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Controlling emotions is quite different from regular mind control. It lets you toy with people, brainwash them, and in some cases get a lot of result from much less effort than actual mind control demands.

The Super-Trope of Emotion Bomb and Getting Smilies Painted on Your Soul, a character who can do Emotion Control often has one or both of these powers in his toolbox.

However, actual Emotion Control generally demands far more subtlety then simply flooding someone with emotions or stimulating someone. While these later are mostly combat and incapacitation super powers, Emotion Control is more about social effects and long-term brainwashing.

Unlike the subtropes, Emotion Control does not necessarily require magic, superpowers or supertech. It can also be done by an extremely manipulative character or by mundane brainwashing techniques, making it More Than Mind Control. Most Emotion Eaters and higher-end versions of The Empath have this as a Required Secondary Power.

Examples of Emotion Control include:

Comic Books

  • DC Comics' Psycho-Pirate, has alternately either had a mask that allowed him to project emotions into people or has been an "emotion vampire", able to drain emotions from people. The first mask often seems to work through intensifying emotions a person already feels, no matter how small.)
  • This was the mutant power of Manual "Empath" de la Rocha of the Hellions.
  • Marvel Universe's Hate-Monger used to have to use a "Hate-Ray" to project hate, anger and fear into people... but after he died and was resurrected, he was able to do the same without the ray. Oh, also he's Hitler.
  • Brain Boy, who appeared in Four Color and a self-titled comic series, has the power to alter people's emotional states.

Fan Fiction

  • In the Firefly fanfic Forward, this is what the "Inducer" class of psychics are capable of, coupled with more outright Mind Manipulation and the periodic Emotion Bomb. One of them uses these abilities to take over an entire village and turn them into a killer mob, and later causes an entire space station of hundreds of people to turn on each other in a murderous fury. The same Inducer also uses these powers to Mind Rape River and turn her into an effective bodyguard/human shield.


  • Jasper from Twilight has this as his vampire power. The implication is that he could do this to non-supernatural levels pre-vamping.
  • The Wolverine origin movie included a character who could control people's minds. A major plot point was whether the character used her powers to influence Wolverine's emotions or whether he was truly immune as a result of his own powers.
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy movie version included the "Point of View" gun, which makes whoever you shoot it at see things from your point of view.


  • In Isaac Asimov's Foundation trilogy, the mutant known as the Mule could permanently change people's emotions, such as making them loyal to him. He explained it as like being able to see and adjust a dial in people's minds. Notable that this is a rather hard sci-fi setting and his mysterious powers (unlike the straightforward psychic abilities of the Second Foundation) weren't explained until several books later in the series (he himself seemed to imply that he was just a phenomenal random mutation of humanity, another side effect of which was his sterility (hence the nickname), leaving his empire with no heir capable of maintaining control. In truth, he was an overly aggressive outcast from an entire planet of people with such abilities (the result of guided evolution under an immortal guardian).
  • Slave World: Used through social conditioning throughout the series. Also in the form of supertech, but for the first few books this is limited to Getting Smilies Painted on Your Soul.
  • Soothing and Rioting are powers in Mistborn that allow you to do this- a Rioter can inflame emotions, a Soother can dampen them, and a full Mistborn can do both (The Lord Ruler, for example, turned himself into a walking Emotion Bomb, dampening all emotions in about a mile radius around him apart from fear and despair). However, a Soother or Rioter can't sense emotions, so they need to be very good at reading people to get the results they want.
  • This is one of the secondary powers granted by some types of crafting in the Codex Alera. Earthcrafters can calm animals or induce lust, while firecrafters can inspire a broad range of other emotions. However, reading existing emotions is specific to water.
  • Emotion workers in Holly Black's The Curse Workers trilogy can manipulate emotions through touch, and the effects can last for several months. One emotion worker got in serious legal trouble for making several wealthy men fall in love with her. However, people with this ability become emotionally unstable themselves for a time whenever they use their power. The more often they use it, the more unstable their own emotions become.

Live Action TV

  • In a late Star Trek: The Next Generation episode Data's "brother" Lore did this to Data by using Data's stolen emotion chip to beam emotions into Data's brain, which caused Data feel pleasure from causing pain and temporarily causing him to turn on the Federation.

Tabletop Games

  • In Mutant UA, there are several mind-altering psychic powers. "Påverka" (affect) for Emotion Control, "Skräck" (terror) for Emotion Bomb, "Dominera" (dominate) for Mind Control.
  • The "Sway Emotions" form of the Enthrallment skill in GURPS can induce: anger, boredom, depression, disgust, fear, greed, hate, jealousy, joy, love, lust, patriotism, peace, sadness, or unrest.
  • Mutants and Masterminds has this as a Stock Superpower that can induce Calm, Despair, Fear, Hate, Hope, or Love.
  • Changeling: The Lost has the Great Courts of changeling society, with seasonal motifs and a corresponding emotion (Spring = Desire, Summer = Wrath, Autumn = Fear, Winter = Sorrow). Each Court also has a corresponding Contract chain titled "Fleeting [Season]" which involves manipulating said emotion.

Video Games

Web Comics

  • Megatokyo: Miho's character could do this within the Endgames world. It's a matter of much debateof whether she has the ability to do this out of game or not.
  • Moodswing from Mind Mistress could do that, it worked even on Mindmistress. It was Crowning Moment of Awesome, when MM managed to trick and defeat her, despite being under her control
  • 'cubi in DMFA can do a variation on this to other 'cubi who let their guard down, by exploiting their own Emotion Eater abilities against them.
  • Magus from El Goonish Shive has the ability to strongly amplify existing emotions in his targets. Afterward, his targets have splitting headaches and short term amnesia.

Web Original

  • Sweet Sorrow is an emotion manipulator in the Global Guardians PBEM Universe who concentrates on the "darker" emotions like fear, anger, hatred, sadness, depression, and so on. Charmer makes people trust and like her as if she was their closest friend. Heart-Throb, one of the Hyperion Academy students, controls the full range of emotions, but he's best with love and affection.
  • Frank of the Whateley Universe can't help broadcasting emotions. Frank isn't his name, it's his codename, because you always know what he's feeling. Without his power limiter helmet, he would be swamping entire sections of the school with his emotions.
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