Follow TV Tropes


Quotes / Sanity Slippage

Go To

    open/close all folders 
    Anime and Manga 

    Audio Plays 
(Sobbing, slowly turning into a little nervous laughter) "They will burn. They will all burn, yes, burn! HA HA HA HA HAAA!!!"

    Comic Books 
I've reached the point... where I've come to doubt my own existence. Can't remember anything clearly... except the pain. Every night he's done this to me. Every night I've died... only to be resurrected - so that he can begin the torture - again. Same thing... over and over. I fight them... use every ounce of will and strength... BUT IT DOESN'T DO ANY GOOD! It doesn't do any good.
Batman, Emperor Joker

[Constantine is banging his head against his bedframe]
John Constantine: Bored... bored... bored. [Inner Monologue] This is probably not the best thing for a neurosurgery patient to be doing. Fuck this, I'm making a break for it. Heading for freedom on the open sea...
[Next panel, Constantine is hurtling down the corridor on crutches, heading towards the exit.]
John Constantine: Arr Jim lad, shiver me timbers, Cap'n Constantine's making a break for it... [Inner Monologue] See? Losing my mind.
Constantine reacting badly to an extended stay in hospital, Hellblazer: City Of Demons

Luthor's slipping — the pressure is beginning to get to him! He's always walked a fine line between genius and insanity — and this time, I think he's taken the fatal fall!

    Fan Works 
Vegeta: I-am-here-for-it...
Krillin: For what?
Vegeta: Dragon... Ball. I... need... that Dragon Ball. Give it to me. The-one-you-took. I need my wish...
Krillin: Are... you okay?
Ghost Nappa: I think your rage broke, Vegeta.
Krillin: What was that?
Ghost Nappa: Eeeeey.
Krillin: Who are you talking to?
Vegeta: Dragon Ball! Hand now, please.
Krillin: Um, I don't... really... have it.
(a blood vessel bursts in Vegeta's right eye, making it turn red)

"Okay, don't freak out, don't freak out...! I SAID DON'T FREAK OUT, DAMMIT! OKAY! I'm totally not freaking out right now! Because... this is me not freaking out! What do I have to freak out over anyway!? NOTHING, BECAUSE I'M NOT! I'M JUST NAVIGATING A FLOATING OBSTACLE COURSE THAT LOOKS LIKE A... GIANT... PLATE-BALANCING TRICK DESIGNED BY H. R. GIGER! FUCK YOU, REALITY! YOU'RE FULL OF SHIT!"

I saw it all, Elphie, I saw it all through the other Dorothy's eyes and I'm so sorry about what happened to Nessa and to Fiyero and this world's Fiyero and and and I've just got so much stuff in my head so much stuff in my head and it's starting to hurt and it's been getting better since I've stopped taking three dream pills at once but it still feels like my head's going to explode and it feels like I'm being watched and it feels like the Hellion's following me around with her hands under my skin and I'm afraid if I go to sleep properly because she'll be there waiting to make me a doll but even when I take the dream pills she's sniffing around waiting for me and... Blue eyes. Ice blue eyes, they're watching me in my dreams these blue eyes and the Hellion's never far away calling out and that's when I take the pills if I don't it's so much worse - and I'm just so sorry I haven't been able to get the Ruby Slippers back and I should have turned myself in and I'm sorry I've been such a nuisance and... I'm sorry.

"I have six fingers, see? And two heads! I'm a freak!"
Martha, The Children's Hour (1961 film version)

You have crossed from pleasant eccentrics to dangerous psychopaths.

"Madness, as you know, is like gravity. All it takes is a little push!"

"As the world fell, each of us in our own way was broken. It was hard to know who was more crazy: Me, or everyone else."
Max Rockatansky, Mad Max: Fury Road

"Something's happening to me that I just don't understand. I can't think straight anymore. It's like my reasoning is all, uh, twisted and distorted, you know? I seem to be disassociating myself from reality more and more each day. I'm anti-social. I'm becoming dangerously amoral. I - I've lost the ability to distinguish between right from wrong, good from bad. I'm scared, Ma. I mean, I feel like I'm - I'm plunging headfirst into some kind of black void of sheer and utter madness or something."
Jeffrey Franken, Frankenhooker

