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  • Excitable Idiot Ball Wheatley from Portal 2 is extremely upbeat, manages to keep a conversation going with Chell, the Heroic Mime, and while he does get annoyed by some things, he never really gets angry. But then the Core Transfer scene happens, and while Wheatley seems fine at first, something about the way he keeps mentioning how small and insignificant Chell is compared to him is quite unnerving. And then, when it seems like he's finally letting you out of the facility through the escape lift, he starts laughing uncontrollably as the lights in the room turn red. He calls the lift back down and angrily rants to Chell how she's selfish and how he's done nothing but sacrifice for her. When GLaDOS antagonizes him further, he suddenly and dramatically reaches his Rage Breaking Point, punching GLaDOS and Chell down the elevator shaft, and hereby permanently cementing his Face–Heel Turn.
  • Batman: Arkham Series: Batman is a major practitioner of Thou Shalt Not Kill... so if he ever does threaten to kill someone, it's a sure sign something's wrong. In Knight, after apprehending Penguin, he, suffering from Sanity Slippage as a result of a hallucination of the Joker constantly tormenting him and threatening to hijack his mind and body, threatens to send him to the morgue rather than GCPD if he doesn't shut up; Penguin tries to dismiss it as an empty threat... until Batman warns him he's "not feeling [himself] tonight"; Penguin wisely shuts up.
    • Should Batman ever resort to non-lethal tactics in a fight, it's a sign of how dangerous the enemy is, best displayed during two boss fights in City. He rips Solomon Grundy's heart out after subduing him, and attacks Clayface with cryogenic grenades, explosives, and a sword the second he realizes Clayface is about to engage him, and he doesn't stop until Clayface is wholly dead. This isn't a lapse of Batman's standards, or his Sanity Slippage kicking in, it's just that Clayface and Grundy are that dangerous and can't be stopped by anything less.
    • The ending of the game features one for the Joker when he, after taking over Batman's mind, receives a concentrated dose of fear toxin and is confronted with a future where Gotham has forgotten him and moved on. Joker - no stranger to the most pitch black of Black Comedy, who even ended up laughing at his own Death by Irony in Arkham City - actually proclaims that "some jokes are in poor taste."
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    • In one particular side-quest of Origins, Bruce's friends have been murdered by a sleazy stalker, and Batman hunts him down. Instead of a quick condemnation, Batman rants about all the things the stalker didn't murder them for, followed by a dehumanizing slurry of insults. It takes Alfred asking about his blood pressure to pull him back.
    • Nightwing and Robin have a "Well Done, Son!" Guy attitude towards Batman and constantly push for at least a "Thank you." In Knight, when Bruce tells Dick he's proud of him, Dick is unnerved and asks him if he's feeling alright.
  • In Disgaea: Hour of Darkness, Etna's final episode preview does not focus on her and is actually an accurate portrayal of the final chapter. The other characters promptly freak out.
  • Baldur's Gate II:
    • Jan Jansen's reaction to virtually any situation is to regale the party with long, rambling and highly implausible stories about his supposed past adventures which have a (highly tenuous) connection to their current predicament. Except when everyone gets dragged down to The Abyss, where after much searching he admits to being stumped. Haer'Dalis immediately predicts the arrival of the apocalyse.
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    • A more serious example shows up in his side-quest. Jan is approached by his cousin and the two chat merrily about the family and said cousin's life at the circus. Then said cousin mentions that Lissa is living in the Jansen home at the moment. Jan immediately drops his regular persona and states "did he hurt her". The ensuing quest, which is fairly dark by Baldur's Gate standards already, contains Jan making absolutely zero jokes and several death treats towards Lissa's abusive husband.
    • There's another one when the resident Boisterous Bruiser ranger Minsc, who will otherwise go Leeroy Jenkins on anything he sees as evil, advises the player character to "come back later with a bigger sword" when confronted by the red dragon. Even the most novel player should get the hint that dragons are Bonus Bosses which you don't fight until you are very, very sure of your abilities and equipment.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • In Cloud's retelling of the events that happened in Nibelheim five years ago in Final Fantasy VII, his personality is usually weirdly hyperactive and dim. Much later on, it is revealed that Cloud has been recounting the actions performed by Zack, a very different person.
