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Villainous Breakdown / Live-Action Films

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Loki, God of Mischief, both before and after a humiliating defeat in New York City.
"That was an order! Steiner's assault was an order! Who do you think you are, to dare to disobey an order that I give?! Is this what it has come to!? The military has been lying to me! Everybody has been lying to me! Even the SS! Our generals are just a bunch of contemptible, disloyal cowards!"

Villainous Breakdowns in live-action movies.

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  • 12 Angry Men:
    • Juror #10 engages in a lengthy racist rant about how the defendant, a Latino immigrant kid, is scum from birth and is racially programmed to lie, steal and murder. It so offends and sickens the other jurors, even the vindictive Juror #3, that all of them either walk away from the table or turn away from him in disgust until:
      Juror #10: Listen to me. We're... This kid on trial here... his type, well, don't you know about them? There's a, there's a danger here. These people are dangerous. They're wild. Listen to me. Listen.
    • Shortly afterward, Juror #3 has one as well after realizing that he's just contradicted his own argument.
  • HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey, right after Bowman gets back onto the ship to pull his chips. This one is a little hard to detect, as he sounds just as calm as he does when he was a psychopathic killer, but through his words you can hear his desperate attempts to save his own life:
    HAL: Look, Dave. I can see you're really upset about this. I honestly think you want to sit down calmly, take a stress pill and think things over. I know I've made some very poor decisions recently, but I can give you my complete assurance that my work will be back to normal. I've still got the greatest enthusiasm and confidence in the mission, and I want to help you. Dave, stop. Stop, will you? Stop, Dave. Will you stop, Dave? Stop, Dave. I'm afraid.
  • 300 has King Xerxes flip out and execute half his generals after they repeatedly fail to dislodge the Spartans. Later, being grazed with a spear (which reminds him that he can, in fact, bleed) causes him to have a Villainous BSoD as well.
  • In the 1930s and 1940s, any villain played by Tod Slaughter could be counted on to have one in Every. Single. Film. Fortunately, he was talented enough to make this work, since his villains were all different in motivation and action.
  • The Big Bad in All About Evil is already insane from the get-go, being an Ax-Crazy Serial Killer who's dedicated to keeping her late father's movie theatre running by making "independent movies" of herself and her henchmen killing anyone she doesn't like. However, she completely falls apart during the film's climax — the protagonist has prevented her "masterpiece" of slaughtering a packed audience, the police have arrived, and she's dragged the protagonist's mother up to the roof. She starts ranting, but the protagonist cuts her off, stating that her father would be ashamed of what she's become. This sets her off, and she starts screaming to the sky "Daddy, I did it for you!", then clutching her head and yelling at the protagonist to shut up... at which point the protagonist's mother grabs her knife and stabs her in the neck, and she stumbles back off the roof.
  • Apocalypto: After his son is killed, Zero Wolf, the leader of the slavers, completely loses all sense of reason and forces his party to keep chasing after Jaguar Paw long after it's become unfeasibly dangerous, leading them into suicidal action and even personally murdering one of them when the man dares to speak up against it.
  • In The A-Team, Lynch has one when he overhears that the A-Team and General Morrison survived his bombing. He has a tantrum and repeatedly kicks in front of him like a kid.
  • Austin Powers:
    • Number Two, normally a calm executor of Dr. Evil's plans, throws a hissy fit at the climax of the first:
      Number Two: Dr. Evil, I spent 30 years of my life turning this two-bit evil empire into a world class multi-national. I was going to have a cover story with Forbes. But you, like an idiot, want to take over the world! And you don't realize there is no world anymore! It's only corporations!
    • Scott Evil does this in the third movie in reaction to his father's Heel–Face Turn.
  • Towards the end of The Avengers (2012), Loki, after seeing his plans turning south, throws a hissy fit at the approaching Hulk. He doesn't get far. His final reaction after the battle is much more composed.
    "If it's all the same with you, I'll have that drink now."
  • A more understated one comes in Avengers: Age of Ultron, when the titular villain is reduced to muttering lyrics from "I Got No Strings".
  • In Batman (1989), the Joker ends up breaking down completely near the end of the movie, when he has Batman and Vicky Vale hanging for dear life. While he was insane beforehand, he at least had some self-restraint to his insanity. By that point however, he couldn't stop himself from laughing insanely and frequently, and destroying parts of the Cathedral in trying to stomp on their hands.
    Joker: Oh, they sure don't make 'em like they used to! [mad laughter as he smashes the bricks with his feet] Do they, huh? [insane giggling] Eh, Batsy? [laughs up a storm]
  • The Riddler in the The Batman (2022) when he and Batman finally come face to face for the first time... and he believes that they were partners working together to bring down the corrupt elite. When Batman realizes what he's rambling about, he points out the Riddler is delusional and whatever relationship he thinks the two of them have is entirely in his own mind. The Riddler reacts very, very poorly to this, and accidentally reveals that there's still one last stage to his grand plan for Batman to stop.
  • In Batman Forever, the Riddler — already only half-sane at best (it is Jim Carrey playing him, after all) — becomes utterly, delusionally psychotic when Batman fries his brain by short-circuiting his own mind-reading invention. Partial subversion in that this renders him completely harmless.
    Ridder: Bummer!
  • In Batman Returns, the Penguin has an epic multi-tiered meltdown. After his campaign goes down the tubes, he renounces his humanity and tries to kill every first-born son in Gotham. After Batman easily thwarts that plan, he goes Omnicidal Maniac and tries to take all of Gotham out with a barrage of missile-packing penguins.
    The Penguin: My dear penguins, we stand on a great threshold! It's okay to be scared; many of you won't be coming back. Thanks to Batman, the time has come to punish *all* God's children! 1st, 2nd, 3rd *and* 4th-born! Why be biased? Male and female! Hell, the sexes are equal with their erogenous zones blown sky high! Forward march! The liberation of Gotham has begun!
  • In Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Lex's breakdown comes fairly late, after he's already been defeated and imprisoned. When Batman confronts him, Lex is still very smug, rubbing in that he knows Batman's identity, and the only thing preventing him from revealing it is that he's been certified insane, so no-one would believe him. Batman replies that he's arranged for Lex to be imprisoned in Arkham Asylum and Lex snaps, ranting about the threat he's seen is coming now that Superman is dead.
    Lex: But the bell's already been rung. And they've heard it, out there, amongst the stars. Ding dong, the God is dead. The bell cannot be unrung! He's hungry! He's found us. And he's coming! Ding-ding-ding-ding-ding-ding. Ding-ding-ding-ding-ding...
  • Bob Moon, the villain of The Beatniks, gets a pretty Narmful one: "I KILLED THAT FAT BARKEEP!"
  • In Blade Runner, Roy's girlfriend Pris goes out in a screaming fit of rage very similar to Elle Driver. Roy himself has one when he meets Tyrell and learns his mission was All for Nothing, that he is going to die soon and nothing can be done to extend his life. Ultimately subverted because Roy calms down and gives one of the most poignant examples of Villain's Dying Grace ever put to film.
  • In Boot Camp, Dr. Hail suffers one during the Prison Riot and attempts to shoot Sophie, Ben and Jack.
  • Bright: The elf terrorist Leilah acts calm and composed during the entire movie barely showing any emotion, until the end when she sees her sister Tikka refuses to rejoin their group and then she throws a ranting and screaming fit towards Daryl Ward for having having "corrupted" her somehow.
  • Captain Queeg in The Caine Mutiny combines this with Engineered Public Confession when he's put on the stand in the trial of the man who mutinied against him, who has argued that he did it because Queeg was mentally unbalanced but forced to confess that he had never seen the captain "ranting and raving" as such. Under the defense attorney's questioning Queeg does start genuinely ranting and raving while also displaying his nervous tic of rubbing a pair of ball bearings together. Rather unusually we in the audience, having been privy to all that happened leading up to the mutiny, can kind of see where he's coming from, and it's left ambiguous whether he's actually insane.
  • Captain America: The First Avenger: "YOU ARE FAILING! We are close to an offensive that will shake the planet, yet we are continually delayed because you cannot outwit a simpleton with a shield!"
    • A more subtle instance: Red Skull uses a Breaking Speech about how the captain was lied to, Captain America replies that the only thing Erskine ever told him about Red Skull was that Red Skull was insane. He is briefly irritated, but he regains his composure and deduces that he must have seen something inside him that Erskine believed deserved the formula more, and asks what was special about him. Captain America doesn't give him the response he wants ("Nothing. I'm just a kid from Brooklyn."), and he breaks down completely, punching Captain America three times.
    • The eponymous Winter Soldier in the sequel barely speaks at all until his final showdown with Cap who is trying to trigger the Soldier's memories of who he used to be.
      Captain America: You know me. Your name is James Buchanan Barnes.
      Winter Soldier: SHUT UP!
      Captain America: I'm not gonna fight you. You're my friend.
