.
  • The Sonic Boom episode "Multi Tails" has this, not for the episode's focal character (Tails), but for Sticks- frustrated by one of his clones answering "Why?" to everything she says, she ultimately attacks the fully restored Tails for asking "Why?" for an innocuous reason- why Eggman is mildly upset with him (the Tails clones ate all Eggman's pudding).
  • Steven Universe episode "Together Breakfast" ends with the team making a new together breakfast. Since the previous one ended up possessed and turned into a giant monster, they realize that they aren't in the mood for it and go out for pizza instead.


Video Example(s):


The day after Christmas!!

Huey, Louie and Dewey are relieved that Christmas is finally over, and don't want to go through it all again.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / TraumaButtonEnding

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