    • Final Fantasy VIII:
      • Fujin's sole line of dialogue that isn't Hulk Speak is pleading with Seifer to reconsider his loyalty to Ultimecia.
      • There are several scenes where Squall, normally keeping himself completely under tight emotional control, will suddenly flip out with little warning when something happens that deeply upsets him. Early on it is after he's told Seifer was killed and he starts wondering what others would think about him if he died. Later on, he flips out when NORG tells him that Garden and the SeeDs were nothing but expendable troops, and he finally starts jumping violently at anything that threatens Rinoa after he admits his feelings for her.
    • In Final Fantasy X, Auron is the perpetually stoic Cool Old Guy par excellence. He loses his cool three times: when Seymour kills Kinoc, when he sees the sphere image of himself failing to save Jecht and Braska, and when the group confronts Yunalesca. Two are bad, one is awesome, all three are very significant.
    • Final Fantasy X-2:
      • Whenever Rikku and Brother agree on something, the general reaction is "take cover."
      • This trope is why "I don't like your plan. It sucks." became one of Yuna's most famous lines. In-game, the camera cuts to the other characters suddenly looking to her in shock.
    • In Final Fantasy XIII, after Sazh's son enters crystal stasis and Jihl Nabaat reveals that it's technically Vanille's fault, Vanille breaks down and literally begs Sazh to kill her, and is visibly angry when he refuses. Though this is not the first time Vanille's cheerful persona has slipped, this marks the first time her true personality is fully revealed.
    • In Final Fantasy XV, Noctis' train is boarded by an Ardyn who hums the Chocobo theme and calls Noctis 'dude', as well as seeming somewhat confused by what is going on. Due to the actor's sleazy performance and Ardyn's normal personality, it's actually quite easy to miss this at first, but once it's revealed that Ardyn has used time magic to temporarily switch his appearance with Prompto, the content of 'Ardyn's' words are a giveaway.
  • It's generally a bad sign whenever a member or former member of the Omega Team in Last Scenario changes expressions. Helios really takes the cake, though—no matter what you do to him, he never stops smirking, right up until the sequence in which he sacrifices his life to let Castor escape.
  • In the Shivering Isles expansion for The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, your biggest clue that things are about to go bad is when Sheogorath tells you you're out of time with an explanation of the concept of time, which is a bit too orderly and lucid for the usually chaotic and wacky Sheogorath, indicating that he's about to become Jyggalag and begin the destruction of the titular isles.
  • Mass Effect
    • The Motor Mouth salarian doctor Mordin Solus never uses personal pronouns. It is part of his general personality, which focuses on conveying the most information possible in the shortest amount of time, but is also his way of depersonalizing what he is talking about to deal with the guilt of the things he has done. Except once, in the third game, if, when trying to talk him out of curing the genophage, you point out he was the one who previously helped strengthen it.
      Mordin: I MADE A MISTAKE!
    • This is a double OoC moment, as Mordin normally never shouts. Makes the moment all the more poignant. On a lesser scale, he says "My mistake" on his loyalty mission when he finds out that Maelon was not kidnapped and instead was voluntarily helping to cure the genophage. The key word in both of these examples is "mistake." Mordin is never insensitive to the consequences of his actions, but his tremendous intelligence and pride make it difficult for him to acknowledge when he's made a bad decision, which means he'll defend the genophage modification as distasteful but necessary every time you confront him about it up until you reach the Shroud.
      • He does also use a personal pronoun on at least two other occasions, one time being a callback to the previous time
        Mordin: Had to be me, someone else might have gotten it wrong.
    • In the second game, he gets a line if you're romancing someone where he talks quickly about the medical consequences of a one-night stand, such as suggesting biotic suppressors for a romance with Jack or cautioning that oral contact with Thane could cause hallucinations. These are usually lighthearted and semi-comedic, unless you're romancing Tali, who is of a species with an extremely weak immune system and has to spend most of her time in an environment suit, in which case he sounds a lot more sober because, well, if she lets you into her suit without extreme preparation, she could die.