      Winter Soldier: You're my mission. YOU'RE! MY! MISSION!
  • When he's captured by the police in Casablanca, Ugarte has a brief but memorable breakdown.
  • In Child's Play 2, Chucky goes completely nuclear when he tries to Body Surf into Andy, but finds it's been too long. And he's now stuck in the doll body.
  • The Christmas That Almost Wasn't: Near the end, when Santa finally turns in the rent money, Prune is so beside himself that he can't even bring himself to stop Santa, Mrs. Santa and the elves from loading the sleigh up.
  • In Cinderella (2015), Lady Tremaine has a rather subdued one: When her efforts to keep Ella away from Kit fail, she can only watch in silence as Ella walks away towards her happy ending. Just to rub it in, Ella tells Tremaine that she forgives her for her actions. The woman is clearly dumbfounded that Ella was able to retain her happiness and kindness despite experiencing great sorrow, something the narration earlier said Lady Tremaine was incapable of.
  • Citizen X: Andrei Chikatilo breaks down and sobs when psychiatrist Dr. Alexandr Bukhanovsky reads his psychological profile of the suspected serial killer; his theoretical assessment of the serial killer (Chikatilo) turns out to be on the money.
  • Clue: " I killed Yvette! I hated her... so... much, It* it... the f* , it* flame... flames... flames on the side of my face, breathing, breath... heaving breaths... heaving..."
  • Curse of the Headless Horseman: After being exposed as the Horseman, Mark suffers one and snaps completely. He delivers a brief Motive Rant, then grabs a gun and attempts to shoot his way out through his friends and employees. As he has absolutely no escape plan, and appears to be attempting flee into the desert with no water or supplies, he doesn't get very far.
  • The Dark Knight Trilogy:
    • In Batman Begins, when Falcone is captured, he becomes progressively more disheveled and fearful as Batman takes his goons down. Later, when speaking to Crane in the asylum, he starts off as his usual self...sarcastic, confident...but he grows just a little uncertain when Crane starts talking about his mask. He plays it off with some humour, and then out comes the mask...
    • The Joker from The Dark Knight. Though one could argue that, being insane, he was already broken down before the movie started, he has a surprisingly subtle breakdown when neither of the ferries' passengers use the detonators, proving that Rousseau Was Right, and not ALL Humans Are Bastards. It's the first time in the whole movie things haven't followed his script, and he sees for just a moment that he might be wrong about life. His response is to whine that people aren't reliable and try to blow them up himself. It's the equivalent of turning over the chessboard and punching the other player when you're facing checkmate.
    • In The Dark Knight Rises when Batman breaks Bane's mask which stops him from feeling pain, Bane goes berserk, throwing flurries of punches and even cracking a concrete pillar. A major contrast from the otherwise cold and calculating fighter he had been for the rest of the movie. Afterwards when Batman beats him, all Bane can do is say in stunned disbelief: "I broke you."
  • In Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Koba has one after the fight between Caesar, is cut short by an explosion and the apes accept Caesar as their leader again. Koba gets a hold of a machine gun and while Caesar is helping the injured apes, Koba opens fire on them, not caring who gets hurt in the crossfire. When Koba is subdued, he still has the gall to bring up the law Ape not kill Ape.
  • The protagonist of Day Night Day Night is in a state of outright existential despair after she fails in her mission.
  • Dead Poets Society: After Neil's death, the school fires Mr. Keating as a scapegoat, and as he's leaving, the formerly-timid Todd stands up on his desk and says "O Captain! My Captain!", defying Dean Nolan's demands that he stay seated, prompting other students, even those that weren't part of the titular society, to also stand in salute of Keating and defiance of Nolan, who futilely tries to order them all to sit.
  • In The Departed when Colin Sullivan (The Irish Mob's Mole inside the police) is finally caught by Billy Costigan, He tries threatening and intimidating Costigan out of arresting him, then, nearly in tears, he starts begging Costigan to "Just fucking kill me.". Costigan's reply: "I am killing you.".
    • Frank Costello grew less stable as the film went on, too. "Don't laugh! This ain't reality TV!"
  • The Devil's Advocate: After Kevin kills himself in order to prevent Milton's plans from going forward, Milton quite literally erupts (NSFW).
  • Die Hard:
    • In Die Hard, Hans Gruber acts very calm and collected up until the point where Holly calls him "just a common thief", at which point you can see his facade of civility crumble into derangement.
    • In Die Hard with a Vengeance, Simon Gruber is able to keep his cool nearly all the way through the movie...until he realizes that McClane tracked him to Canada.
  • In Doctor Strange (2016), Strange ends up putting Dormammu into this by trapping the two of them in a time loop, with Strange dropping in again, declaring "Dormammu! I've come to bargain!" every time Strange is killed by Dormammu. After a couple dozen (actually millions more than what we're treated to onscreen, per Word of God) times of this, he gets fed up and begs for the loop to end.
  • In Dogma. Bartleby and Loki has made it to the church in New Jersey that would allow them to get back to Heaven. However, by this time, Loki's come to regret this decision and Bartleby's decided he's going back and taking all of Creation with him as he realized that they'd never be forgiven by God. Bartleby's killed a police officer and revealed that he's an angel before everyone and wants Loki to do the same, but when Loki still gets cold feet, he flips his lid.
    Bartleby: Loki, wings.
    Loki: Look, I don't think we should...
    Bartleby: DO IIIIIIT!
  • Adolf Hitler in virtually the whole of Downfall (2004), past the opening Pet the Dog interview with his new secretary.
    • When he learns that Himmler, his most trusted underling, has betrayed him to the Allies by offering to negotiate a peace settlement... and before that, when Herman Goering says that if he doesn't get a reply by 2200 hours (10 pm), he'll assume Hitler incapacitated and take over. Let's just say that in the week leading up to his death, Hitler has a lot of breakdowns.
    • When he's told that one of his generals could not muster up enough forces to halt the Soviet offensive on Berlin, Hitler quietly and calmly orders everyone except his top people out of the room, and then completely loses his shit, ranting and raving so loudly they can hear him outside a steel door. It's spawned an entire genre of Gag Sub Youtube videos, such as this one with Hitler getting banned from Xbox Live.
      Krebs: (pointing to Allied positions on a map of Germany) The enemy has broken through along a wide front. They've taken Zossen to the south, and are advancing to Stahnsdorf. They're now on the northern outskirts between Frohnau and Pankow. They've reached Lichtenberg, Mahlsdorf and Karlshorst to the east.
      Hitler: Steiner's assault... will bring it under control.
      (Burgdorf gives Krebs a worried look as if to say, "We can't hide it any longer.")
      Krebs: Mein Führer... Steiner...
      Jodl: Steiner couldn't mobilise enough men. He wasn't able to carry out his assault.
      (Hitler is stunned; after a few seconds, he removes his glasses slowly, his hand trembling from Parkinson's Disease)note 
      Hitler: (quietly) These men will stay here: Keitel, Jodl, Krebs, and Burgdorf.
      (almost everyone in the room files out except for the four named officers, Goebbels, and Bormann; the four officers have the look of condemned men as the door shuts behind them)
      Hitler: (apoplectic with rage) THAT WAS AN ORDER! Steiner's attack was an ORDER! Who do you think you are to dare disobey an order I give!? (outside the office, Gerda Christian begins sobbing) So this is what it has come to... the military has been lying to me! Everyone has been lying to me; even the SS! Our generals are just a bunch of contemptible, disloyal cowards!
      Burgdorf: (outraged) Mein Führer, I cannot permit you to insult the soldiers-
      Hitler: They are cowards, traitors, and failures!
      Burgdorf: Mein Führer, this is outrageous!
      Hitler: Our generals are the scum of the German people! (he hurls the pencils in his hand against the map on the desk) Not a shred of honour! They call themselves "generals"! Years at military academy just to learn how to hold a knife and fork! (outside the office, Eva Braun makes her way through the crowd) For years, the military has hindered my plans! They've put every kind of obstacle in my way! What I should have done is liquidate all the high-ranking officers, as Stalin did! (he sinks into his chair) I never attended an academy... and yet I have conquered Europe all by myself! (Beat) Traitors... I've been betrayed and deceived from the very beginning! What a monstrous betrayal of the German people... but all those traitors will pay. They'll pay with their own blood. They'll drown in their own blood!
    • There's another minor example in the form of a German general who delves into a screaming fit when the possibility of surrendering to the advancing armies of the Western/Soviet alliance is brought up, refusing to even consider it because he remembers Germany's surrender in World War I and the humiliating clauses Germany had to accept in signing the Versailles Treaty. It's a sobering reminder of all the suffering and misery that was caused by what can be essentially chalked up as arrogance and wounded pride gone mad.
  • Fritz Lang's movie Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler ends with the eponymous villain (played by Rudolf Klein-Rogge) suffering one of these, while being surrounded by the ghosts of all the people he had murdered earlier.
