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Troubled Fetal Position / Live-Action TV

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  • River does this from time to time in Firefly, most notably at the end of the second episode when she's going on about "two by two, hands of blue".
  • Kamen Rider Ex-Aid: Parado curls up like this in #33 after Masamune Dan confirms that he has complete control over the Bugsters.
    • This happens again in #40 while he is trying to cope with the results of Emu's Batman Gambit..
  • Lots of inmates in the show Oz are shown curling up in the fetal position, particularly after all the ordeals that most of them endure while in prison, namely Beecher.
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  • In the Father Ted episode "Cigarettes and Alcohol And Rollerblading" Dougal sits like this while suffering withdrawal symptoms from being forced to give up rollerblading for Lent.
  • In the CSI episode "Nesting Dolls", Sara adopts a Troubled Fetal Position when she talks to Grissom about her past.
  • During the American Whose Line Is It Anyway? run's (in)famous Living Scenery game with Richard Simmons, Wayne assumes the Troubled Fetal Position in his chair after the game. It's not very surprising.
  • iCarly: Since it's a kid-tween show, depressed adults are extremely prone to this trope.
    • Spencer in "iHeart Art". Lies down on the dining table with his face in a bowl after being criticized by his art idol.
    • Lauren Ackerman in "iHave a Lovesick Teacher". Curls on the teacher's table and bawls in front of class after her recent bad breakup.
    • Ricky Flame in "iCook". Slumps to the ground after losing in the cooking competition, then once again after Sam pins him down in the wrestling gym.
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    • Lewbert in "iFind Lewbert's Lost Love". Traumatized after seeing his abusive ex-fiancee once again, he locks up himself in his office, rocking to and fro in the corner.
  • Doctor Who:
    • In episode "Midnight", the Doctor sits like this while he and the other passengers wait for the rescue vehicle to arrive. Pretty justified, considering he had just been horrifically mind raped by an unknown entity, and was nearly murdered by his fellow passengers during said mind rape.
    • The Eighth Doctor does this, while rocking back and forth, in one of the Eighth Doctor Adventures novels, during a conversation about the imminent destruction of the multiverse and the fact the few remaining survivors of his own species have dubbed him "the Blessed Destroyer", for reasons he just barely remembers. It probably doesn't help his state of mind that he also just had something close to a near-death experience.
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  • In the episode "Adam" of Torchwood, Ianto goes into this after being mind raped.
  • Dexter:
    • In season five, Lumen does this upon hearing the sounds of people having sex in the hotel room next door, covering her ears with her hands as the sounds remind her of her own traumatic gang rape.
    • Dexter has also done this when flashing back to witnessing his mother's gruesome murder.
  • In Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles episode "Allison From Palmdale," Allison is shown in this position while in her prison cell.
  • In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Oz sits like this in his holding cell after the Initiative has experimented on him.
  • April does this in Home and Away when her OCD storyline hits its climax.
  • Stuart from Mad TV retreats into his "dark place" whenever things didn't go his way. He usually has to be coaxed out by his mom.
  • Justin from Wizards of Waverly Place almost goes into this in "Third Wheel", although falling debris kept him from completing the pose.
  • Elliot from Mr. Robot does this in the pilot episode.
  • The Burning Bed : Francine sits this way while she's awaiting the jury's verdict, though her head is up and she's smoking.
  • Parodied in Married... with Children. After Peggy not only beats Al's bowling score, but scores a perfect game, she turns around to find him curled up like this, humiliated by having been outdone by his wife.
  • In the Bizaardvark episode "Paige's Birthday Is Gonna Be Great" Frankie walks in on Amelia in the middle of this after Frankie's puzzling request for a sideways cake for Paige's birthday.


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