    • Shepard themself has one after the fall of Thessia. Normally, when Shepard responds to someone saying something inappropriate, they will have at least one option to say something that's at worst, mildly chiding, or ignoring it. After Joker makes a very unfunny crack, Shepard's Paragon response is snapping at him, indicating just how near the Despair Event Horizon s/he's come. An earlier Shepard moment occurred in the Project Overlord DLC. You know Shepard's pissed off when the usually noble Paragon interrupt is to pistol-whip someone. In the same vein, Zaeed's loyalty mission involves him setting a refinery on fire while there are still innocents inside it, at which point Paragon Shepard punches him in the face and yells at him.
    • These can happen if you play a mostly paragon Shepard, but act "Out of Character" by taking a Renegade response later in the game.
    • There's a popular saying that goes, "You will only see a turian's back when he's dead," which makes their retreat from Palaven near the end of the game show just how serious and hopeless the situation against the Reapers is.
    • The usually calm, if eager for a fight, Wrex will snap completely if you sabotage the genophage cure in the third game. It's actually scary seeing him shouting at the top of his lungs and firing a shotgun at Shepard - but then again, his unborn son just died as a result of you stabbing him in the back.
    • Female!Shepard gets one herself near the end of the if you speak to Garrus. When saying their goodbyes before the final push, the conversation starts out light-hearted enough, but near the end, Shepard, yes, the same Shepard who kept her cool as she sacrificed a teammate on Virmire, ran a suicide run on the Collector base, and watched helplessly as Earth fell to the Reapers, actually begins to break down into tears if you take the Paragon interrupt. Bonus points to the fact that this isn't just Shepard's reaction; Jennifer Hale stated that this line was one the most emotional moments for her in the game. It really helps to drive the point home about just how much pressure is mounting on Shepard and her team, not to mention the fact that she knows that she's likely not going to come out of this alive.
    • Aria T'Loak is normally very cold and calculating when going about her affairs. However, in the attempt to retake her beloved Omega from Cerberus, she slips numerous times into an impressive Unstoppable Rage that would have gotten her killed had Shepard not been there to intervene.
    • Elcor normally state their emotions outright, since they express emotions through pheromones and micro-expressions that are too subtle for other species to detect. In Mass Effect 3, when Shepherd asks an elcor how many people managed to escape their homeworld in a war, he simply says "Not enough." His voice is thick with enough emotion that his translator doesn't need to clarify.
  • We Happy Few is arguably based around this: since everyone acts happy and cheerful thanks to the use of Joy (and you're supposed to be like that and adapt to this society's rules), whenever someone notices you're afraid, sad or otherwise not happy, they will notice you're off your meds and act in consecuence. Likewise, if the normally friendly and happy citizens stop being like that to you...things may get ugly fast.
    • Also, when Uncle Jack stops being his usual kind and funny persona after a mention of the Very Bad Thing, you know it's not something to take lightly.
  • In Sabres of Infinity Elson, a friendly Perpetual Smiler, gets EXTREMELY angry at you if you break the rules of engagement, particularly if you disobeyed his direct orders in order to do so.
    Elson: I shall write to Grenadier Square of this. Next time, if there is a next time, you will follow orders, or I will see your sword broken, your career in tatters and what's left of you on a ship southwards so that you may live the rest of your life in infamy. Am I understood?
  • In Tales of the Abyss, Jade says, after weighing the possible benefits of Luke sacrificing himself, tells Luke that "as (his) friend" he feels compelled to stop him, prompting Luke to point out that he never called him his friend before. Jade then apologizes, something that's equally uncharacteristic of him. Much earlier in the game, Jade gets visibly angry when he realizes that the villains are using fomicry.
  • In Tales of Symphonia, Colette is a Picky Eater and loves puppies, and undergoes a process that pretty much takes away all of her senses. When she starts liking foods she doesn't, the characters think she's maturing... but later on she kicks a dog that comes up to her. Red flag, there's definitely something wrong.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's Portable : The Gears of Destiny
    • Kyrie Florian is a flirty, coy, and playful character with a manipulative streak who doesn't seem to take things too seriously... unless if something she really cares about is brought up, such as her dying planet or her dying father-creator, then that personality drops, showing The Unfettered Determinator underneath.