I saw Jake in the hallway at school. I pretended not to notice him.
I saw Rachel, too. She had a dark look in her eyes. Like she hadn't slept. Like something was really wrong.
Even Cassie seemed grim. It had gotten to all of us. It's not so easy to just forget terror. It's not easy to just ignore the memory of your leg being ripped off. Of being dismembered. Torn apart.
One of these days, I thought, one of us is going to go crazy. Totally, lock-me-up-in-a-rubber-room nutso. It was too much. This wasn't how life was supposed to be. One of us would snap. One of us would lose it.
Marco, Animorphs #5: The Predator

Godalming could tell Seward was sick in his head. When last he had seen him - in Purfleet when, as a warm fool, Godalming had dared defy Dracula and wound up fleeing for his life, leaving behind his companions to face the Count - Seward had been nervous but in command of himself. Now he was a broken man. Still ticking but completely broken, like a watch that skips hours and sometimes runs backwards for the odd minute.

He held on longer than I thought any man could, talking, reasoning, cajoling, yet becoming more and more disjointed as sand and dirt piled up over the rear window, repeating himself, backtracking, beginning to stutter. At one point, the passenger door opened as far as it could and banged into the side of the excavation. I saw a hand with black hair on the knuckles and a big ruby ring on the second finger. I sent down a quick four shovelfuls of loose earth into the opening. He screamed and yanked the door shut again.
He broke not long after. It was the sound of the dirt coming down that finally got to him, I think. Sure it was. That would have been very loud inside the Cadillac. The dirt and stones rattling onto the roof and falling past the window. He must have finally realized he was sitting in an upholstered eight-cylinder fuel-injected coffin.

You hear of people falling apart but you never think that it can really happen just the way it sounds, that you can feel bits of you come loose, that odd parts of you fail, and you can feel it happen: a feeling of affection or desire flicker for a moment, come back to life and then die, just like a lightbulb going out. Only inside the heart and mind and soul there is no replacement possible – this bit is dark for ever and you might as well get used to it. But you can't, of course. Somewhere in the rest of the house you can hear the clang of something falling off, you really can become unhinged, screws come loose, and in the dark you can hear them fall, clattering against other things as they drop into the flooded basement of your leaking soul. My chest and stomach hurt, hurt because I'm full of broken stuff. I need to purge, need to spit out the dreadful flotsam in my heart. My living has done this to me, this fucking job has weakened my glue and caused me to come unstuck: Care Bears and blowjobs; ET and the money shot; women who like it rough and Postman Pat. Indy do you know Leatherface? Harry have you met Darth? Harry do you know Sneezy? Sneezy, do you know Jesus? Bart do you know Che? Barbie, this is Adolf.
Do you feel lucky?
Frankly, Harry, no I don't. I can't tell you how luckless I feel. In a three-bedroom semi during the middle of a children's party, I can connect nothing with everything.
Christ in heaven, what have I done?
The Golden Age Of Censorship, by Paul Hoffman

Through that summer, Henry had been edging steadily out over some mental abyss, walking on a bridge that had grown relentlessly more and more narrow. On the day when he had allowed Patrick Hockstetter to caress him, that bridge had narrowed to a tightrope. The tightrope had snapped this morning.

Time passed, or at least Quentin knew that, according to theory, it pretty much had to be passing, though he didn't see much evidence of it unless you counted the weird menagerie of mustaches and beards he and his male classmates were growing. However much he ate he got thinner and thinner. His state of mind devolved from mesmerized to hallucinatory. Tiny random things became charged with overwhelming significance — a round pebble, a stray straw from a broom, a dark mark on a white wall — that dissipated again minutes later. In the classroom he sometimes saw fantastical creatures mixed in with his classmates — a huge, elegant brown stick insect that clung to the back of a chair, a giant lizard with horny skin and a German accent, whose head burned with white fire — though afterward he could never be sure if he had imagined them. Once, he thought he saw the man whose face was hidden by a branch. He couldn't take this much longer.

I can't tell the difference between dream and delusion anymore. [...] Insanity is where one misperceives the external world but I am not insane yet. It is just that the world presented to me is too strange to bear and I have become ludicroustic. My senses and foldback are artificially controlled and lack the complexity of what I remember of Earth living. I have been a king, a queen; I have been all things and suffered all the fates I could desire. Not even the breakfast simulator can save me now.
Gustav Fermat, The Museum Of Unnatural History, by David M Henley

He could now feel his sanity beginning to give way. This was an actual sensation, a true thing. It was interesting. He imagined a tree overloaded with ice in a terrible storm would feel this way — if trees could feel anything — shortly before toppling. It was interesting... and it was sort of amusing.

