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A Stock Phrase. When a character is struck speechless, stunned, going through a Heroic BSOD, or generally unresponsive for whatever reason, another one will tell the responsible "I think you broke him/her." Or someone in the peanut gallery will just comment, "I think X broke Y," or any variation thereof. Most often whispered as an aside.
Frequently used for comedy, but can be part of a dramatic setup too.
Anime & Manga
- In chapter 75 of the Hajimete no Aku manga, Jiro is seemingly unaffected by Kyoko accidentally kissing him on the cheek. When Kyoko turns to him to demand he tell their teasing friends the kiss was accidental, he is still in the same position. Then, his legs give out.
"AAAH!!! SHE BROKE AKUNO!!"
- Used amusingly when Hayate of Hayate the Combat Butler doesn't want to change out of Ayumu's clothes, and Nagi comments to herself that she may have broken him. In actuality, he just doesn't want to reveal to Luca that he's actually a guy.
- XSGCOM: Terra from the Deep, crossover with X-COM and Stargate, has a moment where a Tollan scientist finds out and tells the Atlantis expedition that Earth humans are actually biological weapons designed by the Ancients to fight the Wraith.
"It can't be true," Weir said to herself quietly, "we can't just be the leftover war-toys of some precursor civilisation" she tried to convince herself before a thought occurred and she suddenly stood up and thumped her clenched fists down on the conference table. "I refuse to accept that Russell Sharp is a first class representative of what we were intended to be!" she shouted out into the universe before collapsing back into her chair, her eyes glassing over as she considered the bleakness of creation.
"I think you just broke the boss," Sheppard told Travoc, who at least had the decency to look apologetic about it.
- In Walking in the Shadow of Dreams, a Neon Genesis Evangelion fanfic, Rei is vividly describing what she did to Kensuke on their first meeting, including the phrase "Seven hours." And several others that were not made explicit. At the end of all this, Hikari, who had been sitting sitting nearby has a teacup half raised in the air, and a glazed look. Toji then turns to Rei and says: "I think you just broke my wife."
- In Mutant Storm, that's what Hermione says about to Ginny after she kisses Harry.
- A non-romantic example is present in An Entry With a Bang, when a person of Native American descent learns Motherlode has numerous tribes surviving upon it.
- In Kyon: Big Damn Hero, Haruhi asks Tsuruya if she broke Kuyou Suou when she freezes after being asked by Tsuruya about her intentions with Kyon. The reason of her freeze was actually something that happened immediately before: Yuki made some modifications to Kuyou using Haruhi's Reality Warper powers, allowing Kuyou to retain memories; Kuyou was just overwhelmed from accessing a memory for the first time.
Films -- Live-Action
- Used in an unfunny way (unless you've got a sick sense of humor) in The Crow when Top Dollar and Myca inadvertently kill a woman during a threesome. Hardly nonplussed, Myca decides to keep the woman's eyes as a souvenir.
- There is one episode of Monk in which Sharona's kid Benji and his friend dump a puzzle on the floor for Monk to sort, which ends up leading the detective to a Eureka Moment, holding up two pieces and staring at them. One of the kids comments, "Uh oh. I think we broke him."
- A deeply unfunny usage of this occurs in an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, when Buffy confronts a girl being abused by her boyfriend and forces her to look at her bruises in the mirror:
Buffy: Look at yourself. Why are you protecting him? Somebody who really loved you couldn't do this to you.
Debbie: (becoming catatonic) You're wrong. He does love me. He does love me. He does love me. He does...
Willow: (horrified) I think we broke her.
Buffy: She was broken before this.
- In The Office, after a prank makes Andy so angry that he punches a hole in the wall, Pam tells Jim that she thinks they broke his brain.
- Craig Ferguson said this of Vin Diesel during an "interview" on The Late Late Show when Diesel apparently got stuck endlessly clapping his hands.
- On an episode of The Big Bang Theory, Penny is giving Sheldon acting lessons, and they are acting out a play Sheldon wrote when he was 10 about being taken to live in the future by Mr. Spock. He is acting as his mother, and Penny suggests he try playing it as sad to be losing her son, so he begins to improvise, relating it to his real life. When he breaks down and starts crying, Penny calls up his mother and says, "Mrs. Cooper? Hey, it's Penny. Yeah, I think I broke your son," and hands the phone to Sheldon.