    • Levi the Slasher acts like a hyperactive Cheerful Child practically all the time, save for near the climax of the game when she decides to join Stern in her Suicide Mission to stop the growth of the Unbreakable Darkness. Here, she expresses a rare moment of seriousness and thoughtfulness that surprises Stern and ultimately convinces her to allow her fellow Material to help her with her plan.
  • Given the tragic ending of Super Metroid, this appears to have been the intended trope for Samus Aran throughout much of Metroid: Other M. However, no previous personality had been properly established for her outside of an obscure manga, so most people interpreted it as the norm for her, and were not pleased. She does display some Not So Stoic moments in the game though.
  • Gears of War: The only time Baird and Cole ever act completely contrary to their respective personalities is when they learn of Dom's Heroic Sacrifice. Cole flys into a homicidal fury, and Baird offers no smartass remark, being simply stunned into silence.
  • In StarCraft: Brood War, protoss campaign, when Raszagsl orders the extermination of a dissenting group of Aiur survivors, Zeratul remarks that she would never act so malevolently, and was able to figure out that she was under the sway of Kerrigan.
  • In World of Warcraft, Thrall's teacher Drek'thar has been gradually becoming senile, so whenever he becomes lucid, it's a sign that he feels strongly about something. He does so in The Shattering: Prelude to Cataclysm when he hears about Cairne Bloodhoof dying, demanding to know how he could have been killed. He does so again in a quest in which the player asks him to help the Forsaken war effort; since he is a repentant Old Horde war criminal who is haunted by the memories of the atrocities he committed, he is horrified that the Forsaken could commit similar atrocities without feeling anything.
    • In Warcraft III, Medivh is perpetually calm while trying to subtly unite the mortal races against the Burning Legion. The sole exception is when Jaina calls him mad for suggesting she ally with the Horde, at which point Medivh angrily yells, "Have you heard nothing I've said!?"
  • Borderlands:
    • Angel never cracks a joke, remains somewhat aloof, and is constantly flattering the Vault Hunters. In Borderlands 2, she takes a much snarkier, more conversational tact. This is because Handsome Jack was feeding her lines in the first game, while she's speaking naturally in the second. In fact, when she goes back to talking like she did in the first game during the battle with Wilhelm, it's a sign that Handsome Jack is ordering her to deceive the Vault Hunters.
    • Handsome Jack spends a large chunk of Borderlands 2 being the most taunting, petty asshole he can muster, mocking your efforts to defeat him every chance he gets. When he dispenses with the jokes and gets down to brass tacks, however, he becomes a very legitimate threat. When Angel enlists the Vault Hunters to kill her so that Jack's plans can be thwarted, he starts freaking out and will actually beg the player, quietly, to not kill his daughter. After Angel dies, he becomes much more quiet and much less taunting...shortly before killing Roland and kidnapping Lilith.
    • In Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel!, after Moxxi and the Borderlands 1 Vault Hunters betray Jack and the Pre-Sequel Vault Hunters, Jack may tell Wilhelm (if he is in the party) that he can expect a huge bonus to his pay if he takes them out. Wilhelm, who refuses to do anything unless he gets paid, growls that after what they did, that he's willing to kill them for free. He comes very close to this earlier in the game as well, when he finds Tassiter so annoying that he'd be willing to kill him for only a quarter.
    • Tiny Tina is a hammy 13-year-old with an unhealthy love for explosives and talks like a pimp. There are a few times when she drops this to talk normally and with a quiet voice - right after murdering Fleshstick in revenge for the deaths of her parents and, in a deleted line of dialogue, when Handsome Jack murders Roland.
    • If Max Moxxi isn't making innuendos, something serious is going down. Most prominently, during the mission where she helps Jack retake Helios in Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel!, she doesn't make a single innuendo after Jack spaces a group of helpful scientists in a fit of paranoia, and even gets irritated when Lilith makes a That's What She Said when she should be focusing on the mission.