  • The Enforcer (1951): Almost every single Professional Killer in the movie is flippant and cocky about their work. Every one is reduced to a terrified, cowering wreck when faced with being killed by the other assassins, arrested by the police, or both. Rico The Dragon is a particularly sadistic bully who comes across as the most pathetic after multiple attempts on his life once he becomes The Stool Pigeon.
  • Equilibrium has a couple of these with DuPont. It often backfires on Preston, because it's too easy for him to be found out. Also, the point where this happens is where DuPont is specifically asking him that there's a traitor within the Tetragrammaton trying to take down Libria from the inside, and it's not ideal to press him further by pretending to have no idea in case it gets turned on him. Preston discovers at the end that he's been used as an Unwitting Pawn anyway, so it's a Subverted Trope in that DuPont was getting him to play into his hands by behaving normally, scaring Preston into finding the Resistance rather than just getting angry at Preston for talking back (Preston is trying not to show any emotion, so he's busy trying to concentrate on concealing this by agreeing with what DuPont's saying).
    DuPont (smashes hand on desk): ARE YOU PLAYING WITH ME, CLERIC?!?
    • A second one is played straight, as DuPont visibly breaks incrementally as Preston destroys each line of his defence at the finale. What finally does it, is when the latter murders Brandt, his right hand man, within 5 seconds of him challenging Preston to a fight. DuPont picks up a gun and finally has his one on one with Preston.
    DuPont (barely maintaining face): Be careful, Preston. You're treading on my dreams.
  • In The Escapist, Rizza has one when he realizes he's lost his power over both Lacey and Frank, as well as losing his brother, and his whole facade as king of the prison is threatened.
  • Exam: Happens to White when he realises that he has been Out-Gambitted and has just disqualified himself by attempting to talk to the Invigilator before the time has expired. He breaks down into Manly Tears and then attempts to shoot himself, only to find that the gun won't fire.
  • In Fargo, as Jerry Lundegaard's plans, which weren't that thought-out to begin with, start spiraling rapidly out of control, he experiences several relatively minor outbursts of increasing intensity as things he didn't anticipate come back to bite him (such as an arm-waving tantrum in a frozen carpark while trying to scratch ice from his windscreen, and slamming his blotter down on his desk). By the end of the movie, everything has gone catastrophically wrong and he's been forced to flee. When the police finally catch up with Jerry, he's reduced to a hysterical, shrieking wreck of a man writhing about on the bed of a motel room as the cops restrain him. All of this just serves to show what an ultimately pathetic, inadequate man Jerry is and how deeply out of his depth he'd gotten himself.
  • While not always cool and calm, Jean-Baptist Emanuel Zorg of The Fifth Element certainly fits the bill with his preferred means of shouting to display his disappointment.
  • Bill Cox, the villain of Firewall is played by Paul Bettany in full smug schemer mode. He masterminds a brilliant plan to steal millions of dollars by holding hostage Jack Stanfield, the bank's chief of security and his family in secret. He has every contingency planned out, keeps a cool head, and knows the family's weaknesses in terrifyingly intimate ways (there is a nightmarish sequence where he forces a deadly allergic reaction in Stanfield's son and makes him beg to save him). The cracks show when he murders one of his henchmen over almost allowing Jack to slip the net, and when his plan hits a major skid when it turns out he was unaware of the bank switching from currency to digital money only he responds with a furious Precision F-Strike but quickly alters his plans and successfully makes the steal, taking the family and leaving Jack framed as both the thief and his family's murderer. When Jack successfully turns the tables and steals back most of the money, Cox flies into a rage, screaming that Jack's family is dead, but agrees to meet him on a remote farm to negotiate. He coldly and pragmatically decides to show he's serious by killing one family member, using the rest as bargaining chips. The Token Good Teammate of his gang opposes this, and Cox brutally kills him on the spot, even though that man was the computer genius the entire plan hinged on, and now the money is irretrievable. When Jack arrives for a final showdown all traces of the gentleman genius are gone, and Cox furiously attacks Jack with his bare hands, dying to a pickax to the back.
  • In The Firm, FBI's agent Wayne Tarrance goes full breakdown when Mitch's brother Ray escapes his surveillance.
    Tarrance: And get me a map of Louisiana.
  • Flodder 3: Van Brandwijk becomes so focused on getting rid of the Flodders (and repeatedly failing) that his own committee decides to sack him. He becomes an unhinged madman because of this, pathetically tearing out a bed of flowers celebrating the anniversary of Zonnedael before proceeding to steal a gasoline truck and using a Deadfoot Leadfoot to drive it through a dozen backyards in a straight line into the Flodder house. Unfortunately for him, because Opa's wheelchair gets stuck underneath it, the truck ends up crashing into the house next to the Flodder Family and causes a chain reaction that results in every other house in the neighborhood burning down. In his last scene he is desperately trying to put out the fire consuming his own house as it ignites the anniversary fireworks stored in his garage. Van Brandwijk starts Laughing Mad at his self-inflicted Epic Fail.
  • In The Fly (1986), with about thirty seconds to go before the telepods are set to fuse Brundlefly, Veronica, and her as-yet-unborn child into one entity, the wounded Stathis manages to shoot out the cables connecting Veronica's telepod to the other two. At the sight of his Tragic Dream of regaining/retaining some humanity shattered, the enraged Brundlefly smashes open the glass door of his telepod to take revenge upon Stathis...but only begins to step outside it as the countdown reaches zero. The resultant teleportation takes both Brundlefly and part of the telepod with it, and fuses them into one helpless being who can do little more than silently beg the freed Veronica to Mercy Kill him.

  • Sarris from Galaxy Quest spends most of the movie composed and assured of his own superiority. When the actors he had mocked earlier begin to take the upper hand, he starts to lose it.
    James Nesbit: It doesn't take a good actor to know a bad one, Sarris. You're sweating!
  • In Get Out (2017), a Not Quite Dead Jeremy Armitage reaches the pinnacle of his psychotic, Ax-Crazy behavior shown throughout the movie and ambushes the escaping Chris with a headlock at the front door, huskily screaming profanities and whispering "One Mississippi...two Mississippi...three Mississippi" as he chokes him out. Understandable, seeing that Chris effectively foiled the Armitage family's sinister process of gaining pseudo-immortality and had just killed Jeremy's Mad Doctor father and Psycho Psychologist mother during his escape.
  • Commodus in Gladiator after learning of his sister's betrayal. "AM I NOT MERCIFUL?!?"
  • The Godfather: Michael Corleone completely drops his typical calm, collected demeanour in the second movie when his wife Kay reveals that she got an abortion and lied to him about it because she couldn't bear to risk bringing a son into Michael's way of life.
  • Godzilla:
    • The Controller/X from Godzilla: Final Wars suffers a tantrum every time Godzilla kills one of his Kaiju, but when he's finally defeated and his ship exploding around him, he finally completely loses it and is last seen screaming his head off as it goes up in a fireball.
    • Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019): The Big Bad monster Ghidorah is justifiably freaking out midway through the film when Godzilla has him trapped underwater (which gives Godzilla a massive Homefield Advantage over the ill-adapted dragon) and he's on the verge of tearing Ghidorah apart, though the dragon quickly recovers when the military's untimely intervention ends up effectively saving him and it hands him the keys to controlling almost all the other monsters around the planet without Godzilla around to stop him. The real breakdown comes at the end when Godzilla shows up in his Super Mode: Ghidorah's Kevin head starts panicking immediately, but the other two heads hide their fears well, up until Godzilla's Nuclear Pulses have burned away Ghidorah's wings (so he can't fly away) and both of the side heads: from that point onwards, Ghidorah's remaining central head is visibly sweating buckets and panicking for his life, thrashing and screaming until Godzilla has completely vaporized Ghidorah's body and remaining head.
  • The Great Race: Professor Fate has a comedic one of these at the end of the film when he discovers he only "won" the race because the hero let him in order to prove a point.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2:
    • After acting calm and all smug, Ego starts to lose his composure after his son Peter slowly starts to gain the upper hand against him along with the fact that there is a bomb in his core that is strong enough to kill him. This culminates in the end when the bomb is only seconds away from exploding and Ego is reduced to desperately begging for his life and when Peter shuts him up, he begins to scream in terror before finally disintegrating within Peter's arms and the planet exploding away.
    • Ayesha remains calm and collected, until the second Sovereign fleet is destroyed, foiling yet another attempt to get revenge on the Guardians. She then starts a Rapid-Fire "No!" while pounding her console.
  • In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Voldemort resorts to hitting and kicking Harry despite the fact that that sort of thing is for Muggles, and he's passing up an opportunity to kill him immediately. The implication presumably is that he's so frustrated that all of his attempts to kill Harry keep failing that he's at a complete loss of what to do.
  • In Howling VI: The Freaks, the vampire villain Harker loses his cool near the end when the mob he formed to kill the werewolf hero refuses to shoot him because the hero is still in human form — they were prepared to kill a dangerous monster, not an unarmed man. Harker vamps out and tries to kill the hero personally.