I amputated my left foot and have bandaged it with my pants. Strange. All through the operation I was drooling. Drooooling. Just like when I saw the gull. Drooling helplessly. But I made myself wait until after dark. I just counted backward from 100... twenty or thirty times! Ha Ha!
Everyone who murders in cold blood, thereby proves himself to be abnormal. And if the motive is perverted lust, then such a man is in fact continually on the verge of becoming insane. Such a person lives a terrible life. He must keep up appearances and go on with the normal daily routine, all the time trying to keep under control the compelling urges that torment him. Convicted lust murderers have related all this in their confessions. They have described in detail their desperate struggle to retain their mental balance. They said they were visited by horrible hallucinations, that the forces of darkness were constantly lying in wait for them, that the ghosts of their victims persecuted them.
Judge Dee, The Emperor's Pearl

    Live-Action TV 
Nick Fury: You didn't tell me he'd gone this crazy.
Phil Coulson: He's really stepped it up a notch.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., "Beginning of the End", about The Clairvoyant

Aeryn Sun: What is Scorpius saying to you?
John Crichton: He says he's gonna get me. He says he already has, I just don't know it yet.
Aeryn Sun: Why didn't you kill him when you had the chance?
John Crichton: I tried. Tried - but I couldn't. Something stopped me. Something inside.
Aeryn Sun: Crichton, if you need help-
John Crichton: I'll ask. Just like you do. [beat] Aeryn, don't worry. [chuckles] I'm not gonna lose my mind! It's all I've got left...

I don't know how much I can take / The secret thoughts inside me wake
I've lost what was within me / Oh sweet insanity
Now I try again to find / The thing that was my mind
Behold the undersigned / Who said I've lost my mind

''A thousand eyes open inside
Grant me sight to see the End.
A thousand eyes, the curse of the wise
Into the madness I descend.
A thousand eyes open inside
The more I behold, the further I fold
Into the madness I descend''

    Tabletop Games 
"Of course I'm sure I've gone mad. The little man who crawled out of my eye was quite clear on this."

Panic. Don't show panic. Show confidence. But confidence in what? You know you're not the broker you used to be, and it's probably just a matter of time until the pack figures it out, too. Ditch them? Maybe get leverage on them? Blackmail? Don't show panic.
Broker For The Damned, Vampire: The Masquerade - Clanbook: Lasombra (Revised)

    Video Games 
Warden, you gotta get me in a different cell! Those goddamn lights and... and shapes out the window! I can't sleep! I can feel my head shaking apart inside! [half-laughing, half-sobbing] I mean, what is going on here? Something's not right out there, Warden! It's like they're whispering to me. I'd even take solitary over this. Now theerrre's an idea...
LaGrasta, note  Bioshock 2

Jason: Hey, I got a crazy question. You won first place at that swimming championship this year, right?
Daisy: Yeah, the 400 meter.
Jason: What did it feel like, winning? Not afterward, on the podium. But in the water, when you hit the pad.
Daisy: Like I was really... present. Like the whole world was me.
Jason: You know... I never thought I'd be able to kill someone. The first time, it felt wrong. Which is good, right? But now... it feels like winning.

There is a mathematical proof, if you add 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 up to infinity, you can arrive at an answer. If you stop shy of infinity, you have an indescribably long number. If you continue all the way to infinity, you arrive at - 1/12. Negative 0.0833333 repeating. I'm losing my grip on things.
I'm thinking about the drive here, 400 miles in a rented truck. The job that shows up just in time to cover our bills, our debts, the insurance. The boys sleeping in the back, nothing but AM radio. Gospel, Country-Western, late night paranoiac talk radio. We sang Patsy Klein songs and laughed at conspiracies of aliens and ghosts. Mile marker numbers passing in the headlights. I don't want to die here.
Waylon Park, Outlast: Whistleblower