  • In Baten Kaitos Origins, Milly and Guillo are constantly Volleying Insults, even after they become friends. At the end of the game, Milly starts a fairly serious conversation with Guillo about her feelings for Sagi. Guillo quickly picks up that something's wrong, and it's right - she's about to make a Heroic Sacrifice. It also counts as one for Guillo, who is completely at a loss for words.
  • In Resident Evil 6 Sherry spends all of her first chapter with Jake being calm, collected, and Adorkable. So when Ustanak shows up and she loses her nerve and screams "RUN!!!" you know he's a serious threat.
  • In Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines you meet Nines Rodriguez, a Brujah who leads the Anarchs in Los Angeles and is as tough and fearless as someone can manage to be. Close to the end of the game, both of you meet a certain type of creature that anyone who has any previous knowledge about the setting will fear. Those who don't know the setting will learn to fear it when your character asks "Are you afraid?" and Nines answers "Yes. Yes, I am afraid".
    • A Malkavian player character gets one in their first conversation with Gary. The Malkavian character usually speaks in vivid, half-crazed analogies, but when the character gets seethingly angry enough, it will drop that and aska simple, straightforward question. The effect is bone-chilling.
  • Star Control II: there is one thing that will break the Ur-Quan's demeanor of self-assured superiority and authority: telling them that a fully sentient Dnyarri has emerged. If you know their backstory, you know exactly why this makes the Ur-Quan practically soil themselves with apprehension and fear. This is also the only way in the game to talk to an Ur-Quan and avoid battle with them afterwards: as thanks for informing them of the threat, they will let you go free.
  • In Warframe the normally calm and collected Lotus shouts for you to Don't Ask, Just Run when the Grustrag Three approach.
  • Fire Emblem Awakening:
    • Owain is a boisterous, loud, Large Ham of a character, who spends his time parodying a number of anime and JRPG tropes and generally being hard to take seriously. In his support conversations with his father, he breaks down crying when it's revealed that in the Bad Future, his dad died protecting him from an enemy ambush when a similar event occurs. This happens again in the Harvest Scramble DLC map, when Owain suddenly and very seriously asks Inigo how many people he's killed, with both revealing how horrible they felt killing for the first time. Being a Turn-Based Strategy game, the player will almost certainly have cut down innumerable foes by this point with no consequence, making the conversation incredibly jarring.
    Inigo: Wha—?! Owain! What kind of a question is that? If this is more of your usual fun and games, it hardly seems appropriate.
    Owain: Do I sound like I'm playing?
    Owain: In our time, human life was the most precious thing imaginable. But the moment we arrived here, that all changed... We began claiming it. You can't just flip a switch, like magic, and be able to kill the very next day.
    • In the Future Past 2 DLC, an alternate version of Owain speaks normally almost the entire time, when he, Inigo, Yarne, and Brady are faced with a life-or-death crisis. He only goes back to his usual, boistrous self at the end of the mission if everyone made it out safely.
      • Similarly, in the same level, Yarne will actually embrace his death if it will save his friends! A far cry from the timid bunny that fears extinction in the main game.
      • In the same DLC, every Kid from the Future will cry if they're reunited with their (in their timeline) deceased parents. This includes serious-minded and non-emotional characters like Gerome and Laurent. Owain in particular is so affected when talking to his mother that he can't even attempt his usual theatrics and just breaks down crying and is practically inconsolable for most of the conversation.
  • Persona 4's protagonist, Yu Narukami, is normally calm and very level-headed...but in early December, when the rest of the Investigation Team is discussing tossing alleged TV murder perpetrator Namatame into the TV, he gets so irritated by the team's anger-clouded judgement that, in his only fit of anger in the game, he tells everyone to "Calm the hell down!"
    • Yumi, a drama club member who is one of two possible options for the Sun Social Link, has a relatively gradual and subtle example. Before Rank 4, if you refuse to spend time with her on club days, she'll chide you for being lazy, and if you come up to her on days when club isn't in session, she'll proudly tell you that she spends her days off studying acting. As the link goes on and her dying father's condition worsens (causing a great deal of stress on the entire family, and forcing Yumi to reconsider whether she truly hates him), Yumi barely seems to remember what days have club activities, and if you refuse to spend time with her, she can't really bring herself to scold you.