  • The Hunger Games: A minor one from the heavily-wounded Cato, who snaps at the Capitol audience for seeing his impending death as entertainment and lapses into the realization that all he knows how to do is kill people. Then he snaps out of it and decides he can take Peeta with him.
    • Also, Clove has one just before Thresh kills her, screaming frantically for Cato.
  • Obadiah Stane remains on a pretty even keel throughout most of Iron Man, including the ending. However, well before the finale, when his evil plans have been stonewalled, there is a scene where he snaps under the pressure and throws a tantrum. You know the one.
    William: Yes, Mr. Stane? Sir, we've explored what you've asked us and it seems as though there's a little hiccup. Actually...
    Stane: A hiccup?
    William: Yes, to power the suit, sir... the technology actually doesn't exist. So, it's...
    Stane: Wait, wait, wait. The technology? (motions to the large repulsor generator) William, here is the technology. I've asked you to simply make it smaller.
    William: Okay, sir, and that's what we're trying to do, but honestly, it's impossible.
  • Common in James Bond films. When things don't go their way, the villains begin to flip out.
    • Dr. No: Dr. No desperately tries to kill Bond after he foils his plans to sabotage American missile tests, but falls into a vat of boiling radioactive water.
    • From Russia with Love: Similar to Le Chiffre, Rosa Klebb desperately tries to kill Bond and Tatiana Romanova in a Venice hotel room. This is justified in that if she fails to kill Bond and get the Lektor, she'll be killed by SPECTRE.
    • Goldfinger: Goldfinger loses his cool once 007 foils his plan to irradiate the American gold supply. He dresses up as an American military officer to escape Fort Knox once Operation Grand Slam fails, and then tries to kill Bond aboard a plane, but is sucked out by the air pressure when he fires his gun on a window.
    • Thunderball: Once his plans go south, Emilio Largo tortures Domino and tries to kill Bond after his plan is completely foiled.
    • Live and Let Die: The only time Dr. Kananga/Mr. Big really got mad was when he lambastes Solitaire for losing her powers.
    • Moonraker: Hugo Drax is a Soft-Spoken Sadist. The only time he loses his temper and raises his voice was when Jaws refuses to follow his orders, joining Bond's side towards the end.
    • For Your Eyes Only: In The Teaser, Ernst Stavro Blofeld, who spent years plotting his revenge against 007 for foiling his schemes, tries to kill Bond while the latter is visiting the grave of his dead wife via a remote-controlled helicopter, expresses no concern for killing the pilot, and sadistically toys with 007 during the murder attempt. But when Bond gains control of the chopper, Blofeld pathetically cries uncle, even strangely offering Bond a stainless steel delicatessen in exchange for his life. Unimpressed with this totally tempting offer from the man who murdered his wife, Bond drops the man down an industrial chimney stack, killing him for good. That Blofeld could only afford a small lunch implies he was low on funds as well.
    • A View to a Kill: While Max Zorin was already an insane psychopath to begin with, he flies off the rocker as the film progresses. By the end of the movie, he's Ax-Crazy to the point of wildly swinging an axe against Bond on top of the Golden Gate Bridge in the final fight after gleefully killing his henchmen left and right.
    • Likewise, Franz Sanchez in Licence to Kill loses his sanity by the end of the film. He goes from treating his employees with trust and respect to impaling them on forklifts, gunning down The Scrappy, and swinging madly with a machete when he sees Bond, cutting the air brake on his oil tanker truck, which naturally leads to Stuff Blowing Up.
    • GoldenEye:
      • When ex-00 agent Alec Trevelyan/Janus explains his plans to steal from the Bank of England and cover it up with an EMP blast from the eponymous Kill Sat as part of his revenge against the British government for having his parents sent to Stalin with the rest of the Lienz Cossacks at the end of WWII, Bond quips that it still "boils down to petty theft" and that he's nothing more than a common thief, which does infuriate Trevelyan. Janus's self-control finally dissolves when Natalya manages to sabotage the Kill Sat by guiding it away from London and out of orbit. Near the climax, Janus even tries to kill Bond.
      • When Natalya hacks the titular Kill Sat so it'll go out of orbit, Boris Grishenko goes nuts to the point he demands her to give him the access codes. Later on, when Bond manually destroys the antenna transmitter, he even rages at the computer monitor and yells at the camera when the titular Kill Sat blows up in space.
        Grishenko: [violently shakes computer monitor] Speak to me!
    • The World Is Not Enough: When Bond smugly tells Renard that Elektra is dead, he loses any sanity he had and starts pummeling 007, screaming, "Liar!" And he goes forward with inserting a plutonium rod into the core, which overloads its already radioactive contents.
    • Die Another Day: Once his father disowns him for what he's become, Gustav Graves/Colonel Tan-Sun Moon kills him, and then tries to kill 007 by tossing him into a turbine.
    • Casino Royale (2006): Le Chiffre goes from coldly and effortlessly dismantling his opponents at the poker table to a screaming, sweaty nervous wreck as Bond is taunting him despite being painfully tortured.
    • In Quantum of Solace, when Big Bad Dominic Greene's plans explode around his ears, he goes insane, trying to chop Bond to little pieces using an axe while shrieking gibberish similar to demonic monkeys. His fury gets the better of him when he unintentionally skewers himself in the foot.
    • In Skyfall, Silva had kept his cool throughout the whole movie but once his plans had started to go awry, he started to break down considerably. Especially after learning M is mortally wounded.
    • In Spectre: After being outed as SPECTRE's Mole in Charge within the British government, Max Denbigh/C tries one last time to break M by saying that he doesn't matter anymore and face it. After M says "Maybe I don't, but something has to," Max abruptly starts fighting M over the gun.
  • Vic Hoskins of Jurassic World. The moment Delta corners him in the lab and is just about to tear him to shreds, the smug Blood Knight/Social Darwinist head of security who spent the whole film preaching the virtues of war and struggle winds up ironically pathetically begging for his life.
    • Indominus rex was already mentally questionable due to her captivity treatment, but you can see her begin to slip deeper into madness at the climax after the raptors she turned to her side switch back to Owen, she gets clawed and bitten up by them as Owen blasts her with a shotgun, and then Rexie charges into battle. When Blue comes racing in and prevents her from finishing off Rexie, the final straw has landed and Indominus gives a massive roar of pure rage before she's curb-stomped by Rexie, Blue, and the Mosasaurus.
  • In Kick-Ass, Frank D'Amico gets so distressed by Big Daddy's disruption of his crimes that he starts using drugs again and kills a Kick-Ass impersonator in broad daylight. His Dragon is vocally distressed by it.
  • The villain in Kickboxer 3 has a downright pitiful breakdown, as his empire falls apart around him and he is reduced to trying to hold onto a teen prostitution ring, acting as if he deserves something to start over with. His last words are a dull, "How could this happen?"
  • Elle Driver from Kill Bill, very much the Smug Snake during the course of the two movies, has a pretty epic one of these after the Bride snatches out her remaining eye and crushes it underfoot in Volume 2, reducing her to little more than a wailing, screaming and thrashing lunatic.
  • King of New York:
    • When Jimmy gets shot by Detective Gilley, he starts raving furiously and gloating about his previous murder of Detective Flanigan until Gilley has had enough and goes in for a Coup de Grâce.
    • Frank becomes increasingly unhinged as his criminal empire starts collapsing around him, proceeding to murder cops in broad daylight and with multiple witnesses around, ranting at the police captain pursuing him about how everyone he killed had it coming, holding an innocent woman hostage, and finally dying in the backseat of a taxi from a previously sustained gunshot wound while surrounded by cops gathered to arrest him.
  • Kong: Skull Island: Packard becomes a hostile threat due to a movie-long Sanity Slippage, but when Conrad and Weaver's group return to stop the Sky Devils' attempt to kill Kong; Packard starts ranting at them out of the blue that he and his men are soldiers enabling their country's civilians and families to sleep soundly at night, and he shouts at Slivko for having a gun pointed at his head. From there, Packard doesn't hesitate in the slightest to draw a gun on Slivko the second that the latter relieves him of command. And when the Alpha Skullcrawler emerges, Packard goes completely catatonic at the sight, until Kong awakening rouses his attention and he spends his last seconds trying to kill the ape again, oblivious or uncaring that the men who started the movie seeing him as a father and would have followed him into hell have all since abandoned him because of how far he's fallen.
  • Dancer in The Lineup was always unhinged. But after his explanation to his boss that the heroin he had attempted to smuggle was used by a little girl to powder a doll's face is met with scorn and disbelief, and a reply that his days are numbered, he completely snaps. Killing his boss by pushing him over a railing over an ice rink is only the start of it. Then as he and his accomplices and hostages are making their escape in the car, he offers that he and his partner shoot it out over the dispute, things going From Badto Worse with the police on their tail.
  • Little Voice has an impressive one for abusive talent agent Ray Say. Throughout the film, he has pressured the painfully shy ingenue Laura "Little Voice" Hoff into a club singing career she doesn't want, all to make enough money to cover his debts to a couple of mobster types. He eventually browbeats her so much she's left almost catatonic, and upon checking on her, she suddenly begins insanely quoting Judy Garland movies at him and ultimately shoving him down a tall flight of stairs. Following this, he drives to the club where Laursa was due to perform that night, gets on stage, punches his equally sleazy accomplice, club emcee Mr. Boo, in the face, steals the mic from him, and, without a word, launches into a crazed rendition of Roy Orbison's "Over," seriously disturbing the club's patrons. Once the song is over, he equally silently resigns himself to an unknown-but-doubtless-unpleasant fate at the mobsters' hands.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King:
    • Sauron has one of these, despite being nothing but a giant flaming eyeball. As his tower of Barad-Dûr collapses and all of his works are undone by the destruction of the One Ring, Sauron's eye is wide with fear and desperately looking for a way out. He lets out a bestial roar of terror and, just before his power is snuffed out for good, the roar becomes the voice of a normal human crying out in agony, demonstrating what the once great dark lord had been reduced to.
    • Denethor from the same film is more of a Jerkass than a true villain and was never really there in the first place, but his breakdown comes shortly after he thinks his last son has died and, moments later, sees the huge host of Mordor amassed outside the walls of his city.
      Denethor: Abandon your posts! Flee! Flee for your lives!
  • In M, Tragic Villain Hans Beckert argues for his life before a Kangaroo Court of underworld types, desperately trying to explain that he has a horrible compulsion to abduct and kill children.
  • The Maltese Falcon (1941):
    • Joel Cairo, turning on Kaspar Gutman after finding out that the eponymous statue is a worthless fake made of lead:
      Cairo: You. It's you who bungled it. You and your stupid attempt to buy it! Kemedov found out how valuable it was. No wonder we had such an easy time stealing it, you... YOU IMBECILE! YOU BLOATED IDIOT! YOU STUPID FATHEAD! YOU... [collapses sobbing into a chair]
    • Gutman has a very subtle one himself: he only keeps stabbing the bird once and again, trying to find the gold and jewels below the lead. When it's obvious to everyone that the falcon is false, he only collapses into a chair, like he is having a heart attack.
  • Jeremiah Sand, the Big Bad of Mandy (2018), is a narcissistic cult leader, spends most of the story full of arrogance and bluster, but once Red has killed his occult henchmen and his cult members, and finally has him cornered and is closing in to kill him, Sand turns out not to be so tough, and alternates between sputtering with self-righteous outrage, raving about how he's superior to Red, and pathetically begging Red to spare his life.
  • Man of Steel: General Zod undergoes one in the climax. After the heroes bomb the Kryptonians back to the Phantom Zone, the only one left is Zod, who collapses to his knees in the rubble of Metropolis. He gives a brief, furious speech justifying his actions in defense of his people, and now he has no people left. He then swears to destroy Earth and everyone on it out of retribution for what Superman has done. What follows is a city-spanning superhuman brawl between Superman and Zod, destroying several buildings in the process.
    "I was bred to be a warrior, Kal. Trained my whole life to master my senses. Where did you train? On a farm?!"
  • Screwface, the Jamaican criminal kingpin and Big Bad of the Steven Seagal film Marked for Death, has one such moment a little less than halfway through the movie where he loses it in impressive fashion. He goes to sit down at a card game with his mooks, then notices one his men named Nesta (who was given the important job of protecting and escorting their contact in The Mafia), is missing and asks where he is. For a second or two after Screwface is told that Seagal's character John Hatcher killed both Nesta and the mob liaison, he seems to take it calmly, then he starts pounding on the table, turns it over, rips a leg off the frame and uses it to beat an unlucky mook who can't get out of the way fast enough. After a bit of a screaming fit, Screwface shouts that he wants Hatcher and Hatcher's whole family dead, and if his men aren't up to it, he'll do it... then he'll kill all of them too for their failure.
  • The Matrix:
    • In the first movie, Agent Smith's ability to actually hate humans sets him apart from his emotionless fellow Agents, and he starts losing his cool after Neo and Trinity rescue Morpheus. When Neo comes Back from the Dead, he loses what composure he still had and charges at him in a fury.
    • All this is then overshadowed by Smith's scenery-chewing, spit-spraying breakdown at the end of Revolutions. When he sees that Neo won't stay down no matter how many skyscrapers he gets smashed through, he goes on a minute-plus rant about the pointlessness of existence before demanding "Why, Mister Anderson, why, WHY DO YOU PERSIST?"
      Neo: Because I choose to.
      [Smith attacks]
    • Compare his reaction when he finally sees that he's going to lose: a quiet "No, no, it's not fair."
  • In Mean Girls Regina George has one when she realizes that Cady deliberately made her gain weight and another one when Janie Ian reveals to everyone how Cady had been trying to ruin her life.
  • In Michael Clayton, Karen freaks out the moment she's confronted by the presumed-dead Clayton (he escaped the car bomb she had her cronies plant), stammers and babbles her way through the conversation with him, and begins shaking when he reveals that she's been caught on tape. By the time she outright collapses to the floor as the cops close in on her, they're genuinely concerned that she needs medical care.
  • In Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie, Ivan Ooze loses his composure after Scorpitron is destroyed by missiles from the Falconzord, becoming so angry that he leaves himself no choice but to go One-Winged Angel by fusing with Hornitor.
  • At the end of Power Rangers (2017), when Jason tells Rita that she's going back to Zordon to be judged for her actions. She flips out and attempts to attack the Megazord head on. She's knocked into space for her troubles.
    Rita Repulsa: Zordon? Judge me? Never. No matter what Zordon says, I know... I AM WORTHY!
  • Misery: Annie has these frequently being so Ax-Crazy. Like after Paul supposedly burns the manuscript.
  • In More Dead Than Alive, Billy suffers one when he fails to goad Cain and Cassidy into killing each other in a gunfight: slumping on the ground and all but weeping. This is the first solid indication that Billy is not just immature and arrogant, but actually mentally ill.
  • Mr. Smith Goes to Washington ends with a Villainous Breakdown. The secondary villain Senator Paine, previously conflicted but standing firm on staying on the side of evil, finally snaps when Jeff Smith collapses from the exhaustion of his ordeal. Senator Paine rushes out of the senate room, tries to shoot himself, and when that fails, he runs back into the senate room screaming the truth regarding the corruption that he is a part of, giving Smith the victory.

  • In Night After Night After Night, the Serial Killer has been undergoing a progressive Sanity Slippage over the course of the film. After the police nearly catch him, he snaps completely. After escaping back to his lair, he first starts kissing the pictures of naked women plastered to the walls, and then stabbing them. He eventually suffers a Villainous BSoD and winds on his knees on the banks of the Thames, begging the police to help him.
  • In No Country for Old Men, Anton Chigurh has a very subtle one in his encounter with the wife of Llewelyn Moss, who he promised to kill if Moss didn't get him the money. He decides to place her fate on a coin toss.
    Chigurh: This is the best I can do. Call it.
    Carla Jean: I knowed you was crazy when I saw you settin' there. I knowed exactly what was in store for me.
    Chigurh: (smiling) Call it.
    Carla Jean: No. I'm not gonna call it.
    Chigurh: (smile fades) ...Call it.
    Carla Jean: The coin don't have no say. It's just YOU.
  • Orphan: After failing to seduce John, Esther runs to her room, removes everything she uses to pass herself off as a 9-year-old, while throwing a screaming fit and wrecking the room.
  • Osmosis Jones: Thrax has a subtle breakdown during his final confrontation with Osmosis. His normally slick dreadlocks fall out of place, his voice gets rougher, and his Evil Laugh gets creepier. It does escalate to a This Cannot Be! moment just before he falls into a beaker of alcohol.
  • In Pain & Gain Daniel starts to lose it hard when they kill their second target by accident.
  • Pandorum goes crazy with this trope. It is revealed to the audience that Gallo is the one responsible for the malicious mutants and nightmarish madness on the ship. At one point, Payton locks Gallo in an escape pod, and he cracks, screaming/yelling and threatening to carve Payton up. He escapes, and attacks Payton. Payton's own sanity is questioned in this fight when he also threatens to carve Gallo up. After the fight, it's revealed that Gallo and Payton are the same person, with Gallo being the manifestation of a breakdown Payton had before the movie plot started. And yes, this reveal makes Gallo (Which is his real name) evil. So, just to sum it all up: The villainous breakdown itself has a villainous breakdown while fighting the villain, who has a breakdown during that fight without even knowing he was the villain. Later in the movie, Gallo has a calm voice and demeanor...until Bower says Gallo is suffering from pandorum, which results in nihilistic rants, trying to kill Nadia, and a not-so-calm voice.
  • Lord Cutler Beckett in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End has an unusually calm breakdown when his flagship is being torn apart between two legendary ships, and he can't even give the order to abandon ship. Instead, he just mutters "It's just... good business" and walks down the stairs to his doom, strolling extremely quietly and not even blinking as smoke and splinters fly all around him.
  • In Planet of the Apes (2001), the last we see of General Thade is him completely losing his sanity upon being trapped up inside a spaceship cell, reverting to a primal, screeching ape.
  • Norman Stansfield from The Professional, after Leon rescues Mathilda from the SWAT team, has a quite famous breakdown:
    Stansfield: Benny... bring me everyone.
    Benny: What do you mean, "everyone"?
    Stansfield: EVE-RY-ONNNE!
  • In The Purge, the otherwise-unnamed "Polite Leader" of the Freaks has a big, demented smile on his face as he does his best to go through with the ritualized violence of the "Purge", and he struggles to maintain it as the Sandin family harbors the poor guy they wanted to hit and move on from... but when they fail to meet his deadline, which comes about halfway through the movie, his exterior slips and he drops the erudite politeness to yell indignantly that this isn't what he wanted, and that their victim exists to meet his need to "Purge" and this is all on them now and he hopes they're happy 'cause he warned them and now this is happening.
  • The ever-snooty Chesney is at his worst when conducting the orchestra at the end of Raising the Wind, so the orchestra decides to pay him out by making him look bad through incessant questions, playing the wrong music, and playing too fast. Chesney frantically tries to regain order, but can't keep them under control, ending with him falling to the ground as his podium collapses, and looking an utter fool in front of the examiners.
  • Jackson Rippner in Red Eye loses his suave, intimidating demeanor just after Lisa stabs him in the neck with a pen.
  • Reservoir Dogs have Nice Guy Eddie losing his temper when he found his best friend, Mr. Blonde, laying dead in the warehouse. His first action is to shoot Marvin Nash, who is a policeman tied up to a chair. And when he gets involved in a Mexican Standoff between himself, his dad and Mr. White, he screams out to Mr. White to stop pointing the gun at his dad before getting killed.
    • Mr. White, who is not a calm man to being with, suffers from one when he finds out that Mr. Orange is working for the police all along right after he killed his boss and oldest friend, in defense of Orange himself.
  • Repo! The Genetic Opera had a great one at the end of the film — Rotti Largo loses it in front of the entire audience at the Genetic Opera when Blind Mag defies him during her final song. He kills Mag — all the while insisting to the audience that it's All Part of the Show — drags Nathan and Shilo on stage, and tries to force Shilo to kill Nathan. When she refuses, he kills Nathan himself. The stress of his breakdown causes him to finally succumb to his disease. His last actions (performed very deliriously and weakly) are to insult his betrayed children and insist to the audience that the world was lucky to ever have him.
  • Towards the end of Return to Oz, the Nome King suffers a breakdown when Dorothy manages to finally beat him at his own game — three times in a row: for every victory, the King loses both his temper and a little of the humanity he'd gained from the contest, gradually transforming from an Affably Evil humanoid to a gigantic Earth Elemental. He even destroys his pipe with a blast of magic, ends the contest in a tantrum, and goes on to destroy his entire palace in his attempt to kill Dorothy — which would have been successful had Billina not laid an egg.
  • Neville Sinclair in The Rocketeer suffers this kind of breakdown when he is confronted with the information that he is in fact a Nazi spy. He first breaks down in this way when he catches Jenny reading up on it and kidnaps her for real (and not having to fake it anymore).
    Jenny: (gasps) Oh, God, Neville Sinclair's a—
    Neville: (about to take her hostage) A what? Spy? Saboteur? Fascist? All of the above.
    • That's nothing compared to when Cliff manages to convince Eddie Valentine and his gang that Sinclair, their boss, is a Nazi, and they promptly turn their back on him. Sinclair responds with an Accent Relapse:
      Neville: Come on, Eddie, I'm paying you well. Does it matter who I work for?
      Eddie: It matters to me. I may not make an honest buck, but I'm 100% American. And I don't work for no two-bit Nazi. Let [Jenny] go.
      Neville: (laughs, then screaming ragingly) STURMABTEILUNG! ANGREIFAN! LOS, LOS! ACHTUNG!
    • On this, a group of heavily armed German commandos hidden in the bushes emerges and holds everyone at gunpoint.
  • Tony Montana from Scarface (1983) wasn't usually a calm guy to begin with, but after having everything come crashing down and losing his sister Gina during the final assault on his mansion by Sosa's killers, Tony goes utterly ballistic, taking up an M-16 with an M-203 grenade launcher with the now-famous cry of "Say hello to my little friend!" and going on a one-man cocaine-fueled rampage. He almost succeeds in taking every one of his attackers down before he's killed with a double barrel shotgun blast to the back.
  • In Scream 3, when Sidney finally confronts Roman Bridger the series instigator, during his Motive Rant about her life that he should have had, she tells him to stop whining, that he's responsible for his own choices and simply wants an excuse to kill people. Roman snaps and a mutual No-Holds-Barred Beatdown ensues.
  • Secret Honor entirely consists of Richard Nixon's breakdown following the exposure of the Watergate Scandal and his pardon from Gerald Ford. He spends most of the film ranting in an increasingly unhinged manner about a supposed Government Conspiracy, his working-class background, and his burning resentment for pretty much everyone around him. It all culminates in him trying to commit suicide while crying for his mother, only to decide to continue living out of spite for the American people.
    Nixon: [throws down the gun] Noooo, Mother. I did not elect myself. THEY ELECTED ME! Not once, not twice, but all my goddamn life! And they'll do it again too! Yes. They had their chance. Oh, sure. THEY SAID THEY DIDN'T TRUST ME! THEY SAID LET DICK NIXON DO IT, AND I DID IT! They said they wouldn't buy a used car from me, but they gave me the biggest vote in American history! Then they flushed me down the toilet, and they wanted me to stay down. They wanted me to kill myself. Well, I won't do it. If they want me dead, they'll have to do it. FUCK 'EEEEEM!
  • The Operative in Serenity (2005) is unflappable for most of the story, going so far as to proclaim that Mal can't make him angry during their first confrontation at the Companion Training House. If you watch carefully, though, you can see the first pebbles of the rockslide earlier in the movie... until the climax, when Serenity is followed through the ion cloud by a fleet of Reavers and he freaks out.
    Operative: ... target the Reavers. Target the Reavers! Target everyone! SOMEBODY FIRE!
  • Shadow of the Vampire has its Bad Boss and secondary villain Director F. W. Murnau breaking down under the stress of using Max Schreck, a real vampire, in his film production. Already considered somewhat eccentric due to his addiction to laudanum and his obsession with realistic film, Murnau cracks during the final day of shooting, after Schreck kills the cinematographer and the producer: rather than ranting and raving, however, he simply orders Schreck back into position in a somewhat Creepy Monotone and continues filming. Eventually the doors of the makeshift studio are opened, exposing the vampire to sunlight, killing him; as Scheck disintegrates, Murnau continues working the film camera, rambling insanely.
  • The Shawshank Redemption has warden Samuel Norton freaking out over Andy being missing from his prison cell. His rant doubles as Fridge Brilliance on the movie's part, as Norton's clearly projecting his corrupt nature onto everyone else. This is a special case, because what the villain's freaking out over happens BEFORE he gets exposed as a crook, (and is somewhat mild in comparison) and likely before he has any reason to expect that to even happen.
  • Professor Moriarty has an exceptionally subtle one towards the end of Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. While there's no ranting and raving involved, he develops a rather sinister facial twitch, visibly struggles to prevent his (usually terrifyingly composed) voice from shaking with fury, and resorts to using his fists on Holmes rather than continue their intellectual sparring match.
  • In the closing scene of the 1972 adaptation of Sleuth, Milo's final act before succumbing to his gunshot wound is to jam the button that operates Andrew's creepy toys, who suddenly spring to life and start laughing, but now at Andrew and not with him. Coupled with the police lights illuminating his wall, the detectives hammering on his front door having heard a gunshot inside, and Milo's dead body right in the middle of the floor, it is made very clear that Andrew has no way out, and he breaks down sobbing.
  • In the climax of Sodom and Gomorrah, Queen Bera steadily loses her composure as it becomes obvious Lot was quite serious about the impending destruction of her city. At first, she calmly dismisses the strengthening wind as a mere summer storm while accepting a goblet of wine from a slave, but the rest of her court is less convinced. When the floor suddenly pitches back and forth, Bera snaps that it's just an earthquake... but as the throne room floor splits down the middle, everyone else flees in terror, even as she shouts, "Stay with your queen! I command you to stay!" She repeats this order even when she and her favourite slave, Orphea, are the only people left, and even Orphea runs off despite Bera's protests seconds before the walls collapse on the queen.