Entry 3: Thus far, my intellect has not suffered under a regimen of the Filth. I find I am still able to turn my head fast enough to catch my shadow before it sneaks up on me! (chuckles) I confound it every time! If I were mad, would I be able to do this? I think not! I feel safe in increasing the dosage...
Entry 4: I have seen the dark universe yawning, where the black planets roll without aim, where they roll in their horror unheeded, without knowledge, luster or name. I have seen. I have seen things in my sleep. Nothing is as ancient as sleep, except for... the Sleepers! I have seen the Spaces Beyond! Shhhhhhhh... I have seen things I dare not share with Orochi. They Who Sleep must wake. This is not the first time this has happened, and when everything is gone, it won't be the last. The vermiculated inevitability is horrific... and... beautiful!
Entry 5: The parasitic worm swirls in the eye of the snail. The snail is compelled to climb, higher and higher, to expose itself to the hungry sky! (laughs hysterically) Ascension comes with pain... and in the belly of ravenous wings! I feel the swirl of knowledge in my eyes... and am compelled to climb.
Dr Klein, The Secret World

The human mind... fragile, like a robin's egg.
Even the aged oak will fall to the tempest's winds.
The bulwarks of the mind have fallen!
Reeling, gasping... taken over the edge into madness!
The walls close in, the shadows whisper of conspiracy....
The Ancestor, Darkest Dungeon, when a hero becomes Afflicted

    Web Comics 
Lying awake at night, I realize how many little lights there are in my room. The alarm clock is the brightest.
Can't sleep. I'm alone with those glowing red numbers. Time slows. Does time even exist here?
Thoughts churning in on themselves. The madness can't be far away.
Ah yes. There it is.
(Crap, I have levitation class at 25:131. Better set the alarm to 'cinnamon'.)
xkcd #313: Insomnia

    Web Original 

Narrator: When Stanley came to a set of two open doors, he entered the door on his left.
Vegeta: No, I'm making a choice!
Narrator: This was not the correct way to the meeting room, and Stanley knew it perfectly well.
Vegeta: I know it damn well!
Narrator: Perhaps he wanted to stop by the employee lounge first, just to admire it.
Vegeta: I know where I'm going. I know what I'm doing. Look at the lounge; it's fantastic! I made the choice to come here! And now I'm moving this way, because I can go this way!
Narrator: Stanley took the first open door on his left.
Vegeta: No, I'm not! I'm going this way! Because I can! It's where I'm going! Because I'm going this way! (dives off the balcony) RENEGADE FOR LIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII-

Mike: They did it! Those plucky little Hobbits destroyed The Ring!
Kevin: Uh, Mike? We're not in—-
Bill: Shhh, shhh, shhh, shhh... he's in a better place now.
Mike: And the eagles are coming! The eagles are coming!
RiffTrax as Mike Nelson loses it while watching Battlefield Earth

Objective: Stop the Egg Carrier’s Launch!
Kung-Fu Jesus: Stop it! Stop the launch! Stop it! Stop the launch. If you don't stop the launch, then, the Britons... um... okay, so eggs are like an integral part of, of breakfast? And then, if you stop the launch, no one's gonna eat breakfast anymore! And... that's bad.
medibot: Breakfast has been wrecked—
Kung-Fu Jesus: Breakfast eating stop! (Sonic hits a wall) Run into walls!
pokecapn: So basically, this whole thing is to stop breakfast.
Kung-Fu Jesus: Yes. Breakfast is very delicious. But I can see why some activists believe that breakfast is harming America's children. [...] There's a thing also for breakfast called waffles. One day there was a day here at the place where we are called Free Waffle Day...
pokecapn: Uh-huh. (deals with laser fences) That's the GUN security system.
Kung-Fu Jesus: I hate the GUN security system.
a door closes in Sonic's face
pokecapn: SHIT PICKLE!!!

"Hey, cut me some slack, okay!? Can you two even begin to imagine 500 uninterrupted hours of consciousness!? Forget mole people, about halfway through I swore I saw the face of GOD! ...until I realized it was just the night janitor, Reki"
Kayaba Akihiko, Sword Art Online Abridged

"I'm... on a murder break."
Ryan Haywood, Ten Little Roosters

    Western Animation 
"Are we losing our minds, Barry? Could be, Other Barry. Could be."
Barry, Archer