    • Futaba Sakura in Persona 5 is a suicidally depressed girl who spends all her time locked away in her room surfing the internet, keeping even her adopted father Sojiro at arms length. After the Phantom Thieves help her overcome her depression Sojiro is shocked to see her out of the house and interacting with people. The change causes him to become suspicious since there's no way she could improve so miraculously without help, discovering the group's secret.
  • Overwatch: Reinhardt is a big-hearted Large Ham with No Indoor Voice, so it is all the more poignant when he drops his bravado and speaks in a quiet tone. This is best demonstrated at the end of the short Honor and Glory, when Reinhardt pays his respects to his late commanding officer in the Crusaders who had originally been chosen to serve in Overwatch, but passed the honor to Reinhardt before making his last stand before answering Winston's call. Extra poignant, as the cinematic reveal that in his younger days, Reinhardt was a Boisterous Bruser, who frequently abandoned his squad to seek glory for himself, and that his commanding officer was mortally wounded saving Reinhardt after his hubris and arrogance got him in over his head.
    Reinhardt: "...I have been called...I must answer...always..."
  • Jurassic Park: The Game: John Hammond in the films is a kindly old man, who deeply respects the dinosaurs and desires for them to be able to live and flourish in the world he gave them. Which means you know he's not joking around when he says that the Troodon are far too dangerous to be kept at the Park and orders them euthanised. To add an additional comparison, the Velociraptors were considered too intelligent and dangerous to be public park attractions and yet despite Muldoon's insistence, he kept them alive.
  • The titular Bayonetta is a level-headed girl who's default mode is Deadpan Snarker and she generally has a nonchalant and carefree attitude towards everything. However, one of the few things that can get her to stop snarking is when her friends are in danger. And should you be the reason they're in danger, start running. Cause it means you have severely pissed her off and your death will be agonizing. Only three characters in the series have triggered such a reaction. To say it didn't end well for them would be an understatement.
  • Kid Icarus: Uprising:
    • Pit is, by default, an all-around Nice Guy and Boisterous Bruiser who loves to banter, snark, and break the fourth wall. But then comes Chapters 18-21, where Palutena is brainwashed by the Chaos Kin into attacking the humans. Throughout the majority of the chapters, Pit is coldly serious and unusually quiet. Best exemplified immediately before the possessed Palutena fight, where Hades jokes about 'crushing' Palutena.
    • Hades is a villainous example. For most of the game, he is a likeable, flirtatious, and eccentric. However, there are three moments in the game where he drops the constant jokes and perpetual ham to remind everyone why he's the God of the Underworld.
    • Doubling as a Pet the Dog moment, Viridi gets one in Ch 19. After the Chariot Master is defeated and Pit is visibly distraught that he had to kill him, Viridi, in a rare display of emotion, comforts Pit by telling him that the master was an honorable warrior and that he should not let his death be in vain. It's the nicest you will ever see Viridi.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog has Dr. Eggman. Eggman is normally a Large Ham by default, but it's the very few moments he stops being a Large Ham that lets both characters and players alike know he is pissed.
    • In Sonic Adventure, when Tails manages to disarm Eggman's missile and completely ruin his desperate attempt to salvage something from his plans having completely fallen apart in the last few hours, Eggman, in the most threatening voice he can make, simply tells Tails he will make him suffer before summoning his Egg Walker.
    • In Sonic Lost World, when Zavok and Zazz taunt Eggman about how their world will soon be destroyed by Eggman's energy draining machine, Eggman coldly threatens to destroy everything they love and make them watch before cutting the connection by punching the ice wall the Zeti used to communicate with them. Both Sonic and Tails are visibly freaked out by this.
  • At the end of Mega Man 7, the titular hero actually threatens to kill Dr. Wily, even though he had never harmed a human up to that point, and Wily notes that the First Law of Robotics should prevent him from doing so. He doesn't make good on the threat, but he was clearly intending to. This is probably because the game starts with Wily escaping from prison (proving that he is too dangerous to keep alive). It likely does not help either that the Wily Capsule in this game is widely considered as the hardest, most infuriating, most unfair fight in a Mega Man game ever, so the player would probably have about the same reaction as Mega Man did.
  • When Prince Leon and Princess Thea are kidnapped in Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals, the normally jovial and goofy Dekar becomes completely serious. Tia even comments on this, before noting that it's probably not the best time to tease Dekar about it.
  • The House Of The Dead OVERKILL brings us Isaac Washington, a foul-mouthed agent who laces his zombie exterminations with shameless uses of the word "motherfucker". If he stops swearing, it means something really bad has happened, as demonstrated when he confronts Clement Warden, who among other things "loves" his mother—i.e., a literal motherfucker—and not once does Isaac drop the MF-bomb in Warden's presence.
  • Saints Row 2: Johnny Gat normally never backs down from a fight, and isn't one for drawing his kills out either. It reflects the gravity of the situation when he offers Shogo Akuji a chance to walk away when the latter crashes Aisha's funeral, and then buries Shogo alive after the resulting fight, rather than simply killing him.
  • Team Fortress 2: The Heavy is a Large Ham who takes every opportunity he can to call his smaller, frailer enemies cowards as he gleefully mows them down with his minigun. So, when he admits the Pyro scares him in Meet the Pyro, you know he's on a whole other level of depraved bloodthirst that not even his Blood Knight teammates can comprehend.
    Heavy: I fear no man. But that... thing. It scares me.
  • In Undertale:
    • Sans the skeleton normally talks in all lowercase letters and doesn't even bother to capitalize. When he actually capitalizes properly, you know he's serious. He'll also speak slower, and he'll lose his Voice Grunting and the Glowing Eyelights of Undeath in his eye sockets, forming a subtle Nightmare Face. Doubly so when he finally stops being lazy... and starts being the hardest boss fight in the game.
    • Nominally, Undyne is always Hot-Blooded in her demeanor. Especially on the No Mercy route, when she becomes Undyne the Undying. But if you're on the Neutral Route, and kill Papyrus, all her hot-blooded antics go right out the window, and she takes the fight absolutely seriously.
    • In one of the worst endings (but not the worst), Alphys of all people says to the player character over the phone, "I really should have killed you when I had the chance."
    • On the Genocide route, when Flowey realizes your murder of everyone is probably going to include him, he displays genuine fear for the only time in the whole game. He starts begging for his life later on, even morphing his face into Asriel's, before you beat him down until there is literally nothing left of him.
  • Mirania of The Last Story is normally a calm, polite and soft-spoken healer whose main personality quirk is her large appetite. So when you confront a late game boss and she snarls, "Let's kick its arse!" the camera pans to the rest of the party, who are staring at her in shock.
  • The Radioman in Spec Ops: The Line is a perpetually stoned wisecracking asshole, who taunts your team throughout the game. After Walker and co. destroy the last of the water supplies in Dubai, the Radioman doesn't even try to sugarcoat what happened, and reassures the listeners that everything will be just fine. note 
  • In Dawn of War: Retribution, the Ancient is a character known for not talking at all after taking vow of silence. So when he finally had a line of dialogue, everyone knows that what he has to say will be important.
  • Red Bomber in Super Bomberman R is normally very eager to blow up anything that would threaten intergalactic peace, but when Magnet Bomber punches Aqua for butting in and trying to end the fight, Red immediately goes from raging at Magnet to begging him to apologize to Aqua. Before you think it's because of things like love or chivalry, it's actually because Aqua's even worse at controlling her violent urges when she gets mad.
  • Princess Mipha in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild long had a reputation as The Quiet One with a gentle, demure personality among her Zora subjects. But according to one stone tablet in Zora's Domain, when the Divine Beast Vah Ruta was unearthed in the Kingdom of Hyrule's search for ancient Sheikah technology that could help them fight Ganon, she excitedly rushed to it and had an uncharacteristically fiery look in her eyes upon seeing it. This was taken as a sign by the Zora that she would have a crucial role to fill in the near future involving Vah Ruta.
  • FTL: Faster Than Light typically presents all of the choices you can make in a polite, informative tone. So when you encounter a mantis ship adorned with Rock body parts and your ship has the Rock Plating augment, what is one of the options the game presents to you? Ram the bastards.
  • Ormus the Mad Mage in Diablo II is a Third-Person Person who speaks almost entirely in obtuse riddles, with no one being sure if he's genuinely insane or a lot smarter than he wants everyone to think he is. One of the few occasions when he speaks entirely seriously is when he implores the player character to kill the High Council of Travincal - a group of Zakarumite high priests who, through the corruption of the demon Mephisto, have been warped into demonic mockeries of what their religon once stood for.
  • It's possible to invoke this in most modern choice-based RPGs, especially Bioware games like Dragon Age II or Star Wars: The Old Republic, or, as mentioned above, Mass Effect. Most games have several categories of choices, and Dragon Age 2 even goes so far as to have your standard dialog choice influence your Hawke's default reactions in cutscenes. So a humourous Hawke suddenly making an aggressive dialog choice can help drive home how emotional they are about something (for example; Blood Magic, most of the events of Act III, especially Anders' bombing of the chantry etc.) In certain circumstances, companions will even comment on the sudden jarring shift from the personality they've come to expect from you.
  • The first couple of hours of Xenoblade establish Shulk to be a soft-spoken Science Hero, the rational blue oni to Reyn's red, and a Nice Guy in general. So when he responds to Metal Face murdering Fiora by hollering a barely coherent "I'll Kill You!", going on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge, and swearing to kill every last Mechon, Reyn lampshades how uncharacteristic it is of him.
  • Kingdom Hearts has a few examples.
    • Xehanort and all of his selves are prime cuts of Large Ham, and are generally determined that nothing the heroes do will completely prevent their objectives from taking place. So when they start freaking out, the heroes are doing something right.
      • At the climax of Birth by Sleep, Master Xehanort successfully performs a Grand Theft Me on Terra, tosses Ends of the Earth to the ground, sheds Terra's Keyblade Armour, draws his BFK, and marches off to see the χ-blade. Then Will's Cage appears, and Xehanort turns around to find the Lingering Will kneeling there with its hands on Ends of the Earth. Xehanort, who now has no real reason to stick around and several ways to depart the Keyblade Graveyard, proceeds to yell at him and go in for a fight.
      Xehanort: Your body submits, your heart succumbs... So why does your mind resist?
    • Sora is normally a highly optimistic individual. So much so that absolutely everything possible would have to be going horribly, horribly wrong for him to come even close to crossing the Despair Event Horizon. In Kingdom Hearts III, that is exactly what happens at the Keyblade Graveyard. Terra-Xehanort cuts down Ventus and Lea, and then the biggest storm of Heartless ever consumes all his friends, one by one, ending with a Futile Hand Reach when they take Kairi. Sora drops to his knees and screams, proclaiming that everything is over. He helps them all get better (well, most of them; Kairi was serving as the lifeline), but it takes a brief dip into the Final World to even get him to try. Then, at the conclusion of the Skein of Severance, Xehanort puts Kairi in the same situation with a swing of his Key. Even after Xion confirms that Kairi can still be saved, Sora barely even cracks a smile for the rest of the game.
  • Shadowverse: The illusory Kyle offers to leave the army to get married to Isabelle, despite Isabelle knowing he treasures his comrades. This is what tips her off to the fact that the dream world's Kyle is not the one she knows.
  • In God of War (PS4), the Witch of the Woods is very kind and friendly, acting like a surrogate aunt to Atreus. Except for the one moment where she notices that Atreus has mistletoe arrows and immediately demands that he gives it to her and makes him promise to destroy any more that he sees.
  • In Dragon Age, Varric is, wbile not necessarily always bright, usually unaffected by the horrors of the world around him. In Dragon Age: Inquisition, though, should Hawke be the one to sacrifice themselves when the group is in the Fade, Varric is completely unable to find anything to say, and eventually just walks away, completey broken.
  • In The World Ends with You, Beat's typically Hot-Blooded, reckless and short-tempered. As such, it says a lot when he's nervous about the prospect of fighting Kariya, a highly skilled Reaper who only remains a grunt to stay with Uzuki. On the same day, Neku finds Beat at a loss for words near the place where Beat and Rhyme were hit by a car and killed. Neku lampshades this both times.
    "Who are you and what have you done with Beat?"

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