  • The Violator has a minor one in the middle of Spawn (1997). Upset that Malebolgia chose Spawn to lead the armies of the damned instead of him, Violator throws a hissy fit, whining that it isn't fair. He catches himself in the middle of his rant, realizing that his whining really isn't making him look any better in front of his boss. This growing frustration with this apparent snub, his own hatred of the Clown guise, and Spawn's constant refusal to cooperate eventually drives Violator to ditch all subtlety and just beat Spawn into submission with his true power.
  • The Big Bad of Speed has two such breakdowns. The first is when he realizes that his bus-bomb has already exploded with nobody on it, and the second happens when his money is ruined by a dye pack.
  • Speed Racer: On the final lap of the Grand Prix...
  • Star Trek:
    • Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan: Magnificent tyrant Khan has had a few of these. The most notable one occurs between the original series episode "Space Seed" and the beginning of the film, when an Apocalypse How ruins his world and kills his wife. He has another when his two puppet-controlled assassins fail to kill Kirk. His last one is when his attempt to destroy the Enterprise in a Nebula fails. Strangely enough, Khan quickly regains his composure and goes back on the offensive in line with the Magnificent Bastard he is. But it's clear that his psyche is damaged by his constant need to dominate.
      • Khan's only true breakdown is when Chekov tries to claim that Khan was given a fair deal being exiled on Ceti Alpha Five which had since turned into a dead wasteland.
        Chekov: You lie! On Ceti Alpha Five there was life! A fair chance—
      • In the making of the movie, Ricardo Montalban who played Khan even commented that he wanted that scene to be Khan's one true breakdown moment where he blew his top rather than acting or speaking in a deliberate controlled fashion.
      • Khan's death is a minor-key version of this, as the clearly unhinged and critically injured Khan drags himself to the Genesis Device's control panel in a last-ditch bid to destroy the Enterprise by using the Genesis Device as a bomb and blowing up the entire area. Watching the Enterprise slowly limp out of the nebula, he loses the last of his sanity and begins quoting the famous Final Speech of Captain Ahab during that character's own Villainous Breakdown.
        Khan: [softly] Full impulse power.
        Joachim: No, sir! You have Genesis! You can have whatever you—
        Khan: [grabs Joachim] FULL POWERRRRR! DAMN YOU!
    • Star Trek (2009): Nero's "FIRE EVERYTHING!" when he realizes Spock is doing a suicide run. But he also has one when we first see him, upon realising he's arrived 25 years too early. This is in contrast to how he commonly speaks very little or else says things like "Hello Christopher. I'm Nero."
      • He momentarily lapses into this when Pike tells him that Romulus (the one in the new timeline, though he doesn't know that) hasn't been destroyed.
      • He also has a Khan moment after he learns that Spock has just ruined his plan to destroy Earth the way he earlier destroyed Spock's home planet. "SPOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOCK!"
    • Star Trek Into Darkness:
      • Harrison freaks out and tries to crash his ship into Starfleet Academy when Spock detonates the torpedoes inside the Vengeance, ruining Khan's plans and leading him to believe that his people are dead.
      • Admiral Marcus goes on a tirade about how he's the only one willing to protect the Federation when Kirk tries to have him arrested. Then Khan kills him.
  • Star Wars:
    • Governor Wilhuff Tarkin has a brief one in A New Hope when he learns that Leia had lied to him about the present location of the Rebel base. In some versions, he even swears to wipe out every last star system in the sector if that's what he has to do to find the actual Rebel base. It's the one time in the entire film where he completely loses his cool.
    • Emperor Palpatine in Return of the Jedi has a subtle one. When Luke refuses to give into his hatred and spares Vader, Palpatine is visibly shocked. After this, he simply drops the Faux Affably Evil act and tells Luke "If you will not be turned, then you will be destroyed." For the first time in decades, and the entire saga, things have not transpired according to his design, and he is not pleased about it. It doesn't help that Palpatine is offering the one thing to Luke that he never really sought: power. Luke wants to defeat the Emperor, save his father, his friends, and free the galaxy, but he never wants power for its own sake the way Anakin did. The Emperor, having enjoyed absolute power for so long, simply can't fathom that any Force user would reject it.
    • In The Force Awakens, Kylo Ren suffers multiple breakdowns. He destroys a console when he learns of BB-8's escape, but ultimately calms down. This fit has nothing on his response to Rey freeing herself using a Jedi Mind Trick, at first refusing to accept it and then proceeding to tear apart the entire room. For added hilarity a patrolling pair of Stormtroopers realizes what's going on and immediately turn around. Whatever sanity Ren managed to hold onto following this tantrum slips away after he kills his father, Han Solo, and gets shot. Badly wounded and unmasked, he tails the heroes, screams at Finn, throws Rey against a tree and furiously beats the wound in his abdomen. The ensuing lightsaber battle is brutal, with Ren barely keeping it together and seeming to toy with his adversaries until Rey ultimately gets the upper hand by channeling the Force.
    • Kylo gets another one after he has a difficult day in The Last Jedi. The breakdown builds from the moment he kills Snoke to assume control of the First Order, but he really loses it when he sees Luke Skywalker standing between him and the Resistance base on Crait. He orders for "every gun we have to fire on that man," and lets them fire continuously for thirty seconds, screaming for: "MORE! MORE!" until he gets countermanded. It doesn't work. He then tosses Hux around demands to be brought down to the planet's surface, and things only get worse for him from there, as he flails his saber wildly and screams at a preternaturally calm Luke some more. When Kylo realizes that Luke isn't really there, just projecting himself from Ahch-To to let the Resistance escape, all he can do is let out a Big "NO!".
    • General Hux has a brief one before the climax in The Last Jedi. When Vice Admiral Holdo starts powering up the hyperdrive of the cruiser she's on, he writes it off as a diversion, already firing on the Resistance transports that are trying to escape. Then he realizes that the ship is turning towards them.
    General Hux: FIRE ON THAT CRUISER!
  • Luthor, in the Superman vs. Atom Man serial, undergoes a subtle breakdown in the final few chapters as Superman closes in. He doesn't go completely over the edge, but after maintaining a picture of composition for most of the story, his shadowed eyes and (delightfully) deranged demeanor make it clear that he is losing his grip.
  • Zod has an early one in Superman: The Movie, as his We Can Rule Together speech swiftly degenerates into deranged screaming about how Jor-El or his heir will kneel before him.

  • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990), Shredder goes into this when Splinter shows up to confront him and save his sons. Where he easily mopped the floor with the Turtles, when Splinter shows up, he goes into a shaking rage that leads to his (first) death.
  • In Terror in a Texas Town, Johnny Crale undergoes one after he encounters, for the first time in his life, a man who was unafraid to die.
  • The Theatre Bizarre: In "Vision Strains", The Writer suffers one when her attempt to see through the eyes of unborn child goes wrong. A voice her head points out exactly how evil her actions are and what a failure she is as an artist. Confronted by this, she ultimately ends up gouging out her own eyes.
  • Both the Washizus have this happen to him in Throne of Blood. After being convinced by his wife to murder Lord Tsuzuki, the husband, Taketoki, becomes increasingly paranoid and starts seeing hallucinations, while the wife herself, Asaji, completely snaps and is last seen trying to clean the stench of nonexistent blood off her hands. Being as Throne of Blood is essentially Macbeth WITH SAMURAI, this was very much intentional.
  • Cal of Titanic (1997) on account of being such a Yandere. By the end of the scene, he's giggling when he realizes the irony of him losing the Heart of the Ocean.
    Lovejoy: What could possibly be funny?
    Cal: I put the diamond in the coat... AND I PUT THE COAT ON HER!
  • Though he's not exactly calm for the whole movie, Total Recall (1990)'s main antagonist, Vilos Cohaagen, is very mean to virtually everyone, even his right hand man Richter. The only ones he is ever nice to are his friend, Carl Hauser (who had his memory erased to become the freedom fighter Douglas Quaid), and his fish, whom he feeds while in the middle of chastising Richter. When it's clear that Quaid won't let Cohaagen's men turn him back into Hauser, Cohaagen reluctantly decides to give Richter the order to kill him as he is close to ruining Cohaagen's plans. Shortly after this, Cohaagen truly snaps after a moment of silence, and knocks over his fish tank, leaving his pets to die by suffocation. This breakdown continues to the final confrontation, where he plans to kill Quaid himself before he can activate the alien reactor on Mars, which he plans to destroy as well. All the while, he is a furious, ranting mess from his schemes coming so dangerously close to being undone, combined with the fact that he is going to have to kill a man whom he once called a friend in order to maintain his power over Mars.
    Cohaagen: I didn't want it to end this way! I wanted Hauser back! But noooo... you had to be Quaid!
  • The Duke Brothers in Trading Places have a nice one after the heroes manipulate the stock Frozen Concentrated Orange Juice market and cause them to lose everything. Randolph has a heart attack, and Mortimer abandons all pretense of civility, declaring "Fuck him!" (re: his brother), and screaming for them to reopen trade and "turn those machines back on!"