It worked! I can't recall a thing.
(cut to next recording)
I call it the Society of the Blind Eye. We will help those who want to forget by erasing their bad memories.
(cut to next recording)
Today, I came across a colony of little men. Very disturbing. I would like to forget seeing this.
(cut to next recording)
I accidentally hit another car in town today. I feel terribibble - t-terrible. I've been forgetting words lately. I wonder if there are any negative side effects?
(cut to next recording)
I saw something in the lake! Something big! (tears out hair)
(cut to next recording)
My hair's been a-fallin' out so I got this hat from a scarecrow. Hey, are my pants on backwards?
(cut to next recording)
(laughs maniacally) Yroo Xrksvi - girzmtov!note  (laughs maniacally)
Old Man McGucket, Gravity Falls, "Society of the Blind Eye"

It's fine. It'll all be fine. The day isn't over yet. But it will be over soon! (groans) It'll be all over! My time in Ponyville! My advanced studies! Nono. You're a good student. You can do this. Ooh! But what if I can't? You can. You just have to keep it together. Keep. It. Together! [...] HI GIRLS!

Steven: Well... That tape recorder seems to be helping!
Peridot: NO IT'S NOT! [throws the tape recorder] IT'S A CHRONICLE OF MY DESCENT INTO MADNESS!
Garnet: [picks up the recorder and attempts to give it back] You dropped this.
Peridot: [crawls away] Get it away from me! Give it to Steven! RETURN MADNESS TO ITS SOURCE!
Steven Universe, "Log Date 7 15 2"

Didi: Stu? What are you doing?
Stu: Making chocolate pudding.
Didi: It's four o'clock in the morning. Why on Earth are you making chocolate pudding?
Stu: Because I lost control of my life.
Rugrats, "Angelica Breaks A Leg"

"This samurai's gone beaucoup cuckoo!"
Scaramouch about Jack, Samurai Jack: XCII

Grimes: Oh, I, I can't stand it any longer! This whole plant is insane! Insane, I tell you! DAAHH! AAAH! I can be lazy too! [takes his tie off and moons one of the technicians] Hi, look at me! I'm a worthless employee, just like Homer Simpson! Give me a promotion! Ooh, I eat like a slob, but nobody minds! I'm peeing on the seat. Give me a raise! Now I'm returning to work without washing my hands. But it doesn't matter, because I'm Homer Simpson! I don't need to do my work, 'cause someone else will do it for me! [slaps himself on the forehead three times] D'oh! D'oh! D'oh!
Homer: Hey, you okay, Grimey?
Grimes: I'm better than okay. I'm Homer Simpson.
Homer: [chuckles] You wish.
Grimes: Oh, hi, Mr. Burns! I'm the worst worker in the world! Time to go home to my mansion and eat my lobster! What's this? "Extremely High Voltage"? Well, I don't need safety gloves, because I'm Homer Simp-- [electrocuted to death]
The Simpsons, "Homer's Enemy"

Steven: (With a maniacal grin) It wasn't that important, you guys! You're making a big deal out of nothing! Have I done some things wrong? Sure! I trashed a house today, I broke an anvil - what teenager hasn't?! Dad and I had a little disagreement, that's practically a rite of passage! I mean, it would be weird if we didn't, right?! And maaaaybe I've had a not-so-nice thought or two about, like, y'know, slamming White Diamond's head through a pillar, but it's not like I actually went through with it! (laughs) I only actually shattered Jasper!
(everyone gasps in shock, Pearl screams)
Amethyst: WHAT?!
Connie: You're joking, right?!
Steven: Oh, don't worry! I fixed that too! I can fix anything! I can just keep messing up and fixing things forever, and you'll never have to know about ANY of it!
Garnet: (horrified) Steven...
Steven: (gasps; angry) How messed up is that...? That I've gotten away with this for so long... You have NO IDEA how bad I am! You think I'm so great, and I'm so mature, and I always know what to do, but THAT'S NOT TRUE! I haven't learned a thing from my problems! They've all just made me worse! You think of me as some angel, but I'M NOT THAT KID ANYMORE! ...I'm a fraud... (collapses to his knees, heavy breathing) I'm a fraud... (grabs his head, shaking) I'M A MONSTER! (spikes burst out of his back, episode ends)
Steven Universe: Future, "Everything's Fine"

     Real Life 

2012 - Most respected evolutionary scientist in the world
2013 - Strange, often xenophobic rants on Twitter began
2014 - Says that some rapes are better than others
2015 - Found in a park, naked, fighting a swan


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: