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Playing With / Angst? What Angst?

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Basic Trope: A character has reasons to be depressed or upset, but ignores them.

  • Straight: Alice is her family's unfavorite, and has several misfortunes happen to her, but manages to hold onto her cheerful nature and doesn't let depression drag her down.
  • Exaggerated: Alice's history is a parade of unrelenting Deus Angst Machinas and traumatic experiences... Alice herself is a cheerful Pollycuckoolandergirl.
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  • Downplayed: Alice shows signs of scarring, such getting angry when witnessing group practices where the goal is to eliminate one member at a time from the practice, such as musical chairs, but aside from that she's relatively optimistic and happy.
  • Justified:
    • Alice has been taught by her mentors to retain her sense of optimism and hope for the future no matter what.
    • Alice has True Companions whom she relies on rather than on her family.
    • Alice is depressed, yes, but she hides it, having the strength of will to handle suppressing such worries without despairing. She may also feel that being open about it would hinder her friends.
    • Alice realizes that if she keeps moping around, the situation and the problems at hand will escalate, and even more depressing things will happen to her.
    • Everyone reacts to grief and trauma differently. Alice reacts not with denial or anger, but acceptance by moving on.
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  • Inverted: Wangst.
  • Subverted:
  • Double Subverted:
    • ...However, after getting said Backstory out of the way, she goes back to her normal happy attitude.
    • Alice was initially very harshly affected, but has since grown to deal with the scars in a healthy manner.
    • ...which she nonchalantly "empties" once a week, like her own little mental Trash Day.
  • Parodied:
    • Alice lives in a Crapsack World and her constant sunny nature is an endless source of confusion and irritation for those around her.
    • It's not like Alice is an Emotionless Girl; it's just that she can feel every other emotion on the spectrum but (specifically) angst. How only that got lost growing up confuses everyone she knows.
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  • Zig Zagged: Alice seems to whiplash from blithe unconcern to moments of depression and back again, until no one is quite sure which is her real mood and which is fake.
  • Averted: Alice displays an appropriate level of depression or unhappiness over the events of her life.
  • Enforced: "Jeez, all these Wangsty characters around are depressing, and listening to them complain about their problems just bogs up the show and takes time away from the action. We don't want that to happen here, so we'll just have Alice ignore it all."
  • Lampshaded: "Don't you ever feel depressed?" "Nope!"
  • Invoked: Alice has a lifetime supply of 'happy pills' designed specifically to prevent her from focusing on her past.
  • Exploited: As she's not distracted by angst, Alice manages to earn her happy ending.
  • Defied: The villain tortures Alice by confronting her with all the traumatic issues of her past, forcing her to confront them.
  • Discussed: "If I dwelt on all the bullshit that happened to me, I'd go crazy."
  • Conversed: "Ah, here comes the happy ball of sunshine." "Do you think they'll cure her?" "Fat chance."
  • Deconstructed:
    • Alice is a Stepford Smiler who refuses to dwell on anything even remotely upsetting; as The Hero, she feels she can't let herself be bogged down by bad feelings, too afraid of getting caught up in feeling sorry for herself and letting others down.
    • Alternatively, Alice legitimately doesn't care, and, as the tragedies around her continue to pile up, viewers are shocked by her Lack of Empathy. And Alice almost becomes a sociopath.
    • Alice actually turns out to be a sociopath— no, not the homicidal or Jerkass kind, but the high-functioning kind that can blend in relatively well with the rest of society. We see from her perspective that she sees not processing some emotional responses as perfectly normal, and the friction this creates against her and her friends ends up making her mistakenly equate their stronger responses to thinking they're lightweights.
    • It turns out to be a weakness, as opposed to a strength as it's usually seen.
    • By choosing not to angst so as not to worry her friends, her friends end up MORE worried by her acting like an emotionless robot who seemingly doesn't care about anything.
    • Turns out Alice doesn't see her backstory as a problem.
  • Reconstructed:
    • Alice's refusal to dwell on or succumb to her problems is symbolic of her strength, courage and refusal to let her past or the unpleasant things that have happened to her define as a human being or control her in the present.
    • Rather than being annoying, Alice inspires others to Earn Your Happy Ending.
    • Alice points out that if she isn't legitimately affected by tragedy, then she simply isn't, and she would be lying if she were to pretend to feel traumatized. Therefore, she tells the people giving her flak for her lack of reaction to a tragedy to get over it.
  • Plotted A Perfectly Good Waste: Alice's complete lack of angst is a hint that she isn't quite right.
  • Played For Laughs:
  • Played For Drama:
    • Alice's untroubled facade remains untouched for so long that everyone becomes nervous that she's 1) on the verge of a mental breakdown or 2) incapable of any feeling and a murderous sociopath in the making. Either 1 or 2 is proven correct before the end of the story.
    • Alternatively, the above is built up and speculated on, but the end of the story plays up Alice's positively superhuman resilience as the other kind of drama.
    • Alice is accused of being heartless.

"Shouldn't you be drowning in angst now?

"Angst? What Angst?"


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