Sheldon: "Momma, please don't let the space-man make me go away!"
- Done literally by Chip Esten who rode Ryan Stile's back in Whose Line Is It Anyway.
Chip: I broke Ryan.
Ryan: GET THE @#$%^ OFF!!! GET THE @#$%^ OFF!!!
- Community: Happens a couple of times to Abed.
- After a few too many drinks in the episode "Communication Studies":
Abed: It's like... that movie... with that guy.... I think you broke me.
Abed: (hungover) Ugh... movie reference...
- And again in "Virtual Systems Analysis", Abed goes catatonic after Annie messes with the Dreamatorium.
Annie: I broke Abed!
- In the game Sam and Max Hit The Road, when the player insists that Sam pick up an object that obviously cannot be picked up, Sam will eventually be reduced to tearful whimpering (see it here). Max will then comment:
Max: Now you've done it! You've broken Sam's spirit with your stupid attempts to pick up that silly object! In fact, if I didn't find his pitiful sobbing so amusing, I'd come out there and rip your limbs off! Just ignore them, Sam, maybe they'll go away.
- This strip of Angel Moxie.
- Last panel of this page from The Order of the Stick. "I think we broke Haley."
- Elliot of El Goonish Shive with his "Gracelyn" form once "broke Tedd".
- Megatokyo: When Piro is shocked to find Miho asleep in his flat, she is woken by her phone, has a conversation, spots Piro staring at her and... "I need to phone you back, I think I broke something."
- Weregeek: "I think I broke the new guy!!" And later Dustin broke her.
- Goblins: "Cool, I think you broke Baka."
- Darths and Droids: "I think Sally broke the GM."
- Eight Bit Theater
Black Mage: FFFFFFFFF--
Fighter: I think he sprung a leak.
Dhur: I think you broke her brain.
Jaine: That implies that there was something to break in the first place.
- From a really early Penny Arcade comic: "I think we broke her head, dude"
- Rhyme, in Chasing the Sunset, Rhymes on a Dime. When she gets interrupted in mid-sentence, twice, she is stuck until she can rhyme what she just said. A helper character explains that she always gets out of it.
- In Faux Pas, Myrtle the hen is so addicted to soap operas that she goes catatonic without them. The cats use her to play 'living statues.'
- In Sinfest 'Nique broke Slicky... again.
- Questionable Content: "Wow, I think I broke Sven."
- Someone says this in Zelda Comic when a reveal blows Link's mind.
- Whenever the Lets Player Raocow is having real difficulty with a level in a game, his Talkative Loon persona gradually ebbs away, until he's rendered playing in complete silence. In particularly bad cases, he'd start groaning in an increasing rage. In videos before he incorporated "Post-Production Raocow" to fill the silence, entries in the comments section of that video would abound about the game breaking Raocow.
- Equestria Chronicle: Iron Hoof gets this a lot.
- In The Simpsons, Bart hands out Love Hearts with offensive messages on them. Skinner is made aware of this, and for it causes him to Flash Back to Valentine's Day during The Vietnam War. Suffice to say, it does not end well for the guy holding the Valentine from his girl back home.
Bart: Cool, I broke his brain!
- In the Spliced episode "Sgt. Snuggums", this is spoken almost word for word by Entree when his and Peri's pranks finally push Snuggums too far... and turn him into a raging, psychopathic Super Soldier.
- A self-induced version happens in The Weekenders, when Tino decides to stop having emotions after being embarassed for crying while watching Romeo and Juliet. When Carver first sees this, he yells "Guys? Tino's broken!"
- Phineas and Ferb
- Thaddeus and Thor are stunned speechless by Phineas and Ferb's fort (which is... well, a "fort" according to Phineas and Ferb's definition of the term), prompting their sister Mandy to snap, "Nice going! You broke their brains."
- A far more sinister example would be from "Phineas and Ferb Get Busted":