  • Happens toward the end of Training Day. Alonzo Harris has an epic meltdown when he realizes that the neighborhood he used to run as a corrupt cop will no longer play along with his criminal enterprises after his partner Jake Hoyt strips him of his badge.
    • The exact same ending happens in Pride and Glory!
  • Lockdown in Transformers: Age of Extinction. Most of the time, he is shown as calm, cold mercenary who only shows one emotion while hunting his target. After leaving earth to take his target Optimus Prime for his unseen client(s), he finds out that Prime escaped. He returns to earth, and destroys most of Hong Kong to get him back. In addition, during the final battle between him and Prime, he completely loses it after the humans start interfering.
  • Clu in TRON: Legacy as he searches Flynn's abandoned home, reminding him how much he still loves his creator. His reaction to the flashback when he was first created is a defiant rage. And later when confronting Flynn, he screamed at Flynn for breaking his promise and shouting "I did everything you asked!" When Flynn admits that perfection could never be achieved (and thus everything Clu had done was a lie), he simply lost it.
  • At the end of Troop Beverly Hills, Culver City "Red Feathers" troop leader and area council executive Velda Plendor suffers an epic one as her troop is disqualified for finishing the Jamboree competition without her (they had abandoned her in the wild on Day 2), and the Beverly Hills troop won the competition (and also rescued her in the process). Then she talks back to the leader of the area council, and she gets fired from both her jobs. She and her daughter steal the trophy, and she's ranting about creating her own organization to compete with the Wilderness Girls on the way out.
  • The Truman Show:
    • When it looks like Truman's about to escape the island on a sail boat or die trying, previously unflappable director Christof begins acting increasingly unhinged, culminating in a screamed order to "INCREASE THE WIND!" and capsize Truman's boat, regardless of the fact that Truman has tied himself to the sail and could drown as a result.
    "How close are we?...Capsize him, tip him over...SHUT UP! it...DO IT!"
    • He also has a much quieter breakdown after Truman rebuffs his offer to stay. While it seems like a simple BSOD breakdown at first, look closely when his screen shuts off and you see him slump over, either dead or in shock.
  • The entire second half of Thor is one for Loki. But for a specific moment, when Thor confronts him as he's destroying Jotunheim, Loki's normal composure cracks and he starts screaming, crying and making petty threats.
    Thor: This is madness!
    Loki: Is it madness? Is it? IS IT!?
  • Under Siege: Strannix goes completely insane after Krill is killed, including babbling about cartoon characters. Shell shock from the deck gun blasts probably contributes, but still.
  • Under Siege 2: Dark Territory: Dane has a bit of a breakdown when the Kill Sat CD is stolen, but goes back to normal when he gets it back. Of course, he has another one once Ryback starts messing his plans up big time.
  • In United 93, after several minutes of mounting tension, the al-Qaeda terrorists finally seem to realize that they are stuck in an enclosed space with 40+ people who know about the World Trade Center/Pentagon attacks and now have nothing to lose. Even after yelling and waving a knife at them, it becomes clear that the passengers don't give a shit anymore and are actively planning an attack from the back of the plane. And then the hijackers completely freak out when the enraged passengers storm towards the cockpit and start beating each of them to death.
    Ahmed al-Nami: Open up! They've gone to the back of the plane! They're talking together!
    Saeed al-Ghamdi: What are we going to do? If they're planning an attack...
    Ziad Jarrah: Oh God! Oh God!
  • When Alonzo learns about Nanon and Malabar getting together in The Unknown, you can see in his eyes how torn apart he is.
  • Al Capone in The Untouchables (1987):
    • His rant about Ness:
    "I want you to find this nancy-boy Eliot Ness, I want him DEAD! I want his family DEAD! I want his house burned to the GROUND! I wanna go there in the middle of the night and I wanna PISS ON HIS ASHES!"
    • And his ending breakdown, when he's been convicted of tax fraud and his criminal empire is being dismantled, is a pretty significant one as well:
      Eliot Ness: Never stop. Never stop fighting until the fight is done.
      Al Capone: What? What'd you say?
      Eliot Ness: You heard, Capone. Here endeth the lesson. [Ness turns and calmly walks away]
      Al Capone: Ah, you're nothin' but a lot of talk and a badge. [Ness pays him no attention; louder] You're nothin' but a lot of talk and a badge! [Psychotically] You're nothing but a lot of talk and a badge!
  • Wall Street: Near the film's climax, Gordon Gekko dumps his remaining interest in Bluestar Airlines, only to learn on the evening news that the shares have been picked up at a lower price by Sir Lawrence Wildman, who will become the airline's new majority shareholder. Realizing that his former protege Bud Fox engineered the entire scheme (after realizing that Gekko has cheated him out on the Bluestar deal), Gekko physically assaults Bud, berating his ingratitude for several of their illegal business transactions (including Bluestar). Also counts as a "The Reason You Suck" Speech trope.
    Gordon Gekko: [smugly] Hiya, Buddy.
    Bud Fox: Gordon.
    Gekko: [still smug] Sandbagged me on Bluestar? I guess you think you taught the teacher a lesson, that the tail can wag the dog, huh? Well let me clue you in, pal. The ice is melting right underneath your feet. [punches Bud and grabs him by the collar] Did you think you could've gotten this far this fast with anybody else, huh? You think you'd be out there dicking someone like Darien? No. You'd be cold-calling widows and dentists trying to buy 20 shares of some fucking dog-shit stock. I took you in. [hits Fox a 2nd time] A NOBODY! [hits him again] I opened the doors for you. I showed you how the system works. The value of information, how to get it! Fulham Oil, Brant Resources, Geodynamics. And this is how you fucking pay me back, you cockroach! [hits him a 4th time, but the force of the hit knocks Bud into the ground] I GAVE YOU DARIEN! I GAVE YOU YOUR MANHOOD, I GAVE YOU EVERYTHING!
  • "Baby" Jane Hudson, of What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, goes completely insane upon learning in the end that the accident which crippled her sister, Blanche, was in fact caused by Blanche herself in an attempt to kill Jane, and not Jane in an alcoholic bender, and launches into her old song and dance routine, despite being 40-50 years too old.
    "You mean, all this time we coulda been friends?"
  • We already know James Cagney's character in White Heat is dangerously unpredictable, but he reaches new heights in the infamous prison cafeteria scene. Upon hearing of his mother's death, Cody Jarrett begins crying and screaming uncontrollably; he leaps up on the table and stumbles in panic toward the door, managing to knock no less than four guards unconscious before being subdued and carried out bodily, still sobbing at the top of his lungs.
  • Judge Doom of Who Framed Roger Rabbit is normally quite composed but when he gets run over by a steamroller and reveals himself as a Toon, he goes completely and openly Ax-Crazy.
    "Remember me, Eddie? When I killed your brother, I talked JUST... LIKE... THIIIIIIS!"
  • The Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz has a literal meltdown when Dorothy hits her with a bucket of water, resulting her demise.
    Witch: (screams) YOU CURSED BRAT! LOOK WHAT YOU'VE DONE! I'M MELTING! MELTING! Oh, what a world, what a world! Who would've thought a good little girl like you could destroy my beautiful wickedness?! OH, LOOK OUT! LOOK OUT! I'm going... ohhhh... (pathetic wailing as she dissolves away)
  • X-Men Film Series
    • X2: X-Men United: Jason Stryker, twice in a row! First, when Magneto manages to briefly shut down Cerebro, proving immune to Jason's attempts at manipulating him in the process. Secondly, when Storm uses a blizzard to break his hold over Xavier once and for all. In both situations, Jason can only express his terror through his illusions.
      • Mostly downplayed in the first case, as all his reaction to Magneto being immune to his powers is an annoyed look to Erik's helmet. (Or maybe not, as he's not shown displaying any physical reactions until then and him actually expressing them speaks volumes.)
    • The Wolverine: Shingen Yashida, after Viper scarred him. He losses all composure and fights Wolverine like some berserker.
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past: Bolivar Trask has a mild one when Magneto commandeers his Sentinels. When President Nixon (rightly) asks him what the hell is going on when they open fire on the crowd, Trask irritably replies "I'll fix it!"
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: After the X-Men prevent Apocalypse from possessing Xavier, he becomes noticeably more unhinged and desperate. It only worsens after Storm and Magneto betray him.
  • "SHUT UP! Enough already, Ballstein! Who cares about Derek Zoolander anyway? The man has only one look for Christ's sake! Blue Steel? Ferrari? Le Tigre? They're the same face! Doesn't anyone notice this?! I feel like I'm taking crazy pills! I invented the piano key necktie! I invented it! What have you done, Derek?! Nothing! You've got nothing! NOTHING! And I will be a monkey's uncle if I have you ruin this for me! Because if you can't get the job done, then I will! (to the Prime Minister of Malaysia) DIE, YOU WAGE-HIKING SCUM!"

Alternative Title